DAILY INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"We just had a very good practice, especially considering the fact that I think we rolled in at about 3 in the morning last night. The spirits were good. Guys worked hard, especially the young guys who played a lot last night. They did well. It was a Pittsburgh-oriented practice, but it was also competitive, so it was good. I want to commend the young guys and how they played last night. They played well. [They played] competitive and did what we like. We like to win, and they found a way to win. The human element part of it here… It's a tough time. You see these guys and they are a loose, but you can tell that they are thinking about [the roster reduction]. There are a lot of guys at stake right here as far as who is going to make it, who is not. It's the toughest part of the job that we have because they have all become Ravens. They have all become part of us. We'll just to see how that goes over the next 24 hours."
On what such an irregular preseason can teach the team:"I hope it can teach you everything. You have to get ready to play the game, so you learn your offense, defense and special teams. You learn how to play together. You learn where your personnel is at. I think you have to learn everything in this preseason period that we would have learned throughout the preseason and the offseason previously because we are going to play. It's really no different."
On what the feeling is like heading into the final cut:"That's the thing: You are excited to finalize your roster. You are excited to say, 'OK, this is going to be our team. This is how we're going to move forward.' But, that's going to not include some guys. That's the toughest thing because we love having every guy around. They wouldn't be here if they haven't been great – haven't done a great job for us. Those are going to be tough conversations that we are going to have tomorrow."
On if the play of some of the young players in Thursday night's game at Atlanta makes the decision harder:"I would say some of these performances last night did make the decision hard. Some guys that maybe you said, 'You know, I don't think they are going to make it,' may have stepped up and made a case for themselves. I thought quite a few young guys did that."
On if rookie LB Josh Bynes stepped up and played well:"Yeah, Josh [Bynes] made a case for himself. He played very well. We have been impressed with him all through camp. He hasn't had as many opportunities in games, but then last night he showed up."
On the progression of T Ramon Harewood:"He has come a long way. He had a rough first series or two. After that he settled down and did OK. Ramon [Harewood] is behind the eight ball. Here is a guy who just started playing football, I think, as a senior maybe in high school, went to a small college, missed a whole year last year, didn't really practice that much, and now he is really practicing for the first time. He is a developmental-type guy right now. We think highly of him, but at the same time, he has a lot of football and a lot of learning to do."
On if it is tough to balance the developmental guys making the roster:"I don't want to put it in one specific guy's place, but there are different guys. You try to figure out who has a chance to maybe get picked up by somebody else, and who has a less chance of doing that. The whole league is the same. People need people who are ready to play. You can't just be bringing guys on as developmental projects. You only get 53 guys. We are all kind of in the same boat there, and we have a pretty good feel for where guys are at that way."
On where he feels the team is heading out of preseason:"I feel like we have gotten as much done as we could. I feel like we are as far along as we could have possibly been. The personnel thing was tougher maybe than I would have anticipated. You never know how this is going to play out. Being unsettled, personnel-wise, I think didn't make the practices as productive all the time as they would have been if we had all our guys here in March, April and May – that kind of thing. I think our players have done a heck of a job, and I think our coaches have done a heck of a job of working hard, adapting to change, and I expect this to be a very good football team."
On if facing Pittsburgh in Week 1 "amps" up the team:"The fact that it is Pittsburgh adds to it, but it would be that way no matter what. It's the regular season. It's for real now – they count. I think the guys, the tenured guys, this is the week that these guys wait for and that they look forward to."
On the status of rookie QB Tyrod Taylor and if there is an update:"No, it just looks the same. I would say it just confirmed that it doesn't seem to be a real serious thing. I'm sure he has some soreness in there. I think he is going to be OK."
On the timetable for final roster decisions to be made:"It will go to the deadline, as far as making those cuts. Yeah, it will go to the deadline."
On if he was able to give the younger players enough repetitions, given the circumstances of this training camp:"No, because we didn't have the reps in the OTAs [Organized Team Activities]. I think they got as many reps in camp as they probably would have had, but everybody had fewer reps. We get a lot of reps in practice. We practice very fast. I would challenge anybody in this League to get as many reps as we get in practice. I think that is part of our plan. Our guys work hard, they practice fast and they get after it. I think we have the hardest working group of players and coaches in football. At the same time, we didn't have the OTAs because we would have been just as fast in the OTAs."
On how difficult the decisions will be in terms of the positional battles:"It's close, and like I said a couple of weeks ago, those guys are all going to play. We set our defense up around packages, so we will have all those guys in there doing the things they do well. They are all starters in my mind, because they all have to go out there and play like starters because they are all going to be on the field. They are all very important to us."
On if the extra players in training camp this year was a good thing:"Yeah, we love the numbers. We like numbers because it helps us practice. Also, it helps guys – maybe a guy in that last 10 [roster spots] that you wouldn't have had in camp that ends up making your team. That is a very real possibility this year. That's a good thing."