POST-PRACTICE MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"I appreciate you guys being here. [It was a] good workday today. We're preparing for our opener against the Bengals. The guys are excited. [We had a] roster move: We released Josh Bynes in order to bring Derek Cox back onto the roster, so that helps us a little bit at corner. All I can tell you about Josh Bynes is if we can ever bring him back, we will, in whatever capacity we can. He's been a Raven through and through; he's done nothing but help us be our best; he's completely [been] all-in for everything that we've ever done here. I love Josh, and I know he'll do well no matter what he does. Derek helps us at corner, and we're moving forward from there."
Coach, in terms of LB Zachary Orr, what specifically did he do during the preseason to earn a 53-man roster spot? (Chris Miller) "He played well. That sums it up, in a broad sense. He's a really smart football player. To be a young guy, he's a guy that picks up football really quickly, and that's probably the biggest challenge. There are a lot of players that physically can do it in this league, but football is a complicated sport. Not to disparage any other sports, but [there is] a lot of processing that goes on in football between when the ball is snapped and the end of the play comes in. It's not a simple process. And he's one of these guys who can understand and react on the run, do the right things. Not only that, [but] physically, he's pretty darn good. He can run, he's tough and he really made progress on special teams. He earned it."
John, with CB/RS Asa Jackson coming off the ankle injury, are you guys still sorting out who that No. 3 cornerback is going to be? (Ryan Mink) "I don't really have comments on the roster, depth chart or injuries and anything like that. That probably wouldn't be wise. You know who our players are. They'll be out there [Sunday]."
How's the running back situation? (Gary Mihoces) "[It] looks good. I like our guys. Bernard [Pierce] had a good day today. He really looked like he had a good spark; he accelerated well. Justin [Forsett] had a heck of a day. He looked quick and athletic. Lorenzo [Taliaferro] looked good. He accelerated. The couple days off helped these guys. They all look good."
What are the types of challenges when you face Bengals WR A.J. Green? Everyone knows he's one of the top wide receivers, but when you're game-planning against him, what's the thing that jumps out? (Jamison Hensley) "The thing about A.J. Green is all the things; there's nothing he really doesn't do well. One of the things that jump out to me is his run after the catch. They do a nice job of getting him the ball, [and] not just over top. They run double moves, they put him in every different position, they run him upfield and they throw the ball up to him. He does that, but it's not just that. They hit him on crossing routes; they hit him on quick screens; they hit him on look passes. Anything they can do to get him the ball in his hands where he can turn and get upfield is also something he does real well."
What about facing Bengals RB Giovani Bernard, the kind of guy that can change directions easily? You have to stay disciplined with a guy like that. What are the challenges that he presents? (Clifton Brown) "Gio Bernard does a heck of a job. They're going to attack you on the edges with Gio in the stretch running game and toss cracks and those kinds of things that they do. Screens are a big part of his game. He's a good receiver out of the backfield. But you can't stop there with him, because he does a nice job in pass protection, and he will run between the tackles. [We need to have] good pursuit, great team defense and good tackling – and that's with any back, but especially with a guy as elusive as Gio."
Coach, I apologize if this has been asked before. At what juncture did you start focusing on the Bengals? In other words, was it when the schedule comes out? Was it during training camp? Was it during the preseason? (Jerry Coleman) "Realistically, you start [focusing] on your opponent as soon as you see the schedule. We built periods in for all of our division opponents. We would do that anyway, but the fact that those games are the first three games probably makes it even more important during training camp to do some of that. So we've done that, and I assume [the media has] done that as well."
John, how beneficial do you feel like the approach was with TE Owen Daniels the last couple of weeks, and what kind of form is he in? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I'm not going to comment on any guys where they stand health-wise or anything like that. I could tell you that all the guys were out there practicing; they all look good. That's where we're at."
You've seen Gary Kubiak's offense in action from training camp until now. Are you excited to see it in action in a game that really counts? (Jamison Hensley) "Well, I've seen it in action in a lot of games, but just from across the way. (laughter) So yes, absolutely – definitely. I'm looking forward to it. I've enjoyed being involved in some game plan conversations and understanding the way this offense is put together. You always learn so much just about football. You never stop learning about this game. What our coaches are doing on offense – with Gary obviously leading, and all of our coaches – they put together a heck of a game plan, and a heck of an offense – not just with this game, but going forward. I am looking forward to it."
Do you think it's going to look, maybe to the common fan, much different than what they've seen? Do you think the offense is going to look different to the common fan? (Jamison Hensley) "[It] probably depends on the level of expertise of what you're calling a 'common fan.' I will not use that term, for fear of insulting somebody out there that doesn't deserve it. In fact, our fans are really knowledgeable. I believe our fans will understand what they're watching on offense, whether it be plays or protections or routes or whatever it might be. I know they're going to understand what they're looking at."