Transcript - Press Conference Transcript - Practice 9/17


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Good to see you guys here. It's not quite as big of a crowd, but we have the ones that count the most. You guys are here. But we just had a really good practice, our best Friday practice so far in this early, short season, so far. I think we had a good week in a short week."

On whether there is too much made of having a short work week this early in the season, as far as recovery time and coming off an emotional game last Monday:"I don't know. It's a good question. There are probably some numbers on that you'd have to look at. I think it's a tough thing to do coming off such a physical game, and then going on the road back-to-back. Anytime you play a Monday night game, you've got to come back and play on Sunday, [and] it's normally, obviously, against a team that didn't play on Monday night. So, it's a disadvantage, but everybody has to deal with it. The back-to-back road things, you add something to it, but that's our challenge."

On going into a Week 2 game after focusing on your Week 1 opponent for the last several months:"Well, we've been thinking about the Bengals all offseason, too, the Browns and the Steelers. These are division opponents; these are hugely important games for us. This is the defending [AFC North] champs – no problem getting our attention."

On whether it is an indication that CB Lardarius Webb will play since he was not listed in this week's injury report:"I don't know. I think there's a chance he'll play. It just depends on how he feels as we get close to the game. We said last week he practiced 100-percent, and he did, and he's practiced 100-percent again this week. So, he's doing well."

On whether LB Jarret Johnson's back is loosening up and if he has a chance to play on Sunday:"I think he does. [He's] just [had spasms], and we decided not to take a chance of putting it back into spasms. So, they do a good job of taking care of that."

On whether it is more difficult to prepare for a team after that team just played poorly last week, but you know they're better than that:"Yeah, well yeah, because our guys know these guys. So, it's not going to be hard for us, because we know who they really are, and we know which Bengals team we're going to see. We're going to see the division champs, and that's how they're going to play on Sunday."

On whether WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh is more intense leading up to the game against the Bengals:"I see the same thing I saw last week: This guy is, like you say, he's an enthusiastic, excitable guy. He loves football, he studies it and he practices really hard. So, no change, but I'm sure he's excited for the game."

On what he was thinking when the Bengals added big-name players in the offseason:"I'm not going to even answer that because I see where you're going with it, and I just would refute that. All you try to do is make your team as best as they can be. We don't try to match anybody's offseason moves. We just try to make our team as best as they can be. But I'm impressed at what they've done. Obviously, they have a lot of good players. They're an even better team than they were last year from a talent standpoint."

On what he's seen from S Tom Zbikowski this week in response to how he played on Monday night:"As far as the defensive… The punt? Well, 'Zibby' is confident. That's the thing about Tom – he's very confident. He knows he's good at it. I think he's a little surprised in the decision making, himself. I would expect that never to happen again, and he seems like he's doing a good job."

On rookie LB Sergio Kindle: "We have news on Sergio. He went through the battery of tests. Obviously, it's independent doctors, the best in the business here in Baltimore. He's got some serious issues that he's dealing with. I think the chances of him playing this year are slim. We're going to be very, very careful. The doctors will be very careful. Sergio will be very careful with that type of an injury. But our plan right now… We're dealing with the Management Council right now to try to work out the issues of the contract. That'll be between Ozzie [Newsome], the Management Council with the rules and Sergio's agent. But we're going to try to get him in here and make him a part of things. He wants to be here. He wants to be a part of things. He wants to get back on track. Then while we do that, [he can] continue his physical therapy through the process and just see where that takes us."

On whether they are trying to get him in without being under contract: "No, he's got to be under contract to be here."

On whether they are trying to sign him: "Yes, we're going to try to sign him to some form of a deal that reflects the situation. Give him an opportunity, you know? But again, I doubt he'll play this year, highly doubt he'll play this year. But it'll be an opportunity for him to get on track for the future."

On whether there has been a precedent set for this situation: "We're trying to do the right thing, I think, two ways. We're trying to protect our investment, protect Steve's [Bisciotti] investment, and also give him an opportunity, you know? Give him an opportunity to get through this thing because it's tough, and give him a chance to pursue his dreams still. But as far as precedent, I've never heard of one before, but Ozzie would know better than I would."

On whether the tests gave an indication that he will be able to return to form before the injury: "We got an indication with these things, and this is just the doctors… They don't know. There's no way to predict these things. You don't know how a brain heals. It's different in everybody, and there's just no way to predict it, so you just have to see where it goes."

On whether there will be contact with him: "No. No, he won't practice. He'll be PUP, I would think, to start. That's up to Ozzie. We'll just take it week by week. I'm looking at it as a coach. Let's just get him healthy and get him right and get him taken care of, and then down the road see if he'll get a chance to play some football."

On whether there is a chance he will never play football again: "Yeah, there's always a chance of that, absolutely. You're talking about a brain injury."

On whether Kindle was disappointed that he probably won't play this year: "You know, he's such an upbeat guy. All he expressed to me was he wanted to get here. He wanted to get here and get with his team and be a part of things and whatever he had to do. Yeah, he wants to play, but he understands the magnitude of this deal, and he just wants to get here and get back at it."

On whether he would be able to study the defense with his teammates: "Right, he can be in the meetings, he'll lift weights, he'll do football-related movements, conditioning."

On these things occurring only if he is under contract: "As long as he's under contract."

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