Transcripts: Friday Availability: Week 17 vs. Steelers

FRIDAY AVAILABILITY: Week 17 vs. STEELERS

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody here. We appreciate you being here. [We] had a good practice, had a good week, and we're really just pointed toward Sunday afternoon right now. Our guys are excited to play, and we're looking forward to it. We'll try to put our best foot forward, play our best game of the year. That'll be our goal, and that's where we're at."

You had a visitor: the 100-year-old military member [WWII veteran Steve Melnikoff]. How did that interaction go? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, it was incredible. It was incredible. One of the most amazing things about the whole conversation was Steve [Melnikoff] was talking to Steve Bisciotti, our owner, at the end, and they had a little bit of common ground. Where Steve [Melnikoff] worked – he's been retired for 32 years – he worked there for 31 years, so that was quite a milestone. Steve [Bisciotti] had mentioned that his best friend's father, Eugene Waters, worked there. It turns out that that was Steve's [Melnikoff] supervisor for many years. They played golf together a bunch of times. He was telling some stories about how they had argued about putting, and Steve [Melnikoff] said that he was the better putter than Gene. And then we called Steve's [Bisciotti] friend, and it was just really a nice moment talking about his dad. So, that was neat. And he talked to the guys, and I thought he was just smart and sharp. And he didn't look a day over 79 to me. He looked really good, and it was fun. So, yes, big plus." 

It's the first time in three years [that it's] Week 17 and you're not playing for a playoff berth. Was it sort of a relaxing week, or was it business as usual? (Todd Karpovich) "Business as usual. Guys have been very focused, working really hard. I don't see any difference at all, in that sense, as far as the effort and the attitude, work ethic."

It's the first time in three years [that it's] Week 17 and you're not playing for a playoff berth. Was it sort of a relaxing week, or was it business as usual? (Todd Karpovich) "Business as usual. Guys have been very focused, working really hard. I don't see any difference at all, in that sense, as far as the effort and the attitude, work ethic."

We didn't get the chance to ask you this: Did QB Lamar Jackson run scout team this week? (Luke Jones) "He did today, yes. He was doing drills earlier in the week, a lot of one-on-one stuff, fundamental work, and then he ran scout team today, yes. He looked good. It was a good look. (laughter) He made some plays." (laughter)

You've mentioned five guys that won't play Sunday. Is there a decision on others pending? Could there be a couple other veterans that don't play, or most everyone else you expect to play? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Well, there are going to be seven inactives. That's the way we'll go, and then the injury things, in terms of who can make it to the game and who can't, we'll factor that in. We'll just have to factor all of that in between now and Sunday. I don't really have any announcements to make beyond those guys. I thought I was pretty generous with that. You're welcome. (laughter) We'll just get to the game and see where we're at and try to put our best team out there that we choose to have available."

We saw "Peanut" [ILB Patrick Onwuasor] leave the field early in practice. Is that something you can shed any light on? (Childs Walker) "No, it's an internal matter. That's just between us."

I know you've gotten some of these questions before, but with that bye week, I believe teams can interview head coaching candidates. Is that something that you're expecting to have to deal with, and do you have any plans for that? (Aaron Kasinitz)"I don't know. We'll take it as it goes. That's something that … There will be a window next week to do that, according to whatever the rules are. I don't even know the actual rule, to be honest with you. I haven't looked at it. But whatever it is, that's the way we'll do it. I'm very supportive of those guys and whatever opportunities they get." 

Have you heard anything from the NFL on Darren Sanders [vice president of security] wearing the earpiece on the sideline last Sunday? (Daniel Oyefusi) "I haven't. Kevin [Byrne, executive vice president of public and community relations] might have some word from the league, but no one has told me a thing. All I know is what Darren [Sanders] told me. He forgot to take it out, and he had it on for part of the first quarter. That was it. He had no phone calls or anything. He said, 'Hey, they can look at my phone. They can look at whatever they want.' It was just a [mistake]. He should have taken it out, forgot. But there were no calls. So, I take him at his word with that, and that can be proven, too. So, I'm quite sure it's nothing to talk about."

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