FRIDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITY: TEXANS – WEEK 16
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody – appreciate you guys being here a little bit earlier. We had a good morning of preparation, and we're moving to the next thing."
Considering Houston's proclivity for creating turnovers, ball security becomes even more important. (Joe Platania) "Absolutely. It's always important, and I don't know if it could me any more important. But obviously, [the Texans] are great at [creating turnovers]. They've set the standard this year in the National Football League for causing turnovers, and it's going to be a critical element in the game – protecting the football – and causing turnovers on our side."
Was your schedule tweaked because you're going to a central time zone? (Aaron Wilson)"No, it's just what we wanted to do."
What has been your impression of CB Chris Greenwood, who you brought in this week? (Luke Jones) "Chris has done well. He's very talented. It's what we thought we saw a couple years ago when he was coming out of Albion. [He is a] small school guy and has been developing, obviously. The last couple years we felt like he'd be a developmental guy, and we get him now where he's a little further along, and we think maybe he's ready to go, hopefully. We'll keep trying to get him into our system and see how he develops."
John, RB Lorenzo Taliaferro had a foot sprain that ended his season. Your thoughts on the kind of year that he had? (Aaron Wilson) "I really don't have that right now. I think he had a good year. I don't have any in-detail thoughts about it. He did a good job, and he's going to be a heck of a player here. I'm really excited about him and disappointed, obviously, for him and for us, too. But he'll be stronger than ever next year."
John, you guys didn't say at the time, but what winded up being the damage S Terrence Brooks sustained? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think we announced that. It was ACL … Was it an MCL? It was a two ligament tear. He had surgery, I believe, yesterday with Dr. [James] Andrews. You guys know what those [injuries] are. I haven't heard anything about the surgery, or how it went or anything, so I don't have any update on that."
Do you think S Terrence Brooks will be ready for camp? (Aaron Wilson) "That's what I said. Didn't I just answer that? I don't have any update on that. I don't know."
It will be critical to put some pressure on QB Case Keenum this weekend. He's new with that system there. (Jim Forner) "It will be. It will be. It would be critical for any quarterback, obviously. I would have to say that it's critical for any quarterback. It really wouldn't matter who the quarterback is. We always want to get pressure, and that's a strength of ours. It's going to be important for us to be able to do that."
Did DE Chris Canty make progress all week? (Aaron Wilson) "Chris Canty made progress all week, yes." (Reporter: "Would you call it a game-time [decision]?") "I wouldn't call it anything."
Director of Community Relations Heather Darney
Introduction:"Good afternoon. We, on behalf of the Ravens, wanted to present our Ravens [Walter Payton] Man of the Year award to Torrey Smith in recognition of all of his hard work, not only on the field, but at home and in the community. The Torrey Smith Foundation is doing incredible things here in Baltimore, and we're so appreciative of all the hard work that Torrey has done and making this a better place and reaching out and doing all the great things he does. Congratulations, Torrey."
WR Torrey Smith – The Ravens' Walter Payton Man of the Year
Opening statement:"Thank you. As always, I feel like I've been up here before saying the same things, but I feel like being in this position as a professional athlete, a lot of responsibility comes with it, and I take a lot of pride in it. To give back to the community [is important], especially Baltimore – a city full of kids who, even though I grew up in a smaller town, I can relate to their family situations and the things they're going through. Anytime I have the opportunity to give back, I do, and that includes my family as well – my wife, my child. We're always out in the community, and that's something I will continue to do long after my playing days are over, because this is basically home for me now. I'm going to make it home for me when I'm done playing ball, too, so I'm committed to this city."
On what these types of awards mean to him:"I feel like you're getting rewarded for what you're supposed to do. I don't think it's really anything special that I'm doing. We're in a position where we all know what it's like on the outside looking in. We looked up to athletes or entertainers or whoever you may look up to, and they're in a position where you can actually see it. So, if you can see the way someone is living or that they're giving back and helping others, I just think it shows you're being selfless and that you truly care about other people."
On if any athletes he looked up to inspired his involvement in the community:"I just kind of do my own thing. Everything my foundation does, with the exception of the reading rooms, is all things that we – my wife and I – came up with, and the people who run my foundation kind of put it in order and make things happen. But even right now, we've been focusing on 'real change' lately. That's a term that we adopted, because we feel like we do a lot of different things in the community – the reading rooms are awesome. That's a part of real change, because it's helping people further their education and enjoy reading more and able to be more productive. But also, we're creating a mentoring program. With the holidays, you help someone for Christmas – that's awesome. It's a blessing, but that lasts for a day. Their toys or whatever they may get, they're going to appreciate it, but that only lasts for so long. How are you truly helping them help themselves? With the mentoring program, we're trying to get some kids in, show them the University of Maryland – that's where it's going to be – let them kind of see their surroundings and get out of Baltimore for a little while and be able to see themselves in the shoes that I was once in as a college student that has nothing to do with football, but being someone trying to better yourself. We're trying to start with a smaller group; I think we have 30 kids or so for this summer. It's small, but it's going to create some real change, and that's the goal."
On the age of the kids that are going to be part of the mentoring program:"It's going to be high school kids, so yes, it's going to be funny. I never thought I'd be standing back on the campus at the University of Maryland, but I'll be doing it this summer. I'm looking forward to it."