Transcripts: John Harbaugh Monday Press Conference (11/28)

Opening statement:"I had a chance to obviously look at the game. We've studied it; we're studying right now. I was with the defensive coaches looking at it again. We're going to work hard to improve. The effort was definitely there; guys were fighting. We just didn't play well. We didn't play well in a lot of areas, not nearly as well as we can. The Jaguars did play well. They did a good job with their Bye Week; they had some good ideas [and] executed them very well. It's a tough loss on the road. It happens in this league; we're not going to downplay it. It matters, it's important, it's a win we could have used. We have to come back, and we have to get this next one and do everything in our power to get it done. So, that's where we're at. What questions do you have?"

When you look at red zone efficiency over the past three years with QB Lamar Jackson, it's always been over 60 percent, but this year it's around 51 percent. What do you think has been the difference in efficiency in the red zone this year? _(Jamison Hensley) _"We're going to look at everything. It's two things always; it's going to be execution and scheme, and it's scheme and execution. So, that has been a major focus for us as coaches to try to get the right plays up down there. At times, we've had the right plays and we haven't executed them. Obviously, we have to do everything we can do to block, tackle, throw, catch, run, all those things the best we can and just make the plays. I do think once it starts happening, you kind of get a little momentum that way, but also, we're going to look at the scheme part of it. We're not going to say it's not that; that has to be part of it, and what personnel groups are on the field, what plays we're running, are we doing enough to cause problems for the defense? Those kinds of things. We got a nice open crossing route with a nice schemed-up play there at the end to Josh [Oliver]. We just have to be better down there. It's critical for us in the next stretch of games to start scoring touchdowns in the red zone; we have to get that done."

On your first red zone trip, you had a delay of game penalty. Beyond just not wanting to be penalized, would you like the offense to find more rhythm and dictate the tempo? _(Luke Jones) _"Absolutely, and we did in the second half. We ran more no huddle plays in the second half, things like that. I'm not sure exactly what was going on with the clock. It felt different; the 40-second clock was fine, the 25-second clock was, 'Man, that was quick,' but still, it's on us. We did a lot of substituting in the first half. We were in a little bit more complicated plays and formations a little bit in terms of shifting. I don't think we got on the field as quick as we can. Maybe even [offensive coordinator] Greg [Roman] told me, 'I have to call the play faster.' I think we can call it faster, communicate it better in the huddle, whatever. The whole thing needed to be faster, and we did adjust kind of what we were in in the second half to try to make that happen to make sure we could do it. The rhythm and the tempo were not like what we needed them to be at all."

On the fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak, it looked like the offense was rushing to the line and some guys maybe didn't understand the play call. Even when QB Lamar Jackson got the ball, it looked like he was looking for a hole. Was that supposed to be the play call? _(Cordell Woodland) _"Yes, that was supposed to be the play call. We'd like to have that one back in terms of what we ran. We didn't run it well; we didn't communicate it well. It was just a bad play."

Before that play, the official clearly signaled first down before they changed it to fourth down. What explanation did you get for what happened there? _(Bo Smolka) _"I don't want to make excuses. We thought it was a first down, then it wasn't a first down, then the play clock's running. So, that's kind of what happened, but we still have to be on top of it. We have to communicate the play better all the way across the board. It's our responsibility to do that no matter what the officiating process is. It looked like a first down, but it wasn't, so that's the way it goes."

I'm not sure if this is something you and your team look at, but do you find that there's any difference in success rates when plays are snapped and ran early or late in the play clock? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"I don't know the numbers on that. You know what though, I think that's a good idea. We'll take a look at that. I can't imagine … There are times when you run it down for reasons, and there are times that you need to run it down to make sure you get the right play call. Lamar [Jackson] has been really good at that over the years. He's one of the best guys at dealing with the play clock, and getting the ball snapped and all that kind of stuff. So, we just have to adjust as coaches on that. It's up to us to organize it in a way that we just don't get in those situations. If we have to have less offense, or less movements in the plays or whatever it might be, that's just what you do. So, it's on us. That's something we have to get cleaned up."

There were a couple plays where QB Lamar Jackson was clapping his hands and didn't seem to be getting the ball when he wanted it. Was that a matter of C Tyler Linderbaum not hearing him? _(Childs Walker) _"It all goes hand in hand. I don't know exactly, specifically whether Tyler [Linderbaum] heard him or not, but those are the things that we just have to do better at. We are young that way a little bit operationally in some ways. We do do a lot on offense scheme-wise, but that's up to us as coaches to get that smoothed out."

On the fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak, QB Lamar Jackson looks to hesitate before trying to pursue a gap, which is something we've seen from him before. Is that a schemed-up thing that you want him to be looking for? _(Kyle Barber) _"Yes, those two quarterback sneaks were both schemed-up sneaks. So, they had blocking schemes attached to them. The one popped through there; the second one wasn't so good. They ran a linebacker through the B-gap, and that's what happened."

The perception I'm getting and that other people have is that QB Lamar Jackson seems increasingly frustrated. Is that accurate, and how do you channel his energy this week after that game? _(Bo Smolka) _"I don't know … I haven't done a measure. I don't think there is a measure 'increasingly'. That's the term someone can throw out there to create a narrative, I guess. Lamar [Jackson] hates to lose. We all hate to lose, and we hate to not execute, and we all hate to not score touchdowns in the red zone. So, if that's frustration, sure. I don't mind that kind of frustration; I want us to be frustrated with that. I want a bunch of guys who want to win, a bunch of guys who want to execute, who want to get out there and make sure that we look like we know what we're doing, and to be putting points on people, and be getting stops and all those kinds of things. So, that's the last thing I'm worried about. I just want us to get out there and be good at what we do, and make sure we're on the same page and work hard at it. That's what we'll be working to do. The other stuff, that's just periphery stuff."

QB Lamar Jackson went after one of his critics on Twitter after the game. Did you talk to him about that, or do you plan to talk to him about that and do you have any comment on your reaction to that yourself? _(Childs Walker) _"I talked to him. I heard about it last night, talked to him this morning. I talked to him on the plane too a little bit, but that was about other things and things about the game. I talk to these guys … We talk a lot about football, but we also talk a little bit about that stuff too, what goes on in terms of the media and everything. Really, you just beg guys not to get into the Twitter world right after the game, especially after a loss. It's never going to be positive. It's not going to be a nice place. That's kind of reflected in Lamar [Jackson]'s response, because what he said was just so out of character for him; that's not the way he speaks, that's not the way he talks, it's not the words he ever uses. I've never heard him say things like that before, but like you said, he wants to win. I'm sure he's frustrated, just like we all are, and that's just a place you just don't want to live right after a game. I know he understands that. Lamar Jackson – you've been around him – he has one of the biggest hearts of anybody I know. You all have seen him, the way he treats people, the way he treats kids, the way he treats the media. He's also one of the biggest competitors I've ever met, so those kinds of conversations he takes very seriously. So, you get trapped sometimes by someone who's baiting you just a little bit, and you can't live there. It's not important. I see you shaking your head, and you're right. That's something I love about him, but I think that's not a place he wants to be in, [and] those are certainly not things he wants to say."

Lost in the disappointment of defeat was a career day for TE Josh Oliver, who was going up against his former team. Just how nice was that? And can you tell us what happened with TE Isaiah Likely? He showed up on the injury report late and ended up not playing. _(Luke Jones) _"I'll start with that: Isaiah [Likely] tweaked his ankle on Friday in practice – had an ankle roll. We thought maybe it would be OK for the game, but if you've ever rolled your ankle, it just wasn't. And so, that kind of moved Josh [Oliver] into some of those roles, and I thought he played great. Josh has been one of our best blockers. He had a great game blocking, again. To see him make those plays … Man, he almost made that seam-route catch in the end zone that would have been huge for us. [I'm] just thrilled for him, thrilled for how he's established his career, and can't wait to see what he does going from here."

On TE Josh Oliver's touchdown, was there any consideration on that drive to not score and to try to eat more clock? Is that a situation where that was a consideration? _(Kyle Barber) _"It was definitely a consideration, and we would have probably gone more for that if we thought we could milk it all the way down. We were close enough; they had three timeouts. So, you've got to get the first downs, too. We didn't really want to kick a field goal and leave time on the clock. So, if we were going to leave time on the clock, it needed to be a touchdown, otherwise, we would have gotten down as far as we could to kick the field goal. It didn't look like we were going to be able to get it all the way down to a walk-off. That would have been kind of crazy if we would have been able to do that, because of how close we were. So, you balance it between, 'I want to get a first down, and I want to just get stopped here and let them call their timeouts.' And then all of sudden, you have an opportunity to score, and you figure if you score the touchdown, we're going to go for two, we're going to get it to seven [points] and try to get the stop."

In that final defensive drive, watching it again, what do you think were some issues that you want to clean up going forward? It seemed like, especially for the first three quarters, it was a dominant performance by the defense. _(Jamison Hensley) _"It was really technique. It was stuff that we do [and] we know how to do. We just didn't play our technique quite as well as we can, and that's been a problem. In the games we've lost, obviously, that's been the issue, so, you're never going to be there. We've had other games where we've gotten it done; we've gotten turnovers in the fourth quarter – that's how we won last time. But we're just going to keep coaching. We're going to keep coaching our guys. We're not down on anybody; we're not throwing anybody away. We've got really good players that want to do well, and we're going to chase perfection in the fourth quarter and try to cover people a little better and get to the quarterback a little better and get the win there."

You guys are celebrating G Marshal Yanda on Sunday. When you look at third-round picks over the years, not that many of them make a huge imprint on the league. So, when you think back to the beginning of his career, why do you think he was the guy who defied those odds? (Childs Walker) _"Well, anybody that will take a taser shot for $600, that's a guy who's got a future in this league, especially as an offensive guard. _(laughter)[It's] all about everything that you know that's right, as far as work ethic and as far as competitiveness. His thing was, 'Do your job.' It was that [and] it was, 'Embrace the grind.' So, when you're about doing your job and embracing the grind – those are your two mottos – and you take taser shots, you're destined for greatness. I love the guy." (Reporter: "Would you advise all third-round picks to take taser shots?" – laughter) "Depends how badly you need the money, I guess. (laughter)[Senior vice president of communications] Chad [Steele] just … That's a joke, Chad. That's a joke." (Chad Steele: "As long as we say it's a joke.") (laughter)

After a game like that, you see the narratives how this was another fourth-quarter collapse. When you have the football mind that you do, do you not think about it that way, just because you get so granular and down to the basics of what exactly happened? Are we kind of guilty of lumping this loss in with the other ones that happened earlier this season? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"Yes, you take everything in perspective. Yes, it's a fourth-quarter collapse; you can call it that, and that's what it is in the grand scheme. And granularly … That's a good word that you just used. I can't even really say it, but it's good, because it makes the point that you detail it out. We're looking at every play, every technique. But there's a psychological aspect to it, too, and that's the other part of if that you try to address. But you can't live in it. We've got to just focus on football, focus on the details of what we do and come out there and play our next play and give it our best shot. I'm very confident that we're going to do what we need to do, but you've got to go do it. The season is going to play out. If we get it done … If we get better on defense in the fourth quarter and offense in the fourth quarter, obviously, we're not going to have any more issues with fourth-quarter collapses, so to speak, and if we don't, we are. That's up to us. That's our job. It's [up to] our guys, our coaches, players, all of us to get the job done, and we've got to find a way to do it, and that's what we'll be working to do and continue to work to do."

WR DeSean Jackson had a big play. Are you encouraged by what you're seeing from him? _(Garrett Downing) _"Yes, it was great. He [DeSean Jackson] had a nice, deep out route, timing route, and Lamar [Jackson] threw a strike right on the sideline. It was a big chunk play for us. And then the deep over route, the line route, as we call it, that was a great play. It came open beautifully, [and] Lamar threw a strike. Those were helpful plays for us. So, if he can kind of keep coming like that, I think that will be helpful to us, big time."

I know RB J.K. Dobbins is eligible now to start practicing. Is he close to doing that? Is there any update on him? _(Luke Jones) _"Yes, he [J.K. Dobbins] will practice this week to some degree. I'm not sure exactly what they'll let him do, so we'll see."

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