Skip to main content

Transcripts: John Harbaugh Monday Press Conference (12/26)

Opening statement: "OK, good seeing everybody. [I] appreciate you all being here. What questions do you have?"

As far as QB Lamar Jackson, do you expect him to practice this week? (Jamison Hensley) "We'll just have to see."

We hear various things from players on if they prefer playing in primetime or at 1 p.m. Do you have any strong feeling about the game being flexed to 8:20 p.m. on Sunday? (Childs Walker) "No, not at all. It's just kind of what the league does. You just expect that they'll have a time slot for you to play, and you get ready to go play in it. So, we're looking forward to it. Obviously, it's a very important game for both teams. We understand what's at stake; we understand the dimensions of it and the challenge of it, and we're looking forward to it."

Are you excited to have a primetime game against Pittsburgh in Baltimore? (Jonas Shaffer) "Yes. We've had them before. (Reporter: "Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football have mainly been hosted in Pittsburgh's favor.")Yes, it has. It has. I'm not too worried about it right now."

How did WR James Proche II do with punt returning on Saturday? (Todd Karpovich) "I thought he did well. He's just a good football player. Obviously, you really have a lot of faith in him catching the ball, and he has good elusiveness, north and south [running]. [He has] a little bit different style than Devin [Duvernay], but very effective."

WR Sammy Watkins got on the field for the first time since joining you and had a big play. What did you see from him? (Cordell Woodland) "Yes, I thought he played really well. He had the big play early; him and Tyler [Huntley] kind of made it happen on the scramble play. That was great to see; [it was] a really important play for us. Then, [there were] not too many chances in the passing game after that, though he ran his routes really well, but [he had] a lot of really good blocks. We ran the ball a lot, and he blocked really well. He was physical, and you could tell he was excited to be out there."

Saturday was one of your least-penalized games this season. What do you think that says about this team's discipline? (Melissa Kim) "They've been that way all year. There have been very few games where we've had a lot of penalties. There were a couple; I think we've played that way all year. We're a team that plays with good technique, with good poise – most of the time. Obviously, it's not perfect all the time, but I've been pretty pleased with that all year."

Was there any news on CB Kevon Seymour's injury status after Saturday? (Jonas Shaffer) "I haven't gotten an update today. There's nothing that's been portrayed to me that's been any kind of season-ending [injury] or anything like that. So, I'm sure we'll have more information on that as we go, but I haven't gotten a report yet on any of those guys. So, I think that's good news."

It seems like ILB Roquan Smith plays with so much energy, almost as if he only has one speed. How much do you think that rubs off on other players, and how much does that energize the rest of the team? (Jamison Hensley) "We've always been a defense that plays really hard. So, I think he fits in really well that way. Plus, leaders or great players always make the players around them better, and he's a great player and makes guys around him better. So are the other guys; we have a lot of guys on that defense. So, they do definitely feed off each other, and that's what you want to see."

It hasn't always been pretty this season, but considering the defense is playing fairly well and you're able to run the ball, does that give you optimism to make a run here now that you have clinched a playoff spot? (Cordell Woodland) "Yes, of course. Of course, you feel that way. I don't think there's any team that's going to feel like they aren't capable of doing it. This is the National Football League, and we have a very good football team. There are things we do well, but everything we can do better. There's nothing that we can't do better than what we're doing right now, and I'm excited about the possibilities. Hey, if you're hitting on all cylinders, then you've got nowhere to go but down, I guess. So, we feel like we can play a lot better in a lot of different ways. I know our players have said that. I heard Marlon [Humphrey] say that after the game. And that's something that we're all excited about – the possibilities."

T Morgan Moses has been really good as a run blocker, especially the past two games. What are you seeing from him, and where has he taken his strides? (Ryan Mink) "Morgan [Moses] has done a great job. Morgan is one of the … He does a great job in everything. He's such a dynamic personality, too – enthusiastic guy, loves football. But his pulling has been really something. I would put Ronnie [Stanley] in the same category. Both those guys have been just extraordinary, in terms of the pulling. It's been a big part of what we've been doing – pulling our tackles and our guards – over the last four or five weeks, and he's just really good at it."

How do you feel like DB Brandon Stephens did stepping into more work? (Childs Walker) "He [Brandon Stephens] did well. He played good football. He's just such a detailed guy, technique-wise. He was in the right position all the time. He made a couple plays and was close on a couple others where he made the tackles, which is really what you ask for a lot of times when you're playing off [in] zone coverage. I thought he played well."

I think DB Brandon Stephens acknowledged on Twitter after the game that he did maybe a bit of a sell job on the holding penalty that he drew when the Falcons ran for the touchdown. He tweeted an Oscar picture. Is that instinctual? (Jonas Shaffer) "I have no idea what you're talking about. I have no idea what you're talking about."

As far as how last year ended with QB Lamar Jackson not being able to come back from that injury, are you still optimistic that he is going to be able to come back at some point this year? (Jamison Hensley) "Sure, of course."

You guys have seen a lot of play-action the past couple of weeks. With how well you guys have stopped the run and how you're able to rush the quarterback, what's the balance that you've struck there? (Jonas Shaffer) "I think that's a really good point, because we got a lot of play-action on third down, as I think you're alluding to. And that is tough, because that was a team that runs the ball quite a bit on third down. I think Pittsburgh is obviously a very good running team, and they'll be willing to run it on third down, as well – on third-and-medium kind of situations. And then when you can run the ball on third down and you run play-action on third down, that's going to slow down [the other team's] pass rush, and I think it built in a little more time for some of the routes they were running. So, that's a challenge. It's part of it. You can't just tee off on the pass rush when there's a chance that teams will run the ball, especially when they're running play-action. So, I think that did have an impact."

Related Content