JOHN HARBAUGH MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
Opening statement: "Thanks for being here. I appreciate you guys. Obviously, we had a tough game yesterday and tough loss that we had a real opportunity to capitalize on if we had been able to hold that lead at the end and make one more play – it would have put us in great position. But we find ourselves in good position anyway, the way it's shaking out. It's going to be very competitive down to the wire to make the playoffs, to win the division. And we are in the thick of it, and we are excited about that, and we're looking forward to taking advantage of that opportunity."
Considering the way the game progressed, especially late in the game, have we progressed too far in the season to kind of have a back-to-basics approach to preparing for Miami? Or do you just go ahead with whatever you were going to have planned anyway? (Joe Platania) "What we'll do is we'll prepare for Miami just like any other week. They are very unique in what they do. Their offense is a spread option-type of an offense [that Ryan] Tannehill runs very effectively – a lot of weapons. They spread the ball out, they spread the formations out, they run the read option, they run the dive, quarterback keepers, quarterback follow plays. It's going to be really challenging for us. It's something we haven't seen all year, so we'll put that game plan together. We're doing it as we speak."
In terms of WRs Marlon Brown and Torrey Smith, are they feeling any better today? And what exactly happened with Torrey? (Aaron Wilson)"Torrey didn't really have anything too serious. I don't even know how to describe it right now; [Ravens head certified athletic trainer] Mark [Smith] hasn't explained to me what it was. But he will be just getting ready for Miami. I guess I'd call him day-to-day. We didn't come out of there with anything too serious. Marlon had the concussion protocol, so we'll see how that goes during the week. And [with Michael] Campanaro, it's a hamstring. So, we'll keep our fingers crossed and hopefully he can get out there."
**John, you guys continue to play a lot of people in the secondary. I know S Jeromy Miles played around 70 snaps, or whatever it is. Would you like to settle on two? Are you playing that many people because you are trying to locate, trying to get one of these guys to establish themselves as a starter, or is it just part of the packages of mixing things up? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"I thought Jeromy Miles played really well. I thought he went out there and really did a good job. [He] played defenses well, was in on a lot of tackles, and he did a good job with the opportunity that was presented to him."
**Coach, news is visiting sports today. I wanted to switch gears really quickly. Ray Rice, now that he is an eligible player, a free agent, do you think he will be playing back in the NFL? *(Keith Daniels) *"I don't know. I can't speak for any other team. I have no idea how that will play out. But Ray and Janay are very good friends of ours as a family, and we wish them nothing but the best professionally – nothing but the best family-wise. I'm sure things will work out well for them, because they are good people."
If the Ravens change their mind, would you be glad to have him back here [with] the Ravens? (Keith Daniels) "I've said all I need to say on that, thanks."
John, at the outset, you were talking about being in good position anyway. Do you look at what transpired yesterday? A couple of the teams in the [AFC] North lost and felt maybe you missed an opportunity, but you're still, with four games to go, right where you can or need to be, shall we say? (Dave Ginsburg) "That's the thing – we want to win them all. We know we control our destiny if we win them all – we did – and we came up short. We were really disappointed about that after the game. It was tough. It stung, because we played our hearts out. We just didn't play well enough to win the game at the end. We made mistakes that cost us, and it seems like the mistakes that we made cost us. And at the end they made one more play and we didn't. We had a chance a couple times down the stretch there to make the last play to win the game, and we just weren't able to pull it off. We were trying, guys were trying, they were playing their hearts out, coaches were trying to call the right things, and we just couldn't do it. You have to give them credit. Philip Rivers, I give him probably the most credit. He did a great job of getting in the right plays and right situations, and that's why he is who he is. So, we just have to move forward from that. I guess to your point is the good is we make up this morning, we look at the standings and we are right in the thick of it, and it's going to go down to the wire. And we have a huge game down in Miami this week, and it'll be a lot on the line. They'll be ready, and they're good. So, we'll have a great opportunity to make a move."
Coach, I don't know if you were asked this yesterday after the game: When you go back, now that you had a chance to look at the film … You decide not to go with the fake field goal, you burn the timeout and then they're all gone at the end. In retrospect, do you regret that? (Jerry Coleman) "You know, I'll tell you where I'm going to go with that: From now on, I'm just going to leave those alone, because 'in retrospect,' you'd always like to do something different if it doesn't work out. But in the heat of battle, you do the best you can, you make the decision that you make – the one that you think is best at the time. It'd be easy for me to sit here and say, 'Yeah, I wish I hadn't burned that timeout. Back it up 5 yards; [Justin Tucker] will still make the field goal; we'll still have the timeout.' That's easy. That's simple. It'd be easy for me to go there. Sure. But you know what? I didn't do it, because I didn't think it was the best thing at the moment in the heat of battle. And a lot of other things we did did work out. So, just leave it where it was. We did the best we could; it wasn't good enough. I didn't do well enough making those decisions enough to win the game in the end. And that's the reality – just take responsibility for it and move on."
John, [what are] your thoughts on WR/RS Jacoby Jones' overall contributions yesterday? He had to step in and play some receiver for you, too. (Aaron Wilson) "He did a good job. Jacoby had big kickoff returns. [He] could've been better, and he'll tell you that, even at the end there. But [he made] huge plays for us. And then the one conversion that jumps out was the one where we were backed up, we were able to overcome the penalty after we had the big play to Crockett [Gillmore], and Jacoby gets that conversion, gets us out to near the 50-yard line and gets us rolling. Then the kickoff return that got us rolling toward the end there that could've put it away for us was big. He did a nice job, thank you."
You talked yesterday about some of the penalties. Did you review them today, and just were they as well in the heat of the battle, or were some of them lamentably not smart? (Dave Ginsburg) "It was just too many. We have a category we call 'foolish' penalties, and we had too many of those – unnecessary penalties that hurt us that you don't gain anything from, and it cost us. Unfortunately, the penalties that we had, especially on defense, were the ones that gave them a chance to extend those drives. That hasn't been a factor for us very much all year. I'm surprised that they happened in this game, and we have to look at them and make sure they don't happen again. We're better than that. We can do better than that. That was a disappointing part of it."
John, do you sense confidence is an issue with some of the cornerbacks? (Jeff Zrebiec) "No."
What specific would you … (Jeff Zrebiec) "You just have to play better. We have to make some plays back there. We had a couple things that were issues as far as assignments. It's not really an assignment; it's the way you play the routes. We didn't play the routes a couple times right, [which] led to some big plays. That's really what it boils down to. The other balls were contested balls and contested catches, for the most part. So, we have to do better."
Would CB/RS Asa Jackson help? Do you think he'll help if he's available? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes."
Coach, with CB/RS Asa Jackson, is there something you're looking for this week in practice to kind of tip you off that he's ready to play?* (Matt Pierson)* "Yes, just see that he is ready to play. We just have to see [how] he is moving and [how] he is bursting, and then the next day, [see if his foot] feels good the next day and go back out and do it again the next day, that he's healthy and he can play at an NFL level, which is a high level. He had a good week last week, and I'm very optimistic, but you don't know until you see it."
**Is that the same with WR/RS Michael Campanaro also? Just making sure that he's showing you what you want to see in practice and you'll make a game-time decision? *(Matt Pierson) *"[Michael] Campanaro, he just has a hamstring, and it has just been slow. I don't know what else to say. It has been slow. It was supposed to be two weeks ago. Now you're just at the point where it's, 'Let me know when you're ready.' And hamstrings are like that. That's just a fact of it. He has been killing himself. He's working really hard, and I think there's a chance for this week, but now you get to the point where I'm just not going to count on him until he's back. Availability and ability. Durability goes with it. If you're not out there, you're not out there. But it's not his fault. He's killing himself trying to get back."
Coach, when you talked about going down to play in that environment in Florida, you talked about turning up the heat the last time you went to Tampa. Similar type of situation going down to South Florida? (Jerry Coleman) "We'll probably be outside this week though. So, we'll get a chance [to practice on grass]. The fields will be good. It's supposed to warm up. I want to get them off the turf as much as possible. [We] would have to be indoors to do that. Hopefully we'll be outside as much as possible."
**John, you mentioned S Jeromy Miles. How did S Matt Elam do? His snaps went up and kind of took the place of S Darian Stewart a lot there. *(Aaron Wilson) *"Matt [Elam] was OK. He was solid. He was solid."
John, I know you were asked about it yesterday about inside the red zone where you guys had seven trips inside the 20, but three touchdowns. Having a chance to look at the tape, was there anything that stood out that's maybe not clicking the way you need it to in that area? (Luke Jones)"There were a lot of specific things that were – and specific plays – and things could have been executed better, or we could have gotten a better look. We didn't get quite the look we were looking for sometimes, or Joe [Flacco] had to throw it away on the last one – those kinds of things that make the difference down there."
Do you have any update on WR Marlon Brown since yesterday? The concussion? (Clifton Brown) "No. It's just [that Marlon Brown is] in the concussion protocol. So, we'll see."
John, RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, we haven't really seen much since the fumble in Pittsburgh. Is there still a chance that he could get carries, and is it basically … Was it the result of that fumble, maybe the decreases? (Jamison Hensley) "No. No. If you look at it, no one has many carries besides Justin [Forsett]. Bernard [Pierce] has some carries. It has been, what, six carries this game? You'll see Lorenzo [Taliaferro] without question. There's no punishment going on there. I just think it has been Justin has been playing so well. But Lorenzo has to be there for us, especially down the stretch here."