HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening Statement: "It's good to see everybody. I appreciate you being here. It's a great day for football; it's perfect, and every day is a good day for football. Our guys were into it. I appreciate the energy [and] the focus. It was a good football practice. It's good to be practicing football at this time of year, and our guys were into it. So, I really appreciate that from them. The other thing is some guys were named to the [AP] All-Pro Team for first-team [Lamar Jackson, Roquan Smith and Kyle Hamilton] and second-team [Justin Madubuike, Patrick Queen and Patrick Ricard]. I just want to congratulate those guys on that accomplishment. It's a heck of a thing to be a Pro Bowl player. It's a heck of a thing to be an All-Pro player. Also, [executive vice president & general manager] Eric DeCosta for the Executive of the Year from [Pro Football Talk]. So, that's a very well deserved [honor] for Eric, and it's an honor for the whole personnel department and the great job that they've done. So, what questions do you have?"
We saw TE Mark Andrews is back out there on the practice field. Is there any kind of timetable of when he might be actually available to play a game?*(Jamison Hensley)* "I think we're on the same timetable that we were on. We're in that range, but today was the first day. [Mark Andrews] did individual [drills], that was it. So, we kind of ran it from there, and we'll get into next week and have a better idea."
Are you pretty happy with the way the guys are progressing health-wise leading up to next weekend?*(Todd Karpovich)* "Yes, I'm happy with it. It's still early to really predict too much. There's a ways to go for guys, but they're certainly on track, and I think we'll know more next week."
Having TE Mark Andrews out there participating, what kind of lift does that give his teammates and you guys. Just having that type of player back out there practicing.*(Shawn Stepner)* "Everybody is excited for Mark [Andrews]. The guys [see] Mark in the training room every day; he's in the weight room, he's in the meetings. Everybody knows, and everybody kind of knew he was coming out and practicing, so they're happy for Mark. You always want to see one of the brothers back out there doing their thing."
With all the news this week regarding the coaching staff and more of the old guarders moving on and moving elsewhere. You're now the second-most tenured NFL coach. What's that like? Is there anything that you've taken away from just seeing more of that moving on?*(Kyle Phoenix)*"[I'm] the second-most tenured and the second oldest. You failed to mention [that]." *(laughter) *"I appreciate [you being nice]. Like my grandfather used to say, 'It's better than the alternative, right?' So, we appreciate that, and those guys are guys ... I can remember coming up as a young special teams coach in this league and the old guard – the Scott O'Briens, the Pete Rodriguezes, the Brad Seelys, the Wayne Seviers – those guys who take you under their wing and treat you with respect, and they kind of show you the ropes. How much those guys mean to you, and some of them have passed on [or] out of football now, or aren't with us anymore. Then now, some of the head coaches that are moving on and moving to the next thing, you have the same kind of regard for that you look up to, and you feel so appreciative of what they gave to you as a coach and what they gave to the game. So, these are iconic coaches, so nothing but respect and admiration for those guys and what they've accomplished – the opportunity to compete [and to] take teams against those guys is something that I'll always cherish and remember for as long as I live. So, those guys are great coaches. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw them back though, too, so we'll see what happens."
What type of advice have you been able to provide for the assistant coaches on staff that are getting coaching interviews with other teams with their focus being on the postseason?*(Jerry Coleman)*"'Lock in.' That's my advice, but they are. Those guys are locked in. They're excited about where we're going as a team, and I think they just take the opportunities as they come. These are preliminary-type interviews [and] get-to-know-each-other-type interviews. It's great experience for those guys. I'm really happy for them [and] really proud of them. I think you go in there and be yourself [and] present who you are. One thing that's important to me is this was something going way back to 2008 was you want to make sure that you're genuine with the people about who you are and what you believe in as a coach and that the teams are genuine and honest with you. I just look back on [owner] Steve [Bisciotti] and [executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] and everybody involved in those interviews just presenting exactly what they were looking for in a coach and who they were as an organization. I'll tell you, 16 years later, everything I learned about the Ravens organization and came out of those interviews understanding who they were. It's proven to be the case over 16 years. They're still who they were. I'd like to think I'm still who I was then in terms of just being honest about it. To me, that gives you a chance when you're honest with one another, and you know walking in who you're going to be and what you believe in."
QB Lamar Jackson said he was getting anxious to play in the Divisional round game next week. How will this weekend be for you not playing a game and watching all the other NFL playoff games?*(Cordell Woodland)* "[It's the] same thing. One part of you wants to be out there playing and going at it, and the other part of you appreciates that you're already 1-0 for the week. Like I told the guys, they have earned this victory. Every one of the 13 [regular season] victories had a part in this win this week that has been accomplished in the Wild Card weekend because of what they did all season. That's a big deal. That's something very valuable and a very meaningful thing. With that, it's not a vacation week. It's not an off week. It's a work week. It's a work week to become the team that we need to be going forward into next week. Our guys have taken that really seriously."
How quickly do you snap into action as a coaching staff once you find out who you are playing in the AFC Divisional round?*(Jonas Shaffer)* "That's right. I think what we'll do is we'll look at the Saturday [Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans Wild Card] game, and we'll assume that's our opponent. We'll snap into action after that, and we'll start working on that team. Then, if it changes, then we'll re-snap into action for the new opponent." (laughter) "The good thing for us is the opponent that could come into the picture on Sunday is one that we've played very recently [in the Pittsburgh Steelers]. It's helpful the way it worked out for us."
Are you happy you do not have to play in the bad weather like some of the other playoff teams have to play in this weekend?*(Jim Forner)* "My goodness. I thought the Denver [Divisional] playoff game in 2012 was cold. I know it was, because I couldn't speak. I was trying to say, 'Field goal.' [Special teams coach/specialists] Randy Brown asks me all the time. He says, 'You got the F out.' It's like, 'Well, what did you think I was trying to say? Time for a field goal.'" (laughter) "It's going to be interesting in Kansas City. It's going to be very interesting. We have some scouts whose flights have been canceled going out there who were trying to get out there to scout the game, which is legal in pro football, by the way." (laughter)
Can you confirm what NFL Network reported that defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson interviewed for the New York Giants' vacant defensive coordinator position?*(Jonas Shaffer)* "Yes, he has."