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Transcripts: Press Conference (11/1)


Opening Statement: "It was a great day for football today. As Tom Reed always said, "Every day is a great day for football, so what questions do you have?"

Yesterday the trade deadline passed, and no moves were made. Do you feel like there was anything possible or anything like that?*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "Yes, there were possibilities. Eric [DeCosta] and the guys did a great job – they were working on different things that maybe could come up. I don't know how many deals got made, three, four or five deals I saw, I think. I'm sure there were hundreds of things talked about across the league. We were involved in different kinds of conversations, but nothing came to fruition."

What do you think that tells the team that no moves were made, and this is the team you're sticking with as you go down the stretch here for the rest of the season. What do you think that says to your players?*_(Shawn Stepner)_* "That's a great question. I hadn't thought of it so much like that. I think our guys know how we feel about them. We're certainly not in desperate mode. We're not going to do something out of desperation by any stretch. We have a really good roster like we talked about on Monday. I love our guys; we have everything we need, and our guys had a great practice today. We're looking forward to Sunday. That's really what we're thinking about."

You had the London travel questions, the short week, the out west. I know it's one at a time, but when you look at the next three games and that window in 11 days at home, is that a huge stretch that you look at as an opportunity for your team?*_(Morgan Adsit)_* "It really is. It's something that we've … Our long term is probably three weeks [and] our short term is Sunday, even Thursday. That's kind of the bucket in front of us right now [to] do as well as we can over that stretch, and we're thinking a lot about that."

DB Brandon Stephen has really emerged. What have you seen from him this season that really enabled him to play at such a high level?*_(Ryan Mink) _*"He's just a diligent guy. Brandon [Stephens] is talented. He was new to the game kind of [playing as] a defensive back. He hadn't played it much in college; he was a running back at UCLA, [then] transferred [to SMU] and went to [defensive back]. So, he's learned a lot, but he's just a talented guy, but he's really just diligent about technique. [He] tries to do all the details and the little things right, it's really showing up in the way he's playing." 

There's almost the sense, there's not too many, at safety, but a surplus. You have DB Daryl Worley and S Marcus Williams back and with the way S Geno Stone is playing. Is it a good problem to have? You want as many playmakers on the field, but there's only so many that can be out there...*_ (Pete Gilbert)_* "We believe in depth; we do believe in building a deep roster. It's something that's been pretty evident probably over the last many, many years, and so we've been able to weather [the] different challenges that have happened. Even in the last few years where we were hit really hard with some challenges, and we still put guys out there that play hard and play well. So, yes getting healthier is a big thing. It's still day to day, week to week, but those guys coming back, I'm excited to see how ready they are to go. They practiced today, so we'll see where we're at."

What have you seen from Seattle? I don't think a lot of people are anticipating a team as good as they are.*_(Jerry Coleman) _*"Seattle, the way they operate out there – Coach [Pete] Carroll – you pretty much, I don't care what it is, they're going to be their personality, and that's how they are. Again, it's the Seattle Seahawks personality. I think it's what [Pete Carroll] has established there over the last number of years. They play hard; they play with a ton of energy; a ton of confidence; they're disciplined, they're tough and all those things, and they're going to come in here and bring it like they always do. That's kind of what you'd expect from a Seahawks team."

What do you see from QB Geno Smith? It seems like he has that second life out there in Seattle.*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "Yes, Geno [Smith] is playing great. He had a great year last year and they've settled in with him. [He] makes a lot of throws, play action, boots, drop-back passes, scrambling, [and] every now and then he'll come up with a draw or quarterback run in a critical situation. So, he's playing really good football."

A lot of people talk about WR DK Metcalf and really the whole Seahawks wide receiver room. When you watch them, what impresses you?*_(Bo Smolka)_* "[The Seahawks] are very wide receiver-driven, and they have really good tight ends and [running] backs, too, and the [running] backs are carrying the ball, but from a passing game standpoint, those wide receivers get the targets, and they all do certain things really well. They have the young Ohio State Buckeye [Jaxon Smith-Njigba] in there, and he [executes the] screens and underneath routes, and [he'll] take off in a double move. And [DK] Metcalf, look at him, he's just kind of a beast out there doing different things, and [Tyler] Lockett just continues, [with] no change. As long as he's played, he's still the player he was his first couple of years. So, those are people that we have to contend with."

You want to get everybody as involved as you can offensively, but do you feel like you guys want to get WR Rashod Bateman more involved? He only had the two targets in Sunday's game at Arizona...*_(Cordell Woodland)_* "Yes, we do. We want to get everybody more involved. That is the answer, like you framed the question, and Rashod [Bateman] definitely, if he starts popping and making plays and catch-and-run types of things that he does, that's going to be something that's just going to be a real problem for defenses. You probably can go right down the line with every guy, and the more we get those guys involved – it's not going to be every player, every game – but the more we can get them showing up in games, it's just going to make everybody better." 

You guys have gotten back on track in terms of red zone offense the last couple of weeks. How important is RB Gus Edwards in the running game in general?*_ (Noah Trister) _*"We said it a couple of weeks ago when we had the bad game or two that you'd like to run it in, and being able to run it in down there is the best way to do it. It's just the most straightforward way to do it, it's a smaller area to throw. Then off of that, you get play action stuff and just straight drop back if they start packing it in there against the run, so it kind of starts with that."

Speaking of RB Gus Edwards, we didn't see him out there today. I know the injury report comes out later and the guys that weren't there at practice, is it anything concerning?*_(Brian Wacker) _*"Nothing to really report that's concerning that way. As it goes along in the week, we'll kind of see it unfold that way."


On if he feels like he needs to make the most of his opportunities and show people he can do that:"I don't think I have to show anybody anything besides my teammates, so other than that, I'm just doing my job whenever my number is called."

On saving an interception in the Arizona game:"It was a tough throw. Lamar [Jackson] got hit, so we had to make the most of that play, and we did."

On the importance of that play because it was on the opening drive and how easily it could have gone the other way:"It could go the other way pretty quickly, but I have all confidence that no matter if that play happens or not, I think that as a team, we would have fixed what we needed to fix and still found ways to win the game."

On what it means to hear head coach John Harbaugh say he has a big second half of the year and if he also feels the momentum rolling in that direction: "It feels good. It always feels good to hear your head coach say that, but I'm just happy to be back on the field and doing my job. We'll see where it goes."

On the jet sweep play and if he liked being used in that play:"That was different for sure. I don't think it was supposed to happen the way it happened. It turned out well. We executed the play, so it was good to see."

On how much does getting healthier help you as a pl*ayer:* "It feels good. I feel like I'm getting back to my old self, probably even better than I was before, so [I'm] still getting a grip of things. I feel like we're headed in the right direction."

On why he feels that things are headed in the right direction: "I just think our mindset probably … It's not like I have lost the confidence in myself. [I'm] just taking advantage of all the opportunities that are given to me."

On if he's looking forward to three home games in a row after so much travel to start the season:"Yes, I am. I'm ready to sleep in my bed at night and just wake up in Baltimore rather than hopping on a plane and traveling coast to coast. So, I'm excited to be back home."

On how hard the road schedule and recent travel w*ere:* "I don't think it was hard. It was just a lot on your body. I don't think it's hard. We're a locked-in team. We're still locked in, and we accomplished what we needed to. I'm pretty sure all of the guys are happy to be back."

On his shirt with Ravens legends on it: "Somebody gave me this shirt, and I think it kind of speaks for itself, so I love my teammates."


On his three-touchdown performance game last week at Arizona:"Just move on, pretty much. Just move on. It's a new week. [We're] playing a defense that's ranked better than the defense we played last week, but we [have to] just try to stay consistent and keep it going. But at the same time, I'm going to put that behind me [and] try to do better."

On if he's hoping to get the same workload moving forward after getting a season-high 19 carries in Arizona: "I'm ready for it if that's what the coaches [decide], and that's what the gameplan is about, then yes. I'm hoping that I get a big load each week."

On if he gets a better sense of his game when he gets more opportunities:"I think with running back, it's a position that ... It's kind of like a rhythm position, so the more carries you get, the more rhythm you get, and the hotter you get. You kind of get going, so that does help the confidence, and that does help you flowing through the game."

On if he's enjoyed being a part of the passing game this season:"Well, I had two catches last week, so I guess I am part of the passing game."

On not practicing today and how he's feeling physically:"I'm good. I'm good."


On if he felt T Ronnie Stanley's foot back into him as he threw a touchdown to TE Mark Andrews in the Week 8 game at Arizona while on one foot: "Yes, I did. Mark [Andrews] was open. I just tried to do my best to get it to him. [He] made a catch, and we scored, but I knew."

On if his leg was bothered after T Ronnie Stanley's foot backed into him on the play: "My leg just flew in the air, but other than that I was good." (Reporter: I meant the leg you planted.) "It was good. I'm healthy. I'm good."

On if WR Rashod Bateman's catch he made on the first drive at Arizona shows the talent he is and the potential he has: "Absolutely. I believe two seasons ago, [Rashod Bateman] had a catch like that against Cleveland when 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley] threw him a go ball. He made another catch like that, so we know what 'Bate' is capable of. He just needs more opportunities, I believe."

On if he is getting closer to the point where he will be connecting on more passes with WR Odell Beckham Jr. and not only drawing the penalty flags: "Absolutely. [The defensive players] are just holding [Odell Beckham Jr.], but I believe they have to. It's 'OBJ.' He's going to catch the ball, so they have to do their best to keep him away from the ball. They're doing a good job of it right now, but he's going to get on the scoreboard. I believe it's happening fast. It's going to come. It's going to happen."

On if he is cognizant of who may need to get a ball thrown to them during a game: "No, not really. I'm just trying to do my best to put points on the board. We have guys flying open here and there, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly like, 'He needs to get the ball here.' It's within the play. If I'm going through the progression, and the guy is open, he's going to get the ball. Other than that, I'm not trying to force anything."

On his excitement of having three straight home games:"[I'm] very excited. I'm looking forward to it. We're not traveling. [We're] staying home – grounded. I'm enjoying it."

On where the team is as the Ravens approach a tough schedule in the second half of the season:"I believe early on in the season, it was a stretch. We had three division games back to back. [Now], we have [the] Seattle [Seahawks], the [Cleveland] Browns. Then, we have [the] tough Cincinnati [Bengals] after that, so it's going to be tough regardless. Any team in the league you're going to play against is going to be a tough game. All of us NFL players are superstars, but I believe we're prepared. We're prepared. We've been showing it getting better each and every week."

On what jumps out on film about the Seattle Seahawks:"Those guys [are] just flying around. They're making plays [and] making things happen. The defensive line's good, [and the] linebackers are good. [They] have 'Wag' [Bobby Wagner] – a vet. [They] have Jamal Adams back. They have [No.] 6 [Quandre Diggs]. That guy is a tremendous safety as well. [Their] second-year corner [Tre Brown] – he's pretty good. Those guys are stacked right now."

On if there are any similarities between the Arizona Cardinals' and the Seattle Seahawks' defenses that he can take away from when he played the Cardinals:"It's two different defenses. Arizona did a lot of dropping eight [players in coverage]. We weren't looking forward to that, but they did a good job of that. Seattle's pretty much a three-deep [coverage] team – zone [coverage] team. [We] just have to go in there prepared. That's all."

On him owning a 17-1 record vs. NFC teams:"We're playing football." (laughter) "It's not about NFC or AFC. I'm trying to win regardless. I don't even want to put that in my head or let you finish that question. We're good."

On if he has an advantage on teams that have not seen him before:"No. I'm going to go in there prepared just like [for] any other team – [an] AFC team as well. Hopefully, the score keeps going up. [My record is] 17-1? [I] hope it gets to 18-1 after this one. I'll say that."


On defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald's comments last week about how the work he put in during the offseason helped set him up for this year, if he feels that way and what he did differently in the offseason: "Yes, I feel that way. In the offseason, I was going to make sure I did better than the year prior. What I did different was just really tune in with pass rush moves and find ways to get better with conditioning. Those are the things I felt like last year I lacked, and I wanted to definitely get better [at that] this year."

On if he is more confident using certain pass rush moves in games now than he had been before:"Yes. I feel like as I practice, and I get confident doing it against my teammates, I can get more confident in the game. I just pull it out, and [it] usually works. [I] try to time it up good, too."

On the level of confidence he is playing at right now:"I would just say just listening to [outside linebackers] Coach Chuck [Smith] and [assistant head coach/defensive line] 'Weav' [Anthony Weaver] in terms of run, play action pass – just the little things that they tell us to do. I just try to practice it. Then on film, we watch after practice is over, and I'm like, 'That looks good. I'm going to play it like that in the game.' [It's] just taking it one day at a time and just executing those moves over and over and just not get tired of doing it. I feel like it translates to the game."

On what was behind him pointing to the sideline after his sack against the Arizona Cardinals: "Everybody keeps asking me [about] that, but I'm just going to say I point to the fans just to be like, 'Hey, I'm here.' That's just my little thing. I might switch it up, but it's what I do."

On if he keeps track of trade deadline activity and if not acquiring any new players is an endorsement of trusting the players who have established themselves on the team: "I don't really pay attention to the trade deadlines. When you hear [of] a blockbuster trade, like [how] the [Washington] Commanders got Chase [Young] and [Montez] Sweat out of there. Stuff like that I hear about, but I don't really pay too much attention to it. It's just when it's like a breaking news or a shocking trade. That's when I hear about it to be honest with you."

On if the locker room pays any attention to the trade deadline or is it when it happens, it happens: "It's when it happens, it happens. I don't talk about it."

On if he and NT Michael Pierce feed off of each other in their play:"Yes. I feel like we help each other just being in terms on the same page on pass rush games like who's the middle push guy away from the [running] back. Just communicating, just keep talking, keep practicing in practice, believe in each other, just having the confidence in each other and loving on each other. We go out to eat together. Just keeping that chemistry strong so we can trust each other when it comes to gamedays."

On if you are doing more stunts than you have done in the past: "Yes, I would say so."

On if DT Travis Jones is having an under the radar breakout year: "He is. He's been balling. I told him, 'When you're balling, everybody's going to ball. Everybody's going to eat, because you're just a young guy that's just super strong, super fast, super quick. When you bring that out every day [and] become your best self every game, you'll just help this defense so much more. You don't know how much power you have.' That's what I tell him."

On the importance of having experience and how much it has mattered to him:"It's very important. Knowing what to expect and just growing as a player, as a person and just the league and seeing guy before and after they did asking them questions. You develop yourself, and you develop young guys that want to learn – are willing to learn – and willing to apply it. That's just what I take from that."

On if there is anything the Ravens do to help foster development among their players over time:"I think they bring in vets that know what they're doing and are good guys. It brings the younger guys to understanding with them and just wanting to learn from them and get better I would say."

On if there is a particular statistic that he takes pride in: "That's a good question. I think all of it matters. I would say we take pride in all of it. Obviously, stopping the run so we can make it one dimensional and then getting after it in the pass rush game, but all of it. All of it is important."

On if there is a humility required of the pass rush group like being willing to drop into coverage on third–and-long: "The approach is, 'Just execute the gameplan [and] just execute the play. Don't be selfish. Be selfless. Be able to put your teammates into position to make plays,' and that's what we do. [Defensive coordinator] 'Mike' [Macdonald] is going to put us in position to rush the passer, too, so you have to put that into perspective as well. You just have to execute the gameplan and just trust your teammates."


On him running out to the practice field every day and where that comes from and the intent behind it: "Honestly, it's just my approach to the day, just going out there alive. [I'm] just happy to be out there and excited and let the guys know every single day, I'm ready to attack the day by any means necessary in a sense."

On what he meant on his comments after Sunday's game about defense not playing to their standard: "When you look at it overall – and we're past that now, and we've moved on to Seattle – but when you look at it overall, it's four quarters of play, and that's how you judge a game. So, I feel like we had plays throughout the game that weren't to our standard, and you're going to make mistakes, we're human at the end of the day, but we just hold ourselves to a higher standard, and we know what we're capable of when we're playing our best." 

On how much he talks to the guys about protecting the house when it comes to the three-game home stretch:"Honestly, I don't have to say too much to the guys about it. Everyone is very aware of what's at stake, and at the end of the day – like I always say – it's your turf and our fans and our family are there, so we have to defend that by any means necessary. We're just taking it one game at a time, and that's our focus. [We] can't jump ahead – one day, one game at a time. I feel like if we do that, everything will go over well." 

On if there's a particular statistic about the defense this season that he takes pride in: "Yes, I take the 'W' and the 'L.' The 'W' means so much more. We can be the worst defense in the league and as long as we're winning, I'm all for that. But I wouldn't want to be on the worst defense in the league by any means, but as long as we're winning, and we're playing good ball, and I'm out there with my guys, [and] the guys are out there with each other, we're happy with that."

On what it says to the locker room that the Ravens didn't make any moves at the deadline:"Honestly, I'm a player, and [the front office] handles what [the front office] handles. I don't really focus on that. [It's been] like a year now [since I was traded here], [and I'm] very grateful to be here, and I just look at it like, if they saw something that they really needed out there, they would have really gotten it. I feel I'm very confident in this team and position from top to bottom, and if we all play to the best of our abilities, the sky's the limit for us."

On what it was like watching NT Michael Pierce and DT Justin Madubuike have the game they had on Sunday: "I love playing with those guys, 'Big Mike, the Juggernaut' [Michael Pierce] and 'Beeks' [Justin Madubuike]. Having those two guys in front of you, and it makes life a lot easier for me, 'PQ' [Patrick Queen] and secondary as well. I love when those guys get recognized and have the type of games that they have because I think they're two of the best at what they do. I'm just very proud of those guys and [they] just have to keep it going and those guys know it as well. That's our focus – just doing it week in and week out and not just one game, and those guys have been doing it all year long."

On what kind of challenge QB Geno Smith present for a defense:"So, Seattle, they're a great team. Pete Carroll has been doing for a while, [he had] much success in college as well as in the league. The offense has a lot of good players on there with the running back, No. 9 [Kenneth Walker III], Geno [Smith], guys outside as well. He does a lot of great things well – [he] can] get out in space, get out of the pocket, make those throws whether that's boots, whether that's in the gun, getting quick throws out, quick gain, and things of that nature [and] quick release. I'm excited for the opportunity. The defense is excited for the opportunity, and if we come out do what we have to do, things will be in our favor, but we just have to take it one day at a time."

On if LB Bobby Wagner is a guy he's looked at and admired: "Yes, for sure, 'B Wags' [Bobby Wagner] ... I remember when I actually first came into the league, I remember I ended up connecting with him [and] asking him questions and things of that nature. So, I always had a great deal of respect for Bobby, a guy that's been doing it for a long time – pro bowls, All-Pro, you name it. I have a lot of respect for him and the way he plays the position and is still playing it. I don't know what year this is for him, but he's been doing it for a while. So, I definitely have a great deal of respect for him and the way he plays the game." 

On if being the guy that leads in the huddle before games and if he was always like this and how he took on that role:"Honestly, as I think about it, in high school, not like my freshman year or anything like that or sophomore year, but junior [and] senior year, yes, I was that guy … Actually, we didn't do it as a team. The head coach [handled it] more so in high school, but my position group – yes, and in college, as well. Then in the league, it came along probably my third year or so. It's just been something that I'm comfortable with. The guys love when I get up there, and I just am myself, and that's all I know how to do at the end of the day and just speak from the heart and speak real, and guys respect that at the end of the day. It's not like [I'm] trying to create a picture that I don't live by in a sense, So I just go out there and give the real, and you either you respect it or you don't, but most people respect real, [there's] not a lot of it in this world." 

On what stands out about D Brandon Stephens and the way he approaches the game:"'B Steve' or Timothy [Brandon Stephens] – that's actually his name, but I like 'B Steve' a lot. [It's] just the way he comes to work every day [and] puts his head down. [I] never heard this guy complain about anything like whether that's [in] OTA's, [the coaches] having him playing safety and in a game, having him go to safety with injuries and things like that. I never see the guy waiver or complain or anything like that, and I just respect the way he comes out each and every day and just wants to get better, and that's all he focuses on. [The] attention to detail is so crucial to him, and I have a lot of respect for him and love playing with him, and the best is still yet to come for him."


On how he's feeling and how it feels to get back out on the practice field:"I feel great. Stuff happens all the time, but we have good guys who come in and do a great job. There's never a let off, so me going down is not a problem when we have guys like that in the locker room." 

On what he's seen from S Geno Stone this season:"[Geno Stone is] playing amazing. He comes out, he comes to work every day locked in, and he's hungry. When you have a guy who's hungry and wants to go out there and ball … He does that each and every week, and I'm just proud of him, all of his progress and everything he's done this year. I hope he continues that."

On how frustrating the last two years have been because he's never had to deal with injuries before last season: "[It's] not frustrating. It is what it is. I've faced adversity my whole life, and I'm going to face adversity in the future, so I'm just going to keep pushing through."

On if he's going to have to manage pain through both of his injuries for a while:"I'm just [going to] keep getting better."

On how close he feels to where he wants to be:"I feel good."

On what he thinks the key has been to the secondary's consistency:"Everybody practices as a starter. There is no guy in here who can't play, and that's why they have the guys here. [Head coach John] Harbaugh does a good job. 'EDC' [executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta] does a good job of getting guys here, so there isn't a let off. Everybody can play. When one guy goes down, this guy goes up, and they ball out."

On is it helpful to have a string of home games to do more treatment in Baltimore: "I'm going to get better regardless of where I'm at."

On his mentality to getting back on the field:"I've always had a strong mentality. I've always seen stuff happen in life that's worse than my situation. I always continue to be positive and optimistic because I know I will be back, and it's not the end. I'll come back better than I was before. My mentality is to be the best, and the only way I can do that is [to] be on the field. I'm going to continue to keep my health up after that."

On if he expects to play on Sunday:"We'll see what happens."

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