HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening statement: "[I] appreciate you coming out. [It's a] great day for football [and] a heck of a work day for us. We're really getting tuned in for Thursday night. We're looking forward to it. What questions do you have?"
Is there anything else to add with injury updates for T Ronnie Stanley and CB Marlon Humphrey?*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "No. We're on a short week. Guys are working. It's just a different kind of a schedule. They'll be working, and we'll see how the guys – all the different guys – we'll see how they are Thursday, really, is where we're at. Guys are doing their best. We'll probably have some good news, maybe not on some other ones, but guys are working hard to get back."
Is there anything to add about G John Simpson since he did not practice today?*_(Jonas Shaffer)_* "No. Just the same kind of comment I just had."
What is the challenge or difficulty of facing a team twice in the same season?*_(Brian Wacker)_* "I don't really think there is a difficulty. You're used to doing it in the National Football League in your division. It's just part of the process, and you appreciate it. You know the teams. They know you. It's a heated rivalry [and] a very familiar game, but they're always different, still, with that being said. We just have to be ready for whatever happens, play our best football and see what we can do."
How different are practices from a physicality standpoint on short weeks?*_(Kyle Barber) _*"It's different. You don't have as many days. We came out and did what we did today. We hoped it would be effective. You do the best you can to try to figure out all the scientific numbers and things that go with it, but the bottom line is, it's football. We're trying to be as sharp as we can Thursday night."
When was the last time you spoke to your brother, Jim? How did that conversation go, and do you have any opinion with what he is going through as the head coach at the University of Michigan?*_(Morgan Adsit)_* "Yes, I've talked to him quite a bit. I have a lot of opinions on it, obviously, I'm his brother, and I'm proud as heck of him. I'm really impressed with the way he's handled himself through all this. It's been a long run and about everything [was] done. His phones, his computers and all that stuff have been looked at. He's come through this thing with flying colors. I don't know what they're trying to get, but they don't have anything of substance. I'm proud of him. I think it's a real compliment to our family and to him [and it is] something for us to be proud of, because … And his kids can see this. You get in this kind of situation where you come under fire for whatever reasons, and you come out in a really good place doing the right thing all the time. I'm really proud of that, and I think it's great for our family and kids. It's just a great blessing in that sense. He's a great man. He's a great coach. His players love him, his coaches love him, and he stands tall through all of this."
Will you see Jim this weekend since Michigan plays at Maryland on Saturday, and will you attend the game?*_(Morgan Adsit)_* "It's a lot of good questions. I don't know. Let's get through Thursday night and see where we're at, but I'll definitely be pulling for him and the whole team on Saturday for sure. But, we're thinking about Thursday night, 100%."
RB Keaton Mitchell is the latest of a number of players you have coached whose fathers have played in the NFL. Is there anything that you note about players who come from families with NFL lineage that is an advantage or sets them apart?*_(Mark Viviano)_* "I think there really is an advantage. He grew up with it. His dad [Anthony Mitchell] is a great dad. He comes from a great family. They just have been great parents. He's been raised so well, and then he's been raised in that football environment where he's watched his dad, he's been proud of his dad; he's seen the old clips from his dad with the Ravens. It's very meaningful for him. I think to be in the National Football League [and] to be here … It's the same owner as when his dad was here. He's had conversations with Steve [Bisciotti] on a regular basis. I just think those kind of things make it even more about the family. Once a Raven, always a Raven, and certainly, in that case, it's a family affair. It helps. There's no doubt about it."
Patrick Mahomes said last night on Monday Night Football that M&T Bank Stadium is one of the two loudest stadiums, with the other being Seattle. What are your thoughts on the environment at M&T Bank Stadium, especially in these primetime games at night?*_(Ryan Mink)_* "I'm excited. It's great. You love our fans. It's great in the day, and it's even better at night. It's going to be a great night [on] Thursday night. We're proud to have this game. [We] appreciate the opportunity to play a home, primetime game like this, especially such an important game like this. Our players are excited. I know our coaches are excited. I know our fans are excited. [We] can't wait to get out there and just try to do our best, and I know our fans will be behind us 1,000%."
What has been the common denominator with being able to defend the Cincinnati Bengals so well?*_(Childs Walker)_* "We've tackled well. We've covered well. You have to be disciplined. You have to play good, solid football, and that's it. Then, they're going to make their completions. They're going to make their runs [or] whatever here and there. You just have to do the best [on] every play you can to keep the ball in front and play good, solid football against them, because they're a good, solid football offense. They have a heck of a quarterback. They have talent. They have an offensive line. They have one of the better backs in the league for sure. [He's] a tough runner – all those things. They're well coached, so you just have to play good, solid defense."
What was your diagnosis of what went wrong on K Justin Tucker's blocked field goal attempt against the Cleveland Browns?*_(Jonas Shaffer)_* "We just had a little push in there in the A and B gap, for sure. [It was] a longer kick. It forced 'Tuck' [Justin Tucker] to try to bring the trajectory down just a little bit to get it there, because it was a long kick for this time of year on that kind of a field. [We] really didn't want to be back there that far to kick it, and they did a great job of rushing it, and it got blocked. [Jordan Elliot's] hand was right there in the right spot. That's how it goes. It was unfortunate [and] disappointing. Certainly, if I had to do it again, I'd punt it [and] pin them back down there. But then, if I would've punted it, you guys would be telling me, 'Why didn't I put [Justin] Tucker out there and kick it?'" (laughter)"It's the way it goes, but it's football. I'll give them credit. They did a great job."
Is there anything that you would like for QB Lamar Jackson to improve upon in the fourth quarter of games?*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "Which games are you talking about? Nobody's perfect in every game. Lamar [Jackson] competes. He fights. He plays hard. You're going against the best defenses in football [and] the schemes in crazy situations. I just wouldn't rather have any other quarterback in the league than Lamar Jackson in a tough situation. We all try to do our best in every situation. We all try to build and improve through all these experiences that we have, and he's no different. I just love his competitiveness. I'm a Lamar Jackson guy. That's my guy. I believe in him, and I'll take him in every fourth-quarter situation from here until I'm done coaching – I'll tell you that. I'm proud of him, and we'll roll with Lamar Jackson."
Do you have to be cautious playing a team like the Cincinnati Bengals who are in last place and coming off of a loss and are overly desperate?*_(Cordell Woodland)_* "Oh my gosh, no. This division's tight. These are the defending [AFC North] champs. These are the Cincinnati Bengals coming in here. We know who they are, what they're about [and] how good they are. [In] this division, every team is great. We're just going to try to play our best football against a great football team on Thursday night."
You're wearing the all-black uniforms on Thursday night. Do you have a favorite uniform combination?*_(Kyle Barber)_* "I like the all-blacks, but I like them all. I just like the ones … To be honest with you, when I walk in the locker room, and I see the uniform combination [hanging] in the locker – whatever one it is – it just gets me psyched up. It's like, 'That's what we're going to battle with wearing tonight,' and that's the one I like the best – the one that we're wearing. That's just the truth."
Did you like the gold pants look?*_(Childs Walker) (laughter)_* "If we'd have won, the gold pants would be higher on the rankings right now, but we didn't."
WR RASHOD BATEMAN
On the key to a turnaround on a short week: "I would just say take care of our bodies, lock in, let the game go [from last] Sunday and just focus on what's forward."
On what it would mean to get the deep ball connection going and how dangerous the offense can be:"It's a work in progress for sure, but that's what practice is for. We'll connect when it's time to connect. Lamar [Jackson] is holding himself to a high standard, and I know I do as well, so we'll get it, but in due time."
On if this game has a bigger feel because it's an AFC North matchup, against the Bengals, after last week's result and on primetime:"No. It's just really another game. I just think, right now, we just have to take care of our bodies – both teams [do] – and come out strong, do what we need to do and take care of business."
On what it takes to finish games when you have a lead late in the game:"I think it's very simple; we definitely beat ourselves in all of our losses, so I think we just need to execute at a higher level and finish games. We all know that, so that's what we're going to work on doing."
On what it will take to get the deep ball connection going:"Practice. We do it at practice. That's what we do every day, and we'll continue to work on it, but patience is key. We'll hit it when we hit it."
On if he has a favorite uniform combination:"This one that we're wearing Thursday, for sure, [which is] all black. I like all purple, too, but all black definitely rings the bell for me."
On what statement the all-black uniforms make:"They don't really make a statement – it's just uniforms. We have to go play football, so we'll see."
On if there is part of him that relishes playing in primetime games:"It's definitely cool. Growing up wanting to play in the NFL [and] watching primetimes games, it's definitely something that I've dreamed about playing in. I'm definitely looking forward to it, Monday night, Sunday night, Thursday night [or] whatever it is. It's definitely an awesome feeling."
On if he had considered himself a patient person before entering the NFL:"Yes. I've always had to wait my turn, and it comes to me when it comes to me. One thing I've learned about the NFL is it's not a one-man game, and this offense has a lot of weapons, so I honestly just have to be patient, do what's best for the team and just wait until that time comes."
QB LAMAR JACKSON
On if it's easier to go against a defense a second time that you're already familiar with or have a feeling about:"It depends. If they run the same defenses and stuff like that, it might be, but if they try to change it up, we might have to get a feel for the game at the beginning of the game. [We] might not know how it starts off, but it is what it is. I'm glad we're going to have these games going back-to-back after what happened Sunday."
On if he sees the rivalry with the Bengals has intensified throughout the past couple of years: "I haven't seen it that way, but you can say that because like you said, games have been going both ways the last few years. But guys are lot hungrier on both teams, [and] guys want to win, but I don't believe anybody wants to win more than we do, I'll say that."
On how tough a balance it is between holding the ball a little longer to make a play or throwing it away and if it's a tough decision he faces every week: "It's only a tough decision if I have to wait for the route to develop to see if something is going to happen. But if it's short and immediate routes and stuff like that, it won't be hard. Decision making will be easier."
On a name he would use to describe RB Keaton Mitchell's speed: "I can't tell you. I can't call it. You have to see it. Every time he touches the ball, it's like one carry – he's right here in front of me, [and] next thing you know, he's in the end zone, and I'm celebrating him, [and] I'm ecstatic. But I don't know, I'll probably have something for you later on down the line."
On if there's something he would like to improve on in the fourth quarter of games:"Finishing the game. When we have the ball, [we] have control of the time [and] have control the ball, keep getting first downs until the clock says 0:00, and we're up with the win – [we can] improve at that."
On what he can do to improve on connecting with his receivers on the 9 routes:"Hit them. I mean it's right there. I'm [ticked] off about it to be honest with you. I watched the game, and it's like it might be a difference in the game if we connect with that one. [I] can't dwell on it. Hopefully this Thursday we catch them when we want them, [and] we have success with the deep ball, [and] we connect and have chemistry there. I believe it's there [because] in practice we do it all the time. Those guys catch the ball down the field 40 yards, 50 yards down the field. We need to transition that over to the games, that's all."
On how it affects him and how he approaches the game when he has multiple backup offensive linemen in the game: "Bullets are flying, so I'm trying to make something out of whatever play that was called. I'm not really dwelling on what's going on with the line because I believe any guy [that] steps in, they're ready to go. We have the offensive linemen to do it; we just need to have success with it, that's all."
On if he pays attention when he sees the opposing team's injury report and sees some defensive starters out and if it factors his thought process at all:"Not really because guys went down on [the Browns] and they still ended up winning the game. I don't really pay attention to the injury report because it doesn't help us. It doesn't benefit us at all."
On if he likes playing at night and if it gets him more amped up than usual: "I like playing at night [or] daytime. I played in the morning, I'll say, in London. It didn't really count in London, but over here, it did. So, it really doesn't matter. I love the game; I'll play whenever."
On if there's any extra juice playing in a primetime game and being in the spotlight:"When you're at M&T Bank Stadium at nighttime with our crowd, it's electrifying. So, I'm definitely pumped to be in that atmosphere."
On what he thinks of the all black uniforms the team will be playing in on Thursday's game: "[They're] sexy."(Laughter) "It's a sexy color. I like the color."
On if this is a must-win game for the Ravens: "Every game for us is a must win for us, not just because it's a division game, but I believe our team is definitely a lot hungrier just from what happened Sunday in a division loss in a close game. We're definitely hungry as well."
ILB PATRICK QUEEN
On short weeks and if the mindset after Sunday's loss is a) there's no time but b) that's not the performance they want to be known for: "Yes, we know what happened, so we just … At the end of the day, we have another game Thursday. Mistakes were made, we all know what the mistakes were, but there's really no time to just dwell on it and try to capitalize on that moment. We just have to capitalize on the moment we have coming up. Our eyes are just on Cincinnati, and let's just go out there and perform at our best."
On what are thing the things he's seen from Sunday's game:"Just finish. Everybody, as a whole, just didn't do our job to the fullest that we needed to, and that showed on the film. Just now, it's all focus on Thursday and just playing our best game."
On the quick turnaround for a Thursday night game and playing two games in the AFC North: "It's tough. But, at the end of the day, nobody cares. So, we just have to out there [and] perform our best and try to get this win."
On if the Bengals are the perfect team to get the taste out of their mouth after Sunday's loss:"If you want to put it that way, you can, but at the end of the day, it's another football game. It's a division game; a game that we need to win. It's just another team in our way, so we have to go out there, play our best game, try to get these guys out of the way and just try to get to this long, little break [after the game]."
On what his thoughts are on the all-black uniforms for Thursday's game: "I love the all-black. We should wear it more, honestly. That's probably the best combo to me." (Reporter: Does that look add another level of energy to the guys and does it fire them up?)"No, I think the energy just comes from the stadium itself. I think no matter what we wear or whatever color combination we have, we're going to play as best as we can with as much drive and passion as we can. Just having the all-black uniform will just get the stadium rocking a little bit more."
On if there's anything that feels different playing in a night game or on primetime: "It's a playoff atmosphere, especially with that team [with] what they've been doing lately. It's just, like I said, a playoff atmosphere. So, we have to go out there, play our best game [and] not try to put too much pressure on ourselves, just go out there and have fun."
On QB Patrick Mahomes' comments saying Baltimore having one of the loudest stadiums and how it impacts an offense and a defense:"With the offense, they have to use more signals, [and] they have to take their time with stuff. They can't really just quick snap everything, because they have to make sure everybody is on the same page, so that's a favor for us. As a defense, it's hard to hear each other, [and] it's hard to communicate, so that's really when you have to hone in on each other [and] just communicate as best as you can and just understand the gameplan so that way everybody can be on the same page."
On QB Joe Burrow being healthier and what he's seen from the Bengals' offense recently and what's the key to stopping them:"Their offense goes as [Joe Burrow] goes. Obviously, when he was hurt, they weren't doing as good [and] now that he's back, he can move around and make every throw outside the pocket and inside the pocket. You can definitely tell he's back to him, so that's a great test for us that we have to go out there and perform and just being able to stop him and control him."
ILB ROQUAN SMITH
On his thoughts following last week's game and what broke down in the fourth quarter:"Honestly, today is Tuesday, [and] we have a Thursday night game, so I'll shift my focus to that. [We] learn from the mistakes and just move on, and that's [where] my mind is, and that's where the guys are because we've got a good Bengals team coming into town."
On if he's extra excited to get to the Bengals game and wipe away what took place in the previous one:"I'm excited. It's a short week. [You can] get the nasty taste out your mouth – being able to just get back out and play the game that we all love. So, I'm excited to get back out there. It's a home game, so I know 'The Bank' [M&T Bank Stadium] is going to be rocking. [We're] ready to get out there and do what we have to do."
On the challenges of a short week:"I think it's different for each and every individual. For me, I don't see any. Line it up. It could have been a game today; I'm ready. And I'll definitely be ready on Thursday."
On what it's going to take to close out games going forward:"The game Thursday, that's what I'm focused on – the game Thursday. What's behind us is the past. I'm looking forward to the future at the end of the day. Yes, [there were] some things throughout the game that we don't like, but hey, that's the past – like I said – and I'm focused on Thursday night at 'The Bank' [M&T Bank Stadium]."
On what he's seeing QB Joe Burrow do differently now than earlier in the season:"Yes, definitely. The last couple games, [Joe Burrow] has been able to move around definitely a bit more. But hey, we've seen him healthy, and we've seen him not healthy, so it doesn't really matter. They're going to come ready; so are we. So, it'll be whoever is the best that night, and I like us."
On how a smaller, faster running back like Keaton Mitchell can put stress on a defense:"Well, I think it just depends on what you're looking at as a defense. But when [Keaton Mitchell] touches the ball, we all see that he's very electric [and] can do a lot of great things with the ball in his hands. I've seen it throughout camp and OTAs [organized team activities], going up on wheel routes and things like that. I definitely know the guy has a lot of potential, so I'm just excited for his future, and I'm sure they'll make good use of him."
On what has made this Ravens-Bengals rivalry as intense as it has become over these last couple of years:"For one, I think switching [off], where it's like, both teams are winning, and I think when you're winning, that's what makes a rivalry more intense, because when [both] teams are losing, and one team is losing [the matchup], it's not really a rivalry; some may say it based off history. But as far as within the last couple of years, I think it's just the winning – both sides are winning."
On how much tackling has been a point of emphasis this week:"It's going to definitely be huge –knowing tackling is back to the fundamentals, and that's what we're getting back to – and that's going to be crucial this week. I'm excited to get out there and showcase that ability that I can do, as well as the rest of the defense, so we're definitely excited about the opportunity."
On what posting a career-high 21 tackles last week felt like for him:"Man, I don't really care, if I'm being honest. Like, I was more so concerned about the W. I've told you before; I could have – like [in the game vs.] Seattle – five tackles, and [if] we win, I'm happy, and that's what I truly care more about. It's not about statistics for me. If I was into that, you would know. Trust me."
On QB Patrick Mahomes saying on last night's ESPN Manningcast that Baltimore is one of two places that he's ever had to use a silent count and how he sees crowd noise impacting things at M&T Bank Stadium:"Oh, yes, it's definitely going to be a hostile environment; credit that to the fans, honestly. And yes, even for me, personally, echoing the call out to the defense sometimes, guys will be like, 'What? What?' multiple times, with the noise being so loud. But it's just a credit to the home crowd, and it's a hostile environment to play in, and that's the way we love it, so [I] enjoy playing here."
On if playing at night makes any difference to him:"Honestly no. I always say it, and I say it sometimes jokingly, but I truly can play this game [at] 7 a.m., 12 o'clock at night, out of the bar [at] 2 [or] 3 o'clock in the morning. Whatever you need, I'm here, trust me. Real talk." (laughter)
On what he thinks of the all-black uniforms that QB Lamar Jackson called sexy:"[Lamar Jackson] called them sexy. Wow!" (laughter) "[That's a] unique way to explain them [and] describe them, in a sense. But no, I would say, when I think of black, like all black – pretty much what I'm wearing right now – I think of just physical, death row-type defense. That's what I think of when I see black. It's more of like, 'OK, show me what you're about, because, if not, I'm going to show you.' So, that's how I associate black in my head, honestly."
On if he has a favorite Outkast song, given his Georgia roots and that Big Boi is performing on Thursday night:"A favorite Outkast song? No, that was a little bit before my time. Sorry." (laughter)