HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening Statement: "Hey everybody. It's good to see you guys. [It was a] great day, great practice [and we're] excited to be playing a tough opponent at home in front of our crowd. We can't wait to get out there and do it, but we still have about 48 hours to keep getting ready, but we'll be taking advantage of that. What questions do you have?"
The Frederick County Girls Flag Football league wrapped up this week. I know you guys have been involved, so how gratifying is it to see that come to fruition?*_(Luke Jones)_* "It's been incredible. [It was] Middletown [High School] and Urbana [High School] right? [Did] Middletown win it in overtime? Overtime, right? [The final score was] 7-6 [and it was a] defensive struggle? That's awesome. It just really makes you proud, excited [and] it's very cool. Congratulations to both those teams making it to the finals, the 'Super Bowl,' and hopefully we can as well."
What has been the preparation for a tough opponent, the Seahawks, who are leading their division, and they are a strong team on both fronts?*_(David Andrade)_* "That's exactly right, that nails it right there. They're a top NFC team. They're heading up the NFC West at this time because they're playing really good football; complementary football. They're built well, kind of like how they always are. They're playing Seahawk football, I would say. It's what you come to expect when you play the Seahawks, so we understand that."
Can you talk about how S Kyle Hamilton, his play and what areas he has improved in from a year ago?*_(Mike Preston)_* "That's a great question. I guess I'd have to think hard about it. It's almost like he's across the board gotten so much better, but I would say – if I was going to pick the number one thing that he's really improved at – it's just understanding of the relationships in the backend deep, whether it's the deep middle or deep half, to the routes, having his vision opened up a little bit and seeing all the different routes that come in that he has to be responsible for. He's really done a good job with that. The whole defense, so far, has done really good with the deep ball, so we have to keep doing that and keep building on that. He's a pretty versatile player. He plays everywhere; he plays both safeties; he plays in the nickel; plays in the dime sometimes; he blitzes, he covers [and] he's been on wide receivers covering the wide receivers as well. We're pretty happy with him, and I think he knows more than anybody and the way he approaches it that he can get better, a lot better even than he is right now."
T Morgan Moses hasn't practiced all week. Based on his experience, is there still a possibility that even though he hasn't practiced that he can possibly still go out and play?*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "Yes, [Morgan Moses] can play without practicing, there's no doubt about it. We just have to see how it feels. He wanted to practice today, [but] we just nixed that. That's the kind of guy Morgan is, he's old school. He wants to get out there."
How did S Marcus Williams do with his hamstring injury at practice this week?*_(Luke Jones)_* "He did well. Hamstring [injuries] are tricky. We'll just have to see going into the game. [It'll] probably be right up to it. We'll see [and] see where he's at."
It seemed like today was one of those mental sweat kinds of practices. What has worked with having those types of walk-through practices?*_(Brian Wacker)_* "They do say that wisdom is in the results. It's easier to continue to do something when it's been successful, certainly. That's part of it, but also, I would say the fact that for me, as a coach, I like what I see when we're doing it. We're doing it in a way where they're locked in, and they're [having] attention to detail, and they're communicating, etc., and you feel good about it. If it wasn't that, then we probably wouldn't be doing it. So far, so good, but it'll change. There will be days we'll be back in pads soon enough on Wednesday. We'll be going [to] 'Fast Fridays' at some point, I'm sure. I think you go by where you're at in the season and how your guys are and what you feel you need that week. I talk to the players. I asked Lamar [Jackson] today what he thought, because, as a quarterback, he might want to get those routes timed up. That's valuable, too. You do miss that on Friday if you don't do it that way. All that comes into play."
It's probably a question better served for GM Eric DeCosta, but would you like to see the trade deadline date pushed to later in the season?*_(Jonas Shaffer) _*"Am I the right guy to ask? I don't know, because I'm sure there's some unintended consequences, but I would say yes. Why not? It would be better for players. It is better for the players and the teams and for the fans. To me, it's good for the game as long as it doesn't compromise the fairness and the integrity. As far as I can tell, it'd be great."
What separates LB Roquan Smith's leadership style from the rest?*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "I would say that he doesn't have any fear about how he's perceived. He understands what he thinks is important and what he believes in – his way of doing it. And as a leader, he's not afraid to say, 'Hey, this is what I expect for myself,' and by extension for everybody else. That's a big deal."
OLB JADEVEON CLOWNEY
On his conversations with T Morgan Moses:"[Those conversations are] just about other guys he's going up against. [For] some of those guys, what they like, what I see and what he's doing to me at practice and what I think he needs to change. Or if I get him on a rush, or if he gets me on a block, then what made him set like that – just back and forth. It's a relationship from playing NFL football for 10 years."
On if he's had previous relationships with guys on the other side of the ball:"For sure. Yes, Duane Brown was one of my closest friends in the league. [He] played offensive tackle, too, [and] I went up against him a lot, especially [in] my rookie year when I was in Houston. We kept a relationship for a long time [and] still to this day – we played in Seattle together – he always checks up on me. [Morgan] Moses is a cool dude. That's my boy."
On how much the relationships in the locker room have helped him get acquainted in Baltimore and allowed the team to play well:"I think it's important to have good relationships with your teammates. The feedback is very good. On the field, it comes off [as] good energy when you can relate, and you know the guys you go out there with – who you're going to war with – and what they're going through. It's great to have those relationships."
On the significance of coming back home after playing four of five away:"It's great. The last time we were at home, we blew a team out, and hopefully we can continue to play that way at home. It's good to [not] have to get on a plane after the game. So, I'm looking forward to playing at home."
On the key to playing at a high level consistently:"The consistency is us running to the ball, being elite, all 11 guys playing the same, being on the same terms out there – the same level – and continuing to play at a high level. Like I said, it's going to take all of us to be on the same page and knowing who you're out there with and believing that they're going to do their job [just] the way you do your job, and it [will] all come together. Just do your job, and everybody … It all starts at practice. When we go out there to practice during the week, everybody is out there doing their job, and we know when we're headed to the game [that] once you do it in practice, it usually rolls over into the game; how you practice is how you play. So, just continue to play at high level."
On if he's aware of the defensive numbers, and if they've discussed it and if it's a point of pride:"I have no clue about the stats. All I know is we're 6-2; we're winning. I don't even keep up with it. I hadn't known until you just said something. But [I'm not] into the media a lot like I used to be, and I really don't care anymore. All I care about is winning and playing on a good team, and right now, we've got a good team, and we're trying to win a Super Bowl."
On the level of trust on defense right now:"It's very high. Like, everybody is out there making plays. I believe anybody on our defense can make a play [at] any time, and that goes from the D-line all the way to the safety position, corner position – everybody. Like I said, the way they practice is the way they play. Those guys come to practice every day. Nobody is taking days off at practice, and it's showing in the game."
On the kind of stress the defense can put on an opposing offense, given all the versatile weapons on the defensive line:"You just can't prepare for one guy. It's a lot of stress when you've got to go into the game and worry about the whole D-line [and] not just one guy, and I feel like, here, we've got multiple guys – the whole front seven, the DBs [defensive backs], the safeties – everybody can make a play [at] any given time. [We've] just [got to] go out there, continue to run to the ball and good things [will] happen."
S KYLE HAMILTON
On how excited he is to be playing at home for three straight games: "[I'm] excited, for sure. It's been … I guess we played the [Detroit] Lions at home, but we've been all over the world, literally, the past few weeks playing and won all three of those games. It's cool to see how we've adapted in those areas, but [it's] definitely good to be home."
On his strides he has made in understanding how everything works in the secondary from an offensive and defensive perspective: "I think it's just seeing the picture more – getting more reps. It's a maturity thing at the end of the day. I think I've seen a lot more plays this year at this point in the year than I was last year in terms of just playing safety and being able to come down and recognizing splits and stances, whereas last year I was more just worried about what I was doing. I feel like I'm progressing to seeing looks and understanding."
On how the versatility of the defensive backfield helps himself, S Marcus Williams and S Geno Stone and if there are situations where all three would play at the same time:"It's been a blessing and a curse this year with injuries and guys going down like Marcus [Williams]. He hasn't been able to play as much as he wants to, obviously, but that allows for Geno [Stone] to showcase to the world what he's able to do on the field and create turnovers and make plays. Now, we're in a position where it's a good problem to have where we have a lot of guys who can get on the field and perform well. I think once we get down the stretch [and] down in the playoffs, it's going to be really helpful for us [to] be able to rotate if that's what we're doing or put guys in different spots. I think all over the field, it's been showing that we're pretty much two deep [and] really good at every single position, at least – maybe even more than that. I think it's kind of rare in the league."
On the challenge of covering big wide receivers like Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf:"I've never played against him before, but from the film, he's super strong, super fast, has good hands, understands how to sit in zone coverages [and] get open for his quarterback. He presents a big challenge. He's one of the best receivers in our league today. That's not for no reason. It's going to be up to us. [He's a] bigger receiver [who] hopefully we get hands on [and] fight physicality with physicality and try to make him uncomfortable."