FRIDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITY: WEEK 13 at Falcons
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"OK, good seeing everybody – appreciate everybody being here. [We] just had a good practice, a good week. We're really excited to get down to Atlanta. It's going to be against a really great team – really big game for us. We're looking forward to it. So, what do you have?"
How much was QB Joe Flacco able to do the last couple days? How is he coming along? _(Childs Walker) _"It's coming along well. We talked about anticipating some progress this week, and he made quite a bit of progress. [He was a] limited participant yesterday, limited participant today in practice – looked good. I thought he looked good yesterday, looked a lot better today. The biggest thing was, he didn't have a setback from yesterday. So today, he came out and he was good. That's where we're at."
Is he an option for Sunday? (Jeff Zrebiec)"I'd say 'yes.' He's an option. We still have to … There are still doctors involved at this point. I think the biggest thing … I was thinking of the best way to describe this, because it's not simple. It's never as simple as one rule or one cliché, as we've talked about before, but there's a formula involved. I think the biggest things with situations like this are the two biggest factors, [which] are time and circumstances. Those are things we just don't know. Time, in terms of the medical aspect of it. Circumstances, in terms of our team and where we're at and how guys are playing, including the players involved. To me, it's like any other position that way. It just gets more attention because it's the quarterback. We'll see where we're at as we go."
Do you have a sense, just from watching him the past few days, of what's hardest for him because of the injury?_ (Childs Walker)_ "I don't. I don't have a sense of that – I'm sorry. That'd be a better question for him at some point."
How has RB Kenneth Dixon looked, now that he's been able to stack some practices? What are you looking for from him to be an option? (Luke Jones)"Well, just being ready to go and being healthy and ready to go and knowing the offense – all things that go into being ready to go. He's real close. We'll see. I think he's also an option for Sunday, and we'll see if he's out there or not. [We would] have to make the roster work, as well."
Has there ever been a situation where you've carried five running backs all together? (Kyle Andrews) "It's rare. I've never seen that situation before. That's kind of, I guess, why I alluded to that, the roster challenge that it poses, so it's definitely a situation for us that we have to work out. Ozzie [Newsome] and Eric [DeCosta], that's kind of what they're trying to figure out right now."
I asked offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg about this yesterday, but the consistency that QB Lamar Jackson has shown just in his leadership and his personality, how important is that to have as a guy who's leading the offense? (Jonas Shaffer) "Oh yes, very important. I don't think it's ever been a question with Lamar, if you look back at his career and him coming out from college and everything. But it's not in question here, either. He's probably ... You never know until you see it, and we saw it from Day One. But when you're the starting quarterback, it's another level. That's kind of what you're talking about. It's very important, and he's done a great job with it."
You were able to get G/T James Hurst back this week. How has he looked? (Cliff Brown) "James has looked good. He will not be ready to play in the game. He just needs more time on task in terms of practice and getting back in the weight room and all those things, but I'd say next week would be a legitimate chance for him. We'll keep our fingers crossed for that. It's not a foregone conclusion by any stretch, but he made a big jump this week with the – I think we talked about – the nerve root earlier, so he made a big jump, and he's back in the mix. That's good news for us."
With QB Lamar Jackson getting more and more reps with the first team, can you see a – not to say he was uncomfortable – but can you see a comfort level with him getting more and more of those reps at quarterback? (Jamison Hensley) "I do. I think that's natural. I don't really know. I just see him executing plays better. You look at the football part of it, [there's a] better understanding of all the little nuances that go into it, and I'm sure Marty [Mornhinweg] and the coaches put a little more on his plate every single game. But, this will be his first road game. It'll be in a dome. It'll be loud. It'll be Atlanta; they're a fast defense. All that stuff will be another step in that direction that you're talking about, so I look forward to seeing it. But I don't have any concerns. I'm not worried about the way he's going to handle it at all. I'm excited to see how he handles it."