FRIDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITY: WEEK 7 vs. SAINTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Good to have you guys here. We sure appreciate you guys being here. We have a special guest, Nico [of Make-A-Wish] from Grand Rapids, right over there. My man! Defensive end, pass rusher, got a sack today, scored a touchdown with the guys, so we had a lot of fun. Welcome! Good to have him and his family here. It's Friday, and we're moving on and getting ready for Sunday. It's going to be a big challenge. What do you have?"
Is it going to be nice to finally be home and play in front of everybody? The guys have said it all week. (Jim Forner) "Everybody is looking forward to it. You play where they tell you the game is, and you have eight at home and eight on the road, and that's all good, but those eight at home are special, especially with our fans. [We're] looking forward to the fans getting out and being into it and being fired up and being excited to see their Ravens play."
Being 4-2 and coming back from that road trip and now having four of the next five at home, that's a good place to be. _(Steve Ash) _"It's a good place to be. The challenge is they're all really good teams, and that's how the NFL works. Wouldn't rather have them anywhere else, that's for sure, than with our fans and in our stadium here in Baltimore. It's all about the one game, though. It's the Saints this Sunday. Obviously, they're – all three phases – excellent. They have the best quarterback in history. It sure sounds like it, based on the records, and we have our work cut out for us."
We saw CB Marlon Humphrey was added to the injury report yesterday. Is he OK? Did something happen during practice? (Luke Jones) "Something did happen in practice. He's getting worked on. We'll just see how it goes at this point."
Is that a greater concern given the offense that you're facing? _(Childs Walker) _"Yes, we just don't talk about that stuff. You just move on. If he's there, he's there. If he's not, he's not, and that's how you do it. It's not something you give too much thought to. That's how the league works."
G/T Alex Lewis: any updates? Are we going to wait until Sunday? _(Jerry Coleman) _"We'll wait until Sunday. No updates."
Are you pleased with how C/G Bradley Bozeman and T Orlando Brown Jr have practiced this week if G/T Alex Lewis can't go on Sunday? (Luke Jones) _(laughter)_"Yes! Very pleased with both of those guys. They're good questions. I get it. I understand it. It's two-fold. We're not showing our hand. On the other side of the coin, it's really not a big deal. It's really not a big deal. Guys get hurt. Guys get … For both teams, guys play, guys don't play, guys come back. It's just part of the process. We've done well with injuries. We've been very blessed so far this year, and we're not worried about that."
When it comes to Don "Wink" Martindale and being the defensive coordinator, how important was it for him – when I talk to a lot of the players – for him to be so inclusive and getting a lot of feedback [from players] week to week, it seems like? _(Jamison Hensley) _"One of Wink's many strengths is that he's great with people. He's very inclusive. It's a good dynamic. I think you have more accountability. Guys are into it, and you have more ideas. We have some great ideas. You use everybody's talents and everybody's work. He does a great job of doing that, so that's a big plus for us, and he's good at it."
DT Michael Pierce was talking yesterday about how last season he might have games where he was playing up to 60 snaps, and with the depth you guys have now inside, along that D-line, that's not really an issue, especially with the shortness of the drives that you're putting out there. How does it help you guys not only in the short term, but the long term moving forward? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"You always want fewer snaps on defense. It's two-fold. It's the fact that you're getting off the field, and then it's also the fact that your offense is staying on the field. Time of possession is big, and that really helps the big guys. If you can wear a defense down – it's something you want to do on offense – it usually opens up the running game. It slows down the pass rush, and if we can get our guys off the field and get them rested, it's big. But to your point, having a little more depth in the D-line helps, too. Those guys don't need to be taking 60 snaps a game, for sure. You try to cut that in half if you can. They play better."
Going back to playing at home, the fact that QB Drew Brees can't do as much with the snap count on the road, does that make a little more of a difference, considering how smart of a player he is? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"It does, but they do it with a silent count, so they'll do it with a silent cadence. They do a good job of that. [Drew Brees] does a great job of covering up the snap count and trying not to let you time up your rush. That's what a veteran quarterback is so good at."
Have you smoothed out your touchdown celebration with RB Alex Collins yet? (Jonas Shaffer) _"Oh my gosh. I have not. I have to work on that. _(laughter)I thought I saw it and had it, but there was a double front [hand slap], then it was a back, and I did straight back to back and just messed the whole thing up." (laughter)