FRIDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITY: WEEK 9 vs. steelers
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Good day – Friday, very spirited, very excited about the game and the opportunity. We're looking forward to playing them, and we can't wait to get going. We have 48 hours; can't peak too early. Get ready for the game. It'll be here soon enough."
How do you think RB/WR Ty Montgomery did this week, and do you feel like he can be an option for you guys whether in the return game or even offensively? _(Luke Jones) _"I do, I do. The good thing is, the terminology is somewhat similar. Not exactly; there are always different terms, but the systems are rooted in the same kind of background, so he has a very good understanding of the plays. And special teams are fine; he'll have no problem with that. We'll just have to see how the numbers work out."
How you have to, it seems like the past two weeks, with offensive linemen, see who's in, who's out, how tough is it, as far as continuity, and does that limit you in what kind of blocking schemes, protections that you can do because you're getting new guys? (Jamison Hensley)"I don't know if 'limit you' is quite the right word. The guys have all been here. They know the system. It might move you in certain directions. You always have to account for matchups, and based on who you're playing against and the matchup you have, so when you have injuries, you have to account for that in your matchups. We'll account for that whatever way we need to. Our coaches do a great job with that, and I'm very confident in the guys that are going to play. We'll just have to see how they do. That's the nature of it. We're not as healthy as they are, but we're healthy enough to win the game; I promise you that. So, I can't wait to go out and play."
How do you think T Orlando Brown Jr. has done these last couple weeks? A lot was made about how he took a ton of reps in the preseason with first team, and some of the competition and everything. How do you think that has translated now with him getting more extensive opportunities? (Luke Jones)"It's translated well. It's different in the regular season, sure, and he's a guy that's going to be a really good football player, and I think he's a really good football player right now. He's ready to go out there and win football games for us. He's only going to get better every single rep. Not just every single game, every single rep he gets better. He's proven he can handle a whole game, and I expect him to be better this week than he was last week and the week before. He wants to be good. That means a lot, so I'm excited about him."
Going off of T Orlando Brown Jr. and some of the other rookies, a lot of rookies talk about they go through Combine and the draft process, and it's easy to get tired out. Is there something you do with rookies specifically to make sure they're peaking late in the season? (Aaron Kasinitz) "No, we just work them. We just work them from the get-go. We try to get them ready to play in the season. Our guys … We want our guys to like football. If you get tired out … You sleep eight, nine hours a day, come back and go to work. If you get mentally tired, how much do you love football? What else would you rather be doing? You've been getting ready for this your whole life. This is what you're all about, to play in the National Football League. Now, all of the sudden in November, 'Oh, I'm tired. I need a break.' No! It's time! November is what they remember. December is what they remember, but November puts you in a position to make December matter! (laughter)That's where we're at right now. We have to make December matter by what we do in November, so we need our rookies. Our rookies have worked hard. We have a bunch of rookies that love football. We wanted them to play this year. We needed them to play this year, and we got them ready to play, and they're playing. So, now they have to go win for us."
Over the past month or so, you've brought in Senator Ben Cardin, helped guys register to vote if they haven't been already. Can you just talk about why it's important to get these guys engaged?_ (Jonas Shaffer) "You know what? I don't want to downplay it, but it hasn't been my role. My role is to coach the football team. I want them to vote. Vote, vote, vote! But you know what I'm really concerned with? Win! Win, win, win. I'm sure our fans want our players to vote, but you know what they want them to do more than that? Win, win, win. But [with] that being said, and I kind of make light of it, our player relations, community relations, have done a phenomenal job with our guys that way. They have done that. I think we have the best in the business, in the National Football League – community relations, player relations – at touching our community, getting our players involved in the community. The things we're doing with the police, the military, the people of Baltimore [County and] Baltimore City is unbelievable. I wish the fans could see all or players do, and the organization does. On that side of the building – it's awesome, and we support them fully. You know what they want us to do on that side of the building? Win! _(laughter) [We] try to do our part, too."
What's up with the grass, by the way? (Jamison Hensley)"It's Bermuda; it turns brown." (Reporter: "Naturally, it does that?") "Yes. Bermuda has been doing that ever since Bermuda …" (Reporter: "I don't remember that last year though.") "It wasn't Bermuda last year. It had a mix of rye in it. So now it's all Bermuda. You want me to explain the thinking on it? It's amazing as a head coach, you learn just enough to be dangerous in a lot of areas, you know? (laughter) Yes, that's because it's Bermuda. We didn't want to seed it with rye because the rye ends up overtaking it over time. We want that Bermuda [for] the footing." (Reporter: "Fans were asking me because they saw pictures. They were like, 'The Ravens can't grow green grass?'")"Well I can tell you this: On the game field, it's Bermuda also. It's the exact same grass. Why is it green on the game field?"(Reporter: "Because they run the lights at night?")"You're good – exactly right. We have the grow lights, the solar grow lights over there at the stadium that they run, really 24/7, so the grass keeps growing. But now it goes into hibernation-mode this time of year if you don't put the grow lights on. We don't have grow lights on the practice field. Huh, how about that? This is great. This is one of the best press conferences we've had. I love this!" (laughter)