FRIDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITY: WEEK 17 vs. BROWNS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Good to see everybody – really appreciate you guys being here. We just finished up a good practice and are really just focused on preparing for a very tough battle on Sunday. We'll try to put our best effort out there. I know you guys are giving some awards today, right? So, congratulations to the guys who are winning those two awards – two great, worthy choices. I won't spill the beans just yet, but we're proud of those guys as well, so thanks for honoring those guys."
How much have you seen with CB Marlon Humphrey? Everyone always knows how talented and skilled he is, but what kind of strides do you think he's made in other stuff as far as film study and the attention to detail? Do you think that those are some of the things that are helping take him to a new level? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I do think that. He's done a good job growing. He's a quick learner. He's a guy that wanted to do that from the beginning. It's not like he had to be convinced to learn how to be a pro. He wanted to do that. His dad played in the NFL. His mom is the best athlete in the family; that's where he gets most of his talent from. His dad even acknowledges that. But, he's grown up in that kind of an environment his whole life, and he was ready to get started on that, and he's done a very good job with it."
He's kind of put the nail in the coffin in three recent games – the Bengals game, he broke up that pass at the end of the game, Bucs game, the INT, then Saturday, the INT. Is there something to a player having a knack for finishing? (Ryan Mink) "There probably is. I guess you know it when you see it. Hey, actions speak louder than words, right? The proof is in the pudding.But true, he does a good job of that, and that's what it's all about, and that's how you win games. You make plays at the end to win games, especially in this league."
When we were out at practice, it seemed like all 53 players were out here in some capacity. Do you expect to be all hands on deck this week? (Jeff Zrebiec) "We do. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anybody that will be out."
You guys talk a lot about that cornerback depth. Last year, you lost CB Jimmy Smith late in the season and CB Tavon Young was out. What does it mean to have all four of those guys? (Aaron Kasinitz) "It means a lot. It's been a big priority of Ozzie [Newsome] and myself and Eric [DeCosta] the last two or three years to really build up the corner depth. That's been something – if you look back historically – that was something that was really important to us, and we were able to do that, and that's what you see on the field."
So many contributors from the draft class. You picked all these guys, and some of them didn't expect to be playing this much, but look at what they've done. (Steve Ash) "Right, they've done a great job. Hey, they probably did expect to be playing, and then they got in here and saw how tough it was and didn't expect to be playing, and then now, they're playing. The thing I appreciated about these guys is they grinded. They work hard. We ask a lot of our rookies, because that's part of … That's our program; that's our plan. If you're going to get ready to play winning football in this league, you have to make a transition. It's a tough transition from college football to pro football. It's a lot of hard work, and we want these guys playing as rookies, and this class has done a great job of responding. And, just to your point – I think it's an excellent point – they're a huge part of where we're at and where we're going."
With CB Brandon Carr, we've talked about his adaptability, we've talked about his durability, all that stuff, but were you struck sort of in the first day he got here by his professionalism in all areas? (Childs Walker)"You hear about guys, and we'd always heard that about Brandon Carr, what a pro he is. Until you see it, you don't know, and I was struck by it, using your words. He's great for our younger guys, too, to see that's how it's done. It's one thing to talk to players, young guys, about how you're supposed to do it – even as special teams coach, to explain to them how important special teams is and all of those things – but guys don't really believe it. They have to see it, and when they see a guy like that, the way he carries himself, especially the DBs, but really every position, to me, that's the greatest teacher."
I feel like it also gets lost in the shuffle just how well CB Brandon Carr has played. In your opinion, just how good of a season has Brandon had? (Ryan Mink)"Yes, it goes back hand-in-hand with that. Who's going to pay attention to somebody as a mentor if they're not a good player? But, he's had a great season. He's just played well. We've matched him up; he's played a lot of positions. You may or may not know, he's played outside corner – both sides – he's played nickel, and he's played safety. He's played about every position back there you can play and done a great job."
CB Brandon Carr
On being named 2018 "Media Good Guy" by local beat reporters:"Thank you, I appreciate it. Oh, wow! Football and 'Good Guy?' That's cool. Thank you! Another surprise, another award, a reflection of my foundation, my parents – the Carr parents. But also, thank you to you all. You spend as much time in the building as we do, sometimes even more. You also have a job to put out good news, pertinent information. Some things may be harder than others to publish, but you have to do it. But also – thank you for the voice you give the fans, to get their feedback and just their gauge of the team, what's going on. We all have a job to do; I appreciate you for doing yours as well. Thank you."