Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
The couple opportunities WR/RS Jeremy Ross has had the opportunity to bring it out, he has done pretty well. Is he close to getting kind of the green light to take it out deeper the way WR/RS Jacoby Jones had, or is it kind of a case-by-case basis for him still?* (Jon Meoli) "I know I say this quite often, but it depends. It depends on what kind of deep kick it is. There are different kinds of deep kicks – high-hanging deep kicks. Even Jacoby [Jones] didn't have a green light. Sometimes he ran the red light. *(laughter) Honestly, it depends on what kind of kick it is."
**Have you been impressed with when WR/RS Jeremy Ross has brought it out? *(Jon Meoli) *"Yes, he has done a nice job. We got a really well-blocked return this last weekend. We honestly should've gotten more out of it than we did. We didn't finish it very well, but at least we got it set up. So, we're making progress. I like what he has done. He has been working really hard on the reads and ball security. He has gotten a lot better. Just watch him play in practice. You watch him play in the games, and he's always mindful of where the ball is and where the defenders are. I really like that about him a lot."
Jerry, have you ever seen … You've probably had guys play on bad turf before, but have you ever seen a play quite like that where K Justin Tucker's foot just completely gave out on him? (Garrett Downing) "I can't think of one particular like that, where it was unexpected like that one was. I thought the surface was in great shape, I really did, and then that happened. So, it was kind of unexpected. I've seen it happen before, but not particularly in that kind of manner."
*Is there anything K Justin Tucker could've done differently there? (Luke Jones) *"I thought Justin [Tucker] handled the situation really well – both at the kick and afterwards. He defends to this day [that] he's going to make that kick, and I agree with him. It's his responsibility; he has taken it like a man. It's amazing what the human mind can do in a split second of time. He tried to do everything he could to adjust to make that kick, and he almost pulled it off."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
Coach, not talking specifically about you guys, but going against the Cardinals' secondary that has been built up pretty well, what are some of the challenges just in general in this league in building a secondary? (Jon Meoli)"There are about five of them out there that are challenges: the quarterback and all the receivers. So, they're a dynamic offense. Even last week, Pittsburgh did a good job of holding them down in points, but they still had a ton of yardage on them and a couple other opportunities where they could have scored and didn't. And that's usually the difference in the game, a play or two for either team. But they're a good offense with excellent running backs, a veteran quarterback, a veteran receiver, along with a couple young guys that are really fast and really quick. They're just a talented, talented team, and just like I talked about last week – I feel like I'm standing up here [sounding like] a broken record – it really isn't so much about them. It's about how we play, and we've got to play well. [We] cannot give up big plays. It's a broken record, but until we quit doing that, statistically, we're going to look terrible. And I don't know – do you guys get a chance to watch the games? You guys do now, don't you? You get a chance to watch? I watched that game, and I feel like for 51 plays, we're playing the run game pretty well against a good running team in San Francisco. I think we were playing the short game [well], and then you give up three plays, which is the difference in the game. And until we quit doing that, it's going to be the same old story. So, we've just got to keep fighting it and keep the ball inside and in front of us. It is not rocket science."
Dean, you've always been very careful to not use injuries as an excuse, and I understand that. But how much of a challenge is it when you have to continually rotate new players in from a coaching and preparation standpoint week after week? (Peter Schmuck)"It's not fun, obviously, but here's my answer to that: [It] is that you're right. Obviously, if a guy was starting and a guy was the backup, the guy that was starting was better. But when I look at the results, OK, are the results because this guy wasn't good enough, or did he just not do his job? And if he didn't do his job, that doesn't have anything to do with the injury and the replacement. If I lose a guy that's a 4.3 [40-yard dash] corner, and I put in a 4.8 corner, and a guy runs by him, that's probably because he's 4.8, maybe, or that [wouldn't] happen. But if the guy just isn't where he's supposed to be and doesn't make the play, that's what is so [frustrating]. I know you say we don't use injuries as an excuse, because it's not an excuse. Yes, we may not be as good in certain places, and we can do some things to help those guys, but that's not what [the problem is]. The problem sometimes is we're getting beat on things that you just absolutely can't get beat on. I don't care who you are back in the back end or wherever it is. It's just not acceptable, and that's what is frustrating. You can scheme up all the things you want, but bottom line, when it comes all down to it, there are really only a few coverages in the league. You can change a bunch of stuff up front, and you can change all these things. There are really only a handful of coverages that everybody plays, and you've got to play them well, and you've got to know what you can do. When you don't play them well and you don't have – especially when you don't have – your eyes in the right spot and you're looking at the wrong things, that's just absolutely unacceptable. That has nothing to do with an injury – nothing – and it's really not an excuse. Yes, I don't want to see guys out. I didn't want to see guys out in the Cleveland game. We lost three of them there in one series, but that wasn't what got us beat in that game. Just doing the fundamental things – having your eyes on your man when it's man coverage and, really, having your eyes on your man when it's zone coverage – that's what got us beat."
Dean, when you're looking for corners, what are you looking for? What are you looking at that makes a good corner, somebody you want in your secondary? (Mike Preston)"No. 1 is, I want a guy … Obviously, you're look for athletic talents. You like size, speed and all the things that go into the physical part of it. The second thing you've really got to have with a corner, to me, is a guy that is very savvy, smart and that can really know his ability and knows what the receiver does across from him – that's as much as anything. Being around guys like Ty Law, who was not very fast, and he probably never let anybody time him because he probably wouldn't have liked the time, to be honest with you … I don't know if Champ Bailey was very fast; I really don't, but those guys were special guys. Why were they special guys? Because of the way they played. Their eyes were in the right spot. There's always a guy that's just a dynamic guy – [Darrelle] Revis, all those guys. What you really want is you want a guy that can just really go out there and play his position and be disciplined as heck. That, to me, is the biggest problem. And I know – I think John [Harbaugh] may have mentioned it, too – we're not disciplined enough. It's not sometimes about physical size, speed and that. We just have to be disciplined, and we've got to get better at it. And we've got to keep emphasizing it and driving it home. That's what we need from a corner – same thing with safeties. Of all the places to play back there, that was always my favorite place as a position coach, even though I haven't been a position coach all that much. But even when I was a coordinator – when I was up in New England – I coached the secondary. I loved coaching back there, because you live on the edge, and to me, you do; you live on the edge. Everybody notices what you do wrong [in the secondary]. They don't see the linebacker with the three technique [who] got reached and the guy went into the secondary [where] you missed the tackle. They notice you, but that's part of the fun of playing back there. And that's the kind of feeling that you've got to have as a person, too. I've got to be a competitive guy. And it's like I told these guys the other day, I said, 'You know the difference between being cocky and confident?' When you're cocky, you're walking around showing everybody how good you are. When you're confident you don't have to show them. They know. And that's the kind of guys you want in the secondary. You want a bunch of guys that are confident, have physical tools, no doubt, but also are very confident people."
Dean, what do you think has been the issue on third down? Because you guys are stopping the run very well, but in second-and-long situations and whatnot, what's been the issue getting off the field? (Ryan Mink)"The week before – which was the worst week, [against] Cleveland – was penalties, if you remember right. We had penalties about every time we got them in third-and-8 down in the red [zone] or whatever. We had one that [was called] roughing the passer, then we had another one where he had hands to the face and we were off the field [if it wasn't called]. That was our biggest nemesis in that game. The last game, I think they were 38 percent [on third down conversions]; it wasn't quite as bad. But the one that really bothered us was we really had made an emphasis all week to not let [Colin] Kaepernick out. And he had a big third-down conversion. Even though we got them stopped, he had a third-down conversion down in the red [zone] when he escaped on us. Other than that, I think the other one … I think the touchdown pass might have been a third down when he scrambled around and threw it in the end zone, and our defensive back fell down. But, you know why he fell down? Because he was looking back at the quarterback instead of covering his man. What'd I say?"
Dean, how confident are you that CB Shareece Wright can bounce back from a tough debut? (Luke Jones)"I really liked the way he responded this week. Here's a guy that it was going to be interesting to come out here and go through the film with him and come back out here and watch and see how he responded this week. So far, he has responded great. Now, I'll tell you again Sunday afternoon after we get done – or Monday night after we get done – but, based on what I saw this week, I [think he responded well]. Sometimes it takes [mistakes]. We all learn by mistakes, and hopefully that'll be his case."
Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman
Opening statement: "I just couldn't tell you how appreciative I am of the players that we get to coach. Whether we've won or whether we've lost, we've come back into work the next day, and you wouldn't know the difference. The guys move on quickly. They take accountability – as we do as coaches – for the mistakes that we made. I think when you play a game like we played last week, there were so many good things. But when you don't win the game, you see the small things. If we didn't lose, we wouldn't be able to see those small things a lot of the time. So, we have to turn that into a positive and work at making those corrections, and that's what we're trying to do this week. It's really [about paying] close attention to the little things, so the big things that we're doing – and the good things that we're doing – become more prevalent in the eyes of the beholder and in our eyes and our fans' [eyes]. That's really where we're at. The guys have done a great job the last few days in practice. There has been tremendous energy. John [Harbaugh] has set the tone for that in an incredible way in terms of how we go about our day, and we're working at it. We're trying to get better."
Marc, QB Joe Flacco yesterday said he wanted to increase the pace of the game in and out of the huddle – but not necessarily [in] two-minute – just regular getting up to the line. Is that something that you see as a problem or something that you guys need to work on? (Mike Preston)"I don't think it's a problem. I think it's a way of doing business, and we've done some of that, certainly, during the season. And some of our better drives have come at an up-tempo pace. We make decisions a lot as we go along, but certainly, the indications are that we just have to move the pace just a little bit quicker – get people in and out of the huddle quicker, get to the line of scrimmage quicker – and I think that we can get that done."
Have you seen enough from WR/RS Jeremy Ross the last couple weeks to get him some more snaps on offense? He had a spark on a couple of plays. (Garrett Downing) "I think that he is involved in our practices. He'll be involved in the rotation, and we'll get him in there. He has done, obviously, a very good job with the return game, but he also has given us a spark with the times that he has been in there, and it will continue to move him along and give him reps."
Marc, I know some of the opening drives haven't been as good as you want. I guess, have you seen a common thread, and is there anything you can do to try and change that? (Cliff Brown) "Two weeks ago, we were three-and-out, and we had two long drives. Again, it's … I think every game is independent of the next game. We were disappointed in our first 15 [plays] this week, because we had three or four mental errors on plays that we thought we should've executed better that would've allowed us to make first downs and continue drives. That's part of the thing that sometimes you don't see. It literally is … It's a step here; it's a hat placement here; it's a depth here. Each and every week, I could be saying the same thing on one side of it or another, and that's really the difference in continuing a drive or having to punt the ball on fourth down."
**Marc, what have you seen from WR Marlon Brown? He's on the field quite a bit, but in production as a receiver, maybe, hasn't been there in terms of numbers. What've you seen from him? *(Luke Jones) *"His work ethic has been tremendous, and he knows what to do and where to be. He has been a little bit of a victim periodically. There were a couple of times Joe [Flacco] had to move in the pocket the last couple weeks where he hasn't had the opportunity that he might have had, because he was targeted. He just continues to work and try to improve and get better with the rest of us here."
It seemed like all through training camp – and obviously, the first month of the season – you've really had the first-choice offensive line out there. With a couple of weeks of continuity with that group, what've you seen? (Jon Meoli)"I think that overall the last three weeks our line has played very well. We haven't been hit very often. We have run the football pretty darn well. We didn't get the production, certainly, we had … Justin [Forsett] had 22 – I think 22 – carries, maybe, last week. Certainly, if we would have continued a couple drives, we could have amped that up a little bit with more runs. The situation forced us to throw the ball a little bit more. I think the guys are playing very well and are continuing to get better. You see that in practice."
G Marshal Yanda
On how relieved and excited he is to have the new contract done:"It's awesome. To be able to stay here, to be able to hopefully end on my own terms, it was awesome. I wanted to stay here the whole time, and it got pretty serious the last couple of weeks with negotiating, and everything worked out. I'm fired up about it, [but] it's just tough, [because] obviously you sign the contract, but then you go to work and we're fighting, we're grinding. So it's one of those things where I'm excited about it, but also we're in the fight right now – the battle with football. We've just got to keep fighting."
On how much it would mean to him to play his entire career with the Ravens:"It would be something special, that's for sure. They drafted me here, and to be able to stay here and to retire here would be awesome. But I understand that's a long way away, and that's a lot of work away, too. I've got to stay healthy, too, and keep playing at a high level. Right now I'm just taking care of today, but the cool thing is that I do get to decide that at the end, as far as with my play and hopefully staying injury-free, that I can fill that out. But that's a ways down the road, but still, like I said, I'm very excited about it."
On if he was pretty confident a deal would get done:"Yeah, I didn't know if it had to [right away]. I was prepared to go to the end of the year if I had to, into free agency, if I had to. I didn't want to do that, but I was prepared for it. You just have to, because that's kind of the business side of it, and I understand [the Ravens] side of it, too. So, you just stay patient and you hope it works out in the end, and it definitely did. I'm glad to get it done before – not wait until the end of the year – just because you don't want to have to worry about it. Now I can just worry about playing football, playing at a high level, doing my part for this team, and hopefully we start winning."
On when he thought it could be possible to play his entire career in Baltimore and if that was something that really mattered to him:"Once you start going into the last year of your contract, you understand. We started negotiating a little bit in probably April and May a little bit, so that's when you start thinking about it, that obviously, that the extension could possibly happen. You think about it a little bit, but at that point we were a ways away. But like I said, I was never worried about it. I'd say probably two weeks past free agency I'd start worrying about it, down the road, but I didn't have to worry about that. So, good deal."
On how much he would like G Kelechi Osemele to also be in the long-term plans of the Ravens: "Yeah, gosh, he's a great player, and I hope we can keep him, and he's working his tail off. That's the business side of it to where they have to work that out. But, I want the best for him and his family, and you want the best for the Ravens, too, and hope they can make that work out for both parties."
On if he and Osemele ever looked at it as an "either/or proposition":"No, heck no. And me and 'K.O.' talked about it; you just don't know. That's his business and that's his privacy, and I respect that, but obviously, if they can come to agreement … But that's between him and the Ravens, and I'm not going to get between that. I support him in any way, because he's got to take care of his family, too, and hopefully that's here. But if it's not, in the end, this is a business, and he's got to do what's best for him and his family."
On how much longer he feels like he can play:"You don't know. You obviously just take it one day at a time, but if I stay healthy, gosh, it'd be nice to play the whole thing out. It'd be 12 or 13 [years in the league], and I feel like I can do that. As long as I don't have any [problems with] knees or ankles or shoulders, I feel like I can do that. I feel like if I'm in a groove and I can just keep busting my tail every day, I feel pretty confident I can do that."
On if he still feels as good physically as he always has:"I do. I felt really good last year, and I've felt really good this year. You've just got to stay strong. As a lineman, you've got to be able to stay strong and not get run over, and I feel really strong, and that's what you need to be."