head coach john harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see you guys. We just finished up our Friday practice, and we feel like we're prepared. We're excited to go play on Sunday, and we're especially excited to be at home and get a chance to play here in Baltimore. Really, our goal is to play our best game of the year. That's what we're preparing to do. That's what we're expecting of ourselves."
*Considering the challenge of the short week – I know you talked about it a little bit earlier in the week – but do you feel pretty good about where your team is from a health standpoint and being as fresh as you can be having the Monday night road game? *(Luke Jones) *"I do. I feel like we're as fresh as we can be coming off a Monday night road game across country. That's not to say … It's reality; it's what it is. We've done this before. Two years ago we had a late night in Detroit. That was a crazy game, and we had to come back off of that one, and we didn't play well. We had New Orleans last year we came back off of, and I think we played OK. It might have been … Was it San Diego we played?" *(Reporter: "Yes.") "We ended up losing at the end. We have to figure that one out. That's obviously one that we have to figure out, and hopefully, we've hit on the right formula here."
John, it seems like the last two weeks RB Javorius Allen has been close to breaking a long one. How do you think he has come along this season and with different things, too, like blitz pickup and other things, not just running? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think 'Buck' [Javorius Allen] has come a long way. Where would we be without him right now? That's one thing to look at. There's a fourth-round pick rookie who has come in and done a good job, and I really do have high hopes for him. I really do believe he can be a really good running back in this league. He has really good vision. He's fluid. He can make a tight cut. The next step for him is some of those times where he cracks through there, and he's getting knocked down. He's almost too anxious in a sense. It's, 'Keep your balance and run through those arms and those guys with the shoelaces and things like that and get up on the safeties, and see if you can make those guys miss, or put your pads down and run them over.' Taking it to the next level – literally through the second level of the defense – is something he can do. And then pass protection also. It's tough learning pass protection in this league as a young back, and he's pretty* *good at it, but that's something he can really improve on. He's tough enough. He's willing. He's smart enough, and he has to keep working on that part of it, too."
**Guys who typically are reserves say they stay ready all the time, but T James Hurst has talked a lot about how there's a difference being in the game plan, being more involved in the game plan versus living that reserve life as he has. Do you see a big difference in how people play when they get that full week to prepare with the starters? *(Jon Meoli) *"Yes, I would say probably there's truth to that, because you get more reps. You expect as professionals that they would be as prepared as a backup as a starter. I've heard the top guys talk about that. Some of the quarterbacks, you hear them talk about that, and they study, and they prepare at the highest level. But you don't get the same number of reps, and the reps are valuable."