Transcripts: Ravens Media Availability 12/14

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "OK, appreciate you guys coming. We had a chance to study the tape, obviously, in detail once again this morning and with the coaches – offense, defense and special teams. After doing that, [it is] not much different than what we saw last night. I think we saw a lot of the same things we saw last night – just a tough loss, just a real tough loss, a loss that really hurts. [It was] just a real painful type of a loss – probably just about as painful as the other losses we've had this year – and that's what we are going through. We're going through a real painful, tough season. It just sticks in your craw. It's like having a cannonball in your gut, and that's how we feel right now. We just cannot find a way to pull ourselves out of this, from a win-loss perspective, and that's challenging, and that's tough. I think you face these kinds of things in life. You face these things in sports, in your career – whatever it might be. Every single one of our players – every single one of our coaches – is going through it right now. But the thing I feel good about – and the thing you rest in, the thing that you can control – is the way that they are handling themselves – the way they're playing, the way they're preparing, the way they're competing, the way they're doing everything within their power to find a way to be successful and the way they are sticking together – coaches and players having each other's back, doing all the things necessary to maintain a tight knit group as a family and not point the finger, taking responsibility. That's who we are. That's, to me, the lesson that we take from this.

"I told the guys last night in the locker room – and you had asked me this, Jamison [Hensley, from], and I really couldn't put it all together right then in the moment what I told the guys in the locker room – but the message was basically this: You have an opportunity right now. You're going through something that you don't want to go through. These are challenges that you don't anticipate, you don't plan for. It's not what you dream of, to be in a situation where you have this kind of record, to have the type of tough losses that we've had all year – every one being a little bit different, this one being the most different, because we got blown out. You go through this, but you have an opportunity to make a statement and establish who you are as a person – who you are as a man – and what you stand for. [You have] an opportunity someday to tell your kids when they are going through a tough time – a tough stretch in their life – 'OK, let me tell you about the 2015 season that we had. Let me tell you how we handled it as a team and as a family. Let me tell you how I handled it, how I went through it.' Hopefully, that's something that they can share with their kids someday and help them through a tough time, because the only way you learn these things – the only way you understand these things – is to experience them and go through them. They're not fun, and they're not what you look for – and you take a lot of mud in your face and all that other kind of stuff – but that's just the way life is sometimes. That's the life that we're facing right now. We will pull ourselves out of it. We will find a way to make the most of it. What we'll do this week is find a way to attack with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind – like my dad always says – this opportunity against the Kansas City Chiefs. We're playing the hottest team in football coming in here. [They are] coached by a great coach. They have a bunch of great players. They're 12 [in] turnovers. I don't think they ever turn the ball over. They're doing the things they need to do to win football games. They're doing what we hoped to do after a slow start. But you know what? We have to find a way to win this football game. We have to find a way to play the kind of football that you need to play to play winning football. And we're capable of it, because the essential ingredients of effort, physicality – those things are there. That's where we go from here."

Obviously, you say when you go forward in the future and you look back on a season like this you draw out the lessons that maybe you would want others to learn from this, but, as for yourself when it's over – maybe in the immediate aftermath of when it is over – is it the kind of season that maybe you would just want to forget for a while? (Joe Platania)"Let's talk about that in three weeks when it is over, because right now we're fighting. Right now we're challenged, and we have an opportunity to win three football games. We're going to take our team out there and do everything we can to win three football games, and we think we can go 3-0 the rest of the way, but it has to start with 1-0 this week. So, all of our focus – all of our energy – goes into this week. And guys can do that. We're capable of doing that, as far as focusing all of our energy on one football game. That's what we need to do."

There was a report that the Ravens had signed QB Ryan Mallett. Can you confirm that?* (Jerry Coleman)*"No, I can't confirm it. I haven't been informed of that. We worked him out a couple of weeks ago. He had a good workout. He had some personal things that he had to work through. If that happens in the near future, that would be great. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But, that's nothing I've been told that we've done to date.

"One thing I do need to announce is that Chris Canty tore his pec in the game yesterday. He'll go on season-ending IR, and then we will move forward with the young defensive lineman that we have. Let me say this about Chris, too, if I can: It's a disappointment, obviously, because he's such a good football player, and he has played really well. I'm so glad that we were able to bring Chris Canty back this year, because he has put 12 or 13 really good football games together – however many he has played here. I think he might have missed two at midseason. He has played really great football. But more than that, he has been a tremendous leader. He has been a stand-up guy. He has led the way with a bunch of young guys on defense, especially the young front seven guys. And I have nothing but the utmost respect for Chris Canty and what he has done for us this year."

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I was going to ask about QB Matt Schaub. Do you expect that he could, perhaps, play this week? Is that the idea? (Dave Ginsburg) "Definitely. I think Matt feels like he can play this week. We'll have to see how it goes. He has to be able to move and function, and that just wasn't there yet. We went out there … He threw pretty well last week for being on air, but to put him in a game … We looked at it Friday, we looked at it again Saturday and just didn't feel like he was going to be able to really play at a high level and avoid pass rush and all those kinds of things. We have to make a decision about that. If he's at 100 percent, and he's ready to go – or close to it – and you feel like he can go out there and win for us, then he will play. If we feel like it's a better option to go with Jimmy [Clausen], then we'll do that. Jimmy played well. Jimmy didn't do anything to hurt his chances of playing next week, so I feel like we have two good options there."

To that point – I guess – QB Jimmy Clausen was working with a lot of receivers who hadn't been working with him for a long time, hadn't even been with the team for a long time. What does it say about WR Jeremy Butler and WR Daniel Brown that they've stepped up the way they have under the circumstances? (Jon Meoli) "It says a lot about those guys, you're right. Those guys have stepped up and have made some plays and have done a good job. Jeremy has been here … Well, they've both had, really, one season of practice, because Jeremy got hurt. [They have] been here through the OTAs, been here through training camp. The fact that they were ready to go out there and play – and know what they were doing – and make plays is a real positive thing. And yet, they're going to look at it like I'm going to look at it: with a critical eye, with the idea that they can play a lot better than that. Those guys can play harder, faster, tougher. They can make more catches, more plays, more blocks. They're capable of being so much more. That's what this is about right now for these young guys. Let's get out there and see how good you can get – how well you can play – for the next three weeks of the season, because our ending point this year is our jumping off point next year. In my mind, next year's season has already begun. We're developing these guys. We're developing what we're going to be next year, so let's go, man. Let's see how good we can get."

John, has it been difficult for you … You've never used injuries as an excuse, but has it been difficult to put together a team on a week-to-week basis when you're having to plug so many holes? (Dave Ginsburg) "To say that it hasn't been [difficult] would … Of course. That's what the challenge is. I thought our offensive coaches put together a game plan which really wasn't very heavy on tight ends. We had to find a way to account for the fact that we didn't even know if we were going to have Maxx [Williams] at first early on in the week. Those are the types of things that you have to do. Our coaches have done a good job of that, and I'm proud of them for that."

John, given a chance to watch film, how do you think G/T Kelechi Osemele played at left tackle, and is that something that you want to look even more at in the next couple weeks? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes. We'll keep him there, and I thought he looked good. There are some things that he can do better. Sometimes the sets and the angles and the timing the movement, sometimes it's something that he'll get a feel for more and more as he plays. But, he had lots of good blocks [in] pass protection and the run game. I thought he was a bright spot. I read – one of you guys wrote – that he had mentioned that he liked it, he liked playing tackle. He and I have had this conversation since last August about these kinds of possibilities, that they could crop up, because of some of the injuries that we had. It's a real opportunity here to see what happens."

John, I know it was a couple days ago, but how disappointing was it to find out the news about T Eugene Monroe going to IR? And how concerning is it [that in] the last two years he has missed half of your games, as far as a guy who was very durable before he came here, but the last couple years it hasn't happened? (Luke Jones) "Well, it's just disappointing, because here's a guy that you're counting on, we trade two picks for him – as you said – and he has played well. As he said, he was playing the best football of his career this year when he came back for two or three weeks or whenever he was back. I think that was the most crushing thing for him, because he felt like he was really playing really good football. It's not what we hoped for. We hoped that he'd be in the lineup and playing, and that's not what he hoped for [either]. And nobody works harder. This guy trains like you can't believe, so it's a tough deal."

With G/T Kelechi Osemele staying at left tackle, I imagine that OL Ryan Jensen is going to be staying at left guard? (Matt Stevens) "Correct."

John, people talk about how tough the season is for fans and players, but you also haven't – since you've been here – gone through something like this. How tough has it been for you? I mean, people don't ask how you're dealing with it. How tough is it for you? (Jamison Hensley) "Are you asking me how I'm doing?" (laughter) (Reporter: "Yes.") "Fine, thanks, and you? (laughter) (Reporter: "I'm doing well!") "Another thing I told the guys last night [is that] I've learned a lot. I guess there are always things … It's not like I didn't think I had things to learn. You always know you have things to learn in life, and we all know we have rough edges. We all know we have holes and weak spots and things like that, but we don't really want them tested. We really don't want them challenged. We'd like to breeze by without having to deal with those things. I know I'm a much better man and coach than I was four months ago. I understand some things that I didn't understand four months ago, and that's the thing I want to encourage our players and coaches to look at it the same way. It says in James 1:2 to 'rejoice in trials and tribulations, because they create patience and perseverance.' I'm paraphrasing. That's the Harbaugh edition of that verse, but that has been one that has been jumping out at me the last couple weeks. You know what? Things happen for a reason. I believe that, and I'm going to rejoice in those things. I'm going to rejoice in those moments. As much as … You have that feeling right here in your throat that's really sticking and that one behind your eyes – that stress challenge. But you know what? Be joyful for that, because there's a reason for that, and tough things come our way for a reason. It's to make us better. It's to forge us, to make us become something. Sometimes that's just words. Other times it's reality. And for me, it has been a reality."

Coach, you mentioned talking about focusing a little bit on next year, but you also want to win the next three games. How do you balance the two? (Jerry Coleman)"They go hand-in-hand, the idea that we want to be the best football team we can be, and we're going to put our best lineup out there to win football games. We're not going to just try guys out. We're putting our best players out there – so, that's probably kind of what you're referring to – and then, let's see how well these guys play and let's see where we begin next year [with] who we've got, how they fit in and what they do well. One thing ... And this goes back to the game, and I had some offensive and defensive notes if you guys were going to ask. But with players and personnel and where they fit, one of the biggest things is to put guys in position where they can be successful and they can play well, whatever stage of their career they're at – young guys, old guys. And, sometimes by necessity, you have to have guys in position where they aren't necessarily asked to do the things that they do exceptionally well. I really want to get guys in those spots now, guys in those spots that their skill set is really magnified for the positive. And I'll just throw a guy out there, and you know what, I talked to him after the game. We've missed calls, so maybe he'll be hearing this for the first time, and I probably shouldn't say this without talking to him first, but I've got an idea of how he feels about it. [Let's] talk about Lardarius Webb for a minute. This guy has done nothing but compete and bust his tail and overcome adversity since he has been here. I think he has had two ACLs and a sports hernia surgery, right? He's fought back every single year from those things, and he's 30, 31 years old right now; and that's where he's at in his career. And when we put him inside at nickel or put him at safety, he has played really, really well. He has still ball skills, he has still [quick] feet, and he has still change-of-direction quickness, OK? We put him outside, and he has fought and competed. But you know what, they found him yesterday, OK? They did a good job with that, with that offense they have and that quarterback [Russell Wilson] they have. That's not his fault. That's on us; that's on all of us together. That's on our situation. But you know what? We have some young guys that we can put outside. So, we're going to pull the trigger, put those guys outside, let 'Webby' [Webb] go in there where he belongs – let him play the nickel, let him play free safety. He looks great playing free safety back there. We have a nice rotation with him and Will [Hill III] and Kendrick [Lewis], who are both playing well, who do the specific things that they do well. I'm going to tell you what, Kendrick Lewis is running up and knocking people silly, and Will Hill is covering people man-to-man; and he's tackling. So, I think we have some guys that can ... I know we have a lot of guys that can play. We have to put them in the right spot the rest of the way. Let's not worry about young guys not [being] ready to play. Let's put them out there and see what he can do. Let's put 'Webby' where he belongs, and let's roll. That's what I'm excited about doing."

To that degree, playing a quarterback like QB Russell Wilson yesterday, how was that learning experience for these guys? (Todd Karpovich)"He's one of the best quarterbacks. Anytime you play one of the top quarterbacks, that's a separate challenge. And if you look at the game, we had a game plan. We were going to keep him in the pocket. We didn't want him to make extended plays, throw or catch, on us and not let him run around and run for 150 yards or whatever, like he has done before. We did that. He got out of the pocket one time one a three-man rush, when Lawrence Guy got tugged a little bit on the edge, and he made the play and converted a first down. That's the only time he got out. The pass plays that he made ... He threw five touchdown passes. Those were coverage errors. Those were us, together, not doing a good enough job of covering their routes. Same thing with the third downs; he did a nice job. But when you play a really good quarterback, you're going to get exposed sometimes. You have to be that much better. There's no margin for error when you play a quarterback like that, and that's the main lesson that you learn. It forces you to play perfect football, especially in the back end on defense."

On that also, what have you seen from CB Tray Walker in practice over the course of the season? (Ryan Mink)"Tray [Walker] has been up and down, and there are moments you see his talent and he shines. There's nobody more coachable than Tray. There's not a better personality, a guy that comes in here ... He's a sponge; he wants to learn. Tray's issue is he has a lot to learn. He's coming from a very small school. He's very green, very raw, technique-wise and football knowledge-wise, but that just means he's an open book. He's this fertile field. We've got to plant the right seeds into his head, and he could be a guy getting a chance. The other guys you're looking at, you're talking about ... Help me out, now." *(Reporter: "Carl Davis.") *"Oh, Carl Davis yes, but he's a defensive tackle. Let's talk cornerbacks here." *(Reporter: "Shareece [Wright].") *"Jumal Rolle. Well Shareece, yes of course, but I'm talking about young guys now. Jumal Rolle is going to step up and get a chance. Sheldon Price is going to step up and get a chance, and those three guys will be the guys that we'll be looking at, at corner. Carl Davis, obviously, will step back into that role that Chris [Canty] will void, and I'm excited about that. I'm disappointed for Chris, but I'm excited for Carl. I saw him in the locker room along with Kapron [Lewis-Moore] yesterday, and they've handled it well, but those guys want to play. Carl has had a couple weeks off to kind of study. He has been practicing, and let's see if he takes his game up a notch after being out for a couple weeks."

I know he has been a little more of a hybrid guy, but would S Terrence Brooks kind of fit into that conversation, as far as someone you want to see a little bit more? (Luke Jones)"Absolutely. Terrence Brooks had a role in this game [against Seattle], a spy role. You might have noticed it, and that's a big reason why they didn't get out on the scrambles. And he did a great job. He almost had the one-handed interception there when he was spying and they threw the little Texas route back inside. I think his role expands. He has done a nice job on special teams, too."

John, I don't want to put words in your mouth or anything; I just want to make sure. So, going forward, you're kind of committing the next three games, talking about giving a lot of – even some guys on the practice squad – more of a chance to see what they can do? Which is kind of a shift. (Jeff Zrebiec)"Well, it's not a shift, because it's like [I mentioned earlier]. I think Jerry's [Coleman] question was really good. The way I tried to describe it was, yes, they're going to get more of a chance, but it's also what we think gives us the best chance to be successful. So hey, you know what, maybe we're rolling the dice a little bit more – and sometimes you don't want to put young guys out there – but let's put guys in spots where they can be most successful. The example was 'Webby' [Lardarius Webb] plays more inside, and that opens up an opportunity for the young guys outside. So, I think it goes hand-in-hand."

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John, with QB Russell Wilson yesterday, the problems caused with him, any part of that caused by not having enough rush on him, or was it more the way guys didn't send guys? I guess I'm trying to get to the pass rush not getting to him. (Cliff Brown)"We had 34 percent blitz. We played man about 65 percent of the time, and we were hurt in man coverage. So, you can't just run by their offensive linemen, which people do. And what happens with Russell Wilson when you run by their offensive line? He takes off. So, we couldn't allow that to happen. We wanted to keep him in the pocket, make him throw out of the well, and he made some throws out of the well. But, in all honesty – our guys will tell you this – if we cover better, then we're off the field on third down. We shouldn't be getting picked in man coverage on third down. The ball shouldn't be completed in the flat like that. The ball shouldn't be completed in the flat when we play Cover 2. We're in the perfect coverage for that right there. That should be covered, OK? Guys shouldn't be running free across the field in the red zone. Those things shouldn't happen. They found a matchup there [when] we were playing [the run]. We were really trying to stop the run. They got us one time in man, they ran a good route [and] they beat us one time. They beat us in zone one time. So, we just have to ... When you play Russell Wilson, you have to get in his face, but you have to also keep him in the pocket. Hopefully, you get to him when he steps up to scramble, but you have to cover the initial route better than we did."

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