HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening Statement: "[I] appreciate you guys being here. [It's] game week [and the] guys are excited. [It was a] good workday today. What questions do you have?"
We didn't see TE Mark Andrews practicing, and you said not to push the panic button. Are we still on that timetable?_ (Jamison Hensley)_ "Right. We're still not pushing the panic button. We should see him out there on Wednesday."
We also saw QB Tyler Huntley out there today. Is he a full go at this point? (Childs Walker) "Yes, we'll see what he does Wednesday. All that stuff right now really becomes what you see, as far as practice, and what you see on the injury report will probably tell you everything you need to know. That's always the best indicator because you never can really predict exactly what guys are going to be able to do. So, we'll see what they can do."
With the third quarterback rule, on gameday, do you have to designate which guys will be quarterback one, two and three? (Jamison Hensley) "That is my understanding of the rule. You have to designate. They have to be on your 53-man roster, and the third quarterback can only come in after the first and second quarterbacks have been ruled out of the game. That's my understanding."
You've had some months now to get to know the players on the team. Do you have at this point a sense of the personality of this team versus other years, or is that to be played out? (Mark Viviano) "It's both. I have a really good feel for this team. I really like this team. [Their] work ethic, attention to detail – all the things that you look for as a coach – this team has done every day in practice, meetings, all of it. Then you go play games, and you find out where you're at, because you really never know where you're at as a team until you play games, and then it's like a new beginning. Then you start over a little bit. [You say], 'Hey, this is where we're at, and this is where we need to go from here.'"
How different is it this Labor Day week playing at home and not away like last year? (Donna Jean Rumbley) "Yes. It's different for sure playing at home. [The] home opener is always exciting especially when it's 'the' [season] opener. That's exciting. We love having our fans. We can't wait to see our fans in [M&T Bank] Stadium. I know they're going to be loud. I know they're going to be excited. I really believe that the Ravens fans understand how valuable they are [and] how disruptive they can be to an opposing offense. So, we need that. We count on that when we play at home. So, I'm looking forward to seeing it."
You're facing a first-year head coach with DeMeco Ryans and rookie QB C.J. Stroud. How much does that complicate preparation for Game One? Do you have to go back and look at what the 49ers defense did and what C.J. Stroud did even in college? (Jeff Zrebiec) _"Exactly. We're turning over every stone. So, you look at all those things you just mentioned and anything else we can think of really. You do go a little bit by coordinator history and pedigree a little bit. So, all those things factor in, but really the focus, especially in the opener, has to be on yourself and your team. It's really not about the opponent per se as much as we execute, how we run, how we operate, how we play, [and] play the way we envision ourselves playing. That's what we're really going to be focused on. _(Reporter: Would that be true no matter who you were playing or is that particularly the case with this team?)That would be true no matter who we're playing, absolutely. Any opener and really any game, to different degrees, but especially in the opening game."
QB Lamar Jackson has had some really good season-opening performances throughout his career. What does that say about what he has done and what this offense has been able to do over the years? (Jonas Shaffer) "Well, yes. That's great. That's what we hope for. You want your quarterback to be on point and ready to go. Lamar [Jackson] is our quarterback, and I expect him to be on point and ready to go. He has been in the past, and I'm sure he expects that of himself. I think everybody just has to go out there and just put their best foot forward – play the best they can – not have a lot of anxiety [and] just put it out there and let it rip."
You held out most of the starters from playing in preseason games. How excited are you to finally be able to see all this talent assembled on the field during a game? (Kyle Barber) "[I'm] very excited about that just like you are, just like the fans are. Any of us who care about the Ravens are excited to see all the guys out there on the field together. It's going to be a meaningful game, so yes of, course. There's an element of, 'We don't know.' We haven't seen it yet at all in a game situation. I'm as excited as everybody else is to see it happen."
Is CB Marlon Humphrey still on schedule with his recovery after his foot surgery? (Kris Rhim) "He is on schedule. Yes, Marlon's right on schedule. He's doing great."
GM Eric DeCosta said last week that he likes how the team got out of training camp healthy. Are you pleased with the depth that you see and the options you have at different positions? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I am. I feel like it's a very good roster. We're deep. I know that people have their opinions – rosters get ranked and all that – [I] don't really pay too much attention to it, though by the very fact that I bring it up, you know that I've read a few things. (laughter) Some of the things you take personally, of course. I'm sure the guys do, but I'm excited about the roster and the guys and the team. I'm just excited to go start playing some games."
We do not know how the NFL's new special teams rules are going to affect how you guys do things. Could this be a situation where you guys just change your practice schedule around to deemphasize special teams in any way? (Jonas Shaffer) "We have a way of doing things – a process. It won't change too much. I think within that – where you spend time, where your reps go – that'll be week to week in terms of who we're playing. We're playing a great special teams outfit. [Houston] was the No. 1-ranked [Senior NFL writer Rick] Gosselin [special teams-ranked] team last year [and] the No. 2 DVOA [Defense-adjusted Value Over Average] team in special teams. Their fifth- and sixth-year veterans are all over their core [special teams] group right there. They know how to play. We're going to have our hands full. So yes, we have to emphasize special teams, especially this week, just to make sure that we're doing our part, and so that's what we'll be doing."
Can we expect a lot more DVOA references from you this season?_ (Jonas Shaffer)(laughter)_"Only if I can spit it out correctly."