HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening Statement: "Alright. [It's] good seeing everybody here. [I] appreciate you guys for being here very much. [It was a] good hard-fought game. [I'm] proud of our guys. I thought those guys who went out there and played in the game did a heck of a job. Obviously, we were kind of a skeleton crew there, and those guys, again, played their hearts out, played super hard. I thought, fundamentally, [we were] very good. Operationally, [we were] very good. [We had] very few penalties. [We] kept the ball in front of us, those kinds of things. There are obviously numerous things that we can do better, but I thought those guys played a really good game, especially going against the ones in the first half. They showed up, so I am proud of those guys for that. Going forward, it's all hands on deck and all eyes forward to the opener. We will have a good practice this week and then we will be in the game week for the Texans, and we are all excited about that."
(on when the roster decisions will be made) "That's a good question. It doesn't ... It's not really like a strategic-type deal. There will probably be two levels to it, but it doesn't have to be. We will talk about it in probably the next 24 hours."
(on if OLB Tyus Boswer will be activated off the non-football injury list this week) "That's a good question. You will see that one when the move gets made. You'll know."
(on how the quarterbacks played this game) "Josh [Johnson] did a great job. I felt like all our quarterbacks did. Josh taking that offense down on that first drive like that against their starting defense is pretty impressive. [He was in] five plays and maybe [had] four first downs and a touchdown? That's hard. You can't do any better than that. That was impressive. All the guys did a great job. I was really, really impressed by that and even the rest of the first quarter and second quarter. He did well, and I thought Anthony Brown came in and did a really nice job. He made some plays and learned from the one mistake and then came back the rest of the game and did better with ball security. So, yes, it was good."
(on LB Del'Shawn Phillips' performance in the preseason) "Del'Shawn [Phillips] has played really well. On special teams, you kind of expect it. He is established as a special teams player, and he has done well with that. He hasn't had too many reps on that because we kind of know [where] he is on that. But defensively, I thought he really shined, especially the first two games. We will see the tape on this game – [it] seemed good this game, too – but he probably took a step forward, definitely as a linebacker this off season and this training camp."
(on the value of having offensive linemen like G/T Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and G John Simpson) "'Sala' [Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu] is kind of what you would expect. He's done really well. He moves his feet well. He is very physical at times, and, then again, he is a rookie. So, you get fired up for a guy, and you've got to remember that this is the first time these guys are playing at this speed and at this level of communication, this level of scheme, so the sky is the limit for him. He's got a great future. He's going to be a part of it this year. We need to get him ready to play soon. John [Simpson] is going to be the starter. He's earned that, so you guys got your news flash there – I was pretty clear – but John deserves it. He has had a great camp – that and physical. [I] just love the way he played. Then, with 'Sala,' he is going to be just fine. He is going to contribute."
(on if having QB Josh Johnson in the quarterbacks room helps from a veteran leadership perspective) "It does [help]. We also have Tyler Huntley, so, we've got decisions to make along those lines. I'm happy with both of those guys and even Anthony [Brown] as a developmental-type guy. Josh [Johnson] has jumped on it for a long time. He's a guy that has always had to do it the hard way and always had to fight his way up. He talked to the team about that recently, and here he is, again, fighting for a spot in year 17. What does that say about a career? That is a career that kind of speaks for itself, and it's something that really deserves a lot of honor. It's an impressive thing to be able to maintain that type of tenacity [and] resilience. That's something that people should look at and say, 'I could learn something from that.'"
(on the expectations for OLB David Ojabo) "[My expectation is for him to] just keep working. He's doing a good job out there. He's playing good football, and he is going to play in the regular season. I expect him to play very well. All these snaps have been great for him; that's how you learn how to play. He's had a chance to get out there and learn how to play. He stayed healthy through it, which was a great benefit to us. We are very grateful for that – thank you God for that – and I expect him to play very well this year, and I think he will."
(on the high expectations for the offensive line) "That's right. I've got high hopes for the offensive line – high expectations – that they're going to drive us. They're going to be our rock and I expect them to play at the highest level."
(on the difficulty of cutting the roster down to 53 players) "[It will be] very difficult because these guys are deserving to make the team. We will hope that guys will be interested in staying on the practice squad who don't make it and understand that they are part of the team. If you make the practice squad, you are part of the team because you are going to play. That is something that I hope some of these guys understand, and I know they do. It's a good team. It's a talented team. There's going to be guys who get claimed; there's no doubt. There will be guys that get claimed, as well, so we understand that."
(on what he's seen from TE Charlie Kolar as far as improvement since the spring) "[He's] just making those… He's become a much better blocker and the contested catches, that's something he has really taken a step forward with. The big plays [in] middle of the field, controlling the middle of the field, that's his goal. As a receiver, get in there and control the middle of the field. He's very capable of doing that and you saw it flash really well in the preseason."
QB JOSH JOHNSON
(on how it felt to be in rhythm when the game started) "It felt good. Coach [Todd] Monken called some great plays. Our O-line gave us some great protection. Guys were getting to their spots. We were in good rhythm. The ball was coming out [and] going to the guys it was supposed to. I feel like that's what we're capable of doing. We just have to find more ways to stack up on those types of drives and add more points so we can come away with a victory."
(on his anxiety level heading into the season) "[It's the] same level of anxiety that you experience any other year, you know? So, for me, I pray and put my faith in my savior and allow it to play out. All I can do is control what I'm put in position to do, so can I go out on the field and get the opportunity. And from there, just let the chips fall how they may."
(on being put in a box) "Just evolving each day. A lot of people try to put you in a box when you go through things that I go through. It's kind of the way of the world to try to label you and do all these different things. And I won't be, I won't be defined by that. That's kind of what my story shows – that you make your own story. For me, it's keeping that mindset daily and evolving my game based on [where] my skill level is at. For me, I've been able to show different things with my legs, with my arms. The guys who get in the huddle with me, understand my experience that I bring to it and hopefully, I've done enough to be able to earn a spot somewhere."
(on dealing with the ups and downs) "A lot of faith. A lot of growth. Just always [being] grateful for where I came from. I grew up in a situation to where I never thought this was a reality. And just always getting another opportunity, to me, was more valuable than anything else and I always saw it that way. Even when you get cut, or whatever, there's always another team that [can] call you. And when you look at it from a place of gratitude, you still have another opportunity. And for me, I've always [been] big [to] live through the truth of where I'm at and not point, try to point fingers and do different things or listen to the noise, but really just focus on where I need to grow as a player. And now, at the luxury [that] I've been [able to be] so well-traveled [that] I bring a lot to the organization. For me, it's just going out there daily and trying to show that the best way I can with the things I'm able to control. Just to answer your question, a lot of faith, a lot of gratitude, and a lot of focus on the reality, and not the perception."
(on people putting him in a box and what boxes they are) "I mean, that's [the media's] world man. [That's] the world of the media, the world of labeling people, [and] the world of saying what a guy is supposed to be. For a lot of people, who [have] never been in this situation, you could fall victim to it. But to me, I know ball and I know what it takes. I wouldn't be here if I didn't. I also just looked at the situations that I've been in, at the end of the day that's my opportunity. They've never been ideal like some people would like to say, but to me, it's about how do I take advantage of those opportunities and build upon them and each year I've gotten better. I feel like, even at thirty-seven years old, I'm still getting better. I'm a lot different [type of] quarterback than when I got drafted here, you know what I mean? To know me is to know my growth. And if you don't know me, you can put me in that box, I don't really care, you feel me? Because I'm just focused on being better and being the best I can be."
G JOHN SIMPSON
(on how it feels to be named starting left guard) "It feels great. We've all been putting in a lot of work this offseason, and I just felt like this is the most comfortable I've been in a long time. I just feel like I did what I could while I could, and every opportunity I had, I tried to take advantage of it, and I felt like I did so. I really appreciate Coach [John Harbaugh] and everybody trusting me and putting me in this position."
(on how much he thinks it's going to help having T Ronnie Stanley and C Tyler Linderbaum playing on both sides of him) "Tyler [Linderbaum] is a dog; Ronnie [Stanley] is a dog. I'm just excited to be surrounded by great people like them and great players. They're teaching me stuff every day, especially Ronnie. He's helping me out, and I'm trying to help him out. So, [I'm] just taking it one day at a time, and we're getting the job done."
(on why he thinks things have clicked for him in Baltimore) "I feel like this is a different atmosphere, honestly. I just feel like everybody is together. [I'm] not saying where I was before, it wasn't like that, but I just feel like these guys are my brothers, for real. [My old teammates] were, too, but it just feels a little different. Being surrounded by guys like this, it just feels different."
(on how much of a confidence boost being named the starting left guard is for him) "I came in and I feel like I had zero confidence, and I had to work through that, and it wasn't easy. So, every day, I try to take one step to get better. If it's 1%, 2%, 3%, 100%, anything is better than nothing. So, I try to look at it like that and just try to get better every day. They've been helping me with my confidence, too, and just helping me critique craft."
(on why he lacked confidence) "I got cut last year, and I felt like I wasn't … I didn't belong in the league, but now I feel like I'm back." (laughter)
(on what helped turn his confidence around) "[It was] just being around those guys, those guys just bringing me in and making me feel comfortable. I feel like when you're comfortable you can play confident."
(on the potential of the offense with the new system and a lot of weapons) "I feel like when we get things clicking, we'll be successful. It's early, so we just have to put everything together, and when we do it'll be good. It'll be fun to watch."
(on the difference being with the team for a whole offseason) "That was huge for me. I feel like getting all the plays, hearing them over and over and over again definitely helped me. I feel like that also helped my confidence, just knowing that I know what I know was the biggest thing for me."
(on his relationship with G/T Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu) "We always run ideas off of each other. He's a great, young rookie. He takes the coaching from coach, and he'll try … He works hard after practice. He's always getting after it. I think we're going to be good together, so that's the relationship that we need. [There's] no bad blood between us. It's just like love."
LB DEL'SHAWN PHILLIPS
(on his thoughts of the preseason and how it went for him) "My mindset for [myself] this year was just focusing on how good can I be, personally. I'd like to be more valuable to the team, and that was a switch from previous years. [In] previous years I was like, 'Get better every day. Get better every day.' But this year, I wanted to see what my ceiling was. How much better could I get every day? So, [I thought] how much more valuable could I be to the team and provide my teammates with more help, not even just out there on the field, but mentally too. So, that's kind of how I feel. Like, [I] still have some stuff I need to improve on [and] some stuff I want to fix – growth in a lot of areas – but I like where I'm at right now."
(on what specifically his focus was on entering training camp) "I was just satisfied with getting better every day. Like I said, my mindset was, 'Let's go.' In camp – in my previous years in the league – [my mindset] was, 'Just get better every day. Get better every day.' That's what I was telling myself. And even if I was a little bit better, I was satisfied with that. But this year it's kind of like, even if I did get a little bit better, if I didn't get as good, if I didn't do as much as I needed to do that day, I still wasn't satisfied even if I did get a little bit better. So, that was really the switch."
* TE CHARLIE KOLAR*
(on what areas he feels like he's improved upon since last season) "I'm playing this year, so that helps. In the offseason, [I'm] just trying to become all-around better athletes; bigger, faster, stronger. When you're a better athlete, it translate to being a better player and then just working on technique stuff. I felt like I got better in training camp, got better in the run game, got better in the passing game and I just want to keep building from there."
(on how he would evaluate his play throughout the preseason) "I definitely got better. I feel like I showed some things I want to show and some things I obviously can get better at. I had a drop this game on a contested catch on the cross [route]. I'd like to catch that one. [There are] some stuff in the run game I have to clean up. Yes, I feel like overall I got better during training camp but it's just like the start of the process, so I try not to set too many ... I'm not a huge goal setter because when you reach the goal, what do you do next? So I just try to keep improving and keep it day to day and I feel like I've gotten better every day, and I got better from the first preseason game to the third preseason game. It sucks we lost. We always want to win but as a team, I feel like we showed some progress."
(on if him playing in games feels like the 'light at the end of the tunnel' after returning from an injury he sustained last season) "Yes, I meant more like when I actually got on to practicing and stuff once I got out of the rehab. Yes I mean, I feel like ... When I said lacking it almost sounds like I'm going through something really bad but like we're so blessed so I try to keep it in perspective. We're in the NFL. If the worst thing in my life is that I get injured, I'm pretty blessed, so I just try to take it one day at a time and be grateful for what I have. If you're always worrying about am I going to be healthy or what snaps am I going to get, you're never going to be present with what I have. Yes, it sucks we lost – like it sucks, it hurts – but let's take a step back and just thank God for what we have in the moment and that we're here, so [I] just try to put it in perspective."
(on his current usage and how that impacts his confidence throughout camp) "I believe in myself as a player so I go out there and do it, like I remember how to show it but at the same time you're right, there's a big part of earning confidence by just doing it, just getting the reps. I only played two games last year, so just getting the reps, that's why I'm happy to get as many reps as I can this camp because I need them. Just getting on the field, getting the reps, getting the pads popping, running the routes, making the mistakes – first game stupid mistake that I make not getting out of bounds. I haven't played that much football in the NFL because I didn't play last year so just the reps this preseason are so valuable and I just try to take advantage of them and just keep getting better."
(on how excited he is about this offense and more specifically the tight ends and what they may be able to do in this offense) "'Monk' [offensive coordinator Todd Monken] obviously likes using tight ends. Tight ends have caught quite a few catches in the preseason and Mark's [Andrews] is pretty good too, I think he'll get some catches too. We just have a good room. Mark [Andrews], 'Zay' [Isaiah Likely], Pat [Ricard], myself, 'Vok' [Travis Vokolek] and Ben [Mason], I thought we had some good stuff. I'm excited. Every offense has its pros and cons from last year and last year we ran so much 13-personnel. We had a ton of guys but we didn't open the playbook as much though with the pass game. This year, as you can see, is a little different here, and there so just try to take the blessings that come with each offense. This offense, 'Monk' does some fun stuff with the tempo and opens up the field and I think it can be fun to keep learning, keep getting better and just try to keep running snaps on the field and just contribute any way I can, offense or special teams."