Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody – appreciate you guys being here. I have a couple of announcements to make. We have a couple moves: Jeremy Zuttah is going to go on IR [Injured Reserve]. He has a partially torn [pectoral muscle], and the decision has been made to get that repaired right away. They're not really confident that it would … They can't say 100 percent that it would heal like they want it to if we took time and waited, so they're going to go ahead and get that done. It means we're bringing Terrance West up to the active roster, so he'll come up and be a part of the 53. Konrad Reuland is coming back on the practice squad. Those are our moves for today."
At this point, G/C John Urschel, is he the starting center, or could you use G/C Ryan Jensen there? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Yes, John will be the starting center, and Ryan will be the backup center and also back-up the two guard spots."
What was the meeting out there? It looked like the captains or the veterans. (Pete Gilbert) "We were talking about schedule [for] the next couple days. I had a couple thoughts I needed to run by those guys."
*C Jeremy Zuttah, was that re-aggravating the same thing that happened to him before the bye? (Jon Meoli) *"I would say it is. He had a pec issue before. I don't know what the degree exactly [was] – how you would say it – but he had a pec issue before, probably a strain. This probably tore it a little more than it was before."
**I guess just on that, C Jeremy Zuttah badly wanted to play last week, but he also understood that it wouldn't help if he was limited. Was it a difficult call to convince someone like him to go on IR? *(Jon Meoli) *"He wasn't convinced. You can ask him about all that and how hard it was, but he and the doctors made the decision."
Coach, could you address the decision with WR Breshad Perriman and finally making it? You had talked about it a couple weeks ago. (Jerry Coleman) "I can't say I was really involved in that. It was [general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome], the doctors and Breshad going over the situation. I know that – and Ozzie told me this – we were very hopeful that we could get him out there. We were waiting as long as we could to see if that could happen, and it just didn't look like it could happen. That's really the extent that I'm aware of what's going on with that."
Because it took so long – you said yourself it was one of the slowest healing PCLs you've ever seen – are there any long-term concerns that there's a degenerative issue or anything along those lines? (Luke Jones) "Not that I've been told. To me, it's still a hard one to understand. [There are] better people to ask than me about that. I'm just disappointed. And I'll tell you, Breshad is disappointed, and we're all disappointed. I had a chance to talk to him yesterday probably for the first time in-depth, because he was hard to talk to before. You couldn't talk to him. You've seen him around. He was just so down about the whole thing. He seemed a little more at peace with his future, and he was excited about the progress he's making. But when you see him, I think you should just ask him where he's at with that."
**But to your knowledge, WR Breshad Perriman doesn't need any more [surgery]. It's just rest and … *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"To my knowledge, he doesn't."
John, what was your reaction to hearing that the NFL said publicly that they messed up? Does it make you feel any better? Does it even matter? (Jeff Zrebiec)"We've sent in 16 other plays. We do that every week, and the vast majority of them come back [with], 'Yes, you're right. Yes, you're right. Yes, you're right.' I feel the same way about that play as I feel about the other issues that we have every single week."
Has that become a problem this season not only for you, but around the league? (Morgan Adsit) "I'm not going to get into that. We're trying to take care of the Rams. That's what we have to focus on. That's why I can't think about it. We can't afford to be dwelling on that. We have a really good football team coming in here with a bunch of really good players that we have to prepare for and go win a football game. That's our focus."
What are the difficulties in preparing for WR Tavon Austin, a guy that plays all over the place? (Mike Preston) "It's a great point. This guy is a playmaker in every way. Start with the shots, double-move shots downfield, and then they make him a ball carrier on the perimeter. It's almost a wing-T type of philosophy. They have [Todd] Gurley – who is as talented a back as I've seen in a long time in this league as a rookie – running between the tackles and the stretch-zone play. Then you have to defend Tavon on all the fly sweeps and the reverses. It's a misdirection offense that causes you a lot of trouble. Those two guys, they've done a very good job of using those two guys that way, and we're going to have to have a great plan for it."
How interested were you in WR Tavon Austin when he was coming out of the draft? He's a local guy and whatnot. (Ryan Mink) "We were very interested. He's a guy we did a lot of work on and got to know him and his family. He went too high [in the draft for the Ravens to pick him]."
QB Joe Flacco has never been a quarterback that has turned the ball over a lot. The turnovers are up a little bit this year. From you watching film and talking to him, is there reason, do you think, that turnovers may be a little bit up this year? (Jamison Hensley) "I don't see an overarching reason that would be worth talking about. There's a reason on each one of those plays that you look at, and I think the best thing to do is be in the laboratory and study the mechanics of each play and try to do better going forward."
Do you think it's maybe too much of a generalization when a quarterback does have a turnover to just say a lot of it had to do with QB Joe Flacco? Do you think there are other factors that are involved when the ball is turned over? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, there are always other factors. It's never one thing. I don't care what the play is, it's never one thing. One person doesn't … The quarterback usually gets most of the blame and most of the credit, and as it should be. Joe takes responsibility for pretty much everything, but most certainly that part of it."
**When you look at the Rams' front four, they have three first-rounders on the front four on defense. What do you see from them having playmakers like DT Aaron Donald to push the pocket? Does that alter the game for them? *(Turron Davenport) *"It does. Aaron Donald, he' a guy … [Michael] Brockers is inside. They're different types of players, but they're both dominant players inside. [James] Laurinaitis – in the middle – has been around forever. He's another first-round pick. [Robert] Quinn on the edge out there – if he plays – is a pass rusher. But the two young backup pass rushers who are playing, they're really good players, too. They're tough, high-motor guys with a lot of length and heavy hands, so they do a good job. It's a penetrating, four-three-attacking, typical-Tennessee, Jeff Fisher-Gregg Williams, Saints-type system that we've seen over the years. That's what we're preparing for."
Is that almost a throwback [with] these teams – different schemes, different players, different formations? To have those dominating interior defensive linemen like DT Brandon Williams, DT Aaron Donald, is that almost a throwback to an older era of football? (Jon Meoli) "I don't think so. I think it's a big part of today's game. You look at the talented guys that are playing defensive line in this league and the interior guys, there's a lot of … They're better than ever between the tackles, the guys that are playing."
Obviously, people can't play scared on the field, and professional players aren't scared, but with Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and everything that has surrounded him and connected to allegedly dirty hits, has that been addressed? (Joe Platania) "We address everything. We address everything when we game-plan – everything we can think of to address. I'll just leave it at that."
**John, how do you view punt returner shaking out? Is WR Kaelin Clay a guy that is definitely going to be considered for that with Jeremy Ross no longer on the team? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"Yes, definitely [Kaelin Clay] will be considered. That's why we brought him in. We have other options, but he'll be considered for that, and we'll see how he does this week."
OLB Elvis Dumervil
On how he felt about the NFL's announcement that the Baltimore-Jacksonville game should have ended prior to his facemask penalty:"As a competitor, as one of the leaders on this defense, I still feel the same, especially when it could have been in your control. It doesn't help. They could have kept it to themselves."
On how he thinks the Ravens will "go" after a 2-7 start to the season:"We're going to go. We're going to compete; you can guarantee that. Week-in and week-out, we will compete, and we will compete to the finish, to the end. And that's all we know – most definitely."
On facing QB Case Keenum this week after losing to him last season:"[He's with] a different team, different staff and different players, so you have to respect that. [They are] a well-coached team with a lot of explosive players on offense. We've got our work cut out for us. We've just got to make sure we come out with the same energy and focus we did last game and just try to finish it to the end of the game."
On if the team feels they have lost "coin-flip" opportunities in games and how they avoid the feeling of being cursed this season:"I don't believe in superstitious stuff. I think, more than anything, when we have control of finishing something, we just have to do it. We can't put it in the hands of the other team, penalties, referees or whatever the case may be. I think we've just got to go out and compete to the very finish, to the very end. I think if we do that, we'd [have] a different record now."
On producing sacks in bunches, having two QB drops last week and if he thinks he can now gain momentum in that category:"We're trying to get the win, most importantly, but if I do my job, it helps. I'm going to try to go out [and help the team win], and we've got to stop the run. We've got to earn the right to pass rush, and when those opportunities come, you've just got to take full advantage of it. And our coverage has been great. Those guys have been really working their butts off at the back end; the communication has been better. [The secondary] gave us enough time to get back there, and pretty much, I think my first sack was a coverage sack. So, congrats to those guys for helping."
On how he motivates younger players who have never been in this situation:"I've never been in this situation. All you can do is just trust in the system, and we believe in what we do. We believe in coach 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh]. We'll forever keep playing hard for him, and we'll play hard for one another, for this city, for the fans. It's a great organization, so quit is not in our DNA. You can count on the Ravens fighting until the end of the season."
On if he was encouraged by the defensive performance against Jacksonville:"We did some good things. We flew to the ball. We played with a lot of energy. We tried to create some turnovers, and that's what happens with guys flying to the ball, playing physical. I thought we did a good job of containing the run game. We tried to affect the quarterback. Sometimes, sacks [don't] happen, but as long as you get some pressure, some hits [on the quarterback] … I thought we did those things. I thought we did a lot of things. The scheme was great. We just didn't … The penalties hurt, obviously. We just didn't do enough just to get the win."
On his thoughts regarding the NFL changing results of games after they are final:"I wish I had an answer for that." *(Reporter: "Would you be in support of it? I know you're a little biased right now, but would you be in support of something like that?") *"As a player, you just have to play football and let the NFL officials or the committee or whoever is in charge of that kind of [handle it]. I just try to stay in my lane as much as possible."
On the challenges presented by facing a quarterback in his first start on the season:"It can go good and bad, because now you have to … We haven't seen him all year, but then at the same time, he hasn't had as many game reps. We've just got to try to make sure – in front of our home crowd, how loud it gets – [we] try to make it very uncomfortable for him. But he has really good players; he has a good supporting cast, and like I said, it's a well-coached team. I'm sure they'll have him ready."
On RB Todd Gurley:"Very impressive, very impressive. He has good quickness, good speed and size. He has great vision, makes guys miss all the time. He creates a lot of complications, so we've just got to make sure, against a guy like that, we really run to the ball."
QB Joe Flacco
On if the team's ability to stay loose around one another is a good sign: "I don't know if 2-7 in anything is a good sign. But hey, we're here to work, and we're here to be here about this week. We love to do this, and we're having fun out here, and that's what it's all about. Obviously, we'd like to tack on some wins with that."
On the team not collapsing despite the adversity it has faced so far: "I don't see that happening at all. I have no idea what our record is going to be at the end of the day, but we're going to keep fighting. We're going to go out there, and we're going to give our best every single week. We have a great group, and we're going to stay together. We're going to come out of this thing on the other side together. That's the only way we know, and that's what we're going to do."
On WR Breshad Perriman being placed on Injured Reserve: "When [the injury] happened, it was like, 'OK, maybe it's going to be awhile before we're going to be able to rely on him, because even when he gets back, it's going to be tough for him to get in the mix right away.' As the season went on, it's kind of like, 'OK, this is going to be tough for him to really come in and contribute.' Yes, you obviously feel for the kid. At the same time, it's tough to really think too much about that, because we're all in the midst of our own little thing and our own little battles. But yes, you definitely feel for him. He's a really good talent, and we want him out here. The bottom line is we need him healthy, so whatever he has to do to get that way – however much time it takes – that's what we have to deal with."
On why he has committed more turnovers this season than he has in the past: "I don't know. Sometimes it's the way the ball falls. Sometimes, I've probably made a handful of bad decisions. The ones you look at are the ones you say, 'OK, that was a bad decision. Why did I throw that ball?' You have to look at those – and look at them hard – and correct that. Sometimes it doesn't go your way. Overall, I would say I have turned the ball over more. Maybe they weren't all bad decisions, but I would say that I've probably made more bad decisions, and that's why there's a little bit more of them. It comes down to gameday and reacting, playing within yourself. I probably haven't done that as well as I have in the past."
On C Jeremy Zuttah being placed on IR: "Losing the center is definitely a tough thing. Since I've been here, I don't think I've played with a backup center other than a couple snaps here and there. Guys have stayed pretty healthy. Jeremy [Zuttah] has stayed pretty healthy. That's definitely a big blow, [and it is] not because of who we have coming in. John [Urschel is] going to do great. You've seen he can get in there and do a great job for us. He's going to make all the calls. He's going to do great, and he has done great for us at guard and other positions. The biggest thing is [Jeremy Zuttah is] a big team player. Jeremy is there for us, and he wants to go out there and battle no matter what. He's a tough guy. He knows what he's doing. He leads that group. It definitely stinks to see somebody like that not be able to be out there for us."
On whether the NFL should be able to change the outcome of games or whether it's a silly discussion: "I think it's kind of silly. Part of the game is human error, whatever that means. There's a reason for review and things like that, so as long as plays are reviewable, then you can go there and do it right then. But once the game is over, man, it's over. There's no going back and changing that. No, you shouldn't be able to do that. There might be ways you can change [the rules] like they have over the years. There might be things you can change within the game and during that play to go and look at it and change it at that point. But once you don't do that, there's no way you can go back and do it."
On whether five running backs and four tight ends on the active roster could lead to more rushing attempts: "I have no idea. I think the bottom line is we're injured at some of those positions. We need guys to practice with. Last week, it was very evident. You have Maxx [Williams] and Nick [Boyle] out here taking every single rep in practice going full speed, because we don't have any tight ends to practice with. They're not only taking our reps, but they're taking all the defensive reps, too. We need those guys to be fresh and ready to go on Sunday. I think that's the biggest issue, and that's why we have some of these guys."
On whether the team will use multiple tight ends going forward: "I think those guys are good. I think it's something we definitely can grow on. You look at what we did out of those personnel [groups] on Sunday, and we did a really good job. We had a lot of completions and did some really good things. It's definitely something we're going to try to expand a little bit and maybe use more of in the future."
On playing with S Ed Reed: "Shoot, I came in, I guess, toward the back end of his career, but kind of right in the middle of it. When you're here for the time period I was here and what he was doing, a pick-6 was a normality; you thought that happened every weekend everywhere. It was crazy how many times he was able to do that and make game-changing plays. It was pretty special. He's one of the guys that when things are all said and done, you're probably going to look back on and say, 'Man, that was cool to be able to play with him for as long as I did and win with him and all those things.' Great player, great guy – made it look easy."
RB Justin Forsett
On where this team goes now at 2-7: "You keep fighting – control what we can control, go out every weekend, try to prepare during the week, and go out and try to win football games. That's not going to stop."
On if there is any difference in mentality or approach at 2-7:"We've got to go 1-0 [this week]. That's our mindset. We'll go out and prepare hard during the week. I'm just blessed to be with this team. I've been on other teams where we've been in this situation, and it's easy to point fingers and guys kind of separate. But we've been together; we've been fighting together and trying to get better each week."
On what make this team different than some of those other teams of the past:"The leadership, for one. We've got a lot of leaders on this team, guys that are really respected around the league like [Elvis] Dumervil, like Joe [Flacco], Chris Canty, guys like that. We've got a pretty strong group here and the mindset stays the same, and our expectations are still high."
On if RB Terrance West is a guy he looks to mentor a little bit:"Yes, definitely. I think I'm the oldest guy in the room by a little bit, so I try to take all of them under my wing a little bit and try to pour as much into them as I can. I've been in his situation before, where he's been on a couple of teams [his] first couple of years in the league, so as much as I can pour into him, I will."
On what the loss of C Jeremy Zuttah means for the running game, and if G/C John Urschel can step into that role capably:"[John] Urschel might be the smartest guy this side of the Mississippi [River]. He's a bright guy, he works hard, [and] I think he can fill in pretty well. Zuttah is a big loss for us, of course. He's been doing it a long time, but Urschel has stepped in many times before, and it won't be any different this week."
On Rams DT Aaron Donald always being in the backfield, and how that disrupts what they want to do with the running game and being patient:"With the zone principles, it's the same with us; we've got to be patient. We've got to be decisive when we make our cuts, especially with this guy. Their front four is one of the best in the league, probably the best we've faced this year. We've just got to be extra patient. We've got to be able to stick with it, keep chopping, and hopefully, we'll get some big runs in."
On what he thought when the NFL acknowledged that the Ravens should have won last week's game:"It's like, what can you do now? It's over. You can't go back and fix it. I wish there were mulligans in football, but that's not the case. We've just got to live with it, take it on the chin and keep working."
On if he thinks the league should be able to change something like that after the fact:"I don't know. Personally, I'm biased a little bit. I would like to go back and get that win. But like I said, it is what it is, and hopefully they'll look at it down the road. But who knows?"
ILB C.J. Mosley
On RB Todd Gurley and what stands out about him: "He's a balanced back. He can run the ball three or four yards and get [most of] his yards up the middle. But if you give him a chance on the outside, he'll get to the edge and break a big play. Anytime he touches the ball, he's looking for a touchdown. He started that in college, and he's doing the same thing this year in the NFL. Our main goal for him – when he has the ball – is everybody run to the ball and get a hand on him. That will be the main thing."
On whether there is a comparable running back to RB Todd Gurley: "The main talk this year about the way he runs is Adrian Peterson. It's fair to say, because when Adrian gets the ball, he's trying to do the same thing – trying to make that one cut and make one guy miss and trying to get a touchdown. That's probably the person you can compare him to."
On if he thinks about DT Aaron Donald narrowly beating him out for Defensive Rookie of the Year last season and playing against him this weekend: "Not really, since we're on opposite sides of the ball. I won't be going against him. He definitely earned it. He can wreak havoc, especially on the defensive line – interrupt plays, get in the backfield, turnovers, sacks. He did it all. He's pretty much on the same thing this year, so I'm pretty sure our offense is going to have a pretty good game plan to stop him from getting to Joe [Flacco]."
On whether he would have voted for DT Aaron Donald for Defensive Rookie of the Year: "If I wasn't in the running for it, I might have." (laughter)
On how his sophomore season has gone: "I feel like I started off a little slow, as far as knowing the type of plays I can make, making some mental errors I know I wouldn't make in practice. I really don't look at my stats like that, as far as tackles. Some people might say, 'He might not have the same amount of stats that he had last year at this time,' but that's not really a big deal when you put in the fact that you're giving effort and just the type of plays that you make on and off the field, as far as affecting plays. I think for the most part, it has been pretty good."
On why his tackle numbers are down from last season: "I have another great linebacker beside me in Daryl Smith. He has been all over the field. I know he had a big game this past weekend. I know going into last week, he was third in the league [in tackles], so he's taking some of those tackles, too. I'll gladly give them to him, because he definitely deserves all the credit that he's getting right now."
C/G John Urschel
On his emotions leading up to his first NFL start at center:"I'm getting ready to play. St. Louis is a good team; they've got a good front seven. I'm just trying to prepare to do the best I can."
On mixed emotions resulting from the starting opportunity and having a teammate in C Jeremy Zuttah go down with injury:"I love Jeremy [Zuttah]. He's a great mentor. He has been a great help to me, and even through this injury, he's helping me every day. He's letting me know that I can reach out to him whenever I need to; I'm texting him. He's looking over film for me. He's very much still a big mentor for me."
On competing against Rams DT Aaron Donald:"Not just [Aaron] Donald. We've got 99 [Aaron Donald], we've got 90 [Michael Brockers], we've got 98 [Nick Fairley] – all first-round talent. So, they've got a very good defensive front, and I'm excited for the opportunity."
On if his struggles with shotgun snaps are resolved:"It's something I work on every day, shotgun snapping. I work to get better at it. I am improving. We've changed my mechanics some. I've gotten some help from Morgan [Cox]; he's been helping me with that. That is what he does, so he's a good person to talk to."
On how much playing experience he has at center:"I think I got a rep or two in practice in college." (laughter)
On the adjustment moving from guard to center:"It is different, but [offensive line] coach [Juan] Castillo has been helping me. I feel well prepared. I started a game at center in the preseason; I played well. I've been practicing it ever since I got drafted here."
On if he's excited about his chance to prove that he can be a starting offensive lineman:"Yes, of course." (Reporter: "How do you handle that during the course of the week?") "I just prepare the best I can, make sure that I do everything in my ability to perform the best I can to help my teammates win."
ST. LOUIS RAMS CONFERENCE CALLS
Head Coach Jeff Fisher
On the Rams' defensive front seven:"We've had to overcome some injuries. We've missed Alec Ogletree, but I think Mark Barron is doing a really nice job filling in for Alec. James [Laurinaitis] is James; he's going to control everything. He's the leader. He gets it. He's the quarterback of the defense. He does a really good job of putting them in position. Upfront, we've missed Chris [Long]. He'll be back on the practice field this week. I don't know whether he'll play or not; we'll have to see how he does the next couple days. And we've missed 'Rob' [Robert Quinn] for a couple weeks. Rob only played 14 plays [last week against Chicago], but I think, more importantly, is that we have the depth there. Ethan Westbrooks is playing well for us, Eugene [Sims] is playing well, [William] Hayes has come in and played well. So, upfront, we're still getting production, but we're not as good as we would like to be. We gave up two really big, explosive plays last week that kind of crushed us in the ballgame, but our front seven is … We're active, we rotate and we're multiple, and in the back end – I think the back end is really good. I'm pleased with the year that Janoris [Jenkins] is having; same thing with 'Tru' [Trumaine Johnson]. [We] missed T.J. [McDonald] for a couple weeks; he's back. And I think 'Rod' [Rodney McLeod] is playing well in the middle of the field. So, we're just playing hard, and we just need to make more plays until we get out of this offensive slump."
On WR Tavon Austin's versatility and improvement:"Well, I think [he is] underused. He's all over the place, and the more times we get the ball in his hands, the better off he's going to be. I don't think we did as good a job [getting him the ball] as we should have over the last couple years – not to his fault, but to ours. So, now we're finding creative ways to get the ball in his hands, and he's very explosive. He's got great speed. [He is] really fun to coach, great kid, loves the game, loves winning [and] doesn't care about his stats. [He] just wants to help out. He has had a lot of big plays for us, and he has had a lot of big plays called back the last couple years."
On what motivated the Rams to draft WR Tavon Austin early despite concerns about his size:"Well, it's pretty simple. I didn't want to have to coach against him. I didn't want to have to defend him. We'll start there, and he's just an explosive player. [He has] the versatility as a returner, as a runner, as a receiver. He's just a versatile player. He's got great speed. He just changes angles, [which] forces defensive players to change angles, because he has got such great speed. So, there was no doubt in our minds that he was going to be successful. We felt – we were confident – that he was going to be a big-time player for us, and we just need to find ways to get him the ball."
On Rams DT Aaron Donald and ravens DT Brandon Williams, and the advantage a dominant interior defensive lineman can provide to the other 10 defenders:"It's a week-to-week deal, really. Offenses are going to game-plan against players like that. If you know where he's going to be, then you've got to [use] double-teams. You've got to make sure that he doesn't get into one-on-one situations, because he's typically going to win. Aaron [Donald] is special for us just because of what he's doing on the other side of the line of scrimmage – the tackles for loss, the sacks, the pursuit and how he's dictating what offenses are doing. And we have to continue to try to stay ahead and move him around so we don't create that situation where he's eliminated from our scheme."
On WR Chris Givens' productive rookie season in St. Louis and why he did not progress as expected:"I was not, in any way, disappointed with his progress. He's a great team guy, can really run [and] had some big plays early in his career. Anytime we called on him [and] put the ball up in the air, it seemed like he was making the play. We just had numbers [at wide receiver], and when we called [general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] and John [Harbaugh], it was just a good deal for both teams. There was a need there, and we had a surplus. I feel like anytime you get a surplus and you've got guys that can play, then [you should] give them a chance to play someplace else. So, it's a really good deal for both teams."
On the decision to start QB Case Keenum over QB Nick Foles against the Ravens:"Well, I've been … Let me just say this – and it's on record on Monday when I announced the change – we all need to get better on offense. I'm not putting the blame on Nick [Foles] from that standpoint, but we needed a spark. I felt like Nick needed a break. He's a great team guy, still a captain. He's made a lot of plays for us, but we need to make some more plays. It's just one of those deals where everybody around him has to play better. So, it's one of those decisions that you make. He has handled it with class; he's poised. I have great respect for him. And, as I told him and Case [Keenum] together, I'm not going to put Case on a short leash, but at some point, I expect Nick to be under center for us again. So, it's just kind of one of those things. It's where you are offensively at this point in the season. We need a spark."
On what has allowed RB Todd Gurley to become the featured back so quickly:"We didn't draft Todd [Gurley] to win the opener. We drafted Todd to be the back of our future. He worked extremely hard throughout the offseason, throughout the rehab process, and he's just a complete back. He understands all phases of our offense. Yes, we do take him out on third down to give him a break; we'll go with Benny [Cunningham], but he can do all that stuff on third down as need be. He's just special. He's special, and as I've said week after week, he's not 100-percent yet. But wherever he is, wherever someone decides – whether 90 or 95 percent – he's been pretty productive for us. So, we need to make sure that we get him his carries. We also need to make sure we don't give him too many carries."
On coaching against S Ed Reed:"The first thing that comes to mind is whoever is your wing on punt team is going to have a rough day, because nobody rushed the punter better then Ed [Reed] over his career. I was really impressed with what he did. And that just kind of, I think, that shows and speaks volumes to the player that he was. Because he was not only the safety – and one of the best safeties to ever play the game – but parts of the game that were important to him, he took them seriously and was really productive. He just found ways to make plays. We played him for years, and it just seemed like he would be the one at the end of the game to make that play that was the difference-making play in the game."
On if the NFL should announce the names of referees who make mistakes, similar to the college game:"What's your question here?" *(Reporter: "Should we be hearing about [the referees] like in the college game?) *"Well, I'm not … I can't tell you [I have] a really good understanding of what's going on at the college level, as far as officiating is concerned. We [the NFL Competition Committee] works very closely with them, but I don't know what they're doing from the standpoint when there [are] mistakes made. I'll also say this: There's a human element in our game, and the officials are doing the best that they possibly can to get things right. And our officiating department now, under [NFL vice president of officiating] Dean's [Blandino] leadership, has been very upfront and very honest, and unfortunately, things happen at the end of the ballgame. There [are] a lot of plays before that particular play in the game where this game could have gone differently. There's a human element there, and we're constantly working to improve and to become more consistent from crew to crew. Again, they're going to make mistakes. Players make mistakes. Coaches make mistakes. There are going to be mistakes made."
WR Tavon Austin
On how comfortable he is with his role on offense: "I'm definitely comfortable in it. It's all about understanding the scheme, understanding what we're trying to do. I figured out my role and all, so I'm trying to keep on making plays for us and keep on moving forward."
On whether it was tough to adjust to being a running back in this offense: "It wasn't tough at all. Running back was what I played my whole life, so it definitely wasn't tough. It's about going out there and trusting the scheme and going out there and making something happen."
On where he played rec ball growing up in Baltimore: "I played rec ball – I started off – at Hanlon Park, and then I went to the Gwynns Falls 49ers."
On what Baltimore neighborhood he was raised in: "I was right there in West Baltimore, right there by Mondawmin. That's where I was raised up."
On traveling to and attending Dunbar (Baltimore) HS: "I had to catch a subway at Mondawmin, catch it all the way down to Johns Hopkins, get off the subway and walk down the street, and there was my school."
On why he went to Dunbar HS: "Dunbar was basically a city-wide school. You had to have a certain GPA to get in though. I didn't really want to go to Edmondson [High School]. That wasn't really [the] type of school I wanted to attend, so I went to Dunbar. We had a good basketball program and football program, and that's what I had played – both sports. That's why I went there."
On what it will be like to play in Baltimore this Sunday: "For the most part, it's going to feel good to play [at] home. It's about playing in front of my family [more than] anything. I won't let it get to me too much. At the end of the day, I have a job to get done. I'm trying to go in there and play how I always play – hard football, tough. My ultimate thing is to come down there and get a win, come over there and get a win. That's my main goal."
On how many tickets he bought for this game: "Ticket [requests] go in today, so I really don't have a count on it, but it won't be much. For the most part, my mother and all of them already bought their tickets. If my mother can buy a ticket, then other people could, too. That's where I'm at with the ticket situation."
On WR Chris Givens and whether he needed a change of scenery: "For the most part, if anybody has been somewhere for a long time and things are not working out for that guy … I'm definitely happy for him. He got a chance to go over there and see what he can do over there. He's a great player, and I really wish the best for him. I'm definitely excited he got a chance to come over to the Ravens and make his place."
On the Ravens possibly drafting him in 2013: "They definitely brought me in on a visit. I met with the GM [Ozzie Newsome] – a great guy. He had a plan for me, that they were going to draft me. They had a plan for me, for my whereabouts when I was in Baltimore and things like that. He's a great guy. The Ravens definitely had a plan for me, but coach 'Fish' [Rams head coach Jeff Fisher] pulled the trigger on me. That's the guy I'm rolling with now."
On the Rams' QB change this week and whether it will help the team: "I definitely believe it'll help the team. I feel like Case [Keenum] knows the offense pretty well. That was coach 'Fish's' decision. The only thing I can do is try to keep making plays for any quarterback that we have and for this team. That's my mindset."
On whether the Ravens look like a 2-7 team: "They're definitely not a 2-7 team. They play hard on defense. [They have] great veteran DBs. We have to come to play. We have to come do our job and have to play Rams football. That's all it boils down to."
On whether he visits Baltimore in the offseason: "The only time I really come home is when I'm giving a free camp to the kids or I'm doing some type of charity work for the kids or something like that. For the most part, I'm back in St. Louis getting ready for the next season and working out."
On his camps in Baltimore: "I do my camps at the Pop Warner field that I always played at when I was young, right by Douglass High School. I had the kids up there from about 9 [a.m.] to 2 [p.m.]. I feed them. I don't charge them anything. For the most part, I'm going out there to have a good time. I let them come around me and have some fun with them, run some drills with them. That's how I do it."
On whether he goes back to Dunbar High School often: "No, I really don't get over to Dunbar too much."
On whether he keeps in touch with his high school coaches: "No, I don't talk to any of the Dunbar coaches like that."