Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody – thanks for being here. Getting ready to get on the plane here this afternoon and head out to L.A. and continue the preparations out there. We'll go a day earlier than we normally go, [that's] our normal routine on the West coast and try to get acclimated to some degree. But mainly, the focus is on playing the game on Saturday night, and that's what we're excited to do, and we can't wait."
I know he's been out there the past couple days. Has TE Nick Boyle been cleared yet? How is he progressing? (Luke Jones) "He cleared the concussion protocol, yes. He's progressing well, and we'll just have to see. I think it'll be a little bit of a decision on Saturday, maybe today, to see how he gets through the practice and everything, see how he feels."
Is this the first time, that you can recall, playing in a soccer stadium? (Kyle Andrews) "Yes." (laughter) (Reporter: "How do you feel like the atmosphere will be?") "I think it'll be pretty good, actually. Over the years, you play in smaller stadiums and they turn out to be really great and really fun and tight and loud. So, just not really worried about it. It's the game we're thinking about. It'll be interesting, and I think it will be kind of exciting. I know our guys are excited to get out there and play, more than anything, because of who we're playing and what's at stake, the challenge of the guys we are playing against and what we have a chance to accomplish."
There's supposed to be a pretty big Ravens fan contingent out there, The West Wing L.A. group. How impressed are you when you go on the road and you see these big pockets of Ravens fans that are there? (Ryan Mink) "Right, well, it's always great. We have a lot of fans around the country. I think a lot of our fans travel really well. It's fun. You see a lot of purple and you hear the 'O' [in the Star Spangled Banner], especially after a win when they come down and ring the field. I think our fans always do that on the road when we win. That'd be an experience that we would all really like to have this weekend."
You mentioned before the primetime Steelers game, where the wait for a night game can be a little tough. How do you pass the time without going crazy? (Jonas Shaffer) "I usually just go crazy, I guess. (laughter) No, I'll get a workout in in the morning, that'd be me, one thing. You study a little bit, you just wait is really what you do. It's a little easier when you play on Sunday night and you get a chance to look at some other games a little bit. We tell our guys in those situations to not get emotionally involved in the game – then I'll find myself watching and getting mad at something because you root for somebody. You obviously have an interest, but this won't be the case in this one."
Speaking of emotionally-involved, S Eric Weddle talked about it a little bit yesterday. Have you seen a change in him this week at all, as far as maybe what this game means to him? (Morgan Adsit) "It's a good question. I would say, honestly, no. He's just the same enthusiastic guy he always is. He kind of mentioned to me this morning, he thinks everybody is making too big of a deal out of that part of it. It's been four years. A lot of the people aren't there, and the people that are there, Philip [Rivers] or whoever, that's a friendship. But, he's more excited about what we have a chance to accomplish, and I think that's kind of the message – not that I'm carrying his water for him – but that's the message that I think he's trying to get across, is he's really excited to play the game for the Ravens and win the game."
I know we've asked you a lot about QB Lamar Jackson's composure. I'm curious; at what point did you realize he was this kind of guy? Was it in the pre-draft process that you figured that out? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I think you realize things just as you go. You learn about people as you go, and there was no question he was poised. He had a kind of demeanor that you felt good about watching him play, and then you talk to the coaches at Louisville, and that's what they all said, so you kind of took them at their word. But, probably during training camp, I saw how he handled himself. He never gets flustered, but now the last weeks, he's just kind of built on that."
How pleased have you been with QB Lamar Jackson's success throwing over the middle of the field? It's always an area of the field that any good passing game wants to be able to exploit. (Luke Jones) "He's done well with that. I think he sees things well. I think he's a quarterback who sees the field well, sees where the defenders are well; that's a gift. Vision is a gift. I don't know how you really teach that, and that's something he does really well."
The last time you won [against the Chargers] it was fourth-and-29. Do you want to stay away from that scenario? (Jim Forner) "Hey, whatever it takes, right? If it's going to be a conversion, we'll take it. That was a great moment. Eric Weddle was a big part of that play; did you guys ask him about that? (laughter) Our guys remind him about that pretty regularly. Matter of fact, there's a picture in our hallway of it. So, it still stands. He looks away all the time when he walks by. But no, we're just excited to go play."