Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody. I appreciate you being here. We're focused on the [Dallas] Cowboys. We're going to work on last night's game [and] we're finishing that up. We've already had some work done on the Cowboys, because of the delay that we had with the push back on the Steelers game and all that. So, we're out in front of that. We'll have the players in tomorrow, and we'll start our week of preparation with them. Today is their day off. A couple notes here on the injury front; there's nothing really to announce. There are no major season-ending injuries. So, beyond that, I just really won't have any comments on any of that right now. As far as the COVID-19 guys coming back, they all have their different days when they're possibly allowed to come back. But those are medical decisions in the end, not coaching decisions. So, when the doctors clear them to practice, that's when we'll have them. So, there's really nothing I can really say about that, either. OK, what questions do you have?"
From last night's game, people are still talking about the end of the first half. Have you gotten any clarification from the league of why there wasn't a stoppage at that point? (Jamison Hensley) "No, we have not. It's pretty early; it's just the day after the game. I have put a call in, but I haven't heard anything back."
Yesterday, QB Robert Griffin III talked a little bit about his hamstring. He gutted through it; I guess it was in the second quarter when it happened. Did sticking with him … Even though he was clearly gutting through it, did QB Trace McSorley having very little practice time and preparation factor in it at all? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Probably, but it was more about Robert [Griffin III]. Robert wanted to play. He insisted that he could go, and he wanted to go. I thought about making the change right when I saw it, and he was insisting that he wanted to go. So, he did. I give him a lot of credit; he played through whatever degree it was. I didn't know how serious it was at the time; you just go by what the player tells you. So, he wanted to play, and I give him credit for wanting to play. If it was more serious than that, then I would've taken him out. Or if he told me it was more serious than that, then I would've taken him out."
With the offensive line, especially with the run-blocking and getting to the point of attack and pulling, with no practice, what was the key for those guys? Was that just sort of what they learned in preseason and practices up to the game? It was an impressive showing considering for some guys, it was their first start ever and how effective they played. (Todd Karpovich) "Well, [Trystan] Colon-Castillo, it was his first start. The other guys … Orlando [Brown Jr.] has been in there. [Bradley] Bozeman has been in there. [Ben] Powers, I think it was his second start. And of course, [D.J.] Fluker has been in there and started. So, I thought they did OK. They did really good against a good defensive front. We had our moments in pass protection, unfortunately, but we blocked them pretty well overall. I thought they did a good job. I think the main conversation, I guess, to your question is Trystan; I thought he played a solid game. I thought he did a good job. There are plays that he'd like back, certainly, but for his first start ever, he was good in there."
I know you talked about the players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and that it's going to be a medical decision when they come back. As far as QB Lamar Jackson, do you anticipate him to be available for the game against the Cowboys? (Jamison Hensley) "I think I already answered that."
The team showed a lot of resiliency yesterday. Do you believe that that's what will carry you through to the end? You guys are 6-5 and still have a very good shot at the playoffs. Do you believe that this team has the guts to get right through to the end? (David Ginsburg) "Of course. I think we're a very resilient, very persistent [and] mentally tough team – and only getting tougher, because of the things that we're facing. That remains to be seen, whether we'll get the job done or not. It's really not what you talk about; it's what you do. So, we have to go do it, and we have to start with the Cowboys. Our only focus is on Dallas right now. All the macro-observations are left for others, including you guys. We just need to focus on getting our preparation right for the upcoming game and play our best football game of the season Tuesday."
WR Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown had the big play, the catch and run for a touchdown, yesterday. Do you think that's something that you can build off of, and could be a jumpstart for him moving forward? (Garrett Downing) "Of course; you try to make plays every game. Like I said, the macro-observations are not really for us right now. We're just going to try to focus on putting the best game together we can, play-by-play."
With about a minute left in the game yesterday, it looked like you guys stopped the Steelers for a first down. From what we've seen on television, it looked like they were a couple of inches short. Were you given any explanation on why they actually marked it as a first down? (Kevin Richardson) "No, they don't give you any explanations about that. You ask, but they don't answer. So, it looked like when he first spotted it, he spotted it short. Then, all of a sudden, the ball was across the line. Then, on the replay, it looked to me like it was short. Then, all of a sudden, it was upheld. So, no, there are no answers that we get on that. They just spot it where they spot it."
It's no secret you guys were really banged up on the defensive line. But Pittsburgh had four goal-to-go situations, and they only scored one touchdown. What does that say about some of the young guys up front stepping up for you? And how much will that help you moving forward? (Luke Jones) "Absolutely. I think that's a great point and observation. Our defense, generally, played very well against one of the top offenses. Obviously, they've got Ben [Roethlisberger] and all those talented guys, and that offensive line, and they've done well this year. I thought our defense played really, really, well – played hard, played well. The red zone was one area that we had targeted to improve upon, and it was really good to see us step up and improve in that area. They were in [the red zone] more than we wanted them to be – sometimes with the turnovers and things like that, and other times because a good offense is going to drive the ball. But to get them stopped in the red zone, that was one of our goals in the game, and I thought our defense deserves a lot of credit for that. And to your point about the guys up front; not letting them run the ball in, keeping the pressure on Ben. I thought those young guys played well – they did. You've got one guy on the practice squad, another, a rookie who has played a little bit. And [it] starts with Derek Wolfe, really. Derek Wolfe played another outstanding game. He's been pretty dominant in there throughout the year, but especially the last few games when he's had to be. So, I think he's the leader in there the last few games. And now, hopefully, we'll get some guys back and be able to build on that."
With having 2020 as the ultimate year that you have to have contingency plans for everything – with COVID-19 and injuries. I know P Sam Koch is the emergency quarterback, but will he get any work at all in the event that you need him as a backup? (Gerry Sandusky) "No. He will not get any work at quarterback. We won't need him as a backup."
Do you expect to be able to have a full, somewhat normal week of practice? And is there anything you have to do differently, because you missed so much time last week, in terms of conditioning and that sort of stuff? (Aaron Kasinitz) "That's something we'll just have to see. Plus, I think the other factor is as these guys do come back, when they're cleared, how do you merge them in, and where they're at physically? So, that's something that will be very much a part of our thinking. We're going to practice, normally. We have to go out there and practice, and do a good job, and get ready to go. It's going to be good to get practice in. We just need to practice more than anything. We haven't practiced much. We haven't practiced hardly at all. So, we need to have some good practices and just get our football 'sea legs' under us, so we can go out there and perform the way we want to."
There's going to be a lot of focus on WR Dez Bryant this week playing his former team in the Cowboys. In the weeks that he has been with you guys, what has impressed you the most about Dez Bryant and his work? (Jamison Hensley) "Dez [Bryant] has been great. He works hard, great attitude, real-passionate guy for the game, very determined guy. I enjoy being around Dez every single day. I promise you, if you ask Dez, it's not about Dez Bryant, per se. It's not about any individual. It's about the team. It's about Ravens playing our best football. He's a part of that, and that's how he looks at it."
The Ravens have been penalized 25 more times than the opponent this year. Is that something that you're aware of, and is that something you address to the league? How does that take form there? (Jamison Hensley) "I think I've answered that in the past. With the penalties that we commit, we try to minimize. With the penalties that are committed against us, you have to play through them, because you can't call them. The officials call them. And where it's been one-sided, or where it's been not called properly, that's the league's responsibility to fix. We can't fix that for them. That's their job. So, that's where we stand on it."
How important is it to get WR Miles Boykin going? I know he does other things, but how important is it to get him going here down the stretch? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Right. You want to see all your guys be involved and be a part of it. It's not something that you sit there and say, 'We've got to get this guy going.' Or, 'We've got to get that guy going.' That's putting the cart before the horse a little bit. You've got to get everything clicking. Once things do begin to click, and you execute, and everybody's doing things well, and you start moving the chains, those things tend to take care of themselves. We've had numerous games where a lot of guys have been targeted. So, as we work through this situation right now, the main priority is just have everybody do their job, play well, and the opportunities come when they come."
Did the logistics of RB J.K. Dobbins and RB Mark Ingram II make it too difficult to activate them? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I don't understand – logistics?" (Reporter: "Like getting them to Pittsburgh and all that. The fact that it was an afternoon game, and they couldn't fly with the team, because they were still technically on the COVID-19 reserve list when you went.") "No, it's a medical decision. Are they physically ready to go, whether it's related to COVID-19? Or [are they] physically ready to go to play football in a game like that without any practice? Those are all the things that the doctors take into consideration. That's a medical decision."