Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody. I appreciate you being here. What questions do you have?"
How much will practice be different when you have eight defensive players on the COVID-19 reserve [list], especially since you have five of them that are linebackers? (Jamison Hensley) "It really won't be any different at all; same number of reps, same process. We'll just move guys around to different spots. It will create some opportunities for a few younger guys, and then also, the way we've organized our defense, for some guys to play some different spots. So, you look at it as an opportunity to create versatility within your defense."
How did you arrive at the seven defensive players, besides CB Marlon Humphrey, when he was around everybody on the team? (Kirk McEwen) "We didn't arrive at that, that's a process that happens with the NFL's tracking process and the medical people – our medical people and, mainly, their medical people. So, they just give me the list."
Regarding the seven players who are in isolation, how will travel work for them to get to Indianapolis? Will they travel separately? Has that been worked out yet? (Bo Smolka) "My understanding is they'll travel with us on Saturday. They'll be cleared Saturday to practice. So, as long as there are no positive tests, they'll be in the building Saturday morning. They'll go through the Saturday walk-through practice and travel with us to Indianapolis."
Heading to Indianapolis, you've lost T Ronnie Stanley and you've got this thing going on. I know you don't take a poll of the locker room, but have you noticed that the spirit of the team remains the same and it's just, "We've got a game to play. Let's go?" (David Ginsburg) "Guys are excited to play, absolutely. Guys are fired up. Other guys get opportunities. People are excited for their opportunities. Nobody wants to see somebody get hurt, or whatever the case may be, but it always is an opportunity for the next man to go in there and play great. That's what guys work hard for – their opportunity."
Can you talk about what you've seen from T Orlando Brown Jr. stepping in at left tackle? Obviously, he played it a lot in college. How have you seen him adjust to that so far? (Ryan Mink) "I think he's done really well. He's done a good job. I don't know what else to say. He played well."
It's the second week in a row that you play a Top Five defense, and the Colts are tough. They don't seem to have many weaknesses in the front or in the back. You've used that phrase, 'Iron sharpens iron.' How does the game against the Steelers help you prepare for another tough matchup against an aggressive defense? (Todd Karpovich) "That's how it is in this league. You play great people, great players, coaches [and] teams. Every team has their strengths. Every team has their weaknesses within that; nobody is invincible by any stretch. So, you get ready to go. We respect every opponent. We certainly respect the Colts. They have a great record. They have a great … Obviously, their defense is highly rated statistically, and you can see why on tape. They're well-coached. I think they do a great job – their coaching staff. Like you said, they don't really have any weaknesses personnel-wise out there. They have a nice scheme. So, you take it as you find it, and you go out there and you compete."
You guys haven't lost a game on the road in 14 months or so. Is there just a feeling of unity when you guys get out there? How do you explain playing so well on the road when it's a tough row in the NFL? (David Ginsburg) "I know that we've played well on the road. We have taken care of the football, for the most part. We've played very good defense, for the most part, and special teams. We've played winning football, bottom line – all the things that that entails, situationally and otherwise. And that's why we won those games."
I was just curious – a lot of people have been staying up late trying to watch the results of the election. Can you describe the last 24 hours for you trying to prepare for a game but also wondering what's going to happen with the Presidential election? (Darren Haynes) "I've been doing a lot more preparing for the game than wondering what's going to happen in the presidential election. Personally, I did vote yesterday morning. A lot of our coaches and staff had already voted. My wife actually voted early, too. But I had to go wait in line, which was OK. It took about 20 minutes [or] 25 minutes over there at Owings Mills High School. They were great, very efficient and [had] great attitudes. So, I kind of enjoyed that. That's it, and then back to work."
I know the news on the COVID-19 tests beyond CB Marlon Humphrey has been good so far, it sounds like. But have you heard any conversation about postponement scenarios or anything like that? (Childs Walker) "No. I personally have heard nothing about that – no."
Just to be clear, you mentioned the players could be cleared on Saturday. Would that be a specific time Saturday? Do you need to adjust your schedule to be able to fit them into a walk-through or something like that? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Not that I'm aware of. I think the five days would be up by then, as far as I know. That's what I was told. If that's different, I'm sure someone will let me know here, hopefully, soon."
Have you gotten positive reports about how CB Marlon Humphrey is feeling? (Jeff Zrebiec) "No. I haven't gotten any reports on that."
Just a little more of a football question – obviously, you've played QB Philip Rivers before and he's been in the league for so long. Do you see anything different about him in head coach Frank Reich's scheme? And how do you sort of evaluate his play so far? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I think he's played really well. He's a classic NFL quarterback, and one of the best there is over the last 15 [or] 18 years. He's kind of in the same mold as Ben [Roethlisberger] that way; they're not exactly the same. I don't mean to say they're the same, but the way they operate is very similar. They understand their particular scheme inside and out. They know what they want to get up against different kind of defenses. They do a very good job of ID-ing the defense. And then, they know where to go with the ball once the ball is snapped, either with what the weakness in the scheme is or the best matchup might be. That's what those guys do so well, and they're accurate throwers. He's throwing the ball very accurately and he's completing a lot of passes; that's kind of what he's doing. I don't think it's a lot different than what he's done before. He's playing Philip Rivers-football, for sure. The offense is definitely built around him, absolutely. I think Coach [Frank] Reich has done a good job of that. They have some emerging, young receivers that are making some plays. They have three good tight ends. They have a very strong offensive line, and they've invested a lot in that offensive line. And then they have three running backs who are playing well. They have the rookie from Wisconsin [Jonathan Taylor] who is a very big and fast player. Then two other guys who are just … I think that [Jordan] Wilkins really stepped it up last week. He was kind of the bell cow for them last week. So, they're kind of going with the guy, maybe, with the hot hand. They roll them all. They play them all a similar number of plays. So, they have a lot of versatility there with that offense."
On the other side of the ball, DT DeForest Buckner was kind of their big acquisition in the offseason. You guys saw him against San Francisco last year. What kind of challenge does he bring, especially for the interior part of your line that's dealing with some injuries? (Luke Jones) "You're right – we saw him last year, so we have a little bit of a feel for him. He's just a very disruptive player. He's really a powerful guy. He's not the biggest guy in terms of thickness and all that, but he has a great ability for his length to bend and punch. He's heavy-handed, and [can] shed, and get off blocks, and hold at point and all of those things. [He's] also an athletic three-technique. With the stretch stuff, it's hard to cut him off [and] it's hard to reach him. He does a good job of rushing the passer in there. He has to be considered one of the premiere three-techniques in the league, for sure. [He's] a big addition for them. They have a really nice guy who we liked in the draft – Grover Stewart, the nose guard. He's 315 pounds. He's a tremendous athlete. So, [they have] two really good tackles. Their ends … You know the ends. I mean, these guys [Justin Houston and Denico Autry] are guys who established themselves in this league. They can burn the edge. They're good edge-setters. [They have] one of the best inside linebackers in football in [Darius] Leonard; he's really made a name for himself the last couple of years. He's rangy, but he also runs through gaps [and is] a downhill guy. It's a really well-rounded defense. I think the defensive coordinator [Matt Eberflus] does really well with those guys. Obviously, you already said it – they're a top defense."
You mentioned the opportunity for those players who wouldn't otherwise get as much practice time, they have that opportunity. For the guys who don't get to practice, any impact expected when they step on the field and are able to play on Sunday after not being able to be out there? (Mark Viviano) "I think we'll find that out. I think it's impossible to predict that. You see guys who, sometimes, they don't practice all week and they come out and play the best games of their careers. Other guys struggle and they might miss something. It's just really impossible to predict that. I don't spend a lot of time being anxious about that, because it's really kind of a waste of time. But they're going to be expected … They'll be in all the meetings. They'll be watching all the tape and get all of the corrections and stuff like that. They'll be expected to work out; work out virtually and run and all the things that they need to do to be ready physically. So, that's the best that we can do with it. You just take it as you find it that way, and we'll make the best of it."
I was wondering about the working out. Do they have things to work out at their homes to do this? How is that possible? Obviously, they don't have anything like what you have at the facility. (Jamison Hensley) "I don't know – each guy is different. The strength coaches work that out with the guys [to see] what equipment they have, and they figure out how to get a great workout in. I don't know what you have in your home, but if you want to get with one of our strength coaches later this afternoon, if they have time, they could put you through a pretty good workout. You could see how it's possible to get a great workout with whatever you have at the house there." (Reporter: "I'd never turn down help.") (laughter)
QB Lamar Jackson
You have a number of players that have now quarantined and couldn't practice today. Did practice seem any different today than usual? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, it did. Not having our guys out there, we love to have our brothers out there in practice and get ready for the game with us, but unfortunately, we can't because of COVID-19. That's the only reason practice was different, but besides that, practice was great. I can't wait until our guys get back."
When you have CB Marlon Humphrey test positive and you have some other guys come in close contact, how much of a reminder is that to everyone that you guys have to continue to follow the protocols and follow all the rules as closely as you can, knowing that something like this can unfortunately happen? (Luke Jones) "Like you said, unfortunately, it can happen to anyone. It's just that it happened to Marlon [Humphrey]. They always emphasize that … Here, we always emphasize that guys have to stay safe, sanitize, keep your mask on, keep your distance. We just have to keep it going, that's all. Stay safe."
WR Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown after Sunday's game put out a tweet that was kind of expressing some frustration with, I guess, his lack of involvement with the offense. You being close to him, is that something you guys talked about in the following days? And is that a point of emphasis this week in practice, trying to make sure he's more involved in the offense? (Daniel Oyefusi) "Oh, for sure. That's one of our key players to our offense. We want to get him the ball the easiest way [and] the fastest way that we can. We just have to do a better job of getting it to him. He's a big part of our offense and we need him. So, we just have to do better at that, and we'll be fine."
What is the biggest challenge facing the Indianapolis Colts? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "They have a great linebacker. [Darius] Leonard, he's a great linebacker. He's one of the best in the game right now. Their defensive line is great. I feel like our guys will do a pretty good job. We just have to go out there, have fun and play football – play great Ravens football. I feel we'll be fine."
You came into the league with T Orlando Brown Jr., and seeing you guys in the locker room, it seems like you guys hit it off right away and became friends. How would you describe your relationship with him as a friend and a teammate? And what are your thoughts on him now being your left tackle? (Mark Viviano) "It's great. He's just like a brother to me. We see each other every day. We're working with each other – blood, sweat and tears – each and every day. It's a grind here. It's great. We'd like to have Ronnie [Stanley] and have him at his original spot, but it's all good. It's part of the game – things happen. I feel he'll fit in perfect. He did it all his life, so we're ready."
You're very competitive and you've always said you are your hardest critic. When you feel like you don't … Maybe you turn the ball over a couple of times and you don't play as well as you're capable, how long does that linger for you? And as you've gotten older, is it easier to get beyond, maybe, performances that aren't up to your standard? Or is it harder? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I get over it, but it's going to always be on my mind, just because we lost that game and I hate having turnovers. But you have to move on. Just like if we were in the game – if I had a turnover – I'd keep it going and score the next drive. So, I can't dwell on it. You have to move forward. That's what we're doing now. The game is over with. I'm mad about the result, but we'll see them again."
There was, once upon a time, a lot of hatred in this town for the Colts after they left Baltimore for Indianapolis. Have you heard anything about that history? Or is that just too far before your time? (Childs Walker) "That's too far before my time, but I did hear about it. I did hear about it, but not really."
After guys have drops, they might spend extra time on the JUGGS machine. For a quarterback, after a game where you've had a couple fumbles, do you do anything different to try and focus on that in practice, or do you just say, "Hey, that's just something that happened. I'll be OK?" (Cliff Brown) "I just focus on it. You always want to focus on something you made a mistake on. I focus on it, but you have to move on. [You] can't dwell on it. [You] can't keep it in the back of your mind."
RB J.K. Dobbins had a big game against the Steelers. What impresses you the most when he's running the ball? (Jamison Hensley) "Man, it's everything. He's explosive. He's a shifty guy. He's explosive. He's what you need in a [running] back, and that's what we have. We have a lot of great backs, so he's one of the top ones. But he just has to keep it going. It's only the eighth game. We need him to do it each and every game he gets the ball in his hands. Just keep it going."
Coming off a tough loss, obviously you have some injuries, and you have some guys who can't practice this week, and these are tough times. Is this a time for you as a quarterback to maybe step up and say some things to keep the guys encouraged? Do you feel that your voice is needed and can be heard at this time? (Mark Viviano) "Our guys are not down. Our guys are not down here. Our guys still came into work and worked their tail off. I feel we'll be fine here, but if they need me to say something, I will. I'm not really a vocal leader. I probably lead by example. We have defensive guys who do most of the vocal talking – they speak for us – but if they need me to, I will."
How did it feel to finally have some fans in the stands? (Donna-Jean Rumbley) "It felt great. I'm just mad about the result of the game, but it was pretty nice for us to have fans finally."
What's it been like playing with WR Dez Bryant? What can you tell us about his few practices with the team? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Oh man, he's a great route runner. He has strong hands. He's dialed in into the playbook; he's always asking me questions about the playbook – stuff like that. He wants to compete. I just can't wait until he gets out there with us on Sundays and fully practices with us."
How would you describe the last 24 hours as this election process continues to go on? (Darren Haynes) "It's been going crazy. I'm still getting messages to my phone about it – voting. People are just … Social media is going crazy on it. It's everywhere right now – politics."
You've talked about wanting to get other guys involved, so how good was it to see WR Willie Snead IV do as much as he did on Sunday? And how important can that be for the passing game moving forward – getting him a little more involved? (Luke Jones) "I'm used to seeing that out of Willie [Snead IV]. He does that all the time in practice. I'm glad he did it against the Steelers – a great defensive team. We just have to get all our guys involved, and Willie did this Sunday. We just have to keep it going. Each and every game, we just have to keep stacking and building."
You guys had 265 rushing yards last week against the Steelers, and it kind of felt like last year a little bit. Did you feel that? What was different for you guys in the running game? (Aaron Kasinitz) "We just did what was assigned. We just executed the scheme, and we had success. Our guys ran the ball hard, our offensive line blocked their tail off, and the rest was what it was."
S Chuck Clark
Have you thought about how challenging this week could be given you have so many missing pieces on the defense both alongside you and in front of you? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, just the different things that could go into it. Just having bodies and guys ready, up [and] ready for practice. Of course, guys get tired, so just figuring out how we're going to move different parts around."
If you weren't able to practice – and if you could speak for those who aren't able to practice – how will that affect them when they're able to play Sunday, if it affects them at all? What do you think? (Mark Viviano) "I can't speak for anybody else but myself. But I would say for me, if I wasn't able to practice, I'd do everything I could as far as doing the learning part and the off-field stuff just to make sure that I'm able to get out there and be ready if I'm going to be up. All I can speak on is for myself. I can't speak for anybody else – how anybody else would feel if they weren't able to practice but has to play in the game."
What was your reaction when you got the news that CB Marlon Humphrey had tested positive for COVID-19? (Bo Smolka) "It was a couple different emotions, but first, hoping that he'd be alright. Everybody has a different reaction to this virus [COVID-19] and different outcomes, so just hoping that he would be alright, first. And then, thinking about the big picture of it and making sure that we'd be alright as a team, and hopefully, that we can stay safe."
Having eight guys not at practice, how challenging is it for a defense to get ready for a big game at the Colts on Sunday? (Jamison Hensley) "I don't think it's a challenge, honestly. From the outside looking in, it might seem as if it's a challenge, but here in this sport – any sport – it's the next man up type of thing. So, it's honestly opportunity for younger guys and other guys who are just not starters right now to be able to even get out there. So, the communication is all the same. We've been doing that, working on that in weeks prior, too, just in case something like this were to happen, because that's just what this 2020 season is. We know that any given week, you could be down a key player or key players."
With the tough loss at the Steelers, T Ronnie Stanley going down, CB Marlon Humphrey getting coronavirus and seven other players being identified as high-risk close contacts by the NFL, is this the most challenging stretch you've been on in your professional career? (Kirk McEwen) "The year is just different, but I won't say … I've been through worse things. Honestly, I feel like our organization is doing things around here so that things flow smoothly. And the only thing that you can tell is that we are missing a few guys in meetings right now. We've had rough patches around here before – worse than this. It's just, you look at the dynamic of the whole year and things are different – period. But no, we're tough here, we're overcomers, and we fight through adversity."
What have you seen from QB Philip Rivers, if you've watched some tape on him? And what's it going to be like for you to go against a guy that I'm sure you've seen many, many times watching him? (Jamison Hensley) "I just remember when we played against him two years ago, the vet-savvy and the field general that he was out there, and watching him and Eric Weddle going back and forth – seeing the safeties disguising, and then [Philip] Rivers trying to read the coverages and things like that. So, he's just a vet-savvy quarterback. He's done this for a long time, and he's still doing it."