Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, great seeing everybody. Good to see you guys. [We're] working hard here – have been since early Tuesday morning – and we're looking forward to getting the guys in the building here and starting on our meetings, and our practice, and getting ready for Washington. So, what questions do you have?"
Apparently, the league came out with another memo to everyone about wearing masks. On the sideline, you got heated after the TE Nick Boyle tripping call. Have you heard anything from the league on that? I didn't see it, but nationally, some people pointed that out. (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, my wife told me about that after the game. I haven't really seen it, but I did see the call; I did see the play. You guys probably saw the call, too. I know we really try our best. I'd compare what we do here, with the mask and all the protocols, with anybody – not just in the National Football League, but anywhere in the world. We work really hard at it in the meetings. We do it on the practice field, where I don't even think we have to do it on the practice field; it makes communication really tough. We're in our meetings with our masks on trying to talk through our mask in meetings. We do it on the sideline. We have been – for all three games – really good on the sideline. I don't think there's anybody better than us – me or our staff – from the beginning of the game to the end of the game. So, to think in a three hour, heated, competitive environment – especially when you're yelling – that your mask isn't going to fall down or whatever for five or 10 seconds, I think that would be … I think anybody couldn't be held to that standard. That would be a little hard for anybody to hold on to. I feel really good about the job I'm doing; I feel really good about the job our team is doing, and we'll continue to do our best."
I know one of the highlights on Monday night was WR Devin Duvernay's kick return. How pleased were you with the execution there? And I know Duvernay hasn't played a whole lot, but it seems like he's been productive when he's out there on offense. Do you think he's earning a bigger role on offense? (Luke Jones) "I do. I do. I think he is. I think also James Proche II is and all the guys. But that was an awesome play. It's funny, he and I had a conversation before the game, and for whatever reason, I saw it. I knew it, and I told him. I said, 'You're going to have a huge play in this game.' I said, 'You're going to score. It's going to be a big, massive play. I've already seen it. I know it's going to happen.' I didn't know if it was going to be a kick return or a catch, but I just knew it. I just felt compelled to tell him that. And he had a big smile on [his] face and said, 'I hope so,' or something like that. Right after the play, he came running off; he said, 'You called it coach! You called it! You said it was going to happen.' Man, that was one of the most rewarding moments. It was just a little piece of a game. Those are the things as coaches we live for. So, it was awesome for him, awesome for all the guys, and it was a good play for us."
You've had a chance to look at the game film. There's been a lot of talk about the team going away from the run after that first series. What did you see in terms of the offense after that? And did it seem like you guys went away from the run a little too early? QB Lamar Jackson commented after the game and compared it to the Tennessee game. (Jerry Coleman) "I don't think we got away from the run after the first series. We need to score a touchdown there, once we got in the red zone. We've looked at those plays really hard; [offensive coordinator] Greg [Roman] has especially hard. Nobody looks at the play-calling more than Greg Roman, who in my opinion, is one of the best play callers in the National Football League and has proven that. So, he looks at it really hard, and we try to study that and try to do the best we can with it going forward. We're a running team. We want to run the ball as much as we can. We also want to be productive in the passing game and complete passes and keep drives alive. And the more first downs you get, the more drives you extend, the more opportunities you have to both run and pass. So, you can look back and look at parts of any one of those play calls. It's easy to do. It's the same thing you always bring up every single week – every time that we don't win and many times when we do win – about whether we ran the ball too much, or we threw the ball too much, and what's wrong with the passing game, or what's wrong with the running game or whatever? So, that's something we do look at really hard. We do it play-by-play, call-by-call and try to apply it the next week, but every game is going to be a little bit different. From the standpoint of trying to run the ball – maybe it's your question – we're not going to get away from being a running team. That's something that we think is very important, and we'll try to do our best of calling as many runs as we can every single week."
There is a report saying that Washington DE Chase Young will not play on Sunday. Does that change your gameplan? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "We definitely have to account for Chase Young, and not just him; they have five first-round picks on their defensive front, two very experienced linebackers and three very experienced defensive backs. [They have] many first rounders on that defense. So, if Chase plays, that's a guy we have to be alert for. But Ryan Kerrigan has done a great job over the course of his career, too. Montez Sweat is a first-round pick. [They have] two first-round [defensive] tackles [Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen]. Those guys are just tremendous players. They play hard; they're very physical. That's one of the challenges when you go against Washington. They have a tremendous front, and [defensive coordinator] Jack Del Rio does a great job with their defense. Of course, [head coach] Ron Rivera is a defensive coach, so they know what they're doing."
Last year, you shored-up the middle after four games with ILB Josh Bynes and ILB L.J. Fort. I know they don't grow on trees, but are there any thoughts on bringing in a pass rusher? (Kirk McEwen) "I haven't been given a name or an option on that. I haven't heard anything about that at this point – no. I'm sure if something comes up along those lines, I'm sure [executive vice president & general manager] Eric [DeCosta] will let me know."
Keeping with that theme on defense; after a game like that, how much do you attribute it to QB Patrick Mahomes being Patrick Mahomes? And how much do you have to tweak after a game like that, when you have no sacks and no picks? (David Ginsburg) "If you don't give Patrick Mahomes credit, that would be foolish – wouldn't it? All of us saw the game. He played a tremendously great football game, and he played to his level. That's just all you can say about it. He played great. He bailed them out with some scrambles; he made some amazing throws under pressure; [his] timing was really good; he didn't make any mistakes. Those are the things that you come to expect from him. And I thought their offense did a great job as a whole – the whole group. And of course, Coach [Andy] Reid and [offensive coordinator] Coach [Eric] Bieniemy did a great job of scheming that thing up. So, they deserve the credit. We'll look at us and the things that we need to do to get better. Mistakes that we made, things that we could call differently or scheme differently; we'll look really hard at those things. You have an opportunity when you play a team that good, because they do show things that you can improve on; and we got a chance to see that firsthand, obviously, in a very painful way. So, we're going to have to go to work on those things."
When we talked to you right before the season, S DeShon Elliott was going to get thrown into the starting role. Through three games in that role, how would you assess his play? (Bo Smolka) "He's playing good. He's playing well; he's playing fast; he's flying around. He has made very few mistakes as far as the scheme part of it, and he's only going to get better. The more he settles down, the more he'll see, and he'll even play faster, but even more calmly, because experience is a great teacher. So, he's doing a good job."
The situation with the Tennessee Titans and their COVID-19 outbreak; how much does that just remind you and really all of us that this season is so fragile? (Shawn Stepner) "It really does. The whole COVID thing is so complicated and so layered. We're all citizens. We all think about it, because we live it every single day – all of us. We all have our thoughts and opinions on it. And it's a big challenge, because we could all stop living our lives, and we could all be out of work, and we could all not send anybody to school, and we could all grow our own gardens to make our own food. But you have to draw a balance there between living our life and then doing things that are going to keep us all as healthy as we can until they come up with a vaccine/cure. The NFL, and the players, and the coaches, and the fans, and the media, we've all made a commitment to try to go ahead and live our lives as much as we can by playing football, and having this as part of our lives. So, we're doing our best. But it does, to your point … A breakout can happen at any time. It can happen at any moment. So, be as vigilant as we can; do the best we can; respect one another as much as we can; respect that we're all trying as best we can. And then respond when something does happen, which I'm sure the NFL and the Titans will do. Just know the next team could be us, so let's do the best we can to hope it doesn't happen. If it does happen, we'll try to work through it as best we can. What else can you do? We're trying the best we can, and it's actually working out pretty well. We're doing pretty good."
I know you talked about it a couple weeks ago with Washington head coach Ron Rivera, but what is your relationship like with him, and how much have you been able to keep in contact with him since his diagnosis? (Andrew Gillis) "We haven't really talked too much – texted a couple times back and forth. He's busy. He has his treatments, and he's also coaching his team, and he has a great staff helping him. Yes, I've known [head coach] Ron [Rivera] since my brother played for the Bears. And they would never let me play golf with them; they always went to the best golf courses in Chicago, and I never got to go. I don't know why. I just never got invited. (laughing) But I've been around Ron a lot. We worked together in Philadelphia under [former Eagles defensive coordinator] Jim Johnson, and we both learned a lot of football from the great Jim Johnson. So, Ron's a great friend – great family friend. Our wives are great friends. We're better friends, but we don't probably talk enough and get together enough. Do you have friends like that? You probably do, right?" (Reporter: "Just a little bit.")
They threw up a stat on television about QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens being 0-5 in games when they trail by 10 points at any point. You've come close to overcoming that. One, what is it going to take to overcome that? And two, do you feel it's also significant to say Lamar Jackson has only been in that situation five times in 20-plus starts? (Jamison Hensley) "You're right in every way. What you say is right. I guess, the only thing I could say to that is we try to avoid that as much as we can – 'A.' Then, 'B.' – we have to figure out how to win those games. Look at Chiefs; we can learn from our opponents. The Chiefs, they have figured that one out. They have come back and won numerous games when they've been down by even a lot more than 10. I think they're 6-0 when down 10 since through last year. That's why they're the defending champions, and that's something that we're going to do our best to try to figure out."
How would you assess TE Mark Andrews' play after you were able to watch the tape? And considering his success, have you noticed how defenses maybe defend him differently this year? (Aaron Kasinitz) "They know who he is – that's for sure. We just didn't connect. A lot of those plays are plays that we'll make a lot of times. Sometimes that's the difference. You make a couple plays, and all of a sudden, things open up, and you're able to run the ball more. Those are the kinds of things that 'spark' you, and we just really didn't get the 'spark' in this game, and we all know it. We all look at better plays to call, or we look at better plays to scheme, or we look at better plays to execute. Those are all the things that we try to do better. And if people are going to give Mark [Andrews] more attention now, we're going to have to find other ways to make them pay for that, because if they overcommit in one place, we've got to attack them somewhere else. That's something that we're looking at very hard to make sure that we can do that."
Do you agree with the assessment that the Chiefs' gameplan was similar to what the Titans did defensively [in last year's playoffs]? And what is going to be the key to beat that? What is the key to playing better against that? (Jeff Zrebiec) "The result was similar; the scheme was not the same. It wasn't the same defense that they lined up. I thought they played very well. They had a good understanding and they were well coached by [defensive coordinator] Steve Spagnuolo. They were very disciplined in their assignments. They knew what they wanted to give up and what they didn't want to give up, and we weren't able to hurt them. We weren't able to ever get them on their heels and get them chasing us. I felt like we were trying to create a 'spark' that we never really did. And they did a great job of staying on top of us, and we never cracked them open and got them on their heels at all."
When you look at Dwayne Haskins Jr. – a young guy out of Ohio State with a lot of talent, but certainly a penchant for making some picks too – what's your evaluation thus far of him? (Pete Gilbert) "I can't really say, because I don't look at it that way. We don't really evaluate him, per se, from that standpoint. That's what their team will do. We just try to figure out how to attack the opposing players as best we can, and we're putting together that gameplan now. Whether it's Patrick Mahomes, or Dwayne Haskins Jr., or whoever, we just try to figure out the best way to defend that player, and that's what we're trying to do with him right now."
QB Lamar Jackson
As you go back and look at Monday night, what do you think was the biggest thing that kept the passing game from taking off as it had been, really, for the last season and a half? (Pete Gilbert) "We just weren't executing. We weren't finishing plays. We just weren't us Monday night. We've just got to do better, that's all. We're going to be good."
You've been very close on delivering those big comebacks – you've just come up a little short. What do you think it's going to take to get over that hurdle and win one of those games? (Jamison Hensley) "We just can't get in those situations – being behind. We've just got to try to score each and every drive like we should be. And if we're down, just try to execute the plays and try to move forward and put some points on the board and make the comeback."
You've looked at the film – you mentioned the other night something about looking like the Tennessee game [2019 Divisional round]. Did you mean in terms of the gameplan, or the outcome? Because it felt like you guys came out and ran the football, and then went away from it. (Jerry Coleman) "No, just the outcome. You hate losing. So, I was basically saying the outcome of the game – not really as much as the scheme."
How do you encourage your team? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "Just try to motivate them by just doing my assignment [and] doing what I'm supposed to do. Trying to be a better player. I talk to them and try to be more vocal – that's all."
You averaged 3.5 yards per pass against the Chiefs. Is that because they were forcing you to sort of check down, because the coverage in the secondary was good? Or was it because of the pressure they were putting on you with their defensive line? (Todd Karpovich) "Basically, that's the look they were giving me – just check-down looks. They were playing great coverage – playing it deep. I missed opportunities as well. I could've made some opportunities with a couple of plays – probably with like four passes. But other than that, it was a lot of check-downs that were available for me during the game."
Is the sense this week that – yes, it was a disappointing loss – but look, it's only Week Three and there's a lot of football left to play? (Garrett Downing) "Oh yes, for sure. We hate the outcome of the game. But like you said, it's a lot of football left this season. We can't dwell on it. We've got to move forward and focus on Washington now."
You look at Washington – really, their strength is their defensive line and how they get after the quarterback, but they're banged up. Can you just talk about what you're going to see on Sunday? (Shawn Stepner) "I don't know – sometimes teams change it up on us. But like you said, the defensive line is pretty good. Linebackers are pretty decent as well. We're just going to have to see when we get on the field."
You mentioned a week or so ago that you didn't want anybody to know about WR Devin Duvernay and his speed. Well, the secret is out. Do you see Devin getting more – has he earned more playing time do you think? Do you see yourself hooking up with him a lot more this year? (Kirk McEwen) "I feel so, but it's up to coach. We're going to see. And I do see myself and him hitting on a couple passes this season. Like you said, I tried to keep him a hidden secret, but that kick return was amazing. You guys saw that motor that he had."
You guys had previous preseason games against Washington, and you and QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. sort of shared some moments. Have you guys had any conversations since that preseason game? What was it about? Anything like that? (Darren Haynes) "No, not really. We 'DM' [direct messaged] each other on Instagram a few times, but that's it."
It looked like you just missed on a couple close ones to TE Mark Andrews on Monday night. How do you see defenses trying to defend him, considering how successful he's been in the past couple of years? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Doubling him – that's all. They're just doubling him – trying to knock us off our pivot. But it's all good. It's just Week Three. We're going to get better as the season goes on, and we're going to move forward from it. It's all good."
Do you pay attention to what people are saying online after Monday's loss? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "Yes, that's how it's going to be. When you win, they're going to praise you. When you lose, it's just what happens. It doesn't really matter though. We're going to keep playing ball."
This weekend coming up – coming to Washington – there's all these different series. There's been regards to baseball [and] the 'Beltway Series' with the Orioles and the Nationals. How would you describe this matchup with you and Washington? I know you guys have met in preseason games, but how would you describe the matchup and when it comes down to fans and being so close together in proximity in reference to Maryland, and the 'DMV' and Baltimore? (Darren Haynes) "To be honest with you, I really don't know. I really don't know."
What would be your mindset then coming off of a loss, coming to play Washington, who is trying to find their winning ways as well? (Darren Haynes) "We're focused on beating Washington."
RB Mark Ingram II
Do you think you guys got away from the run game too quickly on Monday against Kansas City? You were averaging almost 10 yards a carry, I think, in that first quarter. (Todd Karpovich) "Obviously, we want to control the game running the ball, but ebbs and flows of the game, sometimes it goes a different way. We trust each other. We trust our … [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] 'G-Ro' is great, trying to get the flow of the game and calling his plays according to how the game is flowing. So, obviously, we want to run the ball, keep ball control, keep the time of possession and keep them off the field. That's a huge point of emphasis when you're playing an explosive team that scores a lot of points. I think that's just how it is sometimes. We trust each other. We trust our coaches. We just have to execute better as players."
Is there a sense … Did you guys put so much emphasis on that game and did that prevent you from coming out and playing your best a little bit? I guess, were you guys tight? Did you feel that? (Pete Gilbert) "I don't feel like we were tight. Everybody, obviously, was excited to play [and] had high emotions. It just comes down to we didn't do everything we were supposed to do. We didn't make all of the plays that we were supposed to make, and they made the plays that they were supposed to make. They have a great team over there [and] a great quarterback. We know, as an offense, we have to score touchdowns; we had red zone field goals. We know we want to control the ball, keep their offense and their explosive players off the field, allow our defense to rest [and] allow our defense to get a few stops. There are just things we'll work on. We'll continue to improve and continue to get better, but they were the better team that day. We will continue to strive to improve and continue to strive to get better. We will learn from this film. We will get better from this film, and we'll be focusing all of our attention on the Washington Football Team, going there on Sunday."
Granted a great running game, but do you think the fact that you guys are so dependent upon the run hinders your ability to come back, mainly in the second half, when you guys are trailing by 10 points or so? (Dave Ginsburg) "No, I don't think so. Lamar [Jackson] is great at drop-back passing; he is accurate. I think they just played sound, disciplined defense. We have to execute better as an entire offense. It's not on Lamar. It's not on one person. It's not on the play-caller. It's on all of us. We have to execute our assignments better. We have to get open. We have to catch passes. We have to protect the quarterback. We have to protect the football. We have to possess the football. Those are all things that have to happen collectively in order to have a comeback. So, I know we run the ball effectively and that's one of our strengths, but I think even when you're down, you can run the ball effectively and that can help you open up your receivers running on the backend free, creating big plays and stuff. It's just a collective effort, man. We have to do it together. We have to do it one play at a time. You have to execute your assignment one play at a time and just win your battles. Win your one-on-ones. Win your matchups and make your plays. We'll continue to improve. We'll continue to get better. We have a great team here; great chemistry [and] great character guys, all in the players, all in the locker room, all in the coaching staff. So, we're excited to get back to work today for our next game on Sunday."
Kind of along those lines, does it feel strange when the Ravens are behind, because it just doesn't happen very often? Does it actually feel strange when, all of a sudden, you look up and you're in a different feel at that point? (Jamison Hensley) "It doesn't feel strange. We haven't been in that position much, but it doesn't feel strange, because we always believe in each other. We always have faith in each other. We know that we're going to get the offense rolling at some point. We know our defense is going to get stops at some point. So, we just stay with that belief. We stay pressing and we stay trying to get back into the game. We got it back to seven [points]; we were down seven [points] in the fourth [quarter], and unfortunately, we weren't able to get them off the field. So, we were on our way back, pushing our way back and we just stayed believing in each other. You can't do it all at once; it's one play at a time, one series at a time, one snap at a time [with] everybody being accountable [and] everybody doing their best. It doesn't feel weird when we're down. We just continue to believe that we'll be able to come back and get a win."
How do you motivate your teammates after a big loss? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "We all know … In our locker room, we have great, great high-character guys who are truly competitive, have a true burning desire to be the greatest, have a true burning desire to be champions and have a true burning desire of competitiveness. So, we don't hold our heads down. We hold our heads high, because we believe in one another and we know what we're capable of doing if we play Ravens football. So, we just continue to encourage one another. We continue to believe in one another. We confront the things that need to be improved on. We confront the things that we need to correct. Then we go out there and execute it. [We] try to correct our mistakes and grow from it and learn from it, and take our growth and the things we learned to the next game. You just continue to build on that each week and each day. We have the guys in this locker room to do it. We have the guys in this organization to do it. So, we believe in each other. We love each other, and we'll be striving for excellence."
DT Brandon Williams
You guys have had difficulty getting to the quarterback thus far this season. Obviously, QB Patrick Mahomes is very agile in the pocket. Do you see a chance for improvement in the weeks ahead in terms of getting after the quarterback? (David Ginsburg) "For this weekend, I feel as if, yes, [Patrick] Mahomes was moving pretty well. They schemed-up some good plays where he was able to sprint out and kind of make his own space in the pocket. When we were able to be around him and kind of cage him in, it was tough bringing him down. It's just getting back to basics – working on our tackling, working on our grabbing [and] working on just getting back to Ravens football. They had our number Monday, but we're still Ravens. We're still going to fight. We're still going to keep going. 'Don't peak too early.' We always say that, and it's still early in the season. It's a marathon, not a sprint. So, one game is not going to change who we are or change what we do. We're going to still keep coming after people. We're still going to keep playing our game. That's who we are; we're Ravens. We're going to just tighten up some things and get back to the basics."
You kind of touched on it there, but has the message kind of been to not overreact? Has that been important to say that to your teammates in the locker room with one game in September? (Morgan Adsit) "Definitely. I mean, look what happened last year. I feel like that's a big thing, because we had a good team come in here. Obviously, they're the defending champions. We're a great team coming in, too, but we played the defending champions and they played like the defending champions. We didn't play up to our best abilities. They definitely had a great scheme. They did some things that definitely countered what we do best. So, in the end of the game, the chips fell where they may. But like I said, we're 2-1 right now, and there's a lot more football to be had. We're a lot better team to become. So, the Ravens are going to still be here. We're still going to be flying high. We're still going to be doing what we do best – that's just one game."
It's been three games now with DE Calais Campbell and DE Derek Wolfe. How are you settling in with those guys and how are you liking being back in your normal, more preferred, position at nose tackle? (Kirk McEwen) "Those guys are great. Calais [Campbell] and [Derek] Wolfe, those additions to the defensive line, they've been amazing. They come and add another aspect to the game in the defensive line room. You get another voice in Calais Campbell. [Having] another guy [with] his stature, his play, his talent and his mentality; all the years of football he's seen, just bringing that to the room. Like I said before, he sees things sometimes that I don't see that we all just kind of help each other with. But they've all been great additions to the room, and we're going to continue to gel, and continue to get better and continue to get to the quarterback."
The Titans/Steelers game is postponed, probably just for a day or two, but four players testing positive there. How much does that reaffirm that everyone's got to do what they need to do to try and avoid this? It may happen anyway, but the reaffirmation that you have to follow the protocols as closely as you can. (Pete Gilbert) "Wash your hands. Sanitize as much as possible. Wear your mask. Do as much as you possibly can to protect you and the family and the people that you love. Sometimes if you catch it, you catch it. Sometimes, it just is what it is and it's inevitable. I pray for all those people who got COVID-19 and the teams that have those cases on their team, but it just is what it is. Continue being safe, continue wearing your PPE, continue staying clean; that's all you can do."
What do you think about Washington's offensive line? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "We just got into work today, so we haven't really looked at too much film yet. But from what I can understand, they have a good football team, like I said, any given Sunday. We're preparing to prepare just like we do any other week and preparing to have a good game on Sunday."
There's a report that the NFL is calling fewer penalties unless they are obvious, especially on offensive holding. Have you noticed that? And back to Kirk McEwen's question also, a two-parter, are you liking your new position at nose tackle more? (Ryan Mink) "On the calls, I don't know. But I know that our equipment staff keeps having to stitch my jersey up. So, that's all I'm going to say about that. But my position … I love my position. Any position they put me in, I'm going to do my best at it. I'm a nose guard and that's where they have me, that's where they trust me to be and that's where I'm going to play. Wherever I can be to help my team is what I'm going to do. I love being back where I am. I feel at home, nice and cozy where I am. So, I'm feeling good."