Transcripts: Wednesday Availability: Week 11 vs. Houston

WEDNESDAY AVAILABILITY: Week 11 vs. Houston

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: “Good to see everybody. I appreciate you being here. We’ve had a couple of transactions: We signed defensive tackles Justin Ellis [and] Domata Peko. Iman Marshall has been activated. Cyrus Jones, Ufomba Kamalu [were released]. Injured Reserve: Daylon Mack. Those are some tough pronunciations, (laughter) but very good players and guys we’re excited to have and add and make us a stronger football team. Looking forward to the game, we’re into the preparation now, obviously, full-steam ahead. We have a lot of respect for the Texans – AFC South leaders – and they’ve earned it. They’re playing great football, all three phases. All three phases are excellent, and we’ll have our hands full.”

Preparing for QB Deshaun Watson, does having QB Lamar Jackson and QB Robert Griffin III working against the defense help you in any way to prepare for him? (Jerry Coleman) “It probably does. Lamar [Jackson] won’t be doing any of that stuff, but both of our two backup quarterbacks are very well-suited to run the plays. It’s not going to be live, and Deshaun Watson is a whole different kind of a guy. He’s playing at the highest level. He’s at the top of the heap, right there with all the top guys right now, doing it his way and making a lot of plays. So, we’ll just do the best we can and practice our stuff our way and put it out there Sunday and see how we do.”

Is this sort of the golden age of quarterbacks who can throw, as well as run. You have Russell Wilson, Pat Mahomes … Do they have to be able to throw? (Sam Farmer)“Yes, if you play quarterback, you definitely have to be able to throw. That’s really important. (laughter) Quarterback is a complex position. It kind of goes in the category of, ‘The more you can do, the better you’re going to be.’ Those guys, all the guys you mentioned, are just very uniquely talented in a whole lot of ways. We’ve said many times, we feel like the toughest position to play in any sport is probably quarterback. You have to process so much information – intellectually, mentally, change of course – and then do it physically and operate at a really high level. I don’t know how they do it, to be honest with you, but those guys are doing it at the highest level. So, we appreciate our guy, and we have a tough time defending those other guys.”

What’s going through your head at the end of the game when you’re talking to QB Lamar Jackson on the sideline? You’re just trying to pay him compliments and he’s like, “That’s great, but let’s get a Super Bowl.” The other stuff doesn’t seem to be as meaningful to him as that pursuit. What does it mean to you to hear that? (Pete Gilbert)“It’s who he is. It means a lot. He’s focused, but it’s meaningful to him. I wouldn’t agree with that exactly. Lamar [Jackson] thinks like all of us. He thinks about a lot of things. He’s very aware and cognizant of what’s going on around him. He sees the big picture, but he also sees the small picture, too. And what he’s focused on is what he said, which I appreciated, obviously, in that moment.”

Has anything about QB Lamar Jackson’s growth this year surprised you, or did you envision him progressing to the point that he has? (Jason Reid)“Nobody knows what’s going to happen moving forward, but I wouldn’t at all say it surprises me or us. I feel like we had that vision for him. We’re just trying to win games. We’re just trying to win games. So, [we try] any way we can with the players that we have. We really do like our players. We think we have a lot of talented guys. We love the way they fit. What we’re trying to do, we like the way we’re fitting what we’re trying to do for our players. That’s really the issue. That’s what we’re trying to do. Every week is a different week, a new challenge. And really, that’s what it is for us. All the big-picture stuff, I appreciate you guys being here and asking the big grand questions, but we’re not into big grand answers right now. We’re just trying to beat the Texans with the guys we have, and that’s what our players are focused on. Anything else is just a distraction. We don’t need to be thinking about that stuff. That’s kind of what he’s alluding to during the game, and like I said, I appreciate that.”

DE Jadeveon Clowney and DE J.J. Watt have been the face of the Texans’ defense for so long. They’re both out. What do you see on the defense without them? (Kirk McEwen) “They still have a bunch of good players at all three levels. [They have] a very stout defensive line led by [D.J.] Reader, who is like our guys. He’s hard to move. And they’re built their way. They’re kind of an odd front, a lot like us, Pittsburgh, New England. That’s kind of how they’re built. [They have] two really good edge-setting outside linebackers, two downhill, physical, inside linebackers who are also athletic, and a high-pedigree secondary. They have three first-round picks. One of them is a 14-year vet who is playing like he’s a four-year guy. And [they have] an excellent safety, obviously, [Tashaun] Gipson over there, who was a high-price free agent. And we played against him in Cleveland. So, we know these guys. They’re talented and good on defense. It’s one of the top defenses in the league.”

Do you think this offense is unstoppable? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre)“Our offense is unstoppable?” (Reporter: “Yes.”) “No. I don’t think that. (laughter) I’m just hoping that other people do think that. I don’t know. I don’t even know how to answer that.”

You’re throwing a lot to the tight ends. Would you like to get your receivers more involved in the downfield passing attack, or are you comfortable with what you’re running because it’s successful? (Mike Preston) “Looking back, we’re comfortable. Looking forward, we want to do whatever we can do to win the game. It’s whatever it takes. We’re going to need those guys to make plays. I sure appreciated Marquise’s [Brown] plays in the game. Willie [Snead IV] had a big third-down conversion. So, in terms of the numbers, heck yes. We want those guys to make as many catches as they can. And I do believe that in the course of playing, that defenses take away what they’re going to take away. Lamar [Jackson] reads it out. The schemes are set up the way they are that those plays are going to happen when they kind of present themselves.”

What has impressed you about CB Marcus Peters so far? (Sam Farmer)“Coming in so quickly [and adapting], probably, more than anything. He’s a guy that, he came in, he played. He got a pick-six. The two interceptions for touchdowns are probably at the top of my list, but the rest of it, more than that, is he’s really accommodated himself to playing the style of defense that we want to play in the back end. The way we play our techniques and our coverages, the way we relate to routes in both man and zone coverages, he’s really smart. He picks it up just like that. He understands the value of working hard at the fundamentals and technique and working together back there, and he’s just been seamless. That’s probably the part I appreciate the most.”

The two defensive line additions, is that more about uncertainty involved with DT Michael Pierce, or is it more about wanting to have quality depth there anyway? (Childs Walker)“It’s about everything. It’s about being the best football team we can be. Those are two really good players that help us at that position. They’re very stout, physical guys, and we appreciate guys like that.”

Often with the schedule you’re playing this year, in the fourth quarter, you can do some things … How positive was it to get QB Robert Griffin III in? I don’t know if you’ll have more opportunities like that, but is it important to get him some reps, occasionally, at quarterback? (Peter Schmuck) “It has to be. I have to think it’s a valuable thing for us and for him, because playing is different than practicing. And he’s practicing at a really high level doing a great job. He looks good in practice. I tell you, if you saw him throw in practice, you’d be impressed. But to get in the game, it’s different. And he hasn’t played in a lot of games, in regular season games. He even missed the preseason this year because of the thumb injury. So, yes, it’s really important and a real plus.”

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but the defense seems to have gotten better since S Chuck Clark went into the starting lineup. What are you seeing from him since he’s been a starter? (Ken Weinman) “Chuck [Clark] has played at a high level. We knew that. It wasn’t surprising to us. We felt like Chuck was a starter. We tell our guys that. Most all of our guys are starters, in our eyes. We expect no drop-off when guys come in. You want to have as deep of a team as you can, and we kind of expected it, to be honest with you. He hasn’t disappointed us. He’s playing great.”

Do you know if you guys will be represented at QB Colin Kaepernick’s workout on Saturday? (Jeff Zrebiec)“I don’t. I do not know.”

Is it tough to adjust when a team comes in and wants to stop QB Lamar Jackson from running, and do you notice it off the bat and then immediately adjust? Or is it a difficult thing to do to adhere to whatever the other team is doing?_ (Dave Ginsburg)_“Our offensive coaches do a great job of anticipating what, possibly, we’re going to get and building the gameplan accordingly. We talk a lot about that. It’s an ongoing process. I don’t think you go in and all of a sudden, on the first play [say], ‘Oh, they’re taking away this or that, and now we’re going to attack here.’ Every play is different – situationally, down and distance – and then people roll it. People move. As long as you’re successful at something, they’ll tend to stay in that realm. When you hit them a little bit, they tend to adjust. So, it’s kind of an ongoing deal throughout the game.”

I know you like to keep things in-house, but the bigger picture, noticing all the people that are here today and the attention the team is starting to receive, is that something that has even been discussed in a team meeting or something that you’ve taken note of since the start of the season? (Jerry Coleman)“Yes, and we appreciate it. We appreciate all the people that didn’t appreciate us before, acting like they appreciate us now. (laughter) So, we understand how it goes.” (Reporter: “Like the bandwagons …”)“I’m not biting. (laughter) I’m not taking the bait. I just took enough of the bait there already. (laughter) But that’s how we look at it. I don’t worry about our guys. Sure, we talk about it. We talk about everything. But we have seven more games to play. We have our toughest challenge yet coming up Sunday. It’s a week-to-week league. You have to play your best game the next game, or you’re not going to have the outcome that you want. So, our guys really do get that. I really appreciate our guys. I don’t worry about any of that stuff with our guys. I do remind them, but more than me reminding them, they’re reminding me. They remind each other. And they do it, really, by how hard they work and how hard they study. So, we keep it simple. We keep it about football. You probably aren’t going to get too many answers to the big visionary questions.”

Along those lines, you can’t turn on any sports television without seeing QB Lamar Jackson or somebody talking about Lamar. Is there any concern – Lamar is a young guy getting all of this attention – any concern about if that might affect him at all? (Jamison Hensley) “He’s the quarterback. Lamar [Jackson] is the quarterback of our team. And that’s what the National Football League … That’s what sports is, especially football. It starts with the quarterback. We know that. He knows that. We’ve talked about that. That’s what he signed up for. And I believe he’s prepared for it. We help in any way we can along the way. The team helps. The team knows that. The team has Lamar’s back. They’ve told him that. ‘We have your back.’ So, just as quickly as they start patting you on the back, they’re going to slice your Achilles, just like that. We all understand how that works. That’s just the nature of it. So, we just have to have each other’s back.”

Your tight ends are on pace, at the moment, for about 1,700 yards. During the course of your tenure, you’ve averaged about 850 or 900 yards. Is that by design, or are you just taking what you think is going to work week to week, and that’s how it’s turned out? (Peter Schmuck) “Probably both. When you have the tight ends that we have, they’re going to get open. And then the more they get open, the more you have for them. And the way the game is set up, the way our offense is set, we have a lot of multiple-tight end formations. So, we have, probably, more tight ends on the field than anybody. Two tight ends, three tight ends, four tight ends are on the field at times, if you count Pat [Ricard] as a tight end. So, it just makes sense mathematically that they would have a lot of yards.”

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien had some high praise for offensive coordinator Greg Roman this week, in terms of what he’s able to do with your personnel and the players in-house. How would you describe that so far this season? (Bobby Trosset) “I would agree with Coach [Bill] O’Brien. Greg Roman is doing a great job, just a phenomenal job. He’s always been a great coach. All of his experiences up until this point have probably been great to put him in this position where he’s at right now, and he’s doing a heck of a job. He’s a phenomenal football coach.” (Reporter: “How long does that playbook actually run?”) “If there actually were pages … Our guys will laugh about it, but there are no plays that we don’t have in our playbook. If a play comes up, it’s like, ‘Oh, we have that. We have that. That’s in the playbook.’ So, we have fun with that. There’s no play that’s not in our playbook.”

After every game, it seems like G Marshal Yanda has such a passion and enthusiasm for what you guys are doing on offense. To have someone in their 13*th* year be the veteran offensive lineman, how much of an asset is that with the offensive line and the youth that you have there? (Jonas Shaffer) **“It’s huge. Marshal [Yanda], to my mind, is a Hall of Fame player. As an offensive lineman, I would think, if you look at it – this is my impression of it – if you’re going to make the Hall of Fame as an offensive lineman, you probably have to play your Hall of Fame playing level at the end, when people are watching. Because for most of your career, most people – including the media, believe it or not – don’t pay attention to those guys up front. They pay attention to all the other stuff. And the linemen, when they start getting talked about as Hall of Fame players, then all of a sudden, people start watching them. To me, I believe Marshal is doing that at the highest level. He’s playing some of his best football, if not his best football, right now.”

Your offense has had a steady group of contributors, while the defense has really gone through some change with two new linebackers, a new corner, a new starting safety. You’ve added two more defensive ends. How would you describe the process of changing on the fly as much as you have? (Mark Viviano) “Hard work. We have the right kind of guys. We’ve done a good job of bringing in guys that fit what we’re trying to do. That takes a lot of communication and understanding the vision for what we’re trying to do and what the roles are. And then, you have to get a little bit lucky – blessed, we’ll put it that way – that those particular players become available. And when they do, you have to move. You have to move, and you have to get them. Our scouting department, headed up by Eric [DeCosta] and of course, all the other guys in there, have done that. So, that’s been good. But then our coaches have to do a great job. I know our system is built to be able to handle that, so that’s paid off for us. We have to keep doing it, though. It’s another week, and another team is going to find a way to attack us next week.”

How do you feel about the latest power rankings?_ (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) “I don’t care about them. _(laughter) To your point, it’s all fun. And that’s cool. It’s fun. And that’s probably the essence of your question. What’s the value of it? It’s interesting. I would be dishonest if I told you I didn’t see them. (laughter) That would be lying. I noticed when we were ranked 23rd. So, whatever we’re ranked now, it doesn’t make us mad. (laughter) That’s how I feel about them. I’m not as mad.”

Through social media, there will be news this afternoon. It’s a big day in the Harbaugh family. (Kevin Byrne, Ravens Executive Vice President of Public and Community Relations)“OK, you want me to announce that? Alright, yes, it’s U.S. National Letter of Intent Day. You guys didn’t know that? You’re sports writers! You have to know these things! (laughter) Alison Harbaugh is signing her national letter of intent with Notre Dame, the University of Notre Dame, today, to play lacrosse for Coach [Christine] Halfpenny and that great staff over there in the Atlantic Coast Conference. We’re really excited about that and really proud of Alison. She’s worked really hard, and she’s a really good player, and I can’t wait to make the trips to South Bend to watch them play.”

CB Marcus Peters

On what sticks out the most when preparing for QB Deshaun Watson:“Everything. He’s dope. He’s an excellent quarterback. You have to give him respect.”

On how much of a different challenge it is to prepare for a quarterback like QB Deshaun Watson compared to a rookie quarterback like QB Ryan Finley:“It’s the same preparation. You treat everybody the same.”

On what the key is to blocking out noise when a team is having success and attracting more attention: “It’s not about you all. It’s about us. It’s about this team. It’s about what we’re going to do together. It’s about how we’re going to move forward together. It’s about us.”

On Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore being named at the top of the cornerbacks in the league while he has more interceptions than Gilmore: “It doesn’t do anything to me. Stephon Gilmore has been killing the league over these past couple of years, so you just respect it. You respect the game. You respect everybody who’s playing this game.”

On what makes WR DeAndre Hopkins such a special receiver: “He doesn’t drop passes, and he’s a competitor. He has an excellent catch radius, and he loves football. When somebody loves football, that’s all you need.”

On if he loves the preparation and study that goes into the competition of football: “That’s football. That’s what everybody has to understand. Football is more than just us going out there running around on the field.”

S Earl Thomas III

On if he seems any similarities between QB Lamar Jackson and QB Deshaun Watson and if practicing against Jackson helps prepare the defense for facing Watson: “I see similarities. They both use the option-type college football game, especially in [shot]gun. This team is going to be a great challenge for us. Deshaun [Watson] is a great quarterback. We just have to understand the personnel that they're trying to throw at us, and I think we'll be fine.”

On what CB Marcus Peters has given this team:“He's given us the ability to get the ball and score touchdowns with it. He's a playmaker, and he's proven it since he's been here. He's making big plays for us, momentum-type, game-changing plays, and that's what we need.”

On being excited to be a part of a team that's 7-2 and having success: “Yes, it makes coming to work very fun, especially when we're winning. Let's just keep doing what we're doing.”

On if he welcomes the national attention that's building: “It comes along with winning. So, [if] we keep winning, you guys keep showing up. So, let's just keep doing what we're doing, keep preparing how we've been preparing. It's been paying off for us.”

On if CB Marcus Peters was on his radar while Peters was playing at the University of Washington in Seattle: “No, I didn't really watch him. I just knew that he was cousins with Marshawn [Lynch]. That's what I heard about him in the locker room, and that was pretty much it. Once he got to the league and he started making all those turnovers in K.C. [Kansas City], everybody started noticing who Marcus Peters was.”

On coaches commenting that this defense is easy to teach and on how so many players have been able to come in and learn the defense quickly this season: “Coaching. [The coaches] understanding the players, breaking it down, being able to teach.” 

On there being 15 quarterbacks starting this week that are less than 25-years old and what he makes of that trend in the league: “I'd rather play against a quarterback that's going to stand there. These quarterbacks coming now, they're able to run. They're able to throw it deep. They have the schemes. They have all the misdirection stuff. So, I'm not enjoying these young quarterbacks that are coming into the league and doing all this spectacular stuff that they're doing. But, it's just the way the league is going now.”

On if he sees the league trending more towards having quarterbacks that can make plays with their legs:“Yes, we're seeing more dual-threat quarterbacks in this league, and it's working for offenses. It's giving defenses a lot of trouble.” 

On if playing against QB Kyler Murray early in the year helps in preparation for QB Deshaun Watson: “I think just going against Lamar [Jackson] every day – that helps, and just how ‘G-Ro’ [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] and Lamar, how they operate in this offense. I think that's going to help us.”

TE Mark Andrews

On what head coach John Harbaugh says to the team about the success the Ravens are having and all the outside attention:“There's a culture around here, and it's always been: ‘Never get too high. Never get too low.’ [We're] always working on getting better each and every week. And he [John Harbaugh] has preached that to us since training camp. So, it's ingrained into everybody's head here. [If you] just keep getting better, learn from your mistakes and just try to get better throughout the season, good things will happen.”

On how he thinks QB Lamar Jackson handles the success and the attention: “Great. Obviously, Lamar [Jackson] is our leader. We follow him, and he's done a great job of staying humble with all this spotlight and buzz and people kind of catching on to the type of the player that he can be. He's done a great job of staying true to himself and playing for his teammates.”

On if he enjoys the excitement that is building around this team: “Yes, it's fun. I think anytime you have this type of buzz, it's a good thing. It's never fun when you're on a losing team, and no one wants to talk to you or hear anything about you. So, it's definitely a good thing for us, but again, it's all about staying humble, knowing that winning these couple of games isn't our goal. We have bigger things ahead and bigger things in mind.” 

On what led to his success vs. Cincinnati on Sunday:“Just everyone doing their job, me included. Lamar throwing great balls, Coach ‘G-Ro’ [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] calling great plays and the linemen blocking. There's a lot of pieces that go into just one specific person doing well, and that's why when you see Lamar [Jackson] do great, it's a team effort. And so, it's been fun. This team is rolling right now, especially on offense.”

On what it means to be a part of this tight end group and if he's surprised at the level of involvement the group has in the offense: “We kind of knew the deal with ‘G-Ro’ [offensive coordinator Greg Roman]. He loves his tight ends. And having Nick [Boyle], Hayden [Hurst] and myself – we're all so versatile, and we're able to do so much. And they use us in a really good way that kind of exploits mismatches, and it's really hard for teams to game-plan for three different tight ends. That's a big thing, and we've all done a great job. We're going to continue to get better, but it's fun to be able to play with those guys.”

On the offense scoring touchdowns on 6-of-9 opening drives this season and if that stems from scripted plays and this unpredictable offense: “Yes, I think there are a couple things that go into that – obviously, ‘G-Ro’ [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] knowing in his head what he wants to start out with and what he thinks are going to be efficient plays. The start of the game – it's so important to get a good start, and then it's just the guys going out and executing. And again, that starts with Lamar [Jackson], and he's done a great job getting a good start.”

On if he sees defenders react in different ways to QB Lamar Jackson than they would to other quarterbacks: “Yes, a lot of these defenses have tried to do different things to either contain him [Lamar Jackson] or flush him out, but he's done a good job of taking what the defense gives him. Again, I say it all the time, it's a pick-your-poison type of offense, and he does an incredible job of making these decisions. These things aren't easy to do. They look kind of easy on film, but these are split-second decisions that most people aren't able to do.” 

On how competitive the trio of tight ends is: “We're super competitive, yes. I would say that. It's definitely a healthy competition through all of us. I know for us, it's always who's running the fastest in practice and stuff like that, just stuff that will get us going. But we all root for each other, and we all want each other to do well. So, if someone scores, if someone makes a big catch, we couldn't be happier.”

On if the tight ends have any fun competitions off the field: “I'd have to think about that. I don't know.” 

On if he's paying attention to the Pro Bowl voting: “No. No, for me, it's just all about this team, trying to get better. I just want to get better and get to our goals and achieve our goals for this season. This team could be special, so if every guy on this team is focused on what we have ahead, we're going to be alright.”

On the significance of this upcoming game against the AFC-South-leading Texans and what it could mean for future playoff seeding: “It's a huge game. Obviously, there are playoff implications to this game. Both teams have done a great job this year, so I'm excited about it. I know our team is going to be up for the challenge, and they are going to be as well. It's going to be a great game, and again, there are playoff implications to this one. So, we're going to be all hands on deck.”

On how he has seen QB Lamar Jackson's accuracy improve from last year to this year: “It's been incredible. Right when he got in, it was evident that he could throw the ball, and this whole running back thing – it wasn't necessarily true. But he's done an incredible job of just continually getting better each and every week and especially with his arm. The reads that he's making and the types of balls that he throws make our lives as tight ends or receivers and running backs so much easier. And you really can't account for that. Some of the balls he's throwing have just been lights out, and he really doesn't get that credit.”

QB Lamar Jackson

On where the sunglasses that he and some teammates were wearing on the sideline during the game in Cincinnati came from:“Oh, actually, one of our trainers, Ron [Medlin], he had the glasses on. I was like, ‘Let me hold them real quick.’ I just put them on, and we just went to just chillin'.” (laughter)

On if he feels any sense of pride when he sees all the African American quarterbacks who are playing at a high level this year:“Yes,that's incredible. We just have to keep it going. We have others coming in, next generation, and years on, years coming. We just have to keep it going – keep doing great on the field, off the field, and help our other brothers out.”

On if he has a relationship with QB Deshaun Watson: “Yes, ‘Brodie’ [is] pretty cool. He's a great guy, down-to-earth guy, tremendous football player. We all have seen it week-in, week-out, and I can't wait to see him again.”

On what he remembers from playing against QB Deshaun Watson in college in 2016: “He was just dicing us down the field. Our defense did great, don't get me wrong. Our defense played a great game, but he was just doing Deshaun Watson things – scoring touchdowns, making incredible throws. They [Clemson] came out with the victory.”

On if he sees some of himself in QB Deshaun Watson: “No, I play Lamar Jackson ball. I don't play anybody-else ball.”

On if he has seen the video of his conversation with head coach John Harbaugh on the sideline during the Cincinnati game and on his reaction to the video: “I had no other choice but to watch it. I've been getting tagged in it all week. But he [John Harbaugh] always comes up to me, talks to me about stuff like that – even in practice, not just on the field, so it's pretty cool. But you guys caught it, so it is what it is.”

On if he has surprised himself at all with where he's at this year as compared to last year: “No. That's where hard work comes in at. That's what dedication is. But my job is to move on. Last year is last year; I'm focused on now, and I'm trying to build.”

On his laser focus and if that comes just during games or at all times: “Yes, that's all the time. Even in practice, I'm trying to be the best I can be. I told Coach ‘Urb’ [quarterbacks coach James Urban] last year when I came in, ‘I'm trying to be a great practice player.’ Because I always sucked in practice since youth football, but when I get in the game, it's a whole other level. And I wanted to be a practice player first, because it translates over during the game, and that's pretty much where it comes from. Laser focus starts in practice. In the game, I'm locked in.” 

On if he notices the excitement in the Baltimore building around this team: “Yes, a lot of people are ‘DMing’ [direct messaging] me. A lot of fans ‘DM’ [direct message] me. They let me know how much excitement there is, but it's just a team game. It's not me doing this. It's all of us; all of us are doing it. I know when they see Mark Ingram out, there's going to the same excitement [as] if they see me out. So, it's all of us.”

On if he watched the Monday Night Football game between Seattle and San Francisco:“A little bit. I watched like the fourth quarter. (Reporter: “Any impressions on QB Russell Wilson and what he did in that game?”) “Man, he's a great quarterback. He's been 'Dangerous Russ' since I was in youth football. That's just him. He was pretty dope – always is.”

On what quarterbacks coach James Urban has done specifically to help him grow: “Coach [James Urban] is just always in my ear. He wants me to be a better player. He sees it in me, and he's just doing a great job of doing his job – coaching quarterbacks. He's always on me about my footwork, getting on the net, because early in the year, sometimes I got my footwork back into the same as last year. He'll tell me, ‘We have to get back to the same fundamentals,’ and stuff like that. He's just always on me – what a coach is supposed to do.”

On how his relationship with G Marshal Yanda has grown and on if he leans on him as a veteran on the offense:“It's just growing each and every day. It starts with the line. I need my linemen to love me. Those guys protect me. I'd rather them not hate me, you know? (laughter) [Or else] you'd run around and get sacked all the time and stuff like that. (laughter) But it starts with him, I feel. He's the ‘O.G.,’ the ‘G.O.A.T.,’ a future Hall of Famer. But I need to send him off right – get a Super Bowl. I'd be set, and I feel like our relationship will grow from there. But for right now, we're just going to keep it cruising.”

On if G Marshal Yanda gives him advice and things like that: “No, we just play ball.” 

On if he prides himself on hearing something once from his coaches and then making the change or adjustment right away: “Yes, I don't like to be told twice. I feel like I'm not doing my job at that point. Once a coach tells me he sees this or if he feels like I should have done this better, my job is to make it right.”

On winning another AFC Offensive Player of the Week Award and what that says about this offense and on how much better this offense can get: “Man, we're just explosive. We're moving around fast. We're moving the ball downfield. I think we were probably 100 percent in the red zone this time [at Cincinnati]. That was a huge goal we accomplished. We just have to keep doing it. It's not the Super Bowl. We're not ... We're happy because we're winning, but we need to get to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. So right now, we're just taking it one game at a time.”

On if there is one thing that he feels he needs to get a lot better at: “Everything. Not one thing on my mind; it's just everything. I want to keep completing passes accurately, putting the ball in each one of my receivers' hands, tight ends, running backs [and] just being a field general, doing my job.”

On how much he thinks about that one yard he didn't get at the end of the last drive in the 2016 Louisville-Clemson game:“Man, it is what it is. It happened. We have to move on from that. I can't dwell on it. It is what it is.” (laughter)

On taking pride in being a part of this next wave of dual-threat quarterbacks alongside QB Patrick Mahomes, QB Deshaun Watson, etc.: “It's pretty cool. I know it's hard on defenses, because when you feel you have the offense figured out and you guys are covering everyone, the quarterback gets out, gets the first down, keeps the drive going. So, the defensive guys are on the field even longer. We're just doing our thing. We're just playing ball, having fun, doing what all of us have done since we were kids, doing something we love. That's all.”

On if he has watched his 47-yard touchdown run from the Cincinnati game or if he's moved on to the next game: “I watched it. I watched it a lot. It's popping up everywhere, so I have to watch it. And it catches my eye sometimes, but I'm focused on this next game. I don't really care about it.”

On having a head coach who is so aggressive on fourth down and on what kind of message that sends to the offense: “It's just confidence. Our coach [John Harbaugh] believes in us. He sees our work in practice. We are locked in at practice trying to get better each and every day, so he's that. And he believes that we can do it, and we just have to honor it and do our job – get the first down.”

On his reaction to RB Mark Ingram II chanting “MVP, MVP!” and the fans joining in: “Oh man, I was laughing. Mark [Ingram II] is full of energy, and that's not just during the game or when you guys are watching it, it's each and every day. I'm outside, I go to his house, and he's just energized, so that's just him. And it's great to have a guy like that in your locker room. He brings everyone closer.”

On what his mom said about the spin move on his 47-yard touchdown run in Cincinnati: “She didn't say anything. She just said I'm finally playing how I used to play. She's finally seeing that, and I just have to keep doing [it]. That's all.” (Reporter: “What does she mean by, ‘How you used to play’?”)“Sometimes during games, she'll see me where, like, I'm just trying to pass it more, not just doing what I do. If I see it there, [I] take advantage of it. And that's what I've been doing – just taking advantage of what the defense gives.”

On what his friendship with WR Marquise Browns means to him: “It's great. QB and wide receiver – you're going to want that in a relationship like we have. We're very close. We're almost always going places with each other outside of football, to the mall and stuff like that. It's pretty cool.”

On if he'd like to get his wide receivers more involved in the offense: “Absolutely. That's what they're here for. They're here to catch passes from me, score touchdowns, feed their families; and that's my job. And I tell them that if I don't do it, I'm going to be ticked off. I'd rather not rush [for] a touchdown. I'd rather pass it, but we're trying to win at the end of the day.”

On how offensive coordinator Greg Roman has kept defenses on their toes this season: “I don't know. He's just doing what coaches are supposed to do, [what] offensive coordinators are supposed to do, doing his job. [He] asks me what I see out there on the field, and I tell him. We execute, and we go from there.”

On how much different it is now when he goes out, in terms of the reaction he gets from the people: “It's the same. It's the same. You can ask Orlando [Brown Jr.]. Ask 'Zeus’ [Brown Jr.]. We went out last year, and it was wild. Baltimore, the city just loves the players, and we appreciate it. We love them back, so it's all good.”

On his mom's comments about him not running the ball as much and if he's trying to prove he can pass: “No, just sitting back, really. I was just sitting back, just letting stuff develop, but I just have to do my job.”

On if his mom is now seeing him attacking more: “Yes, exactly.”

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