Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good to see everybody; I appreciate you guys coming. A couple moves: Obviously, we traded for Marcus Peters yesterday. We are very excited about that. We're looking forward to getting him in there. We've known him for quite a long time, ever since the draft when he was coming out of Washington [in 2015]. We spent a lot of time with him in that process, and every chance we've had to cross paths since, it's been very positive. We always appreciate the way he plays. He's a good fit for our defense, the way we play, the type of techniques we play back there, and we're just looking forward to getting him to work and getting him up to speed as quickly as possible and rolling. He's in football shape, obviously, and he's excited. I was talking to him last night, and he'll be here shortly. A couple moves of that: Kenny Young gets traded as part of the deal. That was something that had to be a part of the package for it to work, as it turned out, so that was done. I had a good talk with Kenny. He was a little stunned, probably, but he's excited about his opportunity there, going forward. They wanted him, and he's a guy that can add a lot to their defense and to their special teams. Then we made a couple of other moves: We brought Bennett Jackson back as a safety in the wake of the DeShon Elliott injury. Bennett knows our defense. He's also excited to be here, and he'll be playing on Sunday, I'm sure, quite a bit. And then a couple of practice squad moves [were made] that you guys are aware of."
With CB Marcus Peters coming in, I'm not sure how much practice or if he is able to practice today, what are the expectations for his workload on Sunday? (Jamison Hensley)"He's going to practice on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and play on Sunday as much as he can."
Have you had a chance to speak with CB Marcus Peters at all, yet, and talk about things? (Jerry Coleman) "As I just said, I spoke with him last night on the phone, and he's ready to go."
You said ILB Kenny Young was stunned. The conversation, obviously, was stunning to him. What led to the decision? (Jerry Coleman)"That was part of the deal. That's what the Rams wanted, and it was important for them to add a player, and that was the player that they asked for. So, we wanted to get the deal done."
What does it mean to you to have a general manager who is, not new, but new to making the calls, to go ahead and say, "We need to get some stuff done," to be that proactive and say, "We're going to get him." (Pete Gilbert)"That was a great move. Eric [DeCosta] worked really hard in the last many weeks to have a result like that. There were all kinds of different possibilities, I'm sure, that he was talking to teams about. He works hard at it – not just Eric, but everybody in the organization that is involved on that side of it, the scouting side of it. So, it's a big move, and I like the aggressive approach. We're excited about it."
What do you like about CB Marcus Peters the most, just as a fit for the defense? (Jamison Hensley)"I don't have all the rankings, really, for all of that right now. We're trying to get ready for the Seahawks. You guys watched him. You know how he plays. To me, he's one of the top corners in the league. He plays the way we play. When I say that, you know the coverages we play. You watch us every day. So, he fits in really well that way and gives us another weapon back there so we can do the things we want to do, defensively. That's what I'm excited about. We don't want to be hamstrung. We want to be able to play the way we want to play. He's going to help us do that."
In the course of weekly game preparation, how involved are you in that discussion with executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta? Is it just something that comes up occasionally, or he comes to you and says, "This is what we're looking to do."? (Bo Smolka) "He keeps me posted on all of that. I'm not involved in any of the calls or anything like that, obviously, but he's great about communicating every day, all the different things that he's working on. He probably doesn't give me all the things, thankfully, but he kept me posted on this and some other things that have been going on. It's appreciated."
As you figure out how to blend the cornerbacks, do you see all of those guys as guys who can play either outside or inside? (Childs Walker) "Do I see [that] all of the guys can either play outside or inside? No, I don't see [that] all the guys can do that, but most of those guys can."
Is it safe to say after two or three years now, if players aren't panning out, they're on notice? It looks like you're making moves more quickly. (Kirk McEwen)"I haven't thought about it like that."
Is CB Jimmy Smith still on track, as far as coming back from the knee injury? (Luke Jones) "Yes, Jimmy [Smith] will actually go through individual [drills] today in practice, so we'll see how that goes."
With that shuffle in the backfield that you have going this week – obviously, after the bye week, it'll be easier – but are there communication concerns, or is that something that these guys will work overtime to make sure they have solidified? (Dave Ginsburg) "We'll definitely work overtime on that. Communication is going to be really critical, especially there. It won't be quite as loud, because their offense will be on the field, maybe as it would be here. But it's a loud place, and you're on the road. It's terminology. So, all of the different things we do, he [Marcus Peters] has done. So, he can process that. It's just going to be plugging him into the situations that we'd like to do and getting good communication from the safety and the linebacker on what we're actually in. That will be very important, yes."
We've talked a lot about the injuries in the back end and how that's been a challenge. How much does some of the turnover also affect you guys at special teams? You've lost a few guys that aren't there. S Chuck Clark is playing every snap on defense, and that probably affects you. Was that also an attraction of bringing in S Bennett Jackson to kind of solidify that group? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Sure, Bennett [Jackson] knows our special teams format. He knows our techniques and things like that, so that's a big help for him. Both special teams and defense probably make that case, and there's always a trickle effect on all of those kinds of things. That's just the way it works. Everybody has injuries in this league. It's always interesting. To me, it seems like sometimes you get hit in the same position in different years. I'd love to see some science on that. Analytics guys are always bragging about how much they know, but I haven't seen anything on that. So, it's kind of weird the way that works. But when you have defensive backs get hurt, it definitely affects your special teams."
As you shuffle around the defensive backfield to try to find matchups, we saw CB Brandon Carr play a little bit of safety in training camp. Is that an option, and can you move him around more than you already have? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Absolutely, we sure can. He's played all the corner spots, and he's actually played safety a little bit here and there in the regular season. So, he's definitely an option to play some reps at safety, for sure."
You talked about the noise. Do you think it'll be any factor at all for your offense with QB Lamar Jackson or whoever? (Dave Ginsburg) "It'll be a factor for any offense. That's a very loud place, and for any quarterback. That's something that any team that plays in Seattle has to contend with to a very large degree, whether you're silent with your cadence, signaling, communication, talking loudly. Just getting the play called in the huddle is a big deal. So, absolutely, that's a main focus that we're going to have in practice. It's going to be loud here in the next couple of hours at practice. (laughter) I hope our people get used to it. Put your earplugs in, because it's going to be loud."
QB Russell Wilson hasn't thrown an interception yet this season. What do you see in him being able to protect the ball and make good choices in the pocket? (Todd Karpovich) "He's protected the ball and made good choices.(laughter)But yes, it's a great point you make. He hasn't thrown an interception, so I say he's due. Let's go. It's time to throw us a couple, Russell. _(laughter) _ut you know, you say that laughingly because he's playing so well. He's one of the very best quarterbacks in the league. I know he's deep in the conversation for the MVP already. We hope, and we're going to do everything we can, to make sure that we don't make that argument any stronger, or help make that argument any stronger. He's done well. We respect him greatly. The offense is well-built by a very good coaching staff. Coach [Pete] Carroll, Coach [Brian] Schottenheimer – all of those guys do a great job of building an offense around him, and all the players play around his skillset really well. He's one of the very top guys in the league, for sure."
Have you noticed any extra emotion from S Earl Thomas III this week, or is he a business guy with another game? (Bo Smolka) "Probably both. He's definitely a business guy. He approaches it as another game, but I'm sure that he's excited and looking forward to it. He has a lot of friends there and a fanbase there. For anybody, it would be a meaningful thing. He's a game captain. He's already been a game captain once or twice this year, but he's certainly a game captain for this game. I'm sure there's a lot of meaning to it, and he's going to try to put his best foot forward out there, for sure."
Any update on T Ronnie Stanley? (Kirk McEwen) "Yes, Ronnie [Stanley] is OK. Ronnie is going to be good. He did a good job of fighting through it in the game. It wasn't something that … It was painful, but it was something that we expect him to be out there to some degree today. We'll see how it goes, and [we] expect him to be ready to go on Sunday."
You don't oppose them that much. What do you expect from a Pete Carroll-coached team? (Jerry Coleman) "That's a great question, in the sense that they always have a personality, don't they? A Pete Carroll-coached team plays really hard, fast, [with] a lot of confidence. [They] pose a lot of problems. They do things, sometimes, unconventionally. They kind of have their way of playing, schematically and style. He understands and knows the types of players he likes to have on his team after all these years, and he's not afraid to just build a team in that vision. I have a lot of respect for him and what they do there. They've had a lot of success, and his fingerprints are all over it."
QB Lamar Jackson played pretty well on the road last year, but have you noticed any tangible improvements, in terms of him handling the crowd noise and doing the snap counts and that sort of thing? (Aaron Kasinitz)"Oh yes, lots of things there. He's just way, way more advanced. We do so much more now. Our motions are more complex. Our cadence is more complex, both verbal and silent. We're under [center]; we're in the gun; we're pistol; we're empty. We do a lot of different things, and he's really done a good job handling all of it."
We've talked so much about different aspects of QB Lamar Jackson's development. How much did that show and shine through late in that game on Sunday, in terms of when he was snapping the ball on that long drive? Were you impressed by how he handled that in a game situation? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, I really was impressed with that. We always have conversations about when we want to milk the clock and when we don't, because it affects the rhythm of your offense. The most important thing in managing the clock is getting first downs. That's what burns the most time and is the most effective, not punting it back to them. So, you hate to upset your rhythm too much, but you like to use as much time in the process of doing that. So, there's a lot that goes into that. There are a lot of different moving parts. There are personnel groups and situations, and things come up, so I just thought he handled it really, really brilliantly. He really did a great job with it, and we'll keep building on that."
CB Marlon Humphrey
On his first thought about adding CB Marcus Peters to the team:"We got another playmaker, so that was probably my biggest takeaway from it."
On how excited he is to play alongside CB Marcus Peters:"Definitely excited. Anytime you can get a Pro Bowl corner … Another thing I thought about was, 'What can I learn from him?' Twenty-four interceptions in four, five years, however many years – whatever he's doing, it's working pretty well."
On being excited about rebuilding the depth in the secondary with the addition of CB Marcus Peters and CB Jimmy Smith getting back to practice this week:"Definitely. I think with some guys [going] down unexpected – Tavon [Young], Jimmy [Smith] in the first game – I think now we'll have a little bit more depth, little more flexibility."
On thinking about how good the secondary can be with him on one side and CB Marcus Peters on the other:"I just know we got another playmaker. So, whoever's out there, I think it'll definitely improve us."
On how much he looked up to the "Legion of Boom" as a younger cornerback:"Along with Earl [Thomas] and [Kam] Chancellor and [Richard] Sherman, that was the secondary you wanted. To get back there I'm sure will be something serious for Earl. Hopefully we're able to [play well]. If emotions get going too crazy, we'll be able to get with him and kind of fuel him a little bit."
On if he gets the sense that the game will be a big emotional moment for S Earl Thomas III:"I think so. Since Earl [Thomas] has been here, he's definitely been a pretty calm-mannered guy. But he's been there for a long time. The thing that flashed to me is the little middle finger thing (laughter), so I think there will definitely be a little tension there."
On if he has seen a change in S Earl Thomas III this week:"I haven't. He's given us some tips and things like that, just because he's familiar with Russell [Wilson] and those guys. But I haven't really seen anything yet."
On what he has seen from QB Russell Wilson this season:"I think he's the only guy that I've seen do it pretty effortlessly, like Lamar [Jackson] does. We always say we don't want to play Lamar, so I guess we're kind of playing a polished-up, couple-years-down-the-line Lamar. So, we definitely better get ready, because he definitely can do it all."
On this being a fun matchup with both teams being accustomed to going up against a dual-threat quarterback in practice:"Definitely. I'm hoping we're not ... Defensively, I'm sitting there watching Lamar [Jackson], and I'm like, 'Oh, wow.' So, I'm hoping that's not happening when I'm out there on defense with him [Russell Wilson]. But Russell, he really can get it done. I'm pretty excited. I've been doing this for a while. Just to be on the same field against him ... I'm not really saying I'm a fan, but he's Russell Wilson. He's a pretty big deal."
RB Mark Ingram II
On the challenge of playing in a loud road atmosphere like Seattle:"It's definitely a challenge – one of the great environments in the NFL to play in. It's always tough to go into Seattle and into hostile environments against good teams, but you have to be able to do it. If you want to be a great team, if you want to be a playoff team, if you want to be a championship team, you have to be able to travel and handle the crowd noise, so we're looking forward to the challenge."
On if he feels this game against a 5-1 team is a really good test to see where the Ravens are at right now:"Yes, like I said, it's a playoff-caliber team, playoff-caliber environment. We aspire to be one of the best teams going into the playoffs and winning championships, so you have to be able to do things like that if you want to be a championship team. So, it's a big challenge for us, and they're a great team at 5-1, one of the tops in the NFC, one of the tops in the league. We're looking forward to it."
On how much he has seen opposing defenses adjust, in terms of trying to shut down the run, and if it's a week-by-week thing regarding what the defenses will focus on:"Yes, it's different every week. Sometimes they try to make Lamar [Jackson] hand the ball off to us, and other times they crash the back, and they leave the perimeters for Lamar to pull the ball. So, I think it's just week-to-week, one team at a time and one play at a time, because they can make adjustments on how they want to stop it. You really just have to be true to our technique, true to our reads and true to our ball-handling to make sure that's good. People play it so many different ways. You've just got to really take it one snap at a time."
On if he feels as comfortable in Baltimore after six weeks as he expected to:"Yes, I feel great. The transition has been good. I told you, everyone has made me feel comfortable. My family is happy. I'm happy, and I'm able to focus on doing my job to the best of my ability. So yes, I'm good. It's been smooth."
On what he thought as a veteran player about the trade for CB Marcus Peters:"I love it. I love all good players, so anytime we can add good players to our team, it helps us. We want to be great. We want to win. Anytime we get to add talent and add experience, I think that's always an advantage and a positive for us."
QB Lamar Jackson
On the trade for CB Marcus Peters:"Kenny [Young was my] draft buddy. We got very close during the offseason, this whole year, from rookie year on to now. That's my guy. That's a brother forever, and it just comes with it. I can't say much about it."
On what he has learned about S Earl Thomas III:"He's dialed in out there on the field. He's a great guy. He knows what he's doing out there on the field. He's been around the league a long time. He knows what he's doing inside the building. I feel [like] he's always business. He's strictly business, a great guy to be around, a great leader."
On if he watched the Seahawks' defenses when he was younger and what he remembers about them:"They were hitting very hard, running full-speed to the ball – him [Earl Thomas], Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman catching picks. That defense was crazy. Crazy. That's why they won the Super Bowl."
On what he has been hearing about the noise in Seattle and if it will be different from what he has experienced in the past: "The coaches have been telling us it's very loud, some of the coaches who have played on prior teams or whatever and then went to Seattle and stuff like that. I just have to do a good job of executing, calling out the plays and letting everyone hear me."
On if he is ready for the weather in Seattle: "For the weather? Rainy. I prefer it'd be clear, dry wind, whatever. But if it rains, we're trying to come out with a victory, regardless."
On how he feels physically and if he can tell a difference in how he feels physically compared to how he felt after his running starts last year: "I feel pretty good. I ran a lot more last year. I didn't really take hits that much last year, and I haven't been taking many hits this year. Just my rushing increased this week, but coach already warned me about it, what the defense is going to give us. We just take advantage of it. And I'm good. My body is good, 100 percent."
On if he has gotten better this year at managing snap counts and dealing with crowd noise:"I feel so. I had to. That's my job to do it. My guys helped me out a lot, because they know what they're doing out there on the field. I don't have to tell them. Yes, I've been pretty good this year."
On what he likes most about QB Russell Wilson's game and if he has a relationship with him: "I haven't built a relationship. I spoke with him once before. I love everything about his game. He's a great quarterback. He makes guys miss. He breaks the pocket, and there will be guys chasing him everywhere. He knows what to do with the ball – dish it out, go to a checkdown. He makes plays. He's a playmaker, and that's what you need in a guy and at the quarterback position. That's what he is."
On how much pride he takes in the number of dual-threat quarterbacks, including himself, who show they can have a lot of individual and team success as dual-threats: "I don't really care, to be honest. I just want to do what I have to do to win with my guys. I see other quarterbacks. I see them play. They do a great job. But like I said, it's a new era, and they need us right now. It's not the same as years before."
On his thoughts on the comments that playing him is like playing a video game and players using "Madden" to prepare for him: "Playing 'Madden?' I don't know. I don't know. People said I can't be stopped in 'Madden,' so I don't know. I really don't know. That's a good question, though."
On if he has played himself in "Madden": "I definitely do. I definitely do. I like where we're going right now. I have to keep going out here."
On what goes through his head when he escapes the pocket under pressure and moves on to the second play on the field: "I'm just trying to move. Don't get sacked. I'm protecting the ball, trying to make a positive play out of nothing."
On how he fakes out guys in the open field: "I don't want to give it away. (laughter) I just do me. On one-on-one, I'm either trying to get the first down or trying to score. Nine times out of 10, I'm trying to score if I do decide to run. So, I don't know. Whatever they decide to give me, I'm going to take advantage of it."
On how he views the MVP talk surrounding him and QB Russell Wilson: "I'm trying to win games. I don't really care about MVP. Our race is to the Super Bowl, not an individual award. I'm trying to get that Super Bowl. I'm just trying to win each and every Sunday, Monday, Thursday, whichever day."
On what happened on the play against Cincinnati when he missed the connection with WR Willie Snead IV: "Miscommunication. There were two guys in front of me. I couldn't just throw the ball and put it on his chest. So, I tried to lead him a little bit, but he saw that I was hot, so he was trying to help me out. It was just a miscommunication. We were on the same page, though."
On if it is common for him to sort things out with his teammates after plays on the sidelines: "Yes, I'm with my guys no matter what. All of us make mistakes. It wasn't a mistake on that play; it just happened so fast. But we're all good. We won. That's all that matters."
S Earl Thomas III
On what this week means to him going back to Seattle:"This week is ... It just kind of brings me to the point where I started, going back home to Seattle. That's it."
On if there are a lot of extra emotions that accompany his return to Seattle:"Nothing has hit me yet. I'm just trying to get the gameplan down, just taking it one day at a time, trying to get my body right for the game. But no emotions yet. Nothing has really hit me yet."
On if he talks to any Seahawks players and if he will talk to them this week:"Yes, guys have been checking on me throughout the season, especially guys on defense, some of my old coaches, some of my old strength and conditioning staff. They've checked on me. But I'm sure like during pregame, once I go through my warmups, if I see some guys and we start a conversation, I'm not going to go out there and not talk to anybody."
On the addition of CB Marcus Peters to the secondary:"I think that's a great move. I think we have two Top 5 corners playing on the same team with him [Marcus Peters] and Marlon [Humphrey], so it's definitely going to help us out in the back end and the whole defense."
On if he will attempt to reach out to Seattle head coach Pete Carroll or any other Seahawks coaches:"I'll take it as it comes. I still have a good relationship with most of the guys on the staff, so yes, I'll definitely speak if we time it up."
On if his plan is still to retire as a Seahawk:"Who knows? I don't know what this game is going to bring, but I definitely respect and love the organization. They gave me my first shot. I won so many games there. I grew up as a young man there, starting when I was 20 years old. So, I'm always going to respect the organization, and I'm always going to be a part of it, especially winning the Super Bowl."
On how much he is looking forward to playing against QB Russell Wilson and how much teammates are picking his brain on Wilson:"Hopefully all those practices that I had against him throughout all those years pay off when I get out there on gameday, but it's going to be a battle. It's probably going to be wet out there. It always rains. They're going to try to run the ball. Everything is predicated off the run game, and we also know that Russell [Wilson] can extend plays. That's when he kind of works his magic – when he plays backyard football. And his receivers do a great job of just melding with him and creating space, boxing guys out and creating leverages and coming up with big catches."
On if he's thought about the reaction he will get from the Seattle fans:"Yes, I've thought about it at night. Hopefully they respect what I've done, and I'll get a couple cheers, not too many boos. And whatever happens, happens, but hopefully it's love."
On if it was difficult being in Seattle last year and if he felt like he was the last one there from the great Seahawks teams:"Yes, I feel like they were kind of trying to phase me out. They were thinking more linebackers that you see. They've got the three-headed monster with K.J. [Wright], Bobby [Wagner] and [Mychal] Kendricks. And obviously, Coach [Ken] Norton is the "D" coordinator. He's a linebacker at heart, so I understood what was going on."
On if it will be weird seeing the Seahawks as the opposing team and going into Seattle as the enemy:"Luckily, I just love the game. It doesn't matter who I'm playing for. I'm going out there to try to win. Maybe when I get to the visiting locker room and see how that feels, maybe it'll add something to that, but other than that, it's business as usual. I'm going out there to compete and make plays, try to help us win."
On if he has felt a little more settled here in Baltimore over the past few weeks:"Yes, I think I just need to continue to trust the process, continue to get great information from coaches and my teammates. And you have the bottom line – just trust the process, and we'll get stronger as the process goes."
On if starting over with a new team – learning a new defense, getting to know new teammates – proved to be more difficult than he thought:"With learning teammates?" _(Reporter: "Yes, getting to know a new defense and getting your place in the locker room.") "It's a part of the process, again. The locker room part is easier than the terminology and the defense and trying to remember the calls, but I think I'm doing really well with it."
On the two consecutive blitzes he had on Sunday and if he's enjoying the freedom and his role with this defense:"Yes, the more and more I watch myself on tape and get to know my game self and see my instincts … Because in practice, a lot of stuff you don't do the same way in the game, so just to see myself blitzing and playing the middle, coming down, playing man [coverage], zone [coverage] – it's coming together. I've just got to stay intact with it, but I feel free out there. I'm having fun, and 'Wink' [Don Martindale] has given me that green light."
On if he will embrace and play with the extra emotion that a game against Seattle may bring or if he'll push that emotion aside:"If there's any emotion at all, it's always fire. I love when I feel that fire, because I know what's going to happen. Some games you just don't feel it, but you still go out there and compete. But you know it's on when you feel it. I just try to keep my same routine and just build up and simmer right now, and then hopefully once I get out there, I'll be ready to go."
On what makes CB Marlon Humphrey so special and if he knew how good Humphrey was before he got to Baltimore:"I didn't. I just knew he had No. 29, and I was trying to get that from him. _(laughter) But he's been playing great, All-Pro-level-type of play from Marlon [Humphrey]. I think just his tenacity [stands out]. He's fast, he's aggressive, he's going to tackle. He has the capability to be a complete corner."
On if he'll look back on the "Legion of Boom" as a unique thing that he helped create:"Yes, because we left our mark at that time. We left our mark, and that's all you want to do when you set out to play any sport. You want to leave your mark on the sport or on sports in general, so everybody is going to know what we did and who we were."
On what it will be like to add CB Marcus Peters to the secondary and how can he help Peters get up to speed in such a short time:"I already thought about that. Just take all the movements that we've done so far, all the situations that we've been in and have that down to a 'T' with our movements and the way we connect with each other versus concepts. And the communication factor is going to be key. He's already naturally gifted, so we're going to let him do what he does. And 'Wink' [Don Martindale] is going to put him in the best situation to create turnovers and be the ballhawk that he is. But other than that, just the communication factor … Make sure he's confident and he's settled in, so he can play fast."
On if he noticed during the prime of the "Legion of Boom" Era that other teams were trying to replicate what they were doing:"Yes, we definitely saw other teams try to copy what we were doing, but the hard thing was we just had four kings just balling out. The personnel – you just can't recreate that. So, that was the hardest thing about it, but teams tried. And they tried to even adopt the Cover 3 system, and still to this day, they're still trying to run Cover 3."
On if he and QB Russell Wilson always had great respect for each other:"Yes, I'm always going to have nothing but positivity when talking about Russ [Wilson], because Russ has always been good to me and my family. My kids and his kids are close. My wife and his wife are close. And when you think about all the games we played together, there have been some times when we struggled, but there's been more times when he came through for us when we needed him. So, it's just the game."
On what he envisioned as the next step in his career while he was recovering from his broken leg last season:"I thought maybe the Cowboys, to be totally honest. That's what the story was looking like until the money got funny. _(laughter) But other than that, that's what I thought."
On what he envisions now for the next four or five years of his career:"I can make so much happen in this defense, but I just have to see it and don't panic, like 'Wink' [Don Martindale] is always saying in meetings. And just let it rip. I left a couple of plays out there during gameday that I want back, but I'll see it again."
On if he's glad to be getting a matchup with the Seahawks this year:"It's a great test. It's a great test, and what a way to enter the bye week. If we win this, the bye week will be that much better."
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL
(Conference Call with Baltimore Media)
You have a mobile quarterback in Russell Wilson, but when you're going against a quarterback like Lamar Jackson, what kind of challenge is it, especially when he breaks the pocket? (Jamison Hensley)"He's as good a runner in that situation as there is. Obviously, they're really happy with him taking off [with] the run, and they have designed runs for him and all that. He's run with great confidence, and so, shoot, it's a major problem. Scrambling quarterbacks are always problematic, and he's the epitome of that."
Obviously, you have S Earl Thomas III coming back there this week. Did you feel any sort of sadness about the way things ended with him there? (Childs Walker) "Not really. I wish he could have played with us and we could have stayed together forever. That was kind of always the thought, but it didn't work out that way. Guys have to go on their way, and they do their business and do their stuff. Earl was a great Seahawk, and he was a blast to coach. We had a great time here doing the things we did, and that's it. It's sad in that whenever our guys leave … We spent a lot of time together and care a lot about him and hope the best for him always. So, there is definitely a connection."
S Earl Thomas III's last season was a little bit rocky. It started with a holdout, and then he broke his leg. Today, he said you guys sort of went in a different direction toward linebackers. How do you recall it sort of going south? (Dave Ginsburg) "Well, that's how you say it. We parted ways. That's it. He went on and pursued another opportunity and got a great shot with the Ravens. We lose out on a terrific player whenever we lost our guys. Whatever the impact they had, we care for these people. They make a big difference in our lives when we're playing together and working. So, there's a relationship that gets developed, and then when you leave, you have to deal with it. Guys deal with it in different ways and all of that, and that's totally understandable. I get it. I'm fine about whatever happens as it happens. I know that when we were together, we did everything we could to be great. Earl [Thomas] is an incredible competitor, and I loved coaching him. And I like watching him play now. It'll be fun playing against him."
Would you like to get a chance to talk to him on Sunday, and do you expect to get that chance? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I don't know. It just depends on how the day goes. If we bump into each other, we will. I don't make a big point of that, ever, with my guys. When it happens, it happens."
Will you always remember that "Legion of Boom" group, in particular, as a special group of guys that you got to work with in the context of your whole career? (Childs Walker) "Absolutely, yes, absolutely. Those guys were extraordinary. We all kind of grew up together with the Seahawks. Everybody was young in this team when we started it, and we developed a mentality and an approach and a relationship, and they had a blast with it. That was never my name for those guys. That was something that somebody else came up with, but it was fun to see them develop. All of those guys wound up getting married and having kids and getting new contracts and buying homes – all of the things that life brings our players. It was wonderful to see all of that happen, and when it goes, it goes. The guys have to move on, and we move on to our next stuff. We always keep an eye on our guys, always."
With your experience around great cornerbacks and great defensive backs, what have you seen from CB Marlon Humphrey that makes him stand out? (Daniel Oyefusi)"He's an incredible player. I loved him in the draft. I spent some time with him down in Alabama and had a visit with him, because we would have loved to have had him on our team back when opportunities came up. He's doing great. He's playing really aggressive. He has tremendous play speed. He's a playmaker."
Obviously, the Ravens just traded for CB Marcus Peters. You've faced him with the Rams. What stands out to you about him? (Childs Walker)"He has great confidence. He plays a very aggressive style. He's a really great player, and he makes things happen. He's been really notable in that regard. You know if you put the ball in his area enough times, he's going to do something about it. We have a lot of respect for him."
How do you plan to reintegrate DT Jarran Reed back to the defensive line, and what does he bring to your team on the interior of the defensive line, along with DT Quinton Jefferson? (Daniel Oyefusi)"He's been a real integral player for us from the day he got here. He came out of Alabama with really heralded leadership qualities and toughness and style, and he brought that to us. When he comes back, he brings a special nature that we really anticipate fitting in together in the way we go. There's not going to be a transition for us at all, other than finding out what kind of condition he's in. We haven't seen him for six weeks for a second, so today's practice will be the first time we get a look at him. I know he's worked really hard, and he's a very respectable player, worker and all of that. I'm sure he regarded this time [away] to make the most of it so he'd be ready. We don't want any lag time. He doesn't want any lag time. So, away we go."
You've seen many great things from QB Russell Wilson over the years, but has he played as well over the last six weeks as you've ever seen him play? (Childs Walker)"Yes, this is the best he's been. And we're just talking about margins better, because he played really well last year. And year after year after year, he's had tremendous seasons. I just think he's in the most command of the game and on the highest level of communication with the coaching staff and his players, and it just shows. He's just functionally a little bit better at a lot of things, and he just feels better about it. Quarterbacks grow throughout their career, and I don't think they ever stop growing until they're done, because there's so much to this position and this game. Russell [Wilson] just continues to benefit, and we do, too, from his growth and his command as the season comes to us."
I'm sure that S Earl Thomas III and QB Russell Wilson have had a lot of chess matches in training camp and things like that. Does that familiarity play into the game? How would that factor into it, if at all? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Well, let's wait and see. They have definitely competed against each other a lot. Earl [Thomas] has played against Russell [Wilson] more than anybody that he's played against, and vice versa. These guys, I know, have mutual respect for one another, and we'll just see how the game goes. I don't have any idea what that means. We're just going to go play football, and they're going to go play football, and we'll see what happens. But there certainly is a lot of background."
Do you expect to chat with S Earl Thomas III at all on Sunday, and if you did talk to Earl, what would you say?_ (Cliff Brown)_"Well, somebody just asked that question, so I'll just answer it again. We may bump into each other, and if we do, I have nothing but great thoughts about Earl [Thomas]. I have great respect for him. If I get a chance to visit with him, I'll visit with him like I always do. I don't have to share what I'm going to say to him with you. I'm just going to talk to him and have fun talking to him if I see him."