WEDNESDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITY: BUCCANEERS – WEEK 6
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"It's good to see everybody. I appreciate you guys being here. [We had] a couple roster moves that you probably already know about: We talked about Asa [Jackson], and then we ended up doing that move. [We] brought in Dominique Franks after a workout yesterday, which went well. And then we brought in Ryan Taylor. We claimed [Taylor] off of waivers from Green Bay, and we'll attempt to get Phillip Supernaw back on our practice squad. I'll say this about Phillip: He is very much a part of our plans. We're just going to work the roster as much as we can to be as good as we can be, and those are all moves that [Ravens general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] does a great job with."
Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon, what kinds of problems does he present? (Chris Miller)"You can see he's tall, but he's also very good. That's really more of the problem. He can throw. He can make all the throws, [and] he's a tremendous arm talent. He has good touch on deep balls, he hangs in there, and he creates time in the pocket to create an opportunity for guys to get open. He's more mobile than you think he's going to be. He's doing a good job for them."
In terms of looking at CB Dominique Franks, how much did the experience he had help in making a decision in his favor over CB Champ Bailey? (Aaron Wilson)"Dominique is going to do a good job for us. He was here in training camp and did well. He's a good football player. We liked him then, and we're fortunate that he's still available."
What was it like seeing CB Champ Bailey work out with your three corners? (Aaron Wilson) "I'm not commenting on workouts. I never have."
John, you talked a little bit about LB C.J. Mosley on Monday, but the guy leads your team in tackles. I know that you said there's something more to be done, but what have you liked about what he has done, in terms of playing in the middle as a rookie? (David Ginsburg) "All the things that you see we see as well. He's making plays, for one thing. He's doing a good job assignment-wise, which is not easy when you're a rookie like that. He makes very few mistakes; he's playing good football. He's a really good tackler. He's done a nice job in coverage. He's doing a good job. He'll be the first to tell you, though, that he's not about to rest on any past performance. He's getting ready to go next week."
John, what have you seen on tape from RB Bobby Rainey? Is that basically what you saw as well during his time here? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, it's the same thing we saw with Bobby. We like Bobby. It was unfortunate that we lost him. We really wanted him to be here to be a part of what we were doing, but he was claimed and we had to make a move there. I don't know what happened, [but] he somehow got down to Tampa Bay, and the rest is history. He's put a bunch of yards up; he's their leading rusher. They have two really good backs [in Rainey and Doug Martin]. Both of those guys can make you miss, they're strong [and they have] quick vision. They want to run the ball. It's important to them to run the ball, and they have the two backs to do it with."
John, you talked about LB C.J. Mosley. The ebb and flow of a season, the constant adjustments that not just veteran players, but particularly younger players, have to make from week to week when guys get video on them and scouted … What are the constant adjustments that they have to make? (Keith Mills) "You're exactly right. The thing that's so challenging is that every week is like a new career almost. The preparation part of it is completely different. It might be hard to see from the outside, but when you're on the inside looking at football, every team is different in every way. You have to apply what you do in different ways, and you have to start all over again and relearn the details of what you're expected to accomplish on Sunday. [Mosley] does a great job of that, but it takes work. There's a process involved. The thing I like about C.J. and all of our rookies is they like football. We have a bunch of guys that want to come in here and are into it. We don't have a lot of guys thinking about a lot of other things. We're not too interested in guys that have other interests right now. We want guys who are locked into football, and that's what C.J. does. All our guys need to do that, and our guys do a good job of that."
John, everyone around the league is talking about balance and having a balanced offense. Is a balanced offense, in general and not specifically here, a certain number of passes and runs, or is it just being able to rely on one when you really need it in a game? (Jeff Zrebiec) "If I would believe what you and some others write, I would think we would have to have a certain number of passes every game, where we not be balanced, but then I wouldn't know much about football. I would understand that you're presented with different opportunities … I'm not speaking specifically [about] you, Jeff. I'm talking about a specific critique, because you do a good job. Jeff does a great job. (laughter) I'm specifically saying it is way too easy to sit there and go, 'Oh, they have to run the ball more. They only ran the ball a certain amount of times.' It's like, 'Can you take one more page and one more layer and turn it over and figure out what's going on?' When the season is over, you look back and you say, 'You know what? We need to run the ball more and better.' And last year, [we] did that. There's no question about it, but you have to be good at it, too. We're going to be a running team. There's no question about it, we can run the football, but we're also going to be a passing team. We're going to pass the football really well, too. And we're going to try to win football games. That's what we're going to do."
We've heard from you lately that you don't really care who starts at running back, but are you impressed with what RB Justin Forsett has been able to do? (Joe Platania) "Absolutely. The point is that the best players play, and the guy that's playing the best is the best player. And that's what it is for any position. Justin Forsett has done a tremendous job, and he'll continue to do a tremendous job. We're not taking any snaps away from him any time soon. We just need more snaps. If you want to see Bernard Pierce more, or any other player, any other position, we need more first downs. We need more snaps. You want to see more runs? We have to convert more third downs and get more plays. It's just that simple, and it's not too hard to figure out, really. You have to be good. We have to get good at what we do."
TE Owen Daniels
On the progress he's seen from rookie TE Crockett Gillmore:"Crockett has been doing a heck of a job this whole time. His thing has been blocking in the run game and pass protection. He's a big, strong kid, and we're trying to get him out there more to do that. But I'm really happy with what he's been doing. He's a really physical guy. We need that out of him, for sure."
On how much his role has changed since TE Dennis Pitta's injury:"It's just changed in the amount of reps I've been getting. In terms of what I'm doing on the field, it's all the same stuff for the most part. Now I guess it's a little different: I would be playing Crockett's spot when we have two tight ends, and now I'm in Dennis' spot [doing] what he was doing. [It's] a little bit different there, but that's what I did in Houston for the most part for the time I was down there. [I have] just a little more reps on game day, which I'm OK with."
On if he feels any extra responsibility to carry the load:"Whether I'm getting 25 reps, 30 reps or playing every play of the game, I'm trying to play hard every play and be productive and help the team out any way I can. I don't put any extra pressure on myself or any extra expectations. I expect myself to go out there every week and produce and help us win."
On if helps having FB Kyle Juszczyk at the H-back role:"Kyle is obviously a very versatile guy. With what he can do, we can do a lot of the same stuff that we were doing with Dennis [Pitta] in terms of base personnel, but making it look like a two-tight end set lining up Kyle and I in different spots and doing things like that. It's great to have him out there and have those abilities to go do that."
On if he finds himself teaching a lot more in practice:"Yeah! I like that role. As a nine-year guy, you want to be the guy the younger guys can look to to see how things are done and see how a pro operates and how he takes care of himself and how he prepares himself each week for a game. Hopefully, I can pass some things along to them and help them prepare every week – just anything I can do to help those guys out. I had some great leadership when I was a young tight end from some older veteran guys, and I'm just trying to pay it forward to them, for sure."
On how much his rest during training camp helped get him ready for the season:"It's hard to say that a few days after a game, how much it really helps. Any time off, whether it's during training camp or during the week, helps in the long term. It takes some wear and tear off the body. I'm mentally there as far as what we're doing offensively. As long as I can keep myself physically ready to go, I feel like I can help out the team a lot."
QB Joe Flacco
On whether he has helped WR Torrey Smith to get going this season:"Whenever any of my teammates feel frustrated, or anything like that, I feel it, too. I think we all do. We're all in this together, and we've all been there. And we all have felt frustrated for one reason or another at some point. So no matter who it is, I probably feel a little bit with them, and definitely with [Torrey Smith], because he has been a huge part of our offense for a number of years now. And I really like Torrey. So, it's very easy to be in his corner, and feel it with him."
On what makes Baltimore a great sports town: "Obviously, the biggest thing I would say is [Baltimore has] happened to get pretty good players, and they go out and play well. This is a great sports town. It's a typical East Coast, hardworking, blue-collar town where people really care about their sports teams. And they care about the people that are out there on the field, and they really want to see them do well. At least in my experience with the Ravens – not that we've had a ton of bad games since I've been here – but they're with you no matter what, and they're always giving you encouragement when they see you outside. So, I think, obviously, the players have to go out there and play well, but what always makes a city a good sports town is the people that live here and the people that go to the games. Those are [the] people that make it what it is and make the environment what it is. And obviously, we need to be out there playing. But without them, our game wouldn't exist. So, it's all about those guys."
On what sets RB Justin Forsett apart from other running backs: "Right now Justin [Forsett] is hitting the hole. He's seeing things really well. He doesn't get brought down by the first person that touches him. It looks like he has great balance. He seems to keep his feet no matter what. And he can do a variety of things. He can catch the ball, like most of the great guys can, and obviously, he runs the ball well. So, we have to keep him healthy and keep him at it."
On how important it is to make adjustments throughout the season: "A typical year, typical games, everything. The NFL season is about managing the ups and downs and keeping your emotions in check throughout everything and being the best at making those adjustments and going out there and doing them well. I think that happens in every game, on individual plays based on what we see, and I think that happens week to week based on whether you won or lost the game. How well do you handle a win? How well do you handle getting beat up a little bit and going back out there the next week? I think we have a great team in terms of doing that. I think that's why in December, we've always been around and had a chance to break through into the playoffs. And I think we have to continue to do that."
On whether WR Torrey Smith fits well into the offense with shorter passes: "Of course he does. He's a guy that if you do get him the ball on those short passes, he has the ability to break into a 60-yarder. He can turn a 5-yard pass into a 60-yard pass, 70-yard pass, whatever that is. And the other thing is, when you're hitting guys underneath, we have to give him chances to run down the field and get on top of people and do what he really does well. And that's going to come, and we're going to do that."
On how excited he is about having a balanced offense: "I'm excited about it, because if there is balance, it usually means we're playing well. It means we're throwing the ball well enough that come late in the game, we can really rely on those guys and the offensive line beating people up and wearing teams out and finishing the game off for us. So, I think that when you do have that balance, that's more of a key of letting you know that your team is playing well, rather than looking at the fact that you're playing well, and then seeing where the balance is. I think it's always a good sign that when you do see that balance – no matter when the runs are coming or when the passes are coming – it means you're playing well, because like I said, in the first, half who knows what the balance is going to be? But towards the end of the game – if you are leading the game and have kept yourself in the game – it's usually going to come to a pretty good amount of runs and a pretty good amount of passes, because it has been that type of game where you've been moving the ball, you've been scoring points, and you've kept yourselves ahead. A lot of the times, when you're winning football games, you might have throws up here, runs down here, and all of a sudden the fourth quarter comes around, and because you're up by 14 points, you end up with five more runs a game than you do passes. And that's what I'd really like to see. And I think when we've played well, that's what we've had."
On whether he is confident that the offensive line can improve from last week: "I'm not even thinking about that. Three out of five games, I haven't really been touched. This past week, it's really the situation that we have to fix as a whole group. It has been third and fourth [down] once, or less, and that's really what those sacks came on, really short-yardage plays that we have to have confidence that we can protect or run block in any way and get one yard. It's disappointing in all that we haven't been able to do that, and we didn't do it this week either. I'm not really worried about how our offensive line is playing. I think they're playing great, and I think they're doing a great job and will continue to."
On whether the offense is stressing getting off to a better start: "You like to look at those things, but you always have to look at why. Why were there more passes? Why were there more runs? Why was it even? And, yes playing a full 60 minutes to your best ability always comes into why those things are like that. And getting off to a good start, [I] would definitely like it. I was doing the [TV] production meetings this week, and someone was asking me about the no-huddle, and I said, 'Well, hopefully the next time we're in no-huddle, it's because we want to be in it, not because we have to.' And I don't think that actually happened this week, so it's disappointing. It's the same way starting off fast. You want to start off fast, so you can dictate what you want to do in the rest of the game, not what you have to do."
ILB C.J. Mosley
On whether he likes where his play is at this point in the season: "Yes, for the most part. But like I said after the game, when you have losses, you always have to point out what you need to get better at. For me each week, one is missing tackles. There [were] a few tackles I could have made [against the Colts], and especially in the passing game, there [were] some plays I could have been in a better position. So, for this week, it's all about getting my eyes to my player faster or getting to my right drops. [It was] a great game for our stats, but as a team we want to come out with a win."
On his passion for the game and how it has grown at the NFL level: "Football has been my life since I was 5 [years old]. It's something I always did, and for me to be playing in the NFL, it's a dream come true. Definitely, you hear people always talk about [making it to the NFL], especially little kids growing up. So for me, I'm doing what I love, and God has blessed me to be injury-free for the most part and express my heart and play and inspire younger kids and inspire people back home. So for me, I'm doing what I'm called to do."
On whether the NFL is what he expected so far: "So far it has been going great. It's a lot of blessings that I can give [credit] to God, but at the end of the day, I have to do my part, too, as far as getting in the weight room, getting in film, keeping my body right for this long grind of the season. So, I'm doing my part as a football player."
On whether he imagined he would be leading the Ravens in tackles five games into the season: "I don't want to say I thought about that, but I knew the kind of player I was, and I knew that's why the Ravens drafted me – to make plays and run around on the field. That's the kind of linebacker I am. So, I just have to keep doing that and keep getting better every week."
On whether playing in the NFL is a little easier than he expected: "I just go to the saying we always had at Alabama, and that's: 'Do your job.' That's really all I'm doing at the end of the day. [I am] supposed to run to the ball, supposed to make tackles, supposed to defend players in the passing game. So, [I am] pretty much just doing my job."
On whether the stops he had on screen passes were made based on instinct or what he saw on film: "Making [those] guys miss, that was more instinct. But some of the stuff we knew they were going to screen us, because we have great defensive linemen. They have to do what they have to do to slow us down. And some of the screens, they caught us in some bad coverage, so we didn't have that many people out there. I just made a football play, so thankfully I got them."
On where he would like to improve his game: "I would probably say reading routes faster. Like I said earlier, I could have been in a better position on some plays or got my eye on the wide receiver faster to be in a position to make more plays. So for me, it's getting in the film room more, getting with guys that know the route schemes and know how to read quarterbacks or different things like that. As far as being a young NFL linebacker, there are some things that are going to come as you play longer in the league."
On how he feels hearing his name in the same sentence as Ray Lewis: "It's an honor. When I first came in, I always said I wasn't going to come in trying to be the next Ray Lewis. I have to be me and play the way I play. But just to be mentioned with him is a great honor for me. I looked up to him for a long time when I was growing up watching football. Like I said, [I] have to keep getting better every week and try to do my best to help this defense be great and help this team be great."
On what has surprised him about playing in the NFL so far: "I wouldn't say too much has surprised me. I try to take everything in and stay level headed with everything. But I know the main thing that you will learn coming into the NFL is being physically and mentally prepared for this game. It's a different level coming from college to the NFL, especially if you're getting hurt and have a nagging injury. That's something you can't have in the NFL, because the way the business works, you won't be here for long. So, getting your body right and staying in the film room and being ready every week [is imperative]."
WR Torrey Smith
On how he keeps his confidence up when he's struggling:"I definitely have not lost confidence at all. You can't. I learned that the hard way [during] my rookie camp. It's not that I'm a 'bad' player. Things haven't been going my way. No one controls that but me, so I'll just keep on working and things will show."
On where he draws his inspiration and positivity from:"Just your teammates. They know. I come in here, I look at Joe [Flacco], and I'm like, 'We've done great things here.' I don't doubt anything talent-wise or effort-wise. I'm not going to slack off or anything. I'm just working harder because I know that's the way you get things done, and that's how I've been able to be successful."
On if he's been pressing a little too much at times:"No, I haven't been pressing at all. I've been conscious of that to make sure I haven't been pressing. It's very easy to fall into that. For me, it's more so like, 'Hey, when an opportunity comes, you have to make it.' I know that's something I say to [the media] every single time I talk to you all, but it's the truth. Take it one play at a time and go from there."
On if he feels like he should've caught QB Joe Flacco's final pass against Indianapolis:"First of all, let me tell you I did not run from [the media] after the game. I don't want you all to think I ran from you all. You all were out in the hallway, but I was already out [of the locker room], so I wasn't going to walk back in. My bag was heavy, so … (laughter) No, seriously, though – I'm man enough to be here when I'm successful and everything is going well, and if I'm doing bad, I'm man enough to stand here and take it. I know my teammates have my back, but in terms of the last play … I was running, and Joe threw a great ball. I saw it was a little bit underthrown, and I tried to keep him on my back shoulder, which I did, but I slowed down a little bit too much, which led for it to get out on my fingertips. The rule is, 'Chop your feet.' I probably should've just jumped and went up, but you live and you learn. That's my first time being in a clutch situation where I didn't make the play. I guess technically, it's my second time, but I got a second chance vs. the Steelers [in 2011]. But that was my first time being in that situation and not making the play. It's something that I can learn from and I'm going to learn from, and I'll be better for it."