Transcripts: Wednesday Media Availibility: Browns-Week 3

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "OK, great to see everybody. Thanks for coming.  We have a beautiful day today.  Today it was a little cooler. Our guys appreciated that, and they practiced really hard.  We had a very good practice yesterday.  We've stacked two good practices now in preparation for Cleveland, so we're trying to take care of the process one day at a time."

**John, how is QB Joe [Flacco] doing? Is he feeling better? *(Aaron Wilson) *"I don't know. I haven't talked to him."

Do you expect [QB Joe Flacco] back soon? *(Aaron Wilson) *"I don't know. We'll see.  [It's the] same answer I give you every day. This is my answer for the year. You're going to keep asking; I can see it. I'm going to keep giving you the same answer. So, it's OK. There will be an injury report later, though. You'll be able to check that out."

**What is it like to get through the practice without your starting quarterback? *(Jerry Coleman) *"It was fine. The guys did a great job. Guys practiced hard. Tyrod [Taylor] did a heck of a job.  [It was] a very good practice."

**Coach, any new word on S Will Hill?  *(Kevin Richardson) *"No new word on Will [Hill]. I really have no word on that at all. I've read what I've read in the paper. There have been some things written about it, so that's what I know. Will is in here working out. Just to give you an update, he's working out every day. He's in the meetings. To my knowledge, I don't think he's heard anything either. He hasn't said anything to me."

On the national scale, the NFL hasn't been about football recently. Is that frustrating to you, someone who takes pride coaching in the National Football League? (Morgan Adsit )"Not really at all. We get to do the football. That's the great thing about being a coach or a player, I guess, is you get to focus on the football. You have to. If you don't, you're probably going to be in trouble. So, we don't have to worry about the other things besides the football, which is our responsibility."

*What do you think of the Orioles winning the AL East? *(Garrett Downing) *"Oh man, I was jacked up. I texted Buck [Showalter] – finally got his number. I can't wait to get upstairs to see if he texted me back. He's not busy, is he? *(laughter) I was jacked. That team is Baltimore. I love their players. I've had a chance to meet a couple of them here and there at a golf thing or two, and [they are] just a great bunch of guys. They're resilient, tough, hard-nosed [and have the] next-man-up mentality. The Orioles are the real deal. It's fun to watch them."

**The defense is doing well so far, only allowing one touchdown in the first two games. Is there anything that stood out watching the film about the defense so far this season? *(Jamison Hensley) *"Well, the things we've said from … They play hard, and we don't make very many mistakes. Our secondary has played [well], with the exception of really one play. There have been little things here and there that you can be better at, but they've played good, disciplined, technique football in the back end. Our pass rush … It's funny, I find it somewhat comical when the criticism comes out about the pass rush when the quarterback gets hit like 12 times or whatever, over the years. Sacks aren't the whole story. When you force a quick outcome in the passing game, that's a good thing. So, I'm really happy with our pass rush. I think it has been consistent all year, even through the preseason. We just have to keep building, have to keep getting better."

**Speaking of rush, a guy like QB [Brian] Hoyer, how much are you conscious of his ability to extend plays? *(Clifton Brown) *"He's good at extending plays. Nobody is better than Ben Roethlisberger. [Hoyer] did a nice job in the two-minute drive, obviously, against the Saints where he got out to his left [and the] Saints right end lost contain there. We showed that to our guys today, as a matter of fact. You have to run disciplined pass rush lines. You want to make a quarterback throw from the pocket like you always do, get him off his spot if you can and make it tough on him. That's what you try to do with any quarterback."

**Talking about the pass rush, where do you feel OLB [Terrell] Suggs' all-around game is right now? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"Terrell Suggs is playing really well. Anybody who knows anything about football who watches the tape will tell you he's playing really, really well. And in the pass rush, he played really well. He was very disruptive in his pass rush. Not just that, he's playing great in the run game. He's done a few things with the drop, so we had those guys rushing for the most part in this past game. But, I'd say all around his game is an A – A .  He's playing really well."

DT Haloti Ngata

On his interception against Pittsburgh last week:"We saw it [on film], and I don't think anybody was surprised – I'm an athlete. (laughter) We saw it. I'm grateful that I made that play, and hopefully I can continue to make some plays."

On QB Joe Flacco not practicing this afternoon:"It was weird. 'Sizzle' [Terrell Suggs] and I were thinking, like, we've never actually been at a practice without Joe Flacco being out there. Whatever he has going on, I hope for all the best for him."

On how the coaches and players have been able to focus on football recently:"Definitely, especially last week playing against Pittsburgh in a short week and then being able to get that win. But then this week, it's going to definitely be another tough test for us, because Cleveland has a lot of confidence right now and they're doing really well. [They] could've possibly been 2-0. They're a real confident team, and we have a tough game, because we have to go into Cleveland. Hopefully, we can do well up there."

On the importance of setting the tone on the road:"It's huge. It's huge, definitely. Getting that confidence, for us, has been seeing how we do in a hostile environment. Getting a win up there [in Cleveland] would be huge for our team and it would give us some confidence going into the season."

On if there is any reason for the Ravens' recent struggles in away games:"[There are] different things each time. On defense, not getting off the field, and [on] offense, not moving the ball. It's just always different things every time. We just have to bring a complete game – team game – at away games, and hopefully we can get wins."

On what the defense needs to do in order to succeed in Cleveland:"Defensively, we realize we have to get off the field. Last year in Cleveland we didn't get off the field, and they were able to keep the ball and beat us at their home. We know we definitely have to get our offense chances towards the end of the game and hopefully get some points."

On former Ravens defensive assistant and current Browns head coach Mike Pettine:"[He's a] smart coach. He understands a lot of things, especially with our defense. He understands a lot [about] the way we play defense, and he's going to try to use that against us. Hopefully we can just do our best and win the game."

On Cleveland's ground game and how it has improved from a season ago:"They're young [with] two rookies back there, but they run hard and they're different runners. You definitely have to be conscious of who is back there and [know] what type of run you're going to get. You can't arm-tackle those kids. They're strong boys that are running the ball really well."

On if the Browns' running game is similar to what Baltimore has:"It is a little bit, just because it's like the Washington Redskins, kind of … That's where [Browns] O.C. [Kyle Shanahan] came from. They [run] a lot of zone, moving side to side. They get you running, and then there's holes everywhere – front side, back side. We, just as a front seven, definitely have to stay square and make sure you're not getting cut out or chopped down."

On if Cleveland's win over New Orleans caught the Ravens' attention a bit more:"Well, not only the Saints, but against Pittsburgh, as well. They ran the ball really well [with that] physical front they have. Hopefully we can match them and get the running back down so we can focus on [Brian] Hoyer."

On if the fact that OLB Terrell Suggs has gone so long without a sack is eating at him:"Definitely. It eats at all those guys, and myself as well. I want to make some tackles and sacks as well. Just hopefully when we get there, we can get [Brian Hoyer] down. [But] definitely with Suggs, he's a guy that wants to make plays. That's why he's been one of the best in the league. He always wants to be the guy that's making the plays. History shows that he has been, so once he gets going, he'll just continue to keep making plays."

TE Dennis Pitta

On what he sees from the Browns' defense: "They don't have a lot of weaknesses on that defense. They're young. They're talented. They have a lot of high [draft] picks on that defense [and] a guy that we're familiar with in Paul Kruger who is off to a great start this season. So, we've got our work cut out for us. We have to be able to play well and execute well and can't make many mistakes against them."

On the difficulty of winning on the road last season: "Let's hope that it's a new year and we don't have to worry about those things that happened last year. We know we're bringing in a good football team to Cleveland, and we certainly have to be able to manage the adversity that we'll face on the road. But I think we're well-equipped to do that."

On whether having a more simplified offense this year will help to win on the road: "Certainly. Anytime you can simplify things when crowd noise is a factor and you can't always hear, it will help you, and we're trying to do that for this week."

On whether less communication on the line of scrimmage is helpful: "Yes and no. I think we still have a lot of different checks and things that happen on line of scrimmage, which any competent offense will have. So, those are things that are always a challenge on the road, and hopefully we can manage that."

On whether the red zone has been a point of emphasis this week: "Red zone is always a point of emphasis for us. We want to be perfect when we get down there. We want to be able to score touchdowns. We see field goals – although [they are] points on the board – as a bit of a disappointment, a bit of a letdown, because we know we have to get touchdowns. So, we came short of that on Thursday and certainly want to improve upon that."

On whether different receivers will be the top target from week to week: "I think that happens a lot around the NFL, and it really is determined by what defenses want to do. If they want to double certain guys or take away certain guys, then you have to be able to get the ball in the hands of other guys, and good offenses are able to do that. So, we like to think that we can spread the ball around and have a lot of weapons and a lot of options offensively. That's something that certainly we hope to be balanced in."

On not having QB Joe Flacco at practice: "It was strange. Every time I came off the field and wanted to talk to somebody, I didn't really have anyone there. *(laughter) *It's always different when your starting quarterback, who you're used to being in the huddle with, isn't there. But Tyrod [Taylor] did a tremendous job today filling in, and we have a ton of confidence in him and what he's capable of."

On playing on the road: "It's always tough playing on the road in the NFL. Crowd noise is certainly a factor, and I think teams play better when they have their crowd behind them and gain that extra motivation through that. But all good teams have to be able to go on the road and win, and certainly that's a challenge we'll face this week."

On what makes it easier to play at home: "Even when we're at home, we're sleeping in a hotel bed the night before the game. So, I don't think it's too much of that. But for whatever reason, I think there is more intensity when you have your crowd behind you and it adds a little something to you. Personally, I like playing on the road. I think it's fun to be able to go into an environment where people don't really like you, and it's a unique opportunity."

On whether he is expecting more hostile environments on the road this season: "Yes, I think so. We always anticipate it being hostile. And with everything that's gone around in this organization and in the NFL, we expect that to be ramped up a little bit. So, it won't come as a surprise if it is."

OLB Terrell Suggs

On preparing for Browns QB Brian Hoyer or QB Johnny Manziel: "You can't deny how well [Brian] Hoyer has been playing. [The Browns] are playing [both quarterbacks], so you have to prepare for them."

On Browns head coach Mike Pettine: "Phenomenal coach. He's [our] type of coach. He likes you rugged; he likes you being yourself, from what I remember. I don't think anything is the same, especially how inspired [the Browns] are playing now. So, he definitely seems like the same guy and he seems like the right guy for their job, for their team."

On whether the Browns have a different look with Mike Pettine as the head coach: "A little bit inspired, but they've always been a team that we've always been concerned with. They have a few [former] Ravens guys in their locker room now, so it's definitely more of an issue now than it has ever been. But hey, it's the NFL."

On Browns rookie RB Terrance West: "He's explosive; he's an explosive kid. If he's given the opportunity, he can pop one and change the game, wreck the game for you, make it a long game for you. So, we have to do our job and make sure he doesn't get off on his hometown team, so to say."

On whether he thinks the pass rush is improving: "You try to work at it and you keep trying to get better from week to week. That's what we're going to continue to try to do. But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is wins and losses. So, [if] we get the 'W,' we'll be satisfied."

On whether it is frustrating not putting up sacks: "It can be [frustrating] if you get selfish. You want to get [to the quarterback], but like I said, at the end of the day, if you still win and you're still affecting the game somehow, then you have to take that, too. You have to find ways to get there sooner. The team has been doing a good job of playing a quick game, whether it's getting the ball out [or not]. But it's only Week 2. Come Week 7 and Week 8, we can bring that back up and we'll talk about it."

On how playing Cleveland compares to playing other teams: "Considering the history, I think they find a little bit more hatred towards us than any other team that comes up in there, which is understandable, considering. But it's the NFL. You're going to be hated in every stadium you go into. It's a little bit more hatred in this one."

On how important it is to win a second divisional game against Cleveland: "For the simple fact that all wins count in this league. You don't want to be one of the teams left out in January, because of something you did back in September. So, all wins count – not just division [games]. All games count. So, we're taking this as our Week 3 opponent, and this is who we have in front of us now, and we're going to approach it as it spikes up."

On whether he thinks the Ravens will face more hostility on the road this season: "Like I said, this is the NFL. Every team is going to hate you. We're not too worried about that. We know we're going to be hated. So, we're not worried about that."

On what challenges Browns T Joe Thomas presents: "He's definitely one of the best in the league. That's one guy they let us two get after it and we'll have at it. We'll see how it goes."


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