Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Thanks for coming out. Good practice. Obviously, we're preparing for a battle on Sunday."* *
Are you also preparing for a lot of rain and wind? (Jamison Hensley)"We are. We're bringing our rain coats."* *
Do the conditions factor into your game plan going into that game?* (Jamison Hensley)"You have to prepare for it, sure. Footing will be an issue there. Game plan – it may move in that direction. It's probably more of a situation where you have the various game plan options that you need plays-wise and things like that available, but you won't know until you start playing the game how that it's going to affect the game."* **
Is there anything you can do to enhance ball security in conditions like that? (Mark Zinno)"You better be thinking about it, that's for sure. You better take your time taking the snap exchange, throwing, catching, put it away first. You better be more cognizant of it. We have practiced in the rain. We have done a lot of wet ball work throughout the course of the season, so you'd like to think that that would pay off. But guys just have to do a great job with it. Whatever team does a better job is going to have a better chance of winning."* *
Chicago is giving up about 130 yards per game on the ground. Are you hoping that this is the game where the run game comes back? (Bill West)"We are. We've been working really hard at improving in that area. It's important for us to be a lot better than we have been. [There is] no time like the present."* *
How has Daryl Smith progressed the last couple days? (Luke Jones)"Those guys have all done a good job. We've got the injury report coming out, so you can see who practiced and who didn't. They all work really hard, and they do everything they can to get back."* *
The secondary had a great game last week. Are they amped-up for the challenge of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, two big and physical wide receivers? (Mark Zinno)"They are excited about it. It's a big challenge with those guys, and it's not just them – they've got a pretty good tight end, too, in Martellus Bennett. They've got other players. No. 22 [Matt Forte] is pretty good out of the backfield catching the ball as well. It's just a talented offensive core. Now we've seen that the last few weeks, so I feel good about what we've seen and being prepared for it. I think we've got the men for the job, but that's going to be job number one. First of all, you've got to stop Matt Forte, [and] make sure in the run and the pass that you do a great job of containing him. Secondly, running through their quarterback, you've got to stop that receiving corps."