Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "It's good to see everybody. Thanks for being here. A couple of things: We had Shaquan Baxter and his family here down from the Bronx with the Make-a-Wish Foundation program. It's an awesome moment. We had a play there [at the end of practice that Shaquan took part in]. He managed to break through the line and sack Joe [Flacco] in the backfield, caused a fumble, and recovered it for a touchdown. He's definitely got a future as a linebacker someday in the National Football League. Great family – great moment. Also, we finished up [practice] with coach [Jim] Caldwell talking about Nelson Mandela. He talked about the Invictus poem that really has been a part of our season so far this year. Some of the lines in there that [Winston] Churchill used in World War II, coach tied those things together. There are a lot of things that came together for us here in December that hopefully have a lot of meaning and maybe will have an impact in how we'll play. It's been a good day."* *
John, with [Elvis] Dumervil practicing this week, do you still feel like he could be a game-time decision on Sunday?* (Aaron Wilson) "I think it'll be a game-time [decision] on Sunday. If he's healthy enough … Earlier in the week, we felt he was going to make it. He's not a guy that has to practice to play, so if he goes out there and feels like he can go, he will. If he doesn't, he won't."* **
Is there anything as far as Dennis Pitta that you would like to tell us? (Jamison Hensley) "I would say we're on schedule to see what happens. We'll see."
I know Dennis Pitta increased his level of activity this week. How did he respond? (Luke Jones) *"He seemed good. It's just going to be how he gets through the week. The doctors still have to look at it and make sure he is going to be sound and solid. If they feel good about it, then he should be OK. I don't want to say that he is going to play and then him not play, or say that he is not going to play, and then he plays. I think he has a reasonable chance; we'll just have to see." *
Will conditioning play a factor in the decision on Dennis Pitta? (Adam Vorce) *"Yes. Conditioning will definitely play a factor in that. He hasn't played much football, and we didn't really practice last week. He wasn't really running much last week as far as practice, so he hasn't had too much action as far as being in the scrimmage-type situations yet." *
It seems like we talk about weather pretty much every week. Is it just life in the AFC North and this area when you play football in Baltimore? (Jamison Hensley)"We've had a crazy year with weather. We've had some really wild days, so I think it helps us. We've been through this before. It looks like we are going to get another one on Sunday. But it is. To me, it adds to the drama, and our team – we feel like we're built for that sort of thing."* *
Is that something that you guys take pride in – that no matter what the weather is or even maybe when the weather is worse, that you guys play better? (Jamison Hensley)"You like to think so. We do. We want to build our team that way, and we want to take that kind of mindset. I think most teams probably do, unless you play in a dome or something. But that is definitely our mindset."* *
Will the weather play a factor in the decision to let Dennis Pitta play at all? (Mark Zinno)"It could. I hadn't thought about that specifically. That is probably something we will have to decide on Sunday. The footing on our field is pretty good. If we get ice or something like that, we will have to see. It's supposed to be snow and sleet, right?"