Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"It's good to see everybody. We had a good, energetic practice, and we're excited about the upcoming challenge."* *
John, did you get enough tickets [to the game]?* (Aaron Wilson)"We had to cut it off. *(laughter) *My assistant, Dan Parsons, had a little time at the witching hour – we had to cut it off. It got a little more expensive than I was hoping for." *(Reporter: "Do they have to wear purple?") "They have to wear purple, yes. You saw that quote? That's a rule. I guess they're going to do blue? The whole crowd is going to be blue. There will be some purple there – you can count on that."* *
John, are matchups like this for Jimmy Smith and Calvin Johnson … Is this the kind of matchup you had in mind when you drafted him a couple of years ago? Seeing that receivers were getting bigger and bigger and faster, you needed a guy that could match up with someone like that? (Matt Vensel) "That's probably fair. You don't think specifically, but you look around the league and the trend toward big, talented receivers – where that's been going the last few years. It probably helps to have big talented corners to cover those guys. Though, players come in all shapes and sizes – great players. That's the thing about football: Guys do come in all shapes and sizes. A good player is a good player."*
**So much has been made about Calvin Johnson, but how challenging is it to account for a back like Reggie Bush, with his ability out of the backfield? *(Luke Jones) *"Anybody who knows [football], the more weapons you have, the better off you are going to be. And the Lions certainly have weapons. Reggie Bush is a guy who they brought in there. He runs inside-outside, and he is a threat in the passing game. [Joique] Bell is a really good back. [He] does all the same things that Reggie Bush does; he is just a different style guy. They have two tight ends that can block, run routes and catch. And they have some pretty good receivers all around Calvin Johnson. They've got some very good receivers around those guys. That is what makes them who they are."
There have been some improvements over the week. Is this the healthiest the team has been in a while? (Aaron Wilson) *"Yes, I would say so. It probably is. If you look at the course of the season and even last year, this is probably as healthy as we've been." *
**When you play games on Monday or Thursday nights and you are not playing on Sunday, do you look forward to watching games around the league? *(Garrett Downing) *"We will be traveling, so we will probably catch a little bit of the 1 o'clock games, and then we'll be in the air. But yes, we will watch the games, sure. It is Sunday football, so I'm sure that we'll get in there and watch a little bit, and then we'll have our meetings. And the Sunday night game will be on, so I'm sure we will be watching that a little bit as we get ready for our game. The toughest thing about Monday Night [Football] is Monday. Monday, 8:40 p.m. – that is a few hours until you get to that game, and that is one of the challenging things on the road. Road teams historically have been at a disadvantage on Monday night. That is why they schedule it the way they do. We understand all that stuff. We've had a lot of road Monday night games here in the last six years, so I think we understand that challenge."
**Is there any way you can get better at dealing with that? *(Clifton Brown) *"We try stuff. We've got some ideas. We've implemented some things, but the best way is to go out and play well. It's pro football; our guys can handle it."