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Ravens Friday Interview Transcript

From the Baltimore Ravens, here is the transcript of head coach John Harbaugh's interview with the media following Friday's practice. Coach Harbaugh spoke about the health of his team, his two new starting cornerbacks and how new center Andre Gurode is acclimating to the playbook as well as the Ravens Practice Facility.

Opening Statement: "Great to see everybody. We had a really good practice. It was great to get outside; it was great to breathe some fresh air. We love our indoor facility, but we don’t like being in it every day, so that was really neat. The focus is really good [and] I thought our guys were really tuned into the game plan. And the other thing was the 9/11 stuff. A couple guys were walking off the field and… Ray Rice had an interesting thing; he said on the discovery channel, he was watching the story of the flights from Boston to New York. He was amazed, because he didn’t realize that families were calling from the plane to their families and stuff like that. And, you know, I kind of took that for granted, because being a little older and living through it, we all know that story. Here, Ray was a younger guy, and he was flabbergasted by the way that actually happened. So, it’s kind of neat for our guys to learn about that."

On where he was on September 11, 2001: "I was [in Philadelphia] in my office, game planning, and [Eagles’ head coach] Andy Reid’s assistant, Carol Wilson, came down and said, ‘Turn on your TV, something just happened to the World Trade Center. They think it’s an accident.’ And I happened to be watching it and I saw the second plan come in – live. It was just shocking."

On whether the speculation that teams would be more injury prone this preseason was blown out of proportion: "I don’t know, maybe we did. I think the guys from our team – I can only speak for our team – but our team came back in great shape. You know, we were worried about the football shape part of it. We probably did hold guys back more when they had little issues, and maybe that’s something we can kind of learn from, but maybe we did make too much of that."


On the status of LB Jason Phillips: "He was good today. He banged his nose; you know he’s got such a great looking nose anyway. (laughter) So, he took another shot to the nose, but he’s ok."(laughter)


On CB Cary Williams’ progression through camp and the preseason: "Well, he’s become that quality of a player, I think, through his own efforts. He obviously took most of the offseason… Had a great offseason and got better as a football player. [He] got more physically strong and all that, but just became a better corner, a better player, through his own efforts; and then applied that. He’s gotten better every day. I can’t wait to see him play in the game. He’s going to go out and play like any other corner. There are going to be really good plays and there are going to be plays where they’re going to get the best of you. And he is… The next step for him will be to play through those and play the next play really well. I think he’s in a good place and ready to do that."


On what he expects to see from CB Jimmy Smith on Sunday: "I expect him to play really well. I mean, nobody is more anxious about it than Jimmy, because he wants to do well so badly. You know, when you’re a first-round pick there’s a little bit of pressure and everyone’s talking about him. But, he’s a rookie, you know? He’s certainly got all the ability. He’s got all the attention to detail and he knows the defense. So, I expect him to play very, very well. But again, it’s corner, so the thing for me is with a corner, it’s the bounce back play. Make the bounce back play, and I think he’ll do that. He’s got a great mindset."


On how well C Andre Gurode has acclimated: "I’d say he’s acclimated. He knows where the training room is and he’s found the cafeteria. (laughter) He knows the offense fairly well. The good thing about [veterans] who play is that they can apply it; all they really have to do is translate it. Whereas a rookie has to learn it all for the first time; learning how to talk, so to speak. He’s learning how to translate it, and the guys help him with that. He’ll be able to play for us on Sunday." 


On how assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington has done with coaching the O-line in the absence of offensive line coach Andy Moeller: "I think he’s already done it; fulfilled expectations. We had no doubts. We knew this was coming, and we prepared for it. Todd’s done a very good job; he’s a very good coach. Obviously, it’s always a group effort with coaching. Our whole offensive staff, Andy obviously set things up very well, it’s a group effort. He’s done well."