Mid-week coaches talk

John Harbaugh

08/17 - On how it looks like CB Lardarius Webb has been progressing, and his take on Webb saying he isn’t in a rush to play during the preseason: “That’s kind of been our position all the way through with all of our guys. I think, as you said, we might want to be cautious with it. We’re going to be cautious with all these guys. The thing you don’t want to do is have a setback. He’s really doing well. I think he’s progressing ahead of schedule from what I’ve been told. It won’t be long before you see him off of PUP and out here practicing with the guys, but I think we are going to be cautious with it. And if he can play in the preseason, and we feel very comfortable that there’s not going to be a setback, then we’ll do it. If we think there is any possibility of a setback, a reasonable possibility of a setback, then we’ll probably just save him.”

08/18 - On whether he wants to give LBs Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden each an opportunity to play with the first-team defense: “Yeah, that’d probably be part of it. We also want to get Jameel some work at ‘Sam’ [strongside linebacker], because he’s a multiple guy, and in order to play the position you’ve got to get some work there. So, we’ll move those guys around for the next two weeks and we’ll know where we’re at.”

08/18 - On how important the second preseason game is in terms of the evaluation process: “It’s important. I think you really start to get a feel for guys after two preseason games. The third preseason game is really more about getting the starters ready. So, this is a big evaluation game for those younger guys.”

08/18 - On where a player’s head and heart has to be to compete in the NFL: “You can’t compete in this sport unless you’re all in mentally. As you get older and as injuries start to mount, that gets tougher. To protect yourself and to compete at this level, you have to be there 100 percent.”

Jim Zorn

08/17 - On his emotions heading into Saturday’s game in Washington: “I’m familiar with the stadium, that’s for sure. I’ll be in the other locker room, which is OK. I suspect I’ll have some good feelings about what those fans do, how they support the Redskins. Some of the players I’m very fond of. It’ll be interesting going there and being on the other side.”

08/17 - On if it will be weird coaching for another team: “Yeah, it’ll be different. I don’t know how weird it’ll be because my responsibility - and this has happened since I was hired here - is to get these quarterbacks ready and get this offense ready in any way I can. That’s what I’m doing right now.”

08/17 - On how far QB Joe Flacco can go with his new receiving corps: “I think he’s tremendous. I think the group, the room that we’ve got, even with John Beck here, it was great. They’ve got a strong desire to be good. You love it as a coach when they want to be coached, and they want to be coached hard, so that part has been positive. I think what’s been tremendous is [Flacco] really has some real natural talent that I don’t want to screw up, so I kind of stay away from some... What I’m trying to do is bring out some of that natural talent and make sure I don’t mess that up, and then help him with some of the things that, as a young QB, he can handle. And as we grow together, I think he’s going to continue to do great things and maybe even better things as we move along here.”

Jerry Rosburg

08/16 - On how much confidence he has in LS Morgan Cox: “Well, we have not just that one preseason game, but we have a body of work since he’s been here, all the way through mini-camps and OTAs and training camps. We did want to get him game experience in the NFL, and that was very positive experience. He had one errant snap on punt, but his field goal snaps were all right on target. He’s shown us in practice that he can not only snap, but he can also protect, and his field goal accuracy snaps have been very good. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s the right kind of player, he’s the right kind of young man, and we have a lot of confidence in him going forward.”

Cam Cameron

08/16 - On his comfort level with the O-line without T Jared Gaither: “You have to be [comfortable]. I don’t think you’re ever comfortable. You really aren’t, because you know you’re one or two players away from really having to rebuild something, and I think I mentioned that at the start of training camp. We reinvent ourselves every year, we’re reinventing this offensive line right now, today. We had Michael Oher at left tackle, you had [Ben] Grubbs at left guard, you had [Chris] Chester at center, you’ve got [Marshal] Yanda, Yanda’s going to go from right guard to right tackle - that’s probably not going to happen - so you’ve got [Oniel] Cousins at right tackle. So, we’re kind of redoing this thing every year. We’ll get Matt Birk back in there, and we’ll see how the [Jared] Gaither thing plays out. But he wasn’t there in the offseason, and we’ve kind of prepared for this because he wasn’t there in the offseason, so when he comes back, we’ll look at that as a plus.”

08/16 - On if T Oniel Cousins will start if T Jared Gaither remains injured: “That would be the logical choice because that’s the way we did it last year. That’d be the logical choice, but there’s still... Ramon Harewood has really done some good things. Joe Reitz has done some good things. There’s other guys... Tony Moll has done some good things when he’s been healthy. We want competition all the way up until the final cut, and then it’ll be pretty obvious which direction we go. But, that’d be the logical direction.”

08/16 - On how TE Todd Heap has looked during training camp: “Very good. He’s picked up right where he left off in the offseason. He had his best offseason with us in the last three years.”

08/16 - On if there is any noticeable change with Heap: “Healthy, he’s been healthy. He’s only been banged up a little bit this training camp. This is the healthiest he’s been since we’ve been here.”

Greg Mattison

08/16 - On what he has to work with in his defense: “I see a very talented, very veteran, very Raven-type group that has to just keep getting better every day. If we sit back right now and say, ‘Boy, we look good on paper,’ or ‘We have this and that,’ then that won’t be good. But, I think our guys know that. They know that every day they’re measured. That’s why our practices are so tough, and they’re tough from the coaches’ standpoint in that there’s nothing that’s going to be unaddressed. So, if a guy goes out there and has not a Raven-type practice, it’s going to be addressed, and the next day he’s got to know he’s got to step up to that. That’s just the way we do things here, so we just have to keep improving. There’s no question about it.”

08/16 - On if he is concerned about the run defense following last week’s game: “Well, anytime somebody runs the ball at all on your defense... I don’t know if the word is concerned, but it makes you pay attention to it, and we’ve addressed it. It wasn’t so much that guys weren’t going hard and guys weren’t being physical. It’s just that we weren’t in the right run fits, and guys got out of their gaps a little bit, and we didn’t fit correctly. We’ve addressed that, and we’ll get challenged on that again this game. That’s what preseason is for, to be able to show you what you need to make sure you emphasize. So, we have had more emphasis on the run defense since then.”