Every Monday, win or lose, John Harbaugh steps infront of the mic to take questions about the game from all of Baltimore's media members. Here are some of the highlights of what went down in today's press conference:
Is Derrick Mason next in line to return punts? He wants to be. What does Harbaugh think? "I would say it's an option. Derrick is one of those guys - and like I said, when I said it the other day - he's in my ear to do it, [and] that tells you what he's all about. It's probably not the first guy that I'm going to think to put out there, but if it turns out that he's the best choice, we're willing to do it. I'm not anticipating it for Miami, but the fact that he wants to do it I think is kind of neat. It says a lot about Derrick."
My Take: Why not? That is an interesting possibility and you don't have to worry about him dropping the football. The only problem I see is his speed. He doesn't have that breakaway speed of those who are successful back there. Then again, I've seen Derrick Mason do amazing things on the football field and I'm sure he would be able to handle it. Mason can't be any worse then what we have has so far.
Harbaugh's quotes throughout the press conference on the success of the Dolphins on the road: "I think it's pretty impressive what Miami has done on the road this year. If you go back and you look at them over the time since [head coach] Tony [Sparano] has been there, they've got a really good road record. They're way above .500 on the road over the course of the last two-and-a-half years.
They've given up more big plays at home, I think. [That] is probably the biggest difference. But why that happens at home? If we were playing at home, we'd probably be concerned about it. But, I think we're concerned with the team we're going to see here."
My Take: Good answer. Who really cares why they have a bad record at home. For the all the numbers the Dolphins have put up on the road this season, the Ravens are 61-22 since 2000 at home, ranking them third-best during that time span. No one seems to mention that the Ravens have won their last six home games either.
Not to mention not every stadium brings the energy that M&T Bank does. So far the Dolphins have beaten the Bills, Vikings, Packers and Bengals on the road, which is impressive, but in their last two meetings the Ravens have won by a total of 32 points. There most likely is not one specific reason for the Dolphins success away from Miami this season, but there's no reason to look at that as a deciding factor in this game. Not to mention, the Ravens are good at ending streaks. The Broncos came to Baltimore 6-0 last season and we all know how that went.
Harbaugh takes some time to acknowledge what Sam Koch has done this season:"I think it's really a big deal what Sam has done. The net punting - when he's not pooch punting - I think our net punting is 42-something. That's really impressive. We've been a team that's been fortunate enough to be punting down into people's end a lot, and Sam's as good as any pooch punting. What's he had, one touchback I think so far? That's kind of unheard of. It's changed, you know people do a better job of that now than back in the old days. People's percentages of not getting touchbacks are way up. But, Sam's as good as anybody, and it makes a big difference."
My take: Wow, Koch really does have only one touchback. I'm glad this was brought up. In his 32 punts this season his average is 45.5 yards and his kicks have been a huge part of the Ravens success so far. For as bad as our punt and kick returns have been so far this season, the return coverage has been outstanding. Maybe it's because of our other diamond in the rough, Billy Cundiff. This guy has already set a Ravens record for touchbacks; 18 of them in his 32 kickoffs this season. The Ravens haven't has 18 touchbacks in the last three seasons combined. The Ravens have one of the best kicking duos in the league and they really get no recognition. When teams are constantly pinned within their 20's it's hard to start anything.