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:
Harbaugh was asked about teams being able to pass well against the Ravens since Ed Reed has returned to the secondary: "You build around your players. That's kind of the point. You build around the guys you have - and it probably builds differently around Ed Reed than it builds around another safety. So, that's something, obviously, you're always working for. But, Ed has played well. I don't think there's any play you can point to and say, 'Well, Ed's not playing well.' You know, he's playing well. He's had three interceptions. He's a factor pretty much in every play. So, if there's anything specific in the passing game that we haven't done a good job with, it doesn't really relate to Ed."
My Take: Maybe it does have something to do with Reed, but I still would rather have him out there. He may take big risks and make some mistakes jumping routes, but that's who he is and that's what makes him great. The pass rush is the problem. Maybe there should be some blame thrown at the corners too, but they'd probably get beat on third down. See what I did there?
Seriously though, Reed isn't the problem. Look into it all you want, but we have no pass rush. Fix the pass rush; fix the problems in the secondary, simple as that.
Harbaugh was asked about the the injury to Derrick Mason: "He's got it wrapped up in a splint of some kind. It looks like it is swollen a little bit. He had some kind of procedure done on it. I don't know exactly what, but he should be fine for Sunday. As he says, it goes with the territory."
My Take: Mason is one tough dude. I mean it's not like you use your fingers or anything at receiver. My guess is we probably won't even notice a difference Sunday against Carolina. It brings me back to when Mason played pretty much the whole second half of the season with a partially separated shoulder and still led the Ravens in receiving.
Harbaugh was asked if he has to remind his team to not take the 1-8 Panthers lightly: "Look at Carolina on tape. Look at their offensive line. Look at their running backs. Look at the people they have at wide receiver. Look at their defense and the way they run to the ball. You know, they haven't found ways to win games, but they're playing very good football, and they're capable of winning a football game in this league. That's been proven time and time again with the people we've played already. We have our work cut out for us. It's going to be a tough football game down there, and that's what we're preparing for. I know you guys say, 'Well, coach has got to say that.' Well yeah, but we say it because we believe it, because it's going to be a big challenge. And that's what we've got to get done."
My Take: We better not take Carolina lightly. We need to dominate in all aspects Sunday to get some of our confidence back. Not to mention, the Steelers have one of the easiest schedules to finish out the year. They get Oakland, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Carolina and Cleveland. The only two games that should give the Steelers trouble are when they have the Ravens at M&T Bank and the Jets in Pittsburgh. I'll say it again: the Ravens need this game to keep their hopes alive of winning the division.