Ravens HC John Harbaugh conference call (12.10.20)

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh conference call:

On the magnitude of Monday night’s game and the state of the Ravens from an emotional and physical standpoint following the unique circumstances of the past few weeks:

“It is a big game. Obviously, a big division game. A very important game for both teams. We are in great place emotionally, physically. We are in a lot better place than we have been the last month or so. That is a positive, and we are excited to play. We have a lot of respect for the Browns as we always do. Obviously, the record there is great. They have done a great job. (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski has done a great job, along (defensive coordinator) Coach (Joe) Woods and (special teams coordinator) Coach (Mike) Priefer. They have done a great job with that team and the whole organization, and they have great players. We always have great respect for the Browns. Been in many tough games against them, and it will be another division battle.”


On his comment after the season opener that the Browns were a still a really good football team, despite the result:

“You see the talent, and you can see the plan. It is not like the first time I had seen them. We played the year before. We played them many times over the years. There have been many times over the years they have been a lot better than people want to give them credit for, but now the last couple of years, it is a lot of high draft picks in there, a lot of tough players and they have acquired players. They put it together well, and they have a system and you can see what the system was and they stuck with it. They have done a good job. I thought that was an obvious statement. I know some people in the media kind of rolled their eyes at the time, but to me, it was kind of a statement of the obvious.”


On if he has a feel for what Stefanski has been able to do to have success in Year 1:

“I would say the time was right. He is obviously a good coach, has done a good job and has a plan, and they are sticking to it. With good players, that is a good solid way to go about doing it.”


On how QB Baker Mayfield has grown this year under Stefanski:

“I think the system is a good system. It is kind of a system that we are familiar with. Coach Stefanski has done a great job of implementing it and all of their offensive coaches have teaching it. It seems to fit Baker with the run game and the play action stuff, the pushing the ball. He can make a lot of different throws, and pushing the ball down the field and those kind of things seem to suit him really well.”


On his message to the Ravens after this past week’s game that it was a ‘must win’ and if he is sending the message to the team about Monday’s game: 

“Sure, to be honest with you, we send that message every week. We feel that way about every game. You play 16, and they all end up being really important. I do not care what your record is, they are all very important. I am sure this is a must-win game for the Browns, too. If they want to have a chance to win the division, they have to win this game. This is December football. We are excited to play in this game against a very good opponent in their place on Monday night. This is what it is all about.”


On if DE Myles Garrett has taken another step this year to elevate his game and what Garrett is doing to make an impact in addition to what shows up on the stat sheet: 

“I am not really looking at it that way. I just look at who the player is when we play them and just try to figure out how we are going to try to deal with him. He is a guy who can wreck a game and can wreck a play. You just have to account for him at all times. He is so talented and so physically gifted. That is how we have always seen him. He is that kind of a player.”


On how Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is playing this season and during last week’s game, as well as if Jackson is regaining confidence: 

“I thought he played well. I am not going to get into the psychology of it all. He played a good game. He was a difference-maker for sure in the game. That is important for us as a team. I am a Lamar guy so I am excited for him going forward. I can’t wait to see him Monday night.”


On how tough the last few weeks have been for the Ravens and their ability to get past it: 

“It is challenging. There is a lot that goes into that. There are a lot of emotions. It is all new. You talk about tribulation and adversity, and I feel like our guys have handled it with great patience and great determination. I am happy with it, the way they did it. I am sure we have all learned a lot through it. I would not wish it on anybody, I can tell you that. I would wish it on no team or any person to have to go through it. Hopefully, you come through these things stronger and better than you did before, and that is what we are trying to do.”


On what the addition of Ravens DE Yannick Ngakoue has meant to the team: 

“He is a guy who gives us a little spark. He has some unique abilities that fit in with the other guys really well. He has been great. A hard worker. Really, really determined. Wants to do well. Wants to make a mark. He is learning our system and fitting in. It is hard to do certain things in our system that this system demands. He has been great with that, and he gives us a pass rush spark for sure. He was real close. He is going to break out. He has had a lot of quarterback pressures, some hits and things like that. I am really happy with him.”


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