Ravens HC John Harbaugh conference call (12.18.19)

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh:

On if he reflects on Week 4 as a blip of the season or a season-changing event:

“It was probably neither of those descriptions. It was a game that we did not play very well and we lost – that is the main thing. We did not play well. They played great and really put it to us. That is what it was.”


On how Ravens QB Lamar Jackson improved in the offseason and how the organization supported Jackson in the process:

“He just worked at it. There are a lot of different things he did. He did some different things. It is just a quarterback thing that you do – study, film study and those things. Also, he has a couple of trainers that he works with that he did until he came back. When he came back in our program, obviously, that was the organized part of what we did with the offseason program, the OTAs, minicamp and all those things were organized by us and our coaches. He did a great job with that, but even before that, he has a trainer that he works with down in Florida who does a great job with him. He did some different things to work on his skills. I know the same things that guys like (Saints QB) Drew Brees do, (Patriots QB) Tom Brady and all those guys do, he was doing the same types of things.”


On if it has been so long since the incident between Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey and WR Odell Beckham Jr. is way in the past or if it could carry over into this game:

“I do not think it will carry over. I do not think it carried over perhaps the last game. It just happened. It is football. Those are two really good players and big competitors. It is not something that I have even thought about. I actually read something about it yesterday. It was the first time I even remembered.”


On if any QB has had a better season than Jackson since he became an NFL coach:

“I am not a guru or I do not really study all of those stats and all that so not really in a place to be making that list right now. We are just trying to be the best team we can be. He is just trying to be the best player he can be. I know it sounds cliché, but it is actually 100 percent reality and truth. We are just trying to be the best football team we can be and try to put our best foot forward on Sunday. That is exactly what we are thinking about doing, not some of the bigger picture questions. We are not thinking about that stuff right now.”


On the importance of clinching the No. 1 playoff seed in the AFC:

“It helps you in the playoffs. Obviously, you have the home field advantage in the first game. It has playoff implications in terms of a bye, in terms of first-round home game and if you win the divisional round, then you would have the AFC Championship game at home. That is the relevance of that.”


On there is something to gain knowing that the Browns are the last team to beat the Ravens:

“I think we are all motivated by a lot of things. Certainly, these divisional games, these division rivalry games are big. We have always said that. The Browns have always been a huge rival to the Ravens, just as the Bengals and the Steelers are and I am sure that the Bengals and Steelers are to the Browns also. That is part of it. You do not like losing games in the division. It is not something that you appreciate doing. None of us do. No team does. As far as that is a part of it, that is a part of it. It always is and it always has been.”


On his reaction to the way the Browns’ season has gone since Week 4:

“I do not really have a reaction to it. I do not really follow it closely, except for I watch it on tape. I watch a lot of tape. We look at it just from a X and O competitive standpoint. Other than that, I really do not spend much time thinking about it that way.”


On QB Baker Mayfield:

“I see a dangerous quarterback that we have to be all hands on deck to defend against and also the weapons he has around him, start with the two running backs. They both bring something unique to the table. They are both top-level running backs in this league in our opinion running and in the passing game. Bakers gets them the ball a lot in screens and check downs and running good routes from the wide receiver position downfield, which is really unique and is a credit to their skillset. The receivers, they have two No. 1 receivers and a couple young guys are doing a good job. They have a tight end that can really stretch the field vertically, which you saw in the last game that guys are talking about where they had so much success. Yeah, he can make every throw, and he also can scramble and make plays on the run. That is what we are looking at. That is what we are concerned with.”


On Chubb:

“I think he is a top-level back. I made the comment this week that he was my No. 1 guy and someone said (NY Giants RB) Saquon Barkley, and I said to be honest, I did not have Saquon as one of my guys to evaluate because he was going to get drafted too high and we were picking pretty lower. I looked at all the guys besides Saquon, and Nick was my No. 1 guy. I checked that for the record, and I feel like he is proving me right. Hopefully, he will not do it on Sunday, and hopefully, we can be up to the challenge. He is a top-level back. Speed, allusiveness, power, hands and pass protection, he really does it all.”


On if the Ravens saw Jackson’s potential as a passer prior to the 2018 NFL Draft:

“Absolutely. Absolutely. You can’t win in this league at quarterback if you can’t throw the ball really, really well. We felt like he had a tremendous amount of arm talent, and he displayed that every chance he got. He was never afraid to throw in different situations and different workouts. He always threw, and I liked that about him, too, because he was not intimidated and he was not trying to do a scripted workout type thing. He just went out there and did it, and I thought that kind of boded well for how he was going to grow as a player.”


On selecting Jackson with the team’s second first-round pick of the 2018 draft rather than the first:

“It is a good question. I have been asked that and I would probably defer that to (former Ravens General Manager) Ozzie (Newsome) and (Ravens Executive Vice President/General Manager) Eric (DeCosta) if you really want to get an in-depth answer, but to me, it is kind of a function of where you can get him and we had two firs-round picks as a result of that. I feel good about the way it went down so I do not think we have to apologize for where it went down. Maybe we did take advantage of the fact that the rest of the league or around the league they undervalued him. Looking back, we probably all have to agree on that so it worked out well for us.”


On how Jackson’s leadership and off-field demeanor benefits the team:

“Yeah, that is a great question and I would say A+++. He is just super good at being Lamar. That is the thing we appreciate about him is he is who he is and he does not try to be something he is not or put on any kind of façade. He is Lamar, and Lamar is a genuine person. He is a competitor. He is tough. He is hard-nosed. He is honest. He wants to win. He does not like not doing well. He does not like repeating mistakes so he works hard to make sure he does not. As a coach, you feel great about all of those traits and all of those things we had heard about him when we were studying him for the draft have turned out to be true even more, I would say. He still has some way to go. He has a long ways to go, and he will tell you that with just as far as how much he has to learn, develop and all of that. I am very confident he is going to get there because he is a humble guy, he is a hard-working person and he respects the process and his teammates. He is a professional in that way and you can’t say enough great things about him.”


On Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s success and his future, given the record of past successful Ravens coordinators being hired elsewhere:

“Really, the only conversations we are having now is playing against the Browns defense I have with Greg, and that is taking up all of our time. I am a big supporter of all of our coaches and Greg especially no less because I always think he is a great coach. I knew him when he was with (Michigan Head Coach) Jim (Harbaugh) and had nothing but respect for him, especially the last two years where I have really gotten to know him as a person, as a family man, all of those things. He would be a great head coach, no doubt about it. Just see how that stuff plays out. I always support our guys if they can get an opportunity to advance as head coaches in this league or in college. That is something that you want. You want to see people you work with advance and improve themselves and have those opportunities.”


On if he ever discussed the use of a dual-threat QB and Greg Roman’s offense with his brother Jim, who coached with Roman in San Francisco:

“A little bit. I do not remember exactly how much, but I talk to Jim for sure. We talk about a lot of stuff, and I do not remember the exact conversation, but definitely, he and I talked about G-Ro and Lamar and offensive things like that. He always give me great advice and great insight, especially about offensive play and quarterback play but really about running a team, leadership, all of those kind of things. He did give insight on G-Ro, very supportive of Greg. That did help a lot.”


On if most teams would be seeing the same success with Jackson or if the Ravens are getting more production due to their commitment to Jackson with the offense and scheme:

“Yeah, that is a good question and I probably do have an opinion on that, but I probably will reserve it. All of the things you said and go back and see what we were saying last summer, last offseason and all of that about our plans. It is nothing we did not say that we were not going to try to do. That has been the plan and I feel like we have been committed to it 100 percent. Obviously, the results speak for themselves to this point. The league is ever changing, ever evolving and we have to do the same and try as much as we can to keep pace and stay ahead of the pace. I do think that kind of what you said is true.”


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