Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: “Good to see everybody. Thanks for being here. We [had] a good practice. Obviously, some guys were released to get down to the 75 [player] roster limit that we have right now. [They are] great guys, guys that we are really sorry to see go, guys who did a great job and most of whom have a future in the National Football League. If you look at these guys, I would expect them to get an opportunity somewhere else soon or maybe back here down the road. Sometimes you just look at the names in the paper and they’re just names, but these are men with dreams and aspirations who work really hard, [like] a Gerrard Sheppard – local guy from Towson who just did a great job for us. [Gerrard is a] really talented, hard-working, good person, and no matter what he does in life, he’s going to be amazingly successful. We just really appreciate those guys and the work they put in.”
With [Visanthe] Shiancoe and some of the others you had, was it fair to say it was crowded at the position?
“Yes, it’s fair.”
Is there anything going on with Deonte [Thompson’s] injury?
“I haven’t heard anything on that. I think on Monday we’re going to hear more about that. That’s what I’ve been told.”
How about some of the [starting position] competitions? Are you guys close on those decisions?
“It’s pretty much status quo. We’ve got some ideas on that, but we’re probably not ready to release anything right now. I wouldn’t say we are 100 percent on any of it, but we’ve got some ideas.”
How tough was it to let Bryan Hall go in light of his shedding so much weight while he switched positions?
“That’s another [move that was difficult]. Bryan takes off 50 pounds, and he really played well. It was just a tough call. Part of the idea there is … Here’s a guy who’s been around for a while. It’s going to be a little tough right here with the numbers, but we feel like he’s got a chance to make it somewhere. So, if we do it this week – as opposed to next week – maybe we give him an opportunity more so to do that. [I] love him being on the team, love his attitude every day, his work ethic [and] the kind of person he is. He’s another guy I think could play football for a while, but no matter what he does, he’s going to be really successful.”
With Tyrod [Taylor] back on the field today, how did he look?
“He’s in the process of going through [the NFL concussion] protocol. That’s something that we deal with very carefully. We don’t anticipate any problems with it, though.”
I know you talked some about Brandon Stokley the other day after the game, but how have you seen him come along, and what did you see when you had a chance to go back and look at the tape?
“Brandon [Stokley] played really well. He did a nice job on all downs, but especially third down. He’s playing at a high level. He’s doing a good job.”
And just with Matt Furstenberg – I know that’s somebody you guys have talked about over the course of the summer – how’s he coming along? How’s he playing at this point?
“Matt [Furstenberg] has done well. He’s in the hunt, and he’ll get a chance Thursday night to try to make an even stronger case. He’s done well.”
Marlon [Brown] and Aaron [Mellette] – two rookies – are these guys competing for more than just roster spots at this point
“Like what? (Reporter: “Like active roles in the rotation.”) Well, if you’re on the roster, don’t you have an active role in the rotation? I would say if you’re on the 53-man pro roster, you’re here to play. That being said, they’re competing for a roster spot, and therefore, an active role. Absolutely, that’s part of it.”
What are your impressions of Delone Carter, and what do you guys hope to see from him this week, because you guys are in a hurry to evaluate him?
“Well, it’s a hurried evaluation – that’s what it is. We’re going to have to see if we see enough. That’s what it really boils down to. First impressions are positive, and we’ll just see where it goes this week.”
Is Haloti [Ngata] not practicing?
“Haloti [Ngata] has a personal issue – a family issue he’s dealing with. That’s all that is. Thanks.”
Over the years since Joe [Flacco] came in, you gave him a little more control of the offense in terms of pre-snap stuff. Is that a tough process for a young quarterback who may want more? And, where is Joe at now entering his sixth season?
“I’d say he’s as far along as any sixth-year guy is going to be, as far as handling the offense and running the show. In so many ways, it’s his offense to run – certainly on the field. He and Jim[Caldwell] and all the coaches have a collaboration as far as putting the game plan together, but Joe [Flacco] is a player first. He’s always receptive to the ideas that coaches have, and he’s always willing to put his opinion in there as far as what he thinks we can actually execute and operate on the field. But, he’s the guy who’s got to do it. He’s the quarterback. He’s got a lot of choices in his hands at the line of scrimmage, and he does a great job with it. We’re pleased with that.”
It seems like John Simon is someone who has flashed something over the course of the last couple games. Is he starting to come on, from your perspective, over the course of the last few weeks?
“John Simon played well – he did. He played well last week in practice, had a nice game, and we’re looking for more.”