Opening Comments: ML:
The guys who aren't going to play on Monday are: Rashad Jeanty, Frostee Rucker, Antonio Chatman and Ethan Kilmer. The guys who did not practice today were T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Johnathan Joseph and Willie Anderson.
Q: Are you concerned about T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Johnathan Joseph?ML:
I expect them to be ready to play, but they weren't able to go full speed today for the entire practice. So they'll go on the list of those who didn't practice today."
Q: Players have talked about being more mature. How does that translate, and how will that play out on the field?ML:
I think it's easier said than done. It's easier to talk about it than to do it. We have to keep making sure that the guys that are saying those things are the guys that are following up and taking care of it all the time. I think that's important. Maturity means being where you're supposed to be all the time, and being accountable and responsible and not afraid to bring somebody along with you.
Q: Will we see any less cushion from the defensive backs?ML:
Depends on what the coverage is.
Q: Willie Anderson and Jonathan Ogden mean a lot to their clubs. Do you see similarities between the two?ML:
They are very similar. Both guys played a lot of football as rookies. They mean a lot to their football team because of their ability to stay healthy. They haven't missed time. Both guys have been iron men like that. Their teammates look up to them for that, and they expect them to be out there all the time. I think that's a good thing. With that, they have the respect. They're both great people off the field, the kind of players you want to model your team around.
Q: Will you be on the sidelines Monday night (after coaching in the press box for the last two preseason games, due to ankle surgery)?ML:
Q: Ray Lewis has been with the Ravens forever. What does it mean to a defense to have somebody like that?ML:
It creates some stability there. Ray's been not only that as a player, but also as the leader in setting the standard of how things are done.
Q: What is it like to start the season under the Monday Night Football buzz?ML:
It's a great atmosphere for our fans, a great atmosphere for our team, and it's exciting. Our fans have been great this entire season, last year, the year before, and the year before that. I think it's going to be a lot of fun for them, and it's great thing way things are now because -- by the amount of trucks out there -- you can see what a spectacle it is. So it's a good thing. For a football team, you want to play Sunday at one o'clock because that keeps you on your normal schedule and normal routine. But we get to open up at home. We get to open up on Monday night and I think that's important for us to establish some home field and some dominance here in our own stadium.
Q: Your home record is 19-13 since 2003:ML:
We need to be better at home. If we're better at home, we provide ourselves with more cushion - to quote one of your words - for the end of the season, where we can control our own destiny.
Q: What do you admire about Rex Ryan?ML:
He's lining them all up. They're like little ants running around. Rex has worked very hard. I've known about Rex for longer than when he coached with me and for me. He's a hard worker. He's very, very smart, and he's done a tremendous job of assuming the position and continuing to get better and better and better. He has fun, and he's a good person. As a position coach, he was excellent. And he's become an excellent coordinator."
Q: How is Ryan Fitzpatrick fitting in, and he is your No. 2 QB yet?ML:
Ryan's absorbed the offense well. You'll see Monday night who we list as No. 2.
Q: Do you see many similarities between Willis McGahee and Jamal Lewis?ML:
Jamal was an outstanding runner, And we all witnessed that many times. Everyone in this division has. Willis is a different kind of runner as far as his speed and his ability to cut. But he's also a big man. So they're similar. But I'd say Willis is a little bit quicker in his cutting ability. But Jamal had long speed that people didn't know about until he broke those runs and was gone. They're both very productive NFL runners.
Q: What did you like about Anthony Schlegel?ML:
He's extremely smart. He played with great pad level at Ohio State. He's a very sound football player, and always played with great intensity. At the workout, when everybody's running around worried about what colored tights and stuff they have on, he just gets down and goes. He's the kind of guy you want on your football team because he's going to rub some dirt on his wound and keep on working. We need a little bit of that around here."
Q: Will he play special teams on Monday night?ML:
He will. Yes.
Q: Clifton Dawson is a pretty tough guy. Will he see some playing time?ML:
We're fortunate that the four guys that we added to our roster at the end all kind of have the same qualities about them. They're good, sound football players that have good toughness and a grit about them. That was important to us. We were able to acquire guys that have some upside as they go into the future as NFL players. They're all young guys. It gives us an opportunity for them to grow and develop.
Q: How is Shayne Graham?ML:
He's doing well.