Chudzinski press conf. transcript - 9/11

Posted Sep 11, 2013

The transcript of Coach Rob Chudzinski's Wednesday morning press conference.

Opening statement: “This week we have a tremendous challenge to play Baltimore on the road. Any time you get a chance to play the team that won the Super Bowl the previous year, it brings an extra energy and excitement to the week, adding to that this is a division game. We’re looking forward to improving. That starts this week in practice and with our preparation. We’re hopefully getting off to a great week of preparation. As far as Baltimore goes offensively, (QB) Joe Flacco obviously has really shown what he can do and is a tremendous player.  (RB) Ray Rice in the backfield is a dual threat that we have to contend with. He’s a great runner, as well as a receiver. (WR) Torrey Smith is a big-play guy and an outstanding receiver, as well. They have a good offensive line, a solid offensive line. They play a physical brand of football. They have good balance, run and pass, and they do run some no-huddle. Those are some things that we are looking at from a defensive standpoint. From an offensive standpoint, looking at their defense, a team that has an outstanding front seven with (DT) Haloti Ngata anchoring in the middle and a number of guys they picked up in the offseason, as well, in the middle there. Then they have the outside guys, as far as the pass rushers go, with (LB) Courtney Upshaw and we know about (LB) Terrell Suggs and (LB) Elvis Dumervil, who they picked up in the offseason as well. You really look at that front as being a challenging front. They’re getting good linebacker play, as well. (DB) Lardarius Webb is back in the secondary, and he’s playing really good football. It will be a challenge for our offense. Special-teams wise, they’ve always exceled there and played great special teams. I’m confident in looking that our guys will embrace the challenge that they have and respond to the challenge this week.”

On rookie LB Barkevious Mingo being cleared for contact: “He has been cleared to play. We will get him out there in practice today, and we’ll go from there.”

On if Mingo will play on special teams: “We’ll still be working him in today. We’ll get him out there today and see where he is at from a conditioning standpoint, and make an assessment as we go in the week.”

On Mingo on defense: “He will be one of the guys we will most likely have like we did in the preseason as an outside backer in the base, as well as an outside rusher and sub.”

On if LB Quentin Groves played more due to Mingo’s status: “I think there will be a pretty good rotation with that group. They all really have something to bring to the table, and that’s a strength of ours.”

On how much Mingo can help the defense: “We’ll just have to make that determination seeing him out there. He’s been out there on a limited basis. He’s been working out, running.”

On OL Shawn Lauvao’s status: “We’ll hold him today. We’ll continue to get treatment with him and just assess as we go and see how he is tomorrow.”

On Lauvao’s progress: “He’s getting better. He’s making progress.”

On players who will not participate on Sunday: “Nope. Nobody we’re ruling out.”

On Flacco: “He has shown that he can do multiple things. He really has the ability to scramble and make plays. Obviously, he can throw the ball. He’s got a strong arm. He’s responded and played well in the big games. He was great in their run down the stretch last season. He has a lot of different skills. They have a lot of checks and things that they do at the line of scrimmage. Obviously, he’s a high-value guy on their team.”

On WR Josh Gordon not playing in the first two games: “We knew the value that Josh has to the team, but I do see the other guys having the ability to step up. They’ll have to continue to do that. This week will be a big test for them.”

On TE Jordan Cameron’s performance Sunday benefitting the passing offense: “Jordan has just improved every day that he goes out there. To see him go and have the kind of game he did last week is encouraging. He’s making strides and he gives us another weapon and another guy that we can count on.”

On offensive run-pass balance: “That is always the intention. We want to be able to do whatever it takes to win, whether that’s throwing or running. You have a plan that you go into the game with, and a lot of times, the situation dictates it and you have to be flexible with how it happens and how things happen during the course of the game. We always plan on doing that.”

On players who will not practice today: “Lauvao, I mentioned. (DL Ahtyba) Rubin, we’ll hold again today. He’s making progress, as well. (DB) T.J. Ward was sore today; we’ll hold him and see where he’s at for tomorrow.”

On DB Buster Skrine improving: “Buster and (DB) Chris (Owens) have improved a lot. It’s a matter of going out and trusting their technique and playing the game. We know they’re going to be challenged playing opposite of (DB) Joe (Haden). They just need to respond. I see those guys having the ability to do that, and I’m expecting them to do that.”

On evaluating Baltimore’s defense after the loss to Denver: “It’s hard to say. With you going against (Broncos QB) Peyton Manning and an outstanding team in Denver, the game was back and forth and a good game. Then a few things went Denver’s way, and it sort of just snowballed on them there. They’re still the Super Bowl champions, they still have an outstanding team and they’re well coached.”

On playing the Ravens in their first home game after winning the Super Bowl: “All of those things are fine. We’re excited about playing this game and embracing the challenge of what that brings and the opportunity to play the team that just won the Super Bowl. Our guys are excited about it already.”

On preparing for Baltimore’s linebackers: “It’s a big challenge for our guys. They’re really going to need to step up. We’ll do some things from a schematic standpoint to try to help and have a plan. We have to execute the plan.”

On his reaction when the team moved to Baltimore: “I was in college or had just been out of college. I wasn’t here locally at all. I was down in Florida hearing about it. I think everybody was surprised at the time; but we’re back, and we’re working. Right now the team, we’re all aware of that. Everybody knows it and the fans are aware of it, but we’re focused on this game and this game alone, like we have had the focus all season long.”

On WRs Josh Gordon’s and Greg Little’s speeding fines: “They’ve taken care of all of that stuff as far as I know.”

On kickoff return: “We’ll stick with (RB Bobby) Rainey. We do have some other guys and some other options. We have some flexibility there.”

On WR Travis Benjamin’s size and ability to compete for contested passes: “Everybody is different. All guys are different with what they bring. He’s fast. He’s not a big guy so he’s never going to be the kind of guy who’s going to push guys around to make catches. His craftiness, his route running and his speed is what he’s going to have to get separation. He’s working on continuously being strong with the ball and strong to the catch. Those are some of the things I know that (wide receivers coach) Scott (Turner) works a lot with them, and they will continue to get better at that.”

On QB Brandon Weeden: “I’ve see progress in him since the time we’ve started. He’s making quicker decisions. He’s grasping the offense better. I think you saw his toughness and resiliency in that game. As he continues to improve, the production should improve. That’s ultimately what we’re looking for.”


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