John Harbaugh meets the national media in Indy…

February 23, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

John Harbaugh met the national media in Indianapolis this afternoon and was peppered with questions regarding the following topics:

These are running notes, NOT direct quotes…

On Quarterback

Needs to be strengthed. Going to use every resource. We have pretty good quarterbacks on our roster. Incumbent: McNair.

On Combine:

At other combines I was doing special teams and defensive scouting. I could move through the lobby quicker. It’s been fun. Guys I’ve known for years have been happy for me, happy that I got this job. They gave me key words of wisdom and warnings.

On Special teams leading to the head coaching job:

That was one of the cases we made (that being a special teams coach qualified Harbaugh…this brought a laugh). Being a special teams coordinator, one of the few guys who stands in front of the whole team every day. There are a lot of ways to be a head coach in this league.

On preparing for strategy of the game:

Being with Andy Reid and involved in those decisions in the past will help him moving forward.

On New staff:

The draft has been good team building for staff. They’ve been running intereference for me in the lobby. Everyone has a job to do. Eric Decosta does an incredible job organizing guys. Interviewing everyone. Every workout in Indy is covered. It’s been fun.

On Cam Cameron:

Cam is NOT here due to a family emergency. He’s been involved in evaluating QBs. Cam and I go WAY back. Coached my brother at Michigan. Cam has been through a lot, had great accomplishments. More than an OC, he’s a good advisor.

On biggest time commitment since taking the job:

By far it’s been spending time with the players. We’ve spent a lot of time with our players. One hour to three hours with almost every player. Those guys are hungry and they want to put together a real good football team.

On Jon Ogden:

It’s been on Cam’s mind. Jon Ogden, everyone knows what he’s meant to this organization. We have to make contingency plans. It’s not a recruiting process. He’ll make a decision. We talked about family, history, values. Got to know each other. He’s a wonderful person, tremendous conversation.

On rearranging locker room:

Goes back to what we’ve talked about before. The team, team, team. That’s what we’re going to be about. (Moving lockers is) a tangible expression of what we’re about. If you’re an OL guy you see OL guys all day. You see them all day, all week, all year. Pretty simple. Let’s see some new guys, mix it up, get to know each other better.

Being on “ground floor” of Ravens changes:

Being in Philly for 10 years, it was like that. In Philly, I was on the ground floor of every change. The first step is getting to know these guys as people. Next step is watching tape. It’s a process…nothing magical.

On Terrell Suggs staying:

It was big. He was excited and fired up that he’s going to be a Raven. Long term and short term, that’s good for everybody.

On moving to defensive secondary coaching playing a role in getting Baltimore job:

Maybe the Ravens brass can answer it better. It was good for me as a coach, learning D from Jim Johnson. Made me a better football coach.

On BC QB Matt Ryan:

I’ve known about Matt, watched him grow up in Philadelphia. Incredible competior. Tough. Successful. As far as how the draft plays out, that’s what TV is for.

On Stanford and brother Jim Harbaugh:

I’ll give my usual endorsement. If there are any good football players with good grades, Stanford is the place for you! (BIG laugh by media!)

On putting a staff together with Ravens:

You have a chance to put together one of the best staffs in the world. We had a chance to recruit great coaches. Steve Bisciotti was involved. Ozzie Newsome was involved. George Kokinis, Eric Decosta and Pat Moriarty also pitched in.

On toughness of NOT having his friend Pat Shurmur come to Baltimore as OC:

It’s tough for him not being a part of it. He’s going to be a great coordinator. You have a chance to bring Pat or Cam. Cam was the best fit for this time.

On Rex:

It was big to keep Rex. He’s now an assistant head coach. We talk everyday about everything we’re doing. Players are excited. I understand the argument (for NOT bringing him back). That’s not even something you can imagine with Rex (hard feelings). He’s doing everything he can to make this better. If you know Rex you wouldn’t have any concern. He loves the organization, loves Baltimore and being in Baltimore and he’s going to be great.

On Jerry Rosberg, new special teams coach:

I’m hoping he’ll allow me to get in there an mix it up with the guys. I now have the chance to affect all three phases of the game.

On Ray Lewis:

Ray’s excited. Can’t wait to get started. He’s working out in Miami…

On Steve McNair:

We’ve had a daily talks, on and off. He’s working real hard.

John Harbaugh then spent another 15 minutes in an informal chat with a group of a dozen media members.

All of this will be featured on wnsTV very soon (by Sunday morning).

 

Stay tuned…

 

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