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Transcript: John Harbaugh Conference Call


Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is concerned about the Falcons' offense and what Matt Ryan and Co. are capable of

On getting ready on a short week:

"Yeah, it's tough. Basically today is Wednesday. We just bypassed Monday and Tuesday. We don't have those anymore. We lost two days of our life I think. We're into Wednesday. It's a little different thought. Obviously, we're not going to have the same type of practice we normally would have on rest. Both teams played less than 24 hours before we were back at practice so it was a little different tempo."

On the performance of Ed Reed after returning from an injury:

"Ed's done a heck of a job. He got two interceptions in three games and a cause fumble. I think he's also a factor back there just in terms of pushing the ball down field. You certainly have to be aware of where he is at all times."


On Falcons' defense: **

"I think what he is basically saying is they are a fundamentally sound defense. They play very hard. They have an excellent front, and excellent front seven, and they fly to the ball. I think they do a great job with their hands, they get off blocks really well. They bring all the pressures, they play all the coverages, they do all the different things back there that teams do. They have very creative package but I think he's referring to the fact that they are so well coached and they play so hard."


On slowing down Roddy White:**

"Oh man, I don't know. We're going to have to figure that out. Not too many people have figured that out, have they? That's the million dollar question right there. He's just spectacular. I'm very impressed the fact that he's a threat to the field in both directions. He can stretch it horizontally coming across the field. He can stretch it vertically. He's got acceleration to go get a ball. He runs a route and he's got maybe stride for stride with the defensive back. He can just pull away and go make I catch. I think Matt's very well patented up with him and knows where to put the ball and stretch him out for it. He's going to be a really hard guy to cover. Obviously you've got to give him a lot of attention. He's not the only guy. I think that whole offense is so extremely talented. Obviously, with Tony Gonzalez, who is just a premier tight end in this league. He's got to get your attention. (Mike) Jenkins does a good job. Brian Finneran is a guy that we've known for a lot of years. He does a lot of things for them out at backfield. He lines up as a tight end, goes in motion and you've got to keep your eyes on him. Great running back, very physical offensive line. Harry Douglas has done a great job for them as far as all of the underneath routes. It's just a very talented group."

On similarities between Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco:

"Yeah, Matt's a guy that we were involved with, studying him as quarterback. He was kind of a top rated quarterback coming out. I was always so impressed with him. He's from Downingtown, Pennsylvania so when I was in Philly I just followed his career all through high school too so I just kind of new a lot about him. He's a great leader, a tremendous arm, great touch, very accurate, and I think those are things that Joe (Flacco) and he have in common. Obviously he's done a great job of winning football games. At home is 17-1 at the Dome. That is incredible. I think he's fulfilled all of the expectations and more, and he's just a franchise quarterback at a very young age. He's the focal point."

On Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg:

"Haloti Ngata is playing as well as any defensive tackle in the league right now. He's been dominant in pretty much every way. I don't know how much he's really been blocked. I think he's really improved his pass rush form year ago. I'm really proud of the way he's playing. Kelly Gregg has just been steady and he's just been a force on the Ravens' defense for 10 years now. He understands all of the schemes and he plays with great leverage. He was a great wrestler in high school and college, very strong and one of our team leaders. They're a presence inside, they do a great job with Ray (Lewis) in the middle. You talk about being strong down the middle in baseball, we're kind of strong down the middle on defense with Ed Reed at safety also."

On keys to inter-conference matchup:

"I think it's going to be really interesting in a short week. There's not going to be a lot of preparation. Just two teams go out there and play. From our standpoint, handling the crowd noise is going to be very important. Handling the relentlessness of the attack on both sides, it's just going to be a big challenge for us to have to come down there. We're going to try and do our best."

On watching the Falcons against AFC North division opponents:

"No, it's a 32 team league. You have to know every team in this league. We pretty much study everybody. I think we have pretty good hold on Atlanta. Not like a division team obviously, but you better know everybody because you have to play them at one time or another."

On preparing for Falcons:

"You need to do an offseason study on teams you haven't played, so we did that. During the bye week we spent some time on Atlanta as well as Miami so that was part of our process. We knew we were going to come right out of this Miami game and have to obviously be prepared to go to work on Monday. So we had that pretty well set up. We had to tie this last game in though, and that's what we did last night and this morning."

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