John Harbaugh press conference: 8-30-05

On whether not having [S] Sean Considine play on Thursday hurts him more than it hurts defensive coordinator Jim Johnson: "The biggest thing about that, guys who are going to play special teams, you would love for them to get reps in the preseason, but when guys get hurt there is nothing you can do about it. You just have to move on. He's had a lot of reps in practice; he has just not been able to take a shot on that shoulder."

On the process of creating a special teams unit:
"I think the process goes on throughout. It's not like you have to sit back and wait and see who makes the team at the end. You see the thing developing day to day, through the first minicamp through the final cut, so I think I have a pretty good idea where the battles are at, who has a chance to make it, who doesn't and what it is going to come down to. So you stack your roster and you organize your reps accordingly, because we have to get guys ready to play. It will be interesting to see a couple of those spots at the end, but I think we have a pretty good idea for the most part."

On how important ‘one more play' is for guys who are on the bubble:
"This is really their last chance. A guy has a last chance to make a team, runs down there and makes a play and all the sudden shows up. It might swing it one way or another."

On how much influence he has in creating the roster:
"I think I have no influence, but special teams has a lot of influence. [Head coach] Andy [Reid] and [VP of player personnel] Tom [Heckert] make those decisions. I think they spend a lot of time watching special teams. We talk about who is doing well and who is not doing well, who is progressing from one week to the next."

On which aspect of special teams concerns him the most:
"You are always most concerned with the coverage teams. The punt coverage and the kickoff coverage are going to be the thing that concerns you most from the first day to the last day. That is the thing that you have to make sure you have right, because that is the part that can hurt you the fastest. So we are always looking at the coverage part. When you evaluate players, you are looking for guys that can cover kicks. We can find guys that can block people, but we need to find guys that can cover kicks."

On which is more important, punt coverage or kickoff coverage:
"Well the more you score, the more kickoff coverage becomes more important and the fewer first downs you get, the more punt coverage becomes important. I say that it is which one you do the most. We have been scoring a lot lately, so kickoff coverage has become very important around here, which is a good thing."

On his brother's scouting report of WR Michael Gasperson:
"He [University of San Diego head coach, Jim Harbaugh] likes him obviously. He's a big guy; he says that he is tough, smart and hardworking. He's a good looking receiver, so it's going to be interesting to see what he does. He will be on the kickoff team. We will let him run down there and see if he will hit a wedge."

On the punting situation:
"I think that [P] Sean [Landeta] is our punter today. He did real well and I think that he will have a good game Thursday night. But we are still seeing where [P] Dirk [Johnson] is at health wise right now. He has punted every other day for the past week or so and every day is getting a little bit better. So it's up to the doctors right now to see how well he is progressing."

On the game that RB Reno Mahe had last week:
"Reno is a good punt returner. He can do it. He got the ball north and south and made some yards, which people are concerned about. If Reno is our punt returner, I think he will do a good job."

On how [S] Jeremy Thornburg has done on special teams:
"He has done well. He has not had as many opportunities to make tackles as he has on defense. He has made a bunch of tackles on defense. But, when he has been out there on special teams he has done a good job. But you can evaluate the defensive part of it almost as much as you can evaluate the special teams part of it. As a special teams coach, I can see him running downhill and making tackles. You can fit that into special teams and see how he is going to play in that role. He will get a chance again tomorrow night to play a bunch in both phases, so we will see how he does."

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