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Michael Huff Introductory Press Conference

Posted Mar 28, 2013

Includes Head Coach John Harbaugh, Secondary Coach Teryl Austin & S Michael Huff

Head coach John Harbaugh opening statement: “I'd just like to take an opportunity here to formally introduce our latest addition on defense, safety Michael Huff. It’s with great pleasure that we do that. He’s just a tremendous player, a tremendous guy. He fits us really well both football-wise and technique-wise, the type of person he is, the type of family man he is. He’s going to enable us to keep doing the things on defense that we have been doing and even build on those things. I know [secondary coach] Teryl [Austin] has a lot of great plans for him in the back end, but you are talking about a great athlete – a guy who was a Top 10 pick, a guy who has played corner, safety, played in the slot, free safety, strong safety. He has done it all, because he is smart. He is tough, and he knows how to play the game. We are just thrilled that he is here, thrilled that he is a Raven. I’m going to turn it over to T.A. [Teryl Austin] first of all, and talk about the football a little bit and let T.A. present the jersey to Michael.”

 

Secondary coach Teryl Austin opening statement: “One of the things as the team has been changing and we have been bringing guys in, we had an opportunity to look at Michael and had a chance to get him. I think the thing that stands out is you look at a guy in the back end who has a lot of range. He is a good tackler coming out of the back end, and he’s durable. He has played a lot. I think maybe in his seven years, he has missed maybe four games. That’s a testament to the way he is as a professional. I’ve heard really good things about him. Guys I know [who] have coached him have lots of good things to say about him, not only as a player but as a person. I think that’s important when you are coming in here, because there is a Raven-way that we do things, and we think he will fit in that mold. I’m really excited to have him. [I’m] looking forward to adding him into the back end, so that as a defense, we can continue to be better – to be the best. That’s, I think, our goal. So when we sign guys, that is our goal. It’s not to fill anybody’s shoes, or to do anything like that, but, ‘Hey, can this guy help us be the best defense we can be?’ That’s what we did with Michael.”

 

S Michael Huff opening statement: “I’m just excited to be here. Like you said, I’ve played a lot of football in my career, but I’ve always watched the Ravens from afar. Obviously, they are a successful organization. [They have] some of the greatest fans in the world, so I’m just excited to be a part of it, excited to carry on a legacy, carry on a tradition and to defend the Super Bowl. It’s really the main thing of why I’m here, is just to help us win. I said I’ll do whatever it takes to help us win.”

 

You’ve heard about various players leaving Baltimore, especially in the secondary. Were you reading about it thinking, “I might have a chance to land with a champion?” (Joe Platania) “Definitely.  Like I said, anytime you see a great organization like this and you see a guy leaving your spot, [you think], ‘I can play that spot.’ I can come in here and fill that role, and hopefully not leave any drop-offs. Like I said, I’m coming here to help the team any way I can.”

 

The Ravens were a team that was very interested in you coming out of Texas. They didn’t have a chance to pick you. They went with Haloti Ngata. How does it kind of feel to be a Raven after seven years when they were interested in you back then? (Aaron Wilson) “It feels good. Like I said, I talked to [general manager/executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome]. He talked to me and told me how much he liked me coming out [of college]. I said, ‘Things didn’t work out then, but seven years later, at least I’m a Raven.’ Everything happens for a reason.”

 

What is it like? You are the new free safety, and you are your own player, but you do replace a great safety in Ed Reed. (Aaron Wilson) “Obviously, Ed [is] one of the greatest free safeties to ever play this game. [He is a] first-ballot Hall of Famer, and I’ve said for me to come in here, I don’t really feel like I’m following his footsteps. I’m more kind of starting my own legacy and kind of going in here to help the defense. Like I said, I’m going to go out there and play free safety, play strong safety, play corner if they need me to, play nickel if they need me to. I’m going to go out here and do whatever I can to help the defense and help us win.”

 

When you last came in here last year, it’s not exactly a fond memory for you being with the way the Ravens beat Oakland, but did that show you something about the way that Baltimore plays and as you said, the fans?  (David Ginsburg) “Yes, you can definitely tell there’s a physical attitude, just the physicalness. Like I said, just the confidence … One thing about playing in this stadium, I saw the fans where loud. I said, ‘They may have some of the best fans in the NFL.’ They were loud the whole game, yelling and cheering for their team. I’m definitely excited to play in front of these fans.”

 

Do you have a memory of picking off [Joe] Flacco? (Ryan Mink) “Yeah. (laughing) As soon as I see him, I’ll have to give him a hard time. I’ll always replay that.”

 

I know you do want to be your own man, but you are replacing someone who was beloved here in Baltimore. What does that mean to you to follow Ed Reed in that position? (David Ginsburg) “Like I said, it means a lot. He’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest, free safety to ever play the game. I talked to him last night, just told him that I’ll carry on his legacy, carry on the tradition of great safeties in Baltimore. I’m definitely going to go out there and hold up my end.”

 

Did you call him last night? (Ryan Mink) “I texted him. We texted back and forth last night. I said I’ve been talking to Ed [Reed] for a little while.”

 

You visited in Dallas. What made you decide to choose the Ravens? Was it about their defense, a little bit of money … (David Ginsburg)Defense and just winning. Like I said, at this point in my career, it’s not chasing money, it’s not chasing things like that. It’s chasing that Super Bowl ring. I said I don’t think [of] any other place than to come here. Baltimore is that place. You want to come here and win a Super Bowl, then [this is] where you want to be.”

How would you describe your game, Michael? (Ryan Mink) “That’s a tough question. I’ll do whatever it takes for the team. Like I said, I played corner, free safety, strong safety, nickel, dime – I’ve kind of played it all in my career. I’m just one of those guys that will do whatever is best for the team and put the team first.”

 

Michael, I think you were at Texas’ pro day? The other day you were telling some of the Dallas guys after your Cowboys visit you were going to Green Bay. Was there a trip scheduled for Green Bay, and you just kind of changed your mind and decided to just go ahead and go with the Ravens after the Dallas visit? (Aaron Wilson) “The trip wasn’t scheduled yet. We were just talking back and forth with my agent. But, I wanted to be here, especially once they got [Elvis] Dumervil. I said, ‘Look at that pass rushing with him, [Terrell] Suggs, [Haloti] Ngata, [Chris] Canty, all of them in there.’ So, as soon as they got him, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that makes my job a lot easier.’ This is where I wanted to be.”

 

Michael, you’ve been a Raider for a long time. What kind of challenges do you see in getting together with a bunch of new guys in the secondary and sort of getting on the same page and developing chemistry? How long do you think that process will sort of take? (Jeff Zrebiec) “I don’t think it will be bad. I saw [Lardarius] Webb in there working out in the training room now. And, obviously, I know Chykie Brown. So, I know some of those guys. I’ve seen a lot of them in the offseason, things like that. So I think once we get out here, I’ll be here for OTAs, minicamps, workouts. I think it will be easy fitting in with these guys.”

 

This team has some other young safeties on the roster. Do you see yourself coming in and taking on a veteran leadership role in that group? (Luke Jones) “I’ll definitely [be a] mentor. It’s more than just on the field. You’ve got to be a mentor off the field and just kind of teach the young guys how to be a pro, how to get better day-in and day-out. So, I definitely want to be a mentor to the young guys.”

 

Is it going to be a hard thing for you to adjust, after being with one team for so long, to come all the way across here and change up? (Jeff Seidel) “I don’t think so. When you’re winning, it makes things a lot easier. I’m ready to go out here, win and make plays and just help this team however I can.”

 

Are you training with Chykie Brown in the offseason? Are you two kind of close? (Ryan Mink) “I train with him, and I saw him Tuesday as a matter of fact. We were down in Austin for the Pro Day, and I told him, ‘Let’s make it happen.’ He called ‘T.A.’ [Teryl Austin], and I told him I wanted to be out here and make it happen, and the next day they made it happen. So, Chykie is definitely my guy, so I’ve got to keep him in line.”

In terms of cornerback, how much do you feel like you’ll do that going forward? (Aaron Wilson) “I have no idea. We’ll talk scheme and talk all of that later, but as of right now I’m just enjoying being a Raven and enjoying being with the defending Super Bowl champions.”

Did [playing corner] help your game by having an opportunity to play some of those other positions, maybe make you a little more well balanced? (Aaron Wilson) “I think it does, because I see things from everybody’s point of view now. When I’m at safety, I know what the corner is looking at – splits, leverage, things like that. So, I definitely think playing corner [last] year will help me at free safety.”

Like understanding what it’s like for the corners? (Aaron Wilson) “You definitely know tough situations, certain formations, certain routes are tough for them. For me, being a free safety, I’m the one to make everything right, so I can help them out.”

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