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Offseason Workouts Media Availability

Posted Apr 23, 2013

Strength and Conditioning Coach Bob Rogucki

Opening statement: “Our [offseason workout] program just started. We’re into the second week. We divide it down into upper- and lower-body days. Our Monday and Wednesday day will consist of our upper-body lift. We have, what we call, the bench-press day, so we start the workout – every upper body [part] – with neck, then we move to bench. So basically, it’s a press-pull-type of atmosphere or format. That’s on Monday. On Wednesday, we come in with the same format, except bench is going to be an incline. So, we hit upper body on Monday and Wednesdays, and on those two days, those are more difficult runs. We’re going to do 100s, we’re going to do half-gassers, we’re going to do things that really tax their legs, then we come in and train the upper body. Now, on [Tuesday] and Thursday, it’s our lower-body day, so the runs are not as taxing on their legs. It’s more quick stuff, short-distance-type of program. So, we have four days a week. Friday is used as a make-up day. They can only come to us four times [a week], and we can only be in the room consisting of the run and lift for only two hours [a day]. So, we now have it divided down that when they come in to see us, after we get done with our team run, we stretch, we warm them up, team run – that lasts about 30 minutes. Then after that, one group will go in and stretch, the other group will lift, and then in 45 minutes, we’ll flip it so the other group that was doing the stretching is now lifting. Right now, we’re establishing a base, just like building a house. You have to get a base formed, and from that base, which consists of what we’re doing now – long-distance running, quick runs – our running and our lifting … Our rep range is very high now, and the weight is around 85 percent for the upper body, and 75 percent for the lower body. As we progress into each one of these camps that we’ll be going into, that weight will continue to increase. Our program is a little bit different than most, I feel, because we demand a lot of them. It’s not an easy program by no means. It’s hard. It’s very difficult. The things that you’ll see when most players come from other teams as a free agent to us is the volume of work. Ours is a little bit more than what they’re used to. You have to commend our players. For them to continue this – it’s going into its sixth year now – we haven’t backed anything off. In fact, if anything, we’ve added more stuff to it, so that’s the basis of what we do. Coach Harbaugh supports the program, supports me. That’s why my job is so easy. He makes my job easy because he demands a lot from me as a coach and demands a lot from them as a player. As a result, you’ll see what’s happened so far since we’ve been here – [13] playoff games and finally a Super Bowl.”

How is Lardarius Webb coming along? (Aaron Wilson) “He’s coming along well. That’s a more specific question to be asked to the athletic trainer, but he’s coming along well. Right now, as far as the rehab, he is still under the athletic training staff as far as his legs. I train his upper body. I train his non-involved leg. He is now beginning to run with us, so he is coming along according to course.”

Do you have any anecdotes of veterans who came in and were surprised by the work load here? (Ryan Mink) “I don’t want to mention any names, and I won’t mention any names. I can just tell you that when they get into this program, you can tell. Our first run is six 300s. The only purpose behind that run is to see which player is going to walk, because if he’s walking, then that tells me he hasn’t done anything since he’s left here. Fortunately, we had no walkers this year. But, we went six weeks longer into the season, too. So, that meant they were in a little better shape six weeks longer going into the offseason.”

What does “competition day” consist of and who is usually the best at it? (Joe Platania) “We don’t run the competition day. We did in the past, but because of the new CBA [collective bargaining agreement] and the lack of days, that was one thing we let go. But, the competition day involved many different tasks: hanging from a chin bar, 225 [pounds] on the bench, walking with kettle bells, pulling ropes of different weights seated on the ground, tire flips. So, it was just who could get so many reps at each one of those stations. Unfortunately, we don’t have that, so that’s gone right now. If the CBA would give us more days, we could bring it back.”

You have a player like Bryan Hall, who is going through a position change, which involves a body-type change. How challenging is that to devise a workout with all of that so he is dropping weight in a healthy way? (Luke Jones) “Bryan has really handled that on his own for the most part. He has done a fantastic job getting himself to the point where he is now. In fact, we ran 100s yesterday, and in the beginning of the program, I was saying, ‘Bryan, now you’re going to still run with the O-line and D-line.’ By this point in time after a week and a half, I now have moved him to the linebacker running time. He was running 100s yesterday in 17 seconds, so he has done pretty much a lot of it on his own. When he came in here, I wasn’t really concerned that he would not be able to do it because he is a very determined person. He’ll set forth the standards that he needs to meet, and he’ll meet those standards. Right now, he’s right on course with everything.”

How does it help when you have veteran guys like Elvis Dumervil or Chris Canty come in? (Garrett Downing) “All that is positive. Again, that is one thing, like when Elvis comes into the program, this is completely different from what he did in Denver. So, there’s a learning curve. It’s more similar to what he did when he was at the collegiate level. Not that what he did in Denver was wrong, I’m just saying we are different from what he did. He has taken small steps. I think he is enjoying it, and I think he’s beginning to understand what we’re about. Basically, it’s simple: If you want to get stronger, you have to lift heavier weights. If you want to get faster, you have to run faster. There is no magic to any of this. Really, that’s what it is. They say, ‘Well, what’s cutting edge about what you do?’ We increase the weight every time you come in. That’s the most cutting edge thing that we do. We either increase it or ask you to do more reps.”

Is there anybody that has been particularly impressive to you throughout the course of this early process? (Matt Zenitz) “I think I’ve been pretty good myself. (laughing) I won’t name a name – I won’t do that. I don’t put guys on the spot like that. You have to look at what the team is doing – that’s the most important thing. I had a scout ask me yesterday who is the strongest. They’ve only been here one week. I can’t tell you. Maybe check with me in five weeks. Right now, the only thing we’re trying to do is make sure that we don’t have anything lingering from the season, like an elbow, shoulder or knee, make sure that we build the base, keep the weight light. They are only running one time with me. Next week, they’ll have two running sessions, so you have to be smart. I can’t kill their legs this week and then bring them into next week and put two runs on them. The ability for them to stay up with the task on the field is what they’re here to do. Now, what my job is is to make sure that they can continue to do that and still maintain and build strength. So, you ask who stands out? They all stand out, because basically, they have all made increases already. I allow that to happen though, because I start the weight at a certain percentage that gives them the ability to make those jumps. So, when they go out there on the field, and they’re with their position coach and they’re going to take 90 reps, their legs are still going to be underneath of them. That’s how we gauge them, as far as what we do with them.”


G/T Kelechi Osemele

On how the offseason workouts have been going for him: “[The workouts are going] really well. I just jumped into it last week. Things are going very well for me.”

On head coach John Harbaugh mentioning the possibility of him playing left tackle: “He [coach Harbaugh] hasn’t specifically come up to me and said that. If that’s the situation, then I’m good with it. Wherever they put me, I’ll play to the best of my ability.”

On how comfortable he feels he would be at left tackle: “I would be very comfortable. As far as the footwork goes – having played it my whole college career and starting every game at that position – I think I’d be fairly comfortable with that switch.”

On if he practiced at left tackle last season: “No, not taking snaps or anything like that, but we always practice pass sets at either position just to stay flexible.”

On if he would like to know by training camp if he will be playing left tackle: “No, not necessarily. Training camp itself is a long process. I was taking guard reps during training camp last year. It doesn’t really matter when I know, as long as I get a few snaps at it, I think I’ll be alright.”

On if he has a preference as to which position he would prefer to play: “No, not really, as long as I’m on the field and we have the best linemen on the field. That’s what’s most important to me is giving the team the best possible chance to win games.”

On what the differences are between left tackle, right tackle and guard: “I guess it’s just flipping the plays in your head. As far as guard and tackle, it’s completely different as far as your technique goes. Playing left tackle and right tackle is all about being comfortable in your stance and being able to get out and being able to kick. If you are comfortable kicking from both sides, it doesn’t make too much of a difference.”

On if he felt more dominant at guard: “I felt like it was pretty natural with just the build of my body and everything like that. I felt like it was a smooth transition and a natural move for me.”

On if he has dropped weight and has worked on his quickness: “That’s what we do. That’s the point of offseason workouts is to get faster, get bigger, to get stronger. Obviously, that’s what we are trying to get accomplished here.”

On how much he weighs: “I’m about 329 [pounds] right now.”

On if the mental or physical part of changing positions was more challenging: “I’d probably say early on it was the mental part, but now that I’ve been in the system for a while and I kind of know various positions, it would probably be the physical part – muscle memory.”

On how he would evaluate his rookie season: “It started off shaky, real slow, but I progressed throughout the year. As expected, when you get more reps and you get more comfortable playing at this level, I felt like I did a good job towards the end of the season.”

On the potential to play his third position along the offensive line, and if that shows the coaches’ faith in his abilities and boosts his confidence: “It gives me confidence to know that they trust me to be able to utilize me and plug me in at different positions. It’s always a good feeling to feel trusted like that.”

On what it has been like working with run game coordinator Juan Castillo: “He just seems to know what he is talking about. He’s been doing it for a very long time, and he’s a really good teacher and he knows how to explain things and kind of break it down. So, that’s what I’ve learned so far, just technique and how important that is.”

On how much he would like to see T Bryant McKinnie return to the Ravens: “I’d love to have him back here. He’s a great asset to our team, just a powerful weapon to have, especially with both of us on the same side. So, if we could repeat that, that would be good. But I trust [general manager/executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome], and those guys know what they’re doing as well and know what direction they want to kind of direct our team into. So, whatever they decide to do, I trust them fully.”

On if he stills prefers to play guard, but he’s willing to play wherever they ask him to play: “Yeah, that’s pretty much it. It’s a professional business, so you have to be able to change and adapt, but it would be good to have that same lineup. But, things change and you have to be able to adapt.”

On facing a lot of good pass rushers when he played at Iowa State, namely current Denver OLB Von Miller from Texas A&M: “The challenge with guys like Von is just the speed and the variety of moves, the multiple ways that they can beat you. So, it was good facing that during my college career, because I felt like that prepared me for the next level.”

 

 

RB Ray Rice

On what the offseason workouts entail: “[Strength and conditioning coach] Bob [Rogucki] runs a great program. Every day is a different challenge. I like the fact that every day is a different challenge. You come in [and] things are not routine. Anytime you have a chance to challenge yourself each day, [that is] what makes the offseason program special. It definitely just feels good. For me, I just feel good to be around my teammates. We challenge each other. I just feel like now – even though it’s early – you build that camaraderie now. When it comes time to be playing football again, things will become special.”

On if there is any more importance placed on building camaraderie with the different personnel: “Yes, this year, obviously, with everything that went on this offseason … We had a great Super Bowl run. You kind of want to find a way. Last year was about getting back to the New England game. Now, you have to figure out how do you get back to the next Super Bowl, which is quite the challenge. We are going to get every team’s best shot next year. No matter what pieces we have, we have to put them all together for Week 1 of preseason. I’m not looking past what we have ahead of us, but everybody’s best shot is versus us. Everybody’s offseason studies – the teams that we’ve played – are going to be the Ravens now. You are truly a champion until somebody knocks you off. That’s what the Giants had to face last year. When we played the Giants – even though they were in the hunt to get in the playoffs – when we played them here, everybody was saying, ‘Baltimore Ravens against the defending champs.’ That’s what it’s going to be next year. It’s a little bit different. The coaches, obviously, play apart in getting everything ready for the next part of the offseason program. Right now, the best thing we have to do is get our bodies strong, guys need to get healthy and the pieces that we have here – like veteran guys like Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty – it’s great because those guys know what it takes. Obviously, Canty has won a Super Bowl with the Giants, so he can always bring that veteran leadership around.”

On what impressed him the most about G/T Kelechi Osemele last season and how comfortable Rice would be with him at left tackle: “If that was the case right now, I’ll be comfortable with that. You have to look at a guy – who has [given] the sacrifice – who went from a tackle to a guard. For him, I would think of how smart he is. The physical side of him – I think you draft certain kinds of players and call them Ravens. He definitely fits that off the jump. You have to be a very smart football player to do what he’s [done], especially to move from right [tackle] to left [tackle] to guard. They say there are a lot of interchangeable pieces, but when you’re moving a guy around the way you’ve moved K.O., for him not to have [any] MAs [missed assignments] and mess-ups, that’s the thing that really impresses, I guess, the coaches and myself, because when you are running behind somebody and you trust them, that’s the biggest thing. I’ve always trusted whoever we’ve had in front of us, but we do have a great group of young guys growing. Obviously, the pieces still haven’t unfolded yet. For me, this is just a great feeling for me, because of my last situation the last two years, I went from lockout to holdout. And now, I get to be in this building every day. To just see everything coming together and me being here going into Year 6 is pretty amazing. If the season did start today and we had to go forward, it would be pretty interesting to see how it all shakes out. I don’t know. I wouldn’t want it to start right now. We still have a lot of work to do.”

On what his reaction was to the rule change regarding running backs lowering their heads: “I just sat back, and I analyzed it a little bit. I thought about why they put the rule into place. For me, I was kind of thinking about if I was on the sideline, and I wasn’t going to get the extra two yards, and there was a guy knowing that I’m going to go out of bounds, and I lowered my head or shoulder into him, maybe that’s an unfair advantage, because a guy thinks I’m going to slow down. I wanted to get an extra two yards, and I lowered my head, I thought about that as the rule. But I also said, ‘If I’m in the open field, and I have nowhere to go, and I have one defender left, it’s natural for the running back to lower their shoulder and defend themselves.’ Obviously, I wouldn’t be one of those guys gnawing on the sideline ducking my head into a defenseless defender. I guess that’s my interpretation of the rule, but I also think as a running back – the position who gets tackled the most – we have to protect ourselves. It will be interesting to see how it shapes out. I didn’t agree with it, because I felt like it was just saying we were just lowering our head, and we’re battering rams. Ninety percent of the time we are the target. We will just see how it plays out. It’s just one of the things that with every rule and everything that’s going on with the NFL, if you don’t adjust and you don’t adapt, you eventually will become weeded out. I’ve always been able to adjust my game a little bit. So, maybe it’s making the game safer. I’m all about player safety. My vow to the defender on the sideline … Maybe you are going to push for the extra two yards of lowering my shoulder if I know I’m going out of bounds. If it’s third down and it’s two yards to get and the sideline is only there, you better believe I’m going to give my best effort in that situation. If there’s really no room to go, I guess the saying, ‘An unnecessary hit,’ I’m not about taking them anymore. I have to be smart about what I’m doing to my body, as well.”

On being a more vocal leader after the departure of some veteran leaders this offseason: “Now, for me, I truly believe that some people are naturally born leaders. I truly believe that you can be a great follower. For me over the last six years, as much as I can say I became a leader, especially on offense … We had a young offense. So, I know I’ve been a leader on the offense. But, I’ve followed probably the greatest leader [Ray Lewis] to ever play in a Ravens’ uniform. Now, that’s when I felt like I am comfortable enough to put myself in front of the team and step up and be that leader. But, being a leader doesn’t always have to mean being vocal. For me it was watching at first, just seeing how guys [do things] as critical as eating, watching how guys eat and seeing how they continue to eat and stay in shape. Then it was workouts, then it was different things. So, I’ve watched over the years, and it didn’t happen overnight. Now, I am clearly comfortable enough to say that I don’t mind being that leader. I have no problem going to a defensive guy now and just saying, ‘Let’s go. We need your best.’ That’s what they’re going to expect from me. That’s what brings me here to the offseason program, because I don’t want a guy to look at me and think that I’m not going to give my best. No. I’m here, and I’m going to give my best. That’s what makes it special, because if you see a guy like me going into my sixth year here, it makes the younger guys not only look at you, but they are saying, ‘Why is he here?’ I am here because our team is in a position where we need our veterans to step up. We are truly a young team, but we’re a young, talented team. I always felt like hard work beats talent, and we’re a hard-working group. It’s great to see our younger guys work as hard as they are right now, because we know anybody who gets drafted – even over the next week; we’ll see how the draft unfolds – those guys are going to come in here, and it’s going to be a little bit of a different shock from college, because we’re one of the hardest-working teams in the NFL. I don’t know what other teams do. I am just saying from myself, over the last couple of years, for us to be in three AFC Championships, the playoffs every year since I’ve been a Raven, you have to be a hard-working team. That doesn’t happen by accident. That happens by hard work, coming in each day and figuring out a way along the way. So, I just know we are a hard-working team, and it’s great to be a part of a great group like that.”

On WR Torrey Smith’s progression from when he first entered the league: “He’s a complete receiver. I just feel like when you have a chance to play under an Anquan Boldin, you have no choice but to take pieces and put them all together into one game – for the completeness of his game. I’ve seen Torrey Smith get scouted as a guy that just goes deep. That’s what the scouting report was: ‘Let’s defend the deep ball.’ But, then I’ve seen a Torrey Smith run intermediate routes. I’ve seen Torrey Smith line up in the slot. That’s what you call a complete No. 1 receiver. Now, we have to find the rest of our guys to kind of mold around him. It’s great to know that. Obviously, he’s a guy that truly, truly – hard work has gotten him where he’s at. Obviously, I can go into this personal story and all that stuff, but he’s a great guy.  But, it’s great to see that not only is he a great guy, he’s a very hard-working guy. I’m telling you right now … I worked out with Torrey a few times – we have our place where we work out – but he’s definitely tough to keep up with in a workout. He wants to finish first in everything – whether it’s running … He’s No. 1 when he lines up for running routes. He has a lot going for him.”

 

CB Lardarius Webb

 

On how the rehab process is coming along: “Everything is going good.”

On if he has given any thought to when he’ll be 100 percent: “No, we’re just taking our time.”

On if his previous ACL injury has helped him through this rehab: “Yes, it did. Just with my confidence level and knowing what I am going to have to go through made it very easy. All I can do is just come here and work every day, and that’s what I do.”

On the emotional part of the injury: “It was hard at first. I just couldn’t believe it had happened again, going through that adversity like, ‘Dang, how did it happen again?’ After a week or two, with my family, friends and this locker room, they were able to keep my head up just being strong. What I did was I just came [here] every day. Just working my butt off, and the head [athletic] trainer ‘Smitty’ [Mark Smith], he is pushing me hard. He is taking great care of me.”

On how he is taking on more of a leadership role with the departure of veteran leaders this offseason: “That’s why I am here now. I am here working out with the guys, just interacting with them, learning the new guys, [Elvis] Dumervil and [Chris] Canty, all the new people who are here, just being around. The guys like to see you work by example. I try to interact with everybody. All the young guys that need extra help on plays or just any question, I’m there, and they know that I am going to be there with 100 percent, give them everything I can.”

On if it was easier traveling around being a Super Bowl champion, even though he was sidelined: “It feels good to be a Super Bowl champion, but I want to play in it, so that’s still my motivation to this day. I want to play in a Super Bowl.”

On what it will be like in the secondary without S Ed Reed: “We are going to continue being the Ravens’ defense. Ed brought us a lot. He taught us a lot while he was here. So, we are just going to take what he taught us and move on. He’s moving on with his career, which he has had a Hall of Fame career. [He is] the best safety ever to play the game, to me. But, he has taught us a lot of things on and off the field, being a leader, just watching him and seeing how he lives his everyday life – just how he always has an iPad, always studying. We paid attention while he was here, so we’ll continue doing what he taught us.”

On Reed especially taking Webb under his wing: “I wouldn’t say that. He took all of us up under his wing. You just might think he took me because he was my favorite player. So, everything that I did was trying to emulate him, trying to be like Ed Reed. He’s gone now, and I wish him the best, but we’re trying to make it to the playoffs again and get this run started.”

On what his level of confidence is he’ll be able to get back to the same playing level as before his injury: “I’m just working my butt off, and when the time comes, No. 21 will be back.”

On if he looks at it as a challenge to continue the tradition on defense, even with the departure of key veterans: “We will continue that tradition. Like I said, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed taught us so much. I was here four years. Jameel McClain was here, played beside Ray. We paid attention, and that’s a part of being in this game – paying attention to the guys in front of you. I know I paid attention. I know exactly what to do, exactly how to kind of – not even just lead this defense – but be an example. Work hard, study hard, practice hard, come to work every day, paying attention in meetings, doing the small things. The guys will follow behind that. It’s not often about being a talkative leader or taking over. Just do the right thing, and they’ll follow.”

On if training camp is the target date for him: “I’m working my butt off. I am just working my butt off every day. [No.] 21 will be back.”

On who the person who trained him doing an exercise with ping pong balls in an internet video was: “Kyle Jakobe. He works us out in Timonium – me, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Jimmy Smith. He just keeps us toned up a little bit. We couldn’t work in the [Ravens’] weight room before the [official NFL offseason workout program began], so he just kept us toned up and got us right. He’s great. I just love working with him. He keeps us going.”

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