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Ravens Rookie Minicamp Transcripts

Posted May 16, 2014

WR Michael Campanaro

On how it feels to be back in Baltimore this week for rookie camp: “It’s been great; it’s been great. It’s been a lot — just getting into the playbook and getting a lot thrown at us right now. You feel like a freshman in college a little bit, but it’s been good just getting to meet some of the older guys, work out with the guys and getting into the playbook.”

On his pre-draft workout with the Ravens: “I felt like I had a great workout when I came up a few weeks ago with [wide receivers] coach [Bobby] Engram and [offensive coordinator Gary] Kubiak, so I definitely thought Baltimore could be a place where I could end up. But it was just a great feeling to be picked by Baltimore, and like you said, it was a great workout. I think it helped me out a lot.”

On if it was a tough workout: “It was pretty good. I don’t think it was too bad. Afterwards, they told me that they thought I was in pretty good shape. The other receiver kind of dropped out midway through, but it was good just doing bag drills [and] cone drills, and then we got into the route tree. It was good just [being] out there. It’s what we’ve been working out for.”

On how his background as a high school running back helps him as a slot receiver: “I think it helps out a ton, just understanding when you’re in the middle in traffic just carrying the ball, protecting the ball, and knowing how to not take the big hits and just make some plays, make guys miss after the catch and know where the sticks are.”

On what he feels like he needs to prove at this level: “Right now, I’m just learning the playbook. We’ve got a Hall of Fame receiver in there in Steve Smith, so it’s good just watching him and learning from a guy like that, and Torrey [Smith] and Jacoby [Jones]. So, right now I’m just learning the playbook. I think I could help out the team in any way — special teams and offense. I’m just going to keep working hard and see where I end up.”

On how much interaction the rookies have had with veteran players thus far: “A good amount. We’re with them in the mornings at practice, and we’re in on team meetings and things like that. We’re all together in the locker room, so it’s a pretty good amount of interaction.”

On talking with S Terrence Brooks about their games in college: “We didn’t talk about the games too much. This past year, I didn’t get to play against him. The year before, they whopped us pretty bad, but the year before that, we got them at our place, so we actually did talk about that. (laughter) Timmy [Jernigan] was asking me like, ‘Man, I can’t believe you guys beat us,’ and I was talking some trash. But the last two years, they put a whooping on us, so I can’t really say much.”

On what he remembers about playing against DT Timmy Jernigan: “I remember both of those guys [Jernigan and Brooks]. He was a beast. Our whole game plan, I remember then, was just we were in ‘quick game’ because of guys like him, and they had a few other defensive ends. So, we just had to get the ball out as soon as possible and run outside zone a lot.”

On if S Terrence Brooks was playing cornerback when they faced each other in college: “No, he was playing safety. I’ve been going against Terrence probably since sophomore year, so we’re very familiar with each other. Then I also went against him in the Senior Bowl, so it’s good competing out there with him one-on-one, and as we get to seven-on-sevens and stuff, it’s cool.”

On S Terrence Brooks’ playing style: “He’s great. He’s a safety. He can do it all. I think he can come down and support the run. He also is a great cover safety, and he’s very smart back there, so I think he’s going to be great on the defense.”

On how he felt after the Ravens’ sixth-round pick: “I knew they didn’t have a seventh, and then once they picked in the sixth — I was telling you yesterday — my girlfriend is a huge Ravens fan, so she started talking crap about the Ravens. (laughter) She went over, she was sitting with my mom, and she was like, ‘I can’t believe the Ravens didn’t [pick you],’ and then they traded back into the draft, so she was excited. (laughter) A lot of people were.”

On his family’s loyalty to the Ravens and the Redskins: “It’s probably split. I think after the draft, it’s 100 percent Ravens, but there were a lot of Ravens fans with me when I got the call.”

On whether he was a Redskins or Ravens fan while growing up: “I was honestly split, but I went to more Ravens games growing up. I was at all of the playoff games, watching Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis – all the greats. I was at a lot of Ravens games.”

On how helpful it will be to have Steve Smith guide him as another smaller wide receiver: “It helps a ton. [When] I go out there and I’m with the receivers, Steve and I are definitely the smallest, shortest guys there. He is a Hall of Fame receiver. He’s gotten it done for so many years. So, having a guy like that who I can learn from him and see the little things he does preparing with his game, it’s going to help out a ton.”


TE Crockett Gillmore

On how much the tight end position is still new to him as a former defensive end and what improvements he needs to make: “Throughout the whole process, I think it was something I learned. I was studying the tight ends as a defensive player, and now that I’m a tight end, I’m studying the defensive players. So, it goes hand in hand. It helps itself out, and like you said, I’m still pretty new to the position. Obviously, in coach [Gary] Kubiak’s offense, we’re learning some different things, but I definitely feel like I’m helping myself by having played both.”

On what this week has been like so far and if it has been exhausting: “I haven’t felt really exhausted. You’re up all day, but it’s so new, it’s so fresh. Being in this organization, being around these players, it’s been a lot of fun getting to know Dennis [Pitta] and Owen [Daniels]. So, I’m enjoying it. Football is football; you’re going to play, you’re going to enjoy it. So, anytime I get to be around these guys, even though I’m new, I feel like it’s a good setting, and like I said, we’re going to continue to build.”

On if he ever thought switching to tight end could help him get to the NFL: “Going into college, I picked a school that utilized tight ends. I knew that I had a defensive mind, but I was going to a school that that’s where I could potentially be. [Former Colorado State head coach] Coach [Steve] Fairchild saw me that way; coach [Jim] McElwain luckily came in and saw me the same way, so he just kept me on offense. I’ll just try to build from that, and obviously, I’ve watched Dennis [Pitta] and O.D. [Owen Daniels] for a long time – a Texas kid watching the [Houston] Texans. So now that he’s here, I can actually be in the offense with him. It’s something special.”

On if he is a pass-catching tight end, a blocking tight end or more all-around: “For me, a tight end is a guy that can play any position on the field; he just happens to be a bigger body. So for me, I think of myself as a blocker with ability to catch the ball. I think championships are still won running the ball and playing defense. So, I’d much rather be considered a blocker that can catch than a receiver that can block.”

On if the Ravens told him that they liked how he could block: “Yes, definitely the blocking aspects. Like I said, I have that defensive mindset, so I want to go in there and block somebody.”

On when he knew the Ravens had interest in him and if he had previous talks with them: “The media is who talked to me before; I hadn’t really been in contact with the staff. Obviously, we did some stuff at the Combine, but there were three or four teams right in front of them in the third round that said they were going to take me and they didn’t. There are a lot of Green Bay Packers fans right around where I’m from, and a lot of family in Wisconsin, so when that didn’t happen, I heard everybody yelling, and then I got a phone call and I said, ‘Well, I know the Ravens are next.’ So, I knew that was probably it.”

On who else expressed interest in drafting him: “The Eagles, but they were a little bit earlier and they went another way.”

On how familiar he is with Gary Kubiak’s offensive system: “I’ve always studied defenses, and he’s an offensive guy [who] caused a lot of problems for those defenses. So obviously, I’ve been around his sons; they were at Colorado State when I was, so I’ve been around them, they all have a tie with coach Fairchild when everybody came. Everything works in a system at this level, so I had a general idea. I knew he utilizes tight ends a lot, so I knew a little bit about him. But getting here and being around him, it’s been an awesome experience.”

On if the rookies are just trying to get as comfortable as they can right now and if they can liken it to freshman year in college: “Absolutely. You’re definitely new to it, but you’ve got to understand this is a professional game. You’re not a freshman anymore. You’re not 18 years old. You better man up and come to work. It is that mentality that you need to know who to respect, and who to watch, but at the same time, it is a business.”


DT Timmy Jernigan

On playing with NT Haloti Ngata: “I think it’s a blessing to play with another great defensive tackle. It’s a defensive lineman’s dream to be able to play with a great player beside him. It definitely will take a whole bunch of pressure off me, and he’ll definitely be a great person to learn from. As soon as I get a chance to meet him, I’m going to be taking notes and watching his every move.”

On how much he will be driven by his diluted sample at the Combine: “I’m definitely going to prove people wrong. Ever since I got drafted, I’ve put that behind me. I’m moving forward with my life, and I’m just trying to be the best Raven I can be [and] the best teammate I can be. I’m not worried about that stuff. I’m here to play football and be a great teammate – and that’s it.”

On if he is prepared for more scrutiny: “I don’t care. I’m not worried about it. The only thing I’m worried about is playing football and winning football games. And after a while, I feel like the more I play, I’ll be able to prove my point. I’m not going to get in any trouble. I’m walking a straight line. I’m just ready to play ball.”

On what his first week has been like: “It’s been a busy week, but it’s what I expected. That’s what comes with being a pro. I’m ready for whatever is pretty much thrown at me.”

On getting to know defensive line coach Clarence Brooks: “He is really funny. (laughter) He is one of the funniest coaches I’ve ever had – already. I came from FSU, and I had a great D-line coach with Odell Haggins, and he reminds me a lot of him [in] their coaching styles. And I can tell that the guy loves his players. He has his players’ best interests at heart. That’s what I like about him.”

On what he has to improve about his game: “I just want to be the best I can be. It’s clear to see I was a great run-stopper in college. I didn’t really get a chance to show off my pass-rushing abilities, because I played in a two-gap scheme. Now I feel like I’m in the right type of defense that is really going to turn me loose and showcase my ability.”

On his first week with the Ravens: “[There has] just been a lot of meeting, getting into the playbook even more, learning the calls and just the ins and outs of being a Raven and the do’s and don’ts of playing on this football team.”

On how excited he was when the Ravens drafted his college teammate S Terrence Brooks: “I was very happy when I heard the news. I think it was definitely the right choice. I played ball with Terrence throughout my career at Florida State. I know he is a great dude, he is a great teammate, and I know he is going to give his all just like I am.”

On where he fits in on the defense: “In a scheme like this, I know that you really have to learn everything. The guys move around a lot – that’s what I’ve seen. Each defensive lineman plays a little bit of the nose [guard], the shade [tackle] and the three-[technique] – a little bit of everything. So, that’s my biggest thing is being able to learn the playbook as a defensive lineman, not just as a nose guard or a defensive tackle.”

On how he will maintain his weight: “Keep hydrating. I’m not going to change anything I did because of what people are saying. I don’t care. I’m going to keep hydrating and do what I’ve got to do to stay on the field.”

On his current weight: “Right now, I’m about 302 [pounds].”

On if he plans to put on any more weight: “Who knows? I feel good where I’m at right now. If I’m needed to put on weight, I’ll put it on. If I have to lose it, I’ll lose it. Whatever I’ve got to do to be the best fit for the team, that’s what I’m going to do.”

On what they’ve been doing in practice: “Just the basic stuff – the Day One, Day Two installment-type things. It was fast, as usual. But it’s football. I’m ready for whatever is thrown at me.”

On if it felt nice to be doing football stuff: “Definitely. I’ve been waiting so long. Usually by this time, I’d be at a spring football [game] and back to summer workouts by now. But it was good just to be able to put my hand back in the ground [and] get back to work.”

On if being drafted by the Ravens in the second round is an ideal situation for him: “I believe in God, and I prayed about the situation day-in and day-out, and one thing I told myself is I want to play for a team that wants me to be on their team and understood my situation and is going to help me get past it. And I definitely feel like this was the perfect situation, being able to go from one great defense right into another one. I feel like God put me here for a reason, and I’m definitely here to prove a point.”

On if he has a good opportunity to start: “I’m just going to continue to put in the work day-in and day-out and to learn from my teammates and other defensive linemen around me. We’re here to make each other better. When Day One comes and Game One gets here, if I’m the starter, I’m the starter. If not, I’m just going to continue to do whatever my role is. I just want to be the best at it.”

On his contract: “I’m just letting my agent work that kind of stuff out now. When it’s time, we’ll get it out of the way.”

On if there is value in having players brought in that have won a National Championship in college: “I definitely think it’s a value. We all knew what it took to get to the National Championship – and not just getting there, but winning those types of games. It takes a lot. It takes a lot of sacrificing, and it takes a lot of preparation. So, I feel like we’re definitely going to come in and be able to blend in well with the vets. They’re not really going to have to hold us by the hands too much. We can come in and keep up with the pace.”

 

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