BALTIMORE RAVENS TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Great to see everybody. Thanks for coming. We had a good practice, tough practice – a lot of third-down situations, blitz, red-zone third down. [It was] a lot of running for the guys on, obviously, a hot day, so they pushed through pretty well, especially coming off of last night's practice where we went pretty late and had a quick turnaround. I was proud of them, and I think they did a really good job. As always, they worked."
Coach, we saw Bryant McKinnie running with the first team today. Was that filling a space without Bobbie Williams today? (Kris Jones) "It's competition. Like I said, we just keep rolling guys in, and guys are playing different spots. You saw 'K.O.' [Kelechi Osemele] playing guard, you saw everybody play different spots. That's where we're at right now, so we just kind of work in some different guys and combinations, and let them compete."
Like you said, Osemele was at guard today. Do you want to get him an extensive look at guard throughout the rest of the preseason? (Matt Zenitz) "We're going to work different combinations. I don't know if 'extensive' is a good way to describe it, but I think it's important to look at guys in different spots. In the end, it will pay off for us, because guys will be more versatile, and we want to make sure we don't miss anything. So, we have an opportunity to do that now."
John, with a guy like Bobbie Williams, is it good to give him some rest because he has practiced almost every day? (Aaron Wilson) "That's what brings up this whole situation. We're going to give Bobbie two days of rest off that ankle. The ankle has swollen up. He really has been working hard, but he needs it and it will be good for him; it will help him. So, now you have an opportunity with that spot there to roll some guys in and move some guys around. It works out real well."
You guys have an extra week before you have to start cutting people this year. Does that feed into what you are trying to do out here? (Bruce Cunningham) "Well, I don't know. I haven't really thought about it quite like that, but I guess it gives us a chance to look at guys a little bit longer, and it gives us a chance to run practices that are with more guys that give us a chance to expand a little bit that way."
Coach, yesterday down at the Naval Academy, did you get any feedback from the guys about their experience? (Bill West) "They enjoyed it. I asked them during the walk-through what they thought, and they all thought it was a great night, and they enjoyed it and were excited. Any time you do something a little different like that, and you have a big crowd like that, [it's a] great night, it's fun. These guys like to play in front of people. They enjoy that, so they enjoyed it."
Do you take the time to correct those mistakes made in the first preseason game as a team, or do you just go back to doing the drills that you've done through training camp? (Mark Zinno)"No, you correct everything all the time, as you know. That's something that we do every day, and certainly from the game. We've looked at all those areas and worked really hard on them. Most of the time you apply a concept to it. It's a specific formation vs. specific defense, but also it's a concept that, obviously, we didn't understand well enough to execute, so we try to look at the bigger picture and say, 'OK. What don't they understand about this concept?' And try to work hard at it."
John with Billy Cundiff, he's accustomed to making those shorter kicks. With him being a veteran, do you just shrug it off more than you would with a younger player missing from those distances? (Aaron Wilson) "On the short one he missed? That was a real high snap, so that threw his timing off, and Billy was out in front of it. I think sometimes when you have bad conditions, the kicker will slow down to account for the possibility of a bad snap plus a plant foot sliding. So, a high snap like that [in] good conditions, he really didn't expect that he was out in front of it, and that's why he missed it. You still need to make it, but it makes it tougher."
How did Tandon Doss look today? (Gerry Sandusky) "He looked good. He made some catches. I'm not sure how he got through it as far as his hamstring. We limited some of the things he did, so we'll just have to see. But, he seemed like it was a good start for him."
What did you see from Jah Reid in his return to practice? (Ryan Mink) "I would say the same thing – it was a good start for him. He got through most of the practice, I believe. It didn't seem to have any negative effects, so that was a good start for him too."
Justin Boren is somebody that can play multiple positions. How has he looked during training camp? (Matt Zenitz)"Justin has done very well. He's done really well. He's always been, we think, a really good run-blocker, especially in a zone scheme, because he is very athletic. The pass-blocking stuff – because he is a little bit of a smaller guy, relatively speaking, because these guys are all really big – he's done very well with the pass blocking, too. He understands the scheme – smart guy. He has had a good camp."
How important is it to have that versatility to play both spots? (Matt Zenitz) "The fact that you can play center if you are a guard is big. If you can add center to your résumé, I think that gives you a lot of leverage in this league."
John, what do you think of some of the defensive line depth, particularly some of these young guys like DeAngelo Tyson and Bryan Hall? (Aaron Wilson)"They are doing very well. Those are two guys that have stood out in the last couple of days, and it's interesting you mention those two guys; they have both done a good job, and they're in the thick of it."
John, what have you seen from Danny Gorrer in this training camp? (Ed Lee) "We've seen the same thing from Danny that we've seen, I'd say, through last season and then through this training camp – consistency. He's a very good technician cornerback, plus he can run. When Danny is focused and he plays great technique, he is hard to beat, and that's what we've seen pretty much throughout the whole camp."
What are some of the things you like about Bryan Hall? (Matt Zenitz) "You love his personality, first of all, if you've gotten to know him. You love being around him. I think he'll be an entertainer when he gets done playing football. But, he is quick, he is athletic, he plays hard, he is smart. Exceptional quickness, exceptionally explosive player."
A few minutes ago, you mentioned the guys liked playing in front of a crowd yesterday. What are the advantages to the first full year of training camp here? (Rich Dubroff) "I don't know if I want to get into the laundry list of it right now, but there are advantages to being here and there are disadvantages. There are advantages to being up there [at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.], and kind of what you are alluding to is being in front of the crowd. That's something that is a plus about being in camp. There are pros and cons to both sides of it."
Do you still want to see Jah Reid at guard as well as tackle, or are you pretty much really getting him in at tackle? (Ryan Mink) "No, we're going to look at Jah at both guard and tackle right now. The same thing that applied today with our guys will apply to him over the next week or so. Again, if you can be more versatile, that will help you. So, if he is a starter at one of those positions, he'll have to earn that. If not, he'll probably have to swing in and back up both spots anyway."
How did it feel to take some reps at cornerback today? (Bruce Raffel) [Harbaugh participated in practice as a cornerback during some of the individual drills today.] "It fatigued me. My legs were burning. Is that what you're looking for? How did it actually feel physically? My legs were burning. Oh, how did I feel about being back there? I felt embarrassed. That's how I felt. They made me feel bad about myself. (laughing) No, it was really fun. It was really fun. I wasn't really trying to cover them; I just hope you guys understand that. That's why I wasn't close to them. I was just giving them a look."
You won't get a scouting grade from defensive coordinator Dean Pees or something like that? (Aaron Wilson) "Well, [general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] already gave him a grade. He gave me a 5.0, which is a move-on-to-your-next-phase-of-life grade. (laughter) That's what it is."
In a situation like tight end, you know what you have in Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, who are out. What do you look for specifically from the other guys when they have that opportunity? (Mark Viviano) "You look for what they can do. It's a good question. What can they do well? What can this player bring to the table? Is he a blocker? Is he a pass-catcher? Is he good in pass protection? And you start with that. That's what you do with the young guys. [Bruce] Figgins is a pretty good blocker. He is a big, physical guy. Matt Balasavage has shown some really good hands. Billy [Bajema], we know him in the league already. He is a really good blocker. So, you start with that, then try to expand them and try to define a role that they could possibly play for you."
Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks
What do you think about some of these young players that get more reps, now that Ryan [McBean] is hurt with the ankle? What do you see from your depth from some of the younger guys? (Aaron Wilson) "Well, we have four young guys, real rookies here, and then we have Bryan Hall who was on our practice squad a year ago. They are all working real hard. DeAngelo Tyson has really come on and has really played well and practiced well. But, the other three guys, Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, he's done well. Terrence Moore, Nick Jean-Baptiste, they are really good kids, hardworking kids. They got in the game the other night and really played well. I was proud of what they did; I was proud of how they played. They showed some toughness, and it was good to see. There's a lot of … We do have some young players to help provide some depth, and hopefully, that will continue to happen throughout the preseason."
Is [Ryan] McBean a big loss? (Aaron Wilson) "Anytime you lose a guy, period, in anyway, it's tough, especially how it was happening during the game, and he was on his way to doing some good things. What you have to do, you have to regroup. You have an idea of how things might work out. You're never really sure, but you kind of have some things in mind, and now you kind of have to go back and do some other things. But losing him, but getting 'P' [Pernell McPhee] back and getting him back out there again is a big plus for us."
Where have you seen Pernell [McPhee] develop most of this offseason as he looks to get more reps on the field this year? (Jason Butt) "Pernell, to me, he's a very, very quick, explosive, fast-playing guy. I think one of the things different from a year ago to me, it looks like he is a lot bigger and stronger than he was. He's playing the run game very well. He still has that first-step quickness of the pass rusher, and that's big. He's a good complement inside with Haloti [Ngata] in our sub-package. He can do a lot things. He can play every down, and he's learning to do that. He's really come along well; very happy how things are going with him."
How would you describe the competition of the second- and third-year guys as they, as you mentioned are talented, but as they are all fighting for more time? (Evan Washburn) "It's kind of like just the way we like it as coaches. Every day they come out here, they know they have to cut it loose. They have to let it go, and that goes for all of them, especially the guys like Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones. All of those guys are extremely competitive anyway. They really want the challenge, and they challenge each other. They get after each other in the meeting room. It's a good group; it always has been. We have a good room. They are friends off the field, but they will compete against each other for the job. They want to play; there is no question about that."
Is there a difference in [Terrence] Cody compared to a year ago? (Mike Preston)"Oh shoot. To me, Terrence is so much more … He's matured. He's a very, very smart football player. Schematically, he knows what we are doing, how we are trying to get it done. He has the experience of playing now, a year as a starter. So, he has some game time playing experience that he can call back on, and we go back and we and watch some cut-ups, watch some tape. He has some recall as to some things he would do against a certain guy or not do against a guy if he sees him again. I think the experience of him being able to be on the field as much as he was and play for us last year is only going to help us as we move forward."
How concerned were you when you guys lost some of your run-stuffers like Jarrett Johnson, Cory Redding and then Terrell [Suggs] goes down. How concerned were you by your ability to stop the run? (Ryan Mink) "You never like to lose guys, but the nature of this business is guys are going to come and guys are going to go. It's just the way it is. It's not a concern; you just kind of have to look at what you have and say, 'OK, let's move on. Where do we go from here? How are we going to do this?' Luckily enough, we have some good, young bodies around here that we feel will come along well. Like I said, it's not a concern; it's more of kind of figuring out how the pieces are going to fit in the puzzle after they're gone."
I know you feel good about the ability to generate a good pass rush, but do you have the personnel person after Terrell Suggs' injury? (Aaron Wilson)"Yeah, and like we told them, we have to. Whatever happens, however we put it up there, we still have two of our … If you had to kind of rank our pass rushers, we still have two of our better pass rushers in Haloti and 'P' [McPhee] still out on the field, and we have Paul Kruger. And, we hope some of the other young guys come along. We are going to have to stem the tide. We're going to have to do what we have to do to get this done. These guys understand that, and they know what's at stake. They know what we have to do in the run game first, because if we don't do that, you don't have to worry about rushing the passer; we don't have to worry about it. They will just run the ball down our throat, and we cannot let that happen."
How strong do you feel like you are in the run defense right now? (Ryan Mink) "I feel very good. I feel very, very good about we have, about the guys that we have. We have some guys, in addition to Haloti, 'T.C.' [Cody] has played a lot. Arthur [Jones] has played a lot, and then we are going to kind of fill in whoever else. We have 'Kemo' [Kemoeatu] back, and that's a big deal. You lose a guy … Like I said, people come and people go. I had 'Kemo' here my first year here. That was seven, eight years ago, and then we lost him. At the time we lost him, I threw my hands up, 'What are we going to do?' We have lost some guys. Some good football players have left here, and good football players have come in. We just have to continue to develop them and put them out there and make sure they play like Ravens."
You mentioned 'Kemo' [Kemoeatu]. For a guy who sat out, didn't play all last year. How impressed are you with him and what he has been able to do? (Jeff Zrebiec) "The thing with 'Kemo' is … He left here as a 25-, 26-year-old, kind of just developing, and he came back a 33-year-old man that has been around for a while. He adds that degree of calm and experience in the room that maybe we might have lost some with 'C-Red' [Cory Redding] leaving. So, we got some of that veteran leadership back along with him and Haloti [Ngata]. I've been impressed with how he has worked. I've been impressed how he's competed. I've been impressed with … The kind of guy that 'Kemo' is, there are not a lot of people on the team here that he knows when he came back, but that locker room in there is all for him. He's that kind of a guy. You like him the first time you meet him, and it's that way for forever."
And you mentioned, Pernell [McPhee], Haloti [Ngata], guys that will help you out from a pass-rush standpoint, do you assume that 'Kemo' [Kemoeatu] will help more against the run? (Matt Zenitz) "I hope so. (laughing) He will. A couple of things: One thing that I do remember and do know about 'Kemo' is that he's a big, strong, full-grown man that is hard to move. We need guys like that. We need someone like that to help us anchor us down inside, and we feel like we have two or three guys like that. Hopefully, that will carry us."
DT Haloti Ngata
On whether he's noticed a big difference in NT Terrence Cody from a year ago: "Yeah, Terrence is just more experienced now. I think with starting last year, he's looking real comfortable and he's doing a lot of good things. And like you said, he has more energy and he's moving around really well."
On whether Ngata has put on more weight, and if so, why: "I did put on more weight, just basically from last year not feeling as strong. Today I weighed 342, and so it's a little bit more, but I'll probably try to stay around that area. I feel stronger, especially out here with these guys always trying to double-team us out, and a lot more hitting in camp, so it feels great. I have the strength and I'm comfortable with it."
On losing weight going into camp last year and whether he thought that was a bad strategy: "It was great during camp, because I was able to breathe easy and run around. But, it was just toward the end of the season I didn't have that strength like I felt like I usually do toward the end of the season, and I think some of it was just being lighter. At the end of the season, I was probably like 335 at the end of the season."
On how good he thinks the Ravens' run defense is right now:"I think we still have some work to do, but we have a lot of young guys that are trying to learn – especially the guys with the edges and with Paul Kruger and with [Courtney] Upshaw and all the other guys behind them. So, it's just getting those guys together and setting those fronts and getting some camaraderie together out there on the field. I don't think we really play together well yet, just because it's so new and young. Once we get those things together, I think we'll be really good and up there again."
On whether he feels any pressure to do a little bit more with the absence of OLB Terrell Suggs and departure of OLB Jarret Johnson:"I try not to, just because if I try to do more than my own job, I might end up messing up the whole defense. And so, I just try to do my job, and hopefully the other guys can do theirs. But sometimes I do find myself trying to do more than I'm supposed to. But I've just got to have more faith in our guys that they're going to get their job done, too."
On whether he feels that defensive coordinator Dean Pees' strategy can create effective pass rushing: "Dean has been great. He's been able to make things look the same, but then we're blitzing different ways, or not blitzing, or making it not look like … So, he's great at just disguising a lot a things and making defenses look one way than the other. So, I love working with him, and it's been great so far."
On what he has seen from DT Ma'ake Kemoeatu so far: "'Kemo,' I treat him as my veteran. He's a great leader. He has been a guy that has played strong throughout camp, and watching him on film, he's doing a lot of great things. It's great that Terrence Cody can watch a veteran guy in front of him. It's kind of like having [former Raven] Kelly Gregg back. But, Terrence Cody is kind of learning more things, and 'Kemo' is doing the same way. It's great to have 'Kemo' here and do a lot of good things for us."
On how much last year's injury played a part in his performance: "You just try not to think about. In the beginning of the game, you feel pretty good. You think you are going to feel good throughout the game, but then it just slowly starts to creep up on you and slow you down a little bit, but you just try not to think about it and just worry about trying to do your job really."
On if he was happy with his season last year and what he can do better this year:"Just toward the end, I felt like I just kind of wasn't as strong, like I said earlier. I feel like I can do more and just wasn't able to just being a little weaker. I still want to improve on being a better run stopper and getting to the passer more often. Towards the end of the season, I wasn't getting as many sacks or anything, but hopefully I can just do that continually throughout the season."