Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
K Justin Tucker is 2-for-2 on 50-yarders. The past couple of years he hasn't had his best percentage on those 50-yarders. Has he done anything this year to tweak that? (Jamison Hensley)"No. I don't think he has. He's made them, which is what we're trying to do every time. This year's results have been good. We expect him to make them, honestly. He's that kind of kicker. We put him out here at 50 yards, and those are balls he should be making. He has so far, and we have a lot of confidence in him, so we'll put him in those situations."
I know you've dealt with a lot of kickers over the years. With the pressure and mentality you have to have for every kick, have you noticed you have to have a certain personality to be a kicker in this league? (Jamison Hensley)"I think it takes a certain personality to be a football player in general. There are a lot of guys out there that are under pressure in moments, [like] Joe Flacco bringing the team back as he did, or a receiver catching the ball, or a DB in man coverage when they're blitzing and the game is on the line. I don't think it's necessarily unique to the kicker, but to be a good kicker in the National Football League, you certainly have to have strength – strength in your body, but also strength in your mind. [You must] have confidence and know that when you go out there, that this is where you're supposed to be."
WR/RS Devin Hester Sr. had some open space, and he created it. How encouraging was it to see him have some success last week? (Garrett Downing) "It was very encouraging. We've seen it before, so we knew he had that ability. He showed it on Sunday on the kickoff return. He's a dynamic player. We did a better job of blocking for him, and he made the plays when they were there. The other thing I was really encouraged by – and again it doesn't surprise me about Devin, because I've been with him in practice, and I think I have a pretty good idea that he understands this – he did a really good job of making decisions. His judgment on keeping the ball in the end zone on touchbacks, his judgment on fair catches on his punts [and] his ball security skills were good. That's a big deal. He demonstrated on Sunday that it matters to him also."
Coach, how about the role that special teams played? A lot of people say that the special teams unit turned it around, starting with DE Lawrence Guy, who got the conference Player of the Week honor. (Jerry Coleman) "Lawrence Guy has been doing that same thing so many times. A week ago, he got in the backfield twice and didn't get the ball. This week, he got in the backfield and he got the ball. It's a thankless job to a large extent. It's become one of those delayed gratification moments where you keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it and trust the fact that if you keep doing it success will come, and it did for Lawrence. Yes, it was a big play for all of us. We needed a boost, and Lawrence provided that boost. Tavon Young was outside doing exactly what he was supposed to do. He did it well – not just the position he was in, but also the scoop and score. He was patient and didn't panic, got the ball and scored. Those guys did a really good job of executing fundamentals."
The Ravens have blocked nine kicks since 2014. What exactly goes into being so successful? (Edward Lee) "One of the biggest things in blocking, in my view, is the guys you have blocking it, them buying in and giving that effort that it takes to block. It's hard to block kicks. They look for opportunities to do that. They're watching the tape and they're studying the opponent. Knowing that however many kicks you have, you may block just one of them in a two or three week span. But they keep giving the great effort. Their fundamentals are good, and they give great effort. It's important to them. I think that's got more to do with it than anything. Everybody runs pretty much the same thing, but it's just [about] guys that are buying in and getting after it."
How do you find those guys? How can you tell that these are the players that are going to be able to do that?* (Jamison Hensley)* "I think they find themselves, really. They show up. Guys that when you're doing it in preseason or you're doing it during the games you know what it looks like. When Lawrence Guys is out there, it looks the right way."
*Do you get a feeling before a returner pops a big run? (Ryan Mink) *"With Devin [Hester], I get that feeling before the play every time. I have confidence in our blockers; I have confidence in Devin. It doesn't always come to pass, obviously, but there's a certain anticipation with every kick and every punt that you have as a coach. Looking at it, you kind of understand what's about to happen. I anticipate success on those plays. Part of the way to have success, too, is to be persistent. 'OK, this one wasn't the right kick,' or, 'This one wasn't the right situation.' and then just being persistent when the right situation presents itself, and then being able to capitalize. That's why we practice all of these things getting ready for that moment when it all does fit together. When it does it's an art form, its beauty. It's a beautiful thing to watch him run down the field."
Going back to the blocked kicks, with so many factors in play like timing and putting your hands up and speed coming off the edge, how delicate is that all in terms of working together? (Edward Lee) "There's a lot of delicacy, but there's a lot of just brute force involved. Like Lawrence's block, for example. Pad level and explosive power is what got him the block. He's tall enough to get his hand in the right place and fortunate enough that the ball was kicked there. That was more of a power move than it was delicacy. On the outside, getting off on the ball and having the right pad level and right steps, there's more finesse to that. But on the inside, it is what it is. It's power."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
Can you talk about the return of OLB Elvis Dumervil? How nice was it to see him out there? What does he bring to the defense? (Edward Lee)"It's great to see him out there. When he gets a chance to play, he's going to bring Elvis. It's going to be great for us to get him on the field. I can't wait to get him on the field."
How much does his presence chance what an offense does, because they not only have to worry about him, but OLB Terrell Suggs as well? (Edward Lee) "You'd have to ask an offensive coach that. I don't know. I hope it changes a lot, but I don't really – I don't know. I don't know how an offense necessarily would adapt to both of them. Maybe they'll chip more. I don't know. Every team is different. Every team is going to handle it differently based on their talent, their offensive tackles, what they can do. I think it changes every week based on what the offense wants to do with those guys."
Considering you haven't had OLB Elvis Dumervil these past couple of weeks, how pleased have you been with your interior rush? Guys like DT Timmy Jernigan and DT Michael Pierce have been bringing that pressure on the inside where you may have been lighter with numbers. (Luke Jones) "I think guys have done a good job of pushing the pocket here. Pierce got a sack last week. I think [Brent] Urban got a sack last week. Those guys have done a good job. They've worked really, really hard at it. That's great. If we can keep those guys going, that's good for us, because then we can get in a rotation and keep moving guys in and out of there and not always have the same guys get tired at the end of the game and keep guys fresh. I've been pleased with it so far."
Coach, with OLB Elvis Dumervil coming back, are snaps something you're going to have to monitor?* (Jerry Coleman) "You must know more than I do. I don't even know that he's back yet. *(laughter) He's there. That's still to be determined. When we determine that, then we'll always determine how many plays everybody's going to get."
With rookie DT Michael Pierce, what have you noticed about his development? (Luke Jones) "He's come from an unknown [place]. First of all, making the team … I don't know if anybody thought, probably early on in OTAs or when we brought him in, that he'd be that. Now he shows up enough in preseason and camp that he makes the team. After that, he just works hard out there. I can't say enough good things about him. I'm really, really pleased with where he is."
What have you seen in terms of mental toughness from CB Shareece Wright? Week 1, he came out with 11 tackles, and Week 2 was a tougher game for him, but he has always bounced back over his career. (Ryan Mink) "I think he wouldn't be out there if he wasn't mentally tough. We wouldn't be playing him. We wouldn't play anybody we didn't think was mentally tough. That's life for anybody in the NFL as a corner. You have to have a short memory. Even if you look at last week, if I remember … I happened to catch it on highlights; I didn't actually see it in the game, but I saw us beat 23 [Joe Haden] from Cleveland on a nine route, right? Then he comes right back the next play and intercepts it. You have to have a short memory. If you're going to play in the NFL and be a corner, you have to have a short memory; you have to be tough. You can have a bad week, then you have to come back next week, and you have to be great. I've seen it from every corner that I've ever coached. Not all of them have had 16-straight great games – none of them. The ones that are really good come back the next week and hone it back up."
After the long run in the Cleveland game, did you make a lot of changes, or was it just execution?* (Cliff Brown)*"I'd like to take a lot of credit for stuff, but all we did was I called the defense up on the sideline and just said, 'Look, relax. Don't panic.' Everybody's looking at the first 15 plays, [but] it was really two plays. We gave up the touchdown over the top, which was a big play, and we gave up and 85-yard run. That's 100-and-something yards out of their whole thing. It's not all the plays, but what happens is guys get in that position and then all of a sudden [think], 'I'm going to go make a play for somebody else.' That takes you out of position, and it creates another problem. All I said to them was, 'You have to chill. We need to relax and just play what we play and play like we play. Let's just start over.' Because if you start doing things you can't do, we can't fix them because there's no way to fix that. The guys regrouped, and we went out there and we played great. The biggest thing was just to calm down, don't get rattled. And we didn't. That's very, very commendable to those guys and to our offense to come back like that – on the road. I can't say enough good things about them. We always look at the negatives first. That's the nature of the business, but there are so many more positives in that game than those first couple of plays."
You guys have some familiarity with Jacksonville. For a team that's coming off a 0-2 record, they're desperate. Is there an extra message for the defense to expect the unexpected with trick plays and things of that nature? (Luke Jones) "[It's] hard to play for trick plays. If you're standing back there playing like, 'OK, I'm expecting this,' then you're really not playing aggressive. We have to play our game. Every team that comes in here, it doesn't really matter. You guys know this league. Every week there's shocks around the league. Jacksonville has really got a very, very talented football. They've kind of been their own worst enemy with penalties and things like that. If that changes, all of a sudden they're really, really playing well. To us, we have to go out there and play our kind of game, play like we're capable of playing and play the Jacksonville that we know. When we look at them – you always, as a coach on the defense – you always look at their good plays. You don't look at their bad plays, because we're not expecting them to do bad plays. We're expecting always to get their best, and that's what we'll get. We just have to go out and play our game. It's really never that. The only time it becomes desperate is when it's the last two games of the season and you have to win to get in the playoffs. At this point in time, everybody has to win."
LB Kamalei Correa has contributed on special teams, but is there anything he can do to get more plays on defense?* (Edward Lee)* "He's right there. We would have no problem putting him in the game in certain situations. If somebody went down or something like that, or even if we needed a blow or rotation right there, we wouldn't have any problem putting him in. He's really come along that way very, very well. The other guys are ahead of him right now, but I have no qualms with him getting in the game either."
Has anything surprised you about DT Timmy Jernigan's development to this point?* (Edward Lee)*"No. I think Timmy is playing at a high level. He plays with a lot of energy. I love his attitude. I love the way he plays. He's a true Raven defensive player. I think he's playing at a high level, and I hope he stays there."
**What worries you about the Jacksonville WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns? *(Edward Lee) *"They can go. This guy – it's kind of like the first week with [Sammy] Watkins a little bit … These guys can take the top off the defense really fast. They have great speed. They're good route runners. The quarterback has a strong arm. They're a good set of core receivers. You guys know the tight ends. You have Marcedes Lewis, who has been around forever, and 80 [Julius Thomas] is really a tight end that could be a wideout. We have our hands full. They are a really talented, talented football team who has just struggled to put it together. Let's hope they struggle one more week."
Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman
Opening statement: "I probably will just reflect a little bit if I can remember on Sunday's game. To my recollection, I felt that we got better as an offense last week. We did better in our special situations – third down, two-minute, red zone. We did some good things that did show up on tape. Our line held up for 45 passes without a sack, and it is a credit to them and everybody involved. Joe [Flacco] hung in there a couple times to make some key throws. We feel good about that, but we know we have to get better, because every week is a new week. We are disappointed in the way we started. We certainly had some chances; we just didn't execute. We had a couple of drops and a couple of miscues that really hurt us. We certainly lost a big play on a drop in the red zone, and we lost a big play inside the 1- [yard line] on a penalty. If we get those two back … Those are tough plays to get, and when you have them and you don't get them … We were good at recovering and responding and handling the adversity; that is all big. We did a pretty good job in the middle of the game. We had a touchdown drive. We had a two-minute drive for a score, and then we started the third quarter with a drive for a touchdown, which was good. On the other side, we are going to still keep banging at our run game. We haven't had the explosive runs, but we are banging it in there, and at the end of the game, it did help us. We had some significant runs that allowed us to continue drives and make first downs and eat some clock with six minutes left in the game. The disappointing part is we hit a third-and-two and a fourth down early that we didn't convert on. We had two runs called, and we didn't execute those as well as we need to. Credit to Cleveland's defense. At the end of the game, we wanted to stay on the field and finish the game, and we had a second-down call, and we didn't have any kind of productivity there. We got a couple of yards, and then, we had a third-down call and didn't finish the game on the field. Those are things that we really want to work on. Our run game – we are going to continue to have at it. We believe it is going to come. It is there; it shows up. We are not changing schemes; we are not doing anything like that. We are just going to continue to work as our line continues to work together. I think that is the big thing. They have been together, and as long as they continue to stay together, we have a good chance of coming out of that down the road. We just need a couple of explosive runs, and then all of a sudden, we are looking at it differently, because we have three digits after yards per game. That is really where it has been in the first couple of times. I just got asked by [WBAL reporter] Stan [White]: Joe and I talk all the time on the sidelines. There is no yelling or screaming or demanding going on. We have discussions, and really, the bottom line was that we weren't executing early. We began to execute, and guys made plays and we made some first downs and we finished some drives. A lot of positives, but certainly on the other side of it going into Jacksonville, who is a multi-talented football team on the defensive side, we have our work cut out for us. You can look at scores, but that is the wrong way to look at it. They are talented, and they are very close to being a very good defensive football team. They have it all. We have to go in there, and we have to get ready. We tried to stack a day today to get it done."
As far as the running game, how much of a factor is starting fast or putting some early points on the board? You hear about it all the time, that this is more of a passing league in recent years. But teams that are leading are generally going to be running the ball. (Luke Jones)"That is right. We had a chance early on to get some completions, and we just didn't execute and continue drives. You saw a couple of drops, a couple of miscues and just miscommunication. That comes from working together a little bit more. It is universal around the league; you want to start fast, and you want to finish. For the last two weeks, we have done a very good job of finishing. We want to do a better job of starting. "
Just more of a philosophy question, do you believe that you need to have a good running game to be a successful offense in the NFL? (Garrett Downing)"I think that over the course of the years, you want to have a running game. You don't want to put your team in a position where you don't have the ability to run the football, when you want to run the football. I think that is the biggest thing in the National Football League today: When you want to run it, you have to run it. That comes at different times and in different places. You like to run the ball at the end of the game. You like to be in that position where you can run it at the end of the game, because you know you are in it and you know you have a chance to win it, because you are running it in the ways that you want to. You also want to start by running the football as well. I think it is a philosophical question that I would say every … The bottom line would be that every week is different. Every game is different. The story is written different ways in different weeks. I've started games where we have thrown the ball 65 times, and I've coached games and called plays where we have run the ball 65 times and that is out there. We don't really care how we do it, but our offense starts, and any offense that I've ever coached starts with the development of a strong run game and the physicality of your running game. Everything blends from there."
Has T Ronnie Stanley lived up to your expectations the first two games?* (Ed Lee)*"Yes, he has had two-plus games. He had a couple things happen this week, [and] he stood in there. He had a little bit of a nick, I know, and stayed in there and worked. I think both of those young guys [Stanley and Alex Lewis] together really had a strong football game on the road in probably as adverse a situation as either of them have been in, in their football career. I thought they handled it really well."
I think we all saw this as something that is going to happen, but with so many targets, not everybody can get the ball all the time. WR Kamar Aiken is a guy who has just caught two passes for being a really good football player. How as a coach do you try to get him involved? (Ryan Mink)"I think you hit it right on the head. We just have to continue as we see how this thing unfolds and who is getting the ball and who is not. Then, we try to work some kind of magic to try and get those guys a little bit of production each and every week. Now we evaluate after Week 2. Kamar hasn't had the opportunities. When he has, he has made the plays. The scramble play was one of the best plays in Game 1 that Kamar made. We see him make plays all the time. He is a very good route runner. [He is] a very good football player, and we are hopeful that … We want to just move the ball and score, and if Kamar can be a little more part of that, that would be great, too."
Everyone knows TE Dennis Pitta's story. How impressed have you been or perhaps even surprised that he has been as good as he has been this early, knowing what he has been through over the past couple of years? (Luke Jones)"Just having watched him over the years, you would expect that you would see this kind of productivity. But you didn't know, because he hasn't played for a while. We saw him in the spring, and there was a sign that he was going to be back and he was going to play very well. Just knock on wood that it continues as we move forward."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On how exciting it has been to have OLB Elvis Dumervil on the field the last couple of days and how excited he is to play with him:"It is good when you get one of your best players back on the field. We slowly, but surely, are getting our guys back. Whenever he is out there, we are going to rejoice, but until then, we are going to continue to work and get better. We are definitely excited to get him back."
On where he has seen the most progress from DT Timmy Jernigan:"He has made tremendous progress everywhere in this game. Just becoming an overall professional; it is not just really one area. It is finally crossing over to that threshold of being a full-time player and playing both the run and the pass. It is pretty much his all-around game."
On how he sees the coaches managing his snap count throughout the season:"I don't know. You have to understand that the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't want to come off the blocks and out of the gate just sprinting. You just kind of have to watch it. Everyone knows that we play our best football in November, December around here. We just want to make sure that we still have all our guys. We want to make sure our more veteran guys are still ready to go around those times. In moderation, we are going to watch it and continue to count it."
On if he feels like he is getting back to where he was before his Achilles injury: "I don't know. We are getting there. I don't know if you are going to ask this question every week. (laughter) You just chop wood. We played two games, and we try to get better every week. I really can't tell you. I'm just trying to get better every week."
On if he would consider Jaguars QB Blake Bortles a mobile quarterback: "Definitely. He is definitely capable of making plays with his feet and extending plays. He is a really good quarterback when he is out of the pocket and when he is doing that. It is definitely something we have to look at and monitor and pretty much try to contain him. At the end of the day, you still have to play football. He has to play football, and we have to play football. That is pretty much it."
On comparing Jaguars QB Blake Bortles and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, and if he will treat Bortles similar to how he treats Roethlisberger:"No. That guy [Roethlisberger] is special. (laughter) We like playing against that guy. But Blake is still a really good quarterback. He is not in our division, so we don't get to see him as much. He has some similarities [with Roethlisberger, such as] extending the play and making plays with his feet."
On how nice it would be to get to 3-0, especially on the road:"We aren't even thinking about that. You want to win all your games in the NFL. They all count; especially in the AFC. It is very important, like you said. They are going to put up a tremendous fight, and we accept the challenge."
On how valuable last week was in terms of experience: "You want to win all your games. Didn't I just say that?"* (Reporter: "Well, just coming back from a 20-0 deficit and things not looking so good.") *"That was the first quarter. That was the first thing I said: The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to play all four [quarters]. We got off to a slow start, they jumped on us, but we are 2-0. We have the Jacksonville Jaguars this week."