HAYDEN HURST & LAMAR JACKSON PRESS CONFERENCE
Offensive coordinator marty mornhinweg, assistant head coach/tight ends greg roman, quarterbacks coach james urban, te hayden hurst & qb lamar jackson
Marty Mornhinweg opening statement:
(MORNHINWEG) "I'll tell you what – we are really excited about these two young men! Hayden Hurst here – unique skill set, big man that can run, very good in the passing game as well as the run game. Excited to have you in, big man. Congratulations! Then, Lamar Jackson: Heisman Trophy winner, uncommon in talent, tough, physical, fast, great movement ability. We'll turn it over to the position coaches to say just a couple of words and then, of course, to the players."
Greg Roman opening statement:
(ROMAN) "Hayden Hurst. I guess I'll start at the end and move backwards. When we got into our draft meetings, we really felt the conviction from everybody about this guy. I've already given him the story. But really, the moment we turned on the tape with him, you just see a multi-dimensional athlete that has exceptional hands. I don't want to put pressure on you or anything. (laughter) He has exceptional hands, quickness and speed, and his makeup is that of a Raven; he's a tough, competitive guy that can make plays, knows how to run routes, has a good feel, good instincts. We call it spatial awareness. He has a lot of those intangibles that are hard to coach, really. We're really excited to have him here. He's joining a group of some very talented guys, so it'll really round us out. I told him, first thing I said is, 'Be best friends with those quarterbacks,' right? We already met for about an hour-and-a-half, and he's exceptionally bright. I'm really excited about working with him."
James Urban opening statement:
(URBAN) "Very excited to have Lamar Jackson! We did a great amount of work with Lamar throughout the whole process, beginning with the Combine and then the film study and then pro days and visits and those things. The thing that jumps out, just as much as the film, is how important it is to this young man of how much he wants to be great. We're very excited to have him. His unique skill set gives him a great opportunity, and now [there will be] just lots of hard work ahead, and away we go. Glad to have you, man!"
Hayden Hurst opening statement:
(HURST) "Last night was a whirlwind. I sat around for 25 picks, waiting for my name to be called, but I couldn't be more excited to be a part of this organization. I was telling Lamar, we grew up watching [the University of] Miami – I was a huge Miami fan – so being in the same uniform here as Ed Reed and Ray Lewis is extremely humbling. I can only hope that I bring the same thing they brought every single day."
Lamar Jackson opening statement:
(JACKSON) "It's a whirlwind for me, as well. Just having my mother … She's here with me right now; she's been with me every step of the way. Just to have her on my side during this whole process, and with all the doubters and naysayers and stuff like that … It's just overwhelming. I'm humbled about the situation. I'm happy to be a Raven!"
**Lamar, just tell us where you were as far as when the first round was ending, what were you thinking? *(Stephen Smith) *
(JACKSON) *"Well, when it got to the last pick, I was like, 'Man, I hope I didn't wear my suit for no reason!' *(laughter) I felt the suit was kind of fly, if you ask me. I was waiting on [my name to be called]. My coach was like, 'Some teams could trade up early for the 32nd pick.' When I saw the Ravens traded up, I was like, 'Oh I hope this means [why] my phone rang.' I hesitated at first with the phone, and they were like, 'Answer the phone! Answer the phone!' So then I started talking, and I didn't know what was going on. Then I was like, 'Oh man, it's on. I'm ready.' Everything went through my mind."
How much will we see the suit? Is that a one-time thing or will we see it again? (Jerry Coleman)
(JACKSON) "I don't know. To me, it's probably a one-time thing. I brought it out, felt like the luck of the Irish. I'm lucky to be here; happy to be here. Hopefully there are more suits than that here."
What were you and your mother saying to one another as last night unfolded? You've already said the two of you have been together your entire career. What were you saying to each other at those moments? (Childs Walker)
(JACKSON) "I hope I get picked next to a team that needs quarterbacks. (laughter) The Ravens came at 16, then they ended up trading up. I was like, 'Oh, OK, they were probably going to wait later.' Then they got my tight end right here, and I was like, 'OK, he's nice! He's nice; he's pretty good.' I'm looking at the highlights. I'm waiting and other teams are going by. Then they traded up and I was like, 'Oh yeah.' But we were talking and stuff like that; we weren't really trying to focus on that stuff right then. We were just trying to get picked earlier or fast, as fast as possible. I didn't want to wait for the next day."
Was there a moment when you were feeling discouraged? (Childs Walker)
(JACKSON) "[At] 32nd – the last hope. I was like, 'Man, I hope someone trade up.' But it happened, so I'm good."
Hayden, how hard is it to be drafted at 25th, QB Lamar Jackson, is drafted after you, and Lamar is getting all the questions? You're the older guy, so you're better equipped to deal with everything, but it must be bizarre. (Kirk McEwen)
*(HURST) *"It's a little bizarre, but I mean, he's a dynamic player. He's done it at the highest level; he's won the Heisman Trophy. He's done it on the field, and he deserves the recognition. I've watched his tape just as much as he's watched mine. He's a dynamic player, and I could not be happier to have him in the same organization as me."
Hayden, what was it about the visit here that gave you such a good feeling that this may be the spot for you? (Jeff Zrebiec)
*(HURST) *"It's just the culture that they've established here. It's different – it's unlike any other place that I was able to visit. You see with the facilities that they have; it's second-to-none in the NFL. Again, what Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and those guys established here years back, it's still around. I couldn't be happier to be a part of this."
Hayden, what were you doing when you heard that the Ravens traded back in and heard that they picked QB Lamar Jackson? Were you still at your celebration? How did it hit you in the moment?* (Childs Walker)*
(HURST) "I had actually just gotten off the phone with a place up here in Baltimore that was interviewing me. I stepped back in the room with the TV and saw them trade back in, then saw them pick Lamar. Him and his mom were ecstatic. Just to know that he's going to be throwing me passes, for the next however many years, is awesome. He's a dynamic player, and I'm a dynamic payer as well. That connection is going to be going on for quite some time."* (Reporter: "Did that all hit you at that moment?") *"I saw his name go across the board, and I was like, 'Man, what he did at Louisville, he's going to bring it here.' And then what I did at South Carolina, I'm going to bring that here as well. It's just a great combination."
Lamar, what was your first touch with the Ravens and the process of the last couple of months, to believing that when there was a trade, that it was for you? (Nestor Aparicio)
(JACKSON) "My first encounter with the Ravens was at the combine. Coach [James] Urban came up to me and was talking to me about [Michael] Vick and how he coached him. Then I ended up coming up on a visit, and I fell in love with the place. We had great meetings; I felt welcomed, at home. It was probably one of the nicest meetings I've been in on my visits. I just fell in love with the place. It was just like Hayden said [about] Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and those guys and seeing what they brought to the table. We're just ready to pick it up off from there."
Did you guys think it was realistic last night that this would happen? Obviously, you moved back a couple of times and passed on both of these guys a couple of times and at any point somebody could have taken them. (Nestor Aparicio)
(MORNHINWEG) "Are you talking about Lamar?" (Reporter: "Yes.") "As long as he was on the board, he was realistic there."
The Ravens have talked about giving you some time to develop. How much time do you think you would need to be ready? (Jamison Hensley)
(JACKSON) "I can't tell you. I just want to get that playbook in my hands as soon as possible and get to it. I want to compete."
Lamar, how do you think you'll approach your relationship with QB Joe Flacco? (Childs Walker)
(JACKSON)"I'm trying to learn. He's a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Like I said in other media interviews – if you win the Super Bowl, you're the G.O.A.T to me. You led your team to a Super bowl, so I'm going to try to learn as much as I can from Joe Flacco."
You established that QB Joe Flacco is your starter, but you can't leave a guy this talented on the bench for a whole season. How do you get QB Lamar Jackson involved immediately?* (Tom Pelissero)*
(MORNHINWEG) "Next question. *(laughter) *We'll see. With Lamar … We talked about it just briefly on his visit about how we would go about these things. So James [Urban] and myself and John [Harbaugh] plan together, pre-practice, all those things … It's going to be important. As far as the future, we'll see what happens there. Joe's the quarterback of this football team. Lamar is going to develop all those things. So we'll see what happens."
Marty, there was a lot said about you coaching quarterback Michael Vick previously, who has a similar type of skill set as QB Lamar Jackson. How does that play into your plans for him? (Stan White)
(MORNHINWEG) "We're not going to get into that, like I just said. The first thing – much like we did with Mike – [is] play the quarterback position, right? Learn how to play the quarterback position like we play the quarterback position here. That's first, then all the other things will certainly fall into place."
Marty and Lamar, same question. How much did it bother you when teams were talking about QB Lamar Jackson working out at wide receiver and not quarterback? How much did that rub you the wrong way? (Ryan Mink)
(JACKSON) "I just turn that into motivation. Whatever [doubt] teams give me, I'm going to prove them wrong, prove the doubters wrong. I'm going to earn the respect from my teammates and my coaches."
*(MORNHINWEG) *"As far as a different position? I think that's really a positive for Lamar. I don't want to get into too much detail. I certainly think he's so talented [that] he could do a lot of different things, in athletics in general. [He's] a talented, talented guy – but he's a quarterback. Done. That's sort of the way I viewed it. I think that's the way [Jackson] views it."
When you say, "Play the quarterback position here," describe what that means? (Jim Trotter)
(MORNHINWEG) "Footwork … In fact, we've discussed a little on Lamar and James [Urban] on your initial visit, just how we go about the footwork, the base, wide-base, short-style, all those things that we'll work on from Day One, both pre-practice and post-practice."
Greg, how do you feel TE Hayden Hurst's ability complements what you have and the other tight ends on your roster (Jeff Zrebiec)
(ROMAN) "Every guy is unique. I think what Hayden brings is a unique ability to find separation in the passing game, catch the ball away from his body. He is a player that I think is really going to complement what we have, in terms of his flexibility. He might line up anywhere on the field this year – backfield, split out wide, in tight. He just provides that kind of flexibility for us. We'll see how it goes and how it grows. But I think he really rounds out our group at this point to where we can line guys up in different spots, run game, pass game, all that kind of stuff. He can throw, too, so watch out." (laughter)
Hayden, did you get tired hearing about your age during the pre-draft process?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*
(HURST) "I heard a couple questions about it at the Combine and things like that. People put some stuff out. You're always going to have people who like you, and you're always going to have people that don't like you – that's out of my control. I don't think it's a negative thing whatsoever, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion."
Hayden, how did the feeling compare when you were drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates versus the Baltimore Ravens?* (Ryan Mink)*
*(HURST) *"Well, I went in the 17th round [with the Pirates], and I went in the first round [with the Ravens], so not even comparable. I can't even describe it in words. Last night was just a dream come true."
James, as the back half of the draft unfolded, did you have QB Lamar Jackson on the brain? (Childs Walker)
(URBAN) "Yeah, of course. Like Marty [Mornhinweg] said, as long as he was on the board we knew it was a possibility. I think the word 'masterful' was used last night to describe how it all played out. We just feel very fortunate to have him. But as long as he was around, there was hope."
Lamar, can you talk about Michael Vick's influence on you? (Ryan Mink)
*(JACKSON) *"He's been a big influence on me. My first Madden game was 2003, but I played with Michael Vick [in] 2004, and he was out of control. Just watching him on a video game and watching him on TV and seeing what he did, what he brought to the table with his team, winning games for Atlanta, it was like, 'Man, I want to do some of the things he did on the field.' So, I would go out there on a little league game on a Saturday and try to do the same things and emulate what he did. He has been a big influence on me."
Lamar, have you ever returned kicks, punts? (Kirk McEwen)
(JACKSON) "No – just threw the ball and ran sometimes."* (laughter)*
It hasn't even been 24 hours, and you're a tight end drafted in the first round by a Hall of Fame tight end. To me, it can't be dreamed up any better than that?* (Stephen Smith)*
*(HURST) *"Yeah, it's been absolutely crazy. When Mr. [Ozzie] Newsome called me last night, he said the last tight end he took in the first round was Todd Heap. [Those are] some big shoes to fill, but again, I'm just blessed to be in this organization and have this opportunity in front of me. I couldn't be happier with the results from last night. Now it's just time to get on the field."
James, is it challenging to develop the offense when you have quarterbacks of very distinctive skill sets? Is it a challenging to make sure both of them are on the same page when they're so different as quarterbacks? (Jeff Zrebiec)
(URBAN) "We're focused on Lamar playing the quarterback position, and there's a way that we go about that. It's systematic and [helps] develop the skills to play that position at a very high level in the National Football League. That's the intent – that's the first thing that we start with. Then the future takes care of the future. We take care of playing the quarterback position the way we play it, first and foremost."
*(MORNHINWEG) *"That's a great question. We've discussed it pre-draft; we've discussed it during the draft; we've discussed it last night; we've discussed it this morning. The key is having the plan ready to go, because every second or every day will be important when that's the situation. What you explained right there, it's very important for the planning part of it."
Lamar, do you think your athletic ability and playmaking ability in college led some people to undervalue your quarterback skills? (Gerry Sandusky)
*(JACKSON) *"You could say that. When they see my running ability, they see me make people miss in the openfield, they just try to label me. I don't want to say as an 'athlete,' but at the same time they could say, 'He could play running back or receiver,' or something like that. That's just a plus for me. I can throw the ball with the best of them, like I always say. I can make any throw on the field, but I can bring something else to the table, and that's dynamic running ability."
Lamar, you didn't officially run the 40-yard dash, but do you have a 40 time? (Kevin Richardson)
(JACKSON) "4.34 – I ran it with turf toe, too. So, I don't know what I really run."