HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH, SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR JERRY ROSBURG & OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR CAM CAMERON
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh opening statement: "Congratulations to Willis McGahee. I hadn't heard that [he will replace injured RB LaDainian Tomlinson and appear in his first Pro Bowl]. That's fantastic; well deserved. I just want to make a couple of announcements here and kind of update you on what's going on. You know we've hired Mike Pettine already and Clarence Brooks is on board along with Rex [Ryan], and a couple more guys from the previous staff are going to be with us. Vic Fangio has been hired. He's going to be special assistant to the head coach and work on special projects and game day management, things like that. Wade Harman is going to be our tight ends coach. He just did a tremendous job in the last week on interviews. [He is] a very impressive guy. He spent some time with Cam [Cameron] the last couple of days. Coach Cameron has been kept busy since he got here interviewing coaches and working on football. Mark Carrier is going to be our defensive backs coach. I've known Mark for a long time. He played with my brother, Jim, for the Bears. Mark brings a real toughness to the secondary. [He has] real credibility with those guys, and they really respect him. So we're very excited to have those guys with us. Also, I want to add we are still up in the air with a couple of the guys. [We're] just trying to work that puzzle out. It's kind of a three-dimensional puzzle. The guys who are here on the staff have done a great job of interviewing. I know Cam would attest to that as well. This was a very good football staff, and those guys have done well. They will be good coaches in the National Football League for a long time – either here or somewhere else. We're still in the process with that. We're going to give Cam a chance to talk with you and get some questions answered face to face. I know you had the [telephone] interview, Coach, when you were driving across the country, right? Driving that U-Haul. So we'll get a chance to do some of that. Obviously, what he means to this staff speaks for itself, and we've already talked about that, and I'm so proud to have him here. We've had fun interviewing coaches and talking ball. I want to introduce Jerry Rosburg as our special teams coordinator. Jerry and I go back 20 years at least, I think, at Western Michigan. [At] Cincinnati, we were together coaching defense and coaching special teams and offense, whatever else we did. We still argue about who had what. I think I had the kickoff [team] and you had the punt [team]. We think the same way on special teams and as coaches. Jerry's got a great family that he'll be bringing here as well, and we're close friends. But, Jerry's a football coach, and he's proven a lot in this league as a special teams coordinator, both with the Browns and with the Falcons. So I'm glad to have you on board."
Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg opening statement: "Thank you, John. First of all, I just want to tell everyone how pleased I am to be a part of this excellent organization. When you make a career change such as this, research is a part of that and almost to a man, those that I spoke to and talked about the depth and the quality of this organization from the top all the way down. During my time here today, I can say that all those testimonies are accurate. I've been very impressed with the people I've met all through this exciting day, and I'm pleased to be a part of this Ravens organization. I thank John Harbaugh for bringing me here. He was obviously the wild card thing in this whole thing. John's relationship with me and my family go way back, and it's pretty exciting to be working with a dear friend such as John. Also at this point, while I have the microphone open; I want to thank my family. Those of us in the coaching organization, coaching careers, know that the family gets the brunt of situations such as this. Where today is a real exciting day for me, and I have the easy part of this, my wife, Sherry, and my children, Megan, Jerad and Margaret, are back in Atlanta as I speak to you, and this was not an easy decision for our family. I profoundly appreciate their support and their understanding and their guidance through this decision process. They are also very, very excited to be a part of this organization and will be soon. I want to congratulate the Ravens organization, also, for recognizing that somewhere in the special teams ranks lies talented head coaches. John Harbaugh is really the first that has been plucked from our midst, and I talked to all the special teams coaches when I was down [last week] in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, and everyone pretty much agrees that we have an outstanding representative of those of us that are special teams coaches. John's got a unique skill set that really applies so well in the special teams career that allowed him to be so successful and will carry over very well into the ranks of the head coach. He is an outstanding communicator, he's a man that manages his team efficiently, he cares about others, he is a man that also knows that morale and communication with his players is of utmost importance. He's a guy that I think will make decisions that are tough decisions, but he'll make them based on sound criteria. And, I really do look forward to working with John as a head coach because I know him so well, and I know he'll be very successful. I can assure you that because he is so close to the Rosburg family that we will do all we can to help him be successful."
You've described special teams as a "tempo-setter." Do you feel strongly that special teams can set tempo as much as an offense or a defense? (ROSBURG) "I think that's part of our duties, real frankly, and there's a lot of things special teams can do to help a team win – change field position, score, all those things. But one of those things that I think is a prime function of special teams is also to create and change momentum. If we're able to have a special teams unit in Baltimore that can do those types of things, I think it helps not only the field position and the scoring and all those things that special teams do; but it also sets a tempo for the team. We want to be a hard hitting, fast, exciting, active special teams [unit], and by doing so, I think that it also spreads to the rest of the team. I tell my guys frequently in my room because I'm somewhat biased, I think the special teams has an extremely important role in the personality and the character of the team. It runs all the way through the team. Everyone on the team is involved in special teams in some capacity -- even if it's the starting quarterback. I've had starting quarterbacks that have been backup holders, and that's a role. Everybody's got to help. So, because of that web that's weaved all the way through the team, I think that the momentum and the tempo of the game can be really affected by the special teams, and it's our goal to make sure that happens here."
Does the fact that John Harbaugh named you special teams "coordinator" as opposed to special teams "coach" say something about Harbaugh's evaluation of you and his emphasis on special teams? (ROSBURG) "Well, I don't really mince the two words a great deal. I think what we do is what we do. I think those men that are in this league that have the title special teams coach are coordinating, in my view, so I really don't make any difference between the two. I think what we do is coordinate, we coordinate the special teams. But, I look at myself as a coach. I'm not out on the field coordinating, I'm out on the field coaching. I guess that's the way I look at it."
What's your impression of the personnel that the Ravens have in place at special teams? (ROSBURG) "First of all, having been in Cleveland for six years, I've faced a number of these men on numerous occasions, and one thing that was always true whenever we played Baltimore was the special teams were going to be fast and furious. There's a lot of really good athletes that play the game the way it was intended to be played, very physically and with a lot of emotion and a lot of excitement, and that's something that I think I'd like to carry on here. The evaluations on the entire roster will be made upon my arrival, and we'll go through and look at each player individually. But just generally speaking, I think we all know that this roster has players on it, and I look forward to working with a lot of them."
If you had to describe your special teams units in one particular way, what would it be? (ROSBURG) "Well, I have a background in defensive football. I was a defensive coach, along with my special teams roles, all the way through my college coaching career, and it's really going to be important to me that as we start off that we're able to cover kicks. I think it's an important part of the whole aspect of team football. When you need to punt the ball, you cover the punt, when you need to kick off, you go kick the ball off. Because, I think there's no quicker way of losing momentum in a game or losing the tempo of the game than by not being good defensively. But the other part of my job is to make sure that we're establishing field position for the offense. I heard Cam grumble under his breath as I described my defensive mentality [laughs]. But in the offensive part of my job, that being the return game and the field goal game, we're going to be very aggressive. We like to score, we like to make big plays, and we're not a team that necessarily is going to try to out-scheme people. But my base belief is that it's much better to be easy to read and hard to beat than hard to read. So we're going to have our philosophy based on fundamentals, we're going to work hard on those fundamentals and make good football players and let the players play."
Considering John Harbaugh's background, is there any added pressure to your job as the special teams coordinator? (ROSBURG) "I don't think it's pressure, frankly. I think it's really a bonus. To have John there, to bounce things off of John and to have his expertise alongside that which I have done, I think, is really a bonus. I guess I just don't look at it as pressure. I'm fortunate to have John as my boss, but not only that, as my confidant. Believe me, I don't believe I have all the answers. There's all different kinds of ways of doing things, and I think having John in the office down the hall is going to be a great resource."
Cam, the last time we talked to you, you didn't really have a chance to look at the roster. What do you think now about what you have coming back? (CAMERON) "Well, I haven't really done much since then, just because we've been in the interview process. We'll do a lot of that in the next few weeks. The priority right now is to get the staff put together because that takes time. But I really am enjoying the process that we're going through. A lot of good coaches coming through. [We've] talked to a lot of guys. So we'll get that done first, and once we get our staff together, we'll go from there."
How much input do you have in the hiring of the assistant coaches? (CAMERON) "I'm here to support John. There's a lot of interaction, a lot of back and forth. But, obviously, this is his coaching staff. Obviously, Jerry and I both, we've known each other. Having known John, we're thrilled to be part of his staff. This is his staff. We're here as a resource to help him, whether it be through interviews, phone calls, whatever it might be. It's just a case where I'm supporting him and giving any input he's looking for."
Have you talked with Steve McNair yet? (CAMERON) "Yes, I have. We visited for a while today. Obviously, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. It was a positive, positive visit. I was with Kyle [Boller] for a few hours in California the other day. Like you said, [I'm] just touching base with these guys. It takes a few weeks to catch these guys this time of year, which is okay. But I was impressed with both those guys."
Will going through the quarterback situation be your top priority? (CAMERON) "I think, obviously, in the National Football League, that's top priority for everybody. It is part of the process with John and Ozzie [Newsome] and the rest of our coaching staff. We've got to get this coaching staff put together first. That would be the priority right now."
In terms of your background, how much of an impact did coaching at Indiana at the same time as Bobby Knight have on you? (CAMERON) "Just tremendous. I think I said to somebody the other day, 'If I had a son who had the ability to play college basketball, there's no place I'd send him other than to Texas Tech. That's just how I feel about him. I love the man. He's done a lot for me and my family. It's nice to really know the real Bob Knight; what everybody else sees is really not him in total. He's a great man and a great friend."
John Harbaugh has drawn a lot of praise for the staff he has put together so far. Is he off to a pretty good start? (ROSBURG) "My view is that when we start playing regular season football games next year, the coordinator's value will be seen at that point in time. It's still the offseason." (CAMERON) "Well said."
Cam, have you reached out to Jonathan Ogden yet? (CAMERON) "I've reached out to him, and I'm sure we'll touch base in the next few days. [That] would be my guess. But we haven't talked yet. But you can imagine my respect, and anyone who has been in the National Football League for the last 10 or 11 years, has for him."