M&T Bank Stadium Practice Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "It's good to see you guys in person. Is this great, or what? This is fun. This room is a lot better than the big TV screen we have. (laughter) It's great to see you guys and the same thing for the stadium. It was so much fun to be in here with the fans. They were into it, weren't they? We had like 23,000 fans there. It was a lot of happy people, so that was great. [It's] just kind of a little bit back to normal. J.K. [Dobbins] just told me he just couldn't wait for the place to be packed. 'If that's what it's like,' he said, 'With that, I can't wait for it to be packed.' So, it's good. What questions do you have?"

The team announced the agreement with OLB Justin Houston. What does that move mean for this team? (Jamison Hensley) "I feel like he's a proven player. I had a chance to talk to him a lot in the last number of months. He really wanted to be here. He wanted to be here months ago. For it to work out the way it did, I just compliment him, his agent and [executive vice president and general manager] Eric [DeCosta] for getting it done. A number of players, Marcus Peters and he are very close. I know Marcus has been working on him to get him here for a while. Even in the last couple of days, Marcus made a couple visits over my way to make a couple calls. So, we have a role for him, and he has a chance to really help us. So, I'm excited about it."

You said OLB Justin Houston wanted to be here a few months ago. Is there a reason for the patience in bringing him in? Did you want to see something first? (Kyle Barber) "I'm sure there are a lot of reasons for it, probably more business reasons than anything and just kind of seeing where things played out. It's been great communication on both sides, and I'm glad to see it happen. [Executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] always says, 'The team is not finished until September, and even then, it's not finished.' So, we're in good shape with that."

How much do you like just bringing in another veteran presence when you have OLB Odafe Oweh, you have OLB Daelin Hayes, OLB Jaylon Ferguson is still young and even OLB Tyus Bowser? You have OLB Pernell McPhee and now OLB Justin Houston who is so accomplished. What's the influence he can have on those guys? (Noah Trister) "Absolutely. He'll help those guys a lot. Obviously, Pernell [McPhee] is a great leader in that room, and Tyus [Bowser] has grown into a heck of a leader in that room, too. They're a pretty young group, so to get another guy who has been around and done so many great things, it should help those guys quite a bit. Especially whether it's football or just life or just having a long great career – all those things help."

The young wide receivers just continue to put on a show in the first four days of training camp practice. WR Devin Duvernay is making plays, WR James Proche II is making plays. What are your thoughts on this wide receiver group as a whole and the steps that they're taking? (Ryan Mink) "I appreciate them. I do believe they're very talented. I think Sammy [Watkins] is the point man there, obviously, and you saw that tonight. They all look really good. I love every one of them for different unique ways. I can't wait to see them. I do think it's early, you know? As a coach, we'll take it one day at a time. We're not even in pads yet, so I'm sure the defense will tell you that. It's like, 'Well, OK. We're not touching anybody right now.' So, we'll take it one day at a time and try to get better every day."

We've seen OLB Odafe Oweh put on some nice pass rush moves in the one-on-one drills. Do you like how he's coming along in that phase of it? (Childs Walker) "I do. It'll be interesting to see over the long haul what kind of career he has, but four days in, I think you try to form a first impression in terms of how does his skillset translate for any player – how does it translate from college to the NFL. The way he moves, I think, has translated very well in the first four days. So, I'm very excited about that, but also the way he works. He's a very serious guy, every day. You've seen his personality. How was he in here? Was he cracking jokes? Probably not. (laughter) So, he's into the playbook and he works really hard at it."

How do you see QB Trace McSorley and QB Tyler Huntley today during training camp at M&T Bank Stadium? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "I thought both those quarterbacks really did well. They've played the way they've played all through training camp. You've seen them out there every single day. They've been on target." (Reporter: "But here at the M&T Bank Stadium, it's a big difference.") "That's a great point. I agree with you 100%. To take it now and transfer it to the stadium with the fans in there, to operate the offense the way they did, it's a great step for them – that's exactly right. The next step will be when the pads come on on Tuesday and then after that into the [preseason] games. So, hopefully they'll keep taking those steps and soon enough, we'll get Lamar [Jackson] back, too, and we'll have all those guys together. I thought we had a young quarterback from Baltimore City out there today who did a nice job, too. He looked good. We signed him a couple days ago, so it was a big moment for him as well."

I think we've seen RB J.K. Dobbins and DE Calais Campbell really embrace the experience that they had today, because they didn't get to experience it last year because of COVID. Have you seen that a little bit from them too, especially with something like today? (Melissa Kim) "That's a great point. That's something that all of those rookies ... Yes, Calais [Campbell] has never … He's been here as an opponent, so he had to experience the other side of it. The rookies have never experienced that in the NFL. J.K. [Dobbins] played at Ohio State; that's a lot of fans, but it's just nothing like the National Football League, you know? For those guys to get a taste of that today, they'll sleep well tonight. It'll be something they'll remember."

Do you have an indication when OLB Justin Houston will be on the field with you guys in practice? (Mark Viviano) "Yes, it's going to be a while. He's got to get vaccinated, in all honesty. So, there's going to be a five-day period there. But he's going to get in town as soon as he can, so we'll kind of get through that, get him his physical and those kinds of things."

QB Trace McSorley said that WR James Proche II is a workhorse. We know that WR James Proche II was a [workhorse] last year, and obviously he's still the same this year. But Year One to Year Two, we saw just how good he was out there tonight catching everything thrown his way. I guess what's the biggest difference from his rookie year to now? (Jonas Shaffer) "I think the biggest difference is just time on task. Those guys weren't even practicing a year ago. They were in the weight room and doing conditioning drills. So, the whole rookie class, the opportunity to be through the OTAs … James [Proche II] had a whole year. So, like you said, nobody works harder – [it's] one more step. I'll tell you what; four straight days, he's done it every single day. So, I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings."

QB Trace McSorley

On if stretching the field has been a point of emphasis this offseason: "Yes, it has been a point of emphasis for us. We have guys on the outside who can make those plays. We want to give those guys the opportunity to entertain [deep ball passes] any chance we get, something that [quarterbacks] Coach [James] Urban talks to us a lot about. Something that we are trying to build into our thought process that whenever we can get those shots, to be able to go one-on-one with the guy on the outside and go make a play."

On how beneficial it is to get extra reps at practice: "Exactly like you said. You never want to see a teammate get sick or go down for any reason, but whatever opportunities we do get, 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley] and I, and even Kenji [Behar], trying to take advantage of them. [We want to] control all the things we can control, and whatever opportunities, reps we can get, take advantage of it, because sometimes you don't always get those reps. If you can get that opportunity to get in there and try to make the most out of it and really just use that time to build chemistry with these guys who we will be working with in the preseason."

On his chemistry with WR James Proche II: "James is an absolute work horse. The dude is the first one out on the jugs every single day. He works so hard on his craft that you can really rely on him to be in the right spot every time, running the right route well and very clean. He is one of those guys you have a lot of trust in him to give him the ball and give him opportunities. You are able to see some of the catches he is able to make and plays he is able to make, so the more he does that, it is awesome for our offense. It elevates every single guy in that receiver room and elevates us as quarterbacks. Even our offensive line guys are even juiced up when he is making plays. It is awesome having James out there doing what he is doing."

On his first impressions of WR Rashod Bateman: "He has been great. How he has been running routes, using his body, speed [and] size to be able to go up and make plays. [He's] running clean routes. You can tell, even from spring to now, how much he was in his playbook over the summer. He is making plays, playing fast, and that is what you want to see out of a young guy. He is not out there thinking, trying to figure out what route he's got, where he is fitting in the formation. He knows all that already, so he is able to go out and make plays. Like you saw out there today, he is able to go out, make a great play on Marlon [Humphrey], who is one of the best corners in this league. He is just improving every day, and that competition against Marlon [Humphrey] and Marcus [Peters] and our corners that we have, it elevates him, every single day."

QB Tyler Huntley

On if he has a "Next Man Up" mentality with QB Lamar Jackson's absence: "It's just a good opportunity for us to get a couple more reps, just learn the different aspects of being out there with the first team and everything. It's just a good opportunity right now."

On where he feels like he's grown the most since he got to Baltimore: "Mostly [with the] playbook. Just elevating my knowledge of the offense and taking full control of it."

On how beneficial this spring has been after not having an offseason program last year: "I feel like it's a great thing, because the spring prepared me well for the camp and preseason. I just feel like everybody plays better in a game, so it's going to be good."

On how he feels to have fans back at M&T Bank Stadium: "It's amazing. The fans are amazing. I didn't think that many fans were going to be here. It just shows you how good the culture is around here."

On his reaction when he found out QB Lamar Jackson was placed on the COVID-19 Reserve list: "I was mad, because it was like, 'Dang, he got COVID again.' That's my boy. It's always good to have him around. He brings the spirit around. He just has the whole facility feeling different. So, it was like, 'Dang, we're going to miss him for 10 days.' But once he comes back, he's going to be on his thing."

On what convinced him to come to Baltimore as an undrafted free agent: "Oh, shoot. I know 'Hollywood' [Marquise Brown], I know 'L.J.' [Lamar Jackson], and that's what really sold it. Being able to come where you know somebody, you feel better and comfortable to just play football. I felt like that was a start, and then, who doesn't want to play for the Ravens?" (laughter)

WR Rashod Bateman

On if he was feeling alright after getting stretched out: "Yes, it's just training camp, a lot of running, a lot of tightness, but I'll be back to work Monday. No big issue, so I'm all good."

On practicing at the stadium and being exposed to Ravens fans: "It felt like I just got done playing a game. Back in college, we didn't have fans. So, it was good being able to see that. Especially being in Baltimore, it feels special. Everybody is welcoming me with open arms, so I'm taking it all in and having fun. Today was a special day, for sure."

On the touchdown pass where CB Marlon Humphrey was covering him: "No, that's just the mentality that you have to have every single play. You never know where the ball is going to go, you have to have that mentality every play. Marlon [Humphrey] has done a good job of making me better. I'm making him better, and that's just the competition that we've got going on this training camp. I love it, I love the competition. We're all just getting better each and every day."

On the confidence he's gained in practice: "Kind of, sort of, but not really. I've worked all my life for it. On April 29, [general manager and executive vice president Eric] Mr. DeCosta and [head coach John] Coach Harbaugh made me a Raven. At that point, I knew I was ready and I was built for it. They didn't call my name for no reason. I just came in prepared and ready to work. They've been doing a good job of keep getting me better."

On organizing offseason workouts with the Ravens receivers: "No, it just ended up happening that way. We all saw that we were in the same spot at the same time, and we all were just like, why not? We're all chasing Super Bowls – why not get better together? So, we communicated, got together, and just focused on the things we need to focus on. We grinded for four weeks straight. I'm just happy I got to do that, to get close to [Marquise Brown] 'Hollywood' and to build a relationship with my teammates."

On his first training camp: "Training camp is training camp. (laughter) It's a grind. It doesn't matter where you go. But that's the best part, because eventually, you get to see all of your work pay off. Everything that we're doing now – we're chasing something special. Everything that we're doing now is going to benefit us in the long run."

On not being able to work with QB Lamar Jackson right now: "I think Trace [McSorley] and Tyler [Huntley] are doing a phenomenal job stepping in while Lamar is out. But while I was out there with Lamar – Lamar is Lamar. He does some crazy things. You've never seen anybody kind of do what he does. He's like a human joystick. But it's exciting. Lamar is the MVP for a reason. I know he's been out lately, but I know when he comes back, he'll be ready to play."

On the interaction with him and CB Marlon Humphrey out on the field: "We just kind of keep it professional. We move on and we go on to the next play."

OLB Odafe Oweh

On how his first NFL training camp is going: "It's just a lot of hard work. It's a little different than college, but I'm taking in every day. One rep at a time, just getting better, [and] working with [outside linebackers] Coach Drew [Wilkins]. [Defensive coordinator Don] 'Wink' [Martindale] has a great scheme together for me, as well. I'm just trying to get better every day, so that's how I'm taking it."

On practicing at M&T Bank Stadium in front of fans: "Yes, it was crazy. It was really electric. I haven't played in front of fans in a while, because Big Ten [Conference] didn't have fans, and COVID[-19] and everything. So, it was really, really electric, and the butterflies were in my stomach. I was just getting pumped up. [I had] a little anxiety, but it was good anxiety. It helped me play better, play faster and gave me a little adrenaline rush. I already know it's going to get better than that, so it's good, it's good."

On leaving the field a little early: "Yes, I just had to use the bathroom."

On working against T Alejandro Villanueva: "It's been good. A lot of good work. Iron sharpens iron. Going against [Alejandro] Villanueva, his set, he changes it all the time, so that's good. He gives me angle sets, chop sets, sits back, as well. So, it helps me just really build with my repertoire and try to work different moves and stuff like that. But it's all just attacking a set line and dictating it off that. So, again, working with Villanueva has been good. He teaches me, as well. He lets me know what I could have done better each rep, and I let him know certain things that really stop edge rushers and stuff like that. So, it's been good work."

On the Ravens signing OLB Justin Houston: "Man, we got better – that's how I can take it. It's an opportunity for me to learn from a guy that has [97.5] sacks; that's always great. I'm learning from Calais [Campbell] every day, and now you just added another guy that has a history of just getting to the quarterback. I can use help, every angle I can get. We just added another nice outside linebacker, so I just see it as competition, as well, but we got better. So, I'm good."

On his serious demeanor when it comes to football: "Yes, I'm just really intentional with what I've got to do every day. If you want to succeed, as everyone says, there's different options you can take, but it's really just one route you can take, and that's the route to succeed. So, I just try to be focused – laser focused – and just go about my business. That's always how I've been."

On his spin move: "I've always had it, but I just never really used it, just because of rush-integrity things that we were taught to do in college. But it's going to be really big for me, because I'm fast, so my get-off, if I could force it up the field, attack the set line, have him selling, now I could just spin back in, and I could do that pretty twitchy. I have a lot of twitch, so I can do that pretty fast. So, that's something that I'm going to try to keep on perfecting and getting better at."

On if his basketball background has helped with his one-on-one football matchups and the details of his approach: "Yes, it's just manipulating leverage, so, like I said, getting it up the field, you see him selling out, and then as soon as he tries to punch or shoot his hands, chop it down and spin back in. So, like I said, it's a lot of fast twitch, manipulating leverage, seeing his body move and then quickly going inside."

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