MARCUS WILLIAMS INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE
E*_xecutive Vice President & General Manager Eric DeCosta,_*
Pass Game Coordinator/Secondary Chris Hewitt and S Marcus Williams
Eric DeCosta Opening Statement:"First of all, thanks for coming, guys. [We're] very, very excited to announce the signing of Marcus Williams – a free safety. He's a player that we've long coveted going back to the draft process, when we had a chance to interview Marcus and watch him on tape. [It's] very exciting that we were able to get him. I want to thank the Ravens organization for supporting us in doing that. I want to thank Marcus' agents, Chafie Fields and Doug Hendrickson, for assisting in the process, as well. We're excited to move forward. This is a player that fits us very well. If you guys recall, back, after the season, we talked about our search for players who could make big plays and help us on the back end, force turnovers and really help us in the passing game, and we think Marcus is that type of guy. We're very excited to bring him in, [and] we're happy to host his beautiful family. I'll open it up to [passing game coordinator/secondary] Chris [Hewitt]."
Chris Hewitt Opening Statement:"First of all, I'm going to reiterate everything [executive vice president & general manager] Eric [DeCosta] just talked about. I'm very excited to have a player of Marcus' [Williams] caliber. Thanks, Eric, and the whole entire Ravens organization, for making me a good coach again. So, Marcus is a player … Just like what [Eric DeCosta] just talked about, [Marcus Williams] is a guy that I've evaluated twice, and two times [of] going through the evaluation, he's been a player that's been able to make those plays on the back end, be able to turn the ball over. When the ball goes up in the air, he's one of the best in the league at going to go get the football. We're going to utilize all those talents in all of our schemes to try to put him in the best position to make plays. But again, [we're] really excited to have a player like Marcus, and I think he's going to do some great things for us."
Marcus Williams Opening Statement:"First and foremost, I just want to say thank you for allowing me to be here with you guys. This is truly an honor for me – to be a part of a great organization like this. Over the years, I've seen the production and the hard work that's been built into this organization, and I'm truly honored. None of this would happen for me without my family right here – my mom, my dad and my three brothers – and they've been my support staff since I was a baby. This is … It's hard to speak. I'm really speechless at this point. It's almost like getting drafted all over again for me, and there's a whole lot of emotions running through my body. But I know one thing is I'm ready to work, and I'm ready to get out here and go to work."
Eric, you said that S Marcus Williams fits you, but what was it about him that made you target him and want to bring him in as a free agent? (Jamison Hensley)
DeCosta:"It's some of the things we saw on tape when he played in college at Utah and then just having had the chance to watch him in the NFL. [He has] great instincts, eyes, range, ball-hawking ability. [He's] a good support player down low. He can come down effectively and make tackles. [He's] just a guy that has an opportunity to make critical plays in critical situations. We've played against him. I also think that just talking to other people about him, I can't tell you the amount of either players that have played for us in the past – Eric Weddle, for instance – who reached out to me about Marcus, as well, and people like that. But [he] just kind of fits us. Over the years, I've referenced players, like Rod Woodson, Ed Reed – guys that can make game-changing plays at the right time – and we've seen the impact that those type of guys can have on the NFL and in the games now, especially with, I think, the impact of the passing game that we've seen, the rise of the passing game over the last 15 years or so. I just think Marcus is a guy that really fits us and makes us a better defense."
Marcus, can you just talk about the process? I know you were one of the more coveted free agents. Were the Ravens an opportunity you were eyeing from the beginning, and how did it all come about?*_(Jeff Zrebiec)_*
Williams:"Man, it all happened pretty fast. I was really training, and it all just came to me right when I was training. So, it all happened pretty fast, but when I heard about the opportunity, I was excited about that, because I already know what type of culture is built here, and I already know that it will fit the type of player that I am, and the type of people that are already here, I already know they're competitive, and they're ready to go to work every single day. So, that's what really got my eye."
Executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta just mentioned Eric Weddle – another Utah guy. I wanted to know if you had a relationship with him. If you had, what did he tell you about the Ravens? Or are there any other players in the league that you had reached out to, to find out about Baltimore?*_(Luke Jones)_*
Williams:"Man, Eric [Weddle] is definitely somebody I've watched a lot. He texted me the other day, and he was like, this is one of the best organizations he's played with. He said it's definitely somewhere I want to be, it's somewhere that's going to help elevate my game, because I have a lot more to do. I'm barely getting started in my game right now, and I feel like I haven't even reached my full potential. So, I feel like here is going to help elevate my game way more, and I'll be able to do a lot more here with the help of the coaches."
You faced a little bit of adversity in your rookie year, and then you turned into one of the best safeties in football. How did your rookie year impact the man and the player that you've become?*_(Kirk McEwen)_*
Williams:"Even being a rookie, I don't think that I was bad at all. I mean, I may have one play that set it all off and people know me for, but that's just adversity. Everybody hits adversity, and for me, just being able to face that, look it in the eye and keep going, I feel like it just shows who I am. I'm never the type to back down, I'm not going to quit, and I'm going to just keep going. You can get knocked down, but if you don't get back up, that's on you. Life is full of choices, and my choice was to get back up, stand tall and continue to be who I am, and I'm that type of person. I'm never going to let anybody tell me I can't do something, and that's what I preach to the kids that I speak to. Just like when I was in college, I said I'm going to get a degree; I went to the league, and I went back and got my degree. So, that's just the type of person who I am, and nobody can ever tell me that … They can never say that you quit because you may have missed a play. That's life, that's football – something's always going to happen – and for me, I'm going to get back up, and I'm going to keep striving for success."
Eric, you said before how the Ravens sort of aren't really aggressive in free agency. What was the difference this year in being so aggressive out of the gate to get these guys?*_(Todd Karpovich)_*
DeCosta:"Oh, man. I think it's just strategies that you have. Every single year is different. I think we're known as a team that likes to chase the comp picks, but every single season presents different challenges – other teams, players available, your roster, the salary cap, draft capital, various things. We just felt like if we had the chance to get a guy that was a ballhawk, physical, smart, durable player, we would do it at the free safety position. And you look at other players in the league, successful defenses, how you want to evolve as a defense, what players are available in the Draft, and what does it take? And I think in this particular instance, Marcus [Williams] was the right player at the right time for us. Fortunately, we have a good relationship with his agents; that always makes the process easier. He's a young player, and I've got to say, over the years, we've had the chance to bring players in – very successful players – sometimes those guys are closer to 30 years old. And it's really, really awesome, I think, personally, to get a guy in here who's 25, 26 years old, who hasn't even reached his physical peak yet. I think that's exciting."
Marcus, there's a long history of ball-hawking safeties here, dating back to S Ed Reed. Was he a guy that you watched growing up, and did you try to emulate his game in any way?*_(Ryan Mink)_*
Williams:"I've never been one to really watch other guys when I was growing up. I kind of just played, and as time went on, I just started watching myself and how I was going to get better. As I got to the league, though, I started watching more guys, and seeing that Eric Weddle came from my college, I kind of watched him a lot. But I never really tried to say, like, 'I'm trying to follow in someone's footsteps.' I really try to make my own path. So, they're all great players, but at some point, I want to be better than that. So, that's just for me."
Coach, I'm curious how you think S Marcus Williams fits with your secondary, as currently constructed?*_(Bobby Trosset)_*
Hewitt:"The reality of it is, is Marcus [Williams] is a player that's going to be able to change the game, just like everybody's been talking about. Our job is, and my job is, to try to put him in the best position for him to go make plays. So, as far as how I see him, we'll find out all those things once we get on the grass and get out there and play. But I know what his ability is and what he's going to be able to do for us as a team. So, I'm going to put him in the best position so that he can make plays, whether that's on the back end, blitzing, covering. All the things that it takes for you to become a great player in this league, we're going to try to do that to suit him."
Marcus, the thought of teaming up with the likes of CB Marlon Humphrey, CB Marcus Peters, S Chuck Clark and the rest of the secondary, is that something that was a big factor in your decision?*_(Bobby Trosset)_*
Williams:"Definitely. Coming from having Marshon [Lattimore] and 'Roby' [Bradley Roby] and Malcolm Jenkins – those guys – I feel like it's just me coming right into another system, just like that. They're all talented players, and they all go get the ball. They're all high-caliber guys, and I feel like I fit right in with that, and I feel like I can just help us elevate to another level, as well."
Eric, you talked about what kind of player S Marcus Williams is. In your experience, how rare is that type of safety? Can you essentially count on not being able to get a guy like that in any given year, whether through the Draft or free agency?*_(Childs Walker)_*
DeCosta:"Good question. There's not a lot of these type of guys. You look for them in the Draft. You can find a lot of good safeties. Typically, there are a lot of really good safeties who can help you. But to have a guy in the back end who has the type of vision, the instincts, the eyes and the ball skills, those guys are few and far between. We look for them every single year in the Draft, and there might be one or two of those type of guys out there, but what we see [is] those are the players who are coveted by other teams, as well, and it makes it very challenging to get those type of guys."
Can you just talk about your mentality when you see the ball go up in the air?*_(Ryan Mink)_*
Williams:"When the ball is in the air, I think it's mine every time. Sometimes I may hit my own teammate, but that's the cost of doing business. I may take the interception from them, but as long as the other person, other team doesn't get it, then I'm happy about it. [When] the ball is in the air, I think it's mine every time."
Marcus, free agency is almost kind of like recruiting, with people coming after you. I know you had other teams interested in you. What was it about the Ravens and their pitch that maybe sold you the most to eventually come here?*_(Jamison Hensley)_*
Williams:"Like I said earlier, it's just the culture here. It's about the family environment that they already said that they have. You've seen over the years the type of success they've had and the type of guys they bring in – hardworking guys, ready to work – and that's the type of person I am. I feel like I fit, because I'm always ready to compete no matter what. Every day is an opportunity to compete and to get better. There's always somebody else trying to get to where you're at, so for me – that's what I do – I have to compete. Somebody is trying to take my spot. I mean, I don't have a spot right now. I'm coming in and competing just like everybody else – that's my mentality."
RB Mark Ingram II said that Baltimore got a baller when they signed you. Did you talk to him about his time here? (Kirk McEwen)
Williams:"Mark [Ingram II] loved it here. I mean, if he could come back, he probably would. Mark's a great guy. He speaks highly of the Ravens organization, and he told me that I would love it here, and I take his word for it, because I talk to him pretty much every week. So, yes."
The team put out a picture of you signing your contract with your family surrounding you. What was that moment like, and how gratifying has it been to share it with them? (Jeff Zrebiec)
Williams:"To be honest, I'm still taking in the moment. Right now, I still feel the emotions. I mean, I may not be able to express them right now. But just to have my family and to see them see me start from the bottom, start as a little kid, [to an] All-American, all the way to the NFL, to signing [my] first real contract is … It's an amazing feeling. I love them. They do everything for me, no matter what it is, and I'd do anything for them. I know they don't ask me for much, they don't ask me for anything, and I don't know how many families are really like that – to just sit back and say, 'You know what? We're supporting you, and we don't care what happens.' 'Minneapolis Miracle' happened – they're still there, because that's my family. They're not going to look at me any type of way. They're going to build me up, and they're going to give it to me 100% straight. If I'm doing wrong, if I'm doing bad, they're going to do it like that. So, to have that type of support in my life is very important, because football only lasts so long, and after that, my family's still going to be there."
Going up in practice against a future Hall of Famer in QB Drew Brees during your early years there in New Orleans, what were those moments like, and how many interceptions did you get on him? (Bobby Trosset)
Williams:(laughter) "Man, you'll have to go watch the film to see how many I got on him. (laughter) Man, Drew [Brees] is a great guy. Going up against that type of guy in practice ultimately helped me for other people that I'm playing against. So, his mentality definitely rubbed off, and I definitely see what it takes to get to that level. And from seeing him practice with no football, to practice … That's what I do on the field. I'm imagining what I'm going to do; that's what he did all day. He imagined [it], and his process, he respected it, he never wavered from it, and that's what made him great."
I'm just wondering what your thoughts are regarding your new teammates in the defensive secondary, specifically CB Marlon Humphrey, CB Marcus Peters, S Chuck Clark. What do you think about how that unit matches up around the league? (Shawn Stepner)
Williams:"Man, every year is different, but you know what type of guys they are. They're some of the best guys in the league, as you can see by their production, as you see by their film. But I think it's a good situation to be in, and I feel like we'll see what happens coming this season."
How valuable is it nowadays in the NFL to be able to have someone who can be kind of a centerfield safety, like the role that you had so often in New Orleans – just to be the guy back there who's basically shutting down a third of the field, at times? (Jonas Shaffer)
Williams:"I mean, I'm just me. I can't really tell you how valuable it is; I just know how valuable I am." (Pass game coordinator/secondary Chris Hewitt: "I'll tell you; it's valuable.") (laughter) "Well, he can tell you, so that's a question you've got to ask him. But I know, for me, when the ball is up in the air, I know that it's time for me to go get it, and I feel like I can kind of intimidate the quarterback a little bit, because he knows if he throws it up in my range, it's pretty much gone. So, like [Coach Hewitt] said, he feels it's valuable, I feel it's valuable, but I just know that I'm valuable. I don't know how other safeties are, but I just know who I am."
Is it validating to see the stats of just how rarely you are targeted, when quarterbacks do kind of have to come after you? (Jonas Shaffer)
Williams:"You know, it's tough to not be targeted. I guess it says something, but I'd also rather be a little bit more targeted so I can get more interceptions. But I guess it's a little validating, but at the same time, maybe I'm just too far back – I don't know."
You just got here, but are you aware of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry? Guys that come in from other organizations, they always talk about how it's kind of different. How soon will you develop a hatred for the Steelers? (Ken Weinman)
Williams:"Man, I'm just coming here to work. If something happens, then maybe, but right now … [It's my] first day here, and we'll see once the game comes."
Eric, you guys have been busy, as you mentioned. Just generally, where are you guys at so far with what you've been able to do and what kind of position you're in, in free agency and going forward? (Jeff Zrebiec)
DeCosta:"I think it's a fluid process. We're excited. We think we still have a lot of room to improve at various fronts, at every position. We were very excited to get the comp picks this week – the two fourth-round comp picks. We've got 10 draft picks; hopefully we'll have a few more. We think it's a deep draft. We've spent some money, but we still have some money, and I think you'll see over the coming days that we're not going to stand pat. If we have the ability to be flexible and find the right type of players, we'll do that. We're just at the beginning of the process. There are so many different balls in the air right now. But we look at it as a great opportunity, [and] we're excited. As I said before, we were disappointed by this past season, and we see a real opportunity moving forward, and we think this guy [Marcus Williams] is a big part of that."
MORGAN MOSES INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE
E*_xecutive Vice President & General Manager Eric DeCosta,_*
Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris and T Morgan Moses
Eric DeCosta Opening Statement:"I'm elated to announce the signing of Morgan Moses, a three-year contract. Morgan is a guy that we had just talked [to] a little while ago. Years ago, when I was really hitting the scouting circuit and travelling, I went down to Charlottesville, and I scouted Morgan and Brent Urban in the same draft class. He's always been a player that we've admired. When I think of Morgan, the thoughts that I have [are] big, tough, very smart, and also very durable. This is a guy that's played and started in 115 games in his career. He's a versatile guy who can play different spots. We're excited to bring him here. It's great to sort of bring him back home to the Mid-Atlantic region. We think he's going to have a great three years with us, and we just couldn't be any happier to bring him back."
Joe D'Alessandris Opening Statement:"What a great pick for us right here. He's a fine young man. I've heard nothing but good things about him all through the league. I've talked to several [offensive] line coaches that have had him, and they do nothing but rave about his ability, his work ethic, how he approaches the game every day [and] what a pro he is on the field and off the field. As [executive vice president and general manager Eric [DeCosta] just said, look at his … He's available all the time for you. He started seven consecutive years without missing a game – that's huge as an offensive lineman. And the reps, no penalties. So, out of 1,000 snaps, that's pretty awesome. So, he's keeping the offense on the field [and] producing. So, we're excited to have [Morgan] Moses. He's going to fill a void for us in that right tackle position, so that's awesome."
Morgan Moses Opening Statement:"Oh, man. This is amazing. Obviously, walking around this building with my beautiful family [and] my kids being able to see … They took the day off at school today. (laughter) Our seven-year-old, Isaiah, said … He woke up this morning and said, 'Daddy, it's St. Patrick's Day. We made a trap for the leprechaun at school, and I'm going to miss out.' I said, 'Do you want to go to the Ravens facility? Or do you want to go chase leprechauns?' He's like, 'I think I'll go to the Ravens facility.' (laughter) But just being a part of such a historic franchise, I told my kids today, before we walked down the stairs, we saw [a photo of] the last home game of Ray Lewis coming out for the introductions. Any time you're a part of an organization that has Hall of Fame-caliber players like that – Ed Reed, [or] you talk about Jonathan Ogden at left tackle, all these guys have played great football over the course of their career – and you get to come here and sit in a place like this, at the age I am and going into Year Nine, to be able to play meaningful football is very important, but also, to bring my family to a family-oriented organization. I think when you have those things align, it makes football a lot easier, right? Because you can just focus on football while you're here, knowing that everybody else in the building is going to take care of your family. So, I'm excited to get started. Obviously, it's a blessing to be able to block for Lamar [Jackson]. My whole career, I've averaged about five quarterbacks a season, so … (laughter) To have one, just to have one, is amazing. So, I'm ready to go. I'm excited, man. I'm excited to run out of the tunnel for the first time, see the fans and just make this place home for us."
Morgan, everyone talks about the durability and the ability to keep going and being out there. For you, what is the key? What has been the key for you to be able to do that?*_(Jamison Hensley)_*
Moses:"Really just understanding your body, that's No. 1 – understanding your body. I had a great group of guys, older guys, that kind of took me under their wing when I was young in the league, and I just started learning [and started] taking care of my body with hot yoga, things like that. You guys are going to laugh, but I have a live-in personal physician, my wife, who takes care of me with the cupping and stretching and those things. On the off days, she gets the hot bath ready with the six bags of Epsom salt and stuff. So, having a support system, obviously, helps a lot, but just being available, man, it's simple. You just don't want to let guys down, that's the thing of it. If you feel like your 70% is better than the guy behind you, then you should be out there to be able to play. I want to be one of those guys that people can depend on and count on and show leadership qualities. That's what's kind of driven me over my career to just be able to be out there every game."
Eric, adding T Morgan Moses*and S Marcus Williams, how much flexibility does this give you in the Draft now, as far as adding guys? _(Todd Karpovich)_*
DeCosta:"Yes, that's definitely part of the process. We think of the offseason as a bunch of different roads that you can take, and I think to get to your destination, the more roads you can eliminate before the Draft, the easier it is to pick the best available player. You never want to be in a position, I think, as a drafter where you're specifically drafting every pick need-based. So, the way that we envision it is we have a bunch of different holes; we try to fill some. You can't fill them all in free agency – the cost is prohibitive. But you try to eliminate some holes, and then you really laser focus with the Draft, trying to assess the talent and then find the best possible players at the positions you need who are the best position players available at the time."
Morgan, what was the free agency process for you like? I know last year was a little different in the way you joined the Jets; you were in Washington for a long time. What were you looking for? And how quickly did everything come about for you?*_(Jeff Zrebiec)_*
Moses:"Obviously, going through that process …" (Legend Moses: "Ooh.") (laughter) "Legend, the three-year-old! (points at his son sitting on his lap) OK, he's not your normal three-year-old, but he's three. (laughter) I think first of all, any process that you get to go through in your career in the NFL is a blessing. So, obviously, getting released by Washington late, by being able to sign with the Jets, who is a mirroring organization [from] the family aspect like the Ravens … We had [New York Jets general manager] Joe Douglas who came from the Ravens, and he implemented that family atmosphere. So, for me, going into Year Nine and being able to play a lot of ball, it's not the question of, 'Hey, can I play football?' It's about how does my family fit here, because if those things align the right way, football becomes easy. It becomes a child game. You look at it, and you're able to play out there, because you're not worried about [thinking], 'Is my wife OK?' You're not worrying about if the kids are OK. They have everything here to take care of those things, so you can focus on the aspects of football. Also, just going through this process and seeing the history, you see the Baltimore Ravens. I've driven this highway many a times and seen it at night lit up in purple. So, like I said, growing up kind of in the DMV area, you see Ray Lewis, you see Jonathan Ogden, you see Ed Reed and all these electrifying players. When it comes down to it, like I said, when you're in the later part of your career, you want to feel like you're playing meaningful football. So, obviously, with Lamar Jackson, the pieces that they have around here, the defense, [with the possibility of] Za'Darius [Smith] coming back, who I have a lot of respect for as an edge rusher, you look [and say], 'Hey, how can I get better as I'm getting older?' Going against Za'Darius every day, I know he's a hardworking guy. I played him in preseason against the Green Bay Packers in the joint practice. You know that guy is going to challenge you every day, so you're going to have to bring your lunch pail to practice every day, and that's how you get better. It's 'Iron Sharpens Iron.' So, just going through the process, just combing through and just looking at it and say, 'Hey, why not? Why not come here and play meaningful football? Why not play in front of the 2019 MVP, the player of the league?' If you put those things together … Like I said, I haven't had a stability quarterback; I've averaged five quarterbacks since I've been in the league every year. So, being able to have a guy like that that's out there that can extend plays, is explosive, his knowledge of the game – I've heard nothing but great things. [He's the] first person in, last person out. Those are the type of guys you want to be surrounded by. So, when you put it all together, and you put the pieces together, and they fit like they're supposed to, it was an easy decision."
Morgan, you mentioned QB Lamar Jackson, but this offense over the last three years have run the ball, especially in 2019 and 2020, at a historic rate. I've never encountered an offensive lineman who said they liked to pass block more than run block. So, how much was that a factor, too, as far as how much they run the football?*_(Luke Jones)_*
Moses:"When you look at it, the game-planning and things like that, the league is … You look at the AFC, especially the AFC West – all the quarterbacks there – at some point, you're going to have to pass the ball. It's good to have a balance of offensive linemen that can pass block, run block and do all of those things. It's not just that I'm pass-heavy. I'm pass-heavy, pass blocking. At the same time, you realize that the game is changing as well, and you have to have players out there that are able to adapt to that. So, I think what I've done over the course of my career showing that, I think getting in here, getting around the guys, learning the playbook and just running around, hopefully the leadership qualities that I bring with myself, help the team thrive. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
Eric, T Morgan Moses mentioned OLB Za'Darius Smith, I have to ask a question. You guys haven't announced it officially. Is there any update on that?*_(Ken Weinman)_*
DeCosta:"No, there really isn't. I think what we're trying to do is focus on these two guys and make this a special time. I think over the coming days, I think we'll have more to say on other moves that we make."
Morgan, do you have a personal expectation to be the starter at right tackle for this upcoming September? Offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris kind of alluded to that potentially being the case this upcoming fall. If so, was that a factor into your decision?*_(Bobby Trosset)_*
Moses:"Look, I'm smart enough to know nothing is written in ink. Obviously, this league is competitive, so you have to come out there and compete every day. I think one thing that I've shown over my career is that I don't shy away from competition. If there's competition, I believe the best comes out of it. At this point, I just enjoy playing football. I love the game of football. Similar to the question that you asked, that's why I keep on coming back, that's why I don't like to miss time, that's why I don't like letting players down, because I want to be a guy that somebody can lean on. No matter what is going on, injuries happen and things like that, I want people to say, 'Hey, Morgan Moses is going to show up on Sunday. He might have gotten banged up, but he's going to show up on Sunday. Just give him some time.' So, I don't know what is going to go on, but at the end of the day, I'm focused on what I can bring to the team and what I can do. However I can help, that's the way I'm going to go."
Morgan, you mentioned wanting to play meaningful football. I think looking back at your career, you've been on one playoff team. I know this past season, Baltimore didn't end up in the playoffs, but how much of a consideration was that for you to be joining a team that's probably going to be in line with the Super Bowl contenders?*_(Jonas Shaffer)_*
Moses:"You know, it's a great feeling. Obviously, it doesn't happen overnight. It starts now; working out, eating healthy, taking care of the body, so when you get here when the season starts, in preseason and training camp, you're ready to roll. So, it's a marathon. It's not a race, it's a marathon. I think over the last couple of years in my career, I really try to say, 'Hey, if I'm going to take a step from A to B, I want to make sure I don't have to backtrack back to A.' So, nothing happens fast. Nothing happens … You don't just skip steps without having to come back. So, I try to make sure that every step that I take is a valuable step. So, for me, obviously, this franchise has a history of being in the playoffs year after year. Obviously, with all the injuries that happened last year, things happen, but this is not … This is not an organization that is not a playoff-ready team; they have all the pieces. You see them working in free agency, [and] they'll be working in the Draft. I'm just excited to be here and be a part of it. So, like I said, I'm ready to get rolling. I'm ready to get around the young guys, however I can help. I'm ready to get around Ronnie Stanley. He's an outstanding football player; I've talked to him before. So, I'm just excited, man, about the pieces that they have here already and the pieces that they're going to bring in to prepare us for this season."
Morgan, we've been talking about right tackle, but if injury circumstances did push you to the left side for a stretch, are you equally comfortable there? I know you've played there in the past.*_(Childs Walker)_*
Moses:"Hey, look man. Sometimes, you just have to throw yourself in the water and just know that you can swim. (laughter) So, if it happens, obviously I've played left tackle before. It's just about adapting. Like I've said, I've had some great offensive line coaches. Coach 'Joe D' [Joe D'Alessandris] said he's talked to some of the O-line coaches I've had. I've had [former Washington Commanders offensive line coach] Bill Callahan. I've had [Washington Commanders offensive line coach] John Matsko. All of those guys train you to play multiple positions, because you don't know. Obviously, you can only carry so many offensive linemen on gameday, and I've been a part of teams where you lose three, and then it's a shuffle. You have to play guard, and you have to play tackle. You might not have gotten work on it during the week, but it's just how it goes, and you have to be prepared. So, I think knowing the game of football, learning different positions, but also learning your position and understanding what everybody else is doing is the big part to be able to switch positions like that, because things happen. You guys … We've seen it this year, this past season with the team with all the injuries and things like that, people have to shuffle. Because at the end of the day, other teams don't really care – you just have to go out there and perform. The coaches' jobs are to put the gameplan out there, and the job for the players is to go execute."
Joe, much was made last year, obviously, about the injuries you guys had last year at tackle and some of the things*you had to do to kind of patch it up and move forward. How important was it for you to kind of see depth and stability added at those spots? I don't want to say how much easier does it make your job, but how comforting is it to know T Morgan Moses' career and his consistency and durability? _(Jeff Zrebiec)_*
D'Alessandris:"Yes, that's huge. Like I said, his body of work explains a lot of things to everyone. Just look at his consistency, his availability, his dependability. When you have that, that helps you build your line, because you have guys out there every day getting better. So, if he's out there every day, and you have your whole group out there every day, we're all going to get better – coach, player, player, coach. And all of a sudden, you start developing a nice offensive line. So, he has a lot of those qualities that we're looking for, and he's displayed them. So, this is huge for offensive line play. Like I said, the statistics that you've seen, you don't see that happen with offensive linemen much in the NFL – that's a credit to him. I've studied him way back when, when he was coming out of Virginia, and I also know he had to go to Fort Union. So, if you look at him, he is an overachiever. He is going to work. He's going to drive. He's going to find a way to get things done, and then look at his career in the NFL, how he's just continued to climb the ladder, as you say, or climb the mountain. So, we're excited about having him here, because I just see nothing but outstanding things for him. He's been exposed to all these things in the NFL already as a blocker. Now he gets to do a little bit more with our terminology, our ways, but if he knows how to block power, guess what, he knows how to block power. So, we're going to have him blocking a bunch of power."
Morgan, you mentioned you've blocked for quite a few quarterbacks, but none like QB Lamar Jackson. How excited are you to block for a guy like him? What are the adjustments or challenges you think there are with blocking for a guy that's as mobile as he is?*_(Cordell Woodland)_*
Moses:"I don't think it's challenging blocking for a guy as mobile as him, No. 1, because I think that's an advantage. You know, he's an elite quarterback, because not only can he throw the ball, he can run. He dissects defense, and defenses … When you look at the offense of Baltimore Ravens, you have to account for that guy back there. He's another runner. It takes another 'DB' [defensive back], another safety in the box. At the time, you get your receiver group together and boom – a 50-yard touchdown down the seams, or the post, or whatever the case – play-action. We talked about power. It's the same thing; you want to run the ball. When you run the ball successfully, what comes after that? Play-action. So, I think the biggest thing for me, I'm excited obviously, because [of] the talent back there. But I'm also excited, because I know it's a good group of guys that I'm going to be in the room with. I think for me, personally, is that I want to be coached like the rookies are going to be coached, because at the end of the day, I feel like I can still learn. There's still more football out there for me to learn. I'm not a guy that's sitting here saying, 'Hey, I played nine years. I know it all.' There's always room for improvement. There are some things that I didn't excel in as much as I wanted to last season that I already have put down that I need to work on. Hopefully, sitting down with Coach [D'Alessandris], I know Coach is going to grind it. He's going to say, 'Hey, we need to work on this. We need to work on this.' When you get that attitude, especially going into Year Nine, when you have that attitude and that chip on your shoulder to get better, knowing that you can get better every day, the sky is still the limit. It's crazy to say at Year Nine that I still feel like I have a lot of football left to play, and I feel like there's room for growth. When you feel like that, I mean, it's untouchable, man. You know what I'm saying? When you feel that way about yourself and you know that you can come in and play at a high level, and not just play at a high level but make the other guys better around you because of the knowledge of the game. We talked … Coach said it already, 'He's played for five quarterbacks a year.' I've seen everything about the league. So, there's nothing that truly, really phases me. Yes, I have to learn what is his three-step drop, what does it look like, what does it feel like. [I have to learn] what is his five-step drop, what is his seven-step drop. When we go empty protection, what is he looking for? How can I help Lamar [Jackson]? He's throwing an out-route; can I set the guy a little bit wider so he can see that it creates a lane, and he can throw the ball in that lane? Those are the things that I think about – how can I help him, how can I help him see the safety rotation and things like that. That just comes with playing a lot of football over the course of the years. So, I'm hoping that my knowledge of the game that I've been taught and that I've seen over the years with Coach's teaching and the offense that we have, Ronnie Stanley, all the guys that we have coming back, Mark Andrews, a great tight end. With that knowledge and putting it together, I'm hoping that it's going to be a great fit. I know it's going to be a great fit."
Morgan, I'm sure you've seen the highlight reel of QB Lamar Jackson over the years. You mentioned the 2019 campaign. Moses: "Oh, trust me. My boys watch it all the time on their iPads!" (laughter) _You mentioned T Ronnie Stanley. One of the things I remember him talking about a couple years ago was, "Man, I'm running with Lamar downfield more than I ever have in my career." Are you prepared to do that?**(Bobby Trosset)_**
Moses:"Look, when you have an electrifying player like that, you gravitate to that energy, and you start doing things that you didn't even know you can do. I had this conversation with my son yesterday. He said, 'Daddy, like, you're getting old, but you're not slow.' My son, he brings me to realization all the time. That's the beautiful thing about being able to play in the league and have children that understand it. No matter what, they're going to treat me like the best player in the league, but they're also going to be super straightforward. (laughter) If I walk through the front door, and I had a bad game, my son is going to say, 'Daddy, I don't know what you were doing.' And I automatically know, 'Hey man, I have to tighten up,' because if he knows, everybody else knows. So, it's exciting, man. Like I said, I've never played with a quarterback to that caliber. I've played with good quarterbacks. Zach Wilson, I believe, who I played with last year, is going to be an outstanding quarterback. But the game … When you have a quarterback like that, not only does it slow the game down, but it keeps defenses from doing all this other stuff, because they have to pay attention to that guy that's back there. You look around the league at these quarterbacks. A lot of quarterbacks just stand still in one pocket. You have the ability to move the pocket with this guy. You have the read options, whatever the case is, and like I said, as good [of a] runner he is, he's just as good of a thrower. So, I'm excited just to be able to block for somebody like that, and I'm excited for what it brings. I know my kids are excited. My wife is excited. My kids, I know they're not going to wear my jersey. They're going to wear Lamar's jersey, and that's all cool. (laughter) But I'm excited. I'm excited about being a part of a great family organization, and I'm excited to get to work."