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Post-Practice Transcript - Aug. 26

On whether it's nice to be back at the facility in Owings Mills: "Yeah, it is nice to be back here. I think the players really felt it energizes you again. You come to camp, you get energized, you grind it out. Then, you come back here and get re-juiced up a bit. And the fields are in great shape, so… The place is in great shape. Just compliments to our people here – Keith [Mathews, facilities maintenance manager] and all the people here that do such a great job. The place looks great."

On how NT Kelly Gregg is doing today: "We had a little bit of a scare – I guess you could say – with Kelly, because we weren't sure exactly what it was. It turned out to be just a nagging deal in terms of… As you get older, those things get a little sore, as we all know, except some of you young guys here. So, he's going to be OK; he's going to be fine. We're going to be smart with him through the rest of the preseason. He's probably had plenty of reps, so we'll just tune him up and get him ready for the regular season."

On whether he expects this injury to threaten any of Gregg's regular season play: "No, not at all. [As] a matter of fact, he could probably play. If this were a regular season game he would play."

On TE L.J. Smith's hamstring injury: "It's a concern. It's a hamstring pull, so it's going to take a little while. I don't know how long. You never know with those things. It's in a different spot than the other one. It's probably… What happens is you get… He had the hip flexor, the groin, the sports hernia, the upper hamstring. It's like these things, you compensate and they tie into one another, so he's just going to have to keep working hard. He's been working incredibly hard to try to get it right, and he's going to have to continue to do that. But like I told him today… He's down about it. 'Don't get down about it. It's a long season, and we're going to need him to be a really good player for us. We need to get him ready for, hopefully, Atlanta. And if not Atlanta, Kansas City."

On whether there is any news regarding CB Samari Rolle's status:"I've heard nothing. We're waiting on tests, and I ask Bill [Tessendorf] the same question every day, and he tells me the same thing every day. Hopefully, he'll be able to play, but we're going to play it safe. We should know, by obviously, the end of training camp."

On whether they saw the most improvement between preseason games 1 and 2: "I think in a lot of little ways we saw a lot of improvement. But we also found a lot of things that we need to get better at. I credit the game for that. It was a practice big game, it was Monday night, there were a lot of emotions for a lot of different reasons, and they played very aggressively. That's what you need at this stage. So, we found some things out, good and bad, and we try to build on the good things and improve the bad things."

On how valuable the young LBs, such as Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain, were on Monday night: "I think what we're finding out is we have a good, young linebacking group. No doubt about it. You guys mentioned… The guys you mentioned are both quality players, and there are some other guys that are playing well, too. I mean, you can go right down the line in our linebacking group and look at – I don't know what the number is – 10 guys that could make our team, that could make anybody's team. So, that's a deep group."

On whether there is an advantage to having their first two preseason games at home: "I haven't thought about it. I don't know. You take them as you get them. We didn't have to travel for two weeks, but now we have to travel. So, I don't know what the plusses or the minuses are."

On if having three games in 10 days creates schedule differences:"The big difference is, and I think you'll find this with Carolina this week, is they'll do a game week. They'll have… In the third preseason game, you generally game-prep it like you would a regular season game and take the guys through that. We can't do that, because we're a couple of days short. We won't have that. We will not put a game plan in. We'll just… Basically, we're going to have a camp practice today, we're going to have a little bit of a Carolina practice tomorrow, just to get ready for what they do, and then we're going to go play. We didn't game plan the Jets. We had a camp game in the Jets game. But we had an emotional preseason game, if that makes any sense, even though we didn't play the guys at full lengths. I think we're going to have these two games, and we're going to get what we need."

On if he thinks guys get the sense that the first round of cuts is coming pretty soon:"They do. The NFL has changed it now so you go to 75, and with some of the injuries we've had, it won't be a lot of guys getting cut to get to 75 after this game. It will be after the last game that the majority of the cuts will happen, and that will take us all the way to 53 anyway. But yeah, it's getting a little tense. We have a lot of battles going on – as you guys call them, 'bubble guys,' right now, guys that could make it. The thing I think is really important to understand, and our players have to understand, you're not going to back your way into this football team. You have to earn your way onto this football team. There are too many good players here. It's going to be competitive for the next couple of weeks."

On if K Matt Stover still fits into the kicking equation, or if he's prepared to go with either Steve Hauschka or Graham Gano:"I think Matt Stover still does fit into the equation, and yes, that we're prepared to go with one of the two guys we have now. (laughter) We don't know. We're hopeful, and I think it's fair to say that everyone who's a Ravens fan should be hopeful, that one of these two guys can do it, because if one of these two guys can do it, that's one more player we get to keep. You can go through the names to see who that guy would be. That's a good young player that you don't lose, and a guy that could help us as a backup, special teams, developmental, whatever. That's really important. At the same time, we're not going to keep that player and jeopardize our chance to win games with our kicking situation. And Matt could get signed between now and then, too. You walk a fine line there. It's getting a little tight right now. That's something that, hopefully, we can balance and make the right decision."

On if he's stayed in contact with Stover to know if he's staying in shape and ready:"I haven't. I haven't called him recently. We have an agreement that we'll communicate when we need to communicate either way. Matt's a good friend. I've known him for 15 years. I think we'll both communicate as needed on that."

On what he's seen from the returners so far:"The returners so far… We have north/south guys. We have aggressive guys that want to hit it north and south. Chris Carr takes it that way, and he can make you miss. And [Lardarius] Webb is going to take it that way, and he's got speed and some illusiveness. We've got some exciting guys. Jayson [Foster] of course, too. And even [Yamon] Figurs is still in the mix. But we wanted to get Webb a lot of reps in this last game, because he's a young guy, and he learned from that one. You put the ball in your outside arm as you're working up the sidelines. Every coach at every level teaches that. That's a good lesson learned. Sometimes, like we said, they don't learn them… He knew that, but they don't learn until they make the mistake for themselves."

On what it showed about CB Lardarius Webb's' mentality to come back and make that last play: "The same thing with [Jameel] McClain, as far as coming back. You talked about Webb coming back and making the play to win the game. We had him break the huddle in the locker room. That's what you want to see. We preach that all the time – you've got to live in the moment. You learn from the past, you hope for the future, but you live in the moment. You live in the present, and he did that. I don't know how many plays it took him to get over it. You don't want him getting over it too quickly either. You've got to feel a little bit bad about it. We felt bad about it, and he put his team in a bad spot, but it matters to him. It matters to Jameel and those guys, and that's what you want to see."

On having a solid, but unspectacular player or a player who makes mistakes but then comes back to make a spectacular play is better:"We don't want mistakes. We want solid. We want it all. We don't say either or on that. It's fruitless. We would never back ourselves into that. We want to get better. We want to be consistent, and we want to make plays. That's what you strive for. To say you'd have one or the other is accepting a lack of consistency or it's accepting a lack of play-making ability. We're not OK with either – not if we're going to be the kind of team we want to be."

On if he has been pleased with the wide receiver play so far this preseason: "I haven't been pleased, quote on quote, with any play so far through preseason. So, to single out a position and say we're disappointed in the position or we're excited about a position, is not what we do. Every position has got to get better. If you want to talk about the wide receiver position, they're doing a lot of good things, but I want to see them catch the ball all the time. Catch every single pass that's thrown to you and a lot of good things are going to happen. If you drop one, come back and catch the next one. So in that sense, it's like every other position, and we want them all to perform at the highest level."

On if he had QB Troy Smith finishing out the game because he wanted him to get more reps: "We had a thought to get John [Beck] some reps late in the fourth quarter, but we didn't have enough reps. We didn't do enough offensively to merit that. We had to get Troy a certain number of reps with that group and didn't do well enough offensively to get that done. We do need to see John and want to see Cleo [Lemon] before the preseason is over, too."

On if he expects T Oniel Cousins back quickly: "I don't know. I can't answer about Oniel yet. I haven't really got the report on that, so we'll see how that goes."

On his thoughts about having four preseason games compared to two: "Well, coaches – we're set in our ways. We like all the opportunity we can get to evaluate our team. With two preseason games, there are going to be mistakes made in personnel. Teams are going to let guys go that they don't see enough of because they have to make the decision a little quicker than they want. Then [the player] will go somewhere else and be a good player and everybody is going to be like, 'I can't believe they let so and so go and they kept this other guy.' It's easy to second-guess that, and it's happened to every team in the league. But it happens with four games, too. So, if it's two games, we'll figure it out and go with two games."

On if he can clarify the comment that said Rex Ryan was the head coach of the team last year: "Well, we don't have any rearview mirror in our car." (laughter)

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