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Press Conference - Ravens Organized Team Activities Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

On QBs coach Jim Zorn throwing the ball around at the end of practice: "The 'Z-man' [Jim Zorn] was on fire. He and [John] Beck, I think they both… Well, 'Z' had one drop so he lost the competition. He got a drop on him, but he looked good. He knows how to get completions – keep it short – but he hit the long one at the end, right, for the touchdown."

On the injury status of T Jared Gaither: "Jared is here. He's working. Basically, he got the shot. You've got to take time to let it settle down and let it heal. You can't do that twice, so we'll probably take our time. I talked to him this morning. I think he's anxious to get back in practice. He's also got an orthotic. We had the orthotic guy in today working on some ideas, so he should be back here practicing pretty soon."

On the injury status of WR Demetrius Williams: "Basically, he took a spill and landed on his face, kind of, so it's just precautionary to make sure he's OK. I don't have any other information other than that."

On the progress of LB Dannell Ellerbe: "Well, I would say Dannell is doing very well, as are all the other young linebackers. He's working with the 'ones.' I wouldn't characterize any of those young guys as starters yet. I think the competition is there. Jameel McClain's in the mix, Tavares Gooden's in the mix. Hey, Brendon Ayanbadejo, when he gets back, you never know. So, all those guys are trying to line up next to Ray [Lewis], and they're getting tons of reps right now, but Dannell has done very well. I think he's had a really good offseason lifting, conditioning, knowing the defense, but I would put the other guys in that same category."

On S Haruki Nakamura returning to practice: "Very exciting. He's way ahead of schedule. He's the guy… He pushes himself out here every day, and now he's doing almost everything right now, so he's doing well."

On what impresses him most about the OTAs: "Well, I guess the big thing is that, guys, they like being here. I think the guys, they like football. You guys saw it out here. There's a lot of enthusiasm. They're competing. They're having fun. They enjoy being around one another. To me, it was the first day of the mini-camp and now OTA No. 6, I think we're on right now, it's the same. It's not going to change through the rest of the OTAs, and I'm sure we'll have that same feel in training camp. It's just a good bunch of guys to be around and guys that you really enjoy coaching."

On rookie DT Terrence Cody almost pancaking QB Troy Smith and Cody's progress: "I'm not going to go there. I think there's a lot of opportunity on that, with the pancake comment, but we'll stay away from that. (laughter) He's had the hip, so he's had a little bit of a hip soreness, so he hasn't practiced a lot in the last week, So, today was really his first day back. He looked good today. I think the thing I'm most impressed with… He's really a bright guy. I mean, he really does a good job studying the defense. Really, in the first mini-camp, as much as we threw on him, he came out here and picked it up really quickly. He works hard in the weight room. He works hard in the conditioning stuff, so all plusses so far. Obviously, when the pads come on, I think it'll even be more of a strength for him, but he's done well so far."

On FB Le'Ron McClain's campaign for more carries: "Well, it was brought to my attention and we did have a conversation about it. It was light-hearted. He kind of explained to me what he was doing, and I think he's light-hearted about it, and he's having fun with it. I want him to want more carries. I want him to want more plays. I want him to want to be on the punt team, too, and the kickoff team. You like guys who want to play, so if he wants to campaign for more carries, have at it. I'm sure in training camp that'll work itself out."

On if he is following McClain on Twitter now: "Well, we follow everybody. What do they call that stuff now? Social media. Thank you. We monitor the social media across the league. Yes, we do."

On the team's social media policy: "Well, it's been that way all along. There's never been cell phones allowed out at practice, so it's really no change in that sense. Just to be honest with you… I think it's two things: I think it's a little bit of a distraction, No. 1, for guys to be on phones, or phones to be ringing or anything while we're practicing, and also, we just don't want a running tally of what's going on at our practice. It's not something we're interested in. Now, training camp – when it's open to the public – that's a different thing. It's open. But now, it's closed to the public, it's open to the media, so it's just not something that we think helps us."

On the absence of T Oniel Cousins: "He's sick. He's got a real bad case of strep throat. I think he's getting a procedure done now to kind of make sure it's OK in there, but he's been really sick for about four or five days."

On testing K Billy Cundiff with a 60-yard attempt at the end of practice: "Well, he's been kicking very well. I guess they talked me into it because I was standing back there, and we were going to go for the Hail Mary, and all the guys on the offensive side were saying, 'Get him out there and kick it, take a shot at it.' And Randy Brown, our kicking coach, was asking for it. So, I thought he hit it really well, it just came up a little bit short, but it was a great kick."

On if there is any chance Le'Ron McClain could get more carries: "Well yeah, you know this, but all options are open. I don't rule out the fact that someone else other than Ray [Rice] will be starting games or carrying most of the carries. Right now, Ray's having… You couldn't have a better offseason than what Ray Rice is having, and I'd put Le'Ron in the same category. When Willis [McGahee] has been here, he's looked good. But he's not here. So, it's competition every single day, so we'll just see how it all shakes out through training camp, and the guys that give us the best chance to gain yards are the guys that are going to be out there."

On his impression of the rookie TEs Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson: "Really happy with the rookie tight ends. They're big targets. You've got a big quarterback throwing to big targets. Now, of course, you'd like them to catch everything. I think [Ed] Dickson has shown some downfield ability. [Dennis] Pitta has caught everything thrown to him. They both run routes well, so they're going to be factors."

On CBs Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb tweeting about their progress: "Well, we had a positive, as you saw on the tweet… We had a positive report from Dr. Andrews, so it looks like those guys are ahead of schedule, you'd have to say, in both cases. But, the thing that you've got to keep in mind is that ACLs, knee injuries, those kind of things… It's still going to be a work in progress. I mean, it usually takes two years. Now, historically, you'd say two years for a guy to be 100 percent back from an ACL. Now, that has changed. Things are speeded up now. Technology is amazing. So, how fast can they compete and be safe? How fast can they line up and really win for us out there? I think we'll find that out as we go through training camp."

On owner Steve Bisciotti reportedly voting against a Super Bowl in New York and how he feels about an outdoor Super Bowl in freezing temperatures: "Well, I can say Steve did not consult with me on that. You may be surprised to hear that, but I'm all for it. You know why? Because it means Baltimore might get one. So, you put one in New York, then come on down here to Baltimore and we'll have a Super Bowl, too. That's what I'd be for. Maybe I'm speaking out of turn, Kevin [Byrne, senior vice president of public and community relations]? I see Kevin's looking at me sideways right there. But, I mean, Baltimore built a stadium, put a lot of money into a brand new stadium, so you start bringing it up here. I think we want one. But, the main thing we're concerned with is getting into the Super Bowl. We try to take care of that first as a football team."

FB Le'Ron McClain

On what his recent Twitter message was all about:"Oh, that's me just wanting to get back to where I was my second year, so I'm just in here working hard every day. I thought it'd be kind of fun just to start it up, so I just started it up and I'm going for it. A guy made a sign for it the other day and sent it to me, so I posted it up [on Twitter] and everything. But it's just fun trying to work out here, trying to compete. That's about it."

On whether he's going to put signs up in lawns and print out T-shirts:"I'm going to get a few folks to go around and put some stuff on cars and have a few up on some poles, you know: 'McClain For Running Back.'" (laughing)

On what he thinks his chances are of getting more carries this year:"Oh, I feel like I have a good shot. Not taking anything away from Ray Rice. I know he's the starter, I know he's the player and I block for him. I'm not taking anything away from him because he's probably the best back in the league, but I'm just trying to get back to where I was my second year, just getting a few carries. Not taking anything away from my blocking at fullback, but just trying to do more to get our team over the hump to get to [the Super Bowl in] Dallas."

On what coach Harbaugh had to say about the Twitter message: "Oh, he was just laughing. I told him this is my campaign. Then the owner asked me if I needed a campaign manager, I said, 'No, I think I'm good.' (laughter) I mean, we're going pretty good so far, so I'll just keep going, see how long I can take it."

On how RBs Ray Rice and Willis McGahee feel about it:"Oh, me and Ray always joke about it in meetings or whatever. And me and Willis talked about it the first time I put it up on Twitter. So, I know they understand it's all fun and games, and we're just out here competing, trying to get the ball. You know, we've only got one ball and only one person can get it, so I hope I'll be that one person."

On who suggested that he use Twitter as the outlet to get his message out:"Oh, I felt like it was probably the best way to get it out, so I just did it, went for it. I talked to a few folks about it and said I'm just going to do it and see how it goes, and like the first day, a lot of people and fans we're jumping on it."

On whether he was surprised that coach Harbaugh saw it:"Yeah, and then he said something about it to me. I thought he was going to go off [on me] or something (laughter), but he just laughed like I did. He just knows I've been in here since Day One of the offseason workouts just working hard, just trying to get that. That's about it."

On whether more carries equals more dollars:"Oh man, I don't know. That depends on upstairs, but I just hope my play on the field just [takes care] of the money issue. So, I'm just going to continue doing my thing out there in the backyard, playing at M&T Bank [Stadium]. That's about it."

On whether he feels unstoppable when he's carrying the ball:"I mean, sometimes you've got to get in the zone. If you don't as a running back, your game is going to be cut short. So, if you go in there with that mentality that you can't be stopped, then you can have a big day. So, that's my motivation, that's my determination. When I go out there and practice and everything, [it's] just to be the best. And that's what I'm going to do."

On whether he has the electoral votes:"I'm going to get all of them. (laughter) I don't know. I'm just out here working hard, day in and day out, just trying to get this. So, I just thought it'd be something over the top for this final Tuesday to get Ray Rice and Willis running a little bit."

On whether he's campaigning to be the starting running back:"Not the starter, just trying to get the ball back. I just feel like I showed a lot my second year at running the ball, and I had no problem going back into my position last year, and Ray Rice did amazing. The guy is great, and Willis had an awesome season, too. So, I'm just trying to put my little two bits in it."

On whether it was tough for him last year to not get a bunch of carries like he did the year before:"Yeah, I mean it gets frustrating sometimes, but I'm a team player, so I strap it on every Sunday. And as you all can tell, I had another Pro Bowl year, Ray Rice [went] to the Pro Bowl, Willis had what, 12 or 14 touchdowns? So, we did a great job in that backfield. So hopefully, as a team, [we'll] just get better. Hopefully I can throw a few carries in there this year, a few more touchdowns in the running back group."

On what his hopes are for getting a long-term contract in Baltimore:"Oh, just stepping back and just waiting. I'm hoping my folks – my agent and them – and upstairs people come to something. If they don't, I really don't know what the future holds, so I'm just here working every day. I love Baltimore, I want to be in Baltimore, and I've made it home. It's about to be my fourth year here, so I'm just looking forward to the season coming up."

On whether he feels like he's shown the Ravens he's deserving of a long-term contract:"I think I have. You know, there's still a lot of work to do – in my eyes – that's why I'm here every day now [doing] a lot of stuff to get better. But I feel like I have shown that with my running, catching and blocking abilities. So, just looking forward to it, hoping [the Ravens] see it, and talk to me a little bit." (laughing).

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