Press Conference Transcript - Ravens Rookie Camp Day 1

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "The guys worked hard. You guys didn't see yesterday, but the progress from yesterday to today was dramatic. Then the reps…. They're getting a lot of reps. They had a chance to spend a lot of time with their coaches and really dig back in our basic offense, basic defense, and start to apply it, just individually and understand it better. So, kind of the teaching method that we're working with, whole-part-whole… We threw it all at them. We really had an understanding of the big picture, but it was kind of running together. Now you go back, and you break it back down for them. I thought today it really showed up. The goal would be tomorrow, to make the same progress, from today to tomorrow, as we made from yesterday to today, and the same thing to Thursday. Come out of this week in a much better position understanding what they're doing and give them a chance to play faster through the last bunch of the OTAs."

On if the timing of the rookie camp after the mandatory camp benefits the newcomers: "Well, I guess we think it does because we have it further back for a reason, and the idea is that we think bringing them in and having this camp, right out of the gates, they don't know anything. They haven't seen… They haven't been exposed to anything. They don't know how we practice, so they get a chance to come in with the older guys and see the tempo of the practice, the pace of the practice. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. They can see a receiver, Anquan Boldin, run a route the way it's supposed to be run and now start to apply it. I'd rather have them see those, what, two – what'd we do, 2 ½ weeks of practice – and now apply that to this mini-camp. I think we have a much better rookie mini-camp as a result, and it goes back to whole-part-whole. We're not starting slow. We put it all in, and then we break it down, put it all in, break it down. It's kind of a process."

On if T Ramon Harewood returning to the practice field is a sign that he is recovering well: "Yeah, it seems like it. He hasn't been cleared to practice yet, but he's been cleared to do some one-on-one stuff, I guess, individually with coaches and get the movement stuff. We've got our fingers crossed for next week a little bit, and we'll just see how it goes."

On the rumors surrounding K Shayne Graham: "Well, really don't have any update right now. Shayne's a guy that we've kind of been in contact with throughout and we're interested in. We'll just have to see how it plays out in the next number of days."

On if he expects Graham to sign with the Ravens: "I don't want to characterize it until it happens. I think that's something that I've learned here from Ozzie [Newsome]. We'll just see what happens and see if we can get something accomplished or not. We've said before that we want to bring in a veteran kicker to compete with Billy [Cundiff]. We're very… I think Billy has had a tremendous offseason, and if you look at the way he kicked during the season, I thought he had a very good season, especially coming in like he did. He hadn't been kicking for a couple of years, so Billy Cundiff is a guy that can definitely kick in this league. He's got leg strength, and his accuracy and his mechanics are tremendously improved because of the work he's put in. Now, you add competition to the mix, another guy that can push another veteran kicker, two guys [who] have, I think, good, solid, mature mindsets, can handle pressure, and just see how it shakes out. That's something we would like to do. We always like to have competition, and we're still trying to accomplish that at that position."

On if something is holding up the process with Graham: "I wouldn't characterize it that way. I think we're just in a process of trying to upgrade every position, and the kicking position being one of those."

On if the team would pursue another veteran kicker should things not work out with Graham: "If we could, absolutely. Yeah, we want to add some competition at that position and come out of it as strong as we can."

On the performance of WR David Reed: "Well, I thought he caught everything today that I noticed. He made some radius catches, you know, low catches, high catches, behind-the-back-type stuff. The thing that David's got to do, like any of these young guys, is learn the mental part of it – learn where he's supposed to be, how he's supposed to line up, the tempo of the motions, how far he goes in a motion on different routes. I mean, there's a lot to it, so that he can actually think less and play faster. And that's the process all these guys go through, so that's kind of what we're working through now, and I think he's a good example of yesterday to today, [in that] he made tremendous progress with that."

On if any of the rookies have as much energy as senior offensive assistant Al Saunders: "Oh my gosh. Is he unbelievable or what? You know, Al's a marathon-type guy. He's in great shape. Yeah, Al runs around and coaches hard. We're blessed with a great staff, and I think Al, his addition, last year in the building, this year on the practice field, he's added a lot to our passing game and to our team, and the energy is tremendous. But I would say the same thing about Jim [Zorn], Dean Pees, Ted Monachino, the new coaches. I think our coaching staff has gotten better from last year to this year, individually and as a group, so hopefully I'm going to get better as a coach. Everybody tries to improve, but I really like our coaching staff right now."

On the progress of the two rookie TEs: "I think both tight ends have done well. We've talked about those guys a lot. Dennis [Pitta] and Ed [Dickson], to me they look like NFL tight end, pass-catching-type receivers. Now, that being said, they've got a long way to go. They'll drop some passes, they'll run the wrong route, but they've got some talent."

On the progress of DT Arthur Jones: "Arthur is, first of all, surprisingly up to speed with what we're doing. He really works really hard. I think we talked about Terrence [Cody] that way last week. This guy's ahead of schedule from the mental standpoint, and then really an explosive player. He's got a nice combination of lower body strength and explosiveness and long arms. He's got good feet, he's athletic, he runs to the ball. Tremendous demeanor. Just a great guy. So, he's going to make a push in training camp."

On the determination of Jones to prove himself after falling in the NFL Draft: "Well, I hope everyone's got a chip on their shoulder. I hope everybody feels like they have something to prove. You've got our vice president of media relations [Kevin Byrne] sitting back there, and every day he's got two chips on his shoulders, right? Always have something to prove. I think that's kind of what we're about as an organization. We want to bring in guys that want to be great, that want to be the best they can be. So yeah, he slid to the fifth round. We were thrilled to get him there. We were surprised he was still there, we understand why he was still there, but he does have a lot to prove. But so does Sergio [Kindle], so does [Terrence] Cody, so does Joe Flacco, so does Ray Lewis. We all do."

On OLB Sergio Kindle becoming an all-around linebacker instead of a pass rusher: "Well, you're right. That's a great point. He's a… We've spent more time with the pass rush stuff, obviously, or the pass coverage stuff because this is, these are passing camps, these are non-contact practices. So, we do the pass rush stuff. But the dropping stuff is his kind of Achilles' heel because he hasn't done it. He did just that much of it in Texas. It wasn't really his thing. So, I thought from yesterday to today he might've made the most progress of any of our players in terms of understanding the different drops and different coverages. You know, a quarters coverage, a halves coverage, a three-deep coverage, who do I drop over, what are my reactions of different routes? And he did a nice job of that today. He really made a lot of progress."

On how much he expects the rookies to contribute this season:"That's a good question because I think we do have a good team. We've got some depth. I think we expect them to be the best they can be, and we're really hopeful that it's really good. So, do we have any… I would say we don't have expectations. We're not going to say we expect this guy to be that. We don't want to put a label on it. But we're hoping that they exceed whatever hopes we have, if that makes any sense. We want the most for them. Sergio said he wanted to be the Rookie of the Year when he first [interviewed with the Baltimore media]. You guys made a big deal about that, and it was kind of fun. But, I guarantee you we'd all be pretty happy if he was the Rookie of the Year. We don't expect that, and that's not something that we're thinking about every single day, but Terrence Cody or whoever it is, if they could achieve that kind of individual accomplishment, that would be great for our team."

On why they brought Holy Cross QB Dominic Randolph in for a tryout:"He got a few reps, didn't he? Well, we needed a quarterback. It's a rookie camp, so we didn't have one. And he's a guy that our scouts felt like has a chance maybe to develop long-term in some way. He's done a nice job. He came in, walked into the first meeting and didn't know one thing about what we were doing, how to call a play or anything else. And he's in there calling plays. Now, Jim [Zorn] and Cam [Cameron] have been very close by, right? But he's done a good job."

On how CB Courtney Smith is adjusting to the team: "It's interesting you say that because I think the fact that he's making that jump was kind of evident early on, and now he's starting to transition that little bit. He's starting to play a little faster, react more quickly. We had a little gun-of-ice kind of walk through period over there, and he really picked that up quickly, too. I think he's… That's a transition that those guys have to make. It's one thing to be at Texas – it's not quite as big of a step. It's another thing to be [Central] Washington – it's a little bigger step."

On how CB Prince Miller is adjusting:"Yeah, well he was probably ahead of Courtney early, but they're both doing well now. But being in that kind of program [like Georgia] does help guys, no doubt. But in the end, it kind of all evens out, and guys become what they're going to be."

CB Lardarius Webb

On how his mobility after the knee surgery is coming along:"I'm working on it. I'm working on getting some strength in my leg. All I can do is come here every day and work, listen to [vice president of medical services/head certified athletic trainer] Bill T. [Tessendorf], and it just takes time right now."

On what his schedule for returning to play looks like:"I don't even know the schedule, or [about being] ahead of schedule. I'm just listening to the doctor and telling me when I can come back, the time limit. It usually takes about seven to nine months to get back, so that's what we're going off."

On where that time frame would put him: "Not ahead of schedule. I'm on schedule."

On whether he thinks the first or second regular season game could be a possibility for him:"I haven't even been thinking about that. All I've been thinking about is coming here every day, putting the work in that I need to, and God handling the rest."

On whether it was important for him to be here every day working hard ever since the injury occurred: "I mean, I play football. That's my life, that's my career, that's my job. So, if I don't have my ACL, then I can't do my job. So I just wanted to get to work as soon as possible, and I've been here working ever since I hurt it. Sooner or later, I will be back."

On whether he's been working on upper-body strength:"I've never stopped my upper body. I'm on my lower body [now], but upper body never stops – not with [head coach John Harbaugh]."

On what has been the toughest part of his rehab process:"The mental part. Watching other guys run and get better, and I can't. So, I just have to learn in the school – get smart and learn more plays and stuff with my ability. So, it's just hard to watch those guys [when] you can't be out there with them."

On whether the mental part has gotten better as the physical healing process progresses:"Yeah, I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Like I said, I just put the hard work in, and they always said if you work hard enough, it'll pay off. So, I'm going to work."

On what a typical day is like for him right now:"I come in, I lift my upper body every other day, and then I go into Bill T's [office], and they do the rest of my treatment."

On whether he gets to the facility early in the morning:"I'm here at seven o'clock, when everybody else is. When we have practice, I have to sit out there and watch everyone. You know, [coach Harbaugh] wants me to stay into it, learn the plays [and] learn the defense. So, I just come here every day and meet with Bill, work out, stay with my team, stay in the teammate ranks so we can get to know each other, learn [about] the rookies. But, I still try to play my role – being a leader, even though I'm hurt. So, I just try to do my part."

On where he is percentage-wise in the recovery process:"I'm going to say 70 [percent]."

On whether he feels like he can get back to form and do good things like he did last year:"Last year. That was last year. You know, I have to get better. I'm a new person this year. I think I'm bigger, stronger, faster this year. I'm way smarter this year. So, it's a different year, and so I'm just hoping [for] the best things this year."

On whether the timing of the injury is a blessing in disguise, rather than having it happen later than it did:"I mean, yeah. I like the way you said it, 'Blessing in disguise.' I think God did it for a reason. He put me down in the perfect time, helped me learn some things while I've been on my butt – reads and books – and to learn more stuff off the field – how to be a better person. But, it couldn't have come at a better time."

On how much strength he has gained this offseason:"A lot. I've gained a lot. I've not just gained weight – weight is about the same. But my strength, everything is focused on each leg now, and then my upper body has so much more [strength]. I've gotten so much stronger."

On whether he can put a number on his strength gain:"No number. I don't even know what number to compare it with, but I can tell my body. I feel good, I feel great, and I just can't wait to be back out with my teammates."

On whether CB Fabian Washington has been a motivator to shoot for a return date while fighting through the same injury this offseason:"It's not anything to shoot for, but just somebody to work with. So, when we're in there working, we keep each other going. We work the hardest we can possibly go, because we both want to be back on the field and help our team win the championship next year. So, we just go in every day to get better, to get our legs better."

On what sort of speed he is running at right now:"Sixty-five [percent]. I'm running at like 60-65 [percent]. You know, everything I'm doing is about that 60-65 [percent range], not trying to hurt it again, no swelling. So, Bill T., he's doing a great job with it. I don't think anybody could do a better job than Bill. That's why I've been around here the whole time. I haven't even went anywhere else. Bill is doing a great job, and I'm going to continue to be here with him."

On whether he is in any pain:"No sir, it's been good. It's feeling strong. [Dr.] Andrews did a great job on it, it seems. So, right now I'm just trying to get it back stronger, you know, the muscles around it, trying to get it stronger so I can come back."

On whether he will still return kicks in the future:"I don't know. You should ask John [Harbaugh]."

On what his opinion on returning kicks is:"What's my opinion? I love football. That's my opinion. I love the game. So, he can tell me to play punter this week and I got it for him. But I love the game, so I'll play anything he wants me to play when I'm healthy enough to play it."

On wanting to play at full strength:"Oh, now. I want to go right now, but it's called a 'trick knee.' So, it might feel good, but it's not always good. So, I'm just going to let my time come out and when Bill T. says I can come out and do more and more, I'm going to do my best at it."

On how his cutting and backpedaling is and which gives him the most discomfort:"Coming out of it – coming out of my backpedal. It's not the backpedal, it's not the run, it's [coming out of it]. You put a little weight on it more. It feels good, so I just have to wait. I have to keep working it, and I have two or three more months before we get back out, and I want to be the best that I've ever been in my life. So, I'm working. I'm just getting out of [the facility] now. I got here early, [at] seven. So, I've got to do everything I can to possibly get back. If I've got to go work again, I'll go do it."

On whether today was a typical day for him:"Typical day. Even when the guys aren't here, when everybody else is at home, I'm here."

On whether he has gone back home at all this offseason:"For two days. I went for like two days. My granddaddy died, so I went to his funeral. That was the only time I went. But I went home, and I had to get back up here. This year is going to be… I didn't have an offseason this year. I'm just trying to get back."

On where his confidence level is right now with his knee:"I have to get there. I'm trusting it more and more every day, but I have to get to that point where it's just whatever [feels best]. It takes time."

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