RAVENS TRAINING CAMP
Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
On if the competition for kickers is similar to last year's:"I think it's… It probably could be more different in one way, and it's probably similar in others. The way it's similar is we're going to have a competition for our starting, for our kicker. The kicker. The way it's different is we have two experienced, veteran, NFL kickers who are doing that competition, and it's going to be day to day, kick to kick and preseason games. Obviously, it's important. We all know that you're able to kick the game requirements. As I probably told you before, my thinking on that is that it's much like quarterbacks, in practice is really good; it's valuable. You learn a lot by watching guys play in practice. For kickers, game environments are really valuable to them. That is a part of the whole formula. We have two NFL kickers in camp. They're going to be rotating with each group. They're going to be getting reps with each snapper, getting reps with each lineman. So, we're going to make it as balanced and fair as we possibly can. And then, when the dust settles, I think we'll have our kicker. It'll express itself."
On if the competition between kickers will be close:"I would expect that because I think both kickers are really good. And with that in mind, you want to give them every opportunity and not rush to judgment."
On what will be the deciding factor for the kicker:"I'd have a hard time making that call. I really would. There are two reasons: One, I've only had a limited amount of experience with Shayne [Graham], although I've coached against him, and I know the talents that he has. We have a little different system than they use there. But, I think they both have similar distance, they both have similar hang time. So, again, I think it'll be a function of how they perform with the unit, where they place the ball and then the numbers, of course, that they put out there. "
On how tough it is mentally to get over missing a kick in the playoffs:"Well, that's not a part of our history, I guess. So, I wouldn't… That question would probably be best asked to Shayne. But in my opinion, he's got a body of work in this league with the field goal opportunities and kickoffs, that… You know he can kick. And our playoff opportunities that come forward, if he's out there, we'll have full confidence in him."
On any advantages that Cundiff may have since he was with Baltimore last year:"I think he's probably more familiar with the kickoff system. I mean, field goals are pretty much field goals. He probably has a little more familiarity with our holder. Sam [Koch] probably knows how he likes the ball a little bit more. I think that would be probably the end of the advantage, because the rest of it is just how you perform. But I think familiarity would probably be the one way, but that's why we're in camp, too. Day by day, they grow together."
On whether Cundiff and Graham are similar kickers:"Well, each kicker is unique. I think they have similarities in that they're about the same age, they're both strong enough, and they both have around the same distance and hang time and all those things. And they both have experience. Shayne has a little more experience than Billy. Billy has traveled a different path to this point than Shayne has. And so, yeah, they have similarities, but there are unique styles to each."
On whether LS Matt Katula seems to be completely healthy after last season's tendinitis:"I haven't seen anything, and he hasn't said anything about it. So, I assume that it's not an issue."
On how RB Jalen Parmele looks on KORs:"We just started today, and he jumped out there. You may have noticed he jumped out there. Even during stretch period, he was 10 minutes early for the drill, so I think he's probably pretty excited about doing the kickoff return." *(laughter) *
On there being a pretty good competition for the KOR job as well:"Sure, yeah it is every training camp, this one being no different. But Jalen finished the year as our kickoff returner and is very effective in that role, and I think he demonstrated today that he doesn't want to let that go."
On who else is being considered for the KOR competition:"Well, we have a number of guys. The depth chart in the preseason, as you know, is very fluid. We play a lot of guys, we have different situations. Guys that start in preseason, that doesn't really mean much other than the fact that we want them to get reps. And so Jalen is out there. Prince Miller is new to our club, and we're giving him reps. And we have… David [Reed] is going to be out there taking return reps, and [Tom Zbikowski] is back there because he wants to return the ball. Mark Clayton is back there. Donte' [Stallworth] is back there. So, we have a lot of guys back there. And so when we start the first preseason game, we'll see who lines up and we'll go from there."
On what he is looking for to find that diamond in the rough special teams player:"Well, first of all, I think in our program here, [John Harbaugh] does such a great job of stressing that all players are special teams players. I mean our quarterbacks are backup holders, to take it to an extreme example. But it takes the whole team to really have good special teams. And guys that may not be in a starting role at a particular position have an increased opportunity to make the team by being able to do more things. If you have a limited amount of things you can do on special teams and you're not a starter, then it hurts the team and it hurts your opportunities. And so the thing that I've really been encouraged by is that during the offseason, all the way up to this training camp, we had so many guys trying new positions and learning new skills and trying to broaden their skill level in order to try to help this team and also at the same time, help their chances. So, that's where training camp, too, is about young players getting opportunities during preseason games. I mean our guys that are returning like… I can put Jameel McClain's name out there who played on every special team almost the whole year last year. He may get a couple of reps in the first quarter, and he may be done for the game, and then we'll play the young guys. And that's their opportunity to show not only us, but everybody else, that they can play."
QB Marc Bulger
On adapting to the Ravens' offensive system: "Fortunately, I'm pretty familiar with this offense. There's some verbiage that I'm catching up on, but Troy [Smith] and Joe [Flacco] and John [Beck] have been great to me, making some cheat sheets. I've got a long way to go, but I'm getting there."
On the addition of the new receivers to the offense this season: "This offense is based on timing and throwing more to spots than it is waiting for guys to get open. Our guys have come in, Anquan [Boldin] and the rest of them, just… I think they understand that concept. When you go back, just let it loose, and I think Joe's doing a great job of that, and we've got some playmakers out there."
On when the Ravens entered the picture during free agency: "Probably May or June, I can't even remember exactly. I talked to a couple teams in the spring and was just kind of waiting to see my options, so I decided I was going to wait to training camp, and the Ravens came in, and it made so much sense. I talked it over with my family, and I'm glad I made that decision because I think we've got a heck of a club here."
On having a better shot to start with other teams: "I wanted the right situation. It was a tough situation the last three years in St. Louis. I've got a lot of great friends there. I love the organization, but we just hadn't been winning. It takes a lot of the fun out of it, and I wanted to win somewhere. Not that I couldn't win other places, but I think that this team, after talking with coach [John] Harbaugh… And his philosophy really intrigued me, and now that I'm here I got to meet the ownership and Ray [Lewis] and the rest of the guys. I see why they're so proud about the organization."
On getting to play his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers twice a year: "I got to play them twice in my career in 10 years, but getting twice in one year will be fun. They're in the division, so I know how important it is here. I know the rivalry already. It'll be exciting getting to go home, and [I'll] just keep my parents out of Ravens jerseys for their health."
On how he evaluates his progress so far: "You don't know. You watch the film. You think you did some good things, you think you did other things real bad, and the film kind of puts everything back in perspective. You didn't play as good as you thought. You didn't play as bad as you thought. I have a long way to go, and like I said earlier, the guys are helping me. Joe, in particular, has a good grasp of this offense, and he's helping me along the way. There are a lot of little nuances I'm not getting yet, but I'm pretty happy with how I'm picking the offense up. But like I said, I've got a long way to go before I can line up on Sundays and play."
On if it is a different mental approach as a backup: "It sounds like a cliché that you're one play away, but literally, god forbid something would happen to Joe, you know you have to be ready at any point. You see freak things happen, and from play to play if you're just standing around not paying attention to the game, and you're thrown in, you could lose your job quick. So, I prepare as if I'm the starter, whether I'm third, second or first. If you're a quarterback in the NFL, you have to do that. I don't even care if you're a fourth-string guy."
On if he has any suggestions for QB Sam Bradford after signing a record contract in St. Louis: "No suggestions, just congratulations, and his agents did a heck of a job. I've got the same ones." (laughter)
On if former Ravens QB Kyle Boller spoke to him about Baltimore while they were teammates in St. Louis: "I didn't have any idea that I'd… I fully anticipated being on St. Louis again this year, so we really didn't speak about here. But Jason Brown especially brought just a lot of different programs within the team because they've developed such a reputation here. It starts with Ray and then the rest of the guys. There's accountability for everything you do, and he's trying to bring that to the Rams, which is a good thing, which we didn't have before where players police each other. I could see it from the first day here that it's something that has been in place. It's not something [they're] trying to instill here, and it's been quite impressive."
On if he has any pointers for Flacco since he is a veteran: "Sure. Right now he's helping me more than I'm helping him, but I think once I get a grasp of the offense, that then we can get into just experience things with blitzes and coverages, and teams that I've played. Joe is, he's the one helping me right now."
On how long his expectation is to learn this offense: "I learned from coach [Mike] Martz that you never fully get an offense. If you think you've got it, then you don't. Especially with this offense, it's constantly growing. I just want to treat this training camp, four or five games, where I can go into a game and I could run the team and we could win a game. That's my goal right now. I have no doubt that I'll be able to get that done, but it's going to be a constant week-to-week learning of all the little things in this offense. But I think by the time the Jets game rolls around, I'll be ready."
On if the new receiving corps influenced his decision to sign with the Ravens: "I think everything. You know, you can look at a team, if they just have a good receiving corps and a bad defense, or a good running game and a bad line, but I think this team's pretty complete. And that's what, again, I was looking for – a complete team that can make a run – and that's from ownership, to coaching staff, to everything. And they haven't let down at all, and it hasn't been a letdown. From the coaching staff to defensive players… I'm so impressed watching the defense, how they practice and the pride they take, how hard they practice. You know, all the talking. I've played against them, but they do it at practice, too, which I think the competitiveness shows, and now I know why they've been such a good organization for all these years."
On if his experience with the Ravens is that different from his time in St. Louis:"It's similar to my earlier years in St. Louis. I think when you're winning, the expectations are high, and it's only been the last couple years when you have expectations, but you don't know how realistic they are. But, it's just a different feeling when you can make those expectations become reality. And you can definitely feel it here that, you know, we feel we have a team that can do some special things. This is my first year. I'm a week in. I'm just trying to become a part of it, this tradition, and fit in, because it's something special."