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Press Conference Transcript - Training Camp Day 2


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "This is kind of an orientation period for our guys. I think the young guys are getting the feel for getting reincorporated into the scheme. The veterans – just talking to guys like Kelly Gregg and Jarret Johnson and Haloti [Ngata] – I think they feel like it's been really good for them to get out here and just get moving in a football environment and some of the movements and kind of work through some of the things they've been dealing with. We will take those guys out of the afternoon practice and concentrate on the younger guys."

On having rookie DT Terrence Cody in practice after he passed his conditioning test: "Well, somebody asked me if I was surprised, not about Cody, but about whether guys failed conditioning tests. I will have to admit that I was surprised this morning when they told me he passed the conditioning test, but we have it on tape (laughter), and we will verify the results of that test. But I think it's a credit to him. Obviously, it shows you that he was in shape. He's a little heavy right now. He's got to lose a little weight, but that'll happen in training camp. But, the fact that he's in shape is important. That's the bottom line, so it shows you that he's done the work. The fact that now he knows how to run the test, and really push through it and get it done the next day, is a credit to him."

On how complicated running the test is for the players: "How to run the test? I don't know how hard that would be. I mean, it's down and back, down and back, down and back. That's what it is, so it's not complicated. I think it's more of a… It's a tough test. You've got to go out there and you've got to compete, so maybe understanding that part of it might be more for them to understand." 

On if the Ravens' conditioning test is more demanding than most in the NFL: "It's more demanding than most teams, I would say. It's a legitimate test. [Strength & conditioning coach] Bob Rogucki has done a really nice job of building a test that tests football conditioning – your ability to go hard, more of a sprint-type motion, not a full sprint, but almost a full sprint, change direction. You've got to stay low, you've got to run straight lines, then you've got to recover like you would have to between plays. So, it's more of a football-type of a test, so I think that's what's good about it."

On what kind of workload he expects for Cody: "Well, we didn't really label him as just this, or just that. That's the… [NFL Draft expert] Mike Mayock and those guys, right, that's what they do. We basically think this guy can play football for us. So whatever he grows into, if he can push the pocket on third down for us, that would be great, and I see no reason he can't do that. Whatever he can do for us, he'll be on the field doing, but that's what training camp is all about. That's why we put the pads on. We'll find out, everybody, what their role is going to be for us this year."

On how to pass the conditioning test: "Yes, it's basically six 150s in 25-yard intervals. Every position has a time, and then there's a designated rest time that's based on how long it takes to recover. It's pretty well thought out."

On Cody's ideal weight: "I don't want to put a number on it. We have that number, and we'll get him to that number before we start playing, but that's not something that I want to share right now."

On his top priorities for this training camp:"We say just in a general way we want to be the best football team we can be coming out of camp. Now, that's a thousand little things that go into that. So what does that mean? We want to improve our ability to rush the passer. That's a big priority, but we still want to be able to dominate the running game. We need to run the ball, but we also want to be more effective throwing the ball downfield – all those things that we're trying to improve upon that you guys report on all the time. We've got a big emphasis put on the red zone. That's important, but I don't think that's too different from most teams. For us, it's specific to our needs and our positional players, for what we're trying to do for each guy."

On if he views all players at the same level right now and hopes for the best: "Well, yeah, I think we're all at the same level in the sense that we're just starting out. This is the beginning of a process that's a long six- to seven-month season, but we're where we're at as a football team based on what we've done for the last three years. Of course now the moves we made in the offseason, what we've accomplished during the offseason program and the OTAs, we know where we're at so we're continuing to kind of build in that process. It's not like it starts again. It's still… We build a foundation. We build the fundamentals underneath ourselves just like we always do, but we're kind of in a process as you know."

On how excited he is for Friday's practice with full pads: "I'm excited. Yeah, this is kind of fun, to get out here with this. But when the pads come on, it will be more football-like, so we're looking forward to it."

On Terrell Owens signing with division rival Cincinnati: "Did they sign him? (laughter) I really like T.O. I think he's a really good player. He's a guy that we enjoyed being around for a couple years in Philly. I've got a lot of respect for him. Obviously, it makes them better, so it's even a better Bengals team than it was yesterday."

On if he sympathizes with Marvin Lewis for having Chad Ochocinco and Owens in the same locker room: "Marvin doesn't need our sympathy (laughter). He's not looking for it."     

LB Jarret Johnson

On how he is feeling and if he is getting into the groove of things:"Yeah, I mean being out here, obviously I didn't want to come in early, but once you get out here it's good to get out here and knock the rust off early, move around, get loose [and] get that initial soreness out of the way. So, it's been a good couple of days."

On whether the offseason is spent thinking a lot about getting ready for camp:"Obviously, it's not as time consuming as it is during the season, but when I go in the weight room and get on the field, it's just like it is out here. You're trying to focus on your goals, but just the way you're working is different – you're working out, you're running – but you're goals are the same. The things you're focused on and getting better, improving on different things, and then obviously, the upcoming season is all in your mind."

On whether he just wanted to get some extra reps before Friday since he didn't have to be at camp yet:"No, the injured guys had to come in early and work out the younger guys."

On how it feels to have to play through injury:"It feels good to get out here, and obviously, coming off [shoulder] surgery last year and then rehabbing during the offseason, it's good to get out here and see where you're at. It's one thing when you're feeling good sitting at home doing nothing, but it's another thing when you get out here on the field and you hit somebody or lock somebody out and the shoulder doesn't hurt, and it feels strong." 

*On whether there is any doubt in his mind about the shoulder: *"You know, there's always some concerns. You're wondering how ready you really are, and then when you get out here and feel it, it's pretty good."

On whether they joked around with rookie DT Terrence Cody at all for missing practice yesterday:"Yeah, I mean we weren't too hard on him. That's a tough test, especially for those big guys, and for those guys who are around 350 [pounds] or so, to run that test is pretty impressive. So, the fact that he missed it, you know, obviously, we wanted him out here yesterday, but it was pretty impressive that he went out this morning and ran it – in one day. That's not an easy test."

On whether the hunger to win a championship increases as some of the veteran players get older:"Absolutely. I think with every given year your goals become different. And when you're a young guy, you're just trying to establish yourself and make the team, and as you work your way up, you might have contract concerns or stuff like that. The older you get, the more those things are not as important, and what is important is winning a championship. And we're lucky enough to have a lot of guys on this team who are… That's they're only goal. That's what they're focused on. They're not worried about contract stuff or whether they're going to be on the team. They only goal they have is winning."

On whether there is more urgency to win this year with uncertain labor concerns looming after this season:"I don't think… Maybe for certain contract stuff, maybe the labor stuff is a concern, but when it comes to winning, it's not a concern. We want to win this year purely because we want to win it, and we have the ability to win it. With the labor stuff, you can't worry about that stuff. What happens, happens, and we'll get it resolved. We will continue to play, but we just don't know what route that's going to be."

On whether he can imagine playing linebacker for 15 NFL seasons, a feat LB Ray Lewis is about to achieve:"Yeah, the guy is unbelievable. I mean, he really is. To play that long, at that position, and as physical as he's played – and he comes in unbelievable shape every year – I don't know, but whatever kind of water he's got linked to his house, I've got to get some. But he's an unbelievable guy – not only the physical side, but just the mental side. He's always got a chip on his shoulder, he's always hungry, and the guy is unbelievable. He's never content, he's never satisfied."

On whether he can believe it's been eight years in the league for him and how he views his evolution as a rookie to today:"I think it's all helped me to become the player that I am. I don't think that if I hadn't gotten drafted as a D-lineman, played three years as a D-lineman, had to play behind [Adalius Thomas] for a year [and] learned a ton from him, and then the pressure – once he left – the pressure put on me made me the player I am now. And I just hope to continue to improve. I appreciate the route that I've come. I liked being a part of the D-line; that was one of my favorite times of my career."

On whether this Ravens team is one of the most balanced he's been on:"Yeah, we've got a ton of weapons. When you look around and see the receivers and the quarterbacks and just the amount of talent we have, it's just another area that you say, 'Man, this needs to be it. We've got some talent.'"

On whether he is sleeping better now than he was a week ago at home:"Yeah, absolutely. Those last couple nights at home, [I was] just laying there dreading about camp. But once you get here, it's fun again. You get in a groove, and yeah, I'm absolutely sleeping better now."

On how he feels about a shorter preseason as a player, and if it is taxing to play in so many preseason games:"Really, they limit how many reps you get in the games, but you still are in training camp during those times. And yeah, it's a long process. We go two weeks before the first game, and then you've got a four-week training camp period during the preseason games. And if those were knocked back and regular season games were in place, I'm all for it. I'd love to see it. I don't know how they would structure it, but I'm all for it."

DT Terrence Cody

On how it felt to pass the conditioning test:"It felt good. It was hard at first. I came in yesterday. I didn't quite… I knew about the test, but didn't quite know how to run it. I tried two times, and got close, but couldn't quite finish. So, I got up here early this morning and knocked it out, and it was a big relief."

On if he felt bad about failing the test: "Yeah, that's how it was. I didn't pass, and I was kind of down on myself, telling myself I could have worked harder. But, I had a lot of people behind me, cheering me on after I failed it. It was just like, 'Get it next time or try again tomorrow.' And I had the D-line, Jarret [Johnson], Kelly [Gregg], Haloti [Ngata], all them cheering me on, keeping me going."

On how his conditioning is coming into camp:"I feel like it's pretty good, but I can get better. There's always a lot of room for improvement, and that's what I had a talk with [head] coach [John] Harbaugh, and it's just… I can get a lot better before the season starts."

On if he is still 350 pounds, which he weighed at the OTAs:"I'm still about that. Around that range."

On if the small amount of running that goes into being a DT was on his mind:"No, because when I got here they told me I wasn't going to be a two-down player; I was going to be an every-down player. They want to use me on third down and all kinds of scenarios. So, they want me in the best shape I can be. And if not, they're going to help me get into that shape."

On if he will play positions besides DT:"Probably not, but I'll play the three* *technique."

On his relationship with Ngata:"I mean, it's pretty cool. Funny guy. We like to kid around and stuff. He kind of nicknamed me Cheeseburger and stuff. (*laughter) *He calls me that."

On why Ngata would call him Cheeseburger: "I don't know. *(laughter) *But yeah, he's a real nice guy, and he does help me out a little bit – telling me what I can do or what I can remember on this play. If somebody does this, remember to do this, and stuff. Just little things."

On what the conditioning test entails:"It's six 150s and… It's six 25-yard sprints back forth, back forth. But you only get, like, a minute and 10 seconds of rest, and the time of recovery is… That's how you tell how good of shape you're in if you recover that fast and then go out there and run it again and stuff. It's just all about the recovery."

On if he wanted to get back out there and try it after he failed: "Yeah."

On the biggest difference between the SEC and NFL:"I have to say the conditions and stuff. I mean, we had a real big conditioning program in Alabama, but I think it's tougher here than it was over there."

On whether failing the conditioning test gives him motivation to prove himself: "Yeah, I mean, I have to prove myself now. I came out yesterday and didn't pass it. So, I feel I have to prove myself.  And, I had my family calling me and asking me what was going on. And so, I had to tell them. It was like, 'Well OK, you got so far, so don't quit." So, I slept on it and got up this morning with a head full of steam and got out there and passed it."

On how it felt to be on the field:"It feels good to be out there. Yesterday as I was sitting to the side watching them practice, I was feeling bad. I felt like I was letting them down and stuff, so now that I'm back out there, it feels good. I'm ready to go."
On the best advice he has received about being in the NFL:"Main thing is just staying in shape and taking care of your body. That's just the main thing."

On if he will carry the veterans' pads:"Oh, yeah, yeah." (laughter)

On if the Ravens talked to him about carrying pads:(laughter) "They don't have to say nothing. You can just tell by practice."

On if he understands that the conditioning tests are put in to prevent training camp overheating:"Yeah, I understand. I'm a big guy, and big guys, we tend to get overheated and stuff out here in the sun, and we kind of overwork ourselves. But at the same time, we have to listen to our bodies. If we can't do it, we can't go. We have to listen to our bodies [if] we can't do it. We can't just get out there and try to… It's a good thing to do extra, but you just have to know when it's not good and when you're body's ready to get rest."

On if he was able to sleep last night:"I was able to sleep good after trying it twice yesterday."

On what time he was on the fields this morning:"About 7:00."

On if he passed the test on his first try this morning:"Yeah."

TE Ed Dickson

On his biggest surprise of training camp:"Biggest surprise? Nothing really surprised me. I mean, I just had to get my mind right. But first off the bat was the conditioning test. You can train on your own, but until you do it here, you're not going to have the experience. So, the one thing that puts me through that, and I passed it the first time, was running with my teammates. It gave me the motivation to pass it, and I did the first time."

On his view of his role on the team:"Well, I come in open. I mean, I come in with my eyes open wherever they want me to play. [If] coach comes to me tomorrow and says, 'I want you to play defense.' I'm going to say… I'm going to look at it and I'm going to say, 'If that's going to help the team win, I'm going to get out there and play defense.' So, I'm going to do – work hard. Right now, they got me playing tight end, so I'm going to work hard and compete – compete with the other tight ends and try to win that job."

On if he considers himself a blocking tight end, pass-catching tight end or both: "Definitely both. Definitely both. I don't limit myself to only passing or only blocking tight end. I mean, I try to work on the things that I need to work on."

On if the coaches have asked him to do both: "Definitely. There's going to come times where we have to be more blocking than usual because we've got great running backs."

On how much he has found out about what it takes off the field and the discipline he must maintain:"Since Day One, I had a really good upbringing with my family, and I'm representing now the Ravens organization, my family and then my new family, because I've got a little son coming on the way. So, I've got to take all of that and perfect it before I do anything."

On bouncing back from tough days that he will face in the future: "It's going to happen. It's going to happen. You have to embrace it and do the right thing. You've got to pause and do the right thing."

On how much mini-camps prepared him for training camp: "Tremendously. Playbook-wise, I mean I'm out here, I don't have to pick up or think about stuff and I can play at my full speed. I don't have to second-guess everything that I do. It just helped a lot."

On how much more he expects the tempo to increase Friday in full pads: "That much more. This is where it counts. We're getting ready to compete against the league's best, starting with the Jets opening day, our first preseason game. We're preparing for all that. On Friday, just strap it up and be ready to go."

On if life in the NFL is what he expected: "Yeah, everything and more."

On what he expected entering the NFL: "I expected the hard work. I'm not a stranger of hard work. We've been competing hard. I mean [head coach John] Harbaugh makes us compete to the max every day. I'm no stranger to hard work, so it's everything that I expected."  

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