RAVENS TRAINING CAMP: FIRST FULL-SQUAD
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"All right, a couple of things: We had obviously our first padded practice of training camp. It was a tremendous practice, I thought, coming out of the gates. I know guys that haven't been in pads for a while were excited. We had 10 plays of a live period there on third down, and they looked good to start, so we're off to a good start. An announcement to make: Yesterday we had an orientation practice – we have it every year – start practice, it's a non-padded, kind of a slow-paced short practice, and we lost Domonique Foxworth. Domonique tore his ACL. It was unfortunate. He wasn't touched; there was no contact. He just planted the wrong way and the thing popped. So, we're disappointed with that. The thing I'm most disappointed about in that sense is for Domonique. I just texted him last night back and forth… I mean he goes out of his way to tell me how sorry he is and how disappointed he is that he let everybody down. He understands that, but he's speaking with his heart, and he's disappointed about it. Nobody has worked harder than he has to get ready for this season, and we were counting on him. But the thing that we just talked to the team about, that we're looking forward to, is I can't wait to see who steps up. I can't wait to see who it is that we're all talking about a month from now that stepped up to fill that spot. We're going to have a great defense, and we're going to have a really, really good football team. And everybody's got to step up and do their part. So, that's where we're at with that."
On whether he feels like he has the guys in place to fill injury voids, or if they'll need to bring more bodies in:"You know, that's a great question. I think we'll find that out. I really believe that we've got the guys here that can do it, but by the same token, if there's somebody out there that can help us, we'll bring him in. We're excited to see who that guy is, who's going to emerge. I feel really good about Fabian [Washington]. You know, Fabian is coming along quickly. I feel really good about Lardarius [Webb]; he's coming along well. So, I think those guys will be back in a reasonable amount of time, [but] it's hard to say. We can't predict exactly when. And then we'll see how it shakes out from there. I'm sure glad we brought in Travis [Fisher]. I'm sure glad we brought in Walt [Harris]. Cary [Williams] is playing well, K.J. [Gerard], Chris Carr has played well for us; we've got some good players."
On whether it's within the realm of possibility that both CBs Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb could be ready for the season opener:"Yes."
On whether he feels like he's dealing with a lot of adversity before even playing a down yet:"That's a philosophical question. I haven't gotten that deep in it. You know, it happens to every team. There are always bumps in the road – bumps in the road, all across the league. So, if we handle it the right way, if we remember to control the things we can control, we'll come out of this thing better. Everybody will be a little better than they would have been, and that's our task."
On the status of TE Todd Heap and T Jared Gaither getting reps on the left side:"Right, well as far as Todd, he came in with his tonsils swollen and he was pretty sick. It's a virus. He's over the top of it now; he'll start working back into the running stuff here in the next day or so and he should be back quickly. As far as the tackle position, we are going to play the best guys in the best positions. For our offensive line, I think that's yet to be determined. So Jared will get shots at the left and the right side, Michael [Oher] will get shots at the left and the right side. In our offense, they play both sides anyway. If you noticed, we came out the very first play, I think both guys were on the right side. Cam [Cameron] had them both over there. So, he's got to learn to play both sides, and we'll just see how it shakes out."
On the guys being out at practice together with full pads on for the first time and how they reacted:"Yeah, it was good to see. I was really pleased with the way our guys kept their heads. We ran a lot of drills; we had a live third-down drill, we had a two-minute period, which is fast-paced, game-like situation, and I thought the assignments were good."
On whether RB Willis McGahee is OK:"Yeah, McGahee lost a tooth. He lost a tooth."
On whether the guys were going a little bit harder when McGahee's tooth came out:"Harder? No, that's a live period. Dawan [Landry] is a big hitter, so we expect to see some of that."
On whether the tempo was where he wanted it today with most players being used to the system by now:"Well, I think that's one of the most encouraging things. We're into the third year now. Everybody kind of comes in knowing what to expect [and] hits the ground running, even more so than last year. And maybe that's why the first practice was so good."
On whether he liked what he saw from LB Terrell Suggs today:"Yeah, you know he's got all of his enthusiasm. He's excited to be here, he is in very good shape, he really dominated the conditioning test, and I think he's excited to work with [outside linebackers coach] Ted [Monachino]. So, he should have a good camp."
On what QBs coach Jim Zorn has brought to the coaching staff:"Well, I really enjoy being back there now in the quarterback area and listening to that a little bit. I really enjoy listening to those guys interact. Jim does a great job. You've got Marc [Bulger] in the mix now, of course Troy [Smith] and John [Beck] are great, and Joe [Flacco]. So, they've got a nice working relationship. He's done a great job."
On his first impressions of the new wide receivers:"First impression today was they made some plays on third down. You know, that was good to see. Anquan [Boldin] made some plays, Donte' [Stallworth] made some plays, so we're off to a good start. [Derrick] Mason, obviously, in the two-minute, came up with a nice play, so he's our new, old receiver, or our old, new receiver. I'm not sure which, but he looked good, too."
On whether there is a realistic possibility that rookie LB Sergio Kindle could have narcolepsy:"Well, that's something that came up in our information gathering in the Draft, so we knew about that. So, that's an issue. He's got medication for that, and we knew about that."
On his expectations for RB Ray Rice this season and whether he could surpass his numbers from last season:"Are you with the fantasy football deal? (laughter) You know, I think Ray is going to have a heck of a year. My expectations are obviously for a good practice this afternoon. I know we always say that, but that really is it. I don't see why Ray won't have a heck of a year. Willis [McGahee] should have a heck of a year, Le'Ron [McClain], all of our guys. How many yards they get really doesn't matter to us. We just want them to play winning football."
On whether the title is swinging more toward offense than defense heading into this season:"No, I think the bottom line is offense, defense and special teams all play winning football. And we want to make every phase as good as we possibly can. We don't believe that one phase gets better at the expense of the other. We want to be as dominant as we can in all three phases."
Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison
On CB Dominique Foxworth's injury:"Well, the first thing with Dominique [Foxworth] being out… Our first reaction as a defense, and my first reaction, is I felt bad for him. This is a true Raven. This is a guy that's worked extremely hard, and he was a big part of our defense. But, the good news is you're with the Baltimore Ravens, and we know that somebody's going to step up. It's just a matter of who's the guy that's going to step up and replace him. And, I think everybody knows that now there's an opportunity, just like there was at the end of last year. You know, the same thing happened last year at the end of the year, and everybody kind of had written us off and all of a sudden. Guys stepped up. We're very confident. That's our way here. That's the way we play defense here. We know that the next guy's got to be ready. We're just going to have to accentuate whoever that next guy is."
On whether Foxworth's injury will affect the defense:"No. it doesn't change anything that we're doing on defense right now because if you looked at… Good news in it… You always look for a positive in everything. Thank goodness that happened today. I mean, if it's going to happen, the thing that happens now… We've got a whole camp now. Just solidify that position and get somebody else ready to go. It doesn't change our philosophy at all on defense. It doesn't change what we play. It just means that we have to find another guy, or another two guys, to be able to step in there and play the same way."
On how the addition of rookie DT Terrence Cody will improve the defense:"Well, the thing on defense is you always are going to be only as strong as you are down the middle. And, you can't play great defense unless you don't have a great front. And that great front starts with the nose, and then it goes right back to the linebacker and right back to the safety position. And, it's key to have a strong football player in there. We've been blessed with Haloti [Ngata] and with Kelly Gregg in there, and now we end up with Terrence Cody. And, you've got a young guy that can, No. 1, learn from them, and No. 2, use his ability to play the way he can play."
On the variety of experience in the secondary:"You know, we've got Walt Harris. We've got Travis Fisher. We've got some guys that have played football before, that have played a lot of football. And it's just a matter of them getting their legs under them now, and everything like that. So, now you have guys that understand defense, that understand the way they have to play. And as you get older, what you do is you play to yourself. So, you don't put yourself on an island that you know you may not be able to do. But, you do the smart things and you use your intelligence and your experience to be able to make up for that. So we feel very, very strongly that it's great we have those guys. The other thing is… The one thing with the Ravens, as you guys all know, Ozzie [Newsome] is always going to get guys here. He's going to always give you enough bullets in there, and we are very confident in that. We'll do whatever we have to do to keep that defense ready."
On how the Foxworth injury occurred:"You know, the thing that happened… You don't ever want it happening to your team. But if you sit back and you look at the end of camp, it's going to happen to everybody. You know, this is a physical football game if the only way you can do is play it fast. The thing that's… The thing with that one, with 'Fox,' is that you couldn't control it. That was a guy shadowing another guy. That was no contact. So, it's out of your control. And, you can't ever dwell on that. You just have to say to yourself, 'OK, let's get somebody ready, and let's get ready for the next guy to go.'"
On his first thoughts after the injury:"Well, the one thing I've always just said, I'm not a doctor. My first thought is always going to be, 'OK, he's fine, he's fine, he's fine.' So, you know… But, that's why we have great doctors, and a great training staff, and it's their decision."
On whether the defense improved during the offseason:"I thought we did some good things. The thing is I always reserve judgment until I look at the tape. And, the thing I like… I love the attitude of this defense. I think they have great confidence. This defense feels very strongly about each other, and it always has here. And when they come in that room… When you go in a Ravens defensive room, you know you have an obligation to play up to the standard that's been set over the years, and nothing's different this year. They came in with that attitude, and I love, I love the way they bounce. I love the way they flew around. They had fun together, and that's what we want to do. We want to make sure that in camp we're doing what we have to do, but we want to have some fun doing it."
LB Ray Lewis
On if he is counting the number of years he's been playing: "No, I ain't counting – 15."
On the season-ending injury to CB Domonique Foxworth: "I think every team, in one way or another, is going to face some type of adversity through the course of the year. It just so happened for us it came in Day One. Losing a guy like [Domonique] Foxworth… Do you try to replace that guy? No. The next guy has to step up, and that's what teams are built by. The bottom line is: Figure it out, move whatever pieces you've got to move around and keep moving. It just really hurts to see somebody go down in Day One, but when it happens, all you can do is pray for them and keep on moving from there."
On if he witnessed Foxworth suffer the injury: "No. Actually, nobody saw it happen. It was in a non-contract drill. Just planted wrong, or whatever, and it just went. It's just one of those freaky things with football. It's just the way it is."
On if losing Foxworth and rookie LB Sergio Kindle is a big blow to the defense: "You know what? I think any time you lose anybody it's a big blow to your team, not just defensively, bottom line. Like I said, the only thing you can do is just keep going. Every team is going to go through it, whether it's training camp, whether it's Week 1 or Week 16, bottom line. People are going to go through it, and when you go through it, the next man has got to step up, and you've just got to keep moving. Hopefully, [Sergio] Kindle recovers fully so he can just play football, period. Some people worry about the game, but more importantly, I'm more worried about him as a man that he just comes back fully recovered from that brain injury."
On if he has spoken with S Ed Reed about his recent comments: "Yeah, I think the thing I just try to educate them with is don't argue what you feel in the media. Just like myself, whatever was talked about in free agency [last season]. I didn't have to argue with it because it's just like I don't have time to speak on certain things that I don't know that much about. You guys have a job. [We] respect your guys' job. From there, just keep moving, because once you get all into that, 'Get this,' and 'They said this, they said that,' it's too much unknown. It's too much unknown gray area there, definitely for us players, to actually try to dive into those realms and things. So all you can do is carry yourself respectfully, walk as who you are and let everything else take care of itself."
On if anything less than winning a Super Bowl is satisfactory: "If you didn't go into the season that way, yeah. But the bottom line is we have to stay healthy enough, again, get to game one, see where we're at in game one, and like I told the guys just yesterday, bottom line is just take every game 60 minutes at a time and let everything just fall in place. You hear all these guys, "If we don't win the Super Bowl we're this, we're that." OK. You all carry your team that way. The bottom line is the only thing you can do is come to work, and when you come to work, being you will figure out where you're going to be after that."
On how the new offensive additions help the team: "I think it's huge. I think it's huge even for Joe [Flacco] coming into his third season and now having those type of veteran pieces around him. You know, we drafted two young tight ends as well, who I really like, and things like that. So, I think you put that many pieces around that much talent and a Joe Flacco, then I think you have yourself something on offense. And that's still to be seen because everything still has to fall in place. All of the pieces still have to work together and he has to start jelling with those guys. Maybe that takes a month. Maybe that takes four months, but the bottom line is I think we do have the pieces in place to go make a run on offense."
On if he gets sentimental towards the game as he gets older: "No, absolutely not. Honestly, I just truly believe that if you're thinking about that then you miss the love for the game. I love the game too much. Like Day One, that's how I feel in the 15th year. It's the same thing. The bottom line is football ain't going to change. Football is always going to be football. When Ray Rice made a cut, every time he made a cut today, I was tapping him on his hip just to let him know, 'I'm out here to work as hard as you're out here to work.' I don't think about, 'Oh, this is that.' That's not what the integrity of the game is built by. The integrity of the game is built by coming to help your team win a championship."
On if the hunger to win a Super Bowl ever changes: "I think the hunger of winning it with certain people does. I really think it does. When I won it, Rod Woodson made that special to me. Shannon Sharpe made that special to me. When you win it with certain people… When you win a championship with certain people, now you realize what that means for a lifetime. And now the chemistry that I've built with a Ray Rice or Michael Oher and Joe [Flacco], to win one with them would be a very special thing. It would be a very special thing. And then they'll be talking about the same thing, 'When Ray was special, you know.' (laughs) It always comes back around."
On why his teammates respect his voice so much: "Respect my voice? I don't know. I'll let them answer that. (laughs) Hey Q [Anquan Boldin approaches], leave me alone! But yeah, I think respect in this game, man, comes from the hard work you put in. And any young player, just like myself, when I see guys that came way before me or guys that are still doing it, it's just a respect level from the way that you respected the game, the integrity of the way that you played the game, and that's why I think people respect me and the way I play. They know what I'm going to give them every time I step on to the football field, not just for me, but for the betterment of our team. And from that, I think respect, that's where it comes from."
On what made him want to return for a 15th season: "Well, I think definitely adding Anquan Boldin to my team really made me want to come back for a 15th year. (laughing) But no, honestly, I just think the love of the game. I mean, me and Anquan, we joke a lot, but that's one thing that we talked about. If we walked into the street yard right now we would play against anybody one-on-one, and it's the same thing when you step out here and play football on this field. It's just a one-on-one battle, man, and the love for me will never stop. Whenever that day stops, then that day will stop, but until then I love it too much."
On if he will return like Vikings QB Brett Favre has: "I love Brett. No Brett, no Brett. When I'm done, I'm done. *(laughter) *
Listen guys, this is the newest Raven, one of my best friends, one of my closest friends. He plays the game like I play the game on defense. He plays it like that on offense. Anquan Boldin."
WR Anquan Boldin
On ILB Ray Lewis' introduction:(laughter)"It's always good coming from a guy like that. Everybody around the league knows what kind of respect he gets for what he's put into the game. To have him say something like that, it means a lot."
On his transition to Baltimore:"It's just been good for me. I spent the last two and a half months just trying to get used to Baltimore – just trying to get used to my surroundings, get used to the facility and my teammates as well. I mean, so far the transition has been more than what I expected, actually."
On QB Joe Flacco:"I mean, he's a great, young talent. And I only see him getting better. This year they went out and got weapons to put around him. So hopefully, he goes out and has a killer year."
On how he has built a relationship with Flacco: "Well, for us, just this entire offseason getting together a couple times a week. You know, minus the coaches. Just trying to get a feel for one another, talking about football. What I see on different things, what he sees on different things, what things that he likes, don't like. And, same thing with me. But [it's about] just opening up communication with him because I think that's important to the receiver and quarterback."
On if they get together often:"No, just over football. Actually, we'll get together, like I said, a couple times a week at the facility – have lunch together, go out, work out together as well."
On the expectations of a great offense for a team that's known for its defense:"I think our defense is going to continue to be great. I mean, that's what this team is built off of. From the… Ever since I've known the Ravens, it's been a defensive football team, and that won't change. Just because we brought in some offensive weapons, we're still going to be based off our defense. Defense wins championships. But on our side of the ball, we're going to try to make their jobs as easy as possible. We're going to try to put up points. We're going to try to score a lot of points on people so that our defense won't have to go out and stop somebody every possession."
On playing against the defense in practice:"As a team, I feel like it only makes us better. A great defense taking a ball away from an offense is giving us more opportunities to score. But like I said, we're going to come out and do our job on offense. We still consider our defense one of the greatest defenses in the league. It's an honor for us to go up against them every day because it makes us better as an offense. But when a game comes, like I said, we're going to try to make their job easier."
On the quality of leadership on the team: "It helps a lot, because you've got to have guys that know what it takes to win. And I think we have that on this team – guys that have been in this organization, guys that have been up at other places and have won. So, I think we have a great core group of guys that know how to win, guys that know how to go out and prepare the right way. And, we have a coaching staff also that has been winners. So, I don't think we have a problem in that department."
On how beneficial it is to have skilled veterans on the team:"Definitely, because I think the younger guys, they look at the older guys and see how we work, see how we prepare. And when you have an injury like [Domonique] Foxworth, it's devastating to our team, but there's also a guy behind him that has to step up. And when he looks at the older guys and sees how they're working and preparing, he just steps in that role, and hopefully fulfills it."
On how it feels to be on the team:"Feels good to know that I'm welcomed here. That's all you want as a football player, to be appreciated wherever you are."
On his expectations for the offense:"Well, for us, when you have veteran receivers… First of all, our main goal is to win, and we know that we can't get the ball every time. There are going to be certain plays where I'm not in the look, but my job is to go grab a guy to make sure the next guy gets open. That's our mentality. We know we're not going to come out and catch every ball every down. But, we're going to put our teammates in the best positions to make the play for us."
CB Domonique Foxworth
On how the injury occurred:"I was just running and tried to change directions – something I've done a million times in my career – and this time it just didn't work. It wasn't anything odd, nothing abnormal. It was on grass, so I can't even blame it on the turf. I guess it happens sometimes."
On whether he knew it was bad right away:"No. I've never had anything more severe than an ankle sprain, so I don't know what it feels like to have anything bad. It happened, and I dove to the ground, because I could feel that it was uncomfortable. It didn't really hurt, and after a few minutes – probably about a minute on the ground – I hopped up and tried to walk it off, which probably wasn't the smartest thing to do. But I could walk, so I felt like if I could walk, I'm good. But that's naïve of me, obviously. I then went inside and I was just trying to be upbeat and optimistic, telling everybody I was going to be OK and I was going to play, and then we got the images done and they told me a different story."
On how long after the injury occurred he finally found out that it was a torn ACL:"Not until we got the MRI, which wasn't until 8:30 or 9 o'clock [last night]. So, I was hoping that I was fine before then."
On his feelings right now other than being disappointed:"Yeah, it's a ton of emotions. But the biggest one I'm feeling – and I know it's probably unfounded – but I just feel like I'm letting people down. I know everyone is excited about this team and excited about this season and my teammates. I know how excited we all are, and the fans, and the entire organization from Mr. Bisciotti on down to people who clean up. I know everyone is excited about what we were going to do, and I just feel like I let a bunch of people down. So, I know it's stupid, and everyone keeps saying, 'You didn't do it on purpose.' Obviously, but still, if you're expecting to be there to help buttress this team in some way and then you're not, it doesn't matter why you're not. The fact is you're not there, so I'm just going to try to continue and find a way [to help]. Maybe [the defensive backs] can still come to my house and watch film, things that we do. Maybe I can contribute in some other way. But I've got to find a way to contribute, because if they win the Super Bowl, I want to be able to wear the ring with pride and say that I had something to do with it, even if it's not on the field."
On whether it's just the ACL injury, or if other ligaments are damaged:"As far as I know, it's just one. I looked at the MRI and stuff, but for me an MRI looks like Mandarin. (laughter) According to the doctor, it seems like it was just one, but it was a hectic time, so I don't know if I heard everything that was said. Either way, the ACL is a pretty serious one, so I'm gone for the year."
On whether he expects this to be a one-year recovery process:"Well, I'm going to work as hard as I can, obviously. I don't know. Like I said, I'm not a doctor. I just know that I've always worked really, really hard and that's why I am here and I'm going to continue to do so and just have faith in the staff and everyone around me and do whatever little things it is that I can do to help this team and whatever I can do then to help myself get back."
On whether he has a timetable set for surgery:"We haven't set surgery just yet."
On whether he has thought about the looming labor issues as a player representative:"I'm actually not the rep for this team. Chris Carr and Todd Heap and Derrick Mason are our reps for the team. So, I mean, I'll obviously have more time to do a lot of different things, so I guess I can become more involved in that. I really haven't thought about it. I'll be around for my wife and lots of other things. I guess I'll have time to do that [stuff] I wasn't planning on doing. I was hoping [I'd be] spending most of my time winning football games, but I guess I can find some other way to fill that time now."
On whether it's a little odd that all of these knee injuries continue to mount in the secondary:"Well yeah, I agree with you. It's extremely odd. I don't know. [Secondary coach] Chuck Pagano needs to go to church more. (laughter) I don't know how else to explain it. It's a bunch of fluke stuff. I don't think it's anything that we're doing; I don't think it's… It just is what it is."
On how he feels the other players will do in his absence:"We get piled on on a regular basis in the secondary. And it's funny because I was looking at the stats from last season, and you would have thought we were [ranked] in the 20s. We were eighth in passing defense, I think fifth in interceptions [and] top three in scoring defense. We weren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we had a new coordinator, we had a ridiculous amount of injuries, and we were still in the top 10 and top 5 in most of the important categories. So I don't know. As you can tell, I'm tired of hearing all of that stuff. And I know it's just going to get multiplied, and [we're] going to hear it a thousand more times. But I have faith in those guys. And I mentioned Chuck [Pagano] earlier… He's probably the best defensive backs coach in the league. He's the best I've ever been around, and I know Ed [Reed] thinks he's wonderful, and Ed's been around this league for a long time, and he's really going to be tested now. And he showed up… Like I said, last year we had a ton of injuries and a lot of tough situations going on, but we were still highly ranked and performed very well, especially toward the end of the season and playoff time, when it really mattered. So Chuck's done a phenomenal job year after year in many different places, and he'll continue to do so. The talent that we have here, it may not be touted around the league, but if you ask the receivers and you ask the people around here, it's guys we have faith in, and we're going to prepare better than any other team in the league. I'm emotional right now about everything that's going on, so I'm proud of myself for not really going off, but I'm really just sick of hearing that stuff – especially when you look at what we were able to accomplish last year. We're going to be fine, with or without – well obviously without me – they're going to be fine. I'm going to do what I can to help them, Chuck's going to do an incredible job, and I promise you that if there are any shortcomings on this team, it won't be in the secondary. You can guarantee that."