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Press Conference Transcript - Training Camp Practice 8/14


Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody. Good practice, guys worked hard, and that's where we're at."

On waiving LS Matt Katula: "We think our young snapper, Morgan Cox… We wanted to see him in a game situation. He's been doing a real good job throughout the offseason, and then throughout training camp, but you never want to make a move until you know in a game. He did a nice job, and we feel comfortable that he can be our snapper, so we're going to go with the younger guy."

On if Katula's health played a part in the decision: "No, he's fully healthy. Matt's a very good snapper. There's no question he can do it in this league. There's a couple things I think he's still working on, he's cleaning up a little bit from last year. We had a younger guy that looked good, and that's sometimes the nature of the business. But talking to Matt this morning, he understood, and I'm very confident he'll be snapping for somebody this year."

On if special teams goals stay the same for every opponent: "There's a certain number of them that stay the same, then other ones we tweak for each opponent. For the most part, our goals, numbers-wise, stay the same from week to week. There's a couple ways to do it, but that's mostly how we do it."

On the one-on-one offensive vs. defensive line drills at the end of practice: "That's a great drill. [Offensive line coach] John Matsko does a great job with our guys, and he makes the point, 'How do you really learn how to pass block?' Well, you pass block in a situation like that, one-on-one, which is the toughest possible situation for the offensive line. And our guys can rush. Our guys really challenge those guys. Our defense's job right now is to get better rushing the passer, but also to make our offensive line a better pass-protection unit. That was a big emphasis today, as you saw."

On if the reasoning for the drill was that the offensive line needs improvement: "Yeah, it always is. You always take what you think you need to work on and you emphasize it the next practice. You're always chasing the thing that you need to get better at. Obviously, we feel like we need to get better at that right now, so it was a big emphasis and it will be a big emphasis. All the stuff… We'll emphasize run blocking – it'll all be part of our week – but pass protection will be a big part of it."  

On the reaction of the team when the players were told of tomorrow's day off: "They were a little bit surprised. They didn't say much. They didn't really respond. I think they were looking for the catch; they were ready for the 'but.' The truth is I don't think it's a reward; it's where we're at right now. It's a reward in the sense that they've earned it. We have worked really hard throughout training camp, coaches and players, and I think the best thing for us is a little recovery time. We've packed a lot of work into every single practice. I like where we're at right now as a football team, and really the best thing for us is to give them the chance to get a jumpstart on their legs. I think we get a nice little stretch here of five days where guys will have either one hard day – today for the veteran guys, or two hard days – Thursday and today for the younger guys, and get a chance really to recover."

On ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski's comments regarding QB Marc Bulger, saying he seemed "deflated":"I haven't seen that. I don't know how you know [that]. If you can read a guy's mind, 'He seemed…' [or] 'I could see that he felt this way…' You know, Marc has never said that. He didn't say that in that meeting, from what Marc told me, and I've seen nothing but an energetic, competitive guy who loves football out here. This guy has come out here every single day, and he's gotten after it. He's competitive, he's into everything we do, [and] he competes every single day. He competed in the game, he was excited about the good throws in the game, [and] he was disappointed with the bad plays. He's done a great job."

Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne interjects:"Guys, I think Ron Jaworski was referring to a meeting when Marc was at St. Louis. He was not referring to the production meeting here. I think that's what got misinterpreted, because [Jon] Gruden gave a preface about Bulger getting beat up in St. Louis, and then [Jaworski] came back and said, 'Yeah, in the production meeting...' He didn't clarify, but I did check with Ron [Jaworski]."

Harbaugh: "I'm not sure who wrote that article, but it'd be interesting to see, because I think we all took it the wrong way."

Byrne: "A guy from ProFootballTalk, watching television."  

Harbaugh on his evaluation of how TE Ed Dickson played:"I thought Ed has looked good. I'd like to see his helmet stay on a little bit more – tying your chinstrap would be good. But, he did a lot of good things. [There are] a lot of things he needs to work on – both offensively and special teams – but it was a good start for Ed."

On if Dickson is challenged as a blocker often: "Yeah, I thought he held up as a blocker. He didn't… He acquitted himself well. He can get better, but I thought he did a good job."

On his impressions of the game film:"I thought the secondary… After watching the tape, the secondary did play well. They were in position just as we thought after the game. I thought they played a very good technique, very sound. [There were] only one or two occasions where we're not exactly where we wanted to be. I thought we disguised, for the most part, really well, the pressures. We blitzed well. So, I'm happy with those guys. Same thing with the front – I thought our front, for the most part, played well. Early in the game, we could've gotten off blocks a little quicker with the young guys, but as the game went on, we did a little better with that. So, the guys had their ups and downs, but all in all, it was good."

On if there are updates on T Jared Gaither:"Jared went out to California to see Dr. Watkins, and he's got something in his back. It's a very small tear, I don't know the medical term for it, [but] it's not a serious thing. But, it's going to keep him out for a couple weeks until it settles down, because it's causing the spasms, apparently. So, he's going to have to work as hard as he can, and we'll have to try to work it out. I wouldn't hold my breath for about two weeks, three weeks through camp here, and we'll see where we're at at that point."

On if it's too early for there to be a lead in the kicking competition:"You guys see it every day. I think it's too early to say. They've both done well. I think Shayne's [Graham] kick in the game was a tough one. He wants to make that kick, but it was a tough kick."


WR Mark Clayton

On what he saw on his touchdown catch against Carolina: "Man, just ball in the air. It was a jumbo formation – one receiver – and just had a nine-route, and Joe [Flacco] just hung it up there, just gave me the opportunity to make a play, and glory be to God that it was made."

On if that is the situation he likes to see as a WR: "Anytime you can get your quarterback's trust, then he can throw it up, and the chances are either it's going to be made or anything but an interception is going to happen. That's pretty good."

On how he feels about camp so far: "This camp had been good, man. Coach [Harbaugh] has taken care of us, and, I know offensively, with the receivers that came in and the tight ends that came in, the rotation has been [going] really well. So, it's kept a lot off of my legs and [Derrick] Mason's legs as well. Where we're at now, just in the system and chemistry, we've been well."

On his reaction when coach Harbaugh announced that Sunday's practices were cancelled:"I thought he was going to come back and say, 'Ha ha, got you.' The whole room was just quiet [and thinking], 'Is he serious or is he playing?' But, [we're] just grateful for it. I know we'll take advantage of it and rest up and come out Monday and give it everything we've got."

On if his legs feel good:"Yeah, [my] legs feel great. They feel great."

S Haruki Nakamura

On whether the special teams' list of goals changes every game:"The biggest thing is we expect excellence every time we step on the field, as far as special teams goes. We have a head coach who is a former special teams coordinator, we have a great special teams coordinator in Jerry Rosburg, and it's just one of those things – as players – we've really made an emphasis to be part of something great. Our offense is going to be great this year, our defense is always great, and we just want to take the special teams to the next level this year."

On whether that's a new thing, having a goals list like that:"Yeah, I guess you could say that."

On how much faster he feels than last year coming off an injured season:"My main focus this year was just to get healthy, and I did that pretty early this year. I really focused on getting back as fast as possible. I think that helped me… I benefitted from it, I guess you could say, by being able to get into my speed training a little bit quicker than if I were to have to rehab through OTAs, through the time going to training camp. So, I feel a lot quicker, I feel a lot healthier, and the biggest thing is [that] I'm excited about playing football again."

On whether he had fun Thursday night in the first preseason game:"Oh, it was too much fun. I mean, I ran downfield early on a punt, so that penalty was on me. But that was just all excitement, just being back on the field again."

On whether the safeties feel like they need to step up with all the injuries at cornerback:"Not even just the safeties, but everybody in general. Our pass rush obviously proved that we're getting a lot better at that this year. Emphasis is getting on the quarterback, and ultimately, that's going to help our cornerback situation, our secondary situation. So, there are going to be times where, yeah, safeties are going to have to play nickel, safeties are going to have to play dime and just do some of the things that the corners have to do. And we're all for it. We're just a very team-oriented defense, and whatever it takes to get the job done, we do it."

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