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Press Conference Transcript - Training Camp Stadium Practice 8/7


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"OK, great to see you guys in this postgame environment here, right? That's kind of what we had. I tell you what… It was an interesting afternoon in a lot of ways. First of all, for the fans, they were enthusiastic. It was fun for them to be here. Our team signed autographs afterwards for a long time. I think you could really see the appreciation in the players' eyes, coaches' eyes and the fans' eyes. It was a really special connection there; maybe with some fans that we don't normally see up at Westminster, so that was really neat. And the other thing was getting used to the stadium, just throwing passes on this turf, with our crowd, with the background you have here at the stadium. I'm thinking maybe we should do more of this because it was such a good day that way. I think we got a lot out of it."

On the injury status of CB Chris Carr:"I'm not sure. I don't have a report yet on that. I'm not sure."

On the performance of the kickers and a timetable for a decision:"That's a great question. Our thing right now is that we know it's going to be a tough decision. We just kind of put it on the backburner. We don't have to make that decision yet, so we don't want to. You see them every day. They're both kicking really well. I would be really surprised if we don't get calls on these guys. Sometimes people wait and they know we've got to let somebody go, so they'll wait for you to let somebody go. But, the problem is if you're low on the pecking order of claiming rights – and you need a kicker and somebody else needs a kicker who's ahead of you – you've got to trade for him. So, I think that's something that could be beneficial for us. We'll see, but both these guys are going to kick really well this year in the National Football League."

On LB Jameel McClain's consistency:"That's what he is. He's consistent. He's consistent, he's physical between the tackles, he's solid in pass coverage. The competition at linebacker has been so good. All those guys are getting better. They're making big strides every day because they're pushing each other. That's the value of competition."

On whether he mentioned to the players that this could possibly be the one and only time they get to play on this field:"No, we don't. We don't mention that because these guys have dreams to play on this field for the rest of their career. I'm sure they understand that only 53 guys can make the team, and that's why it's so competitive and so tough and why they work so hard. But that's not something you have to remind them of."

On his thoughts about the new stadium turf:"It felt really good to me, [but] I'm not the one playing out in it. It's definitely softer than the last one. They were telling me it was really hot, which is expected on a hot day on newer turf, so they were saying their feet were kind of burning a little bit. But it seemed like the footing was good, and obviously it didn't grab too much, which is important."

On what else goes into the kicker selection process other than just making kicks:"Kickoffs are going to be a part of it obviously, you know, who we feel is a better kickoff guy. These guys are very close kickoff-wise as well. My gut feeling is it's going to be a gut feeling, which is the toughest way to do it. You'd like to have it be black and white, and you can make that kind of choice, but right now it looks like they're both going to kick really well. But the games are going to be big, too. We'll have to see how it goes in the games."

On whether having the stadium practice is more beneficial for the rookies before the first preseason game next week:"Absolutely, absolutely. They were walking in the locker room here, and just walking into the Baltimore Ravens locker room for the first time; you could see they were looking around, they were feeling it. So, better now than next Thursday. They'll have a sense of it. And also being in the stadium with a crowd, it's going to help them a lot."

On showing off his hands a little bit today by deflecting a ball during practice:"That's right. (laughter) Well, I gave Antwan [Barnes] a little stiff-arm; he did pull off a little bit, thank goodness. Yeah, I got pretty good hands. [I] caught balls from my brother all those years, I can catch. You never know. The dream never dies, right?* (laughter)*"

On whether today was a good representation of all the offseason work with the pass rush:"Oh, yeah. The pass rush – especially in the red zone and in the blitz period – was really ferocious. So, it's good for our offense to see that, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it pays off in games, obviously. But right now it's the best we've seen it."

On whether S Ken Hamlin is settling into the defense:"Yeah, Ken's done a good job all the way through. I think the more comfortable he gets with the defense, the more you're going to see his play-making ability. But hey, he was there today – two interceptions – he had a good day."

On whether he would like to make practice at the stadium become a tradition: "Yeah, yeah. [Owner] Steve [Bisciotti] came out on the field there when we were doing one of our drills, and he basically said, 'This is a tradition now. We're doing it.' Because it was so good, you felt it out there. It's great for our team to get out there on the field, so it's… But it's so good for the fans. You get a chance to come down here, and you really did, you felt like there were a lot of fans that you knew you hadn't seen in Westminster, and hadn't been out there, had a chance to come out here. [There were] so many kids. The kids were everywhere. I think that's what we want to be about. That's what we want to be about as an organization: We want to be a family, we want to be about kids, we want people to feel like they're a part of the Ravens."

On whether he saw the replay of NT Terrence Cody hitting G Bryan Mattison: "I didn't see that one. I'll tell you what, I saw Bryan Mattison stand up on a bull rush a little bit later and just stone somebody, too. So, they should be showing that one, too, to be fair, right? And there's always that… In camp, there's always give and take. You've got the defense was good earlier and dominant, and the offense picked it up later. And that's what we've been seeing all through camp, that give and take. Hopefully it's a high level give and take, and they're making each other better."

On whether he liked the new video boards:"They were sweet. They looked really good, yeah. Caught myself looking up there every now and then. (laughter) *The good thing was the split screen so I could stand at one drill and then look at the other drill without ever having to turn around. *(laughter) And that's so hard to do. It was great."

On whether T Jared Gaither "Plays like a Raven": "Well, yeah, he's proven he plays like a Raven. He's played well here for a couple years, the two years we've been here. I think it's been tough. He's getting these back spasms in his upper and middle back, so he saw a back specialist, Dr. Carbone, this morning. I have not heard the report on that yet, other than to hear it's not serious, it doesn't look like. It's just something he's got to fight through. It's unfortunate because he's competing for that spot and you've got to stack practices. That's what the competition's all about. But Jared's a hard worker, and we've just got to get him on the field and get him going, and he's going to be fine. That's what we've got to try to do right now."

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