Stories: Calm Through the Storm | Day 2 Draft Picks | Rice, Flacco Wrap Day 1 | Flacco Feeling Fine | Ravens Get Their ManTranscripts: Draft Wrap-Up Presser | Ravens Day 2 A.M. Presser | Flacco Conference CallBlogs: The Big Board | The Byrne Identity | Insight to the Limelight GENERAL MANAGER OZZIE NEWSOME, OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR CAM CAMERON & first-round pick QB JOE FLACCO
Ozzie Newsome opening statement:"It is my pleasure to offer our first-round pick in the 2008 (draft) his jersey. I don't know if this going to be his number, but he represents a first-round pick. The way the three of us feel, and I know the way Joe feels, that he will measure up to all the other first-round picks that we have had here. I know definitely coming in he has that in mind. So, here's a jersey – maybe not the one you want to wear – and it's yours."
Joe Flacco opening statement: **"How's everybody doing? Just kind of got in today, actually drove down from Philadelphia, right outside of Philadelphia, actually. All us South Jersey people say we're from Philly. We just got a chance to drive down with my family and check out the place and meet with the coaches for a little bit and have a little bit of lunch. I can't be more excited to be here, to be a Baltimore Raven. It was really exciting for me yesterday to have Ozzie call me and tell me they were actually trading up to pick me. So, to actually have that happen, it was just a big deal for me. I was walking around my house all nervous about missing a phone call and all of a sudden my phone was ringing and it was Ozzie Newsome. I knew it was a Baltimore area code but I didn't know why they were calling me yet. They had eight more picks to go. For them to tell me they were going to pick me, that was really exciting and I'm ready to get down here and work really hard to prove to everybody that they made a good decision in picking me. This was the coaching staff's first pick here at this organization and I want to prove to everybody that they made a good decision in doing that."
On where his height comes from given his family's small stature:(FLACCO) *"I have no idea. My dad says the milkman. (laughing*) So…"
On making an adjustment to being under center in the Ravens' offensive scheme: (FLACCO) "I think I'm prepared to do that. I think everybody has to make an adjustment and I think I'm just as prepared as anybody else is. I did play a lot in the shotgun in Delaware, but I think I have the ability to play under center just as well."
On making the transition from I-AA football to playing in the NFL: (FLACCO) "Like I said, I think everybody has to make an adjustment – no matter what level of college football they were playing. I think I'm just as prepared as anybody else. I have confidence in my abilities. It's not about talking about it. It's about going out there and proving it. So, I'm anxious to do that."
On when in his football career he began to realize he could play in the NFL: (FLACCO) "I grew up thinking I was going to play in the NFL. The dream just never died for me. Obviously, I had some unfortunate things happen in college [at Pittsburgh], and I went to Delaware and things worked out really well. I always had the dream; I didn't know how it was going to happen, but after being through the process, I couldn't have enjoyed it more."
On his thoughts about playing baseball his senior year in college: (FLACCO) "That didn't have anything to [do with football]. I wasn't going to stop playing football. I didn't think I wasn't going to be an NFL Draft pick. I've always played baseball; I've always loved baseball. So, I actually asked coach [K.C.] Keeler at Delaware if I could play, and he turned me down pretty quickly."
On the transition from the offensive scheme at Delaware to the Ravens' offense: *(CAM CAMERON) *"First of all, they've done a super job at Delaware. Their system is sound. They want Joe, as we've talked, the ball comes out quick. You mention the shotgun range at center. Our offense has evolved to where it's almost 50/50 underneath center and shotgun. We're really looking for a guy who can function in the shotgun. That's where the game has evolved a little bit. It's changed over the last 10 or 15 years. We want kind of a shotgun guy that can evolve underneath the center. But, I think the reason we're sitting here is that the scouting staff said, 'Hey, we need to go and take a look at this kid at Delaware.' We all came away from that workout saying to each other, 'Did you see what I saw?' Let's see how this thing plays out. I think he's a perfect fit for what we want to do. I think the other thing he knows is that he has to come in here and compete. I don't think there's any quarterback in this league that wants to be handed a job. So, he'll come in and compete with Kyle [Boller] and Troy [Smith]. And, whichever guy is out there – what we try to do doesn't always work –but since all three of these guys are different, we try to tailor things to what they do well. Here's a guy who has a gift to throw the football, he has a gift to throw it quickly and accurately. I think he sees it from a little different vantage point. Having had some taller guys over the years, it looks a little different from where he sees it than some other guys. He's a lot better athlete than I think people give him credit for. And as his body continues to grow and mature, I think, here's a guy that we're all going to enjoy just watching develop. One thing I know, the background that he comes from is one where you work at it. He's been raised that way. Coach Keeler, his coach at Delaware, they work hard and this kid is going to develop and just get better and better."
On whether he thought he'd be a first-round draft pick when he woke up on Saturday: (FLACCO) "I had no idea. I didn't know what to expect. I think I'm worthy of one, but did I actually think that would happen? No. The bottom line is I didn't care. I knew I was going to get an opportunity wherever it was I got picked. It happened to be Baltimore. I know these guys are going to give me an opportunity, but it's all about me. It's about me getting in and working hard – just like coach said. I can't wait. I couldn't be more anxious to get in here and get started."
On whether he feels he could be ready to be the starting quarterback for the Ravens this season: (FLACCO) "Yes. Obviously, I haven't even been exposed to the offense yet. I am anxious to get in here and start learning, and I want to get out on the field and prove that I can. It's going to be up to the coaches to make that final decision, but it's going to be up to me to prove to them that I am ready."
On what he saw in the sample playbook the Ravens gave him before his pre-draft workout in Baltimore:(FLACCO) "They sent me a mini-version – I'm sure it was a very mini version of [their playbook]. I did all I could to make sure I knew it when I came in here. So, I do have a little bit [of an idea] of what they do. But, I'm sure it was a very little version of what they do."
On whether the Ravens' coaching staff was impressed with Flacco's preparation for his workout in Baltimore: (CAMERON) "No question. I think that's the important thing. You can sometimes get enamored with a guy and what you see physically and what you see on the tape. But the guys that I've been fortunate enough to be around are bright guys. It's not always intellect, as just a feel for the game. We have a way we like to find out – how this guy likes to prepare, how his mind works. It will be important for me as the play-caller to know with whomever our quarterback is how his mind works and how he operates so I can help him maximize how he thinks. This guy, he's bright, and football makes sense to him. Football's a big part of his family, and he did very well."
On what he asked Flacco to change technique-wise in his workout:(CAMERON)* "*First, when you look, you just want to let him be who he is. We probably threw for almost 20-30 minutes before we said a word. We didn't really say anything. Then you just try and throw a curveball in there to see. If you ask him to do something he's never done, can he pick up on it? We have a couple of little techniques we do differently in our drops, a little dove tail technique. I've been around some guys you just kind of describe it, and then some guys can never do it. I thought it was kind of neat that he picked up on it quickly, and we started tweaking his technique a little bit, which we'll do, similar to like what you would do with a golfer, maybe, or any other skill position. He picked up, and I think that guys who I have been fortunate to be around, can take things, see it quickly, internalize it, and then that's how you see guys who start to really, really improve and improve. Sometimes when you get a guy like that he can be special."
On the biggest challenge going from I-AA to the NFL:(CAMERON)* *It's just the speed of the game. And that's why we're looking for a quick-twitch guy. Again, he's been blessed with that. He's quick with his arm, and, again, he's quick for a tall guy. I think that's a little uncommon. Those guys are hard to find. Big, tall people who are quick and explosive don't come around every day. In our system, we'd like our quarterback to have nimble feet, have an explosive arm, be quick with the football, and I actually think Joe has that."
Thoughts on Eric DeCosta saying Flacco needs to work on his footwork:(CAMERON) "I think it can be a little deceiving, because taller guys, their footwork isn't going to look like a 6'2" or 6'3" guy. It just looks different sometimes to the casual observer. I personally don't see that much that he needs to change. I think he's got outstanding feet. The most important thing in my view in a guy's footwork is his back foot, and this guy puts his back foot in the ground and it doesn't move. I think in my experience, the great quarterbacks in this league have the ability to put that back foot in the ground, no matter what's happening around them, and do that over a long period of time. So he can do that, but hey, every guy that comes in the league has got to get bigger, they got to get stronger, they got to get better. They just have to play. This position is about getting to play and learning NFL defenses. I'm sure that will make it a normal process."
On who will be Flacco's main voice: (CAMERON) "Down the road it will be both [Hue Jackson and me]. For right now, and Hue and I talked about this one, Hue and I have never worked together, so what we'd like to do for our quarterbacks is to make sure they hear one voice for a year. And I'll be the primary voice, but Hue is an outstanding coach. He's been a coordinator, so he understands. We'll be working closely together, but I'll kind of take the lead. As Hue gets to know me better, then it will be one voice, both of us, but saying the same thing. I'll take the lead this year, but over time that will evolve."
On the thrill of being drafted close to home: (FLACCO) "It's definitely pretty local, so it will be easy for my family and friends to get to a game if they choose to come. I'm just happy to be here. Being local hasn't really come into my mind."
On the biggest advantage of height and size and when his growth spurt was:(FLACCO) "Obviously, something I was blessed with was the height and the size. I think it helps being able to see, being able to be strong in the pocket. I think my biggest growth spurt was probably in 8th and 9th grade."
On if his experience at Pitt helped motivate him at Delaware?(FLACCO)* *"I just never felt like I actually did compete with Tyler [Palko]. He was the starter, but the only reason I was the backup was because another kid had transferred. He started for a year, and then spring ball came and new coaches came, and I still didn't compete with him. He was just the starter. I never really got a shot there. I wanted to go prove, when I was at Delaware, I wanted to prove that I was capable of playing [at Pitt], and I just didn't [get a chance]. I still carry that with me. I still carry it with me that I'm a I-AA guy and I had to go down to the minor leagues in college football and prove who I was. I'm going to carry that with me for the rest of my life, and hopefully, use it for the best."
On who gets the most reps in practice:(CAMERON) "Well, we've been working the last couple of months. We've got a mini-camp next week and then all the rookies come in in two weeks. We'll factor that all in once we get there, but we haven't set that yet."
On whether he feels pressure since he was a quarterback selected in the first round: (FLACCO) "I don't think so. I'm going to go out there and play football the way I know how to play football. It's up to everybody else to label me as something. If I pay attention to that, all it's going to do is hurt my game. So, all I'm going to be doing is in here, probably not hearing too much news. I want to be in here working hard and trying to be the best football player I can be."
On his impressions of the Ravens' offense: (FLACCO) "All the coaches here are very intense and they know their football, so it's going to be pretty cool to come in here and start learning from these guys. I know they like to attack the defenses, and it should be a lot of fun."
On what quarterback he feels Flacco is similar to: *(CAMERON) *"I've really never gotten into the comparison business. You just find over time that these guys are all [different]. Drew Brees is one version of a great quarterback. Philip Rivers would be another. Kurt Warner has run this system, too. There has been a variety of body types, a variety of personalities. Jim Everett was a big, tall guy that had a lot of success in this system. Troy Aikman [was successful]. But, if you look at them, they're all different in their own way. But what they are is tough, they're all smart and they're all extremely competitive. So, I've really never compared them and I think that's [wise]. You really don't want to short change a guy because you never know. You can sometimes compare them to someone and then you put a ceiling on him. I just really wouldn't want to do that to Joe. I think we'll just let him be his own guy."