Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, [it's] good to see everybody. I appreciate you being here. [It] was a real good practice. [We're] back up after a day off. So, I thought they came out and they were into it. Sometimes after a day off, it takes a little time to get going – especially when you're a morning practice team in [training] camp. Our guys were on point from the get-go, right from the beginning with special teams. We had a good practice. So, what questions do you have?"
I know T Ronnie Stanley was limited, but he was out there. How good of a sign was it to have him out there this early in camp? (Jamison Hensley) "It's good that he's out here. I think we were hoping for right around now. He's certainly very much on schedule. [He's] been working really hard. If you'd seen him in here working the last couple of weeks, you'd have been impressed. So, that was good to see."
Is there a requisite number of practices a guy needs to have in order to play in a preseason game? Or is it a case-by-case basis? (Todd Karpovich) "Case-by-case basis, yes. [It's] case-by-case."
Do you have any update on G Kevin Zeitler with the foot injury? I know early on you weren't sure, but you didn't think it was too serious. (Luke Jones) "It's the same. It's a sprain. It won't be like a day or two, but it won't be a month. So, there you go. (laughter) Does that narrow it down for you?"
What have you seen from TE Josh Oliver? We saw him really shine in that seven-on-seven period today. [What have you seen] as far as that battle for that potential No. 3 tight end? (Luke Jones) "He's doing a really good job. It's just going to come down to … He's learning, he hasn't played a lot of football in the NFL, but he's a talented guy. So, just for him, getting out there and getting the experience of all these situations and being in those situations, taking him to the [first preseason] game, then taking him to the next week, then the next game and just seeing where he comes out at the end of it after the three games will be really … That's the process here for him, but he's doing well."
I know this is a question that's better for executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta, and I wish he was here to ask it. With QB Josh Allen signing his extension, does that impact QB Lamar Jackson and anything with his contract here? (Jamison Hensley) "That's a question that's better for [executive vice president and general manger] Eric [DeCosta], as you already know. [It's] nothing we're going to comment on right now. Eric is not going to comment on it either. Nothing has changed in the sense of it'll happen when it's going to happen [and] when it's best for both sides to happen. Both sides want it to happen. There's really not a hurry on it. Lamar [Jackson] is going to be our quarterback for many years to come. We want him, [and] he wants us. We're focused on what's important now, which is a good practice. I mean, that's really what we have to be thinking about. So, that kind of a question just really isn't relevant to what we're trying to do right now."
How difficult is it going to be with just three preseason games to evaluate talent and get your guys that you know are going to be playing some time with just the three? (Kirk McEwen) "I think it's the right number. I think three is the right number of games. The fourth game really wasn't a relevant game that way; you were just trying to get through that game and get to the regular season. So, three [preseason games] will be good."
They had the Hall of Fame ceremony last night. Did you get a chance to watch any speeches? Did anything stand out that was said last night? (Jerry Coleman) "I didn't get a chance to watch any of them, but I will. I always like to go back and see those at some point in time. Of course, [former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach] Coach [Bill] Cowher, we've become really good friends over the years, so congratulations to him and everybody that was inducted in there. That's really an incredible honor. But I'm really happy for him. He's become a great friend. I kind of watched the way he ran his teams, the way he ran his career and kind of his outlook on football, and it's impacted our program a lot."
Is it too early to know anything about C/G Bradley Bozeman? I saw he left the field about 90 minutes into practice. (Jeff Zrebiec) "That was precautionary, not serious. It was just a little strain. I don't know what it'll do for him for tomorrow, but it shouldn't be long-term at all."
QB Lamar Jackson
On his most recent bout with COVID-19 and how it feels to be back: "Man, I was – just like last time – probably fatigued, if anything. I was sleeping a lot, but I'm glad to be back. Ten days being off, I didn't like it at all. So, I'm just happy to see you guys, see my teammates, see the fans. I'm just glad to be back. It's over with."
On how he's doing mentally: "I think I'm mentally handling it well right now. I'm back. I'm feeling good. When I was at home, I wasn't doing too good, because I was missing my guys, and I [was] watching highlights on Instagram and Twitter. I'm like, 'I wish I was out there. They're looking good.' 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley], Trace [McSorley], they were throwing the ball, flying around. The guys were making great catches. Tight ends working; defense working. It was like, 'I need to get back out there with my guys. [This] needs to go away.' So, I'm just happy to be back."
On his reaction after receiving the news that he tested positive for COVID-19: "Like, you know … Again? It was crazy. I was heartbroken, because I wasn't looking forward to that at all. Right before camp, it was like – not again. Not right now. But it's over with. It's over with."
On if he's concerned about getting COVID-19 for a third time: "I mean, I just got off the COVID[-19] list. I've got to talk to my team doctors and try to see how they feel about it. [I'm going to] keep learning as much as I can about it, and we'll go from there." (Reporter: "So, you might go for it?") "We'll see, we'll see. Talking to the doctors. We'll see."
On getting caught up to speed: "I'm taking it day by day. Hopefully I'm doing good. I hope the coaches think I'm doing well, [and] my teammates think I'm doing well. I'm just trying to catch up. I'm trying to catch up as much as I can, as fast as I can."
On if he's concerned about setting a good example and trying to get more people vaccinated: "I want to inspire the kids, and I want to inspire the community, but at the same time, things are going to come at you, [and] people are going to feel however they want to feel about certain situations, and you've just got to go however you want to go about it. So, we're going to see."
On if he believes it's a competitive disadvantage for a team to have an unvaccinated quarterback: "I'm just going to follow the NFL protocols as much as I can, as best as I can. I'm not worried about it. Last year, [when] I came off COVID[-19], I felt like we did pretty good, and this year, I'm trying to do the same thing, if anything. So, just like I said, I'm just going to follow the protocols."
On the decision to get vaccinated or remain unvaccinated: "I feel it's a personal decision. I'm just going to worry about that with my family. I'm going to keep my feelings to my family and myself. I'm focused on getting better right now. I can't dwell on that right now – how everybody else feels. I'm just trying to get back into a great routine."
On working with WR Sammy Watkins: "Sammy [Watkins] makes my job a lot easier, and my job is to make his a lot easier. Even when we're doing scramble drills and stuff like that, he's fighting off defenders, getting open. I missed him in the end zone – a little back shoulder. He was right there. I'm mad I missed him. I'm still mad right now, even though it's practice. Practice makes perfect, so I'm trying to do whatever I can to make his job a lot easier. But he's – like I said – making my job a lot easier, and I love working with him. I'm glad he's here."
On QB Josh Allen's extension and if it affects his potential negotiations: "That's good for him, but like I said, I'm not worried about that. I'm just trying to work on getting better right now. Like, I just got off COVID[-19]. I'm worried about my teammates, and we're trying to get somewhere. So, the time will come about that."
On how he's getting caught up to speed: "I'm working with the coaches. I'm working with the doctors and stuff like that, trying to ramp up my speed to get back to where I was. I'm trying to catch up with my guys, because they're on the train – like Coach [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] said – [and] I'm trying to catch the train. I'm 'in the car' right now [and] I'm trying to catch up to those guys. But yes, I'm just taking it a day at a time."
On if he'd play in the preseason, given the time he's missed during training camp: "If I'm able to go, if coaches say I can go, doctor says I can go, I'm out there. I want to be out there with my guys, just like practice."
On how long it took to feel back to where he needed to be after his bout with COVID-19 last season: "What game did I come back? Dallas game? Did I come back [the] Dallas game? I was good. I was good that week. As soon as they cleared me, I was good. I was ready to go."
On experiencing COVID-19 symptoms last year and this year: "Yes, just a lot of [fatigue]. I've just got to take it a day at a time. A lot of sleeping. I was trying to get on meetings as much as I could, but I sleep. I tried to workout in my backyard. I was doing that a little bit. And like I said, I would just sleep a lot, and same thing this time. So, it's good [that] now I'm good. I'm cleared. I'm not dwelling on it anymore."
On if he could taste and smell during his most recent bout with COVID-19: "Yes, I was tasting and smelling. Last year, I wasn't, though."
On working out in his backyard: "Just throws, working on my footwork, what Coach had us doing, Coach 'Urb' [quarterbacks coach James Urban] and Adam [Dedeaux] from Tom House [Sports] – those guys. They had us working those movements. I had my cousins catching the ball from me in the backyard. I had them like 20 yards in the back, just trying to fire the ball as much as I can, so I can come back and Coach doesn't look at me like, 'You didn't do anything. You didn't try to work.' But I did. I think I did pretty good."
On if he was working out between the end of mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp: "Yes, I did. I was working with Adam [Dedeaux]. I was working with Adam. Yes, sir."
On what he's working on to try to get better: "Everything – every aspect I can. I'm not a perfect player. I don't' think anybody is a perfect player, but I'm trying to work on everything; throwing the ball outside, throwing deep passes, throwing intermediate passes, short passes, running a little bit here and there, getting moves out of the pocket – everything."
On his receiving corps this year versus what he's had to work with in the past: "Not to take anything from my guys, because my guys last year, they were working hard. They were doing pretty good for me, as well. These guys, they're just fresh legs right now. Everyone is working. I can't take anything from my guys. Everyone is working. All my receivers always work, so nothing, pretty much. Everybody is just grinding."
On Louisville building a Lamar Jackson statue: "That's dope. Usually, players are older or passed away and then get statues and stuff like that, but I'm just grateful, [and] I'm honored to be here. The guys who worked with me who were at Louisville, I appreciate those guys, because without them, I wouldn't have a statue."
On if he knew a statue at Louisville was coming: "No, I didn't."
On what pose he'd like the statue to have: "Hopefully it's 'The Leap' from Syracuse. That would be dope. But whatever they feel, I'm with it. I don't care. It's a statue [and] I'm grateful. I'm grateful for it."
On if "The Leap" was his favorite play he made in college: "No, I don't think so. I don't think so. I like passing touchdowns, if anything. Probably a passing touchdown. I don't know. I don't know yet."
On if it's frustrating to not be able to have the same interactions with fans that he used to have: "Yes, because they're like, 'Lamar!' It's like (reaches out with his hands). Can't hug them; can't take a picture with them. It's frustrating a little bit, but we'll get back to it. Hopefully, when this stuff blows away and everything goes back to normal, it will be just like usual – back to normal."
On if he's concerned about any long-term respiratory issues: "No, I'm taking it day-by-day right now. I'm just glad to be back. I'm glad to be back with my guys, man."