Ravens Monday Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Long time, no see for most of you guys! I saw a couple guys, though, the other night. But I appreciate you being here. [We had a] good practice. [It was] another nice, really a cool day, which has been a blessing. And really, you realized it when we got off the plane. When the plane door opened [in Dallas], that 102 [degree weather] hit us. [At that moment], all of our guys were really thankful for training camp so far. It's been cool. It's been good. We were glad to have the roof closed [in Dallas] – that was a plus. But [we had a] good practice and good meetings this morning. [It was a] very competitive practice – a very long practice – and I thought our guys did a really good job with it."

John, with TE Owen Daniels, you guys held him out. Is he getting better? What is going on with him? (Aaron Wilson) "He does. I don't want to get into specifics too much, but when you have legs and you have hamstrings and groins and stuff like that, there's wear and tear on those things. There's no pull; there's no strain of any kind. There's just a little fatigue. You get a little swelling in there, just like I have a little swelling right now from standing around through training camp. You have to take some time to get the legs back, and we really felt like he needed to get his legs back, especially as an older guy. We wanted to give him this time to do that. I'm counting on him being there this week. As I said, that's what I've been told. There's no kind of injury in there. It's just a fatigue factor, and he needs time."

John, is there any update on CB Jimmy Smith, just to make sure there was nothing internally going on? Because I know there was a report saying he was still coughing up some blood. (Luke Jones) "There was. He had an MRI. There was bruising in there. There's a little bleeding from the lungs. He basically fell – if you watch the play – from four feet, and he was up in the air leaning backwards about this high off the ground (measures four feet from the ground to his hands), and then just fell straight on his back between the shoulder blades. That's what causes that internal type of situation. But they said it's not a serious thing, and he needs just a couple days to heal up. We do anticipate him to play against the Redskins, unless something changes that I'm not aware of."

As far as the running game goes, in particular with the offensive line, it seemed like there were some big holes. When you were watching film, is that kind of what you saw, and what does that tell you about the offensive line and scheme? (Jamison Hensley) "Well, really, [we're taking it] one step at a time. It was good, and there were things that weren't good, but there were a lot of things that really were good. The combination blocks were really good; guys working together on double-teams getting up to the second level and getting on linebackers was really good. Our handling [of] support, most of the time, was really good. The backs are running downhill, and they seem like they understand the reads. All those things are really good, but still, [there is] a long way to go to be where we need to be to have the kind of success that we're hoping to have."

John, with the safeties, was it more fundamentals or was it the angles that caused the missed tackles? (Aaron Wilson) "Which plays?"

S Matt Elam, WR Dez Bryant, S Brynden Trawick. (Aaron Wilson) "The one I remember is Brynden. That's just [a matter of] wrapping up. He has a good angle, he's right there … [You're not going to] body slam a guy to the ground – especially a guy that size. That's a big tight end. [You have to] wrap him up, take him to the ground. Which one was Matt? I can't remember that one.

It was either third down or second down and 20 yards to go. (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, that's again [an issue of] wrapping up. Thank you. Both those guys … And it wasn't just him. Chykie [Brown] was involved in that, also, right? It was Matt coming across, and Matt played for the ball. When you're trailing like that, you have to have your eyes on the upfield shoulder, you play through the upfield shoulder … [He] should've played with his right hand [and] got the tackle first. Then late, if you can play for the interception, that's what you do, but he played the interception too early. That's what we call eye discipline. His eyes weren't right. And then Chykie and somebody else – maybe it was Darian [Stewart] – came in and got good bodies [and] they were in good position, but they didn't wrap. And then a great athlete ends up falling for eight to 10 more yards than he should have gotten. So yes, that was what happened there."

John, obviously with the injuries you've had at corner, you've been able to see a lot of guys get reps in practice and in games. I'm curious what you're seeing in the other corners that have been playing. (Clifton Brown) "They're doing well. We haven't been exposed in any terrible way. Dez Bryant against Dominique [Franks] … I don't care who you are. In that situation, we're not probably going to game-plan that coverage in the regular season with any corner. I don't want to say it was impossible, but that was a tough situation to put any corner in, so you don't worry about that too much against that kind of a player. Tramain Jacobs has done well when he's played. He's been solid out there. Both [of the] young, tall, bigger guys – Deji [Olatoye] and Sammy [Seamster] – they're raw, they're guys coming from small schools and they're free agents for a reason, but they have upside. They're developmental guys that we like."

Is that a silver lining at all when you have some cornerbacks that are dinged up and you have a chance to see some of these younger players, like CB Dominique Franks or S Deji Olatoye?* (Garrett Downing)* "Asa [Jackson] has proven he can play. It's great that Chykie [Brown] is getting a lot of reps, and Chykie acquitted himself very well. He overreacted inside a little bit … The guy gave him a little slant move, he jumped too far inside and got behind on the fade, and he's done that twice now – [he] had the interference in the first game. So that's something he has to learn, just [to] calm down. He's long. He doesn't need to overreact. But the good thing that we saw him do is come back there and play the ball so well and get it out. That's something that is a big step for him. The rest of the game he was solid. And then we know Jimmy [Smith] can play, and Lardarius [Webb], when he gets back, can play. Maybe we're strengthening ourselves from the bottom up with all these reps. [That is] just to your point."

You said earlier that there's a possibility that CB Lardarius Webb might play in this game. Do you think he might play? (Jamison Hensley) "No. I was hoping, but he won't play in this game."

So CB Lardarius Webb probably won't play in the preseason, perhaps? (Jamison Hensley) "Correct."

John – big picture – did you take any different approach in transitioning from the end of last season to preparing for this year, or did you kind of go through the same process that you've always gone through? (Childs Walker) "Both. We went through the same process in the sense that we look at everything we do. The fundamentals are still there. As we say, the principles are written in stone, but the methods are not, and so we changed some methods. And we changed some methods from last year, and even the year before that we changed a whole lot of methods. This year probably rivals two years ago. We really looked at a lot of different things. We're doing a lot of things differently."

John, is there any shot CB Asa Jackson gets back this week, or is it touch-and-go? (Aaron Wilson) "Asa has a chance, but 'touch-and-go' is probably a good way to say it. I've been told that he has a chance to get back for this game. It would be great if he could."

John, at the beginning of camp, you said that RB Ray Rice's suspension probably won't impact your preparation until after the second week of the preseason. Is that impact already, because he only had two carries in this past game with more of a focus on the guys you'll have ready for the first game of the regular season? (Luke Jones) "We decided to go ahead and start Bernard [Pierce] in the game, and that was really [a decision made] the day before. I decided to do that just because [I wanted to] give Bernard a feel for starting – to give him two starts before he starts in the first game. But Ray and he are still going to split the reps. It could impact us – maybe get Ray a few more reps going forward. The main focus is going to be Bernard and Justin [Forsett] and Lorenzo [Taliaferro] – getting those guys ready. Ray has had a good camp."

John, some of the other coaches have said that there being not a lot of talk about T Rick Wagner is good. I'm just curious, on the field, how he's been doing up to this point. (Clifton Brown) "I would agree with that about Rick. He's been solid. Solid is the next step before being good, and good is the next step before being great. He's on his way in a lot of ways. He has plenty of things to work on, but he does not make mistakes twice. He's a good athlete, and he's really … [Opposing defenses have] tried to bull rush him and go after him that way, and he has not really been moved too much at all. I'm proud of him."

Have you seen enough from T Rick Wagner to say, "I'm pretty comfortable with him being the starting right tackle?" (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, he's earned it. He's earned that spot, and Jah [Reid] has earned the third spot. Jah has done a heck of a job, too, as far as working his way into the third tackle spot."

John, I saw you're in a commercial now with M&T Bank? How did that go? (Aaron Wilson) "I hope it went well. (laughter) Did you see it yet?"

I didn't see it yet. I just read it in an article. (Aaron Wilson) "That was just a thing that [Ravens president] Dick [Cass] and [Ravens owner] Steve [Bisciotti] asked me to do. I saw a headline … I'm not the spokesman for anybody. It was nothing like that. It was just [to] do the commercial. That's part of the responsibilities here because of our affiliation with M&T, and I was happy to do it because they're great people. But let me know what you think when you see it." *(laughter)
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WR Torrey Smith

On his touchdown catch against Dallas: "It was man-to-man [coverage]. [I] had a little double move, and Joe [Flacco] threw a perfect ball. I had an easy job."

On WR Steve Smith, Sr. and his mentorship of the wide receivers: "He has helped a lot. I think anytime you get a different veteran like Steve, it helps us all out, because each person is different. Each person plays different, and even though people have seen the same things, whether its coverages or routes or whatever, not everyone does it that same. So, to learn from him, it has been awesome for all of us."

On competing with the younger, defensive players: "When you all step out there, I'm going to smoke you. (laughter) That's how you feel every time. But they're doing a great job. I think you talked about [Tramain] Jacobs and Deji [Olatoye], all those guys … They're all making plays each and every day, and we're all out here competing at the highest level, and we're all trying to be our best. For them, they get the experience against the older guys, whether it's Steve [Smith, Sr.] … I'm not going to say older guys, but myself and Jacoby [Jones]. It's awesome for them. And they're learning, we're all talking, and we learn something from them just as well as we can learn from [Lardarius] Webb or Jimmy [Smith]. So, it's great for all of us."

On how he feels about playing the Redskins considering he is from Virginia:"My family has always been halfway split between Cowboys and the Redskins, so same here. I already got phone calls [and] people [are] talking trash, so it's always fun to see [my family react]. Actually, my first pro game was … [I] went up to a 'Skins game before. [I] asked Joe Theismann for an autograph; he said, 'No.' (laughter) I wasn't a Redskins fan or anything, but they're the closest team, so it's fun to see them."

On his favorite part of the new offense so far: "I think it's very balanced. I think that we're definitely built around running the ball. We're doing a great job so far. It's about improvement and getting the timing down on the receiving end. I think we're getting better each and every day, and I love it. It's balanced, and it's an opportunity for big plays."

On whether he will have shorter to more intermediate routes in this offense: "It's always a little bit of everything. I think that even since I've been here it's not like they have been sending me on 'nine' routes every play. It's definitely built, as you can tell, timing-wise, and trying to get you the ball and let you work in space, which I love because I can get the ball quick. It's a lot of room, and I feel like I can trust my speed to create some big plays."

On what the new offense means for QB Joe Flacco:"Joe [Flacco] can play in any offense, first of all. He has the arm to make any throw, and he has the brains to get [the ball] down out quick. And he's out there … He's fixing things early, and the way he is progressing, we can all see it. His arm, obviously, speaks for itself, but he's caught up [mentally], and he is able to correct us. We're able to talk about things and iron out it out quickly, which is important, because we're only a few weeks away from the real thing."

On whether he thinks the offense is becoming a better red zone team compared to last year: "I don't know. You just have to score. It's easy to say you're getting better in practice or even in the preseason, but you have to go out there and make it happen. There is one week you might go perfect; the next week you might need [Justin] Tucker the whole time. So, you have to go out there and get it done."

On whether he thinks the third preseason game is significant in terms of preparation: "I think that's a fair assumption. You definitely approach the game differently. You go out there the first two weeks [and say], 'Hey, this doesn't really matter.' But the third game, it's the last practice before the real thing. So, you go out there, you approach it, you prepare like it's a game week. I think that it'll be fun to actually look at film in a way of, 'Hey, I have to study these guys.' Obviously, we're familiar with [the Redskins]; we played them a couple years ago. It's going to be fun getting ready for the real thing. Time is flying, so we'll be ready in no time."

On whether it's frightening to see teammates get injured during a preseason game: "No, because you can get hurt walking across the street. I wear Crocs all the time, so I can trip and fall and break my toe, anything. (laughter) It's just a part of the game. It happens, and whether it is practice or the real thing, it just happens."

On seeing CB Jimmy Smith injured during the Cowboys game: "I was scared to death. I was right there beside him on the sidelines to see how he reacted. You never want to see that on anyone … Or the San Francisco guy when he tore his ACL on our sideline … You never want to see anyone get hurt. Obviously, his was pretty scary for the moment, but he is going to be alright."

On how he dealt with the disappointment of last season: "Last year was what it was. We won the Super Bowl the year before that, so that was cool, but that's in the past as well. So, we're going out there … It's a brand new year, brand new team, and we have a lot of the same veteran guys. But at the end of the day we have to go out there and play 16 games with a whole new team and see how we finish in the end."

On whether he is approaching this season as a technical challenge: "That is for [the media] to talk about. Last year was last year. We have a brand new offense, so for us to worry about things that happened last year when we have a brand new offensive coordinator, [and] the defense is doing things a little bit differently … The past is behind us. It's all about going forward and improving from here on out."

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