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Ravens Monday Transcripts (8-11)

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "Thanks for coming out. [It was a] great day for football. [We] had a really good practice today, really fast, not quite as physical as the first two. I thought both sides looked really good; our guys really looked good. We played fast offense, we executed well. [On] defense, all the pressures and things were timed up. Assignments were very good. So, [we're] happy with the three days of work and ready to move on to the next thing."

Even though you guys practiced hard, to replicate something like this for three days, it's something you couldn't have done without having another team. (Jamison Hensley) "You could never replicate … I feel like we had a week-plus worth of work in, and it's not just because of the tempo or the attention to detail, which is part of it. It's the fact that you see schemes that you're not going to see. You could practice for months out here, [but] we're not going to see the things we see because our team doesn't do those things [on] both sides of the ball. So, [it was] very valuable work."

Was it a little bonus working with Jim [Harbaugh]? How cool was it to work with your brother?* (David Ginsburg)*"I've said this before, but when you play against your brother … I know it's unique. I don't like dwelling on it too much; it's just a fact right now. But you look over there every now and then and say, 'Wow, that's pretty neat.' [It's the] same thing at practice – working together, figuring out the scripts and things like that and organizing stuff. It was fun to work together. [He's a] smart guy, and I have even more respect for him now than I did before."

Is this the type of thing that maybe you look back on in a couple months from now and say, "This had tremendous value going into the regular season?" Or maybe it's not as easy to evaluate today? (Jerry Coleman) "I would hope so. If we do well, we'd probably be saying that. That'll be the storyline. And if we don't, it'll all be forgotten. So, that's the idea."

TE Dennis [Pitta] sitting out, was that a personal thing or injury? (Aaron Wilson) "Dennis [Pitta] had a little ankle sprain. So, he went for about, I don't know … Individually, he went for about 30 minutes, and then we pulled him down."

John, with DE Kapron Lewis-Moore and DE Brent Urban both getting hurt, do you have to shuffle guys around? Does that create depth issues? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Well, it creates a depth issue just by the fact that two guys at the same position got hurt. So, certainly that's a problem. We will have to shuffle guys around. You can't play with one guy – Chris Canty at the position. But we have other guys that can do it; they've already been mentioned here in a question. So, those are the obvious guys that can play five-technique as well. Most D-linemen can play every spot, so we'll have to do that."

John, Vic Fangio, how valuable was he to you when he was on your staff? Jim has worked with him for a while. (Eric Branch) "I don't know really the history of Jim trying to get him. I don't know. Are there any tampering rules when you're a college coach to a pro coach? No? He's a great coach. Obviously, he was extremely valuable to us. [He has] tremendous football knowledge – good guy, hard worker, just a joy to be around. And the success he's had before and after is evident in what kind of coach he is."

How do you think the safeties are doing? Are they meshing well? (Aaron Wilson) "The safeties are meshing really well. They work together. They have to be on a string, so to speak, both mentally and physically – really all four of those guys do. So, those guys [are] doing a great job. You can't forget some other guys in there playing well. Jeromy Miles played very well; Brynden Trawick [has] really done well; Terrence Brooks is coming on; Anthony Levine is swinging corner and safety doing a really good job; Omar Brown makes plays out here again today. He's a ball hawk. So, we're pretty deep at safety. We're happy with that group."

Can you talk about the progression of S Terrence Brooks? It's obviously positive. (Jamison Hensley) "He's doing great. He's learning fast. Safeties have a long way to go as rookies, but he's doing a good job. He's going to play a lot this year, no doubt."

Did the test confirm a rupture for DE Kapron Lewis-Moore? (Aaron Wilson) "I haven't heard anything, but I'm sure they do. They seemed pretty certain about it yesterday."

John, were shells the original plan? Or did you decide you had enough physical work and that maybe last night you decided to go with shells?* (David Ginsburg)*"Shells were an original possibility and became an obvious choice as we went through the last two days. You can't stack too much. It's a lot of physical contact out here including the game on Thursday so it was a smart move."

John, how does DT Timmy Jernigan look since you came back to practice, and how versatile might he be? (Clifton Brown)"Tim [Jernigan] has looked really good. We have to keep building, but he can play all three positions. That's what an athlete can do. He's going to be a big part of what we're doing."

John, thinking about WR Steve Smith, Sr., has he exceeded what you were expecting? (Jarrett Bell) "I didn't have the measuring stick of expectations for Steve [Smith, Sr.], so I can't tell you how much he has exceeded them. Every time you ask me that question, I give the same answer. It probably drives [the media] crazy. But he has been everything I expected him to be. I guess my expectations were for everything that he is. He is phenomenal, he is a tremendous player, he is a tremendous person, he is a leader, he is a competitor, and he is smart. I can't say enough about him."

WR Steve Smith, Sr.

On how productive the Ravens-49ers joint practices were:"It was very productive. We got a lot done. In training camp, you always evaluate, but you get an opportunity to be evaluated against some guys that don't know as many tendencies that kind of build up when going against the same guys every day since early April and May. It was good. Coach [John Harbaugh] told us this is an opportunity for us to be looked at. Even though you may not have gotten a lot of reps for the young guys in the game, [this was] a great opportunity still getting evaluated against the 49ers here. A lot of young guys got the opportunity to be evaluated."

On if he got the sense that the 49ers were ready to go back home after six days: "[That's] not my concern. I don't know. It's part of the business. You're always going to be on the road a little bit longer than what you think, but that's the business; that's the trade we've chosen. Sometimes you're going to be on the road a little bit longer than what you expect."

On his transition from Carolina to Baltimore:"To go through it, I just [needed to] be me. I had to find a place to stay, figure out where the restrooms are, find out which trainer tapes the best. (laughter) I loved the 1 Winning Drive [street address of the Under Armour Performance Center], [but] that didn't come up on my MapQuest, on my little gadget thing. I learned that, coming to [Baltimore-Washington International Airport], [I learned that] Avis is a little bit higher than Hertz. It's been a transition. (laughter) It's been a good transition. Honestly, the one thing I can walk out of here [and] look at is that … What do I bring to the table? What do I have that is of value? I just look at these young guys, and I talked to these young guys the other day and I just said: '[There are] not many more football [games] and training camps that I'll be participating in, for obvious reasons.' And I want to sit down when I become a true fan – no longer [an] employee, no longer a player – and I'm sitting on the ouch on Sunday … That I'll be able to say, 'I know that man.' Not the guy that caught that touchdown – 'Oh, I know that football player,' – but I know that man. It just comes [to] the point where we have to be transparent with each other and we have to be able to know each other's weaknesses, and we have to be their strengths, and vice versa. That's really what I'm working on with these guys, is being able to know when they need some help with some things, and also, when I need some help with some things. That's been really cool and fun to go through. I still talk to guys. I had a conversation with [New England Patriots WR] Brandon Lafell, just going [over] some transitioning stuff. He called me up and said, 'Hey, bro, I need to talk.' So we talked over the phone for about 30 minutes. It was about life. It wasn't about football. I still talk to guys."

On what he can add to the Ravens' offense: "There was a key third down [during practice] … If I dropped the ball like I did today, then I'm not going to be very good. Just concentrating, making sure that I keep myself at a high level, keep myself entertained and keep challenging myself. I tell guys, 'Make a play a day.' If you're making a play a day and being consistent always working on something … I work on something every single day. [If] I keep that mindset, [then] it'll work out for me."

On how impressed he is with the Ravens' young receiving corps:"It's very competitive. Guys are running routes. 'D.T.' [Deonte Thompson] is running great routes. [Jeremy] Butler, Mike [Willie], Kamar [Aiken], LaQuan [Williams] … It's a healthy, great competition. It's good. It's an opportunity that, [if] you make a statement here, even though you [might not] make [the team] – you have a coach be your mouthpiece and speak up for you [if you end up] going to another team. There's nothing better than to have a coach have a walking testimony for you if you don't make the final cuts. That's the best thing you can always do – young, old – to stay on a team or to be picked up if it doesn't work [out] because of numbers."

On how much fun he is having right now:"I'm having a ton of fun. I'm having a lot of fun – just smiling, laughing. I think I won the office pool because they had over/unders on my fights. I had zero, so I get all the cash." (laughter)

On if the joint practices were a good gauge to see where the Ravens are at:"It was a great gauge. What we did in the game wasn't a fluke, and then how we handled practice was very well, and we [will] consistently [do] that moving forward. It was a great gauge. I think we all walked away thinking that we're close to where we want to be. We're not there yet, but we're on the right track. Our practices and our game [against the 49ers] were just evidence to say, 'Hey, let's continue to keep going.'"

On if he was surprised that there were no fights with San Francisco:"I'll let you write that article. Go ahead."

On if he had a chance to talk to 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh at all this week:"Well, this is when you know you're old: When his son [offensive quality control coach Jay Harbaugh] is a coach here, and he says, 'I met you when I was 12.' And I said, 'Oh, man.' (laughter) It's always great to see [former] players having a successful career, and then they come in here, and obviously, [Jim's] having a great, successful coaching career, so that's pretty cool. You can't do anything but admire that."

On what the key is to being a successful wide receiver in the NFL:"It may sound rhetorical, but you have to catch the ball first. You have to figure out when you catch it, why did you catch it that way? And you have to evaluate yourself the same way if you drop it. You catch the pass, you drop the ball – you have to be able to evaluate. What I try to do, for me … I go in there and I look at film [and] look at myself, whether I catch it or not, so I'll be able to know exactly what I need to do. A lot of times it's just getting antsy – just taking your eyes off of it when you're wide open. You start to move, you feel the corner on the outside, so you try to give him a little move to the inside, and you forget the ball. It just happens sometimes, and it's part of the process."

On if it will be difficult for opposing defenses to shut down Baltimore's offense:"With the weapons we have, I think [opponents] will have to pick their poison. This guy may have a lot of catches and a lot of yards, and the other guys may not. And then the next week, a team is going to focus on shutting down that guy and then another guy. I think that benefits us. You can never have too many horses in the stable. When you have that opportunity, it makes it a lot easier on the [offensive coordinator]."

On if the 49ers' defense will be able to maintain its level of dominance throughout the year:"I guess time will tell. I'm not really sure how they're going to handle that. Honestly, everybody is going to be missing somebody during the season, and so that's the cards they've dealt with, and their coaching staff is going to make the adjustment. Their players are strong enough, mentally and physically, [to] know that they have to step up for the key holes that are in their defense. And not because the lack thereof, but those are significant people that contribute a lot."

49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh

Did it meet expectations as far as the work accomplished?

"Yes, and higher than that. Went better than expected for our football team. We got better. There's no question about it. I think it was even more so than what we thought. It all started with the two teams with the same mindset and that was to get better and to improve as a football team. I know we can say that for ourselves and I've heard [Ravens head coach] John [Harbaugh] say the same thing. And also a big 'thank you' to the Ravens organization. A-plus-plus in terms of just treating us right. Everything from meeting rooms to food, the entire layout was top notch. You've got to understand a little bit, we're a professional football organization here of people that have very high standards for how we're treated. And not one complaint. Not one complaint. I mean, that's rare, that's rare to get. Not one complaint from anybody, which speaks volumes. That really says it all. And Ravens, first-class all the way."

Do you think that makes it more likely that you would want to do something like this in the future again, judging by how successful it was?

"Yes. We'd like to do it in February. That would be outstanding. But, yeah we've talked about it. Not to get out in front of our headlights, we'll do it next year possibly. But, we play each other next year and make that decision at the time next year if we do that and if not, possibly the year after. But, it was just really well done and hats off to the Ravens organization and John Harbaugh, who did a tremendous job. I was just so proud of him, just watching him fulfill his duties, and the way he runs his team and the way they are as a team, just the kind of football team that they are. Just a tight ship, you know it's impressive. I got some ideas too, a couple of ideas that I like that we'll bring back to our program as well. So, I could go on. This was great from so many pluses. Plus-plus-plus in so many areas for us. I felt like it was a chance for our team to be together for a week away from our home setting. Much like we've done on our East coast trips to Youngstown. For people who follow our team, it was very similar in that regard. We get to know a guy. We get to know a guy better and get to know each other as a team better."

That being said, traditionally you don't take an after the game road trip where you're away from your facility for about six, seven days. Do you get a sense the guys are anxious to get back to their regular confines and a sense of normalcy from that respect?

"I know from experience that when you do get back it's fresher. Everything around you is fresher. The facility, the practice fields, the meeting rooms. I'm sure guys are excited to see their families and get back. But, like I said, nobody's complained, not one bit. It's just really been head down and making sure that we get the work and get the most out of it."

What kind of report did you get on G Adam Snyder from yesterday's injury?

"Good. From all of the reports yesterday of all the guys we could talk about, we dodged bullets. You bring up another name and we dodge that bullet too. If I could think of a third, we dodged that one as well. It was a good day. We were moving targets yesterday."

What are the ideas that you picked up from your brother that you might take back to Santa Clara?

"I don't know. I don't have to say. I don't have to say. I can keep those cards close to my vest."

But, is it just running the day-to-day practices? Was it in that vein?

"He has a couple of good ideas, a couple of good ideas. If you make me say them right now then later I won't be able to use that and have the perception that it was our idea. So, please don't hold me to the fire on that one. But, yeah some really good things that they do that I liked."

What'd you think of Ravens QB Joe Flacco, seeing him up close? You've seen him before, but just seeing him during a week of practice?

"Top-notch. No question about it. I could go on and on. Everything's at a very high level. That's why I'm thinking about the weekend, the way we were treated, the way the practices went, everything was at the highest level. I can just sum it up in that phrase. It was at the highest level this weekend. We appreciated having the opportunity to be here."

What were your impressions with the kind of defense the Ravens have and the kind of defense that they had in Chicago?

"Good, really good. There were some real good schemes that they have and good practice for us. Some of their pick-stunts in their defensive line. The way they disguise with their secondary, with their linebackers is the highest level. And that's good for us, good for us to get that work and see those things happening at full speed on a football field. That's a heck-of-a team. There's no doubt about it. They're a first-class, quality football team."

You and John were often on opposite fields, one with the offense and one with the defense and what not, but what was it like coaching next to him when you were on the same field?

"It was great. He'd make a coaching point and I'd say, 'oh that's a good coaching point.' Just proud. I was just proud to watch him do his thing and watch him coach."

LB Aldon Smith said he'd never come to training camp in better shape. Obviously, he was pretty good before. Have you noticed he might have reached another level during camp?

"He's had a heck-of-a week here. He's had a heck-of-a training camp. He's really … yeah he's taken his game to the highest level."

Is that part of it, is it because he's in better conditioning, he has another year of experience, all of the above, anything you can put your finger on?

"I'll let it speak for itself. His play has been outstanding. I think if you talk to anybody here, he's at the highest level of that position."

You guys play some AFC teams this year, they play some NFC teams. Did that ever come into your head like you're making them better to beat teams that you're potentially competing with for playoffs spots?


Was that part of it when you were kind of concocting these practices, a reason for doing it?

"In a way. There's definitely some interests aligned. We don't play each other this year. They're an AFC team, we're an NFC team. Yeah, there's some interests there. But, mainly, and I could go through probably 10, 11 really good reasons to do this and why we did it. Mainly start off at the top is a chance to get the work, seeing a different guy. [DT] Tank Carradine's going against a different guard than he sees every day in practice. [QB] Colin Kaepernick's seeing that disguise in the secondary. Our offensive line - getting those pick stunts. The special teams, this is a wonderful thing for special teams. There's just so many guys that can run the length of the field so many times at full speed and then to have the two units, there is no look team anymore. Every team is playing their scheme and doing their fundamentals and techniques. It really shows up in the special teams and it really shows up offensively and defensively. There's no look team, there's no scout team. Everybody is playing and they're playing against new and different looks. So, if you really added up all the positives, there would be a lot more than we could talk about right now."

Just the fact that the ones are playing against the ones in all different kinds of situations that you don't ordinarily get in preseason games, is that the main takeaway from this? Just all the reps, ones versus ones, twos versus twos, etc.

"Another good point. You could really start stacking these, but yeah, ones against ones in a preseason game to get short yardage, to get goal line, to get red zone, to get two minute, two minute before the half, two minute at the end of the game, move the ball from midfield, field goals, punts. You don't get all those situations through the course of a preseason with your ones and to be able to get most all of them in a weekend is a tremendous advantage. And then to see the great players, the real players that are at the highest level in this game. Ravens – Joe Flacco and their receivers and [RB] Ray Rice and their line. Their two outside backers, [LB Terrell] Suggs and the way they can rush and the way they can cover. And then for the Ravens, they're seeing [TE] Vernon Davis, who is, by the way, Vernon Davis is quietly having a great camp. On his assignments. In great shape. Doing just one heck of a job. There's other examples. Colin Kaepernick, he's a unique style of quarterback that the Ravens get to see. Lot of plusses. Lots of benefits."

Did you get a chance to catch up with Ravens WR Steve Smith at all?

"I did, yeah. I had a chance to talk to Steve."

Did you talk about Panther days?

"We did. We did of course. Yeah, just a class group of guys. That's the way we look at our team, first-class group of individuals, talking about the players now. Getting to know some of the Ravens players in that way and for our players to get to know those guys. I thought it was very beneficial."

How did DB Jimmie Ward do?

 "Jimmie Ward. Good. Coming along. Coming along every day. Competing everywhere. Competing in special teams. The guy is a first-class competitor. If he keeps doing that, can't help but great things happen to Jimmie Ward."

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick

What are your impressions of the Baltimore Ravens defense? What kind of defense do they have this year?

"They have a lot of great players over there. Obviously, their front is always very good. Great disguise team, a lot of different blitzes, a lot of different looks. I think they're going to be a very successful team.

Over these past three days, what do you think has been the greatest takeaway that you've had from these practices?

"I think just the opportunity to get better. The competition level is higher. You're going against people that you're not going to be playing with on Sunday, so you get different looks, you get different players, you get different techniques from them. So, you have to pick up all those things in practice like you would in a game."

Can you expand on the disguise element of their defense at times, just at times with, maybe some examples of, 'Oh, I didn't see that coming, or'?

"Well they have, similar to our defense, they'll give you a lot of different looks, they'll show you a lot of different things to try and make you think one thing and then bring another thing.  Whether they're showing something coming off the weak side and then bring it strong or vice versa, they do a lot of different things to try to mess with your mind as a quarterback and as an offense."

Do your opponents that you're going to face this year, do they, do the Seattle Seahawks for example, do similar things and were you able to kind of grow from this session to kind of help you in the regular season?

"I think the Seahawks are a little more straightforward defense. They play what they play and they do it well. The Ravens have a lot of great players and they utilize them in a lot of different ways. It's really apples and oranges the styles of the two defenses."

Other teams that are on your schedule this year, do they do similar things to what the Ravens do?

"It changes year-to-year what defense do and how they try to play you. Last year, we got a lot of looks from defenses that they hadn't even shown on film. You really have to prepare with what you know and then be ready for anything during the game."

How was it to work with Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco? You did a commercial with him. Did you get a chance to catch up with him a little bit today, this week? And just overall impressions of him as a player?

"Yeah. Got to talk to him a little bit. Real calm. He's always just calm, mellow. Good dude. I like him as a quarterback. He just sits back there and he picks people apart. Throws a great deep ball, which I'm a fan of homerun balls. Just happy to see him again. It was good catching up."

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said that it was very productive, there were no complaints from any of the players. That being said, some anxiousness to get back home from being away for six days after a game?

"Yeah, you're always more comfortable being at home, being around things that you're used to seeing. But I think this was good for us to come out here and get this competition and get this work in."

Was there a part of you that kind of dreaded coming out here considering the Super Bowl and having that kind of being reminded on a three-day basis?

"No. You have to move on from that. At this point, that's two years ago. We're focused on this season and getting better and trying to win a Super Bowl this year. This is the best way for us to get better, so we came out here, we practiced and tried to get ourselves better and the Ravens better."

How dramatic was it to look over across the line of scrimmage? You don't see former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. They've changed a lot since that game.

"They have changed a lot. Different players, different faces but they still have a lot of the core guys that they had from [Baltimore Ravens NT] Haloti [Ngata] to [Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell] Suggs. They have a very solid front seven, which, in football you're going to go pretty far if you have that."

You and Joe both have really big arms. After seeing him up close and personally, who throws harder?

"I'm always going to vote for myself on that one. But, I think he has the most relaxed throw that comes out hot. He just looks effortless when's he throwing the ball and he might drop it 70 yards."

Do you guys talk about football tips or anything like that? Or is it more just casual conversation?

"Well, we were split most of the week back-and-forth. So, it was hard to talk during practice. When we saw each other around it was more just casual talk, catching up. Even being around [Baltimore Ravens QB] Tyrod [Taylor], who I've worked out with for three years in the offseason. It's just catching up, seeing how they've been."

Did you leave here thinking that you took a major step with one of your targets during this period? It seemed like WR Stevie Johnson and you hooked up a lot that first day. Do you feel better about the chemistry with anybody in particular that you've developed?

"I don't think there's anyone in particular. I think we've had pretty good chemistry throughout. I think he just had more opportunities as far as play-calling and what the defense was giving us to get him the ball. A lot of times our defense had been taking them away. I think part of that was just the scheme we were getting, but at the same time he's a great receiver and we got a few more balls his way."

LB Aldon Smith said he never came to training camp in better shape and people seem to be impressed with the way he's playing. Does it look like he's gotten better to you?

"He's a freak of nature out there. When you have [T] Joe Staley come back to the huddle during training camp and is like, 'I'm really not sure how to try to attack him. I just have to try to slow him down'. So you really can't block him. That's a good thing to know when you're on offense and he's on defense for you. But he's looked great. He's done a lot of good things, he's in great shape and he's been playing well."

* *

What have you seen from TE Vernon Davis this camp?

"A lot of speed. He looks faster than ever. Been running really clean routes. Been mentally on top of everything and I think everyone's happy with what he's doing right now."

* *

There was a botched exchange between you and C Daniel Kilgore today, which was the first one I've seen in training camp. How has that chemistry going with you and your new center?

"Well, that one got tipped by a running back in the gun. He's been great. We haven't had any missed exchanges. I worked my whole first rookie year with him. It's something that we just had to get back in the routine. I don't think we've had any problems. I think he's been doing well. He's been mentally on top of things. We just have to keep getting better."

What's it like to practice against Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs?

"I just like talking to him. I like messing with him. He's a high-energy guy. He's always working. He's always going to be talking a little bit. I like that. You have to have that on a football field."

* *

Did you give it right back to him?

"Of course."

Were you surprised by how friendly these practices were? Or at least how friendly they appeared?

"Yeah, I think once we got the first walkthrough out of the way and everybody kind of got their feet wet, we knew we were here to try to get better and it wasn't, 'We're going to try to fight you guys,' or anything like that. We're both trying to get better as a team and make sure we're prepared for this season. Hopefully, we see them during the season because if we do, it's in the Super Bowl."

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