Ravens Saturday Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"[It's] good to see everybody. We had a really, really good practice – very competitive, very intense. I thought the guys really competed well. The defense was just relentless, and the offense answered. The offense took a couple punches early, and then they fought back and really responded and answered the bell a little bit at the end. The defense got the last play of the practice to win the practice in our competitive practice. It's good to see [competition from] both sides; it was very sharp. And the offense was without two starting guards today, so they responded to that adversity as well, which is really a good thing in training camp to work on. I'm proud of our team. I had a situation with Chykie [Brown] out there, because I know [the media is] going to ask about it, so I might as well address it. Chykie was having a heck of a practice, and then he got riled up because he dropped the interception; he kicked the football. I just talked about that last night – I made a point about those kinds of things – and [today I] took an opportunity to make a point with the defense and the coaches. The coaches ran on the field, led by [inside linebackers coach Don] 'Wink' Martindale, a play before and they were penalized for that, too – a little over-exuberance. So, those things … It's practice, and we want to have fun, but as a head coach, when you have an opportunity to make a point that they'll remember in a situation like that in practice, that's really important, so I had a chance to do that. I brought Chykie right back out, and the thing I loved about it was he responded with a great practice and played really well. To me, that's a sign that he's going to be just fine. [I have] a couple announcements to make: The Friday practice against the 'Niners is not going to happen at [M&T Bank Stadium]. The CBA – the way their schedule sets up – they're not going to be able to do it. It's not a big deal as far as practice [goes, but] it would've been neat for the fans. And that's what's disappointing; we won't be able to do it for the fans. But, we still have the Navy practice. And then the guys that sat out today – Marshal [Yanda], Kelechi [Osemele], Owen Daniels and Pernell [McPhee] – I gave all four of those guys a day today for recovery."

Have you ever kicked a guy off the field in practice? (Ryan Mink)"Oh, yes – absolutely. It's a regular; it happens every year. (laughter) It happens every year. If it only happens once, it'll be a record. (laughter) It's an opportunity to make a point about something that's important. It's not really as much for the guy – he knows – it's for everybody. That gets everybody's attention. I just wanted to make that point now."

Coach, you mentioned the practice at Navy on Monday for the third year in a row. What are your thoughts on having it away, outside of Baltimore, but in a location like Annapolis? (Michelle Gordon)"Having a practice like that a little bit away from Baltimore … We have great fans everywhere, and Annapolis is obviously important. It doesn't hurt that [Ravens owner] Steve [Bisciotti] is from down around that way, so he likes having it down there, too. We have great fans there. I think it's good for our guys to get away, and what better place than the Naval Academy? It's a monument. It says a lot about who we are as a nation, right? It's kind of cool to go there for that reason, too."

As far as CB Lardarius Webb goes, is there anything else? I know we talked yesterday about how he may have to undergo some more tests, but is there anything you can kind of shed on that? (Jamison Hensley)"He has some things going on in there that aren't long-term things. I'm not going to get into it and give you the exact diagnosis of it. But, it's probably as much as me as anything. This early part of camp – I just don't want to put him through this on his back. He's had sports hernia surgery, also. That's still some scar tissue in there. I just would rather keep him out of this first part of training camp, and we'll just see how it feels more toward the end of camp."

So, it's probably not likely CB Lardarius Webb will play in the first preseason game? (Jamison Hensley)"No, he's not going to play. He probably won't play the first two preseason games. Maybe he'll play in the third one, maybe not. It's [really] not that important to him. I want to get him right."

Coach, how has G Kelechi Osemele looked during training camp? (Jeff Zrebiec)"'K.O.' is having a great camp, and I'd put Marshal [Yanda] right in that category, too. The offensive line continues to get better every single day. I thought they stepped up with the two young guys in there as well. Well, [A.Q.] Shipley is not such a young guy, but he's a backup. And then [Ryan] Jensen played well today. But K.O. – he's becoming an anchor for us, just like Marshal is."

Do you think DT Timmy Jernigan might come back to practice in the next couple of days? (Aaron Wilson)"I thought he might come back today, maybe, but he has to be able to push [and] he has to be able to pull without the thing locking up on him. But it's all muscular, so it should be soon. He assures me he'll play Thursday night. We'll see what the doctors say. He's doing well."

Has S Will Hill stood out to you at all in the limited time he's been here? (Jamison Hensley)"As you know, Will has stood out, but it's … I'm not looking at Will that closely. You look at the guys who are more in your immediate plans, obviously. I'd say he's jumped out on his own plenty of times. He has to learn how we play some of our coverages – the way we play them differently than the Giants or what he did in college. He's done a good job."

Quarterbacks Coach Rick Dennison

What have you seen from QB Joe [Flacco] so far this camp?* (Aaron Wilson)* "Joe [Flacco] is doing great. He's working really hard at it.
His feet, he's improved. What we're trying to get him to read, get the ball out, he's done a great job with that. He studies hard and he works hard it. He just keeps climbing."

What are some things you'd like to see [QB Joe Flacco] continue to improve on? (Aaron Wilson)"Well, everything is a process. We just finished putting everything in, so there are some plays … And as we go through the concepts, they will be similar as we go, and he'll understand that. But [the goal is to] just make sure he's detailed on everything we do, and then operating under center and gun – various things we've got in situations."

How are you liking your responsibilities coaching the offense? (Aaron Wilson) "I love working with these guys. These guys have really worked hard. And being around this building [has] been great for me. The guys that I had, that I've worked with before, are here. I like that. The new guys, everybody [has] been great to us."

How is Gary Kubiak different as an offensive coordinator than he is as a head coach? (Ryan Mink) "He is no different than he has been the last 30 years I've known him. He operates the same. He works his tail off and keeps everybody going in the right direction. He's very positive with what we do. He's done a great job."

Have you seen [Gary Kubiak] enjoy going back to focusing on offense and what are some examples? How do you see that? (Ryan Mink) "Back when we had [Gary Kubiak] in Houston, he didn't spend much time teaching in the offensive room, and I think he really has enjoyed it. I know I have, because I've heard it a million times. But every time you hear something, it's like reading a book – you see something new, and with him and all the experience he [has] – I pick up things and I know the players have. He's a really good teacher."

How big of an adjustment is it for a quarterback like [Joe] Flacco who for most of his career here took five, seven steps back going into a system where three, five steps get rid of the ball. (Jamison Hensley) "Watching Joe [Flacco], it has been a great adjustment. He's done a very good job at it. I think some of the things that we've seen … He is a great athlete. He's got good feet. He does a good job on the edge when we ask him to do some movement, all this play-pass. He's done a good job with the fakes. I don't know if you say how much of a tough adjustment … It's not much for him. He's done a very good job."

You've seen [Joe Flacco] from afar. He's been around the league for a while, but is there anything from being in this building, hanging out with him and being out there practicing every day, that has surprised you about Joe?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"Yes, I think the athletic ability it doesn't really transpire when you're watching [Joe Flacco] on film. And his arm strength, he's got a very good arm."

As far as Tyrod Taylor, what have you seen from him as a backup? He's kind of, I guess, a different quarterback than Joe [Flacco] (Jamison Hensley) "[Tyrod Taylor] is a good quarterback. His skills as a dropback quarterback are very good. He's got a good arm. He can move around, obviously – everybody knows that. But he functions very well in the pocket, he understands what he's doing, he works his feet, and he understands the reads. All three [quarterbacks] have done a great job with that."

You talk about Gary [Kubiak] being a great teacher. How has he changed his teaching methods over the years? (Ryan Mink)"Not very much. [He] talks in concepts. He's always done that and tried to explain that so the players are not memorizing spots, they're understanding what's going on – the scheme around them.  Formationally, they just put themselves in that and then plug in from there. And I think he tries to explain things in the simple terms for everybody so they can understand and then go on out there and teach."

Everybody talks about [Gary Kubiak's] offense being very simple to learn. What makes it like that? What makes it easy to learn? (Ryan Mink) "I think it's the concepts, and we like to do a lot of repetitive stuff. We'll run one concept with multiple formations, multiple personnel, so that once you grasp that concept, that drive concept, then everybody understands when you see a drive that that is what is coming in and you've got to put yourself in that spot."

QB Tyrod Taylor

On adjusting to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's system: "[Gary Kubiak] is definitely getting the ball out of our hands quicker. The reads are more defined. We're still working at it, trying to get a little better each and every day, but I definitely think our offense [has] the weapons to go out there and make this offense successful. So like I said, we're just working."

On if he has worked on throwing from the pocket this offseason: "Yes, the past two years – definitely. I've always worked on it, but it [is] something that I focused on this past offseason and last year. [I want to] better myself from the pocket, showing people that I can throw from the pocket and make all the throws. I know I have plenty arm strength , but it's about being accurate in this league and putting the ball where the receivers can catch and run, and that's what I've been focusing on lately."

On whether it is challenging or frustrating being a backup quarterback: "That's the nature of the game. I know the backup quarterback position is definitely an important position, because you never know when you can go in, and when you go in, they expect you to play at a high level. So, what I've always tried to put my mindset on is being the starter, attack my job as a starter throughout the week, whether it's in the classroom or out on the field. Like I said, the opportunity can come whenever, and you have to be prepared at all times."

On getting extended playing time in the preseason: "The preseason is definitely big for me. Like you said, I get a lot of reps throughout the preseason and I enjoy them, going out there and playing with the guys that you grind with all summer. So, I'm looking forward to the preseason. We have a lot of talented guys on offense and a talented team overall. But, it's my job to get the ball into those playmakers' hands, and I think if I can do that, then we have a good chance of going out there and showing people how this offense can go out there and explode."

On the focus being on the offense and not the defense being talkative or making plays: "We have a lot more to focus on than to be going back and forth with your defense. We have to go out there and execute plays. Like you said, it's a new offense, so  we're more so focused on that, putting all our attention on that and letting everything else play out. The defense [is] always going to talk, but they don't have a new defense going in. We have a new offense to learn, and we have to get everybody on board. So the more that we can stay focused, it just shows the rest of the team that we're focused and they can take our lead."

On if he likes it when practice gets chippy: "Definitely. There's always going to be competition, and it's always going to be attitude out there on the field, but I enjoy it. It just shows you the type of guys that we have. What's good about it is that we don't carry it off the field; it's over on the field and you move on and you get better from it."

On if he takes moments to think what is ahead in his future at all:"No, that's not my plan. That's God's plan. All I can do is control the things that I can control, and that's coming out each and every day practicing well and preparing myself to go out there and play."*
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K Justin Tucker

On what his farthest field goal is now:"I try not to think in terms of, 'What's the max kick that I can hit,' in general. I try to take it each day at a time, especially on game day. For example, last season we started off in Denver in September; it's warm out, the field is in decent shape – even after a Kenny Chesney concert the night before – but up there in that thin air the ball can fly, So, I hit one from 79 [yards] in pregame there. But then fast forward to November – it's cold out, it's windy – and my max on the day both ways could be in between 62 and 65 [yards] if it's like an end-of-the-half situation where we've really just got to lay away at one or at the end of the game. But, we've been hitting the ball well, and more than anything, that's what we're focusing on, is just hitting a good ball. Hitting a good, straight ball, and building on the fundamentals and trying to get a little bit better at one of those little technical details each and every day."

On if he feels like he has extended his distance at all this offseason:"I definitely feel stronger, and that's a credit to our strength and conditioning staff and the offseason program and the work that I was doing back in Texas. And then [I was] out at Patterson Park a couple of times, different parts of Maryland, and it's really more you focus on the fundamentals, and then you build the strength into it. I hate using golf analogies, but if you're driving the ball off the tee box, and you're slicing and hooking every single one, you're not going to be really doing anybody a favor until you start hitting it in the fairway. And then you can build upon that. Once you start hitting them in the fairway, or for me, once I start hitting the ball straight, then I can build the distance and build the power into that."

On if that's what he's focusing on more of this year:"That's what I've always been doing. I guess now more than ever, I feel like I'm hitting as good a ball as I've ever hit, and the operation that we've got with Moragn [Cox], Sam [Koch] and Richie [Leone] – and today we mixed it up a little bit; we had Haloti [Ngata] snapping some, we had Nate Overbay snapping some – we've got a good operation, guys I can trust in. I know the ball just tees itself up almost the way these guys operate. So from that standpoint, it's just about hitting a straight ball. I sound like a broken record at this point, but it's just about hitting a straight ball."

On his opinion of the new longer PAT rule for the first few preseason games:"You know what? I guess it's going to be interesting to see what happens with it. I don't think it's really going to change anything that we do aside from just practicing, just the visual of seeing an extra point from a little bit further back. It's one of those things; it is what it is. If there is a rule change, we'll adapt and overcome, but I don't think the game needs to be changed unless there's a real safety concern. I think people are proposing some of these rule changes just because maybe they don't have anything better to do. But I can tell you I love this game; I think a lot of people love this game. And the way it's being played is great. As long as there's not a safety concern on a particular phase of the game, then I don't think there's any reason to change it."

On when the last time was that he missed an extra point:"I try not to think about that. (laughter) *But it was high school – maybe my junior year. Hate it." *(laughter)

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