Ravens Saturday Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Thank you, everybody, for being here. We appreciate it. [It's] an exciting day. We appreciate the 49ers being here. It takes a lot to pack up a whole team and come all the way across the country in preseason. We recognize that and we really … Really, it means a lot for them to be here, and we're going to try and make the most of it. We just told our teams – we both said the same thing, essentially – 'We're here to get better.' Three days from now we want to be a better football team, and we can't think of a better team to accomplish that feat [with] than the San Francisco 49ers. I also want to say to our family up there … We have a bunch of family members up there [in the balcony are] – Jim, kids and Uncle Bob … Jim's security is so crack tight they took Uncle Bob to the ground yesterday when we tried to shake Jim's hand. *(laughter) *That's an exaggeration, or not, Uncle Bob? *(Uncle Bob: "It's because they lost!") (laughter) *Yup. And also, just the staff here, led by [Ravens vice president of operations] Bob Eller, and of course [Ravens president] Dick Cass coordinates the whole thing, but Bob Eller put this together with [senior facilities maintenance manager] Keith [Mathews] and [facilities maintenance manager] Matt [Klug]. To put together what we put together in our facility … I don't know that two teams have ever been in the same facility for the whole time or have done it after they played a preseason game. We're on unchartered water here, so [we're] really happy with that part. The 49ers are going to feel very comfortable in the facility and are going to be able to get all the work done that they need to get done. The benefits of this thing basically [are] that we have a really good football team here. We'll go against some different schemes that we don't usually see – that's a big plus for us – and we're really ready to go to work."

You've said that pretty much, for the most part, your execution in camp has been very good. Do you still have that high level of expectation, even with the different-colored jersey on the field? (Joe Platania) "Yes, that's right – even more so. The execution should be even better when you go against an opponent like this. That's really the point, because if you lose your execution the minute something changes … In other words, there's a different team or a different venue, or a preseason game or a regular season game … And that's something that happens. Guys start thinking about a million other things besides the main thing, which are the fundamentals. That's part of our training. If we can hold our fundamentals and our execution here in this setting, that's what's going to make us a better football team."

John, what are your thoughts on how much OLB Pernell McPhee has done so far in camp and in the first game? (Aaron Wilson) "Pernell has done really well. Pernell McPhee is a big, physical edge-setter. And of course, I think he could've done better. We had that conversation already. To me, Pernell McPhee can be a premier outside [linebacker] in the National Football League. That's our ambition for him this year, and that's what he expects of himself."

You talked about this being unchartered territory. Your brother just answered a question about possible skirmishes. Have you talked with your guys about that? Because again, you just played a football game against them and now they're here for three days. (Jerry Coleman) "We have. Our idea is to get better, to focus on getting better. What's interesting to me – and what's a real indictment on you as the media – is the fact that Jimmy Smith was asked about it, and he said when he sees these things on TV, all he ever sees is fights. What does that tell you? How about a little self-check? We're probably going to have 99 percent all great, positive things, but if there is a little shoving match out here, I'm quite sure that that's what will be on these cameras, and it'll be countrywide, and that'll be everybody's take on how it went, right? Because that's how it is all the time. We're going to look for the positive; you all can look for the negative – as usual."

CB Jimmy Smith did mention how he was going to wear his Super Bowl ring. (Jerry Coleman) "He was joking. Did you get in context, Jerry? No, you missed the context – as usual. I'm talking generally as a group. I'm going after the media here … With a smile on my face, though." (laughter)

What is your policy on fighting? In San Francisco or Santa Clara, Jim will toss the guy out if he gets in the scraps. (Matt Barrows)"Our policy is case-by-case. We go case-by-case. It depends on the circumstances of the situation. We've had guys that have been kicked out of practice for other things, and that, too, and we've had guys not. Mainly, our idea is to practice fast. There may be a skirmish out here, but we're going to get back on the ball and get a play running because we really don't have any time to be doing anything besides working."

Are you going to have full-padded practices for any of these days? How many days will you go full-go? (Jamison Hensley) "They're scheduled to be full-padded. We'll play it by ear. We'll just take it one day at a time. Today's is full-padded, and that's when we get our best work done. It's not live work, though. We're not tackling to the ground; we're not cutting and that sort of thing. If we do any of that – tackling to the ground – we won't be doing any cutting. But if we do that, it'll be with the younger guys."

What will you have running backs do, pass protection vs. linebackers, among other things? (Cam Inman) "We have all those kinds of drills set up. One-on-one work; wide receivers vs. [defensive backs]; linebackers vs. running backs; pass protection routes; tight ends vs. safeties and linebackers; offensive line vs. defensive line. That'll be a big part of what we're doing."

From a technical standpoint, are you going to have parts of practice where you guys are on separate fields and then come together at once, or is everything going to be mingled? (Garrett Downing)"The individual part of practice will be coaches' choice. The position coaches will make the determination with their counterparts. We'll probably have some individual [drills] be together, [but] most of it will probably be apart, because you want to get guys prepared for practice. All of the stuff that we do – group or team – will be against the other team."

Can you give us any insight on how this came about? Did you mention it to Jim, or did Jim mention it to you? Did your dad mention it? (John Eisenberg)"I don't want to make anybody say whose idea it was, because that might make somebody mad. (laughter) We thought of it together. It was a conversation where we thought, 'Hey, let's see if we can do this.' The main thing was the logistics. I remember more about that – trying to figure out where and how and when we could play a game, and if we could pull it off and [make] calls to the [NFL] league office and things like that. There's always more to it than you think."

John, this is something that the franchise has never done – a joint practice with somebody else. Even before Jim got the job there, did you think of doing this with somebody else? (Joe Platania)"I don't remember, in all honesty. It's [not] something that we've done before. I've never been a part of this as a coach, so it definitely wasn't the first thing I was thinking about. It wasn't a serious thought, if we had that idea. That's for sure."

John, you're practicing against a familiar face in WR Anquan Boldin. What do you expect that to do for your guys – kind of like old times – and how much do you think that will help your defensive backs? (Aaron Wilson)"Well, Anquan is so strong. There are some rules in terms of … You saw those calls the other night, in terms of how much you can work the contact with the defensive backs and the wide receivers. Anquan is one of the great artists of getting open in tight space, and we have to learn how to play that. It's going to be great for us. Other than that, I'm sure I'll see him out here doing his pre-practice routine that I saw for all those years. It'll be great to see that."

John, how painful was it to have to trade him? (Eric Branch) "It was very painful. I still blame [Ravens general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome]. I'm still sore from that deal. (laughter) But it was something we had to do together, and we all understood. And we tried like crazy to keep Anquan. That was something that people don't realize, is we fought like crazy, but we were fighting against a number. Those numbers are things that sometimes they're not as pliable as you'd like them to be, and that really was our issue on that one. We certainly didn't want to trade Anquan Boldin, who was one of, if not our best, player."

Jim said your scouting report before WR Anquan Boldin came over was, "You're going to love him," obviously. (Eric Branch) "That's what I told him. He asked me what kind of guy he is, and that's really all I said. I heard the press conference, though. I guess I turned out to be right."

John, you mentioned a couple of weeks ago the possibility of a return trip out there next year. Has anything come of that, or is it still something that's on the backburner? (Bo Smolka)"It's on the backburner right now, and we'll talk about it probably next spring [to] just see if it makes sense. At some point in time, we'll get back there [and] hopefully we can do it next year. We just have to see."

Coach, are you enthused about what you've seen from the running game so far? (Jason La Canfora)"I'm enthused about everything I've seen. It's hard to … What word do you put on it? You don't want to sound like you're … We don't know yet. When we start playing real games, that's when we'll know what we are. I like the way our coaches are coaching. Our coordinators are doing a great job of getting everybody on the same page in all three phases – that goes with what you're talking about with the run game. Our players are having fun, but it's no nonsense. It's business. [They're] very determined to get better every day. I hear them saying that we're trying to stack another day, and that makes me feel good – the fact that they understand what's important. What's important now is getting better today. That's really all we're looking at. How we're going to be in the season? We'll find out. But how prepared are we going to be? That's a today thing. We have to take care of that right now."


QB Joe Flacco

On what he expects from the joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers: "I don't know. I've never done [a joint practice] before. But I expect to go out there and approach it like a normal practice and get better as a team, see what we can improve [on] from preseason Week 1 to Week 2."

On whether the joint practices will break up the monotony of training camp: "It definitely makes things a little different. I'm sure when we first go out there, we'll be feeling each other out a little bit and seeing what kind of tempo there is and all that."

On shooting a McDonald's commercial with San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick last year: "I just spent a little time with Colin [Kaepernick] that day. It wasn't anything crazy. I don't really know him that well. I've seen him here and there. I'm sure over the next couple days we'll get to know each other a little better."

On whether he analyzes how QB Colin Kaepernick plays the quarterback position: "He is a good athlete that can stand in the pocket and throw the football really well, too. I think sometimes there are guys who are really good athletes that get pegged as that, but he's obviously a guy that can do it all and play the game really well."

On whether the intensity of the joint practices will provoke fights:"It should be interesting. I don't know what else to say besides, 'Who knows?' You never know what it's going to be like out there. I said it before: We have fights with our own teammates, so I'm sure one little thing could kick something off. But then again, I've never been a part of something like this. So, it'll be new for all of us, or at least most of us."

On WR Marlon Brown's potential this season: "There is no doubt about it. Marlon [Brown] is a really good player, and I think he's making big strides this training camp and getting better and better each day. I think we have a handful of young wide receivers that are going to be good players for us down the road, or sometime shortly. It has been a very good camp in terms of the wide receiver competition that we've had all around. We have a lot of players, and it's going to be a tough decision [when it] comes time to [decide] who will be the guys that are going to help us out on Sundays."

On WR Anquan Boldin being traded to the San Francisco 49ers last year: "It's tough. Obviously, you feel a little bit upset – or I don't know what it is – because you're missing out on such a great wide receiver. But at the same time, you're happy for him that he's going to go somewhere and play and get paid the way he should and be able to prolong his career. He was a big part of why we were so successful the couple years he was here. So, anytime that you have a guy like that, it's tough to see him go."

On how last season's experience will help him prepare for this season: "I think we have a pretty resilient group, and we react well to a lot of things. Last year [had] a lot of ups and downs. We had to go back home this offseason and watch a lot of [playoff] games that we're use to playing in. I think it's all behind us. I think we're looking [to] the future, and I think we have a very good outlook on it. We're approaching [the season] like we do every year – trying to get better right now, play the best we can and come out running."

On how encouraged he was with how the offense looked in the first preseason game: "Yes, big time. We ran the ball really well and protected really well. There is a lot to build on. I think we built a good foundation there. I think each week from here on out we have to keep showing that improvement and building off what we did."

On WR Anquan Boldin's practice habits: "You can see Anquan [Boldin] comes out here and gets himself ready to go so when that whistle blows, he competes. You can really see it in one-on-ones and drills like that where they're going versus the [defensive backs] individually. You can see his competitive side come out and him really get after it."

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