General manager/executive vice president Ozzie Newsome’s opening statement:
"Today, as we talked about last night, we knew we would get the opportunity to add some players to our football team. Again, as we got into the third round, there was some action with some trades, and we felt like we would stay unless someone gave us something that would force us to move us away from a player like Lardarius Webb. From my standpoint, we got a young man that can help us on the defensive side of the ball, and also help us with special teams because he's also a returner. You get a player like that that has the versatility that he has, you can see so many roles that he can play in, and a guy that has the potential to be both a safety and a corner. When John [Harbaugh] and the coaches are putting together their 45-man squad, to have someone with that type of flexibility makes their job very easy. The next guy, I think you all have gotten to know that when we take a defensive player, that player has some special traits about him, the way he plays, and Jason [Phillips] plays that way. I think he'll come in and he'll get the opportunity to compete with Jameel [McClain] and Tavares [Gooden]. Having competition like that really makes us better. Our last pick, Davon Drew, we think he has a tremendous upside – high school quarterback, been playing the position for two years, tight end. I had a real nice chat with him while we were waiting to get on the clock. He was highly excited to come and be a part of this. Having been around Cam [Cameron] and having an understanding of this offense from my own playing days, I understand how Cam can utilize a tight end, and I think Drew has the type of skills that can be utilized by Cam and the offensive coaches."
Director of player personnel Eric DeCosta’s opening statement:
"I tell you what, Lardarius Webb was a player that we sent Chuck Pagano, our DBs coach, down there to Nicholls State, and he came back and loved. And then we had a chance to watch him. We loved him at the Combine. We brought Lardarius to Baltimore, spent the day with him. He's passionate about the game. He's our kind of guy. We love fast, explosive football players. Jerry Rosburg, our special teams coach, watched him as a returner and really felt that he had a chance to really upgrade us at the position as well. We're very excited about him. He's our kind of guy. He's the kind of player we like. We're very happy to get him. Davon Drew is the kind of player that has a good feel in the pass game. As Ozzie said, an ex-high school quarterback, nifty runner, has good hands. I think he can really develop as a blocker. We really like him as well. And then Jason Phillips is a guy, we brought him to Baltimore in April, son of a coach, high school coach, made a ton of plays in college as a linebacker. Runs very, very well. Tweaked his knee at the Combine, [but he is] expected to make a full recovery very soon. [He's a] very smart guy, a good special teams guy. We think he comes in right away and competes as a solid backup and special teams contributor for us."
Head coach John Harbaugh’s opening statement:
"[I'm] just excited about all three of those guys. We've got spots for them, and we can't wait to get started. They're good players, and they're our kind of players."
Director of college scouting Joe Hortiz’s opening statement:
"I say the same thing. All of them bring the Ravens' mentality. They're competitive, physical guys, whether they're on offense or defense. They play with the right temperament – tough guys, fast guys. They fit what we're looking for."
Did the fact that Webb did well at Southern Mississippi alleviate some of the concerns you had with a smaller-school guy?
(HORTIZ) "I wouldn't say that. You just put the film on, wherever he was, Nicholls State or Texas vs. The Nation. We didn't have that concern with [Joe] Flacco last year. Good players are good players. He's competitive, tough, he jumps off the film at you. That alleviates the concerns."
What do you say to fans who are still wondering about a wide receiver?
(NEWSOME) "There are still some receivers on the board that we could potentially draft. I will again say this: We went to the AFC Championship game with the guys that we had, and Demetrius [Williams] was not healthy. We get a healthy Demetrius Williams back, and he's working toward that, then with the way we're going to able to protect it, the way Joe [Flacco] can throw it, the way our running backs can run it, and the way we play defense and special teams, we'll be around at the end of December and January just with the team we have right now. I feel very good about that."
Is it out of the question to still deal for Anquan Boldin with next year's picks?
(NEWSOME) "You know, it's hard for me to even think about trading picks as long as I've got Eric DeCosta to my left. He lives for picks. If we could get three more somehow in this next round, he would be ecstatic."
*DeCosta interjects: "I'm tired. I don't know if I could handle many more draft picks today." (Laughter*)
*Newsome continues: *"I don't know. With me, if the opportunity presents itself, and it's the right thing for us to do, that fits into the structure of our football team that allows us to continue to build and keep some of our good, young talent – because we've got a lot of players that are going to be coming to the end of their contracts, and we've got to look at that. So, if all of that falls into place, then yes. But that's a tough thing."
Do you echo Ozzie's sentiments that you're ready to go to work with the guys you have right now?
(HARBAUGH) "Absolutely. We have a mini-camp in about eight days, and we're excited to see that team trot out on the field."
Do you feel like a better football team today?
(HARBAUGH) "Absolutely. We're better for a couple of reasons: We're better because of the draft, and we're better because our guys had a great week of working out and football school this week. It goes hand-in-hand."
Can you talk about the last couple of drafts that have really changed the look of this offense?
(HARBAUGH) "That probably is more of a historical question, a comparison to what it was before I got here. But I think we've done everything we can possibly do since last January to improve every part of our team, and the offense is obviously a huge part of that, including the coaching they've received from the coaching staff and work they've put in. To me, we're as far along as we could possibly be today. And we're just going to try to do as much as we can tomorrow to get as good as we can be. It's not complex. Today and yesterday were big days. We've got one more pick, so we've still got some work to do."
(NEWSOME) "The only thing I could add to that is my job is to match the players and the talent with the coaches, and whatever players that we give to our coaches, they get them better. That's the reason why today we are a better football team, because we had the opportunity to add some players to our team. But, what I get excited about is when I turn those players over to this coaching staff. They get better, they get better, they get better. I think that's why we're a better football team at this point today than maybe we were when John first got here. [It's because of] the type of teaching and work ethic that the coaching staff has that allows our players to get better."
Ravens Sunday Draft Review (Part 2)
General manager/executive vice president Ozzie Newsome's opening statement:
"I can probably tell you we won't have another pick today, even though we have another round to go. But when we look back over two days, I really feel good about what we have accomplished. We've talked about the players. The running back we just took from Virginia, Cedric Peerman, anytime you can get size and speed towards the end of the draft, you're talking about someone that can come in and make their mark on special teams. That's what attracted us to Cedric. He was a great guy to talk to on the phone."
Director of player personnel Eric DeCosta's opening statement:
"Cedric is a downhill guy with very very good speed. He's as tough as they come with good hands. He's been a very productive special teams guy. He's got a tough mindset. He's an ordained minister, and his family has a tobacco farm in Gladys, Va., where he's worked his whole life. He's a lunch-pail type guy. He was another 'red star' for us this year. He's a guy who we think can come in and contribute and compete to win a spot."
In an overview, do you feel there were holes filled and there was depth made? What was accomplished this weekend?
(NEWSOME) "Going into the offseason, after I had a chance to get over the Pittsburgh game, when I looked at our football team, I felt securing a tackle for the future was No. 1, and anytime I would talk with the personnel staff, with the coaches or with Steve [Bisciotti] and Dick [Cass], I would talk about getting this tackle thing straightened out because of our quarterback. He [Joe Flacco] is the franchise, and you've got to take care of that. And we were able to get it done. I came into this draft not thinking we could resolve that issue, and we did it with Michael [Oher]. And then the other picks were just picks of players that go right along with other players that we've drafted. They were picked because they were those types of players. As I was telling Eric, I think we'll look back two years from now at these six players and say, 'You know what? That draft really helped our football team.' And we were a strong football team coming into this draft."
Can you say that this group is tough, fast and smart like you did about last year's draft class?
(DECOSTA) "I've been thinking about this. Some teams draft size and speed, and we do. Some teams draft based off the Combine and all-star games. I think what we do is, quite honestly, we pay attention to all that stuff, but these guys are tough. This was a draft about toughness. Mental toughness – most of these guys have had some sort of adversity that they've overcome in some way, shape or form – but also physical toughness. We have a tough team. We're in a tough division. We've got tough coaches, and we demand a lot from our players. I think these guys are going to come in here, and we got tougher at every position across the board, and that's going to help us this year in the fall."
Is LB Jason Phillips going to be able to participate in offseason workouts?
(DECOSTA) "I don't know. We'll wait to see. Obviously, Jason tweaked his knee at the Combine, and we've done a lot more work on him. We have a comfort level with him, but I'm not sure what his involvement level is going to be."
Did you talk to DB Lardarius Webb about his dismissal from Southern Miss, and are you OK with it?
(NEWSOME) "Yes. When he came into Baltimore, he was very forthcoming in talking about it. I knew some of the coaches who were at Southern Miss when he was there. We had a chance to do a little background on that part of it, but I think he's a young man that realized that he made some mistakes and he has started to overcome it. I think his track record over the last two years shows to us that he is headed in the right direction."
Are you still planning to bring in a veteran kicker at some point?
(NEWSOME) "Right now, Jerry [Rosburg] and Marwan [Maalouf] and John [Harbaugh] are talking with some kickers. If they don't get drafted, this is a unique opportunity where those guys can come in and compete with Steven [Hauschka] right away. And if that fails, we also have been in contact with other veterans – not Matt [Stover] yet – to give them a chance to come in and compete also."
At fullback, is Lorenzo Neal still an option? Or undrafted guys?
(NEWSOME) "There are some undrafted guys that we're thinking about, but the way Cam [Cameron] has set up the offense, he feels that he can get the backup fullback position taken care of with some of our tight ends. But if we are lucky enough to grab a fullback as an undrafted college free agent, I think it's going to be a very attractive position for a guy. I have had a conversation since the Draft luncheon with Lorenzo Neal. Lorenzo is working out every day, two or three times a day."
Overall, how does the wide receiver corps look right now?
(NEWSOME) "The only time I get a chance to see them is basically in the weight room, but the reports that I get from John and Cam and 'Hoss' [Jim Hostler] are that there has been some significant improvement within that group, and they have a good comfort level. I'll just take that, and now I'll get an opportunity to watch them out on the field with the mini-camps and the OTAs, and I get a chance to put my eyes on it. You know my track record. We got Willie Anderson right before we played our first game, so the job is never done as far as I'm concerned. We just finished a big phase of it. Part of that phase was there was not a receiver that was the best player when we picked. But I'm sure between now and the time we play Kansas City that someone could become available that we would be attracted to and someone that can come in and help our football team."