Ravens Sunday Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "OK, great to see everybody. We had a good practice here – went from 4 [p.m.] to before 7 [p.m.] and got out a little earlier than we had planned. We planned on going to 7 [p.m.] because we practice so fast. Guys did a great job. We had very few repeated plays. Assignments – [they were] the best of camp so far. I'm sure we had a few missed assignments, but very, very few. I've never seen so many few missed assignments at this stage of a training camp as we've had so far. So, that's really a great sign. We practiced hard; we had some live periods out here again today, had some live periods out here yesterday – and with the younger guys – and they respond to it. The vets were very physical as well. So far, we're on track. A couple things: Dominique Franks passed his physical, so he practiced. We had some veteran guys sit down today; that was by my design. I pulled those guys back, felt like they would benefit from it. We're really looking forward to tomorrow night at M&T Bank [Stadium]. We can't wait to get out there. I really hope we get a big crowd. We'll sign autographs at the end of it. It'll be like a night game; we'll be preparing for a night game-type scenario, so we can't wait to get to M&T Bank and get after it."

**Is there anything wrong with CB Chykie Brown? *(Aaron Wilson) *"Nothing serious. Will Rackley had a little ding, so we're evaluating that right now. [He] should be fine at some point. That's always a concern, and every precaution is taken, so we'll make sure he's ready to go. And Chykie [Brown] tweaked his hammy a little bit, so we're playing it safe with him today, and hopefully he'll be out there tomorrow."

You early thoughts on CB Dominique Franks? It took him a little while to get on the field. How did he look today? (Luke Jones) "I really don't know how he looked today. I didn't see him out there as much as … I'll have to watch the tape and see how he did. He didn't jump out in a negative way, Dominique didn't, so that's positive for a corner. And we're happy to get him out there, because we needed the legs out there, and he's a talented guy. So, it would be fun to watch him on tape tonight and then see him tomorrow night in the stadium, see how he does."

*It's a little early to start thinking about roster construction. I know you don't typically carry three quarterbacks. What's it going to take for [rookie QB] Keith Wenning to be the third quarterback? *(Jon Meoli) "Obviously, if he's good enough, and we feel like we need three quarterbacks and with the other position shake out, it just comes down to what's best for 53. It's early, so it's hard to say. [Wenning is] going to have to be good enough. We're not going to keep a guy [who] can't help us play, so it starts with him being good enough to help us as a backup quarterback. Then we decide who the best 53 players are and how he compares to the other positions."

What has Bobby [Engram] brought to the table since he joined you this offseason? (Garrett Downing) "Bobby [Engram] is a great coach. He's been great to be around. You hear great things about young coaches sometimes, and I heard great things about Bobby from my brother, from Paul Chryst at Pitt – really anybody that's been around him as a coach. And then you go back to his playing career – that's an added bit of experience – it really goes a long way. But he's been even better than I heard. He's just done a great job. He has a lot of energy, he's very smart, he works really hard at it, and he's a good person, so I'm just really happy with Bobby."

How many strides is RB Bernard Pierce taking?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"How much has [Pierce] progressed? He's gotten better. How much better remains to be seen. He's running hard; he had some good runs out there today and had a run or two that wasn't so good. But he had a couple, couple really good catches. He had one catch he didn't make. He had some excellent, really good [plays] where he stepped up in pass protection a couple times. Like I said, everybody is a work in progress, and he has about four weeks here to get ready, and be ready to be the guy. But we're pleased with where he's at."

John, how important are those stadium practices? (Brett Hyman) "It's always going to be important to connect with the fans. That's probably the main reason to host the stadium practices. But it's also good from a football standpoint. It's two-fold: It's football, because we get in the stadium; we get the guys who've never been at M&T Bank before, get them in the locker room, get them on the turf, feel what the environment feels like – especially at night – because the first preseason games are going to be at night. So, that's another step in the right direction; it amps up the intensity of the practice. If you perform well out here now, can you perform well in that environment? And the other thing, to me, and the thing that really touches my heart, is the kids. We have dads and kids that typically would not be able to bring their kids to an NFL football game due to the cost, and that's most of us – that's most people. We never saw an NFL football game growing up ever, other than on TV, so the opportunity to do that and come out there and be at the stadium and then get an autograph on top of that and to look and see the pride in a mom or a dad's face – to see the excitement in the kid's face – that's priceless, as they say. So, that may be the main thing."

It was a year ago today that TE Dennis Pitta got hurt. What strides have you seen Dennis make? (Aaron Wilson)"Dennis looks good right now. We're not gazing backward on all that; we're looking forward. He did a great job yesterday, which was the practice that you're talking about. I didn't even think about that; someone had to remind me of that, which I really didn't need that reminder. That was unnecessary, because let's just look forward, let's chase … We said we're riding into the sun. There are a lot of fights out there in front of us, and we're looking for fights, so let's go to work."

Donte Stallworth, what have you seen out of him connecting with some of the receivers? (Brett Hyman)"Donte Stallworth, he has a chance to be a heck of a coach. He connects with players really well. He told me today he was running … He ran 10 100s out here, full speed. I thought he ran pretty well watching him, but he said if he had any shred of thought that he could still play football at this level, it was dashed today when he ran the sprints out there. So, he's officially a coach, but he's done a heck of a job, and our guys like him a lot."

RB Bernard Pierce seems to be seizing the opportunity. Do you sense that? (Ted Patterson) "Bernard [Pierce] has done a great job. He has seized the opportunity. He has himself prepared for what he's about to – for this challenge in front of him. He understands he has a test in front of him. He's trying to build a testimony. This is it right now. But it's just beginning. It is two practices with pads under his belt. We have a long way to go, but you're right, I like where he's at right now."

Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram

Bobby, what are your impressions of the receiving corps so far? (Aaron Wilson)"I'm very impressed with the work ethic. Our guys are studying hard and coming out here competing. I'm pleased. Obviously, we have a ways to go in a competitive situation, but our guys are into it, and guys are working to get better."

How is WR Marlon Brown doing? Is he kind of in that fight to stay right there? (Aaron Wilson)"It's a very competitive situation, and every day a different guy flashes, and Marlon is one of those guys. He's working hard to get better as well."

What has WR Jeremy Butler done, one of the undrafted guys? (Aaron Wilson)"'J.B.' is doing well. He has a good understanding of space, and he's really getting a grasp of the offense. He's studied real hard. He's a big body guy – a different type of receiver – but he's catching the ball well, and he's been improving."

What are some of the intentions for these guys with the new drills you've incorporated at practice? (Aaron Wilson)"I'm just trying to take different components of the game that we're going to have to need to win and help them become better receivers and just put them into our fundamental periods. The focus is really on hands and feet – catching the football or using your feet to get off the jam. You incorporate some things that help them continue to learn the offense as well."

Bobby, what has it been like working with WR Steve Smith, Sr. here, who is a little bit closer to you in age than some of the other receivers? (Luke Jones)"It's been great. He's all in. 'Smitty' is a worker. He's made a lot of plays in this league; he has not lost an edge. He's been a great addition for the receiving room, but [also] for our team as a whole. He's a leader by example, and it's been good for me to get to coach him. I look forward to building that relationship on and off the field."

What's the transition been like for you? (Garrett Downing)"It's been great. It's a great organization – getting a chance to work with Coach [Gary] Kubiak and the guys that came from Houston and really learning this offense and the details of it, and how he's taught the players; what the Ravens stand for; and then being back in the NFL. This is a lot of guys' dream, and I'm blessed to be in this position and have this opportunity. Things couldn't be going better. We're working hard and we're just focused trying to get better every day, trying to just stack [the days] so that we can be ready to win those games on Sunday."

WR Michael Campanaro said he used to have your trading cards and now he has to pinch himself because you're his coach now. What have you seen from Michael as a slot receiver? (Aaron Wilson)"Michael has great feet, first of all. He has a lot of quickness. He understands how to separate. He's a smaller guy, but he's strong. He knows how to leverage himself to create separation, and that's what you really look for from a slot receiver."

When you were playing, did you think you'd be a coach? How did that evolve? (Clifton Brown)"Great question. I think it evolved the longer I played. I was around some really good coaches. I always ran camps and was involved in other teammates' camps and things like that, so I enjoyed that aspect of it. Later in my career, it was something I actually thought about while I was playing. You start listening to coaches; you actually listen to protections as a receiver; you watch the run game stuff. I kind of knew I was getting the bug then. It's a great job, and again, to be here with the Ravens is a great opportunity and I'm excited about it."

You've been around a lot of great receiving units as a player and as a coach now. How good do you think this group could be? (Garrett Downing)"I think we can be really good, but that's only to be determined. We're just focused on the here and now in training camp, truly, taking it one day at a time. But we know what we're working for."

What have you seen out of Donte Stallworth and what does he bring as a coach? (Brett Hyman)"Donte, having played here, still relatively fresh off of playing, can bring another perspective from a different receiver, who had a lot more speed than I did. (laughter) Donte has been great. He's working hard. He wants to be a good coach and he's helping the guys just like we're all in this together. [We're] just trying to make that unit as strong as we possibly can, because at the end of the day that's what we are – we're all in it together. If every guy in that room is getting better, then we're going to help our team be better, and that equals wins."

With you, Donte Stallworth and WR Steve Smith, Sr., there's a lot of NFL experience in that room. How do you think that helps some of the younger guys? (Garrett Downing)"I think we all bring a little bit different perspectives. I might resonate with one guy differently than Donte may, or even Steve as a player – he'll go grab a young guy and I'll hear him say, 'Man, when you get this type of coverage, release like this,' or 'What are you looking at when you have that play?' We all bring a different perspective, but I think experience is invaluable, and that's something we can speak from with the experience that we've all had."

Bobby, you've had a few months now to work with John Harbaugh. You've worked with Jim [Harbaugh] in San Francisco. What's it been like working with both Harbaughs? (Luke Jones)"It's been great. To start out under Jim was a blessing. [The 49ers] have had a ton of success, and there's a reason, a method to the madness. And John is just an unbelievable leader [and] a great communicator. You can tell they're brothers. Their different, but they're brothers cut from the same cloth. It's just a unique opportunity continuing to grow as a coach learning from him and the rest of the staff every day."

RB Bernard Pierce

On how he feels out on the field:"I feel good. I'm definitely in shape. I lost a lot of weight and the only thing I'm getting used to now is the weather."

On how much weight he's lost since the end of last season:"After surgery I was embarrassingly 248 [pounds], and right about now I think I'm at 222."

On what helped him the most in losing the weight:"It was a little bit of everything. Everybody contributed to the weight loss. The trainers made sure I ran. Being here pretty much every day in the offseason definitely helped out. It definitely got my conditioning up."

On if this training camp feels a little different knowing that he'll open the season as the starter:"No. Not at all, honestly, because at the end of the day, you have to have that mentality that you're going to go into the season and you'll definitely be given a role. So, my role may be a little bigger, but I'm still going to train and practice the way I've been doing for the last three years."

On how being lighter transfers on the field:"I definitely feel a lot quicker. I'm light on my feet and I feel like I have a lot more energy, so I like it."

On what weight he played at last season:"Last year I was 228, maybe 227 at the lightest, all year."

On what made him want to lose the weight:"Because once November and December came, that 228 turned to 230 and 230 turned to 232. Once it starts getting cold, it's hard to keep your weight down."

On if he can feel his elusiveness between the tackles more now:"I can make lateral cuts a lot better than I did last year compared to this year. When you are heavy, you start feeling it in your knees a little bit too." *(laughter)
*

On the similarities between Gary Kubiak's offense and the system he ran in at Temple University:"We actually ran an offense very similar to Kubiak's in college – just zone scheme, a little bit of gap scheme. It's what I ran for three, four years, so [I'm] just trying to get the hang of it one more time again, and then I'm off running."

On if his familiarity with the offense could lead to more productivity for him:"Hopefully. That's what we're waiting for."

On what he wants to show this year:"I just want to show that I'm dependable and that I can be counted on. I just need a chance."

On if there was any hesitation in putting pads on for the first time since his shoulder surgery:"Yes. My mindset coming out the first day of camp was just, 'I can't think about this.' Once you think about it, that's when you just start to play outside of your game, so it was just full-go for me. The first time I actually had an inside run, I had to run into the pile. You can't think about it at all."

On how much of a motivation last season is for him:"It is motivating and it also is humbling coming from the year before. Everybody's intention this year is to climb back up the charts and show we can get this run game started, and [we're] still the Ravens from 2012."

On if he feels like he'll have more involvement as a receiver:"Of course. That's the scheme. We've been out here, even in [individual drills], just focusing on catching balls, footwork. Kubiak definitely likes getting the ball to the back out of the backfield, so that's just going to be another part of our skill set."

On the excitement of returning to M&T Bank Stadium for Monday night's practice:"It's going to be very exciting. It's always a good environment coming onto the field out there. We're just going to put on for our fans."

On his shoulder injury from last season: "It was pretty painful, honestly, but that's what we signed up for. This is the game, it's physical, and at the end of the day we have to play through it, so I can make excuses and say … Blame whatever on my shoulder, but I still came out and just tried to do everything in my power to contribute."

On what RB Ray Rice has been able to share with him:"Three hours is a grind. Especially out here, so we just try to encourage each other drill after drill, just get in each other's ears. It's a competition, so we just keep each other going out there."

On if his preparation for the first two games of the season is different without RB Ray Rice: "Not at all."

TE Dennis Pitta

On how he feels a year removed from his hip injury:"I feel good. I'm out here not thinking about it. It's not giving me an issue at all; I feel 100 percent. I'm encouraged with where I'm at."

On if he feels like his game is tailor-made for this offense:"Yes, the tight end position is a valuable part of this offense, and I think coach [Gary] Kubiak does a great job of putting us in positions to succeed. I have a great tight end with me in Owen Daniels who I'm able to learn a lot from. He's a great player, and I'm fortunate to have him here. But this is an exciting offense to be a part of."

On what he's seen from TE Owen Daniels on the field:"He's a great player. He doesn't look like he's lost a step at all at his age. He's played in this league for a lot of years, and he's got things figured out and he knows how to run routes and he knows how to get it done. He's really going to help me and be someone that I can really learn from."

On how much he feels he's learned the offense so far:"We feel really good with where we're at. This is the third time that we're installing it from the start, and everything is becoming more familiar. We're more comfortable, and I think we're able to play faster, and that's helping our execution."

On his early impressions of rookie TE Crockett Gilmore:"Crockett is a great player. He's very physical and brings a strong presence to the line of scrimmage. That's valuable in an offense, and he's going to be a big part of things going forward."

On if there is any added energy with the team practicing at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow:"It's always fun being in front of our fans in our stadium, and there's always added energy and excitement that comes along with that. We'll have fun there."

On if his injury last year has given him any added motivation going into this season:"I think I'm very motivated. Not playing very much at all last season, you just have to kind of watch and wish you were out there, watch other people do well and wish you could be out there showcasing your abilities. So, I'm excited to have that chance this year and certainly motivated to do that."

On his impressions of new TEs coach Brian Pariani:"Brian is very knowledgeable. He knows the ins and outs of this offense; he's been in it a long time, and he's a great resource for us in being able to pick it up quickly. So, he's been a great coach."

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