*TRAINING CAMP REPORT DAY ONE TRANSCRIPTS
OLB Terrell Suggs, WR Mike Wallace & DT Brandon Williams
OLB Terrell Suggs
On his offseason: "Was there really an offseason? It seemed like it came and went. It was a good one; I enjoyed it. I think everyone is ready and excited to get back to football."
On his excitement for training camp: "Training camp is fun. I just think the initial day, the first day or two – getting back into the flow of things, knocking the rust off, the time spent here at the building – you have to get back accustomed to all those things. Once you get to the football side of it, it gets pretty fun."
On if he sees characteristics of past Ravens' defenses on this team: "You could say that. You don't want to use the word 'potential.' You just want to go out there and be great. I think what we need to focus on going forward is trying to get out of the shadow of the past great Ravens' defenses and make something our own. You brought it up last time how I'm the only one here from those defenses, but this is a new defense. We have to make our own mark and do some great things. You want to be ranked No. 1 and not only that, you want division titles and Super Bowl titles. The defenses of the past were great, but I think what needs to be our main focus this year is to make something our own – getting out of the shadow of the great defenses."
On if he likes the hype building around the defense: "What's hype if you don't live up to it? I think we were all disappointed with [Manny] Pacquiao and [Floyd] Mayweather. You don't want all of this anticipation for it to just be 'eh.' You want to be great. I think everything we do, from the offseason program up until we walk out on the field in Week 1, we need to be creating our own legacy. We don't need to worry about hype, but more making our own mark."
On the chip on his shoulder during the offseason: "It definitely came out, because we got knocked out by a divisional foe [in 2016]. That hurts. That's always going to leave a nasty taste in your mouth, and we had to live with it. Personally, we had to address that. You can only handle what you can handle, as far as what you did concerning the game. We definitely remember that game. We're still a little disgusted by it, but it's a new season. We get two new cracks at it. We're going to play it as it lies."
On how he embraces the leadership role: "It's just a word but, I think you lead by example. I'm just going to be Sizzle. I've been around, experienced some things – wins, losses, every game, every kind of way. I'm just going to try to help these younger guys and definitely live up to that Ravens standard."
On if he agreed with being the 'alpha dog' of the team: "I'm not even the oldest on the team! Ben Watson is older than me. Fifteen years is 15 years, even though it doesn't feel like it. I'll take it. It's funny, the more nicknames you can get the better, I guess."
On how quickly his 15 years as an NFL player went by: "It all starts with a training camp. It all starts with the first day of a training camp. Then they get better and have more fun. You start to get a certain feeling. Then you have certain training camps, and you're like, 'Holy [expletive]. We need to get on the phone. We need to make some calls.' (laughter) You know what I mean?" (Reporter: "What about this training camp?") "We haven't even been there yet! Let us get through a few practices first. You need to have a few practices, then you're like, 'Aw, yeah, this kind of feels good.' I remember how good it felt in 2011 when Torrey Smith came out here, and we're like, 'Who's this fast [guy] running down the field, just catching?" 2011 had that kind of feel, and you know in 2012, I was hurt, so I didn't get to experience training camp. But, you want to have those good feelings going into camp."
On if he was excited about the re-signing of DT Brandon Williams: "Yes, especially competing against Le'Veon Bell. You definitely want a run-stopping nose guard to help you with one of the premier backs in the league. It was good, and this organization is great with keeping Ravens, Ravens. Brandon Williams has proved himself. It's good to have a Raven stay a Raven."
On what he remembers about his first training camp: "I remember a pie in the face. I remember trying not to mess up and have a whole defense yell at me. I didn't want to be that guy that let the defense down. You have to remember, we had a kind of a marquee defense then. At that point, we had one [Defensive] Player of the Year that went on to win Player of the Year again [Ray Lewis, 2000, 2003]. Then the next year, we had a [Defensive] Player of the Year again [Ed Reed, 2004]. It was a star-studded defense, so you just wanted to do your part. We were really good at policing ourselves. You didn't hear it from a coach – you heard it from a peer, somebody that has been respected and revered in this league since the day he's stepped on the field. So, it was like, 'I better have my playbook. I better have my [expletive] together.' That's what I remember about it – just like that. It wasn't my allegiance to coaches; it was my allegiance to my teammates. 'All right, this is something special. I'm either getting on board or they're going to roll right over me.'"
On if he's that guy now for younger players: "I don't know. We have to see what stays in the locker room … What happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room. I'm not going to address that out here, but we're pretty good at it."
On if he considered this his best offseason: "I think so, just because I stayed around the building. Usually, because you'd be so heartbroken from the season, you want to get away from it. That's why a lot of guys get away and do their own training. But, I stayed here and they hired Steve Saunders [director of performance]. He's been the best thing for me. In Year 15, Steve Saunders is the best thing to happen to me. I'm glad he was here. I was hearing about the things they were doing during the season while they were playing and I was like, 'You know what? After I have surgery on my arm, I'm going to give it a shot.' From Day One, he beat the [expletive] out me. I'm not going to lie to you. He had to make sure I wasn't on my way to the airport flying back to Arizona. He called me and was like, 'Sizz, just give it a chance. It's going to get better.' And I said, 'No, I'm still here, coach.' Working out with Steve and the rest of the guys was really good. I'm glad I did it. All we have to do is make it pay out on the field."
On if he had pectoral surgery: "No, it was on the elbow. I had some bone chips up in there. If you don't get your biceps fixed right away, you can't because of the scar tissue. So, I did the elbow, but it's all good now."
On why he's coming back: "To do it again."
WR Mike Wallace
Opening statement:"What's up? I'm just feeling great. I passed my conditioning test, so you all can stay off my back this year. *(laughter) *I'm feeling good; I'm feeling great, actually."
On how much he learned from not initially passing the conditioning test last year:"A whole lot. I learned that I better not fail again. That is what I learned. (laughter) I was like, 'Man, listen. I will die out here on this field before I fail this conditioning test again.' I practiced it like three times a week. I was ready. I'm happy. Nothing can break my spirit right now."
On how he feels about the addition of WR Jeremy Maclin after previously saying he had confidence in the group even if they didn't make any free agency additions:"I feel the same as I did before, but obviously better. When you add a guy who has had multiple 1,000-yard seasons, Pro Bowls and has just been in a lot of gametime situations and every situation that you can imagine in football [it's great]. And I know him. I know that guy; I know what type of person he is. I know what he stands for. We are not only adding another great player, we are adding a great person to our room, and you can never have too many of those on one football team."
On if he is curious to see what the team will look like in training camp:"Oh, yes. I, for one, never look forward to training camp. But once you are here, you are here. It is the grind. You have to love it; you embrace it. Nobody loves being in the heat, but you have to embrace the grind. You can't get where you want to be without going through it. When you are here, you need to be the best you can, be in the best shape you can and learn to enjoy it every single day."
On if he is curious to see how some of the new players fit in with the team:"Yes, most definitely – just to see how our team looks as a whole. I am excited about it. I think that we can go really far. I know everybody on the team feels the same way. It is just Day One, but we added some great pieces, and [Jeremy] Maclin is just one of those guys who is going to come in, and I know he is going to be ready when it is time, and he will make some big plays for us."
On if he thinks the team is good enough to withstand the injuries already suffered, such as to RB Kenneth Dixon:"Yes. We always are going to add some people, and we feel confident in Ozzie [Newsome], coach 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] and everybody up there to put us in the position to be the best team that we can be. It is football; [injury] is the unfortunate thing about it, and just remembering OTAs, every single time he [Dixon] touched the ball, he sprinted to the end zone and made a big burst. I was really looking forward to his second season. He is going to come back and be a better person, a better player after going through something like this. It is tough; it is a tough loss. But like I said, I know Ozzie and coach [Harbaugh] are going to do what they need to do to put us in position to get where we need to get. I am confident about anybody we put on the field. Every time we step out there, we are going to give it our all, and we are going to be ready to go."
On if he feels the offense is in a better place heading into training camp compared to last year when QB Joe Flacco was coming off an injury:"Yes, he [Flacco] is the guy. He is the guy that makes the whole offense go. Just getting more time with him and him being healthy the whole offseason and being able to work with him even more just puts us in a better position and a better place, even though I think from Day One last year in training camp, he was ready to go. But, just for him to be healthy and not have to worry about his knee at all and just get the time from Day One and OTAs and everything … We all feel more confident."
On what him, WR Jeremy Maclin and WR Breshad Perriman expect as a wide receivers group:"We expect to be the best in the league. People look over us, but we do not care. We are going to go out, and we are going to practice hard. We are going to play hard every single week. We expect to have three 1,000-yard [receivers] if we can."
On if he feels like WR Breshad Perriman is going to take a leap:"Yes. I think he started to do it at the end of last year. It was just that me and Steve [Smith Sr.] were out there for the bulk of the time. But when he was out there, he was making plays the more and more he was out there. It is kind of hard to come in for one play and get out for three series and come in for another play and get out for another three series and make a big impact. It is kind of hard [to do that.] Just on a consistent basis throughout OTAs, he was making big plays throughout the whole time. I think that was just a little taste of what we are going to get. I understand it is OTAs and there are no pads and things like that, but just to see his skill set and the way he works every day, I think he is going to make a big jump andis going to impress a lot of people and show why he was a first-round pick."
On if he is motivated by the media downplaying the Ravens' offense and mainly focusing on the team's defense:"Yes. I have been overlooked a lot of times, but I continue to come back and make plays. Me, personally, from a personal standpoint, I really do not care what anybody says. I know what we have, and every single day I know how hard these guys work and the type of coaches we have around us and what they stand for. I know we are going to come to play. I know we are going to ball out. I don't care what anybody says; they will see soon enough. I know our defense is going to be great, but they are not going to carry us at all. The offense is going to come and do their part, and we are going to help each other. It is going to be 50-50. I, for one, am not trying to let anybody carry me. I am out here to make plays, and I am out here to be one of the best. I know everybody on our offense feels the same way. We are not trying to be carried by anybody, even if we have the best defense in the league. If that is the case, that is just great. But, nobody is going to carry us – we are going to pull our own load."
On how well he knows QB Joe Flacco and how their relationship has evolved:"I know Joe really well. I sit next to him in the locker room, so every single day I talk to him and hear him talk trash to me every day and tell me all types of crazy stuff. I love it, though. It is fun. We just have a good relationship. It is just like anybody you are around. When you are around them for a year … Like I said, we sit next to each other, so every single day he has something to tell me – something funny. It is just all types of conversations. I feel good. I feel confident about our team, I feel confident about my position on the team and just coming in and being a leader. I feel good. I feel able to go in front and talk to coach [Harbaugh]. I feel like in our meeting rooms, I am not like a rookie. I do not feel like any of that anymore. I feel like I'm nine years in."
On if his friendship with QB Joe Flacco translates to the field:"Yes, most definitely, because last year I would not say too much. I would just come in and practice and let him tell me how he wanted me to do things. Now, I go to him, and we just talk about it. I feel a lot more confident just going up to him like, 'Joe, this, that or whatever.' Last year, I would kind of just go with the flow, and he would have to tell me something. I wouldn't go to him and tell him anything. But, that was just throughout training camp and the first couple weeks. I got more comfortable throughout the year. Now, I just feel like that's my brother. I feel like I can go up to him and talk to him about anything."
On if he learned anything about OLB Terrell Suggs while being on the same team as opposed to playing against him:"Not really. *(laughter) *Here, he is just as loud on the field as he was when [I was] on the other team. He is talking to you like he knows you when you are on another team. The respect I have for him, it kind of just grows from being around somebody every day and seeing the person who is 33, 34 years old go out and work and have as much enthusiasm that he is on a daily basis. That kind of grows [on me], but from a player standpoint, he is just the same player I knew and respected."
On if OLB Terrell Suggs sets the tone for the team:"Oh, most definitely. He is our team leader. That guy … We have a lot of guys who have big voices on the team, but when it comes to it, he is the alpha male on our team. I'm one, too, though; don't get that twisted! (laughter) *He is that guy – he is the voice of our team. When 'Sizz' says something, everybody respects it, everybody listens, because 'Sizz' has won Super Bowls, 'Sizz' has been to multiple Pro Bowls, he has been first-team All-Defense, first-team All-Pro. When you have a guy who has been through every single … When I say every single situation, I mean, he has been through it all. I said [Jeremy] Maclin has been through a lot, but 'Sizz,' he is about 15, 16 years in. He has seen every single situation. He has been through the highs and the lows, so when a guy like that talks, you respect him. You listen to everything that he has to say, and we all do. This is my ninth year, and I listen to him – anything that he has to say. He is that guy. Like I said, he is the alpha male on our team." *
On if he thinks NFL players would be on board with a strike in an attempt to earn more money:"I honestly would, and we did it. It happened in Pittsburgh when I was still there. That was like my second, maybe my third season at the most. I was willing to do it with them, because Charlie Batch was our team representative, and he was a really smart guy. He was telling us how things were going to go down the line, and that this was not a good deal for us. We just trusted him, just like we were talking about with 'Sizz.' You listen to a guy like that who has been through stuff, and a guy like Charlie [Batch] who was already on his 16th year and had sat in multiple meetings with the NFLPA. You listen to a guy like that. I think we were the only team who did vote against the new CBA. I was in my third year, but I knew if he said it, it was the truth, and he was not going to lead us down the wrong path. I was willing to do it as a young player. I do not know about everybody. It was my third year, and even though I was not a rookie, I did not have much money, but I knew I had enough to last a little time. It is just about maybe rookie guys who never had any money – just getting them on board. But, if you listen to the guys who have been around for a long time … We are the players. We are not the owners; we are not the coaches. We are the players. So, you only are going to help each other. I wouldn't think they would lead us down a path that would be wrong in the future for everybody and would benefit everybody. If a player who has been doing that … If they said it, I would believe it. I would listen to them as a young player. When I was [younger], I did, and I would do it again if I had the opportunity. Especially now, I would."
DT Brandon Williams
On how it feels to be back at training camp: "It feels great being back with my guys, my teammates. It feels amazing to just get back and get on the field working again. Last year left a bad taste in our mouths, so we're ready to get that out."
On how players react to news of injured teammates, particularly RB Kenneth Dixon: "We definitely wish Ken [Dixon] a speedy recovery, but the show must go on. We have guys. The front office does a great job. Ozzie [Newsome], and everyone else, does a great job of plugging in guys who can come in and ball out for us. We're confident. 'In Ozzie We Trust.' We're going to come on the field and do what we have to do, regardless."
On the defensive additions that were acquired in the offseason: "I'm going to be honest: I think our defense is going to be something really special. The leadership: [Eric] Weddle, 'Webby' [Lardarius Webb], [Terrell] Suggs, C.J. [Mosley], myself, and just everyone individually, I feel like we have a great group and a cohesive unit. We're going to go out there and be a family and play Raven football."
On if there's a greater sense of responsibility that came with his re-signing a big contract:"Yes, I think so. Now, I have to prove my worth. I want to go out there and be my best, the best player that I can be for this team. At the same time, I don't want to make it too big for myself, because that's when you start overthinking and trying to do too much, instead of just playing your game. Football is football. I just want the best football player for my team, however I can, wherever they need me. I also just want to bring up the rookies and be the best leader that I can be. I definitely take what Haloti [Ngata] and Chris [Canty] instilled in me me as a rookie and just kind of put that to the test and put someone under my wing."
On what it'll take to make the postseason: "It's going to take hard work; we have to finish, and we have to execute. Finishing [is] definitely [important] for the defense. We were top tier pretty much most of the year last year and fell off towards the end of the season. We have to learn how to finish – myself included. I'm definitely pointing more fingers at myself than anyone else. I take it to heart – stopping the run, getting to the quarterback, pushing the pocket and all. I have to be better. With that being said, we just have to execute, bring it all together and not get too down on ourselves and keep fighting. That's what it's going to take – a lot of hard work, finishing, just out here grinding during training camp. It's going to start in training camp, not the week before or after. It's going to start here and now. It started in the offseason. We're working towards a better season. We have a lot of players. Ozzie [Newsome] brought in great guys during free agency and rookies to help win games."
On if he has noticed a change in OLB Terrell Suggs: "You think it's impossible, because Suggs is just a hard, great player. He's instinctively an 'X' factor and a beast. His work ethic has risen a tremendous amount. You never knew he could do that, but it's gotten better. He's in here, working hard, motivating a lot more, talking to young guys, pulling guys aside. He's digging his roots deeper into the defense and team to be more of a leader. He's leading by example. He was here this whole offseason grinding. He was doing his job as a leader and as the face of the defense. He's trying to be the greatest player he can be and also bring the defense where it is supposed to be."
On if he was shocked that former LB Zachary Orr wants to return: "Not shocked at all. He's a warrior, hard worker and gladiator. We're all gladiators. If we can fight, we're going to fight. We have to push ourselves through – that's what football is all about. You may get nicks and bruises, but you just keep fighting on. He knows what he has. When you play football, you know what you signed up for – no matter what you have or what you might get along the way. I definitely don't find it surprising at all that he wants to continue fighting and competing; that's just the warrior he is. If we could get him back, that would be great. But, I wish him luck wherever he goes, and hopefully someone picks him up, because they're going to get a great player."
On if he has tried to recruit LB Zachary Orr: "I spoke to him. I saw him coming back for physicals, and he looked great. He looked like he was getting ready to play again. I was just like, 'Hey, man, if you want to come on over here ...' *(laughter) *I'd love to have him back. He was a baller. He was the kind of guy who knew what you had when Zach Orr was on the field. You knew what kind of player you were going to get. He knew what he had to do, and you knew he was going to do it. You didn't have to come watch him or tell him what to do. He was a great player. If he's here, I'd welcome him with open arms and probably cry. But if he's not, hopefully he's somewhere where he gets to ball out and keep getting better as a player."
On if this was a momentous offseason for him: "A lot of stuff happened this year, for the better. I re-signed back [in Baltimore], got married, honeymooned, went to London. It was a lot. It was awesome. It was a very momentous year, but now it's time for football, time to grind. The honeymoon season is over, and now it's time for football season. It's time to kick butt and take names."
On what he has learned about the importance of training camp: "The football season is a marathon – it's not a sprint. You need to take each day, practice and be the best you can be that day. Every day you need to get a little bit better even when you hit later in the season. You need to continue to get better. Being stagnant is a loss for us. You can't be the same; it's worse than getting ... worse. You'd rather get worse than stay the same, because everyone else is passing you. We want to get better every year, play, game and rep. I feel that if we can do that then we can be where we want to be at the end of the season."