2017 TRAINING CAMP – Aug. 19 PODIUM TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good to see you guys. Thank you for being here. I have an update on the injury report: [Senior vice president of public and community relations] Kevin Byrne has a wrist injury. He has a chip in there. He can't write with his left hand, which is good, because he is right-handed. (laughter) *I think we will be OK. He won't be on IR this year; he will be with us." *(Byrne: "I'll be ready for opening day.") "You didn't want to practice today, though. *(laughter) *Alright, what do you guys have?"
G/C Jeremy Zuttah is back. Can you talk about his fit in the new scheme? (Dev Panchwagh)"Jeremy obviously gets right back into practice. There are some changes with the run-game scheme that are really different in the sense of calls, terminology and even the blocking patterns that he will have to learn and get up to speed on, but he is a veteran player. He has blocked all those plays before. Cadence and snapping the ball and pass protection stuff – he fits right in. He is very smart. He works at it. Obviously, he studied all night to be ready for practice. It is good to have him back. He did a good job. It was a good start, and it helps us."
Do you view G/C Jeremy Zuttah as a center, or is he a candidate at guard? (Jeff Zrebiec)"I think any center can play guard. That is the way you kind of do it. You view Jeremy primarily as a center. That has been his position pretty much his whole college and NFL career. He is a center to start with. I think it would be an emergency situation at guard for him."
Zachary Orr announced that he felt more at peace with his retirement. What are your thoughts on him stepping away? (Jamison Hensley)"I am a big admirer of Zach Orr. He just comes from a great family. All of those kids are doing great because their parents are so amazing. He is going to be successful in many ways and in whatever he does, but I think he wants to be in football. I think he wants to get involved in football, and we will probably try to talk him in to coming here and being a part of what we do. I sure would like to have him on board – scouting or coaching – whatever he wants to do, if he wants to do it. He has expressed an interest in doing that. Good for him. He has peace with the whole thing now, I believe. He will get on with the rest of his very successful life."
We saw DL/FB Patrick Ricard lining up at fullback, and we had seen it in practice. What about him beyond him being a big guy – you had done that with Haloti [Ngata] – made you think he could fit into that type of role? * (Luke Jones)*"You just try guys. We have tried guys in there before, and he kind of looked natural with the way he moved, the way he could do it. When we put him in there in the spring, he looked like he was comfortable with it. He moved, he made decisions, he could see things and sort things out the way you would want to see a fullback do. He did just fine with it. Then, I asked him, and he said he did it in high school. That helped; that was good to know. He has had some experience, so we will just see how he does and keep working on it and see where it takes us."
The run defense has allowed 2.3 yards per carry over the first two preseason games. That is a pretty good number. Is that something you are hoping to carry into the regular season? (Todd Karpovich)"It is a good number, but I do not know if the numbers mean that much right now. It is what you see on tape that we care about. There are some plays that we are going to build off of, and we are going to stack and stand on and improve from. There are going to be some other plays that we are going to look at, and we are going to not be happy with, we are going to be kind of ticked ourselves for, and that we are going to want to look at really closely and make sure they don't happen again. If you are chasing something really, really good, that is the way you have to look at it – with a real critical eye – and that is what we will do."
Do you look at G/C Jeremy Zuttah as competition for G/C Ryan Jensen? Or is it more of a play your five best guys? (Jeff Zrebiec)"It is both of those things. They are both in play. We will do whatever is best for the Ravens. The best players play, and the best players are the guys who play the best. That is how we do it – always have, always will. We will see how it plays out. I love competition, and I'm sure that all of those guys in there want to start. They have to earn it, so that is what they will try to do."
How do you think G/C Ryan Jensen has handled everything? There have been moving parts at basically every spot but him for the most part. How do you think he has handled it, especially in the first two preseason games? (Luke Jones)"He has done well. He has been at every practice, and even when he has had things, he has fought through them and gone out and practiced. He has played well in the games. He played better in this [past] game than the first game. I thought he played well in this [past] game. He is a motivated guy. We will see what happens."
As far as team-wise, there a couple teams that are doing some things for the eclipse on Monday. Tennessee is doing a viewing. Is there anything with the Ravens that you have talked about? (Jamison Hensley)"When is it?" (Reporter: "Monday.") "Can you see it from everywhere? Can you see it from here?" (Reporter: "I think you can. I think it is around 80 percent.") "Eighty percent? It is not 100 percent here? Eighty percent? That is not perfect. We are chasing perfection here." (laughter) (Reporter: "You have to go to North Carolina for 100 percent." "You have to go to North Carolina? Nope. You have to wear glasses or something, don't you? I don't want to blind anybody. What time is it happening?" (Reporter: "Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.") "1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – we will be in meetings. That is going to be tough." (laughter)
Have you liked what you have seen out of OLB Za'Darius Smith? He seemed to be very active the other night. (Jeff Zrebiec)"Za'Darius, he did [play well] – great observation. He played really well. Very active is a great way to say it. He was all over the field. That is what we have always been looking for, and I love the way he is playing. He has to keep it going, and he will. He is playing well."
You have talked a lot about your high expectations for LB Kamalei Correa. What have you seen from him in these first couple preseason games, trying to take over from the practice field to game situations? (Luke Jones)"Steady improvement. He is operating in a place where he needs to take his very good practice reps to the game consistently. I thought there were many more good reps in this [past] game than the first game, and he had some good reps in the first game, too. But, there are still some reps that are head-scratchers, like the dropdown to Jay [Ajayi]. That is a tackle he would make 99 out of 100 times. Stay on your feet, keep your eyes up and wrap him up strong. 'K.C.' is a big, strong guy, and there is no back in this league that he can't wrap up and take down. He is more mad at himself, probably. That is the one that comes to mind. The other part of it was that we really want him to play downhill in the run game a lot better, and I can only think of one other rep where he didn't do that and lost his run leverage. It was a pretty steady game for him that way, and that was one of the goals going into the game."
QB Josh Woodrum
On how the past 24 hours have been: "It's been pretty much a normal day. We had an off day yesterday, so you get a bunch of rest, hydrate, then watch the film a couple times. Then, I just hung out with my girlfriend a little bit. I just kind of get my mind away from football – especially on the off days. We go 13 hours, pretty much, here every day, so it's nice to get away and recharge your batteries."
On if he has been able to enjoy the success of Thursday's game: "Yes, I think you enjoy it, for sure. I mean, you have to – that's part of why you play professional sports or sports in general, is to enjoy it. But my big thing is moving on to the next game. No one is guaranteed anything – injuries could happen, anything could happen with the team, or whatever it is. You just have to move on to the next day. You can't sit there and soak on something that was good one time, because I'm already getting ready for the next week. If I play bad, then the second game means nothing if you play bad the third game. That's how I've always been, as far as my mentality – enjoy it for that night, then watch the film, critique your mistakes. Then, the next day, we're back to work."
On how meaningful the game was to him: "It's awesome. It's a good experience. Getting to come to preseason this year … I didn't get to come last year. Just coming out, hanging out with my guys and just going out there and having fun [has been special]. My line blocked great all night, backs ran hard, my receivers ran great routes and caught the ball, and that makes my job a lot easier when everyone is clicking and firing on all cylinders."
On if the touchdown celebration was planned: "I think we were on the six-inch-yard line, or something like that, and we were going to quarterback sneak, and I got in the huddle and I was like, 'OK, who wants to spike it when I sneak this in?' Chris Matthews, one of our receivers, was like, 'Nah, man. We're all going to get around, and you'll spike it, and we'll all explode out.' So, I was like, 'Alright, let's do that.' I was just trying to show some love, and Chris was like, 'Let's all do something.' It was pretty awesome."
G/C Jeremy Zuttah
On how it feels to be back with the Ravens:"It's cool. [I'm] just getting out here, getting back with some of the guys I haven't seen in a while – like Marshal [Yanda] – getting back into the flow of things, learning the offense, and we'll go from there."
On the deciding factors when choosing to re-sign with the Ravens: "I think the familiarity, with not just me and the organization, but the organization with where I'm at, too. They know where I'm coming from, I know what they expect, and it makes the transition a little bit better."
On the offensive learning curve: "I ran a lot of offenses in the first nine years of my career. It's just really about translating everything.
Everyone calls something a little bit differently. It's just a new word and new terminology, but all the same plays."
On if he thought he would be back with Baltimore after the trade occurred: "No."
On if the coaches indicated what his role on the team will be: "The role for right now is to come out, work hard and earn playing time."
On if the coaches mentioned he would be starting at center:"No. They said to go out there, compete, and we'll see where we're at. That's honestly where we are."