*TRAINING CAMP: AUG. 3 PODIUM TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh, Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram & OLB Kamalei Correa
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good seeing everyone; I appreciate you being here. [It was a] good practice, a lot of work, and I appreciate how our guys are doing. You might have noticed we had some of the veteran guys not here. We're going to work those guys out. A few of them will be back tomorrow, other guys will be out. So, it's the time of training camp where we start doing some of those things, and we move forward."
**Was there a change with the tempo that the offense had today? It seemed like they were pretty slow in moving the ball over. *(Luke Jones) *"They did a good job, in terms of just the mental part of it. Assignment-wise, there's a lot of assignment work in practice, a lot of technique work, not as much competition, and I thought they did a good job with that. You better know what to do before you can do it well. We're working on that – especially with some young guys."
It looked like QB Ryan Mallett seemed comfortable out there. Are you pleased with his progress? (Jamison Hensley) "I think Ryan has played well. The last couple of days … He has a really not good day, and I saw a lot of stories about that. I see he's having some pretty good days, and I haven't seen any stories about that. What's up with that? (laughter) But no, I think he's doing a good job, and he's had some good days."
LB Kamalei Correa, his evolvement into within that spot, I know you want him ideally right there alongside LB C.J. Mosley. Is the progress what you want so far from him? (Pete Gilbert) "I would say so. Kamalei has done really well; he's had a good camp. The next step is … Well, one of the steps was to do well in the scrimmage, in the stadium, with 26,000 people out there, and he did well. Then the next stop, obviously, will be getting ready to play the first preseason game and play well there. It's a process, but he's on schedule."
Every camp, it seems you have some one-on-one drill with the whole team watching. How beneficial is that? (Jordan Schatz)"We call that 'battles.' It's a drill where it's a one-on-one drill with everyone watching. The idea is, basically, [that] football is a team game, but you have to win some individual battles in football – most of them are, in fact. That's what it comes down to a lot of times is doing your job, doing it well, one-on-one. Sometimes there's a point – we call it a 'point of confrontation' – where the conflict, the physical match is either won or lost. Everything can be good, but somebody is going to win or lose that thing right where it counts the most. I think that's good; having everybody watching is fun and ratchets the intensity up a little. It matters. If you go out there and everybody's watching – you want to do well."
**Before WR Breshad Perriman went down, what kind of camp do you think he was having? *(Mike Preston) *"He was having a good camp. I'm excited about him. Things happen for a reason, and maybe this is a blessing in disguise. We'll continue to work on all the things he needs to work on, in terms of his body, catching, things like that. He'll get the mental work in the AACT practices. I would say he's had a 'plus' camp, and hopefully, it'll lead to a really good season. I'll also follow with: I wish we had him out there practicing the rest of the time, obviously, but that's what we have right now."
Not asking for a timetable, but with TE Larry Donnell, was that a finger, hand or something? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I don't know yet. I haven't gotten the final word on that yet, so we'll see. It had to do with his fingers and hand; he fell on a ball. He caught it, a diving catch, fell on the ball, and his hand was underneath it. We'll see what the story is in there."
What's your perception of RB Javorius Allen so far this year? It seems like he's strong, quick and determined? (Bo Smolka) "I would agree with that. 'Buck' is very determined. To me, 'Buck' has always had the ability, always has been a very hard worker, but there's a lot to be said about confidence and believing in yourself and making the most of your talent. It seems to me that he's doing that this camp."
Any movement at the quarterback position? (Jamison Hensley)"There is nothing new to talk about, really, for any personnel move right now."
Are you surprised, when the story broke yesterday, about the passion the fans have right now about their opinions about this? (Bill West) "I'm not surprised by the passion our fans have – no way. Our fans are great and amazing. That's the type of people who are football fans. They're passionate and they believe in what they believe in. Everyone has different beliefs, and I have my beliefs, too. I'm passionate about them, too, just like you are. I want our fans to feel that way. I want our fans to feel like they can call, write, do whatever they want. Hopefully, they'll call and write just as much when they're happy, too. There's a broad spectrum of opinions on everything, and that's what America is all about. It's what makes our country great."
Does a report like that disappoint you? (Jeff Zrebiec) "No, I celebrate … I don't know what 'report' … I didn't read any 'report' that you're talking about. But, I would say, everybody should express their opinion, respectfully, and say what they think. Hopefully, we can get some consensus and decisions. OK, you want me to get on my political soapbox? Congress: get something done. Work together. You know? We need things done. You can stand way over there, and you can stand way over there, and nothing gets done. Here we are, all of us in the middle, and nothing is getting accomplished. To me, that's true for everything. It's most true at the highest levels of decision-making. Whatever goes, football-wise, as far as the relationship there, we'll try to do what's best for our players, coaches, fans and football team, in every decision we make and be our best. You make decisions based on what's best for everyone that's involved as best you can with what's the right thing to do. As Forrest Gump would say: 'That's all I've got to say about that.'" (laughter)
Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram
There has been a lot of attention on WR Tim White, and he has definitely flashed. What have been your perceptions on the strides he has made early? (Jeff Zrebiec)"That is the key. As a young guy, you have to flash and show some playmaking ability. The thing I am impressed with is him in the classroom – all of those guys. They have been able to really dive into the playbook and take what they want them to do from a schematic standpoint and take it to the field."
The last couple years, you see some guys that really flash out and the game goes on and then it slows down a little bit. How much do you look at the practices in front of a lot of people and preseason games to really determine if these guys are ready to make the team and help you? (Jeff Zrebiec)"I think everybody knows that is how these guys have to make the team. You have to be able to do it in a game, especially when you are pushing – when you have a strong corps. You are trying to earn the spot on this team, and doing it in practice is great. Doing it in the stadium in a big-time practice setting is better. Doing it in a game, in any type of game-time environment, especially preseason games – that is what you really look for to see who is going to show up."
What can you say about WR/RS Keenan Reynolds development as he continues that transition? (Garrett Downing)"I think Keenan has made tremendous strides all the way around – from route running to releases to his break transitions. We just have to see if he can continue to make those next steps. I was just telling Keenan, I was very pleased with his progress. He has had a tremendous learning curve. The key is for him to figure out how to take that next step as a receiver, and that is what he is working diligently on."
Would you say the same thing about WR Breshad Perriman, in terms of his development? (Mike Preston)"Yes – night and day. I hope you guys see what I see. Just in terms of his approach mentally – great. You see the raw speed on the field, but the route running and catching the football has greatly improved. I think he has been a lot more consistent."
How tough is it, mentally, for WR Breshad Perriman to try and come back from another injury and try and do this again? (Mike Preston)"I think he will be fine. Obviously, it is a part of our profession, which none of us like to deal with. But mentally, he is in a really good place. He has a great group of guys in this room that are supporting him. He knows this organization is behind him. He just has to get healthy, come back, and let's roll."
What has stuck out to you about WR Jeremy Maclin so far or what may be his greatest strength? (Pete Gilbert)"His greatest strength is to be determined, but some great qualities that he has … He is a very smart guy. He has been in this system, so he understands the nuances of what we are trying to do with the route running. He is versatile; he can play inside or outside. He has game experience – big-time game experience. All of those things are going to help our receiving corps and help our offense be better."
With WR Steve Smith Sr. no longer in the picture, how much are you relying on WR Mike Wallace to be that leader in the meeting room? (Ryan Mink) "I think everybody has a leadership role. I think your personality … Like Steve's personality – obviously he was a leader – but he was more outspoken. I think different guys lead in different ways. Mike has a similar outgoing type of personality. But, I expect Breshad [to be a leader]. I expect Chris Moore [to be a leader]. I expect everybody in that room to step up in some capacity. But, I think guys tend to look to veterans for leadership and guys that have been there and done that."
There is always a lot of attention on the wide receiver competition to make the 53-man roster. How do you think it is going right now? You have had a couple guys injured and guys on and off the field. When do you expect things to really heat up?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"I think it has heated up. I think guys are out there every day practicing hard, and they know they have to show up every day and make a play. They have to do something to let the coaches know, 'I'm here, and I am trying to make this team.' Obviously, you have some veteran guys that have been here and done that. The other guys are fighting, whether it is special teams, whether it is as a returner … They have to make sure they give this staff all of the value and show everything they can do. It is going to continue to be a heated competition, and I always say the competition is going to sort itself out. And those preseason games go a long way in determining who makes this club. As far as the entire room, I think everybody in there has the talent to play in the NFL."
As far as WR/RS Michael Campanaro, do you have to ease him along, or is he full-go in that competition right now? (Garrett Downing)"He is 100-percent healthy. We just have to watch conditioning, because he has not been out there doing it like these guys have. We are pushing him; we are just being very smart in terms of conditioning to make sure we do not have any setbacks there."
LB Kamalei Correa
On how things have been going in training camp:"It has just been fun to be back out there and playing football again with the pads on with my brothers. I am just having fun, and we are looking ready for next week, Thursday, against the Redskins to just really let it loose and [see] what we have going right now."
On how important it was to allow full contact and go live at the stadium practice: "Coach [John] Harbaugh said that it was a live period. Live means we are going to take them to the ground. In practice, there are a lot of fits – a lot of 'what ifs.' [Players say], 'I could have had him.' But last week at the stadium, it was to really show coach I've got him, to show coach that I can make those plays and that, 'Coach, you can count on me.' I guess it was just fun to actually show him that we could do those things."
On how much more fun he is having this year compared to last:"I would say I am having 1,000 times more fun than I did last year. It is just being more free and being myself. It honestly has nothing to do with on-the-field stuff. It is about me off the field. It is just being myself – just being confident in me, being confident in who I am as a person. That is just going to translate to me being who I am on the field. It really just translated from off the field to on the field. I am just having more fun with life in general."
On how much it helps his confidence to make big plays, such as his hit at the stadium practice:"It felt pretty good to actually get a smack on a teammate. He [Taquan Mizzell] actually got me a couple of plays before that, so I had to make it even on him – for sure."
On how much he takes away from individual battles with everyone on the team watching:"We watch film from the night before, and we see what we need to fix and what we need to work on. It could be drops one day, it could be run fits one day, or it could be hand placement one day. I guess it all kind of varies to what we didn't do the day before is what we are going to really work on the next day. I think coach 'Wink' [linebackers coach Don Martindale] and coach [Dean Pees] really do a great job with that and really fine-tuning our craft."
On if there is anything in particular he wants to accomplish in the preseason:"I really just want to go out there and translate what we are doing in camp and actually execute it out there in the game, because game speed and practice speed are two different speeds. [Game] is a speed that we have not seen in a very long time, which is another opponent. I think on Thursday, it is really about just running to the ball and executing at the best of our ability and just playing ball – that is it."
On if he felt he got tentative during last year's training camp:"I would say last year was just a learning experience for me. It was just a lot to take in. But, it has nothing to do with the coaches. It was my fault. I didn't work hard enough, I didn't show them, and they could not trust me to put me out there on the field. I take that upon myself 100 percent, and I learned from it. But it is a new year, it is a new me, and I am just excited about this year to move forward."
On if he thinks about Baltimore's inside linebacker tradition:"Yes, there is a lot to live up to with the past names that came through here. At the end of the day, the only thing I can work on is being the very best version of me and the very best person that I can be and the very best teammate that I can be. At the end of the day, I am just trying to be the best me. That is all."
On how important his communication with ILB C.J. Mosley is:"C.J. Mosley is the leader of this defense. He makes the calls; he makes the checks. All I can do is put my trust in him, and he is going to put me in the right spot and help me make plays as well. He needs to trust me as well, knowing I am going to be there in my fits and what not. I guess it goes back to having trust in your teammates. He is a great leader, he is a great person, and he is a great teammate. Obviously, he makes [two] Pro Bowls, he is a great player."