Ravens Training Camp Transcripts: Aug. 17

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Good to see everybody – appreciate you guys being here, as always. [It was a] great day for football – perfect camp day. We had a really great practice. I am very pleased with the effort and intensity. We continue to improve and prepare."

What did you think of OLB Terrell Suggs with the interception out there? (Jamison Hensley)"That's kind of his trademark interception, right? He's had a few of those. I saw Anthony Levine [Sr.] and said, 'I guess he's back.' (laughter) We heard him before that. (laughter) It was good to see him make a play like that though."

Did you like him giving a souvenir to the crowd? (Luke Jones) "What did he do? I didn't see it."

He gave the ball to the crowd. (Luke Jones) "Did he? Sure, $50 – he can afford it. It's OK." (laughter)

I know we asked last week, but has there been any decision made on QB Joe Flacco playing in the second preseason game? (Jamison Hensley) "There has. I probably won't share it with you, just in the name of consistency. We've decided on all of the players, pretty clearly. It's hard to get down to a specific play count, but we have a general idea on all of the guys."

Is the fact that the Colts have a turf field a consideration when making these decisions? (Luke Jones) "It could be. In all honesty, it wasn't the main consideration one way or the other. Everything factors in."

John, around the league you see more and more top players not playing in the preseason games. I know it's different in each situation, but has it changed here? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think if you took a real hard look at it, you'd probably see that they play less now than they did six, seven or eight years ago. That's probably the trend you're referring to around the league. That's probably true here, too."

Is it also not just keeping veterans healthy, but there isn't as much practice time and you want to see the rookies in game situations? (Jeff Zrebiec) "It is a big part of it. You want to see the young guys play in game situations when the tackling is live. You're right, there's not quite as much practice as there was before – certainly not even close to as much as it was way before. We practice really well, and we see a lot from our guys in practice. The game is a confirmation. Or sometimes, guys that don't practice as well, but play well in games. Sometimes guys practice great and don't show up in games. That's something you really need to know."

Are there guys that have been around the league long enough that you believe could go through the preseason without taking a snap, but be ready on Week 1? (Jerry Coleman) "I do. There are guys like that. It's probably rare. Most guys, if they do, they would be better second or third week. Maybe they do [have to] knock some rust off. Those guys could tell you better than I could, but there's certainly guys that can step out and do that."

John, with the return guys, are they able to get out of practice what other position players get out of practice? (Stan Charles) "If the question is, 'Is it more different for returners in a game than the other positions?' It might be true if that's the case. The scenario … You're out there with the crowd and the lights. Everything they're looking at is different than what they see on the practice field. The stakes are certainly higher, so it's probably true."

At the end of practice, T Ronnie Stanley and G/T Rick Wagner were both out of the first-team offensive line. Is anything going on with that? (Ken McKusick) "We're just resting guys. There's nothing major with anybody that's out today. Michael Campanaro was held out today. Off the top of my head … You guys would probably know who else. It wasn't anything other than just us trying to be judicious with different guys for different reasons."

Did G Marshal Yanda just have a veteran day off? (Ken McKusick) "Yes."

DT Timmy Jernigan missed some time in camp, but how have you seen him grow and evolve this camp? (Ryan Mink) "I'm looking forward to seeing that. I think he's much more mature. Everybody grows up, and he's really done a great job. His work ethic is excellent, A-plus. His practice effort and attitude is A-plus. He has really done everything he needs to do, and I can't wait to see him play in games."

How much does travel for the first-year guys factor in? This will be their first time traveling with the Ravens. (Kirk McEwen) "It will be different for them. There's really not much we can say other than, 'Make sure you're on time, wearing the right clothes.' They'll just learn by doing."

What do you like about LB Albert McClellan at the SAM linebacker spot? A few years back, he played extensively on defense, but what makes him a good fit? (Luke Jones) "He's a versatile player, so he can play all three spots. He knows what to do. He's a good football player. He takes on blocks. He sheds blocks. He runs to the ball. He knows where to be in coverage, [which is] so important for linebackers, especially. There's a lot going on in front of him and behind him. He understands. He's almost perfect with that stuff on a regular basis. He's just a good football player, and he plays really well when he's out there."

Speaking of versatile players, DB/LB Anthony Levine Sr. was back in the nickel slot today, which I hadn't seen in camp so far. (Ken McKusick) "Obviously, we were a little thin there. We played not just Anthony in there, but Will Davis went in there today. Matt Elam was in there today, and I know yesterday. Lardarius Webb has been in there a few times in the last two days. We are really blessed with a lot of guys that can play in the nickel slot. That gives us depth there, which really helps your roster."

OLB Victor Ochi is a guy who got signed here as a heck of a pass rusher in college. What have you seen from him in that area and other areas? (Cliff Brown) "Victor is just really young. His attitude and effort is really good. He has a long way to go as a player, but he'll get there eventually. [I have] nothing negative to say about him. He has a lot of talent, and at some point in time he's going to be a really good player."

John, how pleased are you with the physical shape that OLB Terrell Suggs returned in? (Jamison Hensley)"He came back in really good shape. He took the couple weeks here – the early weeks in camp – to really improve on that. He's in excellent condition."

Defensive Line Coach Joe Cullen

Opening statement:"How is everybody doing? I hope you enjoyed that practice as much as I did. What about the energy out there? It was great. First of all, I would like to say it is great to be a Raven. Having the opportunity to be in this league and watch this organization from afar … When I had the opportunity with our general manager and head football coach, Ozzie [Newsome] and coach [John] Harbaugh, it was a no-brainer. Just the opportunity to come here and be part of a great organization was a great opportunity for me. It was no second thought on that. It is great to be here. Dean Pees, our defensive coordinator, [linebackers coach] Don Martindale – knowing those guys from afar … It is great to be part of a great defense tradition that has been in place since Baltimore came back. Also, I would like to say I graduated from the University of Massachusetts, and I've known [senior defensive assistant] Clarence Brooks a long time, and our prayers are with him. I have known him since I was 21, and that was one of the main reasons I came here – to build on and help Clarence keep the tradition going here. Our prayers are with him. I would like to say that guys are working their tails off – great energy. We have a lot of guys that are battling for positions, and some guys have done a great job. Lawrence Guy, for one, has done an excellent job. Kapron Lewis-Moore has gotten better every day in camp. We have '55' – Terrell Suggs – back, and as you guys saw, the energy that he brought today to the practice. I'm excited to be part of the defense with him. Za'Darius Smith has really continued to get better every day in practice. We saw signs of that in the game when he had two great hits on the quarterbacks, and he had our first sack-caused fumble. I think you saw flashes of all of our younger guys being able to do things that we drafted them for. Willie Henry made some great plays in the game; he continues to get better. I think Matt Judon led our team in tackles and showed some great hustle; he had a sack. Michael Pierce, Trevon Coley, Victor Ochi – all of our young guys did some really good things. Obviously, in the game, we didn't play Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams, as he [Williams] had a newborn baby boy. Those guys are back, and they are practicing. Those guys are getting better every day. It is a great group to be a part of, and if there is anything I can answer, I would be glad to do it."

DT Timmy Jernigan said that you ride him pretty hard in practice and that you are on him all the time. What have you seen from him in camp and how he has developed as a player?* (Ryan Mink)*"He is really pushing every snap. That is the thing, out at practice, I told those guys, 'Your best friend in this profession is the guy that is going to bring out your best, and it is not always fun.' He is working hard every day in practice – not only on his run game, but on his pass rush. He just keeps working, and we keep pushing. That is with the whole group. But you don't have to prod that group much; they work hard."

With the sheer numbers you have, it sounds like you are looking at some tough decisions at the end of camp. (Stan Charles)"That is a great problem to have. Like we tell the group all time, we would love to keep everybody. But if they continue to put the effort in on the practice field and in the games, they will find a place in this league. There are some tough battles up and down the depth chart, you are absolutely right."

How does that competition make each guy a little bit better? (Stan Charles)"Competition in any position brings out your best every day. You have a bad day, the other player may move up on the depth chart, by practice. That is the great thing here with coach [John] Harbaugh and coach [Dean] Pees and Ozzie [Newsome]. That depth chart will change based on performance."

What is it about DE Lawrence Guy that makes him a great player? (Ryan Mink)"He is tough. He is physical. He is a grinder. [Those are] some of the words that describe him. You know what you are getting every snap, and that is what you love as a coach."

How have you seen OLB Victor Ochi try to take advantage of this opportunity as an undrafted guy? (Garrett Downing)"Victor has done some really good things in the pass rush, but today he did a really good job in the nine-on-seven drills, some of the things in terms of setting the edge. He didn't play that many snaps the other night, but he can flash as a pass rusher in this league."

With you guys stressing the importance of turnovers, how exciting was it to see OLB Za'Darius Smith utilize those lessons in the first preseason game? (Kyle Barber)"It was great. From Day One of the OTAs, we talked about the takeaways on defense and offensively not turning over the ball. Every day we have had some type of turnover/takeaway drill, and we stress it. We say, 'If we can get the ball back for the offense more than we give it up, we are going to have a chance to win every game.' It was great to see not only the sack by 'Z,' but the sack-caused-fumble. That is an impact sack."

Coach, you talk about the great welcome you received. I have walked around the field and I hear some of the players mocking your voice here and there. How do you feel about that?* (Jerry Coleman)"Well, if they are not talking about you, there is something wrong. *(laughter) As you know, my voice changes real drastically after about three days of camp. Having today from afar, [former Ravens defensive lineman] Michael McCrary, one of the great legends here – first thing he did after practice was [say], 'Come over, great to meet you, talk to you.' He talked about pass rush, talked about the passion over there in the one-on-one drills, and obviously, the legend that he was. He was great."

Is there one player that has come up to your face and tried to imitate you? I hear a lot of them doing it behind your back. (Jerry Coleman)"The quarterbacks I hear, and the kicker, 'Tuck,' [Justin Tucker] has a pretty good impression from what I hear. (laughter) My guys aren't that good yet."

TE Crockett Gillmore

On how he feels being back on the field:"I always feel like I'm where I need to be. I'm out here. There's no better place for me."

On missing some time earlier in camp: "That's a part of camp – part of what we do here."

On is TE Benjamin Watson is the leader of the tight end group: "Absolutely. Ben has been a guy since the day he's stepped in here [that is] everything you expected. I've had the privilege to watch him for a long time. To be able to pick his brain and hear how he communicates and does things on and off the field has been huge for me. I think the young guys are really learning from him. The fact that we can all get together and really be a tight group – I'm excited to see what we can do."

On if his role in the TE group has changed since Watson's arrival: "It's good to have that knowledge, if nothing else, for me to see how it's done at that level for this long – to see how you can continue to get better every day for 13 years. He just keeps going to work. The fact that he shows that poise and everything it is to be a Super Bowl champ and everything else … For me to have him and [tight ends coach] Richard [Angulo] and Dennis [Pitta] and all of those guys back, I can just sit back and enjoy it and really take it all in."

On if he sees any differences in QB Joe Flacco after the knee injury: "He's still elite, if that's what your question is."

On what goes through his mind when he has to block OLB Terrell Suggs: "I know he's going to talk; that's the biggest thing. I have to ignore that and then remember what I'm doing. (laughter) Absolutely, the guy steps on the field, and he's changing the game. He's a guy that has also done it for a long time. Instincts – he had no idea that play [where he intercepted the ball during practice Wednesday] was coming. We hadn't run it all camp. He's making plays and being the guy we expect. We have him and Eric Weddle back there – two personalities – that really set a defensive tone. Jimmy [Smith] has been playing great. We have a lot of guys that have really stepped up, and we're excited."

On if Suggs talks trash to the entire offense or just whoever is directly in front of him: "He talks to whoever is walking by, it doesn't matter. (laughter) *I feel bad for the kids [at practice]. *(laughter) he might call them out, there is no telling."

On how the offense feels about Suggs always being the loudest voice on the practice field: "Even as a rookie, you hear him before you see him, but you also know who it is. It's not like it's some random person. He has that demeanor, and he backs it up. It would be different if a guy is talking and [didn't back it up]. He probably wouldn't be here. He's just a great, great football player."

DT Timmy Jernigan

On if he can do an impersonation of defensive line coach Joe Cullen:"I could, but I'm not going to put my coach on the spot. I might have to pay for it tomorrow." (laughter)

On who does the best job of impersonating Cullen:"I think it is pretty easy to impersonate him. He reminds me a lot of the guy on 'Water Boy' – 'You can do it!' *(laughter) *We all have fun with coach Joe all the time about the way he talks."

On Cullen's coaching style:"I love it. He is high energy. It is easy to come out and get going, just being around him. There isn't any such thing as half-days or taking plays off or anything like that. He is always in your ear. It doesn't matter who it is, whether it is me, whether it is '55' [Terrell Suggs] or anybody. He is going to be coached until you can't be coached anymore."

On if he still gets excited for preseason games: "Most definitely. Any time you get to go out and step on that game field, it is a blessing. Just coming out here to practice is exciting for me. Every day is a blessing. I enjoy playing football; I love the game. It will definitely be fun to get out there and play a little bit of ball when it is time to play the Colts."

On what area he is trying to improve on: "Just consistency, just making sure I'm the same player every play, no matter whether it is the first quarter or the fourth quarter. No matter the situation in the game, I want to remain who I am – dominant and want to stick to my technique and all those good things."

On his expectations for the season: "Just [to show] that I am who the Ravens drafted me to be. I'm not here to make any crazy expectations for the season or anything like that. I'm just here to play ball and be the best player I can be. I know that if I come out and give it everything I've got every single day, then the rest will take care of itself. I have no doubt in my mind."

On if he has focused more on his effort:"It is just the Ravens' way. It is the way things are done here; you adapt to it. Over time, when you see certain guys do certain things a certain way all the time, it has no choice but to really grow on you. It is one of those things – just growing up and maturing."

On the maturation of the defensive line:"Everything is coming together well. A lot of the young players, you wouldn't even think they were rookies, just watching them practice. Everyone is right where they need to be. It is just a matter of everybody maintaining and making sure we press all the way through camp. We are not letting up, no matter if we win the game or lose the game. We are going to come out here and go 100 miles per hour every day until we get what we need to get done."

On having OLB Terrell Suggs back practicing: "He brings a special type of energy with him. He is definitely one of those guys that is almost like having a coach with you. When we are out there together and he sees something ... Sometimes he is telling me, 'The play is coming to you.' Off of that, before the ball snaps, it is easy to make pre-snap reads and things like that, especially with a guy like Suggs beside you."

On how OLB Terrell Suggs is usually correct in his pre-snap reads: "He hasn't told me anything wrong in three years. Every time he has been beside me and said, 'This is what is about to happen,' it has happened."

On if he was impressed with OLB Terrell Suggs' interception in Wednesday's practice:"Oh yeah. Dude is a freak."

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