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Ravens Training Camp Transcripts (Aug. 23)

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Good seeing you guys; appreciate you being here. [It's a] beautiful morning, obviously. It cooled off a little bit, which has been great, and we got a lot of good work done this morning."

WR/RS Michael Campanaro took a lot of reps at punt returner. What do you alike about him in that role? (Garrett Downing)"He's a secure catcher, for sure. He hasn't done it that much. It's not like he's a seasoned veteran at punt returner. He still has a lot of reps to get under his belt to be considered one of those kinds of guys, but he's a very secure, solid catcher – fundamentally sound – and he can get the ball upfield. He has some quickness. At this point in time, of all of those young guys, he's our best guy."

How did WR Breshad Perriman look in practice today? (Jamison Hensley) "I don't know. I didn't see him in individual [drills]. He was just out here for individual, so we'll get a chance to watch that on tape a little bit. That was the plan, to get him in individual today and then go from there."

How exciting is that to finally have all of your wide receiver pieces on the field and working toward your offseason goals? (Luke Jones) "It's definitely a positive to have them on the field. To see those guys out there, you feel like you're making progress in that direction. But then from there, as a coach, it's not just being out there. There's a lot of work that goes into fine-tuning timing in a passing game, and those guys have had none of that. We still need a lot of work on our passing game with the guys who have been out there a bunch. We have a lot of work to do, and those guys have a lot of work to do to get to the point where we are going to win games with our passing game."

Special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg talked last week about the need to find a punt returner after the first preseason game. The Ravens traditionally have been strong at both punt and kick returns. Where are you with those units after preseason Week 2?* (Don Markus)* "We're in the same place we were. Nothing has changed. We have not found our punt returner or our kick returner yet. That's where we're at."

John, you had two rookies on the left side of the line the other night with G Alex Lewis and T Ronnie Stanley. If you had to go into the regular season that way, would you be comfortable with a pair of rookies blocking for QB Joe Flacco's blindside as he comes off a knee injury? (Jerry Coleman) "If we go into the regular season that way, it will be because I'm confident in those two guys over there."

No matter what their experience is? (Jerry Coleman) "What would their experience be? They're both rookies, so it would be what it is."

The fact that they haven't had NFL experience wouldn't be a concern? (Jerry Coleman)"I said I would be confident. Absolutely."

A lot of people will evaluate what TE Benjamin Watson can do on the field, but you've seen the influence he can have off the field. How much of an impact is he on the team?* (Jamison Hensley)* "You do need veteran leadership. You need veteran players that have made plays in critical situations – that know how to make a play. Just from a playing standpoint, he knows how to make a block. He has made a lot of them. He knows how to go make a catch and [how] to adjust to a ball. They're not things he's doing for the first time. Mike [Wallace] said it out here in his last statement: You don't get that many opportunities to make plays, and you have to make plays to win games, or the game is lost; it's over. That's what we need our guys to do. I said it at the beginning of training camp: We're looking for the guys to make plays. If you're a young guy and you make play, then you'll be here. If you're a veteran guy, you should prove that you can still do it. Ben has certainly done that. Mike has definitely done that. That's what we're looking for. We have to execute. We can't make mistakes. We have to play winning football [and do] all of the things that go into winning football games. Making plays – one of them and to your point – [are contributions from] the veterans; they've been there before."

And from a character standpoint? How much does he bring to the organization? (Jamison Hensley)"Immeasurable – character, intelligence, life-world view, maturity, you name it. He is A-plus, plus, plus, plus, plus in every area."

 DT Brandon Williams – a couple of days off for him? (Joe Platania)"No. He has a nick or a bruise. All of the guys that were out today, with the exception of Matt Elam, have non-season-threatening-type issues they're dealing with. Brandon has one of those, so he's out because he couldn't practice today. Elam is the one guy that will be out for an extended period of time."

John, you were talking about the run defense after the game Saturday. Is it guys just being blocked? Is it over-running plays? Is it missing assignments? Or do you see a combination of all of that? (Cliff Brown) "No, I wouldn't make too much of it, like most of you guys did. I was just straight-up honest about it. I don't want to see three-and-a-half yards a carry from the running backs. I want to see two-and-a-half yards per carry from the running backs. That's a short-yardage play that we didn't quite fit the blocks like we want to, to come off the top of my head. And the quarterback … I saw somebody write an article [noting] 'four yards a carry.' Well, how many yards did the quarterbacks average? You can't let your quarterbacks run. That's run defense in the sense that pass-rush lanes are run defense. We do preach that to our guys, that pass-rush lanes are run defense. They have to understand that, especially against a quarterback like Andrew Luck who can really run – Tyrod Taylor [too]. Matt Stafford is a runner. Those are great guys to go against at this time of the year to make sure we get that honed up. Last year, that was a major problem for us, and it's been that way for about three years here. You go all the way back to [Tom] Brady scoring from the 5- or 6-yard line on that scramble three or four years ago – two years ago, whatever it was. You can't let quarterbacks run for first downs, and you can't let quarterbacks run for touchdowns. Running by the quarterback with three rushers, and you're having one guy deal with the double team, that leaves holes everywhere for the quarterback. That's really important for us. To me, that was the biggest issue. The other issues are more run defense-oriented, but they're not things that we can't correct. We're going to be a great run defensive team no matter what, because if not you're sitting there at third-and-two – or worse, they get the first down – that's just not acceptable. But I wasn't angry or upset about it. I was just trying to state the fact. That's what it is. It's a priority for us. It's important, and you have to keep the quarterback in the pocket."

WR/RS Michael Campanaro

* *

On where he feels in his progress right now:"I feel great. I think every day I come out here I feel stronger, and I feel better just moving around, playing. I'm excited."

On if he views the punt return job as his to lose:"I guess you could say that. I'm just going out and trying to catch every punt, field every ball and make smart decisions. It is a competition until the end of the preseason. I definitely feel like I'm making smart decisions out there. I feel extremely comfortable back there catching punts and making the right reads. I feel comfortable in our scheme. I'm definitely looking forward to getting another crack at some returns this game coming up."

On how much he enjoys punt returns:"It is a lot of fun. I'm out there with a lot of defensive guys, so that is fun. It is just something different that I bring to the table. I can go back there, and I think coaches feel comfortable with me catching punts and making smart decisions. I just have to get more and more reps out here catching punts and let it translate to the game."

On what he was concerned about while battling injuries and missing a few practices in training camp:"I don't think I had any big concerns. I was just really trying to make sure that my body was going to be prepared for the long haul and be able to play for extended periods of time. I think that I was just working through some things. Now I'm back out here and I'm feeling good. It is just something I can build on and just keep stacking days out here."

On if he is doing anything different this year than his first two years in terms of preparation:"Yes, a lot of things different with strength and conditioning. Also, with our training staff, I'm doing a lot of different things."

On examples of what he is doing differently:"Just a lot more movement stuff – functional [exercises], strengthening different things. [I'm] getting in here early, and I have a routine I'm going through with our staff. I'm just making sure all the muscles are firing the right way. Everything is ready to go."

On if there is a sense of urgency on offense for the third preseason game:"Yes, definitely. For the starters, it is the last chance before our first game. We just want to be hitting on all cylinders. Guys want to be feeling great and comfortable with what we are doing – the schemes on offense. I think it is definitely a big point of emphasis to go out there and [have] no mental errors – just be on our stuff. Especially getting Joe [Flacco] back, this will be the first time we have our starting quarterback in there. The offense will definitely look different just having a Super Bowl-winning quarterback back there."

On if there has been a different approach in this season's training camp with head coach John Harbaugh giving him a couple of veteran days off:"It is something we have talked about. They have been doing this a long time, and they put together a plan for me. Unfortunately, I have had some injuries. They have been doing this for so long; they have been in the business. They know how to approach situations like these with players. We had a plan, just the best thing possible for me so I can be healthy, and I can be out there playing. I'm just trusting the process and the plan, and it has been working out."

On if he can be more specific about his plan for his body: "Not really. It is just something that the training staff and the coaches and myself have talked about. [We have talked] about how we are going to be moving forward and getting into training camp and preparing my body for the season."

On how much he appreciates the coaching staff trying to keep him healthy:"They know what I can bring to the team, and at the same time, I know I can't take it for granted. I have to prove it to my coaches and my teammates that I need to be out here and practicing every day. At the same time, unfortunately, I've had some injuries, and I have to be smart and make sure I'm not shooting myself in the foot."

On how nice it is to see WR Breshad Perriman practicing:"It is great seeing Breshad out there. He has worked so hard. Behind the scenes, nobody sees the work that he puts in. He is such a quiet humble guy. He is in here working out all the time just trying to get right. It was great seeing him out here; he looks good. It has been great having Steve [Smith Sr.] back. He [Smith Sr.] brings a whole different element, not just to our receiver room, but to our team."

On if he has talked to WR Breshad Perriman about not being frustrated while being injured:"We have talked a little bit. We talk about it. The media is always getting us; they are on us pretty tough. It is just about blocking that out and focusing on yourself and getting healthy. We all know what Breshad is capable of. He has the right mindset. He works hard, and sometimes injuries come with the game. It hasn't killed his confidence or anything. He is working hard; he is going to be ready to go."


WR Breshad Perriman

On how nice it was to be back on the practice field: "It was real nice. I'm very happy and very excited to be back out there with my teammates."

On if he feels healthy:"Yes. I feel really good; I'm confident. I feel like my speed is still there. I can't complain at all."

On if this rehab process was better on his body compared to last year: "Yes, I think so, because I've been through it before. I know how to attack it, and I have a better attitude towards the whole rehab process. I feel like I just attacked it much harder."

On if he was running routes at practice today: "I was running routes – running routes, working on coming in and out of my breaks for the most part, doing some ball drills as well. I caught some balls from Joe [Flacco] a little bit. For the most part, that was it."

On how scared he was when he injured his knee a second time:"It was very scary. At the same time, I kept faith through the whole thing; tried to stay positive. Once I got the good news, I was very excited. I just feel like that good mindset kind of paid off."

On why he cut his dreadlocks off:"I don't know why. I just woke up and wanted to do something new, and I did it."

On if he likes his haircut:"Yes. It just gets cold sometimes." (laughter)

On if his haircut makes him feel lighter or makes him faster:"Yes, it does, actually. I feel much lighter. Once I cut it, I weighed myself, and I lost three or four pounds. It was crazy."

On if there is enough time for him to be ready for the season opener:"Yes, most definitely. I don't have any doubt in my mind that I [will] be ready. I'm attacking it right now like I will be ready, and I think I will."

On the difference in his mindset between his recent rehab and the rehab he went through after injuring his knee last year:"Last year, it was a much longer rehab process. At the same time, I had to go through not being out there and all of the … You are really going to get what you put in. I'm not saying I didn't take it well last year. But just going through that made me have a clearer vision of how I had to attack it. I just went in every day with the mindset of trying to get better each day."

On why he feels so good about playing Week 1: "I just feel like I have been working hard, and I am going to continue to work hard. I feel like my hard work will pay off, and I have no doubts in my mind that I [will] be ready."

On if he expects to play on Saturday against the Lions: "That is up to coach [John Harbaugh]. I can't even call it."

On if he expects his workload to increase in practice:"Yes, slowly keep increasing day by day."

On how eager he is to move past questions about his health and prove what kind of player he is:"I am very eager. I feel like it is coming real soon. I know that it will be worth the wait, in my eyes. I'm very eager."

On if he is running full speed:"Yes."

On if he is as fast as he was before the injury:"Yes, pretty much."

On how much of what fans and the media say about him fuels him:"It fuels you a little bit. But at the same time, you kind of just block it out. Of course, it is going to fuel you if you read or see anything negative. It is always going to want to make you go harder. At the same time, you can't let it get to you. You kind of have to have a balanced mindset towards that."

On if he has felt a mental hurdle or any hesitation while he is practicing:"No, not for the most part. Once again, I feel like I have been working hard in rehab. I feel like I'm healthy, so I'm not really trying to baby it or anything like that. I'm just trying to go out there and play fast and really not think about it at all."

On how exciting it is to be part of the Ravens' receiving corps:"It is real great. We have Steve [Smith Sr.], Mike [Wallace] and Kamar [Aiken], [Jeremy] Butler, we've got 'Camp' [Michael Campanaro]. I feel like it is going to be a good year, and just being around those guys, they keep you uplifted. It is never a dull moment. Everything is always funny. I like it a lot, and we learn a lot from each other."

On how far he needs to go to gain chemistry with QB Joe Flacco:"We probably have some work to do. I haven't been out there with Joe in a while. It shouldn't take that long, but I feel like we will get it done."

WR Mike Wallace

On how WR Breshad Perriman looked in practice:"He looked great. He looked great. I'm pretty sure the coaches are going to take their time and make sure they're pretty cautious within, but he looks good. He pretty much looks like the guy we saw in the spring before he got injured."

On the big-play potential of the wide receiver corps with players coming back from injury: "Hopefully, that's the plan. We have a great group of guys – hard-working, humble guys – who are just going to pick each other up and lift each other. It was a great feeling just to have everybody out there. When we looked around today, it was like 12 purple jerseys at wide receiver. That's the first time all of camp – really, since I've been here so far – that we had all of those guys. That's exciting. Hopefully we can keep it going."

On if he is anxious to play more in the upcoming third preseason game: "Most definitely, I'm excited about it. I just got out there and ran around a little bit [in the first two]. I was excited about that. This week, hopefully I can get a little more action and make a couple of plays for my team this weekend."

On where the offense is in its offseason progress: "Obviously, going against our defense, they're really good. We go against them every day, so some days might not look as good as we really want it to look, but we're not discouraged by that at all because of the type of guys we have. We know we'll be ready come the season."

On how QB Joe Flacco has helped him improve: "Joe is a great quarterback – just a veteran guy who has been at every level of the game. When you have a quarterback like that who can make every throw and has seen every situation, that makes the game a lot easier. He's just a smart guy. Like I said, he has seen every situation, so he can put us in the right positions every single time. He's a great guy. He's really helpful on the field. Not only Joe, I think we have a whole group of guys like that [who] just pull each other together. That's what I love about this team. If one guy is down, the other guy picks him up. With 'Sizzle' [Terrell Suggs] and Steve [Smith Sr.] back, it's been great – a lot of energy on the field. I don't think anybody can be down when those two guys are out there."

On the stiff competition among the wide receivers: "That just means you have to go to work every day. I think it's great. The atmosphere is great, just because we have so many guys that can play. I don't think there's one guy on our team who isn't capable of making the roster, but we all know that isn't possible. You have to go out and make sure you're not the last guy every day. You can't drop passes. You can't be running the wrong routes. You have to be in tune. You're not going to get too many chances to make mistakes."

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