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Ravens Training Camp Transcripts (Aug. 24)

Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg

What have you seen from WR/RS Keenan Reynolds' development as a returner? Also, what other ways has he been contributing with special teams? (Luke Jones)"You may have seen in the game against Indianapolis, Keenan made two tackles on the punt team. I jokingly said in the meeting room, 'His first two tackles he ever had in his life happened to be in the NFL.' He did a great job as a gunner. He ran the show. He was aggressive down the field in coverage. As I've described before, our returners need to be able to do something more than just be a returner, and he really demonstrated that the other night. He's improving in his catching skills. You know he can run the ball when he has it, so he continues to develop. Positive progress."

When you're looking for a punt returner, do you see this as WR/RS Michael Campanaro's job to lose? (Garrett Downing) "Everybody has a job to gain in my view. Michael is out there trying to win the job. It's really not his job, it's the returner. The job belongs to the team, and he's trying to get that job; that's the way I look at it. He went out the other night and made a good decision on the fair catch. He had a good return on the 20-plus-yarder that we had. He tracked a long ball over his shoulder. He tracked it well and caught it even though it was out of bounds, so he also showed some real positive things in this last game."

On covering kicks, are there any concerns at this point? Is it just normal routine preseason struggles? (Pete Gilbert) "I really try during preseason to give everyone the opportunity, but there is no such thing as a good 28-yard return. There's nothing really positive about that, other than the fact that some guys got to play and get out there. We really worked hard today on trying to clean up some of the things we saw. We need to be a lot better than that if we're going to actually kick the ball in play and have them return it. We need to improve on kickoff coverage."

On kickoff coverage, would you like to have the unit cover well enough to kick the ball to the half-yard line and pin them back? Or do you think even with the rule change that touchbacks are the way to go? (Ryan Mink) "I think everyone is going through the process of trying to figure out exactly what they're good at and what they want to do as we go forward in the season. As you've seen in our first two preseason games, we have done what we have done all of our preseason games in the past, that is, kick the ball right in the middle of the field in a place where they will return it. We put ourselves in that situation, because we want to see players play. We want to see guys be able to run and get off blocks and make tackles. That's why we kick the ball there during the preseason. During the regular season, and for many years now, we've kicked the ball in the same place, but as far as we possibly can kick it. The rules have changed, so you're seeing a lot of angled kicks to the sidelines. You're seeing a lot of high kicks rather than line-drive kicks. I think everyone, ourselves included, is trying to find out what they're really good at. Then, as we go into the regular season, I think reality is going to set in for everybody, because then it counts. Nobody is going to kick the ball to try to get a look at guys or try and cover the kick and get it inside the 20-yard line so, it matters. At the same time, nobody wants to just surrender five yards and say, 'OK, start at the 25.' It really depends on a lot of factors: How good your players are in coverage. How good your kicker is as an angle kicker and a high kicker. And what also matters is where you're playing, what the weather conditions are and what the field conditions are. If anybody is making judgments in the preseason as to what's going to happen in the regular season, I think they're premature."

Is K Justin Tucker good at making those high or angled kicks? (Ryan Mink) "We'll find out. We'll find out – if we use them, we'll find out."

Talking about WR/RS Keenan Reynolds, he is a guy that played quarterback ever since high school and never did this before. Does that show how determined he is to find a spot? (Don Markus)"Oh, yes. He is America's finest in my view. You see him in the meetings, see him on the field. He is doing everything he can to get good at a lot of things, and we are practicing him at a lot of places. Like a lot of guys out here, they are trying to develop their skills so they can play on Sundays. Every day it is a challenge, and he shows up every day and goes to work. I love his work ethic. Obviously, his athletic skills have been demonstrated out here. He has to find a place, and we have to find a place for him in the games. He is ready to roll."

What are you looking for from your special teams heading into your third preseason game? (Ed Lee)"The third preseason game is different than the first two, in we try to stage it like a regular season game with our offense and defense. What you will see is the player rotation will be different. We will have guys like Albert McClellan; he hasn't played a rep on special teams so far, and he is one of our best players. He is one of the best in the league. Zach Orr has not played a rep on special teams this preseason. Kyle Juszczyk [hasn't played a rep on special teams]. I could go on and on. The first two preseason games, we are trying to develop players. The third preseason game starts out more like a real game."

You said a few weeks ago – maybe it even goes back to minicamp – that you don't have to worry about K Justin Tucker, LS Morgan Cox and P Sam Koch. You know they are going to show up and do their job at a high level. How do you challenge guys like that? Or because they have been around so long, you don't have to challenge them? (Don Markus)"When I said I guess I don't worry about them … I worry about them. I challenge them, and they challenge themselves. These three guys are highly-professional individuals. They are very meticulous about their preparation. They want to do things right in practice. They want to have good preparation for the week so they can feel good about going into the games. The fact that I try to influence that in some way … I try to point out the things that I see to them. I try to be a set of eyes and provide guidance for them. It is a rare occasion where they are not in tune with themselves. It is a good partnership with them with one another, with them with [kicking consultant] Randy [Brown] and me and [assistant special teams coach] Chris [Horton]."


Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees

Dean, what do you want to see from the first-team defense in the third preseason game? (Ryan Mink)"First of all, I'd like to see us get off to a faster start. The first two preseason games we've done a good job of holding someone to a field goal on drives, but I'd really rather not see a 10- or 11-play drive to start the game. We have to get off to a faster start than what we did and keep playing well in the red area. We did better on third down. The biggest thing coming out of last game was really three areas: No. 1 was penalties. We aren't going to survive having that many penalties. We kind of played through it and made some plays, but we can't have that many penalties – basically the offside. No. 2 is that we had too many missed assignments, in the running game especially. It wasn't in the passing … Well, the passing game is a different thing. In the running game, we got a third down-and-1, and we had two guys misaligned, and they run for seven yards. It didn't have anything to do about being physical or anything else. We had no chance. That's the second thing. We have to make sure we don't have any mental mistakes. Third was our pass-rush lanes were horrible in that game. When we weren't pressuring … We didn't pressure very much. We didn't try to pressure [Andrew] Luck. I wanted to see if we could just rush with some of the guys we had in there. We didn't go into that game thinking we were going to pressure very much. We have to do better, in a four-man rush, of not letting the quarterback out. I think of 90 of their rushing yards, over 30 of it was by the quarterback. The week before, there was a quarterback run. We have to fix the problems that we've seen in the first two weeks. That's what we need to see."

Dean, when you look at this defense today, do you believe that with S Eric Weddle and OLB Terrell Suggs back and others that's it's a better unit than the one you had last year? (David Ginsburg) "Not going in, because last year was a whole lot different team about half way – about three weeks into the season – than it was starting the season. I was very optimistic last year about our defense. We just had a rush of injuries, and you lose [Terrell] Suggs and lose the corners every week. It was what it was. I really feel good about this defense. I did last year, like I said, at the start of the season. I feel like we're maybe a little faster than we were maybe a year ago on defense, which is a good thing. We're going to need to be. I'm very optimistic, but I don't want you to think in any way, shape or form I didn't think that going into last year. I really felt like we were going to be a good defense last year. And we ended up being [a good defense]. Last half of the year we were a darn good defense in the second half of the year, but we can't wait until the second half of the year this year. We have to start out where we ended up."

Dean, a lot was made about OLB Elvis Dumervil's workload last year after the OLB Terrell Suggs injury. Where are you right now with your outside linebackers?  Are you thinking you can move Elvis back into a situational role?* (Luke Jones)*"I think we're going to be … I hope we'll be in a position where we can rotate a lot of guys up front. I feel like there's a lot of competition at the D-line, where whoever ends up making the team … I think we're going to have usually … You travel five guys or so. I think all five guys are going to get a chance to play. Usually, you end up with four outside linebackers. I think all four guys are going to get to play. I think it's a good thing. It's not only Elvis' and 'Sizz's' [Terrell Suggs] load, it's everybody's load. Plus, some of those guys play on special teams, so they get plenty of work right there. I really feel good about our depth, one and two. We all feel that way. When you start cutting the 53- [man roster], I don't know anybody that can say they're three-deep at any spot around the league, probably. I feel good about the competition at all of those spots inside."

How do you feel about LB Albert McClellan at the SAM linebacker spot? OLB Courtney Upshaw had that job for the last few years. (Luke Jones) "Albert is a different style of guy than Courtney. But I also think Za'Darius [Smith] is working there a little bit too. We've had [Kamalei] Correa working there a little bit. Again, I think we can platoon a little bit on that. Every guy brings a little something different to the table. Courtney was a big, stout guy that set the edge. Albert is a tough guy, but he's probably a little better in coverage, athletically, than maybe Courtney was. Everybody brings their own set of abilities to that."

ILB C.J. Mosley has done a lot for you guys since his rookie year. With him taking on more a veteran leadership role this year, what is his value to the team? (Jonas Shaffer) "Obviously, he's one of our leaders now even in his third year. And the position that he plays puts him in a leadership role. MIKE linebacker is usually the quarterback of the defense. He's going to be the guy that's calling the stuff through the helmet and verbalizing all of that out. He's very, very important to us. He has to have a great year – as they all do. It's not just him. Your great players have to play great, and everybody has to play to their abilities. That's what we have to do."

How have you seen the secondary come along, not only in practice, but in the games so far? Do you see them gelling more and more each week?* (Ryan Mink)* "I think the more and more they play together, it's kind of the same thing. I'll revert back to last year: I think once we got to the midpoint, and if you really look at the last eight games, our secondary was solidified. It doesn't matter who was there. It's just a guy get used to working with other guys, how they verbalize, how they think, how they communicate [and] how they talk. [Eric] Weddle is a great talker. 'Webbie' [Lardarius Webb] is becoming even more and more comfortable back there, and they keep playing that way. I think if we can keep those guys in there and solidify it, I feel really good about it. One of the things I think that helps us is playing against our offense out here. Joe [Flacco] is as tough to play against as any quarterback that I've ever faced. He can throw the ball. He has great command of the offense. He knows he can read coverage. He can get them out of bad plays and [into] good plays.  That's great for us in practice. Working against Joe and our offense – and I think we have a great receiving corps, too – that's only going to make us better."

How is the chemistry impacted when you have some absences like you had today? (Ed Lee)"The good thing is, in practice, that's kind of good in a way for practice, because now you have to work through it, rather than it happening in a game. To me, anything that happens in practice is a good situation. Sometimes we'll hold guys out and put another guy in there because that may happen in a game. To me, they have to be able to work through it."

What have you thought about OLB Matthew Judon? I know head coach John Harbaugh said after the game he would try to work him in a little bit earlier in the game against better competition to see where he is as a pass rusher.* (Luke Jones)* "John is exactly right. We need to see where he is. He has shown up with a few sacks in the first couple of games. Whether the competition was good or if it wasn't, we need to see him against somebody's 'ones' that we know that is it their best competition, and we have to find out where he is. John is exactly right. We need to put him in that position. Just like we put some guys in positions last week that probably are not pass-rusher guys, where we put them, but we wanted to see. What better time? I don't want to wait until Buffalo to find out. We always do some things in preseason that hopefully we wouldn't do necessarily, game-plan-wise, once the season rolls [around]."

**With OLB Matthew Judon, what stands out when you're watching him as a pass rusher? *(Jamison Hensley) *"I think he's a physical guy. He's a tough guy. He's got pretty good burst coming off the edge for being big and physical. I think he's going to grow into a big guy, kind of like 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] is. I wouldn't compare him to him in any way, shape or form right now, but I think he's that style of guy. I think he's going to be able to play with some power. I think he's got good speed. The thing I think, too, about Matt is he's a pretty smart football player. He's a rookie. He has his moments, but I think overall, he does pretty well in the classroom."

Do you see the nickel/corner job as CB Jerraud Powers' job to lose? (Ryan Mink) "I don't know that anybody's got anybody's job to lose. I just think it's everybody's. It's competition, and competition only makes you better. If there's somebody breathing down your neck, then you better pick it up and you better go. I'm not saying anything negative about Jerraud. He knows. He's a pro. It's anybody's job. It's open, as they all are open, not particularly his. He's been our starting nickel. Right now, I would say he's our starting nickel if he's healthy, but at the same time, guys are competing. I can't say enough about Anthony Levine [Sr.]. [He] never practiced there one time and went out there and played in the game, and did a very competitive job. Guys are fighting to make this team."


Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman

How much are you looking forward to seeing QB Joe Flacco out there and get a better idea of what your starting offense is as we are approaching the start of the season? (Luke Jones)"I heard he was going to start yesterday, and Joe [Flacco] said it. We are looking forward to that. He has two good days of practice, working with a bunch of different guys. You can see our receiver corps has grown dramatically over the last couple of days, so obviously, the competition there is great. [Joe] also has had the opportunity to work with some guys he hasn't worked with. That has been good. We are excited."

Because the receivers are healthy now, do you finally get a clear picture of what this group is capable of? (Joe Platania)"I think that each day in practice we learn a little bit more, and we still have a few weeks to go. Every day is really going to be important in all of our position groups, because there is competition for positions on this team in every group."

With QB Joe Flacco coming out and playing in the third preseason game, with what you have seen in practice, are there any questions in your mind that need to be answered coming off of his injury? (Jamison Hensley)"Not at all. You guys have watched him practice, as well. He practices full speed. He has made it a point of working in the pocket and getting himself outside of the pocket throwing it on the run, moving around. I think he is completely confident. You would have to ask him, but he looks to be completely confident in his ability to move around and have the mobility in the pocket that he needs and to be able to scramble when necessary."

How important is this game to determine if G/T Alex Lewis could be ready to start at left guard potentially going into the regular season? (Garrett Downing)"I think that No. 1, practice is almost as important as the game. The game is amped up certainly one more notch. But each and every day in practice, you have a chance with each and every play to help yourself and market yourself to make the football team and put yourself in a position to start. Alex is going to get plenty of reps. We have a long way to go. We certainly feel good about where he is at the present time. He has a long way to go, as well. He has the ability to do it. He is smart. He is a good communicator, and he is working very hard. We will just see how that goes."

With the running back rotation in the regular season, does there need to be a clear one, two, three depth chart, or can it be a game-in, game-out type of thing? (Brett Hollander) "We have seen it done a bunch of different ways. You can have one player doing it; you can have two or three guys doing it. It has happened at different places where I have been, and you see it throughout the league. I think the next couple of weeks will give us a better idea. We are rolling them in right now trying to get everybody work. We tried to run the ball extensively in the first two games and give guys a chance to get some carries early on and get a part of the game. That has been our mode – to give each running back a chance to have enough carries – because these games can get away from you, where you don't get a chance to run it as much as you would like. We have had the opportunity to see these guys run, and we want to continue to do that the rest of the way."

After last season, did you think you needed to work on some specific things coming into this year? (Mike Preston)"I think that is a hard question to answer. You want to work on everything. You want to begin at square one, and we did that by reevaluating our scheme and working through it. [We worked on] redeveloping our run game and adjusting our passing game. All of that comes into play, and then it is just working each and every day to teach the fundamentals and techniques that are necessary to get it done. It really is no one thing. You have to work on everything, and you have to focus on every detail, because they all matter. "

With all the talent at wide receiver, do you see yourself doing more of a rotation, kind of a platoon system, at that spot? (Ryan Mink)"It is funny how things change. We have lost a bunch of tight ends over the past few weeks, and everybody was talking about all the tight ends. Now they are seeing all the receivers out here. It is a pretty good problem to have. History is that it generally works its way out. I think the guys that are going to be playing are going to be in a position to have the opportunity to win for us. We could have different personnel groupings and different plays designed for different guys. It could go into that kind of detail. I think it is a matter of seeing how things progress over the next few weeks. Anything is possible, with how we handle our running backs, how we handle our receivers, our tight ends. When everybody is healthy, it looks to be a group of guys that you can do a lot of different things with and have some fun and give everybody opportunities. We are just hopeful that will be the case."

How impressed have you been with T Ronnie Stanley, especially in pass protection? (Jamison Hensley)"You watch him in practice, and you grade the tape. You really don't talk about him very much when we are sitting there watching the practice and grading the guys. That is a good sign,**in terms of how he is doing. Again, he has done really well with handling the different protection schemes that we have and picking up blitzes. Working with Alex [Lewis] – the two of them together – just seeing how they have done just picking up twists and communicating as well, it has been a good start for him. He is going to see some good players this week, and he is certainly going to see some very good players as we start the season. He has just really quietly gone about his business each and every day at practice. He is very focused. There is not a lot of stuff going on outside of him just trying to do his job, and it is a really good sign. He has a good, quiet demeanor. He is working extremely hard."

In your experience with young guys making that transition, is T Ronnie Stanley unique in the sense that it is a smooth transition? (Jamison Hensley)"You look at it, and you [think] that there is nothing that tells you he can't do this, and the game is not going to be too big for him, and the spot is not going to be too big for him. That is an important spot, obviously. That is what we are seeing each and every day. We have to assess it and grade it each day and each game. We think he is going to grow into being an outstanding football player."

Is there anything that you have done to help T Ronnie Stanley smooth that transition as a coaching staff this preseason? (Jonas Shaffer)"You have to give [offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo] and [assistant offensive line coach] Todd [Washington] the credit to him coming out each and every day being ready to go. He is a very quiet guy out here; he doesn't say much. When you sit down and talk with him … He is a sociable guy when you sit down and talk with him away from the game or when you want to talk football with him. Out here, he doesn't say much. He is just doing his job, and then you watch the tape, and you see that is what is getting done. I can't say I've done anything other than ask him how he is doing and tell him to buy bonds." (laughter)

As this team stands now, it is pretty hard to identify a playmaker besides perhaps QB Joe Flacco? Is that necessary to have one, or is it alright if just everyone contributes and shares? (Dave Ginsburg)"That is a tough question, because everybody, through the course of the game, is going to have a chance to make a play. To win on a contested throw, to beat his guy man-to-man, that is an expectation you have with each and every player, that they can get that done with some degree. That will be our expectation with the guys that are in there."

Because this will be QB Joe Flacco's only game action in the preseason, is there anything different or anything you need to get out of it? (Brent Harris)"We just want to keep him safe out there, give him an opportunity to throw the football, lead the team, move the ball, mix the run and the pass and do what we want to do during the season. We are not going in there with any parameters, other than just to get some good work and move the ball and get in the red zone [and] score. If we don't get to the red zone, we can score without getting to the red zone; that is good, too. The objective is to play a clean game, to play as John [Harbaugh] would say, 'winning football' in the time that we are in there."

WR Breshad Perriman got back on the field this week. What can he bring this offense that maybe you didn't have last year or maybe what you are still looking for as far as trying to improve the passing game? (Jamison Hensley)"Obviously, we acquired Mike [Wallace], which has given us a little more speed at that position. Certainly, the times that we have seen Breshad out there, we have seen his speed. We have seen his ability to go downfield and make plays. I think his hands and his concentration have even got better since he first got here. He is much more sure-handed – not that he wasn't – but he has become even more sure-handed. I think that goes with confidence. He just needs to get out and play and run routes and do it consistently and get some reps. He just needs reps. He has go-to speed, and he has size to go with it. It is a unique package."

WR Breshad Perriman said that he is a little faster after cutting his hair. Have you noticed that? (Brent Harris)"That is OK with me. (laughter) I think he looks good."

What do you want to see from the offense this year? (Ed Lee)"I think that is a good question. What we want to see is [to] be as mistake-free as we can; to allow our guys to put themselves in a position to win the one-on-one battles; to be physical in the run game and make some yards with our runs; make some positive yards and get to a point where the amount of yards we get on those runs are acceptable to us; to win in the contested throwing outside, because we are going to get this week … We will get a lot of man-to-man, bump-and-run coverage. We have to show that we have improved our technique, that we can win at the line of scrimmage and get by our guys and get open. Then [we must] execute clean football in both areas. That is what we are looking to do."

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