Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
K Justin Tucker said he would attempt an 84-and-a-half-yard field goal if the conditions were right. What are your thoughts on that? (Kyle Barber)"We have no plans for such." (laughter)
What is the longest attempt you would give him a shot at, end-of-game-situation or the end of a half? (Garrett Downing)"That is a difficult question to answer, because you don't know the conditions. You don't know the footballs, you don't know the altitude. We would make that decision before the game, typically. We would extend [the range of the attempt] if it is the end of the half or the end of the game. I can't honestly answer the question, because we are not there. Until that time … We will see."
What have been your impressions of CB Tavon Young on special teams? I've seen you give him some feedback at times and that he has been at kick returner. (Luke Jones)"Feedback – that is a good way of describing it. (laughter) We drafted him, because we really like the way he plays the game; he plays fast. He is a quick athlete and a fast athlete. We are trying to get him ready to go on special teams where he can use that talent that he has to cover kicks, to hold up as a corner, to perhaps be a kickoff returner, to be a gunner and get off the line of scrimmage. That is where we are going with it. He is not working with the first defense right now, so if he is going to be active on Sunday, he needs to do those things."
What was your conversation with the officials? (Rich Sayers)"The official conversation … My best friends and I were discussing operations, really, mechanics. [We were discussing] what our players can expect and how the game is officiated, specifically with the punt team, where the officials are going to leave and where they are going to be, so we don't run in to each other. That was the discussion. That was honestly the discussion. We don't want any collisions out there, so we want to know where they are going to be."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
What have you seen from OLB Victor Ochi lately? (Ken McKusick) "[He is] a great effort guy, the same thing we saw on film. [He is] a tough guy and still learning the system. There's a lot of new stuff [that is] a lot different than what he did in college – a lot different than what he did in college, but he's giving great effort. He's got good speed. He's tough. He just has to learn what's going on, like every other rookie. One thing about him is you're going to get a day's work out of him. He gives great effort and he's giving you everything he's got, and he's studying hard."
Dean, we know it's quite a learning curve at the cornerback position for a rookie, but CB Tavon Young is a guy who has made a lot of plays and seems to be playing with a lot of confidence. What have you seen from him relative to understanding he is a rookie with a lot to learn? (Luke Jones)"Same thing. Tavon is a hard worker. He's really good in the classroom, pays attention and stays on top of things – as they all do. I really love this group, as far as their attention to detail. They really are trying, trying hard. We don't always do it right, but it isn't because of lack of effort. He just has to keep playing and just keep learning the system. The thing I like is I've seen some production out of him. He shows up around the ball, and his name gets mentioned when we're in there watching the film a lot. That's what you want to do as a rookie. You want to be noticed for the good reasons. You don't want your name mentioned a lot the other way, and it really hasn't been with him. He has very few mistakes. I think what's going to be really good for him is when we get into preseason and he starts playing against other teams, just different than the guys out here every day. I think that game experience will be big for him."
With LB Kamalei Correa, do you like him being able to movie inside and outside? Or do you want him to pick a spot? (Garrett Downing) "I don't know. I don't know. What we're trying to do is move him around and just see if there's a spot that is a little more comfortable. We're probably doing maybe a little too much for him. We're really asking a lot out of the guy that's a rookie. He's playing a lot of positions – might be too many. I'd rather do that and then figure out what we want to do with him, and then do it rather than not do it and then try to figure out why we should have done it. This is the kind of time right now where you experiment and move guys around. We moved some guys around today a little different and playing in different spots. This is the time to do it. We may find out something, because in the course of the season you may have to move a guy to a different spot. This is kind of the time that we do that. I know it's a roundabout answer, but we don't know where we want to put him exactly yet."
*I know you talked a little bit about this last time, but you're kind of breaking the mold at safety and going with two smaller, more athletic guys. Have you seen that pay off in practice that they're making more plays, or they have a little bit more range? *(Ryan Mink) "I feel like it. I think we are. I think we're making more plays back there. Don't get me wrong on this. When you say, 'We're going to go with two small safeties,' that isn't really the design. The design is just who are the two best safeties? That's really what it is; it's not really a design. The good thing is, if you have two equal guys, then you can play them equal. If you have one guy that can do something better, then you have to do that with that guy. It's worked out well. I think that both of them, those two guys and even Kendrick [Lewis] – all the guys … I don't want to really leave anyone out, because I think Matt Elam is working hard. I think Terrence Brooks is working hard. I think we have four or five guys back there. The competition is great."
*Coach, DE Brent Urban is a guy who has had injuries throughout his career, but he has a chance this year to be healthy and progress. How do you see his development? *(Cliff Brown) "Getting better. He's a big, tall guy. It's always the one thing about the big tall guys … [Former Ravens DE] Chris Canty was always helping him a lot. It's harder for those guys to play low. Low to them is not necessarily low to us. He's getting better. He's kind of like everybody else; he's working hard. We have a long way to go with those guys, but I love his effort and I love his attention to what we're trying to get done. He just has to keep working hard every day, and he does."
With DE Bronson Kaufusi out for the year, who are you looking forward to filling that gap (Kyle Barber)"We still have Lawrence Guy in there. It will really be the seven best defensive linemen, whoever that ends up being. Guys are always cross-trained in there. [Defensive] ends know how to play tackle; tackles know how to play ends. Tackles know how to play nose [tackle]. We cross-train all of those guys. It will be just a matter of whatever six or seven guys that we come up with. I really can't tell you right now. I think the competition is too good to sit here and say, 'It's these guys,' because I can't tell you that."
Obviously, you don't want to see any penalties on your side of the ball. There were a few today, but at least this time of year before the games start, are errors of commission more forgivable than errors of omission? (Joe Platania)"An error is an error. There is no difference between a good one and a bad one. We're not going to tolerate being offside in critical situations and third downs. Jumping offside, if that happens then you're not going to play. There's no good time in any time of practice or the season, or anything else for us to have penalties."
Dean, what can DT Brandon Williams do to improve on last year? What do you expect from him? (John Eisenberg)"I expect him to be a dominant player. He was a good player for us last year. I think he was underrated by some people around the league. I think people that know, know he played pretty well. But that's last year. He has to step it up just like everybody else. When your best players play your best, that's when you are at your best. That's what you need, and he's one of our best players up front. He has to be at his best for us to be at his best. That's the way it is across the board. It's not about the backup guys and all of these guys. Everybody always says, 'You're only as good as your worst player.' That's not true. What's true is: Your best player has to play best. That's what we expect out of him, improvement from last year."
Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman
What can you speak to the progression of QB Joe Flacco, back to the injury in November? * (Cal Dymowski)*"He has jumped right into the offense. He obviously didn't have any reps during the OTAs. He has picked it up quickly. It is obvious he has spent time on his own getting himself ready. He is certainly ready mentally. Each and every day, he is just working to try and get better, and we are seeing a lot of productivity out here. It is good stuff. We just have to continue to work each day and stack days, [like] John [Harbaugh] always says. We just have to continue to work to get better, but I feel really good about his progress up to this point."
How have you seen RB Terrance West try to take advantage of his opportunity here?* (Garrett Downing)*"I think that he is competing every day. I don't think that Terrance is looking around or evaluating the situation. I think that he is just out there working hard and trying to get better. He is running hard. He is running aggressively. He has been much improved in terms of his understanding of pass protection, which is critical to getting him on the field. I feel a lot more comfortable with that. He has had a tremendous attitude in the classroom and on the field. [His] effort level and work ethic have been outstanding to this point."
What can you say about the receivers who are getting opportunities with some of these guys out, especially WR Jeremy Butler and WR Chris Matthews? (Don Markus)"I think they are taking advantage of the reps. For receivers, practice is tough, because they are running from start to finish, and many of them are playing special teams over the 20- to 30-minute special teams period. We are getting a lot of productivity out of them and a lot of good effort. We have to continue to be more consistent, continue to get our timing with Joe [Flacco] and the rest of the quarterbacks. That is kind of, Day Nine, Day 10 … We are just trying to work through it and get better. They are practicing hard and are extremely focused. They understand it is a competition going on, and they are trying to take advantage of the reps."
What have you seen differently from WR Jeremy Butler and WR Chris Matthews? (Don Markus)"I think they are practicing with more confidence. Chris is in the system another year. 'J.B.' [Butler] is just … His maturity level … I think his growth has [been with maturity]. He is such a smooth player that oftentimes you don't feel the effort level, which is there. He has turned it up. He has shown more explosiveness after catches. His route-running continues to improve. [Wide receivers coach] Bobby [Engram] has done a great job with continuing to work on his route-running – top of routes. You saw it today; he can elevate and make plays. Again, he is a really big part of this competition."