Ravens Training Camp Transcripts: Report Day

QB Joe Flacco

On how eager he is for training camp coming off an injury: "I'm excited, but it is good that I've had a little break-in period the last four days with some of the rookies and a couple of the other injured other guys. It has been nice to get out there and throw some passes around and really test and see how it feels for real."

On how his knee has felt the past few days:"It's felt really good. I was really optimistic the first day I went out there, and within a couple minutes, I really just forgot about it. Not that it is going to be like that the whole time, I don't think, but it was just a really good sign. I felt like it was a good sign as to how I may feel moving forward. We'll see after weeks at a time on it. It feels really good standing here today after being here Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday."

On the hardest part of going back through the motions, mentally and physically:"I think it will be mentally. I haven't played since November. I haven't really played football; I haven't got any offseason reps. I think the biggest part will be just getting back out there and getting my vision back and slowing things down to the pace that I want them to be at. I'm sure when I get out there for the first time, I'm going to be excited, and therefore things will probably be moving a little faster than normal just because of that. I expect it to calm down quickly. The other thing is with my knee, I've been doing a bunch of running and all that stuff the whole time, but I didn't hurt my knee running. It was a contact injury, and I haven't had to deal with any of those issues. I haven't had to deal with people being around me while I'm stepping and throwing. I assume that might take a little bit of an adjustment, but I'm not too worried about it, and we will see how it goes."

On if he's taken the conditioning test:"No, I was here for at least 80 percent of the workouts. I don't have to take it."

On if next goal is to play in the first preseason game: "No, the goal is to make sure I'm as healthy as possible [for] regular season Game 1. I haven't directly talked to John [Harbaugh] about it. I talked to the doctors a little bit, and I'm not ridiculously worried about playing a ton in the preseason. The way our practices are out here and the way we compete and how competitive they are, I'm going to get plenty of work out here. Just talking to them – you want to keep it [safe] – I've played in a million games, and to put it at any further risk of getting hit in a simple early preseason game probably wouldn't be the smartest thing. I'm not really too concerned with that stuff."

On if it will be easier to not think too much about his injury once he is on the field:"I better not be thinking about it. I'm sure I'll feel a little bit different the first couple times, and that is just going to be part of the growing process. That is going to be part of the rehab process; it is not over until you're out there and you feel like you did before it all happened. Having people flying around my legs and all that is just going to just be another part of it."

On if there is sense of optimism getting the team back healthy after the injuries last year: "I think you always want to play at full strength. But in the NFL, that's not a reality. You go out there, you play your best, and do your best with what you've got. I really don't know how they felt last year in the last six games. Up until I was healthy – you deal what you have, and I know we had dealt with some injuries at that point. When you are in the flow of a 16-game season, you dwell on it for half a second and then you are on to the next game before you know it. It is tough to really think about it, but you definitely want to be full strength as long as possible, and full strength means having guys at 100 percent. If guys aren't ready to be out there at 100 percent, you have to make sure you rehab them and get them as strong as possible and wait until they are 100 percent to be out there."

On how it will be moving forward with OLB Terrell Suggs back: "It is always good having his personality around the building, just what he brings to this whole place. He has been here ever since I've been here and a lot longer than that. He is just a lot of fun, and I think he gives the young guys on this team a lot of direction; they look up to him. They have been watching him play for a long time now. It just has been fun having him in the training room for the last five weeks and having him around, just hearing his voice all throughout the facility."

On if he will wear a knee brace: "I'll wear it during practice. I'll wear it during games."

On if he will wear the knee brace the whole season: "No doubt. If it helps a little bit, that is huge. I'm not going to leave a risk, and then have something happen and say, 'What if?' I'm going to wear it; there is no reason not to."

On if the motivation is any different going into this year: "I don't know if the motivation is any different. Does it feel a little bit different? Yes, because I haven't been out here for a while. The motivation is always the same. We want to be the best, and that doesn't change just because I haven't played that much last season or haven't practiced in a while. It doesn't really change."

On how having less time working with new guys such as WR Mike Wallace and TE Benjamin Watson changes things:"I think we will have plenty of time, naturally, over training camp. They are good players, and there are things we are going to need to work on, just like they do. They are going to need to work on getting off and making the move to the ball. I'm going to have to get used to throwing to them and understanding where they like the ball and how they run routes – just kind of getting [a feel and] standing behind the play and getting a visual for it. Seeing how their bodies react to certain things, and how they move and all those things [will be important]. I think the fact that they are good players means they will be doing the right thing most of the time. It should speed up the progress a little bit."

On if there is more uncertainty than usual going into training camp because of different personnel: "I wish I could think back to all the training camps. It is probably pretty similar to all of them. You have some guys, and you have some guys coming off of injuries – when are we going to get them back? How much work are we going to get with them before Game 1? You're always looking at new guys coming in, seeing how our new offensive linemen are going to do. We've got a lot of running backs; seeing how they are all going to perform. There are always a lot of questions going in. I think you have a pretty good idea of what the answers to them are, but you just have to see for yourself and see how the preseason games go. I think we've got a very talented group, and I think we've got a good core group of guys. The other guys are just going to have to do their job and play consistently. [They will] just have to show up every day and get better, and I think we will be good."

On how much he has worked with WR Breshad Perriman since he was drafted in 2015: "Not much. I've been hanging out with him a little bit in there [the training room].* *I finally convinced him to cut his hair off. I'm going to take credit for that even though I had no idea he did it. (laughter) I don't even know if you guys know yet. I haven't had a ton of time to work with him, but that's just the nature of this game. You have to deal the hand you're dealt. Hopefully, for his sake, he's able to get back out here and get confident and get those reps. I think he's a huge part of our team, so I want to see him out there. He's a talented kid. The little bit that I really got to work with him was last year in the offseason. I'm excited about throwing him the ball. He's going to help us out a lot. We just have to get him out there and make sure he's 100 percent healthy so that nothing else happens."

On his reaction to the Ravens potentially signing T Jake Long: "I think anytime you can add veteran lineman, especially one of his caliber, it helps out the team. Do we know exactly what that role is going to be yet? Probably not. But I think depth at that position – especially veteran guys that have done it and have been around – it can always be a huge asset."

On if having a veteran at tackle gives a quarterback more confidence than a rookie: "It's tough. I think as a quarterback you're looking at that unit as a whole and how they operate, how they work together. Then really, just how clean they keep you and how confident you can stand back there and make throws. I'm not really concerned about having a rookie out there if he's going to mesh well with our guys, and he's going to play really well. It does give you a sense of security that we have a guy – we have a few guys – that have done it and might have to be backups. I think that helps you out a ton."

On having offensive coordinator Marc Trestman back for another season: "I'm excited about it. We've been meeting throughout the offseason. I'm excited to get back up there and really start grinding away a little bit. I think they've done a lot of good things to the offense. We're going to take advantage of a lot of our good players and make things happen, play fast, score points and do a lot of good things. So, I'm excited about it."

On if the offense will look different this year: "I think it'll look a little bit different in certain areas. It all has to be about moving the ball and keeping ourselves on the field. I think if we do that, then it will probably look a little bit different."

On what it was like to be a part of the Super Bowl 50 celebration of past Super Bowl MVPs with some of his childhood heroes: "It was awesome. I'm not a guy that really wants to go to Super Bowls if I'm not in it, but I would have regretted it big time not being there after I was there and experienced it. Just meeting all of the guys and hearing stories from when they were playing, and really just the overall event, was awesome. It was nice to be a part of that group. I'm very fortunate."

On if any of the past Super Bowl MVPs introduced themselves to him: "Yes. I tried to go introduce myself to them so they didn't have to do that. They're the guys that I looked up to. I'd rather introduce myself to them. There is only a handful of us that are still playing, and we all at least know each other a little bit. Even some of the guys that have played before, you see them during games or you bumped into them at some point."

On if any part of his injury and rehab process was a positive experience: "It's not the end of the world. I missed a handful of games, and it didn't feel good. For that to happen, you want to be there for your team is the biggest thing. I always wanted to be the guy that never missed anything, but that's not the reality. There are a lot of good things that come out of it. You just have to look at yourself in the mirror every day and go to work, go to work, go to work, and work toward that goal of getting back out onto the field. I think anytime that you … I've said it before: I don't know where I said it, but every day with this rehab you would get up, come in and accomplish something. I think accomplishing – no matter how little it was – accomplishing something every day is good for your confidence and it is overall good. It makes you feel good about yourself. My head probably grew a little bit coming in every day and feeling like I did a good job. (laughter) I'm sure our defense will knock me back down a little bit when I get back out there tomorrow."

On if the trend of younger veterans retiring makes him worry about running around with his kids when he is finished playing: "I'll worry about running around with my kids when I'm 50, when I'm 50. I don't have to worry about it right now. The main reason I'm going to be able to enjoy running around with my kids is because of what I do. If at some point this game takes that away from me, then so be it. I don't anticipate that happening, and I'll do everything in my power to keep that from happening. But my kids will eventually understand. I'll get somebody to run around with them." (laughter)

On if he finds joy in training camp or if it is just a necessary evil: "It's a combination of both, to be honest with you, these days. Back in the day, I remember taking a week and being on the beach in early July, then leaving the beach and having three weeks before training camp. The reality hits you like, 'Shoot, I'm going back to training camp.' It wasn't the best feeling, but now it's such a part of what we do. I'm so comfortable here. I have a great relationship with a lot of the teammates and all of the people in this building. It really has just become [comfortable]. The rules have changed a lot, too. It's tough to have a real, real training camp anymore. I feel great about coming back here. I'm actually really excited about being back. Part of that is because I haven't been and done things in a while with the guys. I'm excited to see guys. I'm excited to get back out on the field. Over the last probably five years or so, it's become more of that. It's kind of fun for me to come back and really go out there and sling it around. Of course, it's still training camp. You're going to have your days when you're talking to your guys and coming up with all kinds of stuff as to why you don't want to be here right now, but that's just a part of the game. I'm having fun and I'm looking forward to it."

RB Justin Forsett

On his favorite part of his time off: "Probably going to Italy and speaking out there and doing a football camp. That was pretty awesome. I've never been a big Italian food guy – I've been to Carrabba's [Italian Grill] once or twice. (laughter). Going out there was different. That food is amazing. Spending that time with my family and getting to enjoy Italy was amazing."

On if Italy was better than the White House: "Better than the White House? Meeting [President] Obama, that was pretty cool."

On President Obama giving him two inches: "He gave me two inches. I'm about 5-10 in his book. That was a pretty cool experience – a lot of stuff I could say, for sure."

On what his outlook is entering training camp battling with a lot of young guys behind him:"I look at it like [this] every year: I've got to fight, make sure I'm doing my best and am at my best. My goal is to go out and lead this team to a Super Bowl. I'm going to try to put myself in a position to do so and attack every day like it is my last."

On as a player who wants to be on the field, if he doesn't want a "running back by committee" approach:"What's that?* (Reporter explains what running back by committee means.*) What is running back by committee? I don't really know what that is. *(Reporter explains again.) *Yeah, I don't understand that! *(sarcasm) (laughter)  *My job is … I grew up on old school running backs. I love watching them play – Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders, all those guys. Of course, if you are a running back – everybody wants to be on the field all the time. I want to put myself in a position where they can't take me off the field. That is my mentality. At the end of the day, everybody has their role, and I'll let coach decide that."

On how he would describe the attitude of the locker room heading into training camp: "It is exciting. Every year, around this time … This is my ninth training camp. It is a blessing. Me being fired three times throughout my career and traveling from five different teams – I don't take it for granted. Just coming in here, being able to do the conditioning test and meet with guys for the first time in a long time, I appreciate it, and it is a lot of excitement in the air."

On how nice it is to have a fresh start coming into training camp, after many of injuries last year:"It feels good. We had a couple injuries, which we couldn't control. It is good to be back as a whole, as a team, and mostly, everybody is back and will be working out tomorrow. Those who aren't, we will have to get them back to speed when they get ready. It is exciting. Last year is last year. It is a fresh start for us, and we have to come up with our identity as a team. It starts tomorrow."

On if it's hard to work with other running backs and help make them better, while still competing with them for a roster spot:"I feel like me being here is greater than football. Anytime I can help and serve my teammates, allow them to be better, I'm all for it. When I got into the league, it was guys like T.J. Duckett, Maurice Morris and Julius Jones that helped me along the way – Edgerrin James – those guys helped me be a pro and showed me the way. It is my duty to pass that on."

On his favorite food he had in Italy that he hadn't had before and a food that he stayed away from:"There was this peppercorn steak that they had there that was amazing. The sauce, I've never experienced in my life. It was something that I tried to go back at least every day to try and eat it. That is how good it was. Something that I try to stay away from? I don't drink wine, so that was the one thing that I stayed away from."

On if he stayed away from any food:"Food? Everything I ate was delicious. The pizza, the pasta, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every day."

On if he was in just one place: "We were in a couple places. A couple spots out there, but everywhere we went, the food was delicious."

On where he got the peppercorn steak:"I think it was called ZaZa."

OLB Terrell Suggs

On if he missed the local Baltimore media:"I did. Some things are just a part of our everyday reality, and you're it, unfortunately. (laughter) I missed y'all a little bit. Let's not get carried away."

On an injury update: "I don't know if you all know, but I'm going to be starting on PUP [Physically Unable to Perform list]. I'm not going to give it a timetable, but it's not going to be long. We're close to where we want to be. I'm going to be honest with you: The Raven side of me is like, "[Expletive] it, Sizz. Let's go play some football.' But I have to be smart with it. I can't be timid, but I have to be smart. It won't be long before I'll be off of it and out there practicing with the guys."

On how he feels physically: "I feel good. I'm going to be totally honest with you, with the exception of the foot, I feel a lot better than I did last year around this time. This thing can be kind of tricky sometimes. I don't want to go out there and then end up having to come back in and take a step back. We want to continue to ascend, climb the ladder. Like I said, we don't want to take any steps back. Once I'm out there, we want to stay out there."

On if it was easier to rehab this injury this time around: "The same injury, but a little bit different, but still the same. I don't know. Everyone asks me about it. I don't even really remember the first time [in 2012]. It seems like it was ages ago. All I know is what I'm doing now. I have my good days. I have some bad, but you just have to make progress every day. Like I said, I feel good. It won't be long before y'all see 55 out there practicing. I'm not going to make a big deal of it, and y'all shouldn't either."

On how difficult it was to watch the 5-11 Ravens from the sideline last season: "Extremely. Extremely. It was just very tough to watch knowing what the guys went through. For us to not have the success that we expected, it just didn't feel good. Now we get a chance to make it right. Last year is gone, but we have to beat that team, so to say. We have to make sure that team doesn't show up on September 11 again. We work too hard, our fans deserve better, and we deserve better. We work our tails off. It takes a lot to be considered a Raven. We just have to get back to that."

On how much he misses football: "I miss it a lot. It's like the girl that got away, so to say. But you get another crack at it. She came back around and you want to do right by her. I missed her a lot. I miss it a lot, and I'm very anxious to get back out there. The Sizzle side of me – the Vader side of me – is like, 'Let's go do it,' but let's just be smart. Let's not hang ourselves. Let's not jump off a cliff, so to say."

On how confident he is in his teammates returning from injury: "We're extremely confident, but the only way we're going to do it is with our play. We hear the gossip. We hear everything. We hear what y'all are saying. But it comes with it. We're more motivated than anything. I wouldn't say confident – we're confident, but we're motivated, too."

On if there was ever a moment when he reconsidered returning after his injury: "No. From the moment the injury happened, I was in denial like, 'No. I didn't do it again. I can move my foot. Maybe it's just a severely bad sprain.' But then you get the MRI, and they're like, 'No, you did it again.' You kind of just have to go back to square one. You have to lie down. You can't move or do anything for three months, and then you start the little things – walking, tackling actors on [expletive] TV shows and [expletive]. (laughter) You take baby steps, and then you start to feel a little better. Then you're jogging and you're moving a little faster. It's a process, but never did it cross my mind that I wasn't going to come back and be talking to you and have to answer that question."

On if he used a stunt double for his fight scene on Ballers: "I plead the fifth. I'm not going to tell anybody." (laughter)

On how many more sacks he has left in him as a 33-year-old returning from injury: "We're going to find out. The answer to that question is: I have a lot of promises to keep and many miles before I can sleep. I question every day. I get up, and I love football. I love the locker room. I love my teammates. I love getting out here and being confrontational. I love talking [expletive]. That's just a part of being Sizzle. I think once I get back to being him, I think all of your questions will be answered."

On if he has more appreciation for his opportunity in the NFL now than he did before his injury: "You have to always appreciate this, because you never know when it's really going to be gone. I don't know if I'm ever going to have another one like that – a severe injury and they're going to be like, 'No, Sizz, this is it.' The simple fact that I had the opportunity to rehab, come back again and listen to my naysayers, that's a privilege. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, so I guess that's mine. People say he can't do it again. I guess we're going to find out."

On why he hasn't spoken with the media since his injury:"You all have to understand, when that injury happens, it's like three months of lying on your back. It's not, 'Oh, come and go around.' You're off your feet. I wanted to be around the building; that's where I'm most myself. You also have to get clearance to go and be on the field. I wasn't even cleared to be on the field for the game I was there, but I kind of forced my hand and begged to be down there. I'm like, 'We're playing a certain group of guys [Steelers]. I need to be in the building for it.' Like I said, it was a sucky feeling. It was a sucky time for me. We didn't start out good. It was just a really bad time. I didn't want it to be about that I was gone. It was kind of like, 'Let's let the smoke clear and let everything happen,' and that's what happened."

On what he learned about himself through rehabbing his injury this year: "I don't know, man. I wasn't prepared for that one. (laughter) You learn a lot about yourself. Like I said, when it happened the first time, I was very anxious. I guess this time I was just very patient. The first time it took five months, this time it took like 10."

On if he is still in a position to talk about his legacy and hopes for the Hall of Fame: "Not really. That's what you want to talk about when it's, 'Aww man, this hurts and that hurts.' No, I feel good. I'm not really talking about a legacy. My boy is still anxious to get out there. He wants to see me do my thing. I'm not worried about all of that. I think if you play and you give your all, then all of that will take care of itself. I'm not really worried about that. I do want another ring though; you can put that in there."

On how many more years he hopes to play: "In a perfect world? What am I, 33? I don't know. I don't want to cap it. Because then I say a number and then that number comes, and I'm still feeling good and want to do it, you'll be like, 'Sizz, you said you were going to stop playing at 37. What are you still doing out there?' I don't know. Like I said, it's not something I want to visit at the end of this year or the end of next year. Maybe the year after that we can talk about it, but what will I be, 36 then? I'm not worried about it right now."

On if he is motivated by people wondering how much he has left: "It's a fair question. This is 14 years for me. I came in here a young 20-year-old and didn't know anything. I had some of the greatest Jedi Masters teaching me. It's a fair question. We've seen a lot of Ravens come and go, and I'm one of the last few here. The question is a fair question, but in my eyes? It's premature. It's not yet. I'm a lot younger in spirit than I am in my number in the league."

On if he still thinks of himself as T-Sizzle when he isn't able to play:"You still do. Some days you question it, because you are hurt. When you're around the guys and they still know you as Sizzle, then you're still Sizzle – especially to some of my boys in the locker room. I text a lot, like: 'This is what we have to do.' I talked to a lot of guys last year, and they're like, 'Alright, Sizzle. We got it.' Like I said, when you get hurt, you question it, but at the end of the day, you are who you are. A zebra can't change its stripes."

On if he missed being T-Sizzle around his teammates as much as playing: "Absolutely."

On how he is feeling aside from his injury: "I feel great, baby. I feel like Sizzle."

On if he handled his off-the-field issues: "Oh, you mean my driver's license?* (laughter)* Yeah, I got the license. I went back and got it. What was that? Like last week. (laughter) Yeah, I got the license." *(laughter) *

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