Training camp: FIRST FULL-TEAM PRACTICE
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good to see everybody. Thanks for coming out. First day with the full team is a great day of training camp. We had a great day. I can't say that we practiced great. We probably practiced like you would expect to practice on the first day of training camp with a full team. We have a long way to go, and the message is that we have a long way to go between now and tomorrow. So, we have a lot of work to do in the next 21 hours to get ready to have a better practice tomorrow. But, enthusiasm was really good. The effort was tremendous. Guys are excited to be out there and back on the field, and that's where we are at."
Some of the newer guys blend in well with some of the veterans you have out there on that defense? (David Ginsburg) "Yes, that's what we are working on. I think they will. The personalities are blending really well on defense. But, you have to play together. You have to practice together, and you have to do it at a higher tempo than you do during the offseason programs. That's what training camp is about."
What's your impression of John Simon so far? Because there is so much depth at outside linebacker, is he somebody you may work into the middle at all? (Kris Jones)"No, John [Simon] is not a middle linebacker-type guy for us. He's an outside 'backer. He's a good pass rusher. He's shown some real good pass rushing knack. He's actually dropping in coverage, which is something he didn't do at Ohio State really ever, and he's really improving on that tremendously. He's going to be a good player on the outside. You are right. We have a lot of depth there, so that stacks it up against him. But, you know what? You earn your opportunities, and he's a pretty determined guy."
Is your expectation of Bryant [McKinnie] that he is going to practice? (Aaron Wilson)"Yes, talking about Bryant McKinnie … Bryant is just too heavy right now. He needs to lose weight. My guess is he lost quite a bit today. He's in good shape, and he has good cardiovascular fitness, and I can tell he's worked hard. But, I wasn't real comfortable putting him out there today at that weight. We will figure it out in the next 24 hours, the next 48 hours, what we want to do and the best way to deal with it. He will be out there at some point."
Do you have designation for that?* (Luke Jones)*"A designation? No. No designation, just my designation."
*Terrell Suggs spoke yesterday. He was a lot more subdued. Can you talk about your impressions of him coming to camp? *(Ron Snyder) "I've always been impressed with Terrell Suggs in so many ways, but I would say this year he has taken it to a whole new level. He has emerged. His personality has always been there, but maybe we just had more conversations. Actions speak louder than words, and what he's done in the offseason speaks for itself. You've seen him. He's in phenomenal condition. He practiced as well as you can practice out here at that position. I'm excited, and he's excited."
With Ray Rice, what does it mean to have versatility with Ray and with him being unselfish, too? (Aaron Wilson)"You are right. Ray [Rice] is unselfish. He's a team guy. His biggest concern is, No. 1, winning, and he wants the offense to put up a lot of points. He always wants touches, and he wants catches, and he wants yards like any good player would. But, the thing about Ray is that he's so versatile. He can do everything. He can run the football inside or outside. He's excellent in the passing game, and he's a really good pass protection guy. You couldn't ask any more from a running back."
What was yesterday like? What was kind of the feedback from the guys?* (Aaron Wilson)"At Gettysburg? Thank you. We took the rookies, and the quarterbacks ended up going over there. The Maryland National Guard was just phenomenal. The lessons that we learned … They did a great job of applying military lessons to football. They really thought about it, and they did a great job of applying that for our young guys. The tour guides there – these guys are historians. You ask them a question, they have been studying this stuff since they were little kids. It was really fun delving into the minds of [Robert E.] Lee and [George] Meade and just all of the great generals there. I've got an issue with a couple of the guys out there. They didn't follow orders like they were supposed to." (laughter) *
Did you give a Denzel Washington kind of Remember the Titans kind of pep talk? (Steve Davis) "I did not, but I did that hear that you did it on the radio, because I had it coming in this morning when I heard Denzel [Washington]. I'm like, 'That's not me. That doesn't sound like me.' If Denzel plays me, that would be awesome in a movie"
We had someone text in, 'That wasn't John. That was Denzel.' (Steve Davis) "Come on? We have had few references to Remember the Titans. We may have to show the guys a clip of that."
Are you saying [General] Pickett shouldn't have blitzed in that situation? (Peter Schmuck) "Lee thought they were defending the flags. He thought a dive up the middle would be a quick hitter, and he would be on his way to Washington, right? It didn't work out. Maybe Ray Lewis was in the middle."
**When it comes to motivating things for your team, something that you have put time into, how much of a strain is that on you, not only worrying about football games but coming up with ways to motivate [the team]? *(Kris Jones) *"For me, I love stuff like that. Every conversation you have with a guy, every meeting that we have, to me, is just fun. To me, so much of building a team is about having a common way of looking at things, having common values, believing in the same type of things, deciding that this is going to make us who we are, and this is going to get us to where we are going, and by the way, this is where we plan on going. Talking about those things and laying them out, stories are great, history is even better, because it's true. It's obvious that our guys really related to it yesterday."
What are reasonable expectations for [Lardarius] Webb coming off a serious knee injury? (Matt Vensel)"It's reasonable that he would be playing against Denver with a state of ACL surgery in recovery. That's definitely our target. I think he has a very good chance to get back and play in the preseason at some point in time, but it's not the most important thing, but it would be helpful. He's out here practicing. We are kind of easing him in. He can probably do more than we are letting him do, but we aren't going to push it ahead of schedule too much."
With Jameel [McClain]'s status being uncertain, how important is it to have a veteran like Daryl Smith along with some other young linebackers? (Luke Jones) "Daryl Smith's signing was just a great move by Ozzie [Newsome] and his guys. That was a big move. [Linebackers coach] Ted Monachino had a lot to do with that. Ted coached him down in Jacksonville, so he knew him so well, and he's been better than advertised as a leader and as a football leader one day in. With Jameel [McClain] not being able to be out, which is extremely disappointing … I really thought he would be there. It's just when you look at the MRI and you see what's on there, there's no denying the fact that it's not safe for him at this time, so there's no way that we are going to put him out there until it clears up."
*Is there anything weird about practice today without Ray [Lewis], without Ed Reed? I know you talked about it little bit, but here's your first practice and the first time you haven't had those two here. (David Ginsburg) *"Sure, it was a little different without Ray [Lewis] and Ed [Reed] and Matt Birk and Bernard [Pollard] and you can go down the line – Anquan [Boldin], and others. Paul [Kruger] and Dannell [Ellerbe] … I don't want to miss anybody. Are there more? Boy, that's a lot – Vonta [Leach]. It's about change in a lot of ways, and there's a lot of change this year, so it was different. It wasn't the same. Our last practices with the whole team were when we were getting ready for the Super Bowl, so it adds a different tenor to the whole thing. But, it's not unexpected. It is reality, and it is our reality to deal with. We are all excited about that, too."
How does the leadership change without the guys that you mentioned? (Milton Kent) "I'm more [in] the belief that an organization or team is not about one guy. I think Ray [Lewis] would tell you that, and I know Ed [Reed] would tell you that, and all those guys would tell you that. The distribution redistributes. It will redistribute to the guys on this team. There are guys like Lardarius Webb, who is standing right back there, who is a great leader. Over the course of the next how many years that he's in Baltimore, you will see that first hand. Many years down the road when it's time for him to hang up the cleats, the same question will be asked about Lardarius. That's just the cycle of life and that's just the cycle of football."
Yesterday, Terrell said that a Super Bowl is not won during training camp, but many have been lost. How often do you really reflect back on the lessons that are learned during this point? (Kris Jones) "To me, that's well said. You couldn't say it any better than that, and that's exactly right. The pilings, the foundation is built. The pilings of your football team are sunk deep in these stages, and this is when you build your football team. If you don't build a strong foundation, you aren't going to build a solid building. When the tempest comes, the building will be swept away. You can bet on that. And, that's what he's talking about. You can lose it before you ever get started, and we don't want to do that."
Touching on that, what was your message to the team as you guys opened up camp and having everybody here? (Brett Hyman) "Well, the meeting took about an hour and a half, so how much time do you have? (laughter) About 30 seconds? (laughter) I think it's what you guys have all been talking about. Basically, it's, 'This is our opportunity.' One message that we did give them is the fact that the 2012 Baltimore Raven football team provided us [with] an opportunity that no other team can do, and that is win two [Super Bowls] in a row. The 2013 team is responsible to try to get that done. So, we're going to try to be the best team we can be and see if we can win this year's championship. But there is a long way to go between now and then, and talking about that game, or the playoffs, or anything else that comes after the Denver Broncos game, is pointless."
Not to beat a dead horse, but is there a disappointment with Bryant [McKinnie], considering you've been down this road with him before? (Jeff Zrebiec) "We're both disappointed. I'm not sure who is more disappointed – Bryant or I – because he was pretty darn disappointed. But I was feeling pretty disappointed myself. We had a long talk about it yesterday, and it wasn't that effort wasn't put in and there's an issue. But we're going to get it fixed together, and we're going to get him out there."
What does the shirt [Fix Bayonets] mean? (Aditi Kinkhabwala) "This is in reference to the 20th Maine at Little Round Top on Day Two in Gettysburg, so check that out."
*So you had it made before you went on the trip? (Aditi Kinkhabwala) *"There's always a plan. There's always a plan."
RB Ray Rice
On how the first day of camp went:"Man, it just felt good. We got blessed with some good weather, so you can't complain. But the best thing about getting out there today was being with our teammates, and you know, it's training camp. We know that the grunt days are coming and this is a time, like I said, when you finish off from minicamp, it's time for us to gel. But it's also time for us to get after each other and get to know each other, and this is the time to get us ready for a long season, and that's what training camp is all about. It's not supposed to be easy, but at the same time, it's all about the team and us coming together for one reason."
On if there is a different feeling at all this season:"You know what? I'll be honest, myself. I let the Super Bowl go, because that pressure enough is just something you're going to hear all year, and I don't want to be able to harp on it. But one thing that did feel good was getting out here with the guys, and obviously, you're talking about Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and the guys that we've lost … We'll always carry them with us with that ring and that trophy, but the one true champion will be next year in New York, and it's a long journey. I'm sure those guys, they're all on other teams, there's only one guy right now that's sitting around, and that's Ray Lewis – he'll be commentating. But all those other guys, trust me, they're saying the same thing. They've moved on from the Super Bowl and they're chasing the same thing we're chasing this year."
On if it makes it easier to not have to talk about the Super Bowl and the ring by being back to football work:"Just coming back here, just even running the conditioning test, you feel like you're back at it. The conditioning test, none of that stuff is easy. So, as soon as you get back on the field, and the way we knock [rust] off ourselves is just work hard. That's the only thing we know. We only know one thing, which is to work hard, and obviously, you see by the way we practice it's not easy. They can get along, but if you can make it through what we're making it through, then obviously, you'll be successful."
On if being part of the passing game is an area he's focused on:"I'm focused on everything to get better. Obviously, there are some things in your game where you try to improve on, but for me, it's always like a little bit of pass blocking. Each year under [offensive coordinator] Jim [Caldwell], it's a little bit different, the running schemes are just a little bit different than last year. You know, it's not much change, and you're getting with your group of linemen. So, maybe it's just a little more patient on the run, maybe it's one more step on the pass route, and that's stuff that I can execute better, obviously in training camp. If I can get it in training camp, I'll definitely be able to execute it during the season."
On the journey that he and QB Joe Flacco have been on together since coming in as rookies in 2008:"One thing about being here for that long [is] it feels good. But at the same time, me and Joe Flacco knew what it took, know what kind of work that coach Harbaugh wants us to do. So, the way we work, we don't have to say much. We just go out there and do it ourselves. Myself, Joe, Terrell [Suggs], Haloti [Ngata], whoever has been here throughout the whole time that coach Harbaugh has been here, it kind of takes the pressure off of him, because we know how to work. And when a coach doesn't have to say anything about the way you're working, obviously he can focus more on coaching. And that's something as a veteran team – even though the guys we lost – we're still a veteran team with guys that know how to work. I think that's very important, obviously, with me and Joe."
On what the highlight of the offseason was for him:"Highlight of the offseason for me? I'll be honest: The highlight of my offseason was just getting to spend time with my daughter. I think anytime you win a Super Bowl and you have time to reflect and you do a little bit of traveling … But having that little one in your face and her waking you up and not a stop clock waking you up or an alarm – that was pretty special for me."
On if he is starting to feel like a veteran six years in now:"No, I'm still young. I'm only 26, but I do feel like the veteran amongst my group. And I'm going into Year Six at running back, and I'm looking down and the guy behind me is in Year Two, and then I can just keep going down the line. So, it does feel a little bit like, 'You know what? When I do talk now, they will listen.' But as far as football playing-wise, I've still got a lot of … Legs are still fresh coming off running my conditioning test on Sunday."
On Donovan McNabb criticizing him for fumbling too much:"That's his opinion. I'll be honest, I always respected him, and one thing I don't do is retaliate back. The only thing I can do is get better for next season, and obviously, if you look at the stats, numbers, whatever it was – that's his opinion. But to the world's opinion, I'm still who I am, still made the Pro Bowl last year, and still won a Super Bowl. But, that's the past, and obviously, he's well-respected amongst the league and I have nothing bad to say against the guy. But it's one of those things where every year, every year there's something. If all was good to say about me, then I have nothing to prove. But if you're saying something that obviously you feel like there's a problem, it's my job to prove myself right, not the next person. But that's what always fuels me, year-in and year-out, because somebody finds something against my game and says something about it, and I just try to prove myself right, not the next person. So, I just keep working and keep working, and that's what's kept me at this high level."
On getting back to the 2,000-yard all-purpose level:"You know what? It's different now. If I had to do it, I can. But with the team that we have and the weapons that we have, it might not be 2,000 yards. It might be 1,700-1,800 all-purpose. But you know what? If I'm right around that area year-in and year-out, that's a pretty successful year."
On not having to be selfish with all the talent:"We've got so many guys – so many guys, so many weapons, and I don't have to feel that pressure. There was always something, like a little bit of … This year, it's like I know big plays are going to happen, and [I] just don't force them. Don't force them, Ray."
On auctioning his Jeep on eBay and a portion going to benefit Boston Marathon bombing victim, Erika Brannock:"Well, cars come and go, and obviously, the value of them depreciates as soon as you come off the lot with them. And I felt like it's something where if I can make something and be able to give it to somebody's family who needs it, that's very important to me. I'm not a materialistic guy, so me and my buddy Evan Berney over at Carbiz, we thought it would be cool to auction off a car and give some of the proceeds to that family who really needs something right now because of what they've been through. I never want to hold on to something that doesn't mean much to me, but if I can give something that I know somebody else will benefit [from], then I'm all in for it."
CB/RS Lardarius Webb
On if head coach John Harbaugh's statement that the media will talk about Webb when he retires is a challenge: "No. That's my goal. That's my plan. I want to be great. That's why I come out and work my butt off every day. [I] don't want to just be good. I want to be more than that, so I'm working my butt off just to get back on that field."
On how he is feeling physically: "I'm feeling good, just easing my way back in. [I'm] happy to be back out with the guys – with the new guys on the defense. It's very exciting."
On if he handled his second ACL tear differently than his first: "No. I just try to come in and just work hard every day. I've seen how I got through the first one by just being here every day doing what the trainers ask me to do. This time, I'm trying to do the same and just go harder at it."
On how big of a motivation it is to not have played in the Super Bowl: "Very motivating. It was a good feeling on the sideline, so I can imagine how good it felt to actually be out on the field and just be playing – make some tackles and make some plays. I feel like a champion, but I'm motivated to get back, just like a couple of the other guys on my team, like [Elvis] Dumervil, some new guys – [Michael] Huff. We're all motivated to get back to that championship. That's what we want to do."
On how it feels to now be one of the veteran players on defense: "It feels good. [I] just know it's a lot of responsibility being that guy. You have to look out for the younger guys. When the younger guys need help, they're going to come to you now, so you have to put them on your back, and you have to ride with them."
On if he views it as "his secondary": "I would like for it to become that way, but as of now, it's a team thing. The guys are working together. We have Corey Graham. Jimmy Smith is coming along so far. [Michael] Huff – he's been in the league a long time. He knows how to be a professional, and we see that now. We have a young pup – [Matt] Elam, who is coming up from all of us. We are all teaching him how to be a professional and a football player. But one day, yes, I would love for it to be my secondary. That's why I come here every day and bust my butt, because I want to be the leader in that backfield."
On if he was paying attention to Adrian Peterson's recovery from an ACL injury: "Not really. Everybody paid attention to 'AP.' He was chasing the record and just came off [an] ACL [injury], so that was a good accomplishment. All I know is [that] he worked his butt off every day. It just shows how hard he worked to get back, and I took that from it. Just show up here every day and just grind hard."
On if Peterson set the bar high for coming off of an ACL injury: "Yeah, but you can't just look at 'AP' and try to do the same thing as 'AP.' Everybody has their different bodies. I just look at myself and take it how I feel. But I do bust my butt, and I want to be that guy."
On if he feels he is ahead of schedule: "I feel good. [I'm] just going to keep listening to the trainers, taking it slow [and] easing my way back into practice. Hopefully, I'll be there for the first game."
On if he feels the Ravens are still about defense: "We [are] defense right now. I play defense. I can't speak for the offense. As long as we have No. 5 [Joe Flacco], it's going to be a great offense. But we're defense. We're a defensive team. If you look at the defensive line we have up front, it's amazing. I'm looking at these guys, where we have Dumervil, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, [Marcus] Spears, Art Jones – I could just keep naming all the guys. We have a great defense, and we're just getting better and better each day."
On OLB Terrell Suggs' presence on the team so far this year:"Just his presence, if you just look at him, you can just tell that he's been doing some work. He's slim. He's moving fast. He's ready to take that throne of being that leader on this defense. He's the perfect guy for it. He wants it as bad as everyone else does. He was just like me; he missed some time off the field. He knows how it is to be on the side of the field and can't get on the field; it kind of hurts. It makes you work harder and appreciate just being on the field when you can be."
On if he has that extra sense of appreciation now after his injury:"Yes sir."
On the challenge of getting in and working with the two new safeties:"Just getting the feeling of them. One thing that you know about these guys is that they're going to be where they're supposed to be. [Michael] Huff is not a rookie. He's been in the league. He knows football. The thing is, just teaching the pup – teaching [Matt] Elam. I keep calling him a pup, but he's the young guy back there – teaching him where to be. We also have James [Ihedigbo]. He's been in the league. He has some years. So, these guys are not just rookies. These guys have been in the NFL, they know how to prepare for a football game. They're not just too new. We just have to get comfortable with each other."
On what he feels has been the hardest part of his recovery:"Hardest part? Just the first week – the first week right after surgery – that was the hardest part. It just hurt the most. But after then, it's just getting up – just getting up and working."
On how special he feels that OLBs Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil can be alongside each other:"They can be very special. Not just having [Elvis] Dumervil, we have [Courtney] Upshaw. Both of these guys are competing. You've got Upshaw and Dumervil on the same side, Terrell Suggs, [Pernell] McPhee – I could keep naming these guys. We have a terrific team. They keep saying 'offensive team' – I hope we can be an offensive team and score many, many points. But how I look at it, this defense is going to be real. I just can't wait to get back and be a part of it."
On if he trusts his knee and feels that he can do everything that he could do before his injury:"Yes, I'm trusting it. It's just easing my way back on the field."
On if he feels like he can make all cuts, all moves that he could before:"I think I can be Lardarius Webb again."
On how much easier the pass rush makes his job on the back end:"It makes it a lot easier. It's going to be a great season this year, I'm just very anxious to get back on the field with these guys. We've got some special people on this field – we're just waiting to show it to everybody."
On if it's been hard to be patient, especially as he gets closer:"It's very hard to be patient, especially when you see how hard these guys are working. They're coming to work every day. It seems like they're working hard in the meetings – on and off the field. They're working – I just want to be a part of it, I just want to be there with them, giving my intake, giving a pick or PBU [pass breakup] – anything just to feel a part [of it]."
On if there's anything a guy like DL Chris Canty has told him about what to expect in the year following the Super Bowl:"Not really. [Chris] Canty just speaks about life. That's the guy that we have on the team – we lost a Ray Lewis but, we have a Canty who comes in being a leader and teaches you about life. We need a guy like that, a good leader."
On if QB Joe Flacco seems any different this year:"To me? Yes, confident. He's making some throws he wouldn't usually try, and he's putting it in there. It seems like he's getting more and more comfortable with the guys he has around him."
On if QB Joe Flacco is jawing a little bit more:"Yes, you know it."