*RAVENS AUG. 29 PODIUM TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh, WR Quincy Adeboyejo & DL/FB Patrick Ricard
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"OK, good to see you guys. I appreciate you being here. It was an indoor practice, obviously. It was fast and energetic; that is what we want to see. We will be looking at now getting ready for New Orleans, most specifically with the guys who are going to play, and we're looking forward to going down there and playing the game."
The big news yesterday was your contract extension. What was your reaction? (Jamison Hensley) "My reaction? I was happy. I was happy. It was something that has been talked about for a little while. I think the biggest part about the whole thing is the partnership that we have here. We have been at this for going on 10 years now, with this group together, which is pretty rare and pretty special – pretty amazing. That is something that you want to hold on to, because I think it is a formula for success. We have a bunch of good people that work together. You have Steve [Bisciotti], who is an amazing partner, and he treats you that way. He wants to collaborate and work together, and he is challenging, but he comes up with great ideas. Over the years and through the adversity and through the triumphs, bonds are forged and you get close. You want to be a part of that, and you want to keep building on that – with Ozzie [Newsome] and Eric DeCosta and [senior vice president of football administration] Pat [Moriarty] and [senior vice president of public and community relations] Kevin Byrne and [president] Dick Cass and this group here that has just been together so long. Then, to plug our coaches into it – our coaches who want to be here – it became clear to me … It has been clear; it is nothing new. The fact that we want to be here – my wife wants to be here, my daughter wants to be here – this is a place that means a lot to us. It is home now, Baltimore is. We have a lot of great friends here, and we have a chance to do great things. We have a chance to win championships. That is the idea. That is what we are building for. That is the urgency we have. To have a chance to know that is a mutual thing, and the organization feels the same way and we want to work together to do that, is a great thing."
What do you think of the new format this year where you guys are keeping the 90-man roster through the final preseason game? At this point, you would be down to 75 guys.* (Luke Jones)*"I am really happy with it, because 75 is never 75. It is usually about 50 or 55, 60, when you take into account guys that are nicked and bumped and bruised and things like that. Then, you have certain guys that are not going to play in this game. That is just the reality of it. There is no way you are going to play certain guys in this game. This gives us a chance to put a good game out there, for one thing, but it also gives guys a chance to play. Young guys who are fighting for a spot on this team still or on other teams, they get a chance to get out there and play more reps rather than be sitting home looking at the phone. To me, it makes all the sense in the world, and we are really happy about it."
Is there a challenge a little bit with guys who wouldn't have made it for the 75-man cut to maybe get them a few more game reps because they have not had this earlier chance to catch on elsewhere? Is there any part of you that tries to get those back end guys a few more plays? (Luke Jones)"Yes, exactly. That is the goal. There is no doubt that is the idea. Those guys who didn't get as many reps as you would want them to get are going to play a lot in this game. They will play probably the whole game. That is 60-70 reps on tape that they have a chance to build their résumé with. It is really valuable that way."
I know Hurricane Harvey is now a tropical storm. It is going to be hitting New Orleans over the next couple days. Has that affected your travel plans at all? (Jamison Hensley)"We have not heard anything. Matter of fact, a couple of players asked me at practice, and I really had not considered it. So, I guess I should have. New Orleans is pretty close to Houston. I will say this: We have players with families in Houston, families in New Orleans and Dallas and Texas and all different places. Our hearts go out to them. Our prayers and our well wishes go out to them, but if there is something that needs to be done as far as traveling down there, I am pretty sure we will hear about it soon."
RB Taquan Mizzell leads the team in both rushing and receiving this preseason. Is that a surprising to you, or was that anticipated when you signed him? (Ed Lee)"I tell you, it would be hard to say that we anticipated that. You never really know about undrafted guys. He is a guy that did those things at Virginia. He was an electric guy at Virginia. The tape showed it; the stats showed it. But, to take it and transfer it here in preseason games is what you look for. He has done a good job of that. He will get another chance to do it Thursday night, and we will see how he looks again."
In terms of production and benchmarks for the fourth preseason game and using such different personnel, does that change the output you expect and how you measure things? (Jacob Bogage)"I do not know if we have measuring sticks that way – the way you are talking about it. We just want to see guys play and how they play. It is more process than it is result-oriented. If we score touchdowns and get yards and get stops and get turnovers, those should be the byproduct of a good process. You are looking for guys to go out there and play that way. You can't worry about the result of the play. You have to worry about the process of the play – doing things the right way. Being disciplined, being detailed and playing really hard, that is what we will be looking for our guys to do."
Fully understanding QB Joe Flacco is coming back soon, what has he been doing with him knowing that return is coming?* (Luke Jones)*"It has been different things. His rehab has been very much rehab-oriented. It has not been football-oriented. He has been working on that. He has worked really hard on it. I do believe he is in good shape. I would not say football shape, because he has not played football. He is in really good shape as far as his conditioning, his cardiovascular and his strength and those kinds of things. Those are things that we will just have to wait and see when he comes out to practice. I will say he has started to throw. He has started to move around and do the football stuff in the last two days. He is moving towards practice, and when the docs clear him – which we don't know that date, when it is going to happen right now; we believe it is going to be real soon and in time to prepare for Cincinnati – then he will be out there."
We saw WR Breshad Perriman in pre-game warm-ups on Saturday. Is he getting closer to returning? (Ed Lee)"I am optimistic that he will be practicing very soon and he will play against Cincinnati. I am very optimistic, and that is barring any kind of a setback."
Who are your visitors today? (Kevin Richardson)"We have the 104th Fighter Squadron here. They are just back from a deployment in Syria and in Iraq, just recently in the last few weeks. These are also some of the guys that fly the missions over our stadium when they do the flyovers before games, which they will be doing again this year. We are honored to have them here. They are great. They brought our flags back from one of their missions that they flew over Syria. We are just really thrilled to have them. We have a lot of respect for the military. We love the military. We love the sacrifices that men make and that women make and that families make to do everything they can to further the cause of freedom. It means a lot to us, because we all get a chance to stand here and do what we get a chance to do, because of people like that doing what they do every single day and risking everything. We are very grateful for that. Thank you for the question."
WR Quincy Adeboyejo
On how important the last preseason game is: "I just look at it as another opportunity, another game to play. It's big-time [that] us younger guys will get a lot of reps. So, we just take these practices day by day – getting in the playbook and making sure we're prepared to have a big game."
On his comfort level about whether he'll make the team: "It's not my choice. I just come out here and do whatever I can, practice as hard as I can, and give my all. I just go out here and do what I can."
On the biggest challenges in converting knowledge from practice into a game: "Definitely play-calling and opportunities. It's pretty much it."
On if he heard from friends and family in regards to Hurricane Harvey: "It didn't touch the Dallas area, much or at all – just a little rainfall. My family is good. I do have a lot of friends that went to college in Houston, and they're all pretty good, too."
On if he talked to other undrafted rookies, who made the team, for perspective: "I haven't talked to any of the guys, personally. I talked to some drafted guys who said they pretty much made the team in the last game. Maurice [Canady] told me he had a big game and told me to be ready to play a lot. On special teams, he said he barely got off the field at all."
On if he feels he needs a big game to make the team: "Definitely. I have to make some plays. That's what they brought me here to do: make some plays. So, I want to go out there and make some plays."
On if there is a flipside to not putting pressure on himself for the final game: "I don't think I have any pressure. I'm just taking it as any other game; you go out there and make plays. That's my main objective when I get out there – to make some plays."
On what it's like lining up with RB Taquan Mizzell in the backfield: "He's electric. He's quick, he can run routes out of the backfield, and he's a good all-around back. It's definitely fun playing with him."
On if RB Taquan Mizzell surprised him this preseason: "Not at all. I knew what he could do from rookie minicamp. He made a lot of plays. I even watched him in college, so I knew what type of playmaker he was coming in."
On why he watched RB Taquan Mizzell in college: "I watched his highlights. I like watching other guys' highlight tapes. When I saw who all signed here as undrafted guys, I went back and watched everyone's highlight tapes. I saw that he was pretty good before we got here."
On what his biggest improvement has been: "Route running and getting used to the offense, getting used to the things the way Bobby [Engram, wide receivers coach] wants to do it."
On if there are benchmarks the offense needs to accomplish to establish momentum: "We want to go out there and click on all cylinders. We want to go out there and make plays, and when our number is called, just step up for each other."
On if he talked to CB Marlon Humphrey about his 66-yard touchdown against Alabama in 2015: "Yes, I was clowning him that we beat them two years in a row. We've talked about it a few times – me, him and Tim [Williams]."
DL/FB Patrick Ricard
On his transition into the NFL: "Coming out of a small school and being an undrafted rookie, there was a jump. But, the coaches here really made it easy for me to transition. I play the same position I did in college, so it was just getting used to the speed a little bit. OTAs and minicamp really got be prepared for training camp. I'm seeing myself improve every day when I come out here, so I think it's going well so far."
On if he's comfortable with his progress: "Every day I come out here and try to just keep working, keep getting better. I've seen strides every practice – from OTAs when I first got here, minicamp, training camp – just trying to get better, just everything I do."
On if he likes playing fullback: "It's fun. Coach [senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach Greg] Roman keeps it simple: 'You're going to line up here at this call, and you're going to go kick out this guy.' It's fun; you don't have to think as much. I did it in high school, so I kind of missed doing it when I was in college. I didn't do it in college, so coming here and getting the chance to do it has been a lot of fun."
On if he would be ready to play fullback in a game situation: "I've been meeting with coach Roman in the morning, and he's been making it more comfortable for me – understanding different looks I get of what I have to do when I go out there, and just in practice, getting my reps in. So that way, when I get in a game, I can get it right."
On what it's like tackling RB Taquan Mizzell: "I haven't really had a chance to tackle him, but I'm guessing it's hard, because his nickname is 'Smoke.' He's very shifty, and I would say probably really hard [to tackle]."
On his impression of RB Taquan Mizzell: "He's a guy that just comes out here and works every day. Every time he gets the ball, you see him just sprinting, running. I know one time I had to block him when I was on the kickoff return; he was just flying on the kickoff, and it was hard to block him. Everyone likes him around here; he's doing really well."
On if RB Taquan Mizzell outran the block: "Yes, I just almost didn't even see him. I was like, 'Oh, man. That's him!' So, I went out there and blocked him."