Ravens Wednesday Transcripts: Week 13 vs. Denver Broncos (11/30)


Opening Statement:"Good seeing everyone. I appreciate everyone being here. What questions do you have?" 

How happy was RB J.K. Dobbins to be back on the practice field today? _(Luke Jones) _"He seemed happy; he seemed happy. He looked quick; he looked good. It was great to see him out there." 

We saw S Marcus Williams being able to catch the ball with both hands today. Is that a notable milestone for him as he returns? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"Yes. Marcus [Williams] is out there; he has kind of a plastic cast on his wrist. He has another week where he can't do any kind of physical contact with it, but he can run. He was in various parts of the practice that he was allowed to be in, so it's good to see him back out there." 

Jerry Rosburg is now a senior assistant at the Denver Broncos. Will it feel weird to see a guy that you were with for so long on the opposite sideline? (Jamison Hensley) _"Yes. I'm not going to see him; I'll try to avoid him. I can't see him in the orange and blue. _(laughter) That will be hard, but obviously a lot of respect for [Broncos senior assistant] Jerry [Rosburg]. He's filling a valuable role over there for those guys [and] doing a great job. Once a Raven, always a Raven." 

A little while ago a report came out that offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been in discussion with Stanford University about their head coaching job. Can you confirm that, or do you have any comment on that? _(Bo Smolka) _"I guess I can. [Offensive coordinator] Greg [Roman] talked to me; he said there had been some contact there. I think it's very preliminary right now, and that's where it's at. When you have really great coaches, they're going to have opportunities, and we always try to encourage that and support that any way we can." 

How do you usually handle that situation of closing a coordinator in season or after the season? _(Mike Preston) _"I don't think we've had that happen too often, so usually ... I really don't have a reference point on that, as you well know. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. I think we're pretty far from that at this point." 

CB Marlon Humphrey talked a few weeks ago about how ILB Roquan Smith immediately fit into the culture of the Ravens. Do you see that, and what does it mean when you hear a statement like that about this organization's culture? _(Bo Smolka) _"I do believe that. I would say basically that culture word... It's a good word. It's hard to pin down a little bit. Basically, he fits in here because we like guys, and guys do well here who really like football, who like all the things about football. [Guys] who like practicing football, playing football, studying football, they like lifting weights, they like being in meetings, they like football. They really thrive on that, and this is who Roquan Smith is. We're a good fit; he's a good fit, and I just can't wait for practice tomorrow with him and all the other guys. So, he's doing great." 

We saw T Ronnie Stanley and S Kyle Hamilton out there today. Are things going along well for both of them? _(Childs Walker) _"They're both doing well. Ronnie [Stanley] was limited; Kyle [Hamilton] was, I think he ended up being full. Things are looking good, yes." 

You have recorded seven straight games with three sacks. How much can the pass rush impact a game, especially going against a quarterback like QB Russell Wilson? (Jamison Hensley) _"It's big. The pass rush is important, as you guys have written so often over the years here. _(laughter)It's a narrative that has been flipped; that's a good thing. I like these guys. You've got to throw the timing of the quarterback off, you have to move him off the spot, you have to disguise, you have to change the picture on him. All those things are really important in this league. Then, above all, you have to earn the right to rush the passer. What does that mean? You have to stop the run. You have to put them in passing situations. So, our guys have done a good job of that, but we can get better." 

How is OLB David Ojabo doing in practice, and how much is special teams availability factoring into the decision if he's active on gameday? _(Luke Jones) _"He's doing well. He's only been practicing for what – four weeks now? So, he's learning, and he's kind of getting in shape and all that, but I talked to him today. We had a good talk, just kind of back and forth just during practice, and he's getting close. It's not so much a special teams thing as it is just a numbers thing right now at his position. So, he'll be out there when the time comes, and I think he'll do well when he gets out there." 

This Broncos defense has been very stout against passing offenses. What have you seen from their defense? _(Kyle Barber) _"Statistically, that's right. This is a defense that plays very well together. They've got a lot of good players; they have three or four really top-level players. They have one or two guys at every level that are kind of star players I guess you'd say. Then, they have a bunch of guys that are all very good players that play ... They play the same. At the position, they all play the same, which is the mark of a well-coached defense. So, it's a very good system defense. They play very hard, and they're very successful. I think they're the second-ranked defense in the NFL right now. So, we have our hands full, and we're looking forward to the challenge." 

We saw that S Kyle Hamilton's wrist and fingers were taped; is that a normal thing for him? _(Rocco DiSangro) _"Yes, I don't know if it's normal, but it has been the last couple weeks. I'm sure he has some fingers that are gnarled up a little bit. That's kind of normal, actually, for December football, probably." 


On moving past a disappointing game last week:_ "_Yes, of course. You're supposed to have the 24-hour rule. I guess sometimes it can linger just a little bit longer, just because when you have a loss like that, when you get to Wednesday [there are] questions and all that good stuff. But at the end of the day, that game is behind me. I haven't even thought about it until right now. But it's football. Things are going to happen. You're not going to win them all on the road against a desperate team. That's football. Should we have won the game and felt like we could have won the game? Sure, but now, it doesn't matter anymore. The good thing is that we're still on top of our division, and we've still got a chance. We're playing for something. December football, all you want to do at the end of the year is have these games matter. So, if we can start the season right now, and I was not around, and they brought me in and were like, 'Hey, you can come in and be a part of a team that's in first place in the division in December, when games matter,' count me in 100% of the time. Sign me up; I'm ready to go. This is the perfect situation to be in, and we know that. Everybody around … Sometimes frustration and all that stuff happens when you lose a game that you feel like you could have won, but once you put it to bed and learn from it, figure out what you did, how you can get better, then it's on to the next game. And we have another opponent who has a whole a whole lot of talented [players], a veteran, good defense [and] weapons all over the field on offense. It's going to be a matchup that … We have to play a really good football game – one of our best games – for us to go out there and win it." 

On if it's exciting to see RB J.K. Dobbins back out at practice: "Most definitely, most definitely. I think the healthier teams are the teams that usually do better late in the season, and getting guys back that we know we can count on – guys who are really, really talented – like J.K. [Dobbins], it's huge. I'm looking forward and can't wait to get Marcus Williams back on the field. We have a lot of talent that hasn't been out there with us. If we can get those guys back, they can really change a game for us. J.K. is so dynamic. With him being able to stretch the field. He can do so much with those jet sweeps or wide-zone sweeps and then cutting back and getting north and south. He really is really good in downhill … He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He can do it all. So, getting him feeling good, and [him] going out there and helping us, I think that's going to give us, definitely, a spark that we need, [as] we just try to get back to playing some very dominant football." 

On the impact OLB Tyus Bowser brings to the defense when on the field:"Well, I think he really just brings a lot of confidence. I think the biggest thing is knowing that he can cover better than most linebackers, and he's a great pass rusher. He's going to be able to blitz and move around. He's really good at setting up disguises. He's a very smart football player. It gives you so much more flexibility in what you want to call and what you can do to kind of take advantage of gameplans and stuff like that. It's great to have him back. He just brings so much to our football team from a gameplan standpoint. So, I can't wait until … Just as he continues to get better and get more confident … Because coming off of injuries, it takes a little while for you to really get to your best self. People would love to have you back – the first game back – and be at your highest level of self. But, it doesn't work that way. It takes a couple of games to kind of get back in the swing of things – sometimes even longer. We're glad that's he's out there playing really good ball for us. I know as the season progresses, he's going to get even better." 

 * On preparing to face QB Russell Wilson:*"I played against 'Russ' [Russell Wilson] a bunch. We were in the same division for a long time. I respect his game at the highest level, what he can do, the way he moves around in the pocket, the way he creates [and] extends plays. He makes a lot of plays doing that." 


On going against an offense led by QB Russell Wilson: "Everyone knows Russell Wilson [and] what he did in the past. He's still capable of it. So, when you have a guy like that who knows the game, is very athletic, has an arm, [and] can do it all, you have to prep. You have to be at your all-time best with prepping." 

On what he would say the team's tone on the trip back was like on Sunday and how the tone is now:"I think after the game in the locker room, we were still pissed. I think once we got on the plane, and everyone settled down, we all [were] just like normal. [It was] good vibes really, honestly, because our season's not over. There's still stuff we can build on. We're still looking at everything positively; this is just another week for us to go out there and prove ourselves to everyone." 

On what the team and he personally think about going on Twitter after tough games like Sunday: "It is what it is. If you get on Twitter, you get on Twitter; if you don't, you don't. Lamar's situation, whatever 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh], that's what I stand by. For me, honestly, I get on Twitter because Twitter has a lot of funny stuff on it obviously, and stuff. So, I like to look at funny videos and stuff, but when I see someone 'at' me, sometimes I might reply, sometimes I might not. It is what it is. Half of them [on Twitter] don't even know what they're talking about anyways. So, it is what it is." 

On playing in tandem with ILB Roquan Smith and if they feed off each other:"I feel like it's all good right now. I feel like we took a step back last week. I feel like we didn't play up to our standard together. Obviously, we're going to get that fixed and corrected, but I feel like it's just the sky's the limit right now. I think we're still learning; he's still learning the defense and stuff. I think there's just so many more steps that we can take, and hopefully we take another step forward this week. I think the best thing is just for us to keep communicating how we're trying to." 

On if LSU's loss to Texas A&M this weekend stung:"No. Everyone's getting on me about the LSU loss, but all I respond with is, 'I handled my business when I was there. We did what we were supposed to do.' (laughter)If you have a ring, OK cool; if you don't have a ring, don't talk to me." 

On how much off the field connections with ILB Roquan Smith translate onto the field:"A lot. I think it's just a comfort level. I think, especially with the type of guy he is, how he came in, it was just easy to mess with, gel with and stuff. So, I think everything that we're doing right now is just going to pay dividends to us in the future. I think how hard he studies, how hard he plays – if you watch the film, he runs to the ball every time – how hard he communicates. Everything he does is at 110 percent. So, I think the sky's the limit for us, like I said earlier." 

On ILB Roquan Smith saying that he can fish a little bit:"I don't know about that; I don't know about that. We'll see. He was talking about how he'll come to Louisiana this offseason; we'll see if he can fish. I doubt it though." (laughter) 

On rushing a mobile passer like QB Russell Wilson and how important it is to get pressure on him: "He's still got it. Yes, he's getting older, and he might have slowed down a little bit, but he still can move. He's just different. 'Danger-Russ,' whatever they used to call him... You have to be on your Ps and Qs with this guy. Like I said, he has an arm, he can run a little bit still, knows our defense, knows his reads, obviously, as a quarterback, all that stuff that quarterbacks do to try to look us off. So, we have to be on our Ps and Qs about everything. [He's] a great quarterback from what I'm still seeing." 

On receiving a lot of Pro Bowl votes and if that's something that's significant to him: "Of course, you don't play the game for the recognition, but a Pro Bowl would be nice. I think my mind's set on bigger things though obviously, like All-Pro, stuff like that, Super Bowl, playoffs. So, if I get the recognition for it and the nod for it, I'm thankful for it, but at the end of the day, I have bigger goals." 


On what he attributes his strong season to:"I would just say hard work, really. I busted my butt the whole offseason, and now I'm starting to bear the fruits of the labor, basically. I've still got a long way to go to be where I want to be, but I think all the hard work is finally starting to pay off for me." 

On if he did anything differently this offseason:"I think while everybody else was chilling, I was just working. I actually met a great defensive line trainer that's out here. And I would say as far as … I still don't see myself as a pass rusher, but the work that me and him did [has] been paying off for me. And yes, I think it's just the grind, man." 

On the name of the trainer he worked with this offseason:"Coach 'Tank' [Aaron Wallace]. He's up in Upper Marlboro, [MD]. But yes, I think I'm the first NFL guy that he was training. He's got a couple more guys now, but it's not what it's going to be yet. It's not big out there yet, but he's on his way, though." 

On the key to having a good run defense:"For one, you've got to have some crazy big guys that [are] willing to take on double teams and just do the dirty work. Those guys really don't get a whole lot of credit or anything like that, but you've got to find guys that are OK with that and that enjoy doing it, because you're taking on 600 pounds by yourself. To a regular person, they probably wouldn't do that. (laughter) You've got some guys that love ball and that are willing to put it on the line every down, basically." 

On if he's viewed himself as a guy who's always willing to do that dirty work:"Oh, yes. I played O-line in high school. Nobody gives those guys credit, nobody talks about them or anything like that. They just go out there and do their job every week in and week out and just go with it. That's kind of … That's my mindset now. You're asking to talk to me now, and I'm like, 'Eh.' It's not really my thing, but it is what it is." 

On if the run defense looks a lot better now than it did at the beginning of the season:"Yes, I think it kind of goes back to last year. The mentality in our room is basically [that] you're not going to run the ball on us. To us, if a team comes in here and runs the ball on us, or we go to somebody else, and they run the ball on us, it's like, 'Shoot, they're bullying the big guys,' basically. So, we don't want to get bullied. (laughter) We prefer to do the bullying than to get bullied." 

On his reaction to hearing the news that DT Brandon Williams was joining the Chiefs:"I'm going to start off by saying I'm very happy for [Brandon Williams]. 'Big Baby,' that's my dawg. I hate that he went to the Chiefs, but I'm happy that he's back out there competing, though. But I hate that he went to the Chiefs; I really hate that." 

On if he had a feeling all along that Brandon Williams would play somewhere:"Talking to [Brandon Williams] after the season and then a little bit during the offseason, it was kind of just up in the air. I really didn't know, but I remember him saying if a good opportunity came up, then he would take it. I can't be too mad at him about going with those guys." 

On the shape and condition of Brandon Williams:"Oh, yes. It looks like he lost some weight. It looks like he leaned up a little bit. (laughter) Hey, man, I don't have to block him. (laughter) I don't care." 

On what it means to him when he received praise and recognition for his performance:"It's appreciated, but at the same time, it's kind of like … You can't really let that get to your head, because [if] you let that get to your head and then you go out the next week and you [crap] the bed. You're going to hear that from your teammates, [and] your coach is probably going to come up and say something to you. It's appreciated, but in the back of my head, it's like, 'You've still got to do better.' There's still always something you can improve on. So, I'm thankful for it, but at the same time, I don't let it get to my head too much."

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