Ravens Wednesday Transcripts: Week 3 at New England Patriots (9/21)


*Opening statement: *"OK, appreciate you guys being here. [It was] another beautiful day, good hard practice. We're preparing for the Patriots. What questions do you have?"

With your history and familiarity with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, does it almost feel like they are a division rival of yours? (Jamison Hensley) "We have a lot of respect for them; we have a lot of respect for [head] Coach [Bill] Belichick, obviously, admiration. I've said many times that you try to study the best in the business, in your profession. So, I study Coach Belichick as much as I can. You're not in their meeting rooms, but you watch their tape all the time and you see what he says and what you think they're trying to do. So, nothing but the utmost admiration and respect, and that's what makes it so meaningful to go up there and compete against those guys and against his team."

Were you able to talk to the rookies after last week's loss, and how are they taking it? (David Andrade) "There's a sense of urgency, obviously. Those guys are very determined and very conscientious. They worked very hard today to prepare."

There's been a lot of focus on the secondary, but is the run defense something you'd like to be a little more stout than it's been the first two weeks? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Everything needs to be more stout; everything needs to be better. We're not there in any specific area, by any stretch in Week 2. So, we have to make progress this week, and then every week during the season you just have to find ways to improve. Obviously, staying healthy really helps with that, so we're working hard at that too, but we just have to go to work and get better at everything."

You were able to add another edge guy to the mix in LB Brandon Copeland on the practice squad. What do you like about him as someone who's been here before? (Luke Jones) "It's a great point. He's one that kind of sort of got away. I've always had to watch him for other teams, and he plays so hard, such a physical guy. To have a chance to bring him back now, and hopefully work his way in there, is really good to see. To give you a little small note like, 'This guy is really smart.' He doesn't forget. Is that an elephant? I guess he's like an elephant because we did punt protection today, and our footwork is different than everybody else's, and he went out there and did it just like it was however many years ago he was here – just perfect. So, that was nice to see."

We saw QB Lamar Jackson with a sleeve on his right arm. Is there anything you can tell us about that? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, it's just a normal course of the season-type thing. He practiced today. He'll play; he'll be playing on Sunday."

Is there any news on WR Devin Duvernay who is in the concussion protocol? (David Andrade) "Devin [Duvernay] is looking OK, he's in the concussion protocol. He got hit right in the head after he caught the ball; I don't know if they're looking at that in the league office or not. He didn't have many symptoms – he had actually no symptoms. So, it's looking positive."

ILB Josh Ross got placed on IR. Is that a season-ending injury? (Jonas Shaffer) "Not a season-ender; not a season-ender. It's a multiple weeks kind of a deal. It's probably a four-week IR for now, and we'll see where we're at after four weeks."

What stands out to you about Patriots QB Mac Jones' development? (Pete Gilbert) "He's a guy who can play. He's a winner; you track him all the way back [to] high school and college, but he operates the offense very well. He's very accurate, gets the ball out on time, he can move around in the pocket, he can scramble if he has to – I don't think he wants to, but he's willing to do it – and he makes some yards doing it when he does. A lot of respect, and he's running that offense and doing a heck of a job."

Did you get a head start on scouting New England while you were scouting Miami since they played each other in Week 1? And does anything stand out about them from years past? (Noah Trister) "New England? Compared to Miami? Oh, you're saying because they played the week before? (Reporter: "Yes.") Sure, and we always work ahead anyway, but no there's really no comparisons to years past. They are typically – and I say that in the way of typically really good at what they do, and what they want to do and being very clear cut about how they want to play. They want to play a certain way, and it reflects the personality and the philosophy of the head coach right on down through their staff, and players understand it. They have the players there who buy into what they're trying to do. You can see it, and that's how they play."

What do you see from LB Matthew Judon as a Patriot? (Ryan Mink) "The same things as when he was here. He plays hard, he's physical on the edge, he gets to the top on the pass rush and works that outside shoulder with a counter back inside with power. Speed to power, when he needs it. [He] plays hard. Just what we know."

You mentioned that you'd like to see OLB Odafe Oweh play better. Is there anything specific that you want him to work on? (Ryan McFadden) "Of course. I'm probably not going to run the list out right here, but we had a great talk. He and I had breakfast yesterday morning and had a great conversation about it. He's so determined, wants to be so good. He's learning; he's a young player. (Yelling from practice field) Someone just hit the bar from 40-yards out there, did you see that? (laughter) I want to be clear; nobody's betting on that right now, OK? So, if [NFL Commissioner] Roger [Goodell] calls – no bets. But, he's very determined, and it's really every aspect of the position. The biggest thing is that the process is what leads to the production. Come in every day, take care of business, keep it simple, let's not overthink everything; start with your stance and your alignment, and we'll go from there."

When you come off a hard loss like that, do you want the players to forget and move past the disappointment, or channel it as motivation? (Jamison Hensley) "Everything is motivation, and we don't forget. You don't wipe your mind. It's not like your mind is wiped clear, so we're going to remember, and we're going to be motivated by it. If you're not motivated by it and many other things, then what are you here for? So, yes, I guess, to whatever your question was." (laughter)(Reporter: "Basically, I was just asking you if you are on to New England?") (laughter) You were bating me, that's what you were doing."

On a personnel note, you had a couple of prominent veterans in for visits yesterday. Do you have any plans to sign anyone? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I would say, I hope so. I hope so. That would be great. I've already asked them once, and I'll ask them again, 'Are you in shape? Are you ready to go play? Are you ready to run around and help us win?' Because that's what I care about; we're not trying to do anyone any favors here. We want guys who will come in and help us win right now. If you're ready to do that – that's really for any player – come on. If you're not ready, then get in shape somewhere else, and then give us a call. So, that's really for any player."

QB Lamar Jackson looks very comfortable in this offensive scheme right now. When it comes to audibles, does he have any extra say in that this season? (Cordell Woodland) "It's hard to compare [because] the offense is not the same as it was in years past. I'll say this, he has a lot of say in it. You saw in the game how much was done at the line of scrimmage. So, it's always a collaboration between the quarterback, his headsets, the guys on the field, and the play calling and all that. Nobody's ever out there by themselves, but he has … I think he operated that game 'A plus'. All the things that he was asked to do, which was a lot at the line of scrimmage, he did very well with it, and it was impressive."


*On wearing a sleeve on his right arm and how his right arm is feeling: *"I'm feeling good."

*On if he expects any interruptions to his typical practice routine this week: *"No, not at all. Not at all."

*On if he feels more confident and more patient throwing the ball thus far this season: *"Yes, I'm feeling very comfortable. Our guys are getting open, getting 'YAC' [yards] after the catch. I'm feeling very comfortable. And our O-line is doing a terrific job, as well."

*On how he feels behind this offensive line: *"Like I just said, I feel comfortable. Those guys, they're like statues right there. They're not getting bull rushed or anything like that. They're just doing their job. We've just got to keep it going."

*On why he was wearing the sleeve: *"I'm good. The pad came with the sleeve; it wasn't added or anything like that. I'm good. I'm going to be out there Sunday; I'm going to be out there tomorrow in practice. I'm good."

*On if he threw passes during practice today: *"No, I'm going to throw Sunday – a lot Sunday." (laughter)

*On why the short-yardage plays didn't work last Sunday: *"We've just got to be more fundamentally sound, hit the holes when they're there. There [were some] little hiccups sometimes in assignment, but we're going to fix it; that's why there's a lot of season left. But the pass game came alive when the run wasn't there, so you're not just going to beat our offense down by the run not being successful. We're going to step it up."

*On what occurred on the goal-line fumble: *"My center got cut – he got cut – and then as he was getting cut, the ball went like up through my hands, so it wasn't really a comfortable set of the ball. So, that's pretty much what happened."

*On looking back during his long touchdown run and if he was thinking he might get caught: *"No, see, I looked up at the jumbotron when I was running. When I did that, I thought, 'Damn' – excuse my language. But when you're running and looking [at] the jumbotron, it actually slows you down, because the speed is different. So, when I looked back, I saw [that] he was kind of gaining, [and] I'm like, 'Oh, I've got to make sure he doesn't tackle me.' Then it's going to be like, 'Oh, he [Lamar Jackson] got slower,' or something like that. I scored. That's all that matters." (laughter)

*On where this offense might go once the pass game and run game get going together: *"The sky is the limit. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing. Hopefully, we'll just have a balanced offense and not just a heavy run and sometimes throw or heavy throwing and sometimes run – just keep it balanced. And I feel like the sky is the limit for us."

*On if he believes the offense was as aggressive in the second half: *"I feel so. We're always aggressive when we're out there on that field.We're not just going to take any pity on our opponents, because that's an NFL team, just like we are. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing [in] the first half; we'll have success [in the] second half – just finishing the game."

*On if the Patriots' approach in their last two meetings with the Ravens were radically different: *"It's a gameplan defense. That [Bill] Belichick defense [is] a gameplan defense, so I don't know how he'll try to play me this season. But I'll say the weather played a big part last time we played. Every time we got up and lined up on offense, it was heavy rains; like you can't even throw the ball through this rain, you can't run the ball, you probably can't even see your opponent if you're trying to make him miss. But hopefully, it's perfect weather."

*On if the rain in New England in the last Ravens-Patriots matchup was the worst weather he's played through in his career: *"Yes, that one was the worst. That was the worst ever, ever – like a hurricane."

*On what he remembers about head coach Bill Belichick from his pre-draft visit with the Patriots: *"I've seen [head coach Bill] Belichick smile. Usually, when I see him, he's puzzled face, a straight-faced guy. When I saw him smile, I was like, 'Damn, you've got humor.' (laughter) _I told him that, and he was like, 'Yeah.' I'm like, 'I wasn't expecting you to be smiling.'" _(laughter) (Reporter: "Do you remember what made him smile?")"No. No, I don't."

*On what he's seen from LB Matt Judon on film and how much he believes Judon would like to get a sack on him: *"Oh, man, hopefully he [Matt Judon] doesn't sack me at all, but that's his job – to try to sack me. But I've seen him just flying around – a disciplined team. The whole defense is disciplined. They get after it. Judon is just being Judon, really; it's self-explanatory with him."

*On how pleased he is with how the Ravens have turned the page: *"[It] was just like it was Jets Week. We got the win; it's over with; we focus on the next opponent. Dolphins, we just lost; focus on the next opponent. We've got to move on, because, like I said earlier, we have a long season ahead of us, and we just can't let that just drag us around, even though we wanted that win. But it is what it is right now."


*On how he feels about his three interceptions through two games so far: *"[When] I get the ball, I just do what I have to do to make plays on the defense. It's not something I'm new to, I've been doing it. So, I'm not really surprised. I should have had another one, so I hold myself to a high standard to make plays, and that's what I should have done."

*On how motivating it is to improve the pass defense's league ranking: *"We're not really worried about that; it's game two. We're trying to focus on the next game, and go out in the next game, we hold that guy to limited passing yards, and our rating will come back down week after week. So, as long as we do our job going into the next game, then we don't really have to worry about that."

*On if there is more urgency in wanting to play another game after how last week's ended: *"Last week was last week. We're just going to prepare and get ready for the game. We're going to take our time this week and dial in to the things that we have to do to prepare for this game, so we don't have what we had last week."

*On what he said to the rookie defensive backs this week: *"I've been in that situation before. I've missed a lot of plays in my career. It's not just being a rookie, it's any of us. Veterans miss plays all the time, so those guys, I just talked to them and said, 'The next play is going to be your best play. Don't worry about them.' You have to have a short-term memory as a DB all the time. You're on an island, and a lot of people see that and [point]. It's all of us, a collective unit, and if we all help out, then we don't have to worry about any of those guys missing plays."

*On what he thinks the best way to clean up communication is: *"Just doing it out at practice, talking about it in the film room. If we keep doing that week in and week out, it will take care of itself on the field on game day."

*On the defense communicating loudly at practice today and if that is a focus: *"That's been our focus since OTAs [and] training camp. You probably must not have been listening all the other times that we've been yelling out here, but we communicate every single day. It isn't anything new that we're doing now, it's just that you're listening better, I don't know." (laughter)

*On how encouraged he is by forcing turnovers in the first two games: *"It is what it is. I just try to come out here and try to do my job and go out there and try to do the best I can to help our team get a win. I'm not really focused on my individual goals, I'm just focused on us getting those wins week in and week out. I feel like that's what I came here to do."

*On how he makes such difficult interceptions: *"My rookie year, my first pick was a one-handed interception, so I'm not new to this. I've been doing it. I played receiver in high school, so these are all just plays that I've been making since I was younger, and I just continue to do it as if it was routine."

*On if he has given rookie S Kyle Hamilton any words of advice this week: *"We talk all the time, it's not just because he missed a play. We talk every day. He's a good player, comes out here ready to work every single week. OK, one play he didn't make it? Oh well. Now it's time to come back next week and go out there and ball. We trust him, we see him every day working hard in the film room. I trust all those guys out there. We all trust each other, we lean on each other, that's why we're together, and it's all about the team."

*On if communication becomes harder when there are a lot of substitutions: *"I don't think so. We just have to be on point every single play. It's just one play at a time, and after you do that, it should be pretty easy and simple."

*On what he sees from Patriots QB Mac Jones: *"He's a good quarterback. I've faced him before. He likes to get the ball out quick. He's a talented guy. [If] we just get some pressure on him [and] take the ball away, we'll be alright."


*On how the Ravens turn the page following the tough loss: *"It's just what you have to do – you have to watch; you have to learn – but there are a lot of games in this league. Every week, there's a new, tough opponent, and you can't let something bad that happened beat you twice. We have a very tough opponent coming up, and we have to improve and get better fast."

*On the issues with the run game: *"It's always just little things. A lot of concurring things were done on those plays; we just have to get the conversion. And once again, we learn from it, and we're ready to move forward."

*On if it feels like the run game is a block away from a big pickup: *"Yes, I definitely think so. [When] you watch it on film, you're like, 'Oh, we could've done this, we could've done that.' It's up to us. Whoever that person is, we've got to get that job [done], whether that's an extra second blocking or an extra inch – whatever we have to do. We're getting close."

*On facing a Bill Belichick-coached New England Patriots team: *"Any time you look at New England, you're looking at almost perfectly coached technique, unbelievable intensity and strength. There's a reason they've had so much success over the last 22 years. And we're going to have to give it our all this week, because you know they're not going to give us anything."

*On working with rookie C Tyler Linderbaum and if he's worked with other rookies throughout his career: *"Yes, I've worked with a lot of rookies throughout my career, at various positions and whatnot. But as far as playing with Tyler [Linderbaum], he's great. He's young, he's learning, but he's making great calls, he's figuring it out as he goes, and he has an ability to get things done – pretty cool."

*On if there's a mentality aspect to converting in short-yardage situations: *"Oh, it's absolutely a mentality. You want to always convert those fourth-and-1s or short-yardage situations. If they can't stop you, it just keeps building momentum for our team. And obviously, that really bit us in the end of the game."

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