Thursday Practice Transcript - 9/29


Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg

Talk about WR LaQuan Williams and how he did with the returns in St. Louis, and what the plans are for him? (Ken Murray)"Well the St. Louis game… I thought LaQuan [Williams], the first opportunity we had, he ran it exactly the way we wanted it run. He set it up well and he burst to the outside. We wish he had read the last block a little bit better. But, all and all, I thought it was a really positive start. The second one… Given the scope of the game at that time, we talked about it on the sideline, it's probably wise to keep that one in the end zone, as deep as it was and as high as it was. That particular kicker is one of the guys in this league who still has really good hang time on his deep ball. That one got away from him a little bit, LaQuan that is. And, it would have been wise with that – in the scope of the game, with the lead that we had – to keep that one in. But, that's part of the learning process. We had a good talk about it. We… He actually asked some good questions about that and we were able to answer. So, it was a real positive experience in the end." **

Can you give us an example of what he wanted to know? (Ken Murray)"'How do I determine the hang time when I don't have a stopwatch?' (laughter) I thought that was a really good question. (Reporter: "What was your answer?") Well, I said you have to develop one in your head. That's really what it comes down to – you have to feel the kick."

As far as the missed kicks [from Billy Cundiff], was there anything mechanically that you noticed or were they just misses? (Glenn Clark)"Well, I think the second one, mechanically, we noticed some. The first one was just a miss. The second one, I think – Billy will probably tell you, perhaps he already has – that he was just trying to make it instead of trying to kick it. It showed up in the way he took the swing at it. We had… It also fostered some good conversation. It was an interesting thing to happen to Billy. He's had so much success and he's done such a great job for us, it's something that's been interesting in practice because it's something now that we're working on. And when you think things are going well, Billy has done so well, and now there's something that we can focus on and can work on. It's actually been a good thing in that regard. So, we look forward to the next opportunity, and I mean that sincerely. I was hoping that he'd have another chance in the game to have another long one. He was hoping for that same thing. And I… Hopefully, he'll have a chance this weekend to get back out there and kick one."

When you lined up for the second one at 51 yards, in a lot of people's heads, they're saying. "OK this is going to be good; he's going to make whatever adjustment." The odds are good. So what did he do wrong on the second one? Did he not compensate? (Ken Murray)"It wasn't about compensation. As I said, he was trying to make it, rather than kick it. He was aiming more than swinging at the ball, like his normal swing. I think that's probably the result of thinking about the last kick rather than the next kick. That's something that all good kickers have been able to do, and that's something Billy has been very good at, that he erases the last kick whether it's good or bad. That particular one, that didn't happen. And it's a learning… Even though he's been a vet in this league and he's played in this league for a long time, you learn throughout your career. This is an example of that."

Last year when you played the Jets up there, if I remember right, they had a very good night special teams-wise. I think their drive start was on the 40 and they netted about 45 yards a punt. [Jets special teams coordinator] Mike Westhoff has been around a long time… What makes him one of the best at what he does? (Joe Platania) "Well, I have great respect for Mike, and I also have great respect for their players. They have very good players on their special teams and have had. It seems when you turn their tape on every year, whether you're playing them or not, you watch the Jets have big returns and big plays. Mike uses those players very well. You can see that he has a mind that goes after a particular coverage, he'll attack it and he'll look for weak spots like we all do. He has great players to attack. He does a very good job in that regard."

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron

Tell me about [Jets CB Darrelle] Revis. When you see teams face him on film, does he actually take one side of the field away, like Deion [Sanders] used to? (Ken Murray)"He can definitely take one man away. I don't know if it is one side of the field. They do a great job. They roll the coverage away from him, lock him up on the backside, very similar to what you're saying. The thing that impresses me about him is he's consistent. He is a technician. He is not just an athlete out there playing, shutting people down. He uses good technique, he knows how to play square [and] he is a good tackler. You look at his body type; he is a great-looking guy from a football perspective. He is not a slightly built corner. The good news is we like to think our receivers are physical. 'Q' [Anquan Boldin] is physical. Obviously, Torrey [Smith], you saw he can be fast and physical. LaQuan [Williams] is physical. Tandon Doss is physical. We'd like to think that it's going to be a heck of a ballgame from that perspective."**

Cam, [C] Andre Gurode was making his first start at left guard in his entire career. Watching the tape, how did you feel like he performed? It seemed like he held up pretty good. (Dan Kolko)"He played really well. Actually, of our 12 plays that we showed – our Raven plays – I think he was the highlight of almost half of them. I can't express enough how fortunate we are to get him here – to have him in the room. He and Matt Birk communicating together, and then to be able to play him at guard – somewhere he has never played – and play at a high level; it just tells you he is a pro. That's what pros do. 'The more you can do,' we always say. We had seven linemen active, not eight, so guys are going to play multiple positions. He can play center, he can play right guard, he can play left guard. As we all know, that's huge."**

What goes into that though, making the switch from center to guard to play guard for the first time? How difficult is that, and what's the toughest part of that? (Ken Murray)"Probably for a right-handed guy, just being in a left-handed stance. That's probably the toughest thing. The advantage veteran players have is they know NFL personnel. They know who they are going against – they know NFL schemes. They can translate things quickly, and he is extremely bright. He is very prideful. He wants to do well. I think he is really excited to be here, and I think he wants to help us do something special. I think all those things factor in, and the bottom line is if we ask you to do something, we need for you to do it, even if it is something you haven't done before."**

Cam, there have been a lot of longer running plays this year. What do you think has contributed to that, to Ray Rice getting out and stretching the field that way? (Ryan Mink)"I don't know the stats on that. But, if that is the case, it is plain and simple – it's blocking. Is everybody writing that down? (laughter) We're just trying to do a good job of getting at the right depth as a back, staying on a course and running enough plays off of our runs that look the same. I think our 'keep' and our 'naked' game are getting better. I'm sure at some point in time, people are going to start containing us more, and Joe [Flacco] is probably going to start getting hit on those 'naked's', which will be a little bit of a concern for all of us. Right now, the combination of the running game with our play-action pass, I think really we'd like to try to keep some deception there. I think that helps the running game."**

[OLB Terrell] Suggs said he is working some plays at fullback. Is he just messing with us? (Ken Murray)"No. That's something that's big in this plan. We want to get as many good players out there as we can. It's his idea. He is not bashful. I guess he got tired of asking to be a tight end, so hey, we'll stick him in there at fullback and see what he thinks. I guess that's the Suggs package. The new Suggs package." (laughing)

What does he [Suggs] show you at fullback? (Ken Murray)"Just the same thing that he has shown me when he runs back those – that was a couple years ago – interceptions and those fumbles. The guy is a great player, period."**

You have [DT] Haloti [Ngata] on the offensive side of the ball a little bit as well. Talk about incorporating him in there as well. (Dan Kolko)"Yeah, all those guys… I think you want to get as many of your good players [involved] as you can. Obviously, there is some risk involved there, we know that. But, we tried to get Haloti a touchdown the other day, and it didn't quite work out; they double-covered him. Go figure. They double-covered Haloti and turned Vonta Leach all alone in the flat."**

With the Jets' blitz, they'll bring almost anyone. A safety could be coming, or a corner. How much do you have to account for the unexpected from the Jets? (Aaron Wilson)"Every down. They will bring every guy and they will drop every guy. There [are] only a few teams in the league that you really can say that [about], looking at your chart. Every defensive lineman eventually drops into coverage. Every defensive back, for the most part, either has blitzed this year, or last year, or the year before. There are 11 guys over there – you account for all 11. You try to make sure that doesn't put you in a mindset of hesitancy, because you still want to be physical. You better have everybody on the same page, everybody communicating what they are seeing."**

After [WR] Torrey [Smith]'s breakthrough game, what do you expect from him this week and going forward? (Aaron Wilson)

"I guess what you would always expect out of a pro player; play the best you can play and maximize every opportunity you have. He really doesn't have control whether Joe [Flacco] throws him the ball. Joe has to make that decision and expect him to throw you the ball, and when he does, just continue to do what you do. I know you guys had a hard time believing us when [head coach] John [Harbaugh] was saying patience, and I was talking about it [too]. In practice, he was practicing like that. It hadn't come up the way we wanted it in a game yet. It didn't translate yet. Obviously, you guys don't get to see that, but it really wasn't a surprise to a lot of us. If you have seen practice – especially the last two weeks – that is the way he has practiced; just like you saw in the first quarter of that game."**

Cam, a lot of guys in the locker room talked about wanting to go after people from start to finish. I think the Rams game was pretty indicative of that. We have seen the posters about relentless and all that stuff, is that something that you guys talked about in the offseason, a goal of yours? (Mike Duffy)"I think, yeah, relentless finish. I think your ability to finish, and until someone tells you, 'Hey, shut it down,' your objective is to move the football and give your guys opportunities to be successful and score. Everyone else in this league does that, too. Let's not kid ourselves. No one is backing off for anybody. Just look at what has happened the last two weeks – people have come from nowhere to win games. I have been in games where we have scored 42 in the second half, or whatever that was. You look at the baseball game last night… Just play nine innings, play four quarters, whatever it takes. Try to stop them, try to score and then hey, we're all big boys – we go to the next game. I have had my rear end waxed [with] big scores before, and you have to put them behind you. You don't hold it against anybody, and try to finish. Try to play well. We only scored what, three points in the second half of that game? We moved the ball, but our objective is to score. We had some areas we can improve in the second half. Those need to happen this week, because last week is gone."**

So far, with the first quarter of the season, what are the things that you are impressed about with your offense and what are some of the things you guys need to work on? (Barry Barnes)"The No. 1 thing we have to work on is consistency. We have kind of gone like this [up and down] over three games. We've got to be able to develop a consistent… I think everybody knows what we want to do. I hear a lot about the identity thing. It's clear the identity we want to have. I think those are the things that Mike [Duffy] is alluding to, but you have to do it consistently, and you have to do it against good defenses. This is a great challenge for us this week. We're doing a lot of things good. I don't know if we are doing anything great yet, or anything anywhere close to where we want to do it, but the one thing we definitely have to improve on is our consistency."**

How much can [Jets CB] Darrelle Revis disrupt things with what he does, as far as being a press corner and the level at which he plays the game? (Ken Murray)"He can have a major impact on the game, obviously. It's not always what he's doing as [much as] what it allows everybody else to do. I think it's a combination of the two, and that's why great players, and the guys that make the kind of money he makes, that's just what they're expected to do. And he gives that defense a ton of flexibility, and the ability – in a lot of peoples' minds – to take one guy out of the game."

Have you been in a position before where three of your top four receivers were rookies? (Jason Butt)"I mentioned that to somebody… That's why I was really excited going into that St. Louis game, and just moving forward, because I don't think I ever have been. I think two for sure, but… And we've said this, too, and I know it's hard to believe, but these three guys have an interesting, or unique, maturity about them at this point. The biggest issue these guys will eventually have may not be this year; it will be just how well they can handle success, because they're going to be successful. There's no doubt in my mind that all three guys are going to be successful. Then that becomes the next hurdle; can they handle the success and all the things that go with recognition in the National Football League. I'm confident they will, but again, I think we all – especially those of us that are parents – I think we all know, you never really know."**

Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano

Talk about the challenges that [Jets QB Mark] Sanchez presents. It seems like he's been very successful throwing the ball so far this season. (Jason Butt)"Yeah, he's doing a nice job for them. Obviously, we think No. 1, they're going to come in and try to establish the run like everybody tries to do. We've got to make sure we don't forget about that. And then we've got to make sure to do a good job of putting pressure on them. They protect him well, he gets the ball out in the quick game, he throws his shots down the field, he's surrounded by a ton of playmakers and the guy is athletic. He makes plays on the move, and when he gets outside the pocket he's dangerous. So, we have to make sure to handle that."

What, if anything, did you learn in the year that you spent with Rex [Ryan]? (Evan Washburn)"I've been asked that [before]. You know, how to have fun. I spent two years with his brother at Oakland and then a year here with him. Obviously, coming from a football family, there is a wealth of knowledge there from a football and schematic standpoint, and those types of things. It was a great year for me, and also, a great year for [former Ravens defensive coordinator Greg] Mattison and everybody else who had an opportunity to spend a year with him. It was really good for me and my maturation process."

On the outside it seems that you both have that personality and that relationship with your players that I'm sure translates out on the field. Is that true? (Evan Washburn)"You know, Rex [Ryan] is Rex, and Rob [Ryan] is Rob, and the rest of the guys are who they are. I'm just trying to be the same guy that I've always been. I've got to be true to who I am, and that's really all I'm trying to do."

You've been labeled as an aggressive defensive coordinator already. Did you pick up more of that from Rex, or was that already there? (Ryan Mink)"I don't know. I think it's the mentality of this defense, you know? You always want to play to your strengths, and I think our strength is coming after people. We've got the guys to match up on the outside to cover. We've got guys that, when we send them, they get home. So, I think it's just the personality and who we are."

Do you see a lot of your own system in Rex's system? (Ryan Mink)"There are obviously some threads that run through both. It's good for offense, obviously, seeing some similar stuff. With the offseason, and things like that, we tweaked it a little bit — the scheme a little bit, as a staff. But there are some similarities there."

What do you think [WR] Derrick Mason is telling their coaching staff and the rest of the team about what you guys are planning? (Pete Gilbert)"I think, if we had somebody down here from their place, he'd probably be telling them, 'Hey, when they do this signal, it's this coverage. If you see this, you should expect that,' those types of things."

What challenges does [WR] Santonio Holmes present? (Jeff Zrebiec)"I mean, he's a great talent, he's a great skill [and] he's a threat down the field. He poses a threat, run after catch. He's been a Raven killer. I just go back to my nightmares, when I wake up in the middle of the night sweating, it's because I think of 2008; the three losses in 2008. He had a hand in all of them. They were all extended plays, scramble plays, where [Steelers QB] Ben [Roethlisberger] found him in the open and he created touchdowns. So, he's a huge threat. We have to make sure we take care of him."

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