Training Camp Transcript - Aug. 18

Opening statement: "Good to see everybody. Thanks for coming. Good practice – very physical. We had a lot of situational football in there. Our guys got after each other pretty good. I thought it was a very good day for the defense. The offense, of course, had their moments, too."

On his thoughts about Rex Ryan speaking out about No. 99: "I don't even know if I saw that. As far as the numbers go, that's done with a lot of things in mind. One number we have held back this year – I guess this is a good time, since you brought it up – we're going to hold back No. 57 this year. That's for O.J. Brigance. Everybody knows the situation with O.J. and this inspiration he's brought to our team. So, we will hold that number back this year. That's one we'll hold back."

On if he has addressed the penalty situation from the first preseason game: "The big part of that, as far as the penalties go, is determining which penalties are important to us in preseason. Some penalties we can live with because it's just a matter of finding where that line is drawn. Other penalties are just unacceptable. The pre-snap penalties, the blocks in the back on special teams – those penalties we just can never have. Those are the ones we've worked really hard on to make sure we eliminate in this next game. So, we'll be disappointed if we don't make some progress in that area."

On what CB Fabian Washington can do as he gets more comfortable in this defense: "I think it's great for our defense if Fabian gets more comfortable and more healthy. Of course, all the other corners, too, but Fabian looks good. He looks healthy. He's put on 10 pounds of muscle. He's tackling well – we do a lot of tackling – so he's tackling well. I'd be surprised if Fabian didn't have a really good year."

On what the offensive line feels like when they go against DT Haloti Ngata: "You can only speculate. (laughing) Guys our size can only speculate what's it's like to go against Haloti Ngata. That's probably a real good thing. I think it does them, in all seriousness – it's a technique game in a lot of ways. These guys are powerful guys. You've got to be able to play with leverage. You've got to bend. We talk about power producing angles in football all the time. You've got to be able to bend and produce power. If you're not in good position against a guy like Haloti, [Justin] Bannan, Kelly Gregg, or [Kris] Jenkins – any of those great defensive linemen – you just don't have a chance. So, it's really great for our offensive linemen to go against those guys every single day and develop their technique."

On if it means anything for the players to play against Rex Ryan: "I think it means a lot to be going against a Rex Ryan-coached team. We think the world of Rex, Mike [Pettine], Jimmy [Leonhard] and Bart [Scott]. Those guys were… You don't go through a season, with what we went through emotionally and the friendships [we built], without it meaning a ton. I know those guys feel that way. Really, we wish them the best. We'll be their biggest fans, most of the time. We can't wait to see how they do. We kind of know what they're building there and we respect it. We recognize it when we see it. We're looking forward to playing them. It's going against someone you really care about. You can't wait to compete. So, it's going to be very special."

On the one edge he can work on in the preseason to get ahead of an opponent when everyone is pretty much as good as everyone else:"Talking about parity and how do you get an edge in this league… Players have got to play. Our goal this training camp, as you know, is to be the very best Ravens we can be when it's all said and done. And we don't know what it is exactly. We've got a vision for it. We know what we want it to look like, and we think we have a chance to be a really good team. And if we can be the best Ravens we can be, that's all we're worried about. We'll let the chips fall as the may. That's why we line up on Sunday, or Monday night, or whatever the case may be. You just find out where you stand."

On the play in the red zone that was blown dead, but he later signaled touchdown for after complaints from some offensive players:"There was a lot of controversy out there today, no doubt. The officials didn't show up. I guess they knew what kind of practice we were going to have. So I got stuck with that duty today. We have a quick whistle when we get down there inside the 5 [-yard line], so Matt Weiss blew the whistle appropriately, and I guess I had to make a decision. It didn't look like he wasn't going to get in to me, but of course the defensive guys disagreed."

On if he likes the fact that the offense is trying to persuade him and defend their pride:"Oh yeah. We have a lot of back and forth here. You know how it works. Anybody can speak their mind. We're not afraid of none of us. Coaches, we all have a thick skin. If a guy wants to say what he thinks, we welcome it."

On coaching against Rex Ryan this Monday night: "I really haven't put any thought into it at this point. I'm just saying, we're so focused on going against these guys, if our focus goes anywhere off this field, it could get ugly out here. And usually, offensively, we don't look at a preseason opponent until 40 hours before the game. So, maybe I can get with you later on in the week."

On how WR Kelley Washington has fit into the system: "I really don't know yet. I'm getting to know him a little bit better. He's obviously doing an outstanding job in practice; we're playing him all three positions. Now he's been in the system before. He was in the system in Cincinnati, so he's familiar. He understands NFL defenses, and I think at the end of training camp I might have a better idea of where he might fit in. But we still… As you guys know – I'm not telling you anything you don't know – we've got a long way to go."

On whether Washington has shown anything special so far: "Well, the one thing I know he can do is catch the football. You'd think that would go without being said, but he catches the football, he catches it in traffic, he's physical and again, he's a veteran player that you can play at all three or four spots depending on what package you're in. And depending on how he factors in with Mark [Clayton] and Derrick [Mason] and so forth, that's important."

On WR Jayson Foster and his abilities:"Here's a kid that's really bright. He's picked things up quickly. He can catch. You saw [him] the other night [make big plays in the Washington win]. He made some plays yesterday; he made some more this morning. Obviously, he was a great college player, and again, you never know. We're not comparing him to this guy, per say, but Wes Welker… I remember coming in, and we had Wes Welker in San Diego, and right away you just said, 'You know, this guy is a football player.' And I feel the same way about Jayson. What his role could and will be, we're way too early to tell that. But there's no doubt that this guy – he's just a hard-working, solid football player."

On how he feels about the ball getting spread around on offense:"That's the plan. Whether we can get that done every week… I think, if a guy's going to work hard, he really deserves the opportunity to touch the football, whether he's a receiver, or he's a running back. I think we got it to all but three guys one way or the other. We'll try to do that in every game in the preseason. Obviously, it helps in evaluation, but it also, it's just a reward. There are only really five guys out there who aren't eligible. So, if a guy is eligible, then let's get him the ball and see what he can do with it and let him have some fun. That really is what we believe. We believe the game should be fun, and guys like the football. There's only one of them. That was the plan."

On if RB Matt Lawrence has impressed him:"Yeah, he's like all our backs. Wilbert Montgomery is just… The environment he's created in that room is fabulous. All of those guys are getting better every day. He's one of those guys – you saw him the other night – he's got a long way to go. But, he's doing a nice job."

On having five quarterbacks and if it's difficult to get them all reps:"They're not going to get all the reps. They're not here for that purpose. We've got three quarterbacks, and we thought John [Beck] was going to be down. Obviously, he bounced right back from the shoulder, so Cleo [Lemon] is here, and we were familiar with Drew [Willy]. Right now, the way the roster is set up, those guys can help us in 'look squad.' They're doing a great job. But, we've got three quarterbacks that we're focusing on. And then those other two guys, if someone goes down, they've got to be ready."

On if the RBs catching passes is something he's done at other places or just something he can do with the personnel here:"Both. It really is. It's both. I don't know how you could play the game today if you can't catch the football. And defenses can stack the front against the run, [so] you better be able to throw it to those guys or they're not going to touch the football. Running backs, like I think I mentioned the other day, you've got to be able to catch the football. There are certain teams that are going to take away [the pass] if you're not going to be able to run the football like you would like. So what's your next alternative? It's throw it to them. I know one year we had a back in the system catch 100 balls. But that was him [LaDainian Tomlinson]. We're looking for that kind of guy."

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