Training Camp Transcript - Aug. 21

On if it's the right time to leave camp: "Don't even know what that means. It's time to go to work. We've got practice this afternoon, practice in the morning. I will say this: It's been a great camp. The people here at McDaniel College have been off the charts, and at the Best Western up there, have been fantastic. We get treated like kings, everything we need. The fields are in great shape. The locker room, the facilities are in great shape. Everybody goes out of their way to make it a great camp. You can see why the Ravens have been doing it here for a long time, and we think we'll be doing it for a long time to come. It's been great that way. We appreciate, we're thankful, for the fans. The fans have been off the charts. I don't know what the numbers have been, but we've been averaging what, 5,000 out here? Four or five thousand. We're going to set a record for training camp. It's official, Kevin Byrne [senior VP of public and community relations] says. That's been fun, because that gets the guys juiced up, it gets them excited."

On the camaraderie he's seen being built here at camp:"Building a football team, to me, at this stage, is an around-the-clock process. The fact that the guys… It's the fact that they're together, but it's also the fact that we can have meetings at night, that they can walk back to the room, and they're sitting down with the young guy, and they're teaching the young guy the defense or the offense. That during meetings… It's just, as Vic Fangio puts it, it's wall-to-wall ball. It's wall-to-wall ball for whatever amount of time we're here, and we think that's valuable for building a football team."

On if he's worried about a drop-off when they get back to the normal surroundings:"No, we really don't worry about a drop-off when we get back. It's a different schedule when we get back. The guys will be excited to get back. Our facilities are really nice, and I'm sure they'll be energized by going back. That's another reason, I think, to come here. You have opportunities to energize your team with different breaks in the process."

On what exactly changes when they go back to the Owings Mills facility:"They way that the camp outline works, is that after this phase, when we go back to Owings Mills, we are in an in-season routine. So now, we'll come in, we'll meet in the mornings, we'll practice at 1 p.m. We'll have post-practice meetings. They'll have lifting, training and all that stuff, and they'll be out of there around 5 or 6 o'clock. It becomes an in-season-type schedule for the last two weeks of training camp."

On LB Brendon Ayanbadejo:"The thing about Brendon Ayanbadejo is he's obviously a Pro Bowl player. He made the Pro Bowl for us last year. It was him and a bunch of rookies, basically, out there. He helped show those guys how to practice. He shows them how to train. He teaches technique along with coach [Jerry] Rosburg. He's had to learn some stuff, too, within the system that we've installed. I think he's one of the premiere special teams players, really, to ever play in the game, and that's a good building block. We've got to build a young group of guys around him. For us to be a successful football team this year, we have to be really, really good on special teams. We were average at best last year, so those young guys have got to step up and play. And if we can get Ed Reed occasionally on the field rushing the punt, returning a punt, kickoff coverage… (Harbaugh yells over to Reed) *What do you say, Ed? *(Reed responds) 'Yeah. Thanks man.' Come on around here, come on. But you do, you have starters like Ed Reed, you have some of these guys who want to do stuff like that. Jump in here, man. You take over for a minute. It's been a great camp."

On if he would like to be at camp for a few more weeks:"No. (laughing) I'm trying to get rid of the next three days."

On if he's feeling good:"Yeah, good. Real good."

On if he gets excited when he knows he's going against a rookie quarterback:"Oh yeah, always. But you know, the coaches tell them to be cautious with where you're going with the ball, be smart with it. I'm sure Rex [Ryan] will let him know."

On if it will be weird to see Jets head coach Rex Ryan on the other sideline:"No, not at all. At this point, we made the transition. I'm sure he has made the adjustment. I'm happy for Rex. I love him. I hate to lose him, but I'm glad he got the job. It was well-deserved. It's going to be fun."

On if he has talked to Jets LB Bart Scott or S Jim Leonhard recently:"No, not recently."

On how it's going with his neck and shoulder:"It's still sore. It still is what it is at this point."

On the adjustment of playing with that soreness:"[I've] just got to be smarter. Thinking about my son and the longevity of life, that keeps you playing differently."

On if he's holding on to hope that CB Samari Rolle will be out here soon:"Yeah, like I told Samari, be smart. This is just a game at the end of the day. Your life is what matters. You've got kids to take care of."

On if he would like to do what Harbaugh was talking about on special teams:"Stay tuned. Stay tuned. It's too early to talk about that."

On what he thinks about looking across the field and seeing Rex Ryan:"It's going to be fun. It's going to be fun. How did I get this interview? I don't even read the paper. I don't get in to all that stuff. That's why y'all are glad to see me here."

On if he expects to hear Ryan from the sideline:"I'm sure. I know how Rex is. He loves this game. Like I said, he made the transition to being a Jet from a Raven, and I know he's got to protect his job at the end of the day. He's going to want his boys to play ball."

On how it's different handling past success in the offseason and how to keep that going:"I think we did all right with it. You've got to stay tuned to the season, but I think we've matured. I think we're growing as a team. The biggest thing is going to be staying healthy and keeping that mental [toughness] throughout the grind of the season. It's a long season at the end of the day, and they get paid just as much as we do."

On if it makes him feel old to hear that some of the young guys watched him in college:"Yeah, a little bit. But I've been feeling old since I got around here. That was five years in college. It's a blessing, though, just to be playing with those guys, like I looked up to guys when I came and played with Ray [Lewis], and then going against guys like Jerry Rice and stuff like that. To have those guys saying that to me is a blessing."

On how he feels about the seemingly obsession that DB Lardarius Webb has with him:"That's my boy. He's a great player. He wanted 20, so I'm trying to switch my number next year and give it to him. (laughing) If they're going to make him play, I'll give it to him."

On if he heard about the stories of Webb idolizing him when he was growing up:"Yeah, I heard the stories. (laughing) We don't need to talk about that."

On if Webb has a picture of him in his locker now:"No, I don't think so. I hope not."

On what the addition of CB Domonique Foxworth has meant to the secondary:"It's huge, like you said. Losing Samari, and I know how valuable Samari was to my right, as a mental teacher to me and to the other corners out there on the field. Foxworth has stepped up tremendously. He's taking his game to the next level, but he's not just by himself, he's bringing other guys with him. That mental part of him knowing the game and being able to make checks from corner makes my job a lot easier."

On how having S Dawan Landry back this year feels:"Huge. Dawan is ready to go. He's still physical, running good. It was bad losing him last year. Jimmy [Leonhard] stepped up, was a huge, huge benefit to our defense. He was a smart guy just like Dawan. Like I said, guys like that make your job a lot easier when you don't have to worry about the other side, knowing that the checks are made. If I have a brain fart, he makes the check. That's the benefit of having another good safety on the other side."

On if the mental focus changes any when they get back to Owings Mills in the regular season routine:"It does, but I always talked about that the last couple of years, because we'd be such a cohesive team at training camp because you're around each other so much, but when you get back down to Owings Mills or whatnot, you're not in the same routine. You're not in two-a-days. You're not seeing the fans every day. You're more or less at your house, back and forth. You're more in the world, should I say. You've just got to stay focused and know where your priorities stand at the end of the day. I think guys do a great part of that, but we're human. We still like to have fun, we still like to enjoy ourselves just like everybody else."

On how it felt to finally get the monkey of their back and win a couple of playoff games last year:"You're not lying, it was tough. I mean, that's what it's about. This is a great league. You have so many great teams at any given point. It's just like the movie 'Any Given Sunday,' you never know what's going to happen. You've just got to go prepare week to week, and hopefully you'll be one of those teams in late January."

On if he is on the same page with LB Ray Lewis about the best is yet to come:"You probably won't see that, but I'm going to keep playing as long as I can." (laughing)

On if he means he's hit his peak:"No, I don't think so. I think I'm right around the corner from it though."

On the accountability between the defensive players:"This is one of the rare places, I haven't been anywhere else, but this place here is almost like a college feel. We talk about tradition. We talk about our defense as a tradition of upholding certain standards that guys… Look, when you come up into this defense, there's a certain way you practice, there's a certain way you play. Don't look at Ed because he practices a certain way, too, but that's just how we are. That's how we're built. I think upstairs, Ozzie Newsome and that staff, they do a great job of seeking those guys out and putting those guys around us, and those guy are just blending in like this is not just football and a job, it's fun also. We have a lot of fun outside of this. That's what keeps us going. That's what's going to keep you going at the end of the day, even as a little kid. When you were a kid, and kids today, they enjoyed this. That's the pure times of their life, to enjoy football, and a lot of us still have that little kid inside."

On if he can explain the phrase on his bracelet:"'Once I get the ball, you're at my mercy.' That's [Michael] Jordan. You know how Jordan was."

On the thought that the phrase was an Ed Reed thing:"It's the same thing in a sense, because I always said… I grew up watching Michael Jordan. He was the dominant player in my age of growing up. I just took that same format to football. If I get the ball in my hands, you already know."

On if he has any thoughts on this week's swim off between Michael Phelps and Shaquille O'Neal:"Oh, come on man. Shaquille's going to sink unless he's in a boat. (laughter) Then I like Shaquille."

On what 'Play Like a Raven' means to him:"Playing like a Raven is a mentality. It's who we are. It's out here on this field. It's when you're off the field. It's training camp. It's what we built. There's much more to it. It's respect for your teammates, respect for your family, respect for your coaches. It's a lot all up in one big pot."

On him going back and forth between wearing a red no-contact jersey and if it's a day-to-day decision:"Now it is. I've been practicing, I've been hitting. Sometimes it's just a fun thing to come out here with the red jersey on. But the start of training camp, it was just being smart, making sure that everything was on the up and up, and that I didn't have any setbacks hitting anybody at the beginning of camp."

On how the Ravens close the gap between them and the Pittsburgh Steelers to win those games:"I think we already started it by maturing. We're going into this season focused on Kansas City, and focusing on this preseason game right now, which we're taking it week to week. That's how we always took it. That's how we're going to continue to take it, one game at a time. And when we get to Pittsburgh, we'll deal with them."

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