Training Camp Transcript - Aug. 8

Opening statement: "We had a good practice. We've had a really good stretch of very physical practices. Guys have been going real hard. Spirits have been up. We've gotten a lot done in the last week and a half. [Graham] Gano came through big, made a kick, which allowed us to give the guys an afternoon off. So, everybody's pretty excited about that. I don't know if there is more pressure on a kicker than that – probably more pressure than a preseason game. Can you imagine if he would have missed that?"

On the performance of both kickers thus far: "I think they've been NFL-caliber kickers in practice so far. It's a little different. It's like someone said today, 'It's the difference between singing in the shower and singing at a live performance.' They're singing in the shower really well right now. That's good because if you can't sing in the shower, then you certainly can't do it for real. But, we'll find out when the lights come on."

On the injury status of OLB Terrell Suggs and CB Samari Rolle:"No, nothing really new on that. They're both just rehabbing, and that's where we're at."

On the status of T Oniel Cousins: "Oniel's going to be OK. It's nothing serious, just an ankle sprain."

On what happened with T Michael Oher today at practice:"It doesn't look serious. He pinched it, as Bill [Tessendorf] put [the injury report] in there. It may be a little bit of a calf sprain. It will be a rehab issue for a little while."

On what went on to cause the scuffle at practice: "I think one of the defensive linemen got tangled up in a pass rush and tempers flared a little bit."

On who it was involved in the scuffle: "I think it was [Joe] Reitz, and I'm not sure who else."

On if he got caught in the middle of the scuffle: "No, I stepped back. Harry Swayne grabbed me real quick. Harry's a big guy. I wasn't fighting Harry."

On what his feelings are about the scuffle today: "We've had a lot of scuffles before the whistle gets blown, I can tell you that. Those are the scuffles we're most interested in. The other ones are irrelevant. We don't mind them. We don't want them. We don't not want them. We don't care about them. The ones before the whistle gets blown – those are the ones that matter. Our guys have had plenty of those."

On if the temperate weather takes less of a toll on the players:"Sure. It allows you to get a longer practice in, more plays. When you're dehydrating out here in the heat, it saps you a little bit. You always want some heat, because it enables you to get ready for the early season games, but we get more done probably if there's a little less heat."

On if it is a relief T Oniel Cousins' injury wasn't more serious:"It is what it was. Is it a relief? I'm not even going there. He's fine."

On if it was good to see K Graham Gano make a field goal when it really mattered after missing some earlier in practice:" Yeah, I think his legs were very noodley. He's been kicking a lot, and he didn't have a lot of leg out there today, and you could kind of see it. But, he came through when it mattered."

On WR Justin Harper looking like he's growing up in this training camp:"He has. He's done a lot of great things. At the same time, he'll be the first to tell you, he needs to make every one of those tough catches. The one Frank [Walker] got out on the six route, that's a grab that we need a big, strong receiver to go make. The nine route at the end… He needs to run and go get that ball. But then there's four of five other routes in there that he looked really good on. That's where he's at as a young receiver."

On what kind of look rookie RB Cedric Peerman is giving the team:"He does a really good job. I think he's going to be a good player. I wouldn't be surprised if he's not really good on special teams early. And he's got great speed. He's learning pass protection still. He's learning how to be an NFL back, but he looks good."

On what has surprised him from CB Domonique Foxworth's play:"We thought he was really good, and he's every bit as good as we thought he was, just talent-wise and knowledge-wise, attention to detail. He's got really good feet and quickness. He's got really good ball skills. He can… Again, he'll tell you he can learn, and he's learning from the best. We've got a bunch of guys on defense that really study the game – very highly-intelligent football players. I think he's excited to learn from those guys."

On whether his kick to cancel the afternoon practice was the most pressure he'd faced: "Yeah, I guess so. The team was counting on me to make that kick so we'd have this afternoon off. But, I think it's fun. I heard coach say that, and I thought it would be more of a fun opportunity than any of the other kicks. So, I was pretty excited about it."

On how far the kick was: "I don't know. I think it was pretty close – 35, 36 [yards out]."

On whether he knew practice would be cancelled if he made it before walking up to take the kick: "Yeah, Coach Harbaugh said, 'You know if he makes this kick, we don't have practice this afternoon.' So, I think I heard one guy on the sideline say, 'Miss it!' and I was like, 'Why would you say that?'* (laughter) *But, yeah, I knew it was for practice off."

On whether he had an escape route planned if he had missed it: "No, I knew I was going to make it."

On the defensive line not making much of an effort to block the kick: "Oh, is that right? I could see them out of my peripherals just standing there, so I didn't think they were going to rush anyways."

On how the kicking competition with K Steve Hauschka takes its toll mentally: "I don't really think it affects me mentally. Of course, I have to come out here every day and be mentally prepared just to do my best, and today I didn't have the best day I've had in a long time. So I was definitely disappointed about that, but I just tried to finish strong, and I need to come back and do better next practice."

On how the competition compares to adrenaline in a game: "I definitely know the competition is there, competing with Steve. But, I just have to go out there and do what I have to do – focus on making my kicks. Not really focus on the competition, the big picture, but just focus on what I have to do to win the job."

On how he has progressed throughout camp: "I feel like I've improved every practice. Today was probably the worst day I've had in a long time. I'm going to keep improving, getting better, just working on little things, and I think I've gotten a lot better since camp has started."

On whether he knows what he did wrong right away when he misses a kick: "I knew right as the ball came off my foot. I keep my head down, but I… Down on the turf field today we were working on just keeping my head down the whole time, and I actually told coach – without looking at the kick – what happened. So, as soon as that ball left my foot, I knew it was wide on the first two. I just know what I have to do. But that's when the film comes in, to see in the big picture what I did wrong, and we just study that and improve on it."

On whether he feels like he can make it in the NFL: "Definitely. I think I have what it takes to kick at this level. Coaches have told me [that], and I've seen other kickers in the NFL kick with them before, so I feel very confident and I know I can kick at this level."

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