On whether the team got more accomplished at practice today:"Well, I think we got as much accomplished. We had a couple more guys coming off the PUP deal, because they got through yesterday's extended work and did a nice job. They felt good, so we'll keep adding those guys as we go."
On the versatility of rookie DB Lardarius Webb:"Most guys – it's funny – the more you can do [on the field] the more valuable you are. And I think that's true no matter what stage of the game you're at. If you're playing 60 plays on defense, it's hard to take a lot of special teams reps or be a returner, but Ed Reed, who's taking all those reps on defense, is begging to be a returner or rush punts half the time. We pretty much let him go out there whenever he wants. He wants to play football – and most football players want to be on the field and play – so as coaches what you want to have is the type of guys that want to be out there, and to start you pull them back and manage their reps a little bit. Lardarius Webb should play a lot of special teams. The more he plays on defense, the more we'll have to manage his reps. But he's a young guy, and I would be disappointed if he didn't earn a lot of spots in different roles."
On having NT Kelly Gregg back for this season:"Kelly is probably the best technician between the guards in the league. Those young guys – you look at [Brandon] McKinney and [Kelly] Talavou and [Lamar] Divens – those guys are learning so much from Kelly Gregg. And Justin Bannan, he might be the second-best guy [in the league], and Haloti [Ngata] does a great job. That's a tribute, obviously, to Clarence Brooks, but Kelly Gregg gives us a dominant run player inside. It's not like he's 350 pounds either, so we've got a nice rotation in there. We've got to keep those guys healthy and get them ready to play, but I know Greg [Mattison] is excited about that group and Clarence [Brooks] is, too."
On the passing of former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson:"As I said yesterday, Jim Johnson, I love him. The best friend I have in my life is my dad, and my football dad in a lot of ways probably is Jim Johnson. For 10 years I had a chance, even as a special teams coach… It's funny, because yesterday we were coaching some defense and special teams drills and we have a term in tackling called an arrow through snow. You tackle like an arrow through snow. I probably heard Jim Johnson say that for 10 years, thousands of times to our players. And now our guys for the Baltimore Ravens, who have no idea who Jim Johnson is, are talking about a technique that Jim Johnson basically pioneered. Jim Johnson pioneered defense in this league. He changed the way defense is played. If there is a Hall of Fame assistant coach in the history of the NFL, it's Jim Johnson. Defenses are different now than they were 15 years ago, 10 years ago, even five years ago. Jim changed every single year. You're going to see a lot of Jim Johnson in the Ravens' defense this year, as well. I just admire him greatly, love him tremendously and miss him."
On whether the Hall of Fame should open up a wing for coordinators:"Absolutely. Why wouldn't they? They've got one for every other position. We've got to get one for kickers or for punters while we're at it. Sean Landeta is leading that charge."
On the status of TE L.J. Smith:"He tweaked his hamstring yesterday a little bit. It was not a pull or a strain. There's not much fluid in there. So, we decided to sit him down today and ease him back in – try to get him back for Friday."
On the comparison of QB Joe Flacco last year and where he is today:"We don't make comparisons, really, but I don't think he's been any different – other than the fact that he's getting better. That's what you want. If there's a comparison to be made, you want guys to just get better at what they do. You talk about Jim Johnson, I think Andy [Reid] said in his press conference [that] Jim Johnson was 68 years old and got better every single year. Joe Flacco is what, 23 or 24? So he's going to get a lot better. He's the kind of guy that's going to maximize that, but he's the same guy. He hasn't changed at all."
On whether Flacco seems more relaxed this season:"I haven't seen any difference. He's just doing a great job, and it's fun to be out there with him."
On how the transition from college to professional football is going:"Different, a lot different. But, the other DBs are making it smoother for me. They're helping me out on a lot of the small things. They're making the transition good for me, so that's good."
On what the No. 1 challenge for him to master is:"It was the playbook, but that's coming along. I played safety in college, so this corner, just understanding what they want out of the corner position [is challenging]. But, the transition of playing it is easy. It's just the point of understanding what it is they want from you at the corner."
On if getting closer attention from the coaching staff has helped the transition:"We're getting a lot of one-on-one attention. That's good. A lot of meeting time, that's good too. All the other guys – the coaches can help so much – but the veterans like Fabian Washington, Frank Walker, those are the ones that know how to say it to you in your words. So, they can help you out just a little bit more than the coaches. The coaches know, but those guys were in the same position that I was, so I listen to them a lot."
On what the mantra of "Play Like a Raven" means to him and how it applies to the defense:"It's special. Two Hall-of-Famer guys, just to mention those two… There are plenty more that we have, but to be a part of the defense with them means a lot. When you're in a meeting with them, everybody holds each other accountable. To be the best, that's all they want to be, to be the best. And if that's the best, they want to practice right. To them, everything is… They've got the whole nine yards to be the best. They take so much pride out of this defense. Everybody on that team, they love it. You have to love the game to play like they do. You just watch a game, and you can see how they fly around to the ball. It's just passionate for them. To be a part of that and to grow, to learn, it's special, that's the truth – to play with Ed Reed."
On if it is good pressure to have a high bar to reach:"They're trying to get the best out of me, which, I love it. I always want to be the best, and to be the best, you've got to play with the best, against the best. And, I've got the best with my team."
On what it is like to play on a team with someone you admire, like LB Ray Lewis:"Ray, it was special to see Ray. But you know me, Ed Reed… I was crazy about him. I wore No. 20 in college. I idolized him, Ed, Ed, Ed. And to be in the same defensive meeting room as him… I try not to crowd him. I just try to listen to him and pick his brain to see how he studies, how he practices, how he does everything. Greatness is not just talent. It's more than just talent. It takes more to be great, and I try to sit back and watch him. Not just him, the other corners, too. You know, Samari Rolle [has been in the league] for 12 or 13 years. I sit back and watch him, too. There's a lot those guys can teach me as I grow up. I try to pay attention to them – what they eat, all the little things and what they do after practice. Is it cold tub? Film room? I try to pay attention to it."
On if he feels like he's a student of the game:"Yes, I love this game. In college, I studied film, but not like how they study film. They've got a whole different way of studying film and playing this game. I'm trying to learn that while they're here. You never know, Samari might retire in a couple of years or two. I need to know what he knows before he goes. I'm just trying to learn from them, from the vets."
On if he told S Ed Reed how important of an influence he was to him when growing up:"They knew it. The coaches told him. I didn't go up like, 'Ed, I love you.' It's great to be around him. He's a great guy. I don't want to crowd him."
On the degree to which the defensive players watch film:"Yes, it's every day. They pay attention to the smallest things. As a college graduate, you never thought about how you should look at it. They look at everything. And now I see why they're the Ravens. I see why they're defense is like that. They pay attention to everything. It's straight studying the game."
On if he thought he would be a Raven when he attended the playoff game at the Dolphins, and meeting S Ed Reed there:"I didn't think [about it], but I was like, 'Man, I'd love to be here.' When I met him, I never knew how he would be. Frank Walker, we have the same agent, so he let me come back in the back with him. When I met Ed, he was the coolest guy. It made me love him even more. He was like, 'How are you doing? Yeah, I'll sign an autograph. Anything you need, just call me. Get my number and call me. I'll help you out.' As a young guy, it was like that's what I want to be to the little kids when I grow up. I want them to look up to me like that and still be positive to them, being good, not mean like a lot of guys."
On what skill set he uses against taller receivers:"I just play ball. I've just got to keep my technique in. If they're tall, small, I've just got to stay technically sound. You can't let your mind wander off to anything, because every one of these wide receivers has something different in the repertoire. You've just got to come to the line every time and play. You never know, if it was [Derrick] Mason, [Justin] Harper, [Marcus] Smith, either one, you've just got to come and be like, 'I want to win this battle.'"
On how today's practice was:"It was good, pretty intense. They've been pretty consistent the last couple days."
On his impression of training camp:"Just the fact that there are so many people here now and how involved the kids are. Everything that is going on really shows you how much this community cares about the team and supports us. I think a lot of the players feel exactly the same way. So, it's definitely a mutual respect locking between the two."
On how camp is different than OTAs:"All the tents and the games and what's going on really show you how much the community is really involved, and how much this means to the people. So, it's definitely a lot more high-profile, and it really shows you that you are a part of the NFL and this is the life you live now."
On how important it was to get his contract done and be here Day One:"That was my No. 1 priority, was to be in here with my teammates, when I was supposed to be here, and just being a part of things from Day One. So, I'm really happy I was able to get that done."
On if he is looking forward to getting together with OLB Terrell Suggs:"Yeah, definitely. Everybody tells me he is an awesome guy. So, I'm really excited to meet him."
On keeping a low profile and going about his business:"What's there to say? Just work hard. I'm not here to step on toes or be a loud mouth. [I'm] just here to play football and make friends for the rest of my life. So, everybody has been real cool. These guys around here are awesome, so it's pretty easy to get along with people."
On what he has been learning from defensive coordinator Greg Mattison:"Coach Mattison is one of the best coaches I have ever had. He just makes time, and his players are his No. 1 priority. So, I definitely have grown close to him. I feel like he has really taken a lot of his time and effort to help me adjust and get me caught up to speed with everything. So, we've created a pretty good relationship."
On how comfortable he is dropping into coverage:"I feel good. Mainly, it's just getting used to your knowledge of your responsibilities, more or less, than the actual athleticism or speed. So, just getting used to what I'm supposed to be doing."
On where his maturity comes from:"I think a few life experiences I've had. I've been blessed with some of the best parents in the world. So, a few things that I've gone through, as well as being raised in the house I was, I think is the main thing for me."
On what skill sets he has learned at the pro level that he didn't have in college:"Mainly, it's just the speed in which you are doing those moves. All of the moves I'm doing still are pretty consistent with what you learn in college. I had some great coaches at the University of Utah that helped me out. But, it's just how much faster you can do those at this level. So, I think that's the main difference for me. You're going against a guy like [Jared] Gaither, who has got arms as long as my body. So, you got to learn how to adjust to that type of situation."
On how much he was aware of the Ravens before coming here:"To be honest, not really. I have never been a huge fan of anything, really, besides just the stuff I do. I don't really follow football or the game. I just love to play. Of course I knew who Ray Lewis was, but that's about it."
On if he is starting to learn what it means to "Play Like a Raven":"That's definitely something you're aware of the first day you get here. Play like a Raven. Go full speed every play. That's really what makes this team what it is, in my opinion, especially the defense. You've got a guy like Kelly Gregg or Haloti Ngata, or any of these guys who have been playing for a couple of years, or 10-years-plus, that still go full speed and run to the ball. It's pretty impressive to me."
On his style of playing:"That's always the mentality for me: Work hard and finish. Do all that kind of stuff that really makes somebody hard-working and a player with a lot of desire. I want to be that guy for sure."
On what his LDS Church mission meant to him and if he still keeps in touch with anyone from the mission:"Yeah, I stay in touch with a few people. I haven't for a while just because I've been so busy. Like you said, you do, really, anything you can to serve people. You're teaching them the Gospel, you're mowing their lawn and you're helping them with groceries. Everything you can think of, we were doing. So, you're talking to random people on the streets. I am sure you guys have all seen those guys in white ties, a little goofy looking. (laughter) It's really a special experience because you go out there, and you feel like you're in your own little world because everybody views you differently. So, it's really a time to reflect and decide who you are, and who you want to be. Being in that environment, it was really cool to not only help other people but at the same time, learn a lot about myself and what life is all about."
On if spending time as a quarterback has helped him transition:"Not as much as people would think so. I ran the Wing-T in high school, which means you're not making too many reads. You're just faking 97 times before you throw the ball. It did help. I am used to reading eyes and playing like that, especially when you get to the pro level. It's so intense, and there is so much to learn at each position that you're really focused on your position."
On how much the team expects from him as far as being impactful as a rookie:"I talked to Coach Mattison about this earlier today, actually. I think a lot of it is just going to depend on how well I do in camp and the preseason games. I definitely want to be involved in every special team I can. I think [I can be] a situational-type player, if not more. I have some amazingly talented players, who are doing awesome things and getting paid a lot of money, in front of me. So, that's definitely going to be a factor. I have a whole line of Pro Bowlers in front of me. So, it's definitely something special to be a part of, but at the same time, it takes some time and some big plays to really get yourself into the mix."
On if playing behind Pro Bowlers takes off any pressure:"No, there is still so much pressure, and you're still expected to be a great player and live up to your potential. So, I think I'm definitely still expected to perform at a high level."