DAILY INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"It was a good practice overall. Obviously, we are still short numbers. We had five offensive linemen to get through the practice, so we basically adjusted a little bit. We did more perimeter-type stuff, seven-on-seven-type work. We still got a lot of good work, but our guys are fighting through it. We will be looking forward to getting those other guys back as soon as possible."
On how high the ceiling is for DT Haloti Ngata:"There is no question there is a huge ceiling. I can't wait to see what he does. It is going to be fun to watch. We will keep our fingers crossed that he is doing it as a Raven for many years to come. He is just a tremendous leader. He has a great demeanor. He works really hard. I think he loves football. He doesn't mind being out here working, so the sky is the limit. It will be interesting to see."
On how he feels about Ngata losing 20 pounds:"I don't think he is going to lose any power at all. To me, he is going to be just as powerful, just as explosive, and then maybe a little bit quicker. I'm sure he is in great shape. You can tell he is in great shape, so he should be able to play harder, longer and that means more plays."
On what he thought of LB Sergio Kindle and his situation:"I didn't even know what to think, so it wouldn't be fair to say 'surprised' because I had no idea what that even meant. [I'm] just very happy that he is out there, and he has looked good. I haven't seen any ill effects, but then again, we haven't put the pads on yet. I think that will kind of be the next step when we put the pads on. But, he looks like the guy we drafted, and we just have to see how he comes along."
On the status of LB Terrell Suggs:"He passed the conditioning test today and passed his physical. I am pretty sure he is going to be out tomorrow practicing, but we'll see. One thing we are not going to do is push it, certainly not at this stage of camp. Knowing Terrell, he will probably push it and he will want to be out here practicing."
On his first impressions of rookie CB Jimmy Smith:"My first impression is that he had one long sleeve on, one glove or something, whatever that was. (laughing) I didn't see why. It's kind of hot and it didn't seem like the way to go. (laughing) I think he has got a ways to go, just in a lot of ways. But, we have a lot of work in front of us over camp. Obviously, he has all the tools. He has a really good attitude and he is a hard worker. I think he has to learn how to be a professional, and I am very certain he can do that."
On how much more difficult Smith's situation is, considering that his first football activity with the team didn't come until July 29:"Well, it's probably tougher than if it had been in May in the OTAs [Organized Training Activities]. Obviously, he has lost those OTA opportunities, but that's the way it is this year for all those guys. We'll just have to overcome that."
On the status of S Ed Reed: "We expect him to be around tomorrow, but that is not 100 percent. He has got to take care of his issue first, but he is working hard to get back here, I believe."
On how rookie WR Torrey Smith looked in today's practice:"I thought he looked good. He made a couple of plays downfield, made a couple of plays on slants. He is another guy that I think the pace of practice is a little bit tougher on the young guys in the heat, but they will acclimate to it. I'm telling you, the offseason program is way more valuable than what people give it credit for. There is a football shape, and not going through the offseason program is going to push us. It's going to take four, five, six or seven days for these guys to be able to handle this practice, but they will, and I know Torrey [Smith] falls in that category. But I thought he fought through it real well."
On how Kindle taking more snaps in training camp will help out LB Jarret Johnson:"It would help anybody. If you have somebody who can come in there and take some snaps, I think you play harder, you play fresher and you stay more healthy. It's always good to have really great depth."
On his adjustment to the activities of this week and not being away at training camp at Westminster:"That's probably been the least of it. If it had been a normal camp, that may have been the thing we had been talking about, but that has been the least of the issues. We have probably changed our format 40 times in the last four days. That's because of rule changes, and we are waiting on rule changes and getting another memo to decide what you are allowed to do in practice. And then, guys not being able to play because of issues with contracts and league years... All kind of stuff. It has just been one of those years that I'm sure we're going to talk about for many years to come. We're going to laugh about. 'If you think this is tough, you should have been there back in 2011.' (laughter) I have never seen anything like it. You just have to adapt, I think. You have to find a way to do it as best as you can. You have to find a way to do it better than everybody else does it. That's all we have to do. It's not like we have to do it better than in years past, necessarily. You just have to do it better than the people we are going to play against, and that's what we are trying to do every day."
On NT Terrence Cody so far in training camp:"He has looked really good. He had a little issue yesterday because he actually wore too many clothes, and I think he wasn't able to get the heat off of his body. They got him squared away on that today, and he got through practice very well. He had a really good practice today."
On if Cody can build off the momentum he had at the end of last season:"That's the plan. We need him to. That's why he is in there. He is the starting nose guard, and we expect there to be no drop-off. We have had a tremendous amount of production from Kelly Gregg over the years, and Terrence Cody has to play at least as well as that. That's the plan. That's his responsibility, but I'm sure he can do it."
On if he thought WR LaQuan Williams had a good practice:"Yeah, a lot of things about LaQuan, his career in college, are so much about special teams. He is a standout special teams player, and then he comes out and makes these catches today. That just reinforces what I have always believed: I think guys are football players, and they get an opportunity in different areas, and sometimes they show up. He had a nice day today."
On what S Mana Silva offers:"All those guys, and [Mana] Silva is one of them, I think you put all those guys kind of in the same category. They are undrafted rookie free agents that are going to get an opportunity. Ed [Reed] is not here, and we have no veterans safeties that are allowed to practice right now, so those guys are in there and they are getting an opportunity, and I think they are doing pretty well. Obviously, it is moving real fast for them as far as the mental part, but they seem to be holding up OK. So, we will see how they play in those games."
LB Sergio Kindle
On his emotions going into camp and what it felt like to be back on the field again:"To tell you the truth, it felt great. I had my feelings about coming out for the first time in a year-and-some-change now, and I was expecting for it to be a great feeling. But when you haven't done football in so long – drills and running and things like that – it's one thing. But when you actually get out there and do actual football stuff with your helmet and things on, it's bad. (laughter) So, I had to get my legs back under me, but I'm starting to feel better with every play."
On whether there were moments over the past year when he wondered if he'd ever be able to play again:"I've never wondered that. You know, you get certain answers from doctors when you ask them certain questions like that, but they can tell me one thing, but I'm always going to feel differently about it as far as coming back or not."
On whether doctors had told him that there was a good chance he might never play football again: "No, they never said that it was a good chance I would never play again. But they did say, 'There are certain things that you have to be aware of trying to get back into it.'"
On whether there is any element of fear on the field and if old, natural football stuff is coming back to him:"Yeah, I don't see a reason to play football if you're fearful. That's not what it's about. So, one thing was adrenaline, another thing was getting back out there for the first time. We're not supposed to be making contact like that, but I figured out after that one play I had to get that out of my system real quick. But it felt good."
On whether there was any hesitancy to make any type of first hit or contact:"I've never been hesitant; the only thing that I might have hesitated on was certain play calls that I need to get a grasp of. That's the only thing."
On whether he's thinking at all about the first full-pads practice where there is a chance of helmet-to-helmet contact:"Not at all; I'm looking forward to it just to see how everything goes. You know, my mindset is to go out there and play like nothing ever happened. And that's how you've got to do it, because going out there and being hesitant or nervous can lead to you not playing well, or it can lead to an injury."
On what doctors told him about being aware of contact during play and how he feels while playing and keeping on top of that:"Well, prior to me being cleared, I went through a whole lot of testing and whatnot just so the doctors could see and then give me feedback for what to look for. But, based on what they told me, everything was good. They gave me precautions on what could happen if I was to make contact in a certain way, but I know all about it now. So, if it happens, maybe it was supposed to. But I'm not looking for it to happen; I'm not worried about if that happens or not. I'm just going to go out there and play like I'm supposed to."
On the last year being a bit of an emotional roller coaster and how he got through it:"Well, family helps. And then knowing that the Man upstairs blessed me with a second opportunity – maybe third depending on everything else you think about. But just an opportunity to see the next day, be able to get better every 24 hours or every time that I do a drill or do some type of weightlifting or running, and then I just feel like the sky is the limit now that I've been cleared. That's all I needed to hear, and now it's full-speed ahead."
On whether it was hard to fight through at times during recovery after he would work out and not feel great:"I wouldn't say it was hard… Well, let me rephrase that: It's difficult, just because you want to be playing and whatnot, and being… You know, I'm a part of the team and whatnot, but when you're not actually suiting up, it's different. So, you look at that part differently, but I was always happy and whatnot. Just like I said, being able to get up and actually do anything after an injury like that is just a blessing, so I take it in stride every day."
On whether any of his symptoms got better after time or if there are things he could have some limitations with going forward:"Everything is good besides the hearing in my left ear, but there are ways around that. You know, I've learned to adjust my hearing with my right ear, and so far with football, you've got hand signals. So, I've got to learn them, and then I'll be fine."
On how much the hearing in his left ear has decreased:"It's bad. I can't put a number on how bad; it's not good though."
On whether he can still hear out of his left ear:"I can hear things, [but] I can't make out what's being said most of the time."
On whether he remembers how he felt at his worst during the recovery process:"The worst part was probably right after the injury happened, but amnesia kicked in, so I don't remember it. I'm just going off what I was told. But besides that, being able to get back with the team was the highlight of being injured and being able to come back."
On what it means to him that the organization has stood by his side all this time:"Well, basically, I know that the organization knows I'm a good guy, a good person, a good teammate. I feel that mistakes are made by everybody. Mine just happened to be detrimental to where I'm at with the Ravens and the organization, putting a bad light on the whole organization. But you know, that's in the past now. I've moved forward and I'm doing everything necessary to get that out of my mind, literally. Now, it's just football. I try not to think about what happened in the past; I'm just moving forward now."
On what he hopes to be able to do now and what he envisions for himself from a football standpoint: "Well, after two days, I envision myself learning the playbook first, because it's difficult if you aren't on top of it.* *But to tell you the truth, I'm just prepared to get on the field wherever they need me to start off. As time goes on, I'll grow into whatever role they need me at. But right now, I'm just happy for whatever they give me the opportunity to do."
On whether he still feels a lot like a rookie after missing last season:"Yeah, it's fairly new to me all over again, just because I didn't get to do training camp last year and it's a lot different than OTAs and rookie camp – I'll tell you that much, especially when you don't have those things prior to this. It can be rough, but we're athletes, and this is what we do. So, we all came prepared."
DT Haloti Ngata
On trimming down his weight:"I feel great. I have been able to run a little bit more, but having a lineman on you, it wears on you. I feel good, and now I'm just trying to see how it feels throughout camp and the beginning of the season and see what I want to do with the weight."
On if he knows what first-round pick CB Jimmy Smith is going through: "I have no idea, just because of the lockout. He had no OTA [Organized Training Activities] time, minicamps and no time with the veterans. I have no idea what his mind is like now. I feel kind of bad for these rookies just because we had no time, really, to have time together. But, it's definitely a little slow, just because trying to get to know the plays and they have a lot of little mental errors. They are thinking too much, so they are playing a little slower. But, it's all going to catch on, and they will do all right."
On rookie T Jah Reid: "He's a solid guy. He is tall, long, and I think he will do all right for us. Like I said earlier, he is playing a little slow, just because I think a lot of guys are thinking too much out there. Once he gets it down, he will be a lot better."
On DT Terrence Cody:"He's looking good. He is looking real good. He definitely lost some weight and kept the weight down, so it is good that he is able to do that and come out still run to the ball like he has been, and he is doing a lot of good things."
On why he decided to lose weight:"I just lost the weight basically just to see how I felt during the season and see how it would affect me towards the end of the season. I felt like last year I was kind of getting a little worn down just having so much weight on, and I just wanted to see how it felt this year. I lost about 20 pounds, so it feels good."
On a potential long-term contract extension with the team:"I really haven't talked to my agent yet. I am just more trying to be out here and help the rookies out as much as I can, but I really haven't talked to my agent. I will probably call him probably tonight or tomorrow and see what has been going on."
On the franchise tag:"I don't mind it. As long as I can get that long-term contract, that's what I am really trying to shoot for. But right now, I am just basically trying to be out here and helping the guys out."
On the unique schedule this year and his mindset during it all:"Everyone is going through it right now. I think, like [head coach John] Harbaugh was saying, whoever adjusts the best and the quickest to the schedule will probably be the team that is better in the playoffs. So, hopefully we can adjust well to these changes, and I think the coaches have been doing a lot of great planning, and so far I think we are doing well."
On if he thought he would see LB Sergio Kindle on the field at this point:"It's good to see him out there. Just seeing him watching us practice [last season], you kind of felt bad for the kid and you can tell that he wanted to be out there so bad. It's great to see him out there and be in a helmet and jersey and try to help us and win some games."
On his first impression of CB Jimmy Smith:"I just like his size. I like his size a lot. Just seeing him out there, I think it's going to be great for our defense. I didn't really see him much today with technique and his plays that he was on for because I am focused more on our [defensive line] guys and defense."
On if he thinks a lot about his contract situation:"I leave all business to my agent. I don't really worry about it. I just try to be out here and produce as much as I can."
On the NFL players voting him the 17th best player in the game today:"It's great. Definitely great, but those rankings don't give you anything, you know? It's just a ranking, but I'm happy that they recognize me. It's great, but I just want to get out here and win a lot of games."
On how he lost the weight:"I was just on a steady diet and a steady workout routine. Flying back and forth [from Utah to Baltimore], it definitely just sucks because I come back out here and I'm eating out more instead of staying home because I am not going to go out and grocery shop and cook for myself. Out there, I just had a steady diet and a steady workout routine."
On where he can improve his game:"Always pass rush. I think I am OK with the run, but just being able to help out more with rushing the passer, especially because we have Terrell Suggs, who everybody is always keying on. So, if I can help him out as much as I can by rushing the passer better and making that part of my game better, I think we will get a lot more sacks."
On the development of NT Terrence Cody:"He has just grown a little bit more. He had some experience last year towards the end of the season and he was getting on fire. He was doing really well, and I think that experience is helping him out this year. He is starting out a lot faster than he did last year. He didn't know what to expect last year, but now he kind of knows it and knows what is expected of him and how to get through it a lot better this year."
On if he thinks losing the weight will not be a good experiment:"No. I think about it, but for me, I can gain weight so easy. Keeping the weight down or losing the weight is a lot tougher for me. If I do gain weight, hopefully I can gain it in a healthier way instead of getting chubby."
On LB Ray Lewis still being able to go strong every day amazes him:"Definitely, but you see what Ray [Lewis] does every day and how he takes care of his body and how he treats his body, and you know that is the reason he is out here still. He takes care of his body so well, and you know that's why he is here. If you just follow what he does, I think you can end up being in the league as long as him if you have that talent. It's just amazing to see him out here, and I'm happy he is out here."
On if Lewis is a role model for him when it comes to keeping in shape:"No, Ray is a different position. It's just great having him as a leader though out here. You can see that he keeps his body so fit that it is helping him be out here longer."
CB Jimmy Smith
On his first NFL practice:"It was hot – really hot. A lot of the defenses I ran in college, so I picked it up really quickly. The schemes to me are simple so…"
On the new defensive scheme:"There's a lot more install, so you have to remember a lot more. But I mean, I've got [Lardarius] Webb out there like, 'This is what it is,' so I caught on quick. So once I got out and ran it a couple times, I pretty much got it."
On if the veterans are providing guidance:"Definitely. I talked to [Lardarius] Webb throughout a lot, [Domonique] Foxworth, even Ray Lewis. [Terrell] Suggs came over and talked to me, pitching in saying the words to me – helping me out."
On being teammates with big-name players:"It's not so much awe… I mean, Ray Lewis was playing in the League when I was seven years old. It's like, 'Man, that's crazy.' I mean, I'm kind of past that already. I'm just trying to get on the field and play some ball."
On his feelings before his first day of practice:"Yesterday I didn't get to practice, so Chykie Brown and Anthony Allen, we talk all the time, so as soon as they got out of practice, they're like, 'Oh, bro, you won't believe how much we ran!' So, I'm just in my head like, 'Ok, I've got to go run, so I got up at 10:00 last night and ran a couple miles just to get my juices flowing, and then I had this run test this morning and then practice came. It was a tough day, but I think I got a lot of work done as far as knowing the defense."
On being compared to former CB Chris McAlister:"I hear a lot of comparisons. I mean, I haven't seen his game or how he plays, but I hear a lot of comparisons. But I also hear a lot of things that I don't want to fall into that he did."
On how his size impacts his game:"It definitely helps out if they're literally like half a foot away from me. My arms can go past them, so I get my hands on them every time. I've just got to get my feet moving now."
On whether he thinks he will be able to start Week 1:"I think so. I absolutely think so. I mean, it's definitely going to take some work. I've got a lot of work to do, but I definitely think I could be a starter."
On whether he feels pressure being the first draft pick for the Ravens:"I know it's a lot of pressure, but it's more pressure when you guys say it to me. I'm just going to go do what I can do. I can't do anything extra; I can't do anything less. I'm going to go play the game that I can play, and if I start, I start. If I don't, I'm going to contribute some other way."
On the speed of the NFL:"I know everyone is tired, but it wasn't that fast to me."
On the different style of NFL receivers:"They're a little more physical. They're a little more different, because usually in college, they try to juke and get off the run. These receivers run right into you and throw you off of them. So for me, I mean, I like it. I like the physicality of it."
On his new tattoos:"I just got my nickname tattooed right here. That's why I had that one sleeve on [during practice]. It's bleeding now. 'Beans' is my nickname. Then I just got some stuff filled in, and then I got 'Different Breed' on the inside. The one sleeve is for this one. The dude did it, and he did it real deep, and so now it's bleeding. So, I try to keep it covered up. I've got to tape it next time. *(Reporter interjects: "Because you want to live up to that?") *I actually have two teammates from high school, Shareece Wright and Allan Bradford…We all got the same tattoo because we all got drafted from [the same] high school. You know how that goes."
On his nickname "Beans":"I'm going to give you guys the clean version: (laughter) It first started off with Jim Beam, the alcohol. I wasn't drinking or nothing like that. This was when I was real young, but basically, someone really liked Jim Beam, and so they started calling me Jim Beam, and that turned into Jim Bean. And by the time I hit high school, it was just Beans."
On his familiarity with the playbook and the defensive schemes:"When we first got drafted, I wanted to be on it, so I looked at it a lot for the first three weeks, and then I was like 'Ok, there's nothing going on; I'm not on the field doing it, so it's kind of different for me.' But I read through it a lot. A lot of the schemes, like I said, were like my college defenses, so I got it pretty quick. Even in the meeting rooms, we're going through the defenses really rapid, so I'm like, I see it and then I just get it."
On playing against WR Anquan Boldin:"It was fun. I think he kind of rolls with a little hitch, but I think I pressed him up pretty good. Like I said, [NFL receivers] run right into you and just throw you off, so I've got to get used to that. But, I think I did pretty good for the first day."
On if rookie WR Torrey Smith had anything to say to him after catching a long ball:"No. He was breathing [hard]."
On going up against Smith:"It's really fun. We're going to have that matchup for a while, so I'll get used to him real quick. He's got speed on him and he's got good hands, so it's definitely going to be a competitive rivalry between us both being named Smith anyway. Got to fight for the name."
G/T Marshal Yanda
On his drive from Iowa to Owings Mills: "I drove through the night. (Reporter interjects: "How many hours?") Fifteen. I got married in July, and we had a lot of stuff to bring out, and we couldn't fit it. We drove a vehicle back once the lockout started because I needed a vehicle, so the easiest way was just drive – get a U-Haul and load it up and go."
On if he thinks his new deal has changed him: "No it hasn't. I'm just excited to be back here and get ready to get rolling with the team. I'll sign tonight so that I can be in meetings, and then I guess we can't practice until next Wednesday or something like that, but I'll be engaged in meetings and getting in reps and be ready to go."
On staying with the Ravens: "It means a lot. I wanted to stay here all along, and we got to do that, so I'm excited. I'm really excited to do some good things this season. We've got a lot of unfinished business that we've built the last three years, and I'm excited to be a part of that. Just keep working hard and get out there and be sweating like everyone else and go to work."
On what it meant to have the Ravens organization work hard for him to stay:"It just felt good to be wanted and to know that hard work paid off. You put in four years, and you just try to do the right thing and be the best you can and work hard. You know good things happen to good people, and I'm just fortunate to be here and I'm happy. I mean, I didn't want to leave. When free agency started, you have to do the deal, but I definitely wanted to stay here and I'd love to retire here. It's a great organization and great people and I'm happy."
On whether he pursued other team:"No. We did talk to other teams, but that stuff is bygones. I'm here now. I'm here now, I'm happy, and that's all that matters."
On if he plans on staying at the guard position:"You never know. We'll see what happens. I like to say that it is [going to happen]. I'd like to stay at guard. But I'm a team guy, and if we need someone to play tackle, I'll be out there to play just to help the team win, because in the end, it's all about getting to that big game. And we want to get there this year, so if that means me playing tackle, I'll play tackle. If it means playing guard, that's good, too."
On if rookie T Jah Reid looks good: "I haven't seen him on film yet, so I really don't know. But I hope so. I mean, as a rookie, obviously, you have a lot of things running through your mind, and obviously, he will. So hopefully he will just buckle down and stay quiet and work hard and just fits in the grove and just keeps going, because there's a lot on his shoulders being a rookie and there's no one in that [right tackle] spot right now. So, there's a lot being thrown at him."
On whether he would consider playing tackle again:"I think I can excel at guard really well. Playing tackle was more of a team thing to help the team out because we didn't have anyone else. I'm a little shorter to play tackle; it'd be nice to have those long arms and be about 6-8, but I'm about 6-3 ½, so guard would probably suit me better with my framework. But I'm just excited. I love the game so much. I like being out on the grass no matter what – guard or tackle – I'm doing, my perception of the game doesn't change."
On how his background keeps him grounded:"Just growing up with the farming background, it just teaches you to work hard and to save your money and just have fun playing the game. So, there comes a certain time in your life when you're happy and you don't need to change to be. You've got everything that you need, and I'm married and I've got a little boy, and I'm happy as hell, and I'm happy to be here, too. So, life is good."
On if there is any one big purchase he wants to make now: "No, no nope, nothing… Just hopefully we can get out there and get something done this fall; that'd be great. I'm just happy to be here and continue rolling, because we're a good team. I'm excited." **
On what sets him apart from other offensive linemen:"A lot of offensive line plays you're just being physical and setting the tone. When you have one of those guys in the line, it pushes everyone else to be tough and be physical and get after guys, and I take pride in practice. I never missed a day of practice last year. If I'm not… If bone is not sticking out, I'm playing. That's just the way I am. I mean, I'm always out there practicing, always setting that example that it's tough. It's hard work out there, but that's the way it has to be. This is the NFL, so you're out there every day busting your butt and getting after guys. That's just the way I was brought up; that's the way you do things – you give 110 percent. If you put something into it, you might as well give it all. So that's what I do, and they told me that's what they love and to keep doing that, so that's what I'm going to do."
On how he kept in shape during the offseason:"I went back to [Iowa to work out]. I had a good fit, because I grew up 40 minutes away from where I went to college at Iowa, so I rented a place about 15 minutes away from the University of Iowa and I just jumped back into work with the young guys in Iowa football and just worked out with those guys. They have a good open-door policy, so I just went back there and jumped into workouts and ran and lifted with the young guys. It was great. They work your butt off there in Iowa. It's a little different from the NFL; I felt like an old guy. But it was good to be back; it was good to be back to work out there. You just turn a negative into a positive. We weren't going to be back here. The doors were locked. You might as well get world class training, and they do that at Iowa. It's a great program."
On having to sit out until Aug. 4 instead of participating in practice:"I'm not a guy that watches. So, it's going to kill me to sit on the sidelines, because you all have noticed, they're down on linemen right now. I guess they started with seven and now they're down to… Well, whatever… But they're short. So, I'd love to go out and help and take some of the load and even it out, but you can't. So, I'll just have to get my own reps and make sure that I'm very focused on the game. It still is very important what we're doing right now as far as getting on the same page and getting the plays down."