DAILY INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
On if the team survived the contact in today's practice:"There were a few bumps and bruises out there, but I survived. I thought we kind of went through the first phase of this thing – as you know, it's a new schedule – so we're kind of learning on the run. I'd say it's our first phase of camp. We have three days in now – two in shells and now one day in pads. It's a good day to take a day and kind of heal up a little bit. We might have pushed this off day back a few days, but with the restricted guys not being allowed to practice, I would rather take it tomorrow when they can't practice and hopefully get those guys back Monday and try to have them all back and get a better practice. That may be more than anything why we are taking tomorrow off. Plus, Sunday is always a good day to take off."
On what he saw from OLB Sergio Kindle today:"I didn't see any problem at all. I think he is OK. Obviously, we'll see. He will get in the training room and they will check him out a little bit. He made it through the whole practice and never wavered, never seemed to have an issue, and he was banging."
On re-signing CB Chris Carr:"We'll, I'm very excited. This is something that we hoped to do, certainly with [departed free agent CB] Josh [Wilson] or Chris – one of those two guys. They were both highly sought after, and Chris is really a great fit for us because he is so versatile. He is inside, he is outside. I know he talked about wanting to be a starter, and we certainly consider him a starter. He is getting starter money. That's how we see him. Obviously, it is competitive here, and that's the thing that Chris relishes. That's why he wants here because he understands that the best players are going to play and they best players are always the guys who are playing the best. We'll put the best two, three or four corners out there at one time, whoever those guys are."
On NT Kelly Gregg joining the Kansas City Chiefs:"Yeah, we were talking to Kelly [Gregg] here, and Kansas City just gave him an offer – I guess you could say – an offer he couldn't refuse. We just wish him the best, obviously. It's the best thing for his family financially, and we're happy for him."
On OLB Terrell Suggs in today's practice:"I didn't see any issues of Suggs at all. He looked fine. He looked 100 percent. He looked good."
On if there was any discussion about easing OLB Sergio Kindle back into practice:"No, there was no discussion of that. We had the two days. I think the two days of the acclimation probably were a pretty good slow play for him, as well as everybody else. You just have to find out and just see how he does with it. We should know [soon]. I think he is going to be fine, but we will have to see."
On how different the unique training camp is for him and the coaching staff:"It's different because you don't have the fans. I think that is the downside. It's more like a regular season practice. I think some of you guys wrote that, and I agree with that. It's really more like an in-season type practice. From a focus standpoint, it's great. But from the interaction with the fans, which I think our guys really appreciate, it's not great. We would probably rather be in a real camp that way."
On how the unique camp is for him, as the head coach:"I don't know. I really haven't thought about it too much. You do get a chance to interact with the fans and take 15 minutes. I can get over here quicker, so that's a plus right? (laughing) You do miss the fans. We have great fans. I love our fans, so we're missing that."
On if having a full-padded practice where nobody gets hurt is the best possible scenario: "Oh yeah, that's better than the alternative. Obviously, we want to stay healthy. I'm sure we're going to have some things but, like I said, I think our guys have a real good foundation conditioning-wise. They are strong, flexible and they are in good shape. Transferring that into football shape is going to take a few days, but this is a big step in that direction. I am really proud of our guys. I am also proud of them – I hadn't mentioned this before – what they did in the offseason in terms of how they handled themselves. What they said and kind of the lives they led while they were away from football. It says a lot about them and who they are."
On when they are going to do the next contact practice:"Monday."
On the maturity of the players on the team and not getting into any trouble during the lockout:"Our guys are good people. People can make mistakes, and that is something that happens occasionally. But I am proud of them. I think it speaks well to our organization and the type of people we try to bring in here, and I think they took care of each other also. Obviously, I think guys were working with each other to try and help some guys out."
On how big of an addition a healthy OLB Sergio Kindle would be:"That would be a big plus. If he can rush the passer like he did at Texas, that is the idea. I think you look at [Terrell] Suggs' first year – not that I want to put pressure on him – if we can focus on the pass rush part primarily and then see what else he can do… It's kind of like we did with Terrell when they were here the first year and focus on that part of it as far as bringing him along. That would be our plan right now."
On the re-signing of CB Chris Carr and how much of a luxury it is to have depth at cornerback:"You can't have enough corners. [General manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] said it, and it's true. You have to be able to cover the quick passes, and those passes are covered one-on-one. There is just no way around it. [When] people wanted to get away from pressure last year, they just stood up and threw the ball out there, and sometimes we defended it and sometimes we didn't. Having those corners out there, having depth and having some size… And I don't rule out the young guys either. Cary Williams, he looks great right now. He is in great shape, so he is going to really fight for a spot, and Chykie Brown and the other free agents. It's going to be a nice battle out there, and we could easily carry six corners on this team."
On if it is nice to see QB Joe Flacco step up and be more vocal:"You guys probably don't realize it, but Joe [Flacco] has been doing that. He is always going back and forth with those guys. You probably notice it more because there are some other guys who aren't here [who would] probably give it back. Maybe he has filled a little bit of a void that way, I don't know. Joe and Ray [Ray], maybe they will be the spokesman for the offense and smack talking during practice."
Wide Receivers Coach Jim Hostler
On the play of the rookie WR so far:"They are looking good. The young kids are looking good. They are intelligent; they have picked it up quickly. Two kids that haven't been through an offseason… Torrey [Smith], of course, is going with the first group. He's had minimal mistakes. He has really done an outstanding job. Tandon [Doss] is playing two positions. He is playing Z and the F, so he is playing outside and the inside. He has done a great job picking the offense up."
On if both WR Torrey Smith and WR Tandon Doss are ahead of where he thought they would be: "Much farther ahead. They are intelligent kids. They are football players – they are not just athletes. From that standpoint, much farther ahead. You are talking about a kid who walked in off the street and he is going with the first group. That is hard to do just to even leave the huddle in the start of the offseason. Not having an offseason, it's outstanding. Tandon, obviously, learning two positions is extremely difficult. Not having an offseason to get a head start on it, they are both doing an outstanding job."
On what WR James Hardy has shown him in the first few practices:"James is a big body and everybody sees that, you know that. He has a big radius. He's a down-the-field guy. He is easy to throw the ball to. He is a good athlete. He is learning the system. It's a little different than what he has been used to, so from that standpoint, he is still coming."
On if WR James Hardy needs to show consistency:"Yeah, oh yeah. All the guys, except Anquan [Boldin]... The young guys or new guys, anybody that is in this system for the first time or in a new environment, there are going to be some consistency problems early. Hopefully, those things get ironed out, they get a little bit more comfortable and the consistency comes."
On losing WR Derrick Mason: "It's always hard when you lose a guy like Derrick. Just from a production standpoint, it is difficult. Derrick is a tough guy – he is a football player. When you lose those kind of guys – even beyond the production – that is hard. So yeah, it has been a little different. Off the field, Derrick is colorful, fun and relaxed. Around the group, he is like that, so those are things you lose, too, and that means something, too."
On what impression WR Brandon Jones has made on him: "He's a smooth athlete. He's got a bigger body, too. He is a long, rangy kid and he can run. He has been in the system before, so he is a little farther ahead. He understands the system a little bit better. He has played inside and out, too, so he gives you a little bit of a guy that can do both. He has been encouraging so far."
On if there is anything particular that WR Torrey Smith has done so far to impress: "First of all, that's where we are at. He lines up first, just from that standpoint, but consistently understanding the offense, execution those kind of things. Even in the first two days, those things show up right away. If he can't do those things, we would move pretty quickly to take a little pressure off of him and step back, but that hasn't been the case and he has handled it very well."
On if he has done anything different getting WR Torrey Smith and WR Tandon Doss up to speed:"Oh yeah, the meetings. Everything that they hear, they have to hear twice and sometimes three times. Veteran guys, you can give it to them once, and they have heard it before. The build-up over time, things come to them, those kinds of things. When they're young and they haven't had this offseason, now you're talking about bringing them in a little early and give it to them one time, teach them stuff – very specific things that matter now to them – things that are fundamentally and technically, things that they are going to use that day. Then we will come back to it if it comes up a little bit later. Yeah, those are things that you are going to have to do with them because this is a different environment. This is a totally different situation."
On how much time he has spent in the classroom with the rookies:"A lot more time than I have spent in the past. Obviously, last year all my guys were veterans. I rolled in here late and went home early, so it was easy. (laughter) This year, it is a lot different. We are in a little bit earlier and we are staying a little bit later. We are looking at things that the other guys did in the past a lot more – all of the film cut-ups. I am showing them things that Derrick [Mason] did and Mark [Clayton] did and guys that have been around here in the past and have done it. We are looking at those things. I didn't have to show those guys in the past – that was them doing it. I showed those guys other guys when we first got here. From that standpoint, we are spending a little bit more time looking at how those guys did things in the past."
On what the hardest part is for the young guys:"The whole system – the whole thing – taking a play, hearing it in the huddle, understanding it, getting to the line of scrimmage and then executing the technique all in about 25 seconds. There is a lot of pressure in that, and people don't understand that. It doesn't come right away to your brain if you haven't heard it for a while. In about six seconds, by the time he leaves the huddle and gets to the line of scrimmage, he has to figure out what he is doing and how he is going to do it. Then, on top of that, there is somebody across from him that he is going to have to react to. There is a lot into that. It's not just, 'Hey, here is a play. You learn it and you go run it.' There is a lot to it."
On what TE Dennis Pitta brings to the offense:"I think Dennis is a skilled kid. He had a great offseason last year and training camp. Obviously, last year he got limited opportunities because Todd [Heap] was here. This is a young kid that is going to shine. He is very similar to Todd. He has great body control and great hands. He can be a multiple position guy. He is very similar to Todd."* *
LB Jarret Johnson
On what type of impression rookie T Jah Reid has made so far:"He's a big, strong kid. He's got a lot of talent, he's real long, and that's what you want in a right tackle. And you know, with their situation [on the line], give him a lot of reps and see how tough he is."
On his reaction to former Ravens NT Kelly Gregg signing with the Kansas City Chiefs:"We're sad to lose him. [It's] good to see him get picked up and get picked up for what he deserves and [be] closer to home and all that. But, you know we wanted Kelly here. It's not the same locker room without Kelly. So, sorry to lose him, but glad to see him land in a good spot with a good contract."
On when the last time he talked to Gregg was:"I talked to him two or three days ago. I've been trying to keep in contact with him, but I'm sure he's been busy with all this contract stuff. I tried to call him yesterday and didn't get him, so I'll call and congratulate him today."
On whether Gregg was pretty much resigned to not coming back to Baltimore:"Well, you know, I think he kind of expected it, but I know he wanted to be here, obviously. But it's a tough situation, and you get to that stage in your career, and the front office has got to make moves. We're all going to be there one day. So, I'm sure he wanted to be here, but it just didn't work out."
On whether he still feels young and if he's ever thought about how much longer he wants to play football:"Yeah, I mean, I don't feel like I'm 22, but… You trying to get rid of me? What's going on here? *(laughter) *Shoot, I feel good, had a great offseason, you know, [am] a lot stronger this offseason than I was the year before. So, we'll see."
On whether he is physically bigger:"Yeah, because last year, I had the shoulder surgery and all that and just couldn't gain the strength like I normally do. This year I was able to push some weight around a little bit and get my weight back up, so I feel pretty good."
On where his weight is right now:"I'm about 260."
On whether the shoulder injury was something he was battling throughout last season:"Yeah, I think just the lack of an offseason… It's a lot different when you're rehabbing all offseason and lifting 10-pound weights compared to when you're really able to work out and bench press and all that. This offseason, I was able to work out and not so much rehab, so it's a lot different."
On his impressions of LB Sergio Kindle after the first few days:"Good, young, explosive kid. You know, he's got a lot to learn, but the kid has got a lot of talent. He's an explosive guy."
On how much having Kindle back could perhaps help to keep him a little fresher:"Well, the more bodies you can roll in, especially on third down, is beneficial. Paul Kruger looks great, so all those guys that can rush the passer and turn the corner the way they can, it's just going to be a help to us, because honestly, we never come off the field. We're not used to coming off the field, so if we get to a situation where these guys can contribute, and we're able to roll guys – even though we're not used to it and I'll probably try to wave them off the field – it is beneficial. (laughter) Just about every team in the League rolls guys, especially on third down, but we don't. Our guys play 100 percent of the plays, so… But those guys coming along and being able to contribute is only going to make us better."
On how much he wants to get in on QB sacks this year, as OLB Terrell Suggs stated how the linebackers need to share sacks:"Well, Terrell [Suggs] is always trying to steal sacks. *(laughter) *No, I mean, everybody wants to get sacks. That's what it's all about, but I don't worry about it too much. I'm just going to do my thing."
On whether he sees much change in the defensive scheme or has a sense of what is to come under new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano:"Overall, the philosophy is not changed a whole lot. Scheme, there are some things here and there [where] you can definitely see his influence, but just what he calls and when… I mean, he's definitely very aggressive."
On being able to see Pagano's aggressive nature already:"Yeah, yeah, I like it. I really like his mentality, and it's been really good so far."
On whether Pagano has the aggressiveness of Rex Ryan and the mentality of Greg Mattison:"I would say he's more toward Rex's style – a little more emotional probably. But he's still got a good solid… Coach Mattison always kept a level head. You know Rex would get pissed off and bring the house. And I think [Pagano] would be somewhere in the middle. But his coaching knowledge and just the way you relate to him, it's awesome."
On whether the other players are aware that today is LB Sergio Kindle's first day back in pads and if they are apprehensive to hit him:"It's kind of weird, because I've never been around a guy that's had an injury like that. So, it's a little bit of a different situation, and it's very rare, I'm sure, for the training room. But, he looked good; he's out there hitting people. I was just happy to see him back on the field, because there were some rumors last year that he would never play and this and that, and then you go see him out there running around [and he] looks great. So, [I'm] happy to see him out there."
On how different the atmosphere is with training camp at the training facility as opposed to being at McDaniel College:"It really just kind of feels like we just showed up and started the regular season. There [are] no fans, there aren't all the hamburger stands and all that. Then again, you're not at McDaniel College and all that. So, it's nice to be here, but it's not the same atmosphere. It is good work, and we're up here all day and everything, but it is kind of tough without fans."
On what he's seen from NT Terrence Cody so far:"He looks good, looks real good. Big, strong dude."
On how Cody looks different, if so:"I don't know. He looks a little leaner. I was watching him yesterday, and he just looks a year older. You know what I'm saying? Just with his technique and the way he's playing, the way he's seeing things… He looks really good."
T Jah Reid
On starting out with the first-string players: "It was kind of trial by fire – you know, sink or swim. They just kind of threw me out there since I was on the field. I just have to absorb everything I can and take my licks, learn from it, go out there and perform, and just like you said, get used to the speed and the strength of the players. There are a lot of good people out there, so eventually, I'll improve. But right now, it's a learning experience."
How many big hits he's taken so far:"I took a good one today. Those guys don't hold back. The Ravens come out to play. They're a tough team, and I expect that when I go out there. I have got to bring mine with me, too. (Reporter interjects: "Who'd you get [the hit] from?") I don't remember. One of the linebackers. I'm sorry (laughter)."
On the importance of having a tough mentality:"Definitely, you've got to be tough, and a big part of that is just putting things behind you. You make a mistake, you've got to be able to perform the next play. Right now, this is a learning experience and every play doesn't go my way, but I have to be able to just put that behind me and improve and learn and put your best foot forward."
On the steep learning curve:"There's definitely a lot to learn, but I've got this camp to do it. I'm just going to do the best I can and I expect to go out there and start. That's what I want to do; that's what I came here to do. I'm just going to go out there and be like a sponge and soak up as much information as I can."
On how much he weighs and what the Ravens expect of his weight:"I've been weighing in around 336 [pounds] and they haven't told me a specific weight they want me to weigh."
On his offseason workouts:"I was told cardio, cardio, cardio – just come in in shape. Luckily, I've been able to get through all the practices. It's been really hot. I stayed in Orlando and I worked with the UCF strength and conditioning staff. And that's what I did."
On the importance of showing his physicality early:"Oh yeah, definitely. I want to go out there and show that I can hang with the tough guys and they can have faith in me. I have to go out there and push people around. That's my job."
On why he lasted until the third round in the NFL Draft:"I'm happy with any draft pick; I was so thankful for Baltimore to take me. I would have been happy going in the seventh round. I was just so… it was a dream to be drafted to the NFL for me and I'm so excited. (Reporter interjects:" Some people thought you would go in the second round.") That would have been great. I would have been very happy for that (laughter.)* (Reporter interjects: "Can you put your finger on why you weren't?") *No, some people told me they were interested but luckily I got Baltimore and I'm very happy about that."
On his diet and keeping his weight down:"I do a lot of cardio. I'm a lot more active than I was in high school. [I] definitely eat healthier, I try and stay away from the fast food as much as possible, and I don't eat any candy really. But other than that, it hasn't changed much."
On playing with T Michael Oher:"You know, he helps me with different techniques. He's a great person to watch you know when we have our meetings. I'll be on one side not doing so great and then the coach tells me to look at him so that helps a lot. He's a great person to model myself after and hopefully live up to how he's been doing. It's good to be in the meeting room with him."
On his preparations for the Steelers:"I feel like there's a lot I need to get ready for, and that's what practice is for. I go through the practice. I know the Steelers are a great team; but our goal is to go out there and beat them and that's what I want to do. I've got to do whatever I can to go out there and get ready for them."
On the feedback he is receiving from coaches:"They know they're coming out to work, but they told me I need to learn and don't make mistakes. It's all a learning process. You've just got to get better every day."
On what the hardest part of this has been so far:"Just being in the huddle – all the tracks, learning the different plays. And just observing different plays, terminology, calls at the line, I've got to get all of that down pat."
WR Torrey Smith
On his first days of practice:"Everything has been going OK. I came here expecting to make mistakes, but more importantly, to learn from them. Coach [Jim] Hostler has been coaching us up. Everyone in the huddle in between Ray Rice, [Joe] Flacco, Anquan [Boldin] – and even on defense, Ray Lewis – those guys are always giving me credit and talking me up. So, those guys have all the confidence in the world in me, so it makes it a lot easier."
On what it's like to practice with the first-string team:"Running with the 'ones' is a lot different, especially different from what I expected. I expected to come in and work my way on up. But they placed the expectations on me – and I talked to coach [John] Harbaugh, and he has faith in me and believes in my talents – and just knowing that the coaches have confidence in me, it just makes me want to put that extra foot forward to get it done."
On what the first padded-practice was like:"That was fun. Obviously, it's a lot louder. There were some big hits going on out there. Even then I wasn't locked to the ground, so I can't really imagine what it's going to be like in a game."
On whether he feels he gained an advantage over rookie CB Jimmy Smith:"That was yesterday; I can't really get caught up with that. He got me a couple times at the line today, so… We can go back and forth for years. I'll wear mine, and he can wear his."
On keeping up with the speed of the NFL: "It's the same to me. I can run past them. I just have to believe in my technique. And as far as speed goes, luckily for me, I got good little bursts. So, I'm able to get separation – even with the best."
On working with QB Joe Flacco:"It's going well. Obviously, if I make a mistake, he coaches me up. But he's a professional. He puts [the ball] there. Even if I make a mistake, the ball is still there. So that's the biggest difference between college and NFL."
On how he feels now that the NFLPA is recertified:"Words can't even explain when you're sitting there waiting. Reading up all the time, watching TV trying, to figure out what's going on. And now we're out here practicing, and now the union is back together. So, it's exactly what you expected – just a couple months later."
On playing with college teammate WR LaQuan Williams:"LaQuan, we trained together in the offseason. We'd go out there, run routes together. And obviously, we've been together at Maryland for some years. And I know the type of talent that he has and he believes in himself. So, to be able to go through this rookie phase with someone who I'm close with – we consider each other brothers – it definitely helps. And, I'm praying for the best for him as well as myself. We both push each other. We're down; he knows my body language, and I know his. So, it's definitely been nice to go through this process with someone who you're so familiar with."
On being able to watch former WR Derrick Mason on film: "Derrick's in a lot of clips. He's a great route runner, he understands the game, and he's a vet, and you can definitely see that on film. Anquan [Boldin] is the same way. I've seen a lot of clips from both those guys, so if I'm able to learn from Derrick or Anquan, that's a blessing in itself."