Training Camp Transcript - Practice 8/14


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "Good practice – an evening practice here. I thought it was a lot of fun, very spirited, very competitive, and now the guys are going to get the rest of the evening off. We'll give them a little more rest time. That is kind of the idea today."

On the purpose of the evening practice:"We've just had a lot of good meeting time in camp and I think, right now, I just want to get these guys a little more rest between practices."

On the spirited practice and, in particular, OLB Terrell Suggs:"Outspoken? Yeah. *(laughing) *I love seeing that. I think it was positive, it was competitive and it challenged one another. We're a team, but in practice, we are kind of not. We kind of get after each other a little bit. I thought that the defense, at times, had the better of it, and at times, the offense had the better of it, too. So, it was great competition."

On NT Terrence Cody and his return to practice today:"Terrence Cody? Yeah, he was fine. He did a good job. He seemed OK."

On what point does the team switch out of training camp mode and into regular season mode:"It's like… The Westminster portion of it is up to the second preseason game, so the format changes a little bit into the third preseason game. It will still be a training camp format, but it will be more like a game week. It will be a longer practice – more like training camp. We always have 90 guys to get [repetitions]. So, it's a longer practice with more reps, but the format and the style will be more like the in-season style."

On what he sees from T Oniel Cousins at guard:"I think he is really powerful. He is a powerful guy in there. He is really explosive. He has long arms. He passed off all the twists in the games really well. We'll just have to see how it works out and maybe take a look at him in the game."

On CB Jimmy Smith and CB Cary Williams playing with the first team defense and if it is a matter of rewarding them or seeing how they fit with the other guys:"Yeah, probably both. It's a chance… A guy deserves an opportunity. [Williams] has played really well. We try to do that. We always say the best guys play the most. He's earned that, and it's nothing against anybody else. I think everybody has played well, but we'll see how he looks in there and see how he does."

On what role rookie DE Pernell McPhee will play on the team:"He's an explosive guy. I thought he'd be a good run player, and he has been a good run player for us, but he has been a little bit of a better pass rusher – even in training camp – than we thought he would be. [He has] very powerful and explosive hands. He does a great job with his hands creating leverage in the pass rush. I am looking forward to seeing if that shows up in some of these games here, but he is probably better – even than we expected."

On the new kickoff rules and how it relates to player safety:"We've done a lot of homework on that and what causes the concussions in our building. We will be looking forward to the offseason to kind of share some of that with the competition committee. If you look at the Eagles-Ravens preseason game, it was just a yawner [during kickoffs]. Everyone was a touchback, and when it wasn't a touchback, it was because we chose not to make it a touchback or they chose not to make it a touchback. Actually, in this game, we are going to have to just punch it down there because we need to train our guys to cover kicks. We're not going to go through the whole season kicking touchbacks. That would be foolish. Right now, they can know that they are going to get a chance to cover kicks in this game or return kicks in this game because we need to cover them. If we don't decide to cover them, we are not going to have any kicks to cover. I wasn't very impressed with it in the first week."

On if teams will try more of a directional kick on kickoffs:"I think teams will do that because when you're coming from the 35-yard line, you are on top of that returner. It is scary how fast they get on top of that returner. So, I think teams are going to try to pop it up inside the 10 [-yard line] and see if they can go smash the returner inside the 15 [-yard line]. That will definitely be a strategy."

On if that strategy will negate the safety element of it:"Yeah, I think that is an issue. Yes."

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