DAILY INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS
Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
On how K Billy Cundiff is looking in camp:"Well, what I've seen from Billy so far is, I see the same guy that's got a very strong leg. He's made some long field goals and the kickoffs we've taken have been pretty much the same thing we saw last year, so he's taken very good care of his body. This is a guy who was out on his own for many years and now that he's got a team he isn't about to let that go, and we expect great things again from Billy this year. As far as improvement plans are concerned, there are a lot of things that we look at with these guys that are fine details that they work on to improve. Most of them are technical in nature – just certain aspects of his technique that he wants to tweak a little bit – but he's in a good place."
On how the new special teams' rules are going to impact his strategy:"I don't know if it will be hard, it will just be an adjustment. But everyone has to make the same adjustments, so it's not like we have any different rules than anyone else. This has happened before in special teams, an example might be the wedge rule; they changed and we had to adjust and everybody did, and it just kind of worked itself through. I think the thing that you'll see, the obvious effect, is there's going to be a lot more touchbacks at the kickoff. That's probably the biggest thing. But, we don't really know what's going to happen as far as the 5-yard approach with the kickoff cover team. Nobody knows the way that each team is going to work that, and how they're going to coach it, but coaches are very creative. And I think you're going to see some new things that perhaps weren't expected when they created the rule."
On whether he dislikes the new rules:"They don't ask me about those things actually. It doesn't' matter if I hate it or like it. Here's my take on it: We've got a kicker that could kick touchbacks from the 30 [yard line], so putting it at the 35 doesn't really gain us an advantage. I'm for the Ravens; I'd like to put it at the 30 because we had the advantage at that point in time. Here, it might be lost slightly but we'll make it our advantage in some way."
On how Cundiff's attitude has changed this year opposed to last year: "As I said earlier, Billy was on his own for quite some time where he didn't have a team. So, this offseason really would have been a chance for him to get back in this building and work in the building, but he was back home because of the lockout working on his own. And I think he kind of approached it the same way he did those other years, 'Hey, I'm kicking by myself in Arizona and there's nobody snapping, there's nobody holding and I don't know these guys.' It's kind of interesting because I think he kind of had an advantage over other specialist, because he's used to this. And he came back in the same kind of shape that we anticipated him being in, and we expect another great year from Billy."
On who will be this year's punt returner:"Our punt returner… Well, Lardarius Webb finished the season as our punt returner and he was a very explosive returner for us. If you recall when he took over, things changed including that dynamic return in the playoff game that he scored on. So, Lardarius is taking our returns right now as our No. 1 guy, but we're always looking for returners; that never changes. Every year we try and get as many guys back there to catch the ball, and show us what they can do as we possibly can. This year is no different, but Lardarius is definitely our lead guy as far as punt returner at this point in time."
On whether having a lot of returning players changes his approach with special teams throughout camp:"I think it probably just changes the first rep, but after that it really doesn't change much. We have competition every year, and this year is really no different. We want to see as many young guys as we can during training camp. We want to give many young guys the opportunity to show us what they can do, because that's just the only fair thing to do. Plus, in preseason games we don't want to play our first-string players the whole time necessarily, so it gives opportunities for a lot of people. So, in that regard, the early part might be a little different. But second, third, fourth quarter will pretty much be the same thing you've seen in other preseason games."
On whether the special teams' strategy changes from year-to-year:"This offseason was unique for coaches as well as for players; and it allowed all of us – not just our special teams coaches – but it allowed all of us to spend time on things… Because we didn't have players in the building, it allowed us to spend time on things we normally wouldn't have time for. Typically, we would work the players in the morning, and in the afternoon we'd work football or evaluate the work we had in the morning. So now we had time. We really spent a lot of time studying football, and we really nitpicked our playbook, and we went through all our cut-ups, and we tweaked some things, we changed some things. And some things we thought, 'You know, this is the way we want to do it and this is what our players do well, and we'll continue that'. But it was really – for me personally – it was really a fun year, because I got to sit in on the offensive and defensive meetings and I learned as much football this year as I have in a long, long time, because I got to sit around other smart coaches."
On the improvement of LB Brendon Ayanbadejo:"He looks great. Again, he's a year departed from that injury, and as we all know it takes a while for some of those. And he played through it last year; you can see some residue in his early play that he wasn't quite himself at the end of the year. He was rolling and he looks great."
On if the shortened offseason will affect the rookies trying to make the roster:"I think the challenge is for all of the young players on offense, and defense and special teams. The guys that have to try and make the team on their special teams role, that aren't necessarily the first line players – and we see it every year – someone who comes in this team based on his special teams play they're going to have an opportunity to do that. But they aren't going to have as much evidence, because we haven't had as much practice, so it really gives the guys, the fast starters, the guys who can take advantage of an early opportunity an edge. But it is certainly different for them."
On whether the new special teams rules were created for safety reasons:"Certainly, it was a safety measure, that was my understanding. Again, I wasn't at the meetings, but that's something we're going to have to look at. Those that are in charge of that are going to have to look at it after the season and see if this is really the right thing to do, because there's a measure of football that you lose – in my view – by having touchbacks all the time. I love that play, I like the kickoff cover when they're bringing it out, and I like to return the ball when we're bringing it out. So, you lose a measure of football now if the safety factor is such that it helps our player's safety; then obviously we're all for protecting our players. But if there's no measure of safety gained, then I would love to see us have more kickoffs and more kickoff returns. I love that play."
On whether he feels the special teams are still perceived as less important than offense and defense:"I don't know if the order has necessarily changed. I think that all three go hand-in-hand, because you're really playing with the same players and you have to recognize that going in; that players are going to make your team for the things that they can do in those phases. If he's a receiver and he can play special teams, he has a better chance of making your team. If he's a linebacker and he can play special teams and he's not a starter, he's got a chance at making your team. [Head coach] John's (Harbaugh) emphasis on special teams… That's just who John is. I appreciate that, I can assure you because we have the opportunity here with the time in practice, and the players that we use, and John's emphasis on special teams is real. And as a coach, I appreciate that, because he's got a lot of expertise in that area, because if I ever have a question, I can go down the hall instead of getting on the phone."
Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron
Opening statement:"So far, I know it's early, but I think John [Harbaugh] just said, we have probably improved more in the last 24 hours than any team I have been around recently. The first two days were rough, but these guys responded – it has been hot. I think they are starting to get back into football shape, and you can see it today. This is a heck of a group and a group to be excited about."
On if the improvement he is referring to are the additions or is the team's play:"No, I am just talking about everybody overall. I think you sense – and I know it's early – this is a team that you sense has a chance to do something special. I think they know that. I think they know it is going to take a lot of hard work, and this group is not afraid to work. That's what the Ravens do. The young guys have filled in and followed the example of the veteran guys, so just everybody."
On if the injuries to WR Torrey Smith and WR James Hardy are short-term:"I hope so. I hope so. I think we will know more tonight. They have had a day off – a good solid day off. We will get a review from [head certified athletic trainer] Mark [Smith] tonight. Hopefully, [it's] short term. I don't think anybody has pulled [a muscle]. They have some hamstring tightness, maybe some hamstring weakness, but I don't think anybody really pulled a hamstring, so that is good news."
On if he anticipates movement to bring in a backup quarterback or if it is QB Tyrod Taylor's time to step up:"That's our plan until someone else is here, and I don't know that anybody will be here. This kid is special, and you guys that have watched him play, you guys have seen him play more than I have, but you saw the practice. We have got a heck of a young quarterback. It is asking a lot out of him, but right now, we're getting him ready to play."
On how important WR Anquan Boldin is to the offense:"He is always important. I think he and Joe [Flacco], their chemistry is growing, and it will continue to grow. My approach has always been – and our approach will always be – to focus on the guys that we have. I have so much confidence in our personnel department and John [Harbaugh] and their ability to get us what we need. Going back, what was it, three years ago? All of the sudden [former Ravens fullback] Lorenzo Neal showed up, and we had great fullback, [if] you go back and look at how we ran the ball that year. All of the sudden, boom, this week we go out and get another great fullback. As [general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] has always said, your roster is not complete until September, and I love that approach. I know he will do whatever he can to meet whatever needs we have."
On what changes he made to improve the running game:"It's all technique, first and foremost. I don't think there are any magic plays. I think our guys have got to work better in combination. Our combination blocking needed improvement. I think our backs would tell you that footwork in courses started with that. We're still in the early stages of finding out what kind of running team we are going to be. Three years ago, we started out trying to be a zone running team. We quickly switched gears to become a gap isolation team. I don't think you really know. We're going to know what kind of running game we are going to have for about another three weeks, but there will be some zone blocking in it. But, we will always keep man, draw blocking and gap schemes in place."
If C Casey Rabach was signed because C Matt Birk will be out for a long time:"I have not been told that. I am not familiar with that. (Reporter interjects: "The team announced the signing during practice.") Did we? Good. I knew that we were looking at several people. Bryan Mattison hasn't been able to practice yet just because of the [rules], like [Marshal] Yanda. He is in that whole group. We really haven't had a center other than these rookie free agents, so I'm sure that had a big part of it. That's exciting. You guys know him. He's been here. He's had a heck of a career here; went to Washington and had a heck of a career. That's exciting. That gives some depth at center. We will see how things have turned out with Matt Birk. That's exciting. That's another great move. Again, I wasn't aware of that."
On if C Matt Birk is hurt:"I know he had an MRI. I think it was this morning."
On if timing has been affected by the new free agent rules of the CBA:"Yeah, it would obviously be easier to have those guys here, but they aren't. We will get them when they get here. Marshal [Yanda] is in great shape. Have you seen him? Have you guys seen Marshal? He looks as good as he has ever looked, so we know he will be in great shape. It will be nice to get him back to guard. That would be the plan. We don't want it to be easy. We're not asking for it to be easy. We're going to coach the guys we have because you never know. We have got to get every guy ready to play."
On where QB Joe Flacco is in terms of his development:"I have never really looked at it that way, per se. I understand what you're asking but – and I am partial to Joe – Joe has come back in great shape. He has put on 10 pounds, which was his choice, and you really can't notice it, other than seeing added strength. Again, he is in tremendous shape. He is as sharp starting off as I have ever seen him. We're at the best starting point with him going into the season than we have been since he has been here. I haven't flinched on anything that I have believed about Joe Flacco since the first day I saw him when Ozzie sent us over there to work him out. I think he is a great quarterback. I think he is going to continue to grow. We'll just play this season out. A lot of things come into staying healthy, and all those things, but we have one heck of a quarterback, and he happens to be a young quarterback. But I have felt that way since Day One."
On what stands out about FB Vonta Leach:"He is a great blocker and he loves blocking. He has no illusions of being something other than what his gift is. Today, I tell you what, I turned around and you would have thought he has been here for a month. He has his arm around guys, he is coaching guys, he's talking about this and he is talking about how *we *do it. He is not talking about how he did it somewhere else. He has some real insight into things that he has done at other places. He has been in some really good programs, but he understands why he is here, and that is to be physical and to be the lead blocker for Ray Rice and all of our backs. As you know, we will throw him the football, and I am going to find out what kind of runner he is. I know he has done some of that, but on occasion you have to have that situation where you feel you can give it to him. I'm looking forward to getting a feel for him in that regard. Bottom line, [he is a] blocker, run blocker first, pass blocker second, and then a little bit of receiving and a little bit of running."
On rookie QB Tyrod Taylor:"We have us a good, young quarterback and I won't back up on that. I just have so much confidence in the people we draft, and they've done it again. They have found another extremely bright, talented, young quarterback. We have two extremely bright, extremely talented quarterbacks. This kid, again, is he going to be backing up this year? I am not saying that because we don't know. That may not be in our – or his – best interest. Wait until you get to know that young man. He is special."
On how T Jah Reid is doing now that he is going against OLB Terrell Suggs:"He had his best day today because, I think, all the linemen were overwhelmed, because it is. It's overwhelming, but I think he settled in today. I saw a little difference today. Things weren't as confusing. It looked like he corrected some mistakes from yesterday, and that is a great sign when young guys starts correcting mistakes this early on."
On how comfortable T Michael Oher looks this year: "It's still early, but again, I know I am partial to these guys, but I think Michael [Oher] is a great player. I think he has come in in great shape. He is the one guy who was out here in 100-degree heat with a sweat top on because he knew he could withstand it. He is ready. He is a football player. [There is] no doubt in my mind that he is going to have a great year."
On rookie WR Tandon Doss:"Positive, like we thought drafting him. He can really catch. He has hands a lot like Anquan [Boldin]. He is strong with the ball – made a couple of great catches today. Still, his head is spinning a little bit right now, which is normal. He has come back from a double sports hernia surgery. That is hard with as much running as we're doing. [He] hasn't missed any time, doesn't complain. I think what we have got is a young Boldin-type in the sense of toughness, smarts, great hands. I am not saying he is Anquan Boldin, all right? That type of player, that Raven-type player… That's why Ozzie drafted him. That's why John liked him and John wanted him. There aren't many of those, if any. I love the way we draft. I love the bright guys we bring in here, and these young guys that are young guys we should all be excited about."
Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano
On his transition to the position of defensive coordinator:"Very easy transition, so having spent three years here, I know the guys, they know me, they know my personality, I know their personality, so it was an easy transition."
On whether he feels he is ahead of the offense at this point in training camp:"I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't want to upset anybody, but our guys are working hard. We have great guys. They love football, they're passionate about football, they were really, really eager to get back in here and go to work after the long layoff, and they're working hard. The energy is great, the communication is great, and you know they're flying around having fun. That's all we can ask."
On how he plans to take the defense to a higher level:"I just told them that when people put on our tape, it ought to look like we've got 13, 14, 15 guys out there. We've got a smart football team – a team that doesn't beat itself, plays with great fundamentals and technique, plays with passion, most-tackling team in the NFL, most physical, can just dominate people. When we walk out of that tunnel or out of that locker room, we expect to shut people out and just play great defense."
On whether he feels he has "loosened the reins" and gives the players more freedom within different plays:"You know what? We've never tried to – we call it ankle-weighting them – we don't want them thinking out there. We want them playing. We throw a lot at them from a volume standpoint, but we've got a lot of vets back. The young guys are kind of swimming at this point, but the old guys are helping them. We've got great mentors; our vets are great mentors. From that standpoint, we throw a lot at them, but they like that. It gives them a lot of tools in their toolbox, and they have fun with it. And we give them a lot of latitude and a lot of flexibility. It doesn't mean they're just out there playing cat ball and… They play within the framework of the defense, but at the same time, we want them out there making plays."
On OLB Sergio Kindle:"Oh yeah, I can tell you that he is picking things up. He has not shied away from any contact. There has not been one time… You know, we don't talk about… I don't think anyone should talk about this, that, or the other. We're just coaching a kid. And he's showing up every day. He's at every meeting, he's taking notes, he's learning, and he's way ahead of where I thought he would be. So, knock on wood if he keeps progressing like he's progressing. Then, we'll find a role for him, obviously."
On the competition for the safety position between Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski:"Great competition. Both guys want to be the guy. You know, Ed [Reed] missed the first six games last year, and we won with Tommy Zbikowski. So, it's not going to be anything for Tom to step in with the first unit. Haruki Nakamura played a ton; he's had different roles in different packages for us. So, man sharpens man like steel sharpens steel, and we've got great competition there. So, we'll see how the whole thing unfolds."
FB Vonta Leach
On how he feels about being in Baltimore: "I feel real good being here. When you talk about the Ravens organization, you talk about a Super Bowl Champion. You talk about a top-notch organization, and when you talk about Ravens respect around the league, a team that has been in the playoffs year after year... I am just happy to be here."
On what he hopes to do to boost the running game:"One person just can't boost the running game. On offense, everybody has to work collectively together. I think the offensive linemen, with myself and the tight ends and Ray Rice back there, I think we are going to get it going."
On his first impressions of RB Ray Rice:"He is good – a good friendly guy. He has been very helpful in getting me adjusted here, and I am looking for great things from him."
On if he looks to bring a forceful, physical running game back to the team:"Yes, I am just here to do whatever I can to help the team win. Whether it is running the ball, helping get the running game going or whether it's catching, I am here to do whatever."
On why he likes playing fullback:"Fullback is a different position. For people that don't know the fullback position or don't watch football, it is a very important position to the offense. If you look at the teams that went deep into the playoffs and then made a run, they have a fullback that does all the dirty work and really doesn't get enough credit for. It's a real physical position. You have to hit the linebackers and stuff in the mouth all the time, and that's what I like to do."
On what it has been like constantly having to prove himself in the NFL and how it feels now:"It makes you feel good to know where I started from. I still can improve and have a whole lot of work to do. I am just happy that I have put myself in a position where somebody wanted me. [Being] undrafted, you always had a chip on your shoulder. I knew I could always play in this league and I knew I belonged."
On if he ever thought he would not make it in the NFL after being cut a few times:"No, that never crossed my mind. I just said, 'Just give me a chance to get my opportunity, and I just made the best of it.'"
On if the AFC North is the right division for his style of play:"Oh yeah, the AFC North is real physical division. Every time we used to play against opponents in the AFC North, it comes to a real battle. [I'm] looking forward to it."
On if he has been told about the Ravens-Steelers' rivalry:"Yes, I know about the Pittsburgh-Ravens rivalry. *(laughing) *It is very [physical] and it is very nasty, so I am happy to be a part of it."
On if he had any notable collisions in last year's Texans-Ravens game: "Me and Ray [Lewis], we went against each other a lot. I had to block [Terrell] Suggs a couple of times. The Ravens' defense is a real physical defense. They are hard-nosed and stuff like that. You always had to get up to play these guys."
On the best hit he ever made:"I don't know. I wouldn't necessarily say that I have one best hit. I just like blocking and seeing the running back sprinting down [the field] for a touchdown. That is all I like doing."
On if he was always a fullback:"No. I was always a fullback; I played fullback all the way through college and in the NFL the only position I have ever played is fullback. Even in high school."
On if he ever wanted to play running back:"I think we have some misconception. *(laughing) *In high school, I did run for like 5,000 yards in high school at the fullback position. *(laughter) *I am a fullback, and that is the position that I play. No, I don't want to be a running back. I know my job and I know my position."
On what the period before he signed with the Ravens was like:"It was very tiresome. It was very nerve-racking and stuff. Not knowing where you're going to be, you see camps opening up, and here I was a free agent. I wasn't signing with nobody – just negotiating and trying to get back on the football field. I am just happy everything is over with."
On what it feels like to hit people:"On Monday it feels real bad. *(laughing) *You're body feels real bad and beat up. It feels real good just knowing that you are playing an important position that the naked eye doesn't really see. But, your teammates, your peers and stuff, they respect you for what you go out to do and lay your life on the line, lay your body on the line every week."
On what he has done to develop the blocking power:"More so, it is a mentality thing. A lot of technique is involved with it, but you have to have the mindset that this is what you have to do and this is what you get paid to do."
On his offseason workout regimen:"Not much – just plyometric stuff. A little bit of weightlifting. Squats and stuff. That's just about it."
On who he looked up to while growing up:"I watched [Daryl] 'Moose' Johnston growing up. Also, my mentor in Green Bay was William Henderson. He is a guy that showed me the ropes as far as what a fullback is supposed to do and how your job is supposed to be."
On his personality vs. his role on the football field:"You can't be a mean man all the time. *(laughing) *You have to smile and stuff like that, but I am kind of a laidback guy. But on the football field, I turn into a different animal."
On what it will be like to block for RB Ray Rice as opposed to Texans RB Arian Foster:"Arian Foster is a taller back and a little bigger back. I think Ray Rice is a little bit quicker, a little bit faster as far as a burst of speed, but both of them are two great, talented backs. I blocked for Ahman Green, I blocked for Arian Foster, and now I am here to block for Ray Rice. I am just happy to be able to do it. I don't emulate their styles or nothing. All I do is do my job and let them run. I don't tell them which way to run or how to run. I just block."
On if this felt like his first day:"The guys – when I walked into the locker room – they really welcomed me here. The coaches are doing a good job trying to get me adjusted and stuff like that. I am just ready to get on the field. I am trying to learn the plays as quick as I can, and hopefully, we can get this thing going."
LB Terrell Suggs
On what he expects from the pass rush this season:"I think we definitely need to tone it up. I think definitely the [sack] number needs to grow, and that's the only way we'll get over the hump. First things first: Our goal is definitely win our division, so we can either get the first-round bye or we can have our first home playoff game in a very long time. You know, the city deserves it and you guys deserve it, so that's what we're working for right now."
On what new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has brought to camp this offseason:"We really kind of just picked up where we left off, but it's definitely a little bit lighter. You know, coach [Greg] Mattison is a little bit business all the time, a little attention to detail. Coach Pagano is the same way, but he's relaxed about it. He kind of puts his players in the right position just to let them make plays. And not to say that coach Mattison didn't do that; I think he did a great job in his two years as the [defensive coordinator]… And I think it's going to be great to see what coach Pagano gets to do."
On how he thinks the defense will be different:"It's going to be interesting. I don't know; we've got different players. We lost a few players and we gained a few players, so we're definitely going to see… We're just going to see how different it's going to be, but I think definitely the changes that are going to [come] around, we're just going to get better as a defense if you ask me."
On whether he suspects the play-calling will be more aggressive on defense under Pagano:"I don't know, we'll have to see. I'm not trying to give away too many secrets. I just like to line up and play football. I think whatever our [defensive coordinator] calls, it's not really particularly [about] the call, I think it's more so the players and the guys doing it. So, whether we're being aggressive or we're playing coverage, I think we still have enough great players on this defense to get the job done. So, I don't think it will matter either way."
On whether Pagano reminds him a little of Jets head coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan:"I think coach [Pagano] has his own swag to him. I think this is our first Italian defensive coordinator, (laughter) so it's going to be fun. We like the aggressiveness that the coach portrays at times, and we like the smartness that he portrays at time. So, I think he's got his own swag and his own two shoes, and it's going to be great for the city of Baltimore."
On not practicing during the first day of camp:"Yeah, you guys made a big deal about it. It was 99 [degrees] low. I had a little minor setback back in Phoenix – you know how we get down out there on that mountain – and they just didn't want to chance it. Especially with the humidity coming from dry heat, running in the humidity, they didn't want to mess up anything, so they said, 'Take it easy.' But I got out here the next day. So, no biggie."
On his offseason and having a little bit of time to pursue his movie-making career:"Yeah, but that's over now. I thank you for asking about the idea of shooting a movie, but it's football time. I have the fans and you guys – you all were very patient with the things that were going on with the lockout, and thus, you did follow me shooting a few films and going over to France in Cannes and all that, but all that's over right now. I've got one job and that's to play outside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. And like I said, first things first – to win the division, get the first-round bye, and let's work on getting this Lombardi [Trophy]."
On making the Pro Bowl every other year during his career and how he eliminates that trend:"Just ball out. I'm kind of focused on myself and just picking up where we left off last year. I kind of got in a little groove, and I'd have to say our team as a defense got into a little groove, and we started playing a certain style of football, and that's the football the city has known for us to play. And I think definitely not missing a step there, definitely picking up where I left off, and you know, I made every practice last year, and I'm definitely going to try to do that this year. Not counting the one [I was] counted out for." (laughter)
On whether there were times last year where he wished he had been turned loose more:"No. I think, like I said, it's never really so much the coaches. It's probably [more] the player. I probably dropped when I should have rushed, and I probably rushed when I should have dropped. So, it's all defense. It's all progression defense, and if it's anything, it was my fault. I was probably thinking too much in my head. I think my position coach, Ted Monachino, he did a good job when he came in to getting back to the basics, getting back to the things I do best and what helps this team. Also with coach [Mattison], he called the plays that sent me, so I think it was just more the player. I had to get back to the basics, so to [speak], with myself."
On how he thinks LB Sergio Kindle is doing:"I think he's doing great. I think he's doing great. He's definitely… He's a Raven. I mean, he hasn't earned it yet – you've got to earn our decals – but by his attitude, and by how he practices, he's a Raven. So, once he finally gets out there, shows the world what he's really got, then he'll earn the decals."
On the young rookie DE Pernell McPhee:"I like him. I like him. He's very aggressive, very strong, and he's going to bring a nice little edge, nice youth to our end position, and I like the kid. I think he's going to be a great player for us."
On whether he has seen a difference in DE Paul Kruger:"Yeah. You mean besides the buffness? (laughter) I think he's taking himself more serious. I think he wants to be a player now. He definitely wants to add to the defense. I think he knows, definitely, he could make some plays on this defense. And I think he really wants… He's bought in now. Not to say he didn't before – you'd have to ask him about that – but from what I can tell, he's really in there with the rest of us guys and he really wants to be a part of this team."
On whether the free agency frenzy after the lockout will create a more competitive season this year:"Definitely. Definitely. I mean, you see what's going on around the League. The guys we play in a couple weeks [Philadelphia], they're stacking it up up there. I think they're hedging on bets, and I think if you can, you should do that. Hats off to them. They're in the NFC, and I'm just wondering about who we're going to get to bring in."
On whether he thinks the Ravens need to get another pass rusher:"Any great player around the League can always be an addition, but we have great pass rushers on this team. You guys just don't know that because they do all the dirty work so that other guys can get sacks. But Haloti [Ngata], whether you know it or not, is a great pass rusher. Jarret Johnson is a great pass rusher, but he's got to do most of the covering, and they don't want me to think that much. (laughing) So, it's a sacrifice. I think Jarret is an amazing player; he's a tough guy, and first things first, you've got to stop the run. So, if we don't stop the run, who cares if we have pass rushers?"
On what it's like to go up against FB Vonta Leach:"He definitely… There are only two backs, in my opinion, two fullbacks in the National Football League, that can play the way fullbacks are supposed to play – Leach being one of them, Le'Ron McClain being the other one. So, I think we couldn't lose by having either one of them here. I think it's definitely going to be a great addition, but it's going to be interesting."
On his thoughts about bringing C Casey Rabach back:"We got Casey back? Wowzers. Well, Casey has been here, so it's just like he's coming home. I know he was down in D.C., but when I first got here, he was here and he kind of toughened me up, slapped me around a little bit. So, now that he's in the later stages of his career, I look forward to doing it to him a little bit."
On DT Haloti Ngata's weight loss:"Haloti, he's still all man. He's just a phenomenal freak. He's been one of the most athletic guys on our team ever since he's been here, and with the weight loss, he still looks solid. He's still strong, he's still Haloti, and he's still the best defensive tackle in this league."
On what he's seen with NT Terrence Cody in front of him:"He's awesome. He's awesome. Those two plugging holes, it's scary on what [Ray Lewis] is going to get to do here – kind of like [Tony] Siragusa and Sam Adams, just a younger version of it. And it's going to be a really exciting thing, just to see all of us playing again."