Training Camp Transcript - Practice 8/21


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "Good to see you guys out here on a Sunday afternoon. [We] appreciate you coming out. Obviously, it's a different schedule now. We are into more of a game-week type of a schedule. [It's] a tough day because we are only a day removed from a game, and a lot of guys played a lot of snaps. Then, we had to get out here on the turf because of the thunderstorms, but I thought everybody worked really hard. In that sense, I think we've had a great camp from an effort and hard work standpoint – really led by our leaders Ray [Lewis], Terrell [Suggs], Haloti [Ngata], Ed [Reed] and then all the guys on offense. They've worked really hard, and I am really proud of what we have been able to accomplish. Now, we go into another phase of the training camp. Obviously, [we'll] work just as hard but in a different format and try to get ready for Thursday night [vs. Washington] and then on into the season."

On the size and experience of newly-signed T Mark LeVoir: "Yeah, that's kind of my thoughts. [Mark] LeVoir is a guy with a lot of experience. [He's] been in the league. He has played obviously in New England, and we love their system. [They're] very well-coached by [Patriots offensive line coach] Dante Scarnecchia, so that's a big plus. [He] understands NFL defenses, and that's what we need right now. It was a fortuitous situation for us, and we'll see how he does."

On how the offensive line played on Friday night vs. Kansas City:"I thought they held up well. I thought they did a good job. They worked well together. The communication was there – probably better than what we have seen in practice – and that's a good thing. Part of why you make practice so hard – the idea, in terms of making practice so challenging, so fast, so competitive with our defense – is that you want the game to actually be a slower experience for him. You don't want the game to be faster for him. I thought that kind of showed up in the way those guys played."

On if rookie T Jah Reid has continued to take steps in the right direction:"Sure. Yeah, absolutely. He has an understanding of the schemes and everything else. He's obviously, physically, very capable of playing the position. It's just a matter of transferring that knowledge into that part of the brain that just reacts. That's a process. That takes a little bit of time. He's working hard at it and he is doing well."

On if G/T Oniel Cousins performed better at guard and if that will be his position going forward:"Yeah, I think so. I think we will put him in there at guard, leave him in there and see how he does. It's a good point. He was comfortable in there. He is a big, strong man. That bodes well at guard. He is a good bender. He has got a lot of reach, and it worked out for him in there."

On how rookie CB Jimmy Smith performed in Friday's game:"I'd say it was kind of mixed – good news and bad news – because now Jimmy [Smith] has the chance to understand how those completions are really made. Just being close to a guy is not covering a guy in this league. Guys are open because of the throw and the catch. You can be open by that much in the National Football League. I think for him to understand how fast that back shoulder fade gets in there on you – it's just an experience for him that he will learn from real quickly. He was right there. He was in good coverage. He didn't make any mental mistakes and he looked good to start with."

On how much more he appreciates G/T Marshal Yanda after not having him on Friday night:"Yeah, versatility in the offensive line is huge. Marshal [Yanda] obviously can play any position. He could play center, I think, if we needed him to. That's what you like for those veteran guys to be able to do. That's pretty valuable."

On what OLB Sergio Kindle needs to do to block punts and if the team expected him to be a good punt blocker:"We actually did suspect that from him because he is a big, fast, powerful guy. A lot of times those pass rushers are pretty good at that. I think Sergio [Kindle] is going to be tough on slots [positions]. Those guys are smaller guys. They are usually coverage guys. They are safety-type body types. If they want to get in front of him, he is going to have a chance to run them over. If they get out of position a little bit, he will have a chance to make them miss. That's going to be something that he is going to be good at for us. You have to learn how to take it off the foot. He and [special teams coordinator] Jerry [Rosburg] are working on that."

On how CB Cary Williams played in the game and what happened in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half:"In the two-minute drill, they went right down the field and scored. That's what happened. I can go through each play, but I didn't think we tackled very well on the draws. We could have done a few more things up front, movement-wise, to handle the draws. The first play, we had 10 guys on the field. We rallied and held them to eight yards. What else? *(Reporter interjects: "CB Cary Williams") *That's just a technique issue on the goal line. Yeah, just a technique issue. You can't back up on the goal line. We are in man coverage there. It's an all-out blitz. It's four guys covering four guys. He had the wide receiver by himself and he backed up and leaned up a little bit to an outside more and got beat inside. He knows that. That was really the only play that he had really that wasn't a good play in the game."

On how Williams played the rest of the game:"Very well. He had no other minuses that I am aware of. He had a bunch of broken up passes on those quick look throws. He did a good job."

On having ILB Ray Lewis back with the team:"Yeah, it's great to have Ray [Lewis] back. To walk in this morning and see him sitting in his usual seat… It's Sunday today, so we had a little prayer blessing, and he did it for us. Ray is our leader, so it is great to have him here."

On what he has seen out of rookie RB Anthony Allen and his development:"I think he is transitioning from the type of offense they ran at Georgia Tech where he was kind of a veer fullback-type of a guy running the dive play. But, we felt like his size/speed ability would transfer to this running scheme that we are installing – this zone-stretch run scheme. It showed up. It showed up the first day in practice. I think you guys probably saw it in the game for the first time. I think he is kind of a natural fit for this system."

On how WR Lee Evans can come in and play well right away like he did Friday night:"Yeah, it says he is a good player, right? It says he is just a good player and he is a veteran player. There were some things, even terminology-wise today, that he and the rest of our offense have to get on the same page with. [It's] the same thing with a guy like Mark [LeVoir]. Those things are going to come up as we go. He is a playmaker and he is a kind of guy that we really needed."

On the status of C Matt Birk:"He is progressing. It was supposed to be three to four weeks before he would be moving around pretty well. Now, he is starting to walk a little bit. I am anxious. I want to see him out here sooner rather than later, but it's not something that we really control."

On if Thursday's game vs. Washington is another preseason game or if it is more meaningful:"I don't know. It's important because it is the third preseason game. We get a chance to see them on TV, so it seems like they [Redskins] get most of the coverage. We have a fun time watching those guys on TV, seeing what they are doing. The thing that I think is the most interesting part of the whole thing, is how well they're playing. You watch them on tape, they are playing exceptionally well. The run game… They are just shredding people in all three phases, so we have our hands full, and I think it is going to be good for our development as a football team."

On if the season opener vs. Pittsburgh is sneaking up on the team, or if everyone feels prepared:"It's not sneaking up on us. We know it is there. We have a calendar and we see it coming. It is going to be a big challenge with Pittsburgh. What you're saying is right in the sense that things are moving fast, but we have to be ready. We just do as much as we can every day and [try to] be as ready as we can be."

On what the schedule is like now:"We've cut the night meetings out this week. This will be the first time we haven't had the night meetings. It's not the training camp schedule. It's not the long practice format. It's more of a morning install walk-through. We come out and do this practice, now we will have a special teams meeting, and then they will have position meetings. They should be out of here right around 5. We start a recovery process also. We do have a challenging training camp. We do push them to the brink, so to speak. We get the most out of them, and now we start to recover them up until that September 11 game. That has been our process now for four years."

On the development of WR/RS David Reed as a wide receiver:"I've only seen him for about a week, maybe three or four days. I was very surprised he got in the game and then played as well as he did because he wasn't even supposed to be in contact last week. All of the sudden, he jumped in there and went full-go. All of the sudden, the trainers were like, 'OK. I guess he is OK.' That was a pleasant surprise, and I am looking forward to seeing how he does the next couple of weeks. He is a guy that we have been counting on, and we are very hopeful that he can be a threat for us."

On where CB Domonique Foxworth is right now:"Where is he? He is in the locker room. (laughing) *It's a good question. I think he is fine. I kind of compare him to [former Ravens] Fabian [Washington] last year and Lardarius [Webb] last year. He had the injury so much earlier, yet he didn't have the offseason with us. That made it probably a slower process. It was really a matter of pushing it and forcing it to recover, pushing it and forcing it to recover. It seems like he can push it a little harder, and it takes a little less recovery time now for the soreness or whatever to go away, or, there is a lot less soreness. So, it seems like he is doing well. I think what you're going to see is how well he plays. How well does he change direction, accelerate, break on balls and things like that? That seems to be getting better every day."* **

CB Domonique Foxworth

On how he's feeling:"I'm getting better. Some days are… Well, through the course of a day, I have some plays where I feel great and some plays that I don't feel so great. So, I'm trying to ease my way back in."

On how he felt at the end of the game against the Chiefs:"I was just happy to be back out there, honestly, more than anything. It felt good to be back out there. Like you said, I didn't get a ton of work, but it was nice to be back out on that field."

On whether he knew he was going to be on a pitch count:"Yeah, we talked about that before. I think they wanted to be smart. And, I tried to keep me on a pitch count, I guess, is the best way to describe it, early on in camp. I started out a little too overzealous, and it set me back a little bit. So, we're trying to be a little smarter this time around."

On whether he feels he will be ready to start by Week 1:"They've done it with other players before. This is my first time with an ACL [injury], but it's not our training staff's first time and it's not our coaches' first time. So, I'm just going to trust in them, and whatever they think is right, I'm going to do."

On what the recovery process has been like:"It's been stressful. But, the encouraging thing is seeing how good the rest of the corners on the team are. It makes me… I think last year, one of the most difficult things for me to deal with was, kind of, leaving a bit of a hole on the team that you feel responsible for. But this year, we are really deep and really talented. So, no matter what happens with any one or two guys, we have more guys who can step in and do just as good a job."

On where he feels he will fit in at the cornerback rotation:"I think one of the great things about being in this building is that team atmosphere [we have] and that it's true and genuine. It's more than a cliché here, and we really believe it. Whatever role the coaches expect me to play, I'm going to be there. I'm going to be there as a contributor on the field and a mentor to the young guys off the field."

On whether he feels he has lost some confidence since his injury:"It might be [true], if you're not a confident guy. You can look at me. I'm handsome, fast, quick… It doesn't take much for me to… (laughter) Modest, humble. It doesn't take much for me to be confident."

On how big of a factor experience is in being a good cornerback:"I think it's a big factor. Being a good defensive back in general, it's all about experience because it allows you to anticipate routes and recognize route combinations. Even if you're not necessarily the quickest guy, you recognize things faster so you make that move a little sooner and you make a play where other guys wouldn't."

On how he tries to impart the importance of the Ravens to Baltimore on his teammates:"I don't think I have to. People understand the culture of this town and this city. You spend a month in this town, and you know how important the purple and black are to these people. We know how our fans have a civic pride tied into how this team does and how hard we play. Everyone picks up on that as soon as they get here."

On whether he expects to get more reps this week: "Like I said, I'm just going with whatever the recommendation is from the guys who have done it before. I'll play as long as they want me to or as short as they want me to."

CB Cary Williams

On what grade he received on his performance in Friday's game:"We didn't give out grades. We just said that people played well. They didn't tell me anything specific. They just said I played well and I performed at a high level. I just need to continue to build on that."

On if he is going to get more reps in the game against Washington:"I guess I am. But, I guess, it's just from all the previous performances. It's really just a competition thing; there's nothing set in stone yet. I'm just happy with the opportunity and I'm going to try and do the best I can with every opportunity I'm given."

On what he has changed between this season and last season:"I don't think anything changed on my part. I think that all the hard work I put in on the offseason, and things like that, is just coming into play now. I'm just reaping the benefits of all the hard work I put into the game."

On how he has persevered even though people doubted him in the past:"Yeah, I mean, that has been an issue. People have always doubted me. I've always been the small fry or the guy that didn't get as much attention. But I never waiver on anything. I've always had my goals. My mindset was to be in the NFL, and I wouldn't let any negativity affect me getting to my goal and being where I'm at right now. So, I just keep working hard each and every day and come to work every day and try to be a pro."

On what he focused on improving in the offseason:"I worked on a lot of footwork. I really just got with Renaldo Hill, and he basically put me under his wing, and we just worked out together each and every day. We worked hard, we challenged each other, and it basically taught me how to compete and play at a high level regardless of where I was – whether I was at NTSU or right here at the Baltimore facility. So, that is what I want to continue to do."

On how he feels about special teams:"I love special teams; special teams is my first love. I definitely want to be a part of special teams this year. But, that just depends on how I play and what the team has in store for me this year."

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