Training Camp Transcript - Practice 8/8


Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg

On his main focus regarding this Thursday's game:"First focus would be try to win the game. The second focus would be to try and give everyone an opportunity – who has been working so hard in practice – give them an opportunity to show what they can do in a game, because there's nothing like the real thing. And I think we owe it to all the players who are here in camp, all 90 of them, as best we can – and it doesn't always work out – [to] give them an opportunity to show what they can do. The difficult part, as you all know, this year is unique. A lot of these young players haven't had exposure to our concepts; they haven't had as much practice against live fire as they normally would. They're going to be learning on the run as we go through this game. But, it's something that I think is the right thing to do for them and the right thing to do for this team, because we don't want to miss out on a player. We want to evaluate every one of these guys and let them show us what they can do. And at the end of the day, the guys that can play the best will be on the team."

On the status of LS Morgan Cox:"Well, let's say this: He's tugging at the leash. We've designed some of the drills that he can do without contact in certain areas. He crossed the line a couple times today, but I'd rather have it that way. He seems like he's in great shape physically. I'm not a medical guy. I can't tell you about the knee itself, but Morgan is in great shape physically. I think more than anything else, he was just glad to be out there with his teammates, and our guys were glad to have him. It's a first step, but it was a very important first step."

On how much of the plays he is running are affected by the absence of WR/RS David Reed: "Well, we're running exactly the same plays we were running or we are running [them] at the same tempo. All of the blocking is the same. The only thing that's different is David is not catching it. That's a factor for David certainly, but it's not as big a factor for the rest of us. Obviously, we would like to have David back in there and get him going for this next season. But as you know, the train is not going to slow down, and hopefully, he can jump back on real soon."

On if there is a timetable set for Reed's return:"I'm not familiar with it. Even if I was, I wouldn't tell you."

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron

On newly-signed RB Ricky Williams:"I had the privilege to be with Ricky [Williams] for one year. I think he will be a great addition. The guy will be a great complement to Ray Rice and the other guys in our backfield. [He is] an outstanding player and an outstanding person. We're really excited. They told me it might happen. That's exciting."

On what role Williams will play in the offense:"I think, when you look around the League, you can't have too many good backs. I think, there were some teams last year that basically just ran out of running backs, so he gives us depth, first and foremost. But, he gives us a proven playmaker, an outstanding runner, an outstanding receiver and an outstanding pass protector. So, we will be able to give Ray and the rest of the guys in the backfield a blow – mix him in there. We have to see what kind of shape he is in, but he is familiar with the system. He knows this system, and he has played extremely well in this system."

On how much better Williams makes the team:"We'll see. I think [that's] a fair question and a good question. We'll see, and I think it will all be obvious to us, but I know he has a big-time chance of helping us."

On TE Ed Dickson's status:"He had the best practice he has had since he has been here – he has had a lot of good ones – but then pulled his hamstring. We will get him back whenever we get him back. Hamstrings can be a little tricky, but he was having an outstanding camp and I am sure we will, hopefully, get him back for at least two or maybe even three of the preseason games."

On how much better the team is in short-yardage situations with the addition of RB Ricky Williams and FB Vonta Leach:"Obviously, it is something we need to improve from a year ago. We'd like to get back [to] where we were two and three years ago, where we were one of best – if not the best – in the League. I think we know what we want to be, and I think we know how to do it, and it's a matter of getting these guys a little more comfortable. Vonta [Leach] hasn't been here very long. Ricky [Williams] is not here yet. Ray Rice will play a major role in short-yardage and goal-line [situations] this year. We were just fortunate to have a guy like [former RB] Willis [McGahee], but this year Ray Rice will be in short-yardage and goal-line [situations] as well. He is outstanding. We just happened to have a couple of them in the last few years. You'll see him in there as well."

On if Williams is a risk, considering his past issues off the field:"I think those are all fair questions, but I think a lot of those things are like way, way, way in the past. My relationship, my experience with him, there is no risk. But, we are all human. There is risk with you. There is risk with me. There is risk with everybody in here. We are all living and breathing, and we all make mistakes. Ricky is not perfect, but I know he has a great heart and he is a great football player."

On how TE Dennis Pitta is performing:"He is really improving. In my view, offensively, he is the most improved player today over Saturday. He was a little hot and cold on Saturday. We challenged him, but I think most importantly, he challenged himself. He was pretty hard on himself after Saturday. He came out today and responded. I think Joe [Flacco] lifted him up. I don't know if he was doing it on purpose, but Joe pushed him the ball today because I think Joe has a ton of confidence in him. He wanted to get his confidence level back up, and he was the most improved guy today on offense."

On if the game against the Eagles will be a good test for his offense:"Absolutely. It is our first test, and I can't imagine – at least in a long, long time – the first preseason game being more important to coaching staffs, organizations and players in a long, long time. That's going to be the real evaluation. Practice is important, but now the lights come on. We'll see if guys can duplicate the fundamentals and techniques that they have done here. That's all we want them to do. I want to see if they can transfer what they have done in practice to the game – not try to go into the game and try to do too much. We are going to ask you to do – out here, right behind all of us and in front of me – what we want you to do in a game. Try to do that. See if you can duplicate that in a game. I think that's what good players do."

On if he will try and do more or less in this preseason game, as opposed to past years' first preseason game:"More, no doubt. Again, I think for all of us, this is the most important first preseason game – I know, of my coaching career – and it is pretty important because the first preseason game I ever went to is the first NFL game I had ever been to. So, that was pretty important, and this one is more important than that. I think the reasons why are obvious."

Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano

On rookie CB Jimmy Smith getting playing time:"We're being pretty cautious with him still. I think he jumped in there and did a little bit of special teams, and got a few reps here and there, but we're making sure we don't push him too hard and have another setback. (Reporter interject: "So he's not going to play on Thursday?) I wouldn't say that. We'll see."

On whether he views the upcoming game against the Eagles as a test for the team:"Absolutely, and that's why we're pushing them here, and that's why we're doing the things that we're doing here. You can see at the end of this practice they had a fourth-down situation, I said we're not going to sit back. We're going to put you in as tough as possible positions, and you've got to make plays. 'Q' [Anquan Boldin] made a play today, and we didn't. But, it's going to be a great test for us. Yeah, [Philadelphia] went out and bought, I don't know, the greatest team ever, (laughter) but I don't know if you can just do that. There is so much that has gone into this place over a long period of time, I don't' think you can just do that. So, we'll see where we're at."

On whether he waits to reveal some things as a defensive coordinator during the preseason:"We're going to be pretty vanilla, so don't… If we're not coming after them every snap… There are some things you definitely don't want to show leading up to your opening game, so you hit it right on the head. We're going to see who can play football. We're going to see who can take on a block, get off a block, tackle, make plays in the pass game and so forth. That doesn't mean we're going to sit back and let them shoot fish in a barrel, but there are some things that we'll hold back."

On how much preparation they are doing this week for Philadelphia:"Tomorrow we'll do a little bit – we'll show them a little bit here and there – as far as walk-through. But these early games, the third one is probably the one that is the dry run for the regular season. The third preseason game is kind of standard what everybody does in the NFL, so this one will be pretty limited when you talk about both teams. *(Reporter interjects: "This one isn't any different than any other season?") *No. You just go out and play."

On DT Arthur Jones:"You know what? He's getting better every day. We've played him in a couple different spots. He came here as an inside guy, and we're playing him at end behind Cory [Redding] some. He's played the three; he's played the nose. So, he brings some versatility that way. But he comes out here and he doesn't say a word. We press him pretty hard, [defensive line] coach [Clarence] Brooks does a great job with him, and you can see him just starting to take off, so he's been a pleasant surprise at this point."

On how much he will play specific players during the preseason games:"The guys you know about – less. We've got some veteran guys that are getting up there that we need to take care of during [the [preseason]. Let them knock a little rust off, and then get out. It's really the young guys that you're trying to see what they can do. Whether they play Mike [Vick] or not at quarterback, I don't know. They can risk that if they want to risk that. I know a couple years back, they started him and an old coordinator that was here before might have knocked him out of the game I think first or second snap. We'll gage that. We know what guys need what as far as a snap count, and then we'll get the young guys in there."

On if CB Lardarius Webb's recovery last year makes him hopeful for CB Domonique Foxworth's recovery:"Yeah, it does. I think he's going to be fine, and, obviously, we're taking care of him, so I'm not worried about that."

On whether LB Sergio Kindle will play on Thursday:"Absolutely, especially in sub situations and pass-rush situations. We want to get him in there and put him on the edge and let him go."

On the depth of the secondary:"We feel really good about it. We feel good at the corner spot. Again, we've got to get 'Fox' [Foxworth] healthy and bring him along. But, getting Chris [Carr] back, having a healthy Webb, having Fox back, Cary Williams, his development and maturation... You could see him make a ton of plays on Saturday, and he's doing it every day out here. We had three quality starters, obviously. We feel like they're all starters at the safety spot, and then you bring in a guy like Bernard [Pollard], so we feel really good about it."

On LB Jameel McClain:"He looks like he left last season. He looks really good. Those guys didn't get to come in and practice right away, but he knows the defense much better. He's confident, he's strong, he's big, he's fast; he looks really good. So as we progress, he'll get even better."

On whether he feels the defense is as far along as it would have been with a regular offseason:"That's a good question. But, I think we'll be able to really answer that after this first preseason game, because you're so scared to death. You can only do so much stuff live out here, because you want to keep your team healthy. You have to be smart and you have to take care of each other. So, you're always scared going into this first one just from a tackle standpoint. What we're looking for is great communication and getting lined up and making the checks and being on the same page. But tackling is always a concern. So, coming out of this first one, we'll know more."

On not having to prepare to tackle RB Ricky Williams:"I'm glad… Well, unless he starts running over our guys here, then it'll just be thuds. So, I'm glad they won't have to go live against him. I'm glad he's here."

QB Joe Flacco

On the first preseason game vs. Philadelphia:"We would just like to see us get some first downs, go down there, move the ball down the field and put some touchdowns on the board. The way that it happens is, go out there and play with confidence. We're going to have some guys that are going out there for the first time, the first time they will step foot on an NFL field and actually play in a game, so there is going to be a lot of emotions, I'm sure. At the end of the day, it is about going out there and being confident when everything is kind of flying around you, adapting to the situation and just playing loose. If we can do that, I think we will accomplish what I said first."

On if the lockout will have any effect on the first preseason game:"I am sure it will. Like I said, we don't have the veterans. We have guys that are playing for the first time, so we are going to have to really see what they are all about and what they are made of. I think these guys have it, so that's what I am saying. These guys have to go out there and play with confidence. We have to trust it, and I have to trust that they are going to do that and see if they can make some plays, see if we can make some plays as a unit."

On if there is extra importance to this preseason game: "There is always importance to these first couple of games to see if we have some guys that can play for us this year – make some plays. We haven't gotten a lot of work, but to be honest with you, camp has been going pretty good. I think this is a big deal. We are back to football. The fans are going to be able to kind of really, really start it up again and really rev it up again. It's definitely a test to see where we are at, but wherever that is, we know that we are going to have to come back here, make improvements and move on towards the season."

On WR Derrick Mason's departure and the signing of RB Ricky Williams:"Hopefully, Derrick [Mason] has success up there [with the New York Jets]. I don't necessarily hope that they have success, but Derrick has been a great receiver here, so it is sad to see him go. But hopefully he is happy with his decision. And Ricky [Williams]… He is going to be a great addition to this offense. He'll take some of the load off of Ray [Rice] and make him last longer out there. Ricky has had a great career and he is a big, physical back that we are going to like around here."

On how much better Williams makes the team:"We'll see. I am hoping he makes us a good amount better. At the same time, I am hoping we don't really need to be that much better to be good. We'll see. I think Ricky is a great addition, and anytime you get a back like that, he is going to help your team out."

On getting TE Dennis Pitta more involved and how he has progressed throughout camp:"Cam [Cameron] is the one calling the plays, so... We're going to give Dennis [Pitta] shots. Dennis is a hell of a player; so is Ed [Dickson]. We've got two tight ends that are great athletes, have great hands. One day means absolutely nothing in the middle of training camp. I mean, do you want to push through it? Yeah. It's really more about how you react to dropping a pass here and there than it has to do with actually dropping that pass in that situation. Everybody's going to drop passes; everybody's going to deal with adversity. It's kind of how you react to it, and I'm sure that's what it was kind of about today in terms of getting the ball – just seeing what he was going to do with it after he might not have felt too good about Saturday."

On whether he feels like he'll be doing more teaching in the classroom or on the field being surrounded by so many younger guys:"Definitely out here, yeah. You want to make sure that these guys are on the same page as you, and you're kind of having the same thought process out on the field, because the bottom line is when you get out there on Sunday, we're all playing different positions. But we all have to have the same view of the defense and kind of react the same way. So, you want these young guys to be thinking the same way that you're thinking, so that if something does go wrong, we understand why it went wrong. And it helps you do everything right. If everybody is seeing the defense the same way and everything is clicking, then that's when you're going to have an offense that operates really well. And yeah, it's definitely been more of that, because these young guys, they haven't run this offense before. They've seen it on paper a little bit in the classroom, but it's a lot different when you get out there and run it on the field. And it'll even be different on Thursday, being in an actual game than it will be out here. But, that's why we practice so hard, and we benefit from being around a defense like we have. It prepares us for game-time situations. They shouldn't be overwhelmed by that kind of thing, because we get the best out here every day."

On how rookie WR Tandon Doss has progressed:"Tandon's doing a good job; he's got good hands. And right now, these rookies, I'm sure their legs are heavy and done, but they've got to push through and keep fighting. Tandon is a guy that's got great hands. He's a pretty big body, so he's going to be able to get in there, go over the middle [and] body people up. And hopefully, when he has some contact on him, he's going to be able to grab some balls out of the air for us, and he's shown the ability to do that."

On his impression of RB Ricky Williams as a football player:"Like I said, I think he's an awesome football player. I think he's been a great running back. He's a big, physical guy. I think he can catch the ball out of the backfield; he can run, obviously. So yeah, all those things… He's a pretty legit dude when you talk about it. He looks like a big, strong guy, and not somebody that I think a lot of people would really want to get in the way of."

On whether there is any chance the OTAs and other offseason programs are overrated:"It's definitely overrated. To how much extent? I don't know. It's good to have that. It's not overrated for young guys though, and we have a lot of young guys. So in our case, it probably wasn't too overrated. We have a lot of young guys, so those guys, they definitely missed out on that. But, it's in the past. We can't really deal with the fact that we missed out on OTAs. Everybody missed out on OTAs, everybody missed out on mini-camps. So, Sept. 11, we're going to strap them up and we're going to play football like we always do, and I expect nothing to be different."

On going up against Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha, and whether his hometown (Audubon, NJ) is made up of a lot of Eagles fans:"Yeah, it'll be fun to go against Nnamdi. Anytime you go against a corner like that, it's kind of just fun to have that challenge for the receivers, for myself. I hope all my buddies… I hope they're rooting for Ravens. I know they're all Eagles fans, but when they have to make a decision, I hope they make the right one. (laughter) *But yeah, they're crazy about their Eagles in South Jersey. I mean, I'm not going to convert all of South Jersey, hopefully just the people I know. *(laughter) I hope at least the people I know can kind of… I'm probably getting them tickets. I've got to remind them, 'Hey, I got you the tickets, so you've got to root for us.'"* (laughter)*

On how many tickets he's gotten for the game:"I don't know. I don't handle that. I let my wife handle that and I stay out of that business."

On whether he wants to get booed in Philadelphia, just as so many of their athletes have:"I can get booed, that'll be great. Hopefully it's when I'm throwing a touchdown pass. Throw a touchdown pass, get booed, that'll be awesome."

On whether rookie WR Torrey Smith's speed is the thing that jumps out at him the most:"He's a big, physical guy. He's got good speed, yeah. He gets in there good on the slants. He's been catching the ball well, but he can definitely run. He's a big, physical guy that can run, and run hard. I think he's going to be a guy that once he gets the ball in his hands, he'll be able to do some damage. So, we'll see. When he gets out there in the games and we get his light under him, and he's really, really fresh, I think he's going to be exciting."

On whether it's too early to tell if WR Torrey Smith can make an immediate impact as a rookie:"I think he's going to have to make an impact. What kind of impact? We don't know yet. But I think he's going to have to make an impact. He's going to have to play, and get out there, and kind of learn as he goes along. So, he's going to make an impact, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a good one for us."

On whether the offense's goals are a little different entering the first preseason game than they normally would be at this point in the season:"I don't know. I think the goals are always the same. For the starters, it's not like you're playing a full four quarters. You're going out there and you're trying to operate your offense. We've installed at a good pace, but a pace where everyone can learn and go out there. The biggest thing with the preseason games is you're not really preparing necessarily, for the Philadelphia Eagles, as much as you're just preparing to go out there and run your offense and kind of work on what you've been doing all of training camp. So, it'll be a lot of fun. It'll be a test to go out there and just run our stuff and put it against a different team than us in a real, live situation. And we'll see how it goes. I think it's going to be a great time and… The installation and all that stuff, I think we've kind of stayed on schedule for the most part."

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