Transcript: Ravens Thursday OTA Transcripts

THURSDAY (5/24) OTA MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Head Coach John Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, CB Marlon Humphrey, OLB Matthew Judon & DT Brandon Williams

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "Good seeing everybody – appreciate you guys being here. Beautiful day, huh? Wow! I'm kind of disappointed the rain stopped. It's been raining [for] so long you start getting used to it after a while. (laughter) But we had a fun day and a great football day. One of the things that I was really happy about was the way the guys are learning how to practice. If you put 28 rookies out there … It's an NFL practice – and they don't really understand that we need to take care of one another, right? As everybody knows, we're trying to stay healthy and build a football team and get good at what we do. So Monday was a little bit tough; they didn't really get it. We had a couple pileups. Tuesday was a lot better – after they got scolded – but they were good. And today was just how you want to practice. You guys watched – today was exactly how you want to do it: head was out of the game, guys were playing fast, using their hands. I thought we had a fast practice. I thought it was as sharp as it could probably be at this stage. We've got a long way to go, because you don't win games at this stage, but I was really pleased with it, and we're off and running."

How do you keep track of the rule changes? Is it hard for you and how you convey it to your players? (Jerry Coleman) "Well, I've been accused of not keeping track of the rulebook changes, as you know." (laughter)

It seems they come fast and furious. A few more were just announced about the kickoff. How do you keep up and react? Do you bring the coaches in and then the players? How do you handle that? (Jerry Coleman) "They try to do the best they can to keep you a part of the rule changes. We were involved in a number of those, some we weren't. Some of it is just figuring out …  I don't think even the people that vote on the rules know how they're going to go. The helmet rule is going to be a great rule. That's a direction that we coach – we already coach that way to get it out of the game. I think 95 percent of the coaches in this league coach that way, and the other five percent have to get on board. The helmet is a protective device; it's not a weapon. We've always taught that technique, and we're going to coach it even better. That's what we're going to do. Now, how it's going to get called? I told the guys today, I said, 'You know what? There's going to be a call or two this year that's going to go against us, and we're going to look at it and go, "Huh? Really?"' But that's OK, because the payback is the fact that it's better for the players and player safety. That's the way you have to look at it." (Reporter: "Even the ejection? I understand part of it …") "Well, yeah. An ejection … If they eject somebody out of there, it's going to go on one of those hits that is going to deserve it. I think the thing I like about that is they're going to go back to New York. It's not going to be like real time, 'Did I see it or not?' They're going to go back and look at what you see as fans. When you see it on TV … If you see it as fans and are like, 'That shouldn't be in the game,' to me, that's the one the players should get ejected for."

You have a background in special teams. What do you think about the kickoff changes? What kind of effect do you think that will have? There were reports that special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg was involved. (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, Jerry was a big part of reformulating the rules, as was [Kansas City assistant head coach and special teams coordinator] Dave Toub. We had about eight special teams coaches there, we had Legends players there – Steve Tasker was there – had current players there, we had head coaches there – myself and Mike Tomlin. We had owners there – San Francisco, Green Bay – and the Competition Committee, obviously, led by Rich McKay, and referees. Everybody had the same objective: We want to keep the exciting play in the game, but we want to make it safer – especially for concussions. I think we did that. I actually think there could be more returns, because there's more incentive to return the ball, because it's going to slow the kickoff play down a bit – but that's the idea. I think we'll have fewer big-on-little wedge plays that, really, there's no way out for the cover guy. So he won't have to hit a gap and a wedge which there's no way to go. Now it's all single blocks on the back end. If even a double-team up front, it's not a wedge; you can run around that. To me, we should get those plays out of the game. The big guys are off kickoff return now, because you have three guys back there: a returner and two other guys. It has to be a guy that can run and catch a short kick or pick up a squib – that's going to be a tight end or a fullback, at the biggest. So I think we did good. The only question I have is, 'Did we go far enough?' If we have to go a little further next year and incentivize the kickoff, the deep kickoff more, maybe we kick it out of the back of the end zone and put the ball at the 20- [yard line]. Or maybe we take it another step and make it really fun for everybody: If we kick it through the uprights, you give the kicking team a point. (laughter) We're going to be for that – we have [Justin] Tucker, right? But imagine how much fun either one of those would be? So now a touchback becomes worth watching. We make the game more fun. Those are things I think we all talked about and people are interested in, so we'll see what happens."

With the new national anthem policy, are you going to leave it up to the players, as far as guys staying in or staying out? (Todd Karpovich) "That's something that's going to be an organizational decision. That's going to start with [owner] Steve Bisciotti and [president] Dick Cass and [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome], and I'm sure they'll ask my input on it. I'm sure we'll talk to our players about it, probably most importantly, and try to do what's right by the organization, by our fans – make sure our fans are on board with what we're doing. To me, it's a group thing; we're all in this thing together. Beyond that, we'll just abide by the rules."

How big do you want your role to be in those conversations? Do you want to have a lot of influence, a little, leave it to the players? (David Steele) "You guys are asking me really good questions that I'm probably not prepared to answer right now, because I think what I said in the statement comes from my heart. That's how I see it, and I think it pretty much speaks to what my role is going to be in the whole thing and what I believe in. Beyond that, I want to play football. I want our guys out there focusing on the game – running out there, covering kicks and coming off the ball and running the ball and running to the ball and making tackles. That's what I'm thinking about as a coach; that's what I want to be involved with. As far as our right to express ourselves and have our opinion and make this country better and better and better in every single way, we need to be doing that. If people have different ways of doing that, who am I to tell someone how to do it? If we do it in a way that's respectful of one another, that's what we should be doing. That's where we get into the conversations about what's respectful and what's not. I'm not really sitting in judgment of that. I don't have that judgment seat – that's not where I sit. So I'm looking forward to coaching some football."

What were your thoughts on the president's comments about players not playing if they kneel and even not being in the country? (Stephen Pimpo) "I don't pay attention to any of that stuff. I've got too many other things to do and to worry about than that stuff."

How much of an advantage is it for the receiving team when the kicking team doesn't get to run up on the kickoff? (Paul Mittermeier) "It's a very fair point. The fact that kickoff returns could be better, it might incentivize the kicking team to kick it in the end zone more, because it's tougher to cover the kick. And, you're right. – we have tracking out here, so we tracked our guys on the run-up versus starting from just one yard back, and it's a significant difference. It slows them down – I would say – three or four yards, maybe five yards, as much as. Running start and a starting from scratch is a big difference. Imagine if guys had a running start on the 40- [yard dash]. How much faster would they be, right? I think that kind of explains it. Your point is a very good point."

What has the relationship been like between QB Joe Flacco and QB Lamar Jackson so far? (Shawn Stepner) "Did you ask him?" (Reporter: "Yeah.") "I haven't really asked them, but it seems good. I think they've been great. They've been working together just like everybody has. It's been really good."

Is WR John Brown injured? (Jamison Hensley) "Personal issue, family issue and talked to me yesterday about it. He had to get home today for a family situation, so he's healthy. The only injury we have right now, that happened recently, is Quincy Adeboyejo, which you know about. He won't be in training camp; he'll be on PUP [physically unable to perform]. We'll just take it from there."

It's quite a unique quarterback room. How has QB Robert Griffin III been? (Mike Jones) "Robert Griffin in the quarterback room has been excellent – pro's pro in every single way, and not just the quarterback room! We're down here, we do our early morning coaches workouts, and he's the guy who's down there working out extra. I mean, he just is a pro's pro. I love everything about the way he handles it, and you saw him practice today, and I think you have to say he practiced very well. He's done a great job." (Reporter: "Did the purple dreads signal he's all in?") "My daughter noticed that. I didn't even notice that, but my daughter told me yesterday. He has purple dreads!"

What kind of leap have you seen QB Lamar Jackson make from rookie camp to this first week of OTAs? (Stephen Pimpo) "I probably don't have a gauge on that right now. It's a very good, fair question. He's doing a much better job. He's a talented guy; he's practiced well every practice he's been out here. But the toughest thing for him is calling the plays right now. He's never been in that kind of a system. I would say he's made a big jump in calling the plays and annunciating the offense. He's done well with that."

Do you give him opportunities to do that more in a practice to help him push him a little? (James Palmer) "He just has to do it. We just run the offense, so he has to do it so he does it just as much as Joe [Flacco] and the other guys. He's not as good at it right now, because he hasn't done it as much, but he'll get there. He's very smart, very in to football. All four of those guys are in here studying like crazy. I just think he's another one that has the 'it' factor, as far as being a quarterback."

With LB Albert McClellan and LB Bam Bradley working their way back to health, and LB C.J. Mosley wasn't out there today, you are kind of short on numbers for inside linebackers. Have you guys determined a role for LB Kamalei Correa? Do you view him as both? I saw him move around a bit today. (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think everyone would agree that his natural position is probably on the edge – SAM, RUSH, coming off the edge. He believes that, and that's where he starts. But I talked to him earlier this week. It's funny, I said, 'Versatility is also your friend.' If you can play every linebacker position for us, it is going to be a big edge. C.J. came up with just a little tweak – we didn't want to mess with him today. Like you said, the other guys were already injured. Getting him those reps in there are really valuable for us and him."

For someone that has been out of the league for a year, is there anything that jumped out at you about QB Robert Griffin III so far? (David Steele) "You know, no? Health – I think he's healthy. You look at him, and he's healthy. We have a really good program to help him get his legs in the kind of place they need to be to stay healthy, because he's going to be moving around like he always does. I was just impressed with his throwing. I think he's throwing the ball very well."

Players, when talking about defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale, it seems like they talk about having more freedom. As you're watching, what do you feel is the biggest change that will be made, as far as the change of coordinator? (Jamison Hensley) "That's classified information. I don't think you have a clearance. Working on a clearance? I heard those are tough to get those classified clearances? (laughter) We have. We haven't changed the defense in a sense that we have specifically too many new calls. We've reorganized the defense. [Martindale's] leadership … I would say one of his great strengths is his inclusiveness. It's one of the things that make him the leader that he is. He brings everybody into it. Yeah, I'm in it, the defensive line coach Joe Cullen is in it, our quality control coaches are in it, and everybody has a say. So every coach knows the defense inside and out. We've set up a system, I believe, that takes into account that we have some veteran players on defense that can make some calls on the field in real time. So if you think about it, it's a little bit like if you talk to people in the military, and they talk about one of the big differences over the years in the U.S. military and other militaries, is the fact that our military is given the ability and the training to think on their feet in real time in combat. I think that's what we want to do with our guys. We want to give them the ability to think in real time out there, so if we have a mismatch in a certain spot, we want to get it covered up. Or if we have an opening for a certain pressure in a certain spot, we want to get to it and attack the defense. Now, that might be easier said than done, but we're trying. I think that's what we're trying to build in our defense."

Knowing what kind of teammate QB Joe Flacco is, were you amused at the attention that hit him on whether he contacted teammate QB Lamar Jackson? Was there ever a concern with how Joe would handle the situation? (Jeff Zrebiec) "It was much ado about nothing. Jamison [Hensley] can take the blame for that. (laughter) Jamison might have heard from somebody here about that – but Jamison did a great job. It's really much ado about nothing. Joe is at an event, he's going from one thing to the next, and I don't think he's talking to the media that day. I never thought it was anything, and I know it's not anything. That's where we're at."

Was there anything about QB Robert Griffin III that surprised you? (Kareem Copeland) "It's hard to say 'surprised,' because he's been so good. He's had so many great moments when he's been healthy. The thing that I was happy about was his health. You can tell he's been putting the work in for the last year to be healthy. Like I said, how well he handles himself as a thrower – that was really good to see. He's a heck of a quarterback. I'm excited to see him play."

Do you still see FB/DL Patrick Ricard as a fullback/defensive lineman? You have a bunch of tight ends that can block? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Well, if you ask Pat, it would be defensive lineman/fullback. If you ask [assistant head coach/tight ends] Greg Roman and [offensive coordinator] Marty Mornhinweg, it would be fullback/defensive lineman. So, it depends who you ask, but he's playing both."

How do RB Kenneth Dixon and RB Alex Collins look? (Stephen Pimpo) "They both look good. Alex came off his dancing trip to Ireland, and he got himself in football shape after about a week. He really looks quick out here – you saw it. Kenny also. Kenny was away from football for a long time, so there was a little buildup there, rust built up – even getting himself into the kind of shape he needed to be in. He was working at it, but there's nothing like being here with the guys. I think the last probably week has been the week that these two guys really started to jump. I thought they looked good. I would be interested to hear what you guys thought. But they looked good."

What was the deal you made with the rookie kicker, P Kaare Vedvik? (Bo Smolka) "The deal was … The rookies have rookie minicamp tomorrow, so they have to be here all day until 4 p.m. I said if the rookie punter makes the kick – he's not even a kicker, really, he's a punter – if he makes the kick, then the rookies don't have to come in and do football tomorrow. So he made it – twice! They called offsides [on the first kick]. We ruled that they blew it dead, so we put a little more pressure on him out there."

Can you talk about WR Willie Snead IV and WR Michael Crabtree? What do you see in those guys so far? (James Palmer) "What I've seen is two guys that … And I'm adding John Brown in the same category. [They are] three guys that know what they do well, and you can count on them doing those things well. What you saw Willie do today and 'Crab' do today, I think are those things. 'Crab' made the catch in the corner of the end zone; Willie getting loose and getting open inside, but you can also put him outside; guys you can count on that way. I think [they are] exactly what we thought we were going to get. Now, hey, it's the third OTA practice, but they're veteran players; they've been in games. So what you see is what you get, and we're seeing it."

QB Joe Flacco

On how the early part of OTAs are coming along: "I feel like they're going well. We've got a good group, and you're starting to get a little sense for what everybody's got a knack for and what they're good at. We've had three good practices this week, so a lot to look forward to."

On if he's been developing chemistry with a new group of receivers: "Yes, I think [Michael] Crabtree is the guy, because he's got a little different way that he runs the routes. He's really crafty with it, and he knows when to break away from guys and how to get open. He's really good at doing that, but I would say it is a little different than your normal guy. Like today, I'm trying to push fades to him just so I can see how he gets his releases, and how he does those things, and I think we're definitely making strides towards it."

On how things are going with QB Lamar Jackson and if too much was made about their lack of communication after he was drafted: "Well, I think it depends on how you look at it. I think if you're you guys, then no, too much wasn't made, because I'm sure you got a lot of attention for it. So, it is what it is. I think it's unfortunate that that's what happens, like everybody just wants to talk about it and act like I'm holding some grudge, and that's not how it is. I think you guys have been around me for a long time and you know the way I am. We welcome Lamar here with open arms, and that's the same for me. At the same time, my approach doesn't change. I want to go win football games this year, and we've got a lot of new guys that I have to get ready to play with and help us win those games. That's the reality of it."

On if it's his job to help QB Lamar Jackson along or the coaches as he develops as a rookie: "Listen, we're all on the same room together. We want to have a great relationship, so we're all in this thing together. When we're watching practice and doing all those things, yeah, we're all helping each other all the time."

On if he was surprised when they drafted QB Lamar Jackson in the first round: "I don't want to say I was surprised. Obviously, when you pick a quarterback, when you pick anybody in the first round, it means something. I don't know what that means. I don't know exactly what it is, but that's not my job to worry about what it is. My job, like I said, is to keep my approach exactly what it's been for the last 10 years and help our team go win football games. And we've got a couple young tight ends, we've got a lot of new wide receivers, and my job is to get these guys on the same page and us operating at a high level."

On if he sees any similarities in QB Lamar Jackson as a rookie that he saw in himself as a rookie: "You see it in all rookies, man. You come out for the first couple of times, and you're trying to do everything super fast. Coaches, I feel like, treat rookies a little differently, like some of the stuff they don't harp on the veterans for, they're really getting on the rookies for. They have to listen to that, and at the same time, they have to make sure that they're still calm and doing things the right way. You see that with rookies all the time. They tend to speed everything up, just because they want to make a good impression and they want to do things the right way."

On how he would handle it during the season if they built some packages in for QB Lamar Jackson: "It's always interesting. We dealt with this a few years ago. Listen, I want to win football games – whatever is going to help us win. I'm probably going to maintain that I think myself under center is our best chance to win football games, but whatever helps us win football games, man, I'm game."

On there being a public perception that this year could go a long way towards determining his future as the starting quarterback in Baltimore: "Yeah, who knows? We're never promised anything, besides basically the down that we're playing in this league. Like I said, you pick guys in the first round – whenever you pick guys – you pick them for a reason. I don't know what the plan is, I don't exactly know what's going to happen, but I'm worried about right now. I'm worried about myself getting these guys ready, winning football games, and nothing is ever promised. That's the reality of it for me."

On if he and QB Lamar Jackson have talked about all of this outside noise: "No, not really. I feel like that stuff is not really the reality of the situation. It's just stuff that people kind of think maybe is happening, or want to believe is happening, just because you make something out of really any little thing. Me and [Jackson] have been good. There's nothing really needed to be said. I think, if anything, James [Urban], our quarterbacks coach, maybe joked around a little bit with us about it. I don't think there's anything that really needs to be addressed there."

On if QB Lamar Jackson has asked him a lot of questions: "No, I wouldn't say so. It's just kind of open dialogue, you know? Back to your question – who knows? Lamar might have hated me two weeks ago, because he was listening to you guys. And he was thinking that I hated him. So, who knows? No, like I said, when we're in that room, there are constant questions, and James [Urban] is constantly coaching, and I'm the one guy that's been here for a few years. Josh [Woodrum] was new last year, Rob [Griffin III] just got here a couple weeks ago, and the same thing with Lamar. So, I'm always answering little types of questions or raising questions myself so you can bring those guys up to speed a little bit quicker."

On his reaction to the new anthem policy: "I haven't really thought too much about it, because it's really not going to affect me. When I go out there, I'm going to stand for the anthem, and I'm going to play football. That's what we're there to do – we're there to play football. We don't want a ton of distractions."

On if he had a reaction to the president's comments on the policy: "Not really."

On his health: "It's tough to say that it's the best I've felt in a long time, but I feel really good. I'm healthy. I'm feeling physical, strong and all those things."

CB Marlon Humphrey

On his biggest focus heading into Year Two: "The main things I'm focused on in Year Two [are], of course, just to get better. Always a thing for a corner is technique. You can never be too [good] with your technique, but the main thing is to make those plays that will help change games. A pass breakup and an interception, those are two things that I feel like separates a Pro Bowl corner and winning a game [versus] losing a game. [I'm] just trying to make those plays that can really change games and help our team have the best chance to win."

On the differences in scheme with a new defensive coordinator this year: "I would say the main thing with how I kind of feel about it is [with] 'Wink,' of course the coaches are making the calls, but he's giving the players a chance to kind of be able to do different things within the coverages and within the techniques and schemes – to where it's not just, 'We're doing this, and it's this.' It's kind of like, 'We're doing this,' and then some of the guys like [Eric Weddle] and C.J. [Mosley] and some of the other guys who have the ability can say, 'Coach, we can do this,' and then also letting us be able to change things on the field. So, I feel like it's a lot more flexible and just helps us with seeing what's there and working with the call."

On the new anthem policy and the president saying players who kneel shouldn't play in the NFL and maybe not be in the country: "Oh, wow. Yeah, I didn't know he said they shouldn't be in the country. But, you know, I think it's kind of somewhat been blown out of proportion a little bit. The national anthem is … I respect our soldiers and everyone that has fought for this country and everything, but to put in a whole policy for it seems like it's a little bit blown out of proportion. I don't know for sure, but I doubt any military or anyone that has a military background is waking up in the morning and singing the national anthem. And if it was that big of a deal, why isn't it broadcast every single day if it is such a big deal? I heard some owner talking about [how his] concession stands are going to close [during the anthem] and all of those things. I mean, I just think it's doing a lot. But, the owners are the owners, and the president is the president. So, they'll always have the right of way."

On if they have or plan to talk about the policy collectively as a group: "I don't think so. The national anthem isn't going to help us win games, so I don't really think there would really be much of a point to really be vocal about it."

On if he found it disrespectful that the owners created this policy without talking to the players: "Definitely not. If I was the boss, I really wouldn't care what my co-workers really think. (laughter) That's just me, personally. If I was the boss, why does it really matter? They're our boss, so what they say goes."

On if he thinks the policy will change much about how pregame unfolds: "I'm not really sure. I think what Colin Kaepernick kind of started, it started getting swayed into the wrong direction. But I think the guys that want to help the community and help [stop] police brutality, they'll still find a way to continue to do that without having such a controversial way to do it."

OLB Matthew Judon

On his impressions of new defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale: "Man, I was in the meeting room with 'Wink' all last year, and I love how he taught things and made it simpler so we could play faster last year. He's bringing that to the whole defense, and we're playing and having fun."

On what the next step is for him this year: "Lead the league in sacks. I've just got to keep progressing and be that guy out there. If there is a play needed, I'll go make it."

On his reaction to the NFL's new anthem policy: "I wasn't really too worried about it. I'm going to go out there and do my job between the lines, and I'm going to follow the rules. I can't hit with my head; they're changing the kickoff. So, they're changing a lot of rules. I'm just going to go along with them and be a part of this league."

On his reaction to the president saying players who kneel should not be in the country: "Did he Tweet that?" (Reporter: "He said that on 'Fox & Friends.") "Oh, OK. I don't know; I didn't hear it. But like Brandon [Williams] said, he's entitled to his opinion, and he's the president. We hear his opinion more than other people."

On if the new anthem policy actually changes anything from a player's perspective: "I have no clue. You've got to ask each individual player, but for me, it doesn't change anything. I'm going out there to win games. That's why I lace them up. I go out there to win games; I don't go out there to protest or anything like that."

On his thoughts on QB Lamar Jackson's quickness: "I'm glad we've got him. He's making the defense better, because we've got to contain lanes and stuff. We've got two Heisman Trophy winners out there behind center. I like watching him have fun, and I'm glad I don't have to tackle him."

On if he has noticed a change in the offense with the new quarterbacks and the different dynamics they bring: "I really haven't been focused on the offense too much, but I know they do some different stuff, like option-read. Not saying that Joe [Flacco] is slow or anything – I think his first touchdown [in 2008] was a [long] run – but, they are quicker, faster guys, so you do different things with those different types of quarterbacks. But I have no clue."

On his impressions of the growth of OLBs Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams this season: "I don't want to overshadow them, but I hope they take the step that I took. [I want them to] come in here and be players that we can count on week-in and week-out. Not saying that they weren't last year, but just hopefully they can take that next step to being a pro."

DT Brandon Williams

On his reaction to the NFL's new anthem policy: "My reaction to the policy is I'm all about the football policy and winning games on Sunday. What every person on the team wants to do, I respect that. My biggest goal is just to win games on Sunday, and that's all I worry about. I'm just going to stay out of the White House and worry about mine. This is what we do, just football."

On his reaction to the president saying that players who kneel shouldn't be in the country: "Everyone has their opinion, and they are entitled to their opinion. That's the American way. But my opinion is this: I'm a Raven, and what we do inside these lines is what I'm worried about."

On how much the team has talked about this issue: "I mean, we touched on it a little bit, but we haven't talked about it much. We're more worried about making sure these rookies know what they're doing and getting ready for Game One."

On if it's something he thinks they will collectively get together and discuss at some point: "I'm pretty sure when it gets closer to that time, but right now it's What's Important Now, and right now we're in OTAs and worrying about practice and worrying about getting into the playbook and making sure these guys know what they're doing."

On his impression of Don "Wink" Martindale so far as the new defensive coordinator: "Love him. It's 'Wink.' He hasn't changed anything; he's the same old 'Wink.' You can relate to him, he can relate to you; he's a player's coach, definitely. I love everything he's doing, all his concepts. It's mind-blowing, actually, just the way you can get the concepts and the categories and everything we've got to do. It's amazing – good stuff."

On the biggest change Martindale has made to the defense: "You feel free to just go out there and play. He gives you that confidence to go out there and do what you've got to do. He gives you the tools in meeting rooms to come out here and just play Raven Football. He's not over-coaching anything; he's just kind of letting you go out there and play fast. He's going to correct you, but at the same time, he's not going to put the chains on you and kind of make you a robot."

On what he means when he said some of Martindale's concepts are "mind-blowing": "Just in the beginning, some of the calls, some or the verbiage he had … Once he explained it … First, we were trying to get it looking at the playbook on our own, and then he explains it in a way and you're just like, 'Oh, I get it now. OK, now I see what you're talking about. Now I see what you're getting.' And then in that instant, you're just playing that much faster, because now we're all on the same page, and that's what he's all about is getting everyone on the same page. Even though we're 11 men on the field, we're playing as one."

On how second-year OLBs Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams are looking: "They're looking very good. They're coming out here, they're playing fast. Like you said, last year they had a new playbook, and now this year they have another new playbook. So, they're still learning, still getting better; they're still rookies, kind of. But they're doing well. They're flying fast, they're making plays and doing a lot of good things."

On how beneficial it is that QB Joe Flacco never gets too up or too down when there is some scrutiny surrounding him: "It's a great fit, because he's not worried about the outside noise. He's just worrying about doing his thing, doing his game and commanding an offense, leading us out to battle and winning games. That's what it should be all about. It shouldn't be about the tabloids, it shouldn't be about who is this player coming in, or who is this player? It's about [how] can we come in, be a cohesive unit and win games? That's what it's all about."

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