Head Coach John Harbaugh, WR John Brown, CB Michael Crabtree, T Ronnie Stanley & CB Tavon Young
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good to see everybody here – really appreciate you coming out. Good practice, good day today – had a chance to get outside. We weren't sure if we were going to get outside, so we're very pleased to be outside. Footing was a little slick; our guys had to learn to adapt to that, which was good. We had some guests here today: Tre Williams was here. I think you saw that out there with the players, and he had a good story for the guys. What a hero that young man is. Then we had two young people, Breily Vasqueze and Jacob Aro, who are very courageous. They're fighters, and we're happy to have them here again today, too. OK, what questions do you have?"
What are you excited about this whole new receiving corps? They all seem to be working together well already. (David Ginsburg) "They are – that's the trick, right? That's the challenge – to get the passing game precise in everything we do, and we work every day to try to do it. Call it chemistry. [But] to me, it's execution. That's what we're working for, and they've done a good job."
WR John Brown made a very nice catch, although he was out, but it shows that you have deep, short threats with these new guys. (David Ginsburg) "Right. We had a number of big catches today. There might have been five or six long throws that were completed – that was good to see. We do have some speed. The quarterbacks are doing a good job of pushing the ball downfield and forcing them to go make plays on the ball deep. That's how we like to throw deep. We want to throw it out there and go get it."
Has QB Joe Flacco thrown the ball longer today than he has in the last year or so? He threw a lot of balls deep today. (Mike Preston) "You know, that's probably a great point. Someone kind of joked in my ear [that] we made and completed more deep balls in practice today than we did the whole offseason last year. Of course, Joe wasn't a part of it last year. It has to be a big part of what we do. Joe Flacco …. But also, every single one of our quarterbacks has a reputation for throwing the ball deep, and even Josh Woodrum. And you guys might not think that, but he throws a nice deep ball too. I feel like that has to be a big part of who we are."
On the flip side of the big catches, if you see one of the rookies drop three or four passes in practice, what do you do with that? Do you try to make it into a constructive thing? (Childs Walker) "Did we have that today?" (Reporter: "Early.") "So we had a guy drop three passes? I don't remember that." (Reporter: "I think Jordan Lasley had some drops.") "Did he? I don't think you make too big a deal about it. The guys understand how important it is to catch the ball. We try to coach into our vision, I guess as much as anything. I don't doubt he's going to catch the ball, but like any of them, you have to catch it if you're a receiver. That's the expectation. They know that."
How are you seeing WR Michael Crabtree fit in form a leadership standpoint? (Luke Jones) "He's been a good leader. 'Crab' has done a great job. He's a really hard worker. He has a great feel for the game, a lot of the tricks of the trade he understands, and he's willing to share with those guys. He's been great for our locker room, for our meeting room. He's been good for those [younger] guys."
We saw G/T Alex Lewis at center. What do you like about him there? Is this one of these things that's going to evolve over the next month or two? (Bo Smolka) "It is going to evolve. We're looking at that combination this week with Alex at center, Orlando [Brown Jr.] at right tackle and James Hurst at left guard. We did it the other way last week, as you saw. This is the time to kind of experiment. You're going to need your guards to play backup center anyway, so we need to get Alex that work anyway. But if it evolves into something bigger than that, then that's great. That's what you just kind of see how it goes and see what your best combinations are."
How much stock do you put into the sentiment of having a tall center like G/T Alex Lewis at 6-6? (Luke Jones) "It's probably nice for Joe [Flacco]. He won't have to get down there quite as low. But Matt Birk was very tall. I don't think he was 6-6, but he was in that neighborhood. So, there have been those guys. If a player can bend, that's really the bottom line, [to] bend and get leverage. Alex is a big man. We typically would like to see our centers be bigger guys, especially in terms of the run game that we have. Matt [Skura] is 315 pounds, so he's a big guy, too, so that's where we go with it."
What about CB Tavon Young today? (Mike Preston) "For the first time, it looked like, to me, he really got past the trepidation of coming back off the knee [injury] – if that's the right word. He probably wouldn't accept that word. But I thought today he let it cut loose a little bit more and looked really good."
WR Breshad Perriman's speed showed up a couple times today. What do you think he's done during the offseason to make himself a better player? (Ken McKusick) "He's played really fast. He's worked hard. I'm not sure exactly what he did. He told me he was working and running routes away from the building. He's trained very hard when he's been here, I can tell you that. He's in great shape. But he's playing very fast. Not just that, he's catching the ball really well. He looks much smoother; he's getting in and out of routes quicker. He's taking a step in the right direction. I know that he's determined to carry that right through training camp, so I'm looking forward to seeing that."
What are your impressions of TE Hayden Hurst now that you've had him for a month or so? (Bo Smolka) "He's just a talented guy. It matters to him. I'm excited about he and Mark [Andrews]. Both of those two guys … The tight ends have a lot of football on their plate. So the biggest challenge that they have is to not think their way through the play. That's always going to be the toughest thing when you have so many options as a tight end, because you're both in the run game and the pass game and the pass protection. I want to see those guys even more and more cut it loose and play fluid and smooth, and not think quite as much. They're trying to do that."
Are DB/LB Anthony Levine Sr. and TE Nick Boyle OK? They weren't out there. (Luke Jones) "Levine is not ready to practice yet; he has his foot situation, so I don't know if he's going to be back [for OTAs]. You know he had surgery; you guys know that, right?" (Reporter: "No.") "You're giving me that surprised look! I think he had a surgery, if I'm right about that. I haven't been thinking too much about it lately. So, he might be back in minicamp, for sure training camp. Then Nick Boyle had a family situation he had to deal with."
What did you grill the rookies yesterday? (Luke Jones) "Oh man! I wasn't really responsible for the grill. I like to be the guy on the grill, but I wasn't the guy on the grill yesterday. It's too many guys! You need some help. But we were out there. I'll tell you – they played games the whole time. We have games out there, [and] it's like competition city – a lot of great competition going on. Nobody went in the swimming pool." (Reporter: "Nobody threw you in the pool?") "They did not throw me in the pool! When we have the veteran party, I have a feeling that'll be a possibility. (laughter) But we had a great time. It's a good group, and they get a chance to bond a little bit and relax and see the coaches in a different setting, too. So, it was nice."
Among the Harbaugh men, who is the best griller? (Kevin Byrne) "My dad has never cooked a thing in his life. (laughter) My mom is amazing. She's an amazing cook, and she takes care of my dad. We joke that our dad is the only person in the world that could die of starvation with a full refrigerator in the house, because he won't even make himself a sandwich! My mom takes care of him. Jim – does he have the patience for that, really? Think about it. (laughter) So I probably win by default."
WR John Brown
On being a part of the new receiving corps: "It feels great just to get a new start. Hearing most of the new receivers' stories – we've all had our ups and downs. It just feels good to have a new start and keep things rolling."
On the potential he sees for a prolific deep passing attack: "Yeah, I really like it. That's something Joe [Flacco] is known for, the deep balls, and I think we'll hit a lot of those."
On his impressions of QB Joe Flacco: "I knew he could [throw like that], and just to be able to work with him and catch passes from him – it's a great feeling."
On the other new veteran wide receiver additions: "It's great just to have a good group come in and know the game and understand the game. We learn from each other."
On the biggest thing he can do to return to his 2015 production: "Take care of my body and just stay happy and learn the playbook and keep making plays. That's all I can do."
On if Baltimore is a fresh opportunity for him: "Yes. [It's] a fresh start. I'm feeling great, and I just have to keep at it."
On rookie WR Jordan Lasley and WR Jaleel Scott: "They're great receivers – even the free agent receivers we have in. They all make plays; they pick up the playbook pretty quick. I'm excited to see what they can do."
On WR Breshad Perriman's attitude and approach: "He approached the field with attitude. He's exciting. We all learn from each other – that's the thing. Even though we're veterans, most of us don't have it all. But learning from those guys … He picks all of our brains."
On if he views WR Michael Crabtree as the leader of the group: "Oh yeah, of course we do. He's been in the league longer than all of us. We always want him to lead and go first and see what we can learn from him. We look at him as a leader."
On WR Michael Crabtree's leadership style: "He leads with his attitude, the way he plays the game and his coaching – like he comes with us and gives us advice. He's an extra helping hand."
WR Michael Crabtree
On developing chemistry with the offense: "It's a process. Every day we're trying to get better, trying to connect. That's where I feel like we're at."
On if he sees that there could be a prolific passing attack in Baltimore: "The team, period. Obviously, we have to do our job, you know what I'm saying? We're receivers – we're supposed to catch that ball, catch touchdowns, first downs and all that. I'm confident in the guys that we have, because every day we're putting in that work." (Reporter: "It just seems like you guys have deep threats, mid-threats, short threats …") "Football players. We have some football players – not just gadget receivers. We have some guys out there that are going to play ball. That's a good thing; that's always a good thing."
On if he's taking it upon himself to lead the wide receiver corps: "I don't have a choice. I'm going on 10 [years] in the game, and all these guys are three-, four-, first-year guys. That's just my role. At the same time, I'm out there competing like I'm 21, so I'm going to have fun with it."
On how long it takes to build chemistry with a quarterback: "You only see it in the game. You'd say the first game. Practice is what you practice, and then the game is show time. Once you see it in the game multiple times, then you get comfortable. It is what it is."
On if voluntary workouts have always been important and if they are more important with a new team: "The new team … I guess it's a little more intense, because you're learning the playbook, have a new quarterback, new offensive line, new receivers, just new guys period. It's definitely beneficial for me to be here early, that way by the time camp starts, we're rolling. So this is always a good thing."
On his early impressions of QB Lamar Jackson: "Lamar is playing ball. It's hard to see what he's doing right now, because we're in OTAs, but he's a football player. You've seen the tape; I'm pretty sure everybody has seen the tape. Getting out here and playing in the NFL, I'm sure he's going to be excited. I can't wait to see him."
On what he has learned from working with QB Joe Flacco: "Everybody's different in the NFL – every quarterback, so I don't like to compare or nothing like that. I just try to gel with the guy that I have. It's new to me, and I'm having fun. It's a challenge, and we'll go out there and do what we need to do."
On if the receivers are developing a social bond off the field: "You have no choice but to do that. We see each other every day, every meeting, on the field together. We don't have a choice but to hang with each other, and we're all cool. Where's John Brown? I saw him come in. He's over there. Yeah, that's my boy." (Reporter: "Did you know him before this?") "No, we're all linked together by somebody else. It's the NFL, you know?"
T Ronnie Stanley
On how he has to adjust to the movement amongst the offensive line positions: "A lot of communication has to be adjusted, because we are five different people working as one. When you shuffle the guys around, it might be a little bit different. So it just takes some time in getting to know each individual's tendencies."
On having G/T Alex Lewis in center: "He's doing well. It's definitely a new adjustment for him, but he's taking to the challenge well."
On his priority heading into his third year: "Just be a dominant tackle in this league. I want other teams to know that I'm going to be an issue on this team coming for them."
On his confidence level now compared to this time last year: "At this point last year, I really didn't know the entire offense. It was just a big learning process. This year, I'm very much more comfortable with our offense. I feel like I know it inside and out, and that allows me to just play very freely."
On what advice he has given to T Orlando Brown Jr.: "I told him to just keep his head down, work hard, just know your role, and he's been doing great. He's been working his butt off, trying to learn new techniques, and he's playing a whole new position at right tackle. He's working hard. I couldn't ask him to do any more."
CB Tavon Young
On his health and how he feels getting back out at practice: "I feel great. I spent a lot of time in the training room in the offseason – the whole offseason, during the season – just working on my knee running, getting it strong. Now, this is my first time playing football in almost a year, and I feel good, and I feel like I'm back to myself."
On if the silver lining about his injury was having ample time to recover: "That was one of the things that kind of cheered me up. After I got hurt, I realized I had a lot of time to get healthy. I didn't have to rush back into it or come back midway through the season. I came back at comfort, and now I just let loose."
On if he has hesitations or if he is at full strength: "No, I feel like I'm almost at 100 [percent], for real. I feel great. I feel good."
On if he spoke with anyone who went through a similar injury: "I talked to a lot of people. I talked to [Lardarius] Webb last year. He was one of the first ones to tell me, because he tore his ACL, too. So, I talked to him. I talked to a lot of veterans. I just talked to a lot of teammates, coaches, everybody. I was just ready for it, and I just took the challenge."
On his role on the defense: "For now, I'm a nickel cornerback. That's what they told me my primary role is – a nickel cornerback. I'm looking forward to playing special teams, too."
On if it was emotional to get back on the practice field: "It wasn't really [emotional]. I was happy. If you want to say that I was excited, it felt like Christmas. It felt like a gift just to be back – be back with my teammates! There's nothing like that. Last year, I felt isolated sometimes, because I was always in the training room, and they were always practicing. I was looking out the window. But just to be back out here with these guys is a blessing."
On his excitement to be playing nickel again: "Oh, I like nickel. I feel like you can do a little bit of everything. You can get sacks, strips, fumbles, all of that, interceptions and tackles for loss. I feel like nickel – that's where the action, is and I like that."
On if there's extra motivation this season after having a successful rookie year then being sidelined with injury: "I'm not really worried about what people think, like if they sleep on me or not. I'm going to do me; I'm going to ball. They're going to see that I'm the same dude, probably even better."