Transcript: Ravens Training Camp: Day 3

Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg

The new extra points, does it really differ? Are you practicing it more? How has that changed? (Jamison Hensley)"I don't think we're practicing them more, but we're certainly paying more attention to them. It's one of those things that it's a PAT, so you don't want to practice that many PATs, but it gets our attention, certainly. Yes, I would say that."

What have you seen so far in the competition for punt returner and for kick returner? (Ryan Mink)"It's so early that it's hard to say exactly who's who. We put them all out there at this point in time, and then as we get more reps in live situations – like today you may have seen – we had a really fast kickoff return drill. So, we'll evaluate that, and we'll evaluate all the practices. And then, as I mentioned I think in the spring time, games are where we need to see them. The uncontrollable factor is we don't know how many times they're going to punt, we don't know how many of the punts are going to be returnable [and] we don't know if they're going to kick the ball out of the back of the end zone. So, that's always really difficult. When you're in a situation like ours where you need a returner and you have a bunch of guys vying for that, you try to create as many situations in practice as you can to get a good look at them, and that's what we're trying to do."

You talk a lot about how, even for a guy like K Justin Tucker, who is really a top-level kicker, you can always get better. Have you seen improvements from him from the kicks he's had so far this training camp? (Jon Meoli)"I think he's coming to camp in great shape; he looks good. We are working on a number of things as we go along. As you recall last year, his percentage was great. He missed a number of kicks over 50 yards, so in the spring time you saw us kicking … We had a lot of deep kicks – way too many in my view – but we're going to try to dial that back a little bit. If there's any kind of emphasis, really what we're trying to do is to keep the same swing [and] make those kicks without having to change our technique."

Do you use the environment with all the fans here in an open practice to kind of create pressure situations? (Jon Meoli)"Oh, it's wonderful. I love having people around, because whether we like it or not, we're all human, and when you see people on the sideline you react to that. So John [Harbaugh] does a wonderful job of creating kicking situations during the practice where we have to suddenly run out there and go make a kick, and that's a valuable way for kickers to practice."

Jerry, how pleased were you to see P Sam Koch get that extension knowing you'll have him? (Luke Jones)"I was extremely excited for him; I called him immediately, as a matter of fact. I have him on my speed dial."

For so long WR/RS Jacoby Jones was the primary guy doing returns. Would you prefer to have one guy be the primary guy or a rotation? Does it matter to you how that goes? (Clifton Brown) "That's a really good question, because it depends on the makeup of your team. I would prefer to have a great returner on both phases. Sometimes it's not the same guy. If it's not the same guy, they have to have a big role in some other way. You can't have a punt returner that's not playing and a kick returner that's not playing. If they're both playing on their side of the ball and their particular position, then it's fine; it's not a big deal. I don't prefer one or the other. But if it's going to be one guy, then he probably doesn't have to have as big of a role on offense or defense. That's the way I look at it. We like football players. A returner needs to be a returner but also a football player in other areas. I recall in another place, in another time, a kickoff returner and punt return was also the leading tackler on the kickoff team and leading tackler on the punt team. That's my idea of a football player."

You brought Chris Hewitt on to the staff a few years ago. What made him such a good fit and what makes him qualified to lead a secondary in the NFL? (Jon Meoli)"I coached Christ Hewitt back at the University of Cincinnati many moons ago. Chris really helped me as a coach. I was coaching the secondary for the first time in about eight or nine years – I don't really remember exactly the number – but I was back coaching the secondary again, and Chris was a junior, I believe, at the time. And he really helped me coach, because Chris has an amazing ability to simplify football. He understands football really well, and sometimes we coaches, especially at that young time, the young-aged coaches, have a tendency to over-explain things. And I recall vividly Chris telling me one time, after I had explained a coverage – I was coaching Chris – and he said, 'Jerry, just tell me what you want me to do.'"(laughter) "I said, 'OK, Chris. I get the message.' My point is he has a really clear view on football and how it's played. He understands football, and the other thing I've learned about Chris, since he was helping me on special teams while he was here early on, is he has a really keen eye for football players. He did a lot of evaluation of core players for us, and he was a returner himself. So he can look at tape and really get down to the core of a guy and see if this guy is really a good football player. I love that about him, and I know he's going to do that kind of thing for us in the secondary as well. Thank you, all. It was great to see you."

Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees

*Can you talk a bit about CB Kyle Arrington and his role and how he has done so far? (Mike Preston) *"[Kyle Arrington's] role has kind of been [that] he has been playing corner and nickel, so he has been playing a little bit of both. There will probably even be a time in camp [when] we'll even throw him in at safety as kind of an emergency-type guy, because he can play that a little bit, too. But he has really caught on with the system really well. There are still a few times things are a little different than what he was used to at New England and something will come up, but he's practicing hard. He's really good in the classroom. I think he's going to add a lot to us, especially depth-wise, because I think he's a multiple-position-type player."

Head coach John Harbaugh talked about CB Quinton Pointer and CB Rashaan Melvin and how they impressed him. Can you talk about what type of corner they are and what their strengths are? (Cliff Brown) "They're two opposite ends of the spectrum, if you know what I mean. Quinton [Pointer] really had a really great spring. I thought he was very quick, very sudden. [He is] probably a little bit more for us as an inside-type player than an outside-type player. [Rashaan] Melvin is just the opposite. [He is] more of an outside-type player; he's long, and he has long arms. They both just have to keep playing and get experience, but they're both working really hard."

With the safety position, last year you rotated a lot of guys through there. Would you like to have a rotation, or would you like to have two guys there? (Garrett Downing) "I'd like to have two guys. We rotated, because we had to rotate. It wasn't because I sometimes wanted to. I don't really care, but I really do think that if you have two guys that establish themselves, they get used to playing together, they get used to communicating together, and guys get used to hearing the communication from them. And when that's a rotation all the time, guys communicate differently. Some guys communicate faster, see things faster. I think most of the time, you always want a little bit of rotation – like in the D-line – because you don't want to get tired. But it's the same thing in the back end. If you really watch most teams, they don't really want to rotate a whole lot of secondary guys. You want that communication to be intact, and guys get used to playing off of each other, and safeties rely on the corners, corners rely on the safeties [to] know where the guy is going to be, know how he's going to talk. I'd prefer it that way, but we'll do it any way we have to do it."

**Is it just me or has S Will Hill III been all over the place so far in training camp? It just seems like he has been all over the field. *(Ryan Mink) *"He has. I think he has been having a good training camp. I thought he had a good spring. I think he has shown up a lot here in camp. I think the thing he does best is when you put the pads on, because he's a physical-type player. He's a big safety. He got thrown into it last year if you really think about it. I mean, he hasn't had a lot of experience with us, so he keeps getting better, too. He's not a rookie, but at the same time, he doesn't have as much playing experience [that] sometimes I think we all think he has. So, he's still learning. But again, I'm really pleased with the way those guys are working. Yes, there are times when we give up the plays that we don't want to, but for the most part, they're competing, and I really like our aggressiveness back there."

What have you seen from OLB Steven Means so far? (Ryan Mink) "The biggest thing right now is [that] his pass rush ability has looked pretty good. As far as a 'Raven' defensive player, as far as in our base package, I think he still has some ways to go, as far as [a] Sam [linebacker]. But again, he's really working hard at it, and that's all we can ask those guys to do. And that's a new position for him, just like Elvis [Dumervil] and all those guys."

Let's go back to safety. S Kendrick Lewis, it seems like he's kind of taking on a little bit of command back there. Is that accurate? How have you seen him develop? (Garrett Downing) "Absolutely. Again, if we can get a couple of guys – even if it's three – I don't mind that kind of a rotation. I don't want to get [to] every week changing somebody up. But Kendrick [Lewis] is a very, very intelligent football player, and he has a really – I don't know how to say it, because I don't want it to come across wrong – he has a strong personality in terms of just giving you a definite call and playing it. I don't mean that to be aggressive. I hope [the media takes] it in the right way. He's just very definitive. He's not wishy-washy. Boom, I make the call, we play it, and I like that. That's what you want back there. You want guys to make decisions, make the call, get everybody lined up, and let's go. When there's indecisiveness – especially if you see guys looking around for a call or something like that – that's not good on defense. So, I really like the way he's playing right now."

Dean, is that something that you heard of when you signed S Kendrick Lewis, or is that something that has been a pleasant surprise? (Jamison Hensley) "No, we had heard that he was a very intelligent football player, but there are a lot of guys that are 'intelligent' football players and you find out maybe they're not. He's everything as advertised, and more."

**Dean, I know you guys had high hopes for DE Brent Urban last year before the injury. Your early impressions of him in the spring and first few days of camp? *(Luke Jones) *"To me, [Brent Urban is] where he was last fall when we had high hopes for him. That's where he is. I still have high hopes for him."

Coach, talk a little bit about the corners. CB Jimmy Smith is out there now, CB/RS Lardarius Webb is out there in pads right now. (Bill West) "We have some competition out there, and that's good. We need the competition, and we need some depth out there. As you always know, corners go fast, but it's nice to see No. 22 [Jimmy Smith] and No. 21 [Lardarius Webb] back out there playing ball."

Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman

Opening statement: "I guess I can just start off by saying it has been a highly-competitive three days on two different levels. We get to face a very good defense every day in competitive situations. We're getting every different kind of coverage and every different kind of blitz early on, and it's allowing us – forcing us – to think on our feet and adjust to the things that our defense is doing. And then the competition that's going on with the players on our offensive side of the ball [has been beneficial]. We're moving people around; guys are going to get plenty of opportunities, and we've had three good days. It's training camp, it's hard work, and the guys are stepping up and working to compete and know there are jobs available, and they're working at it."

In terms of knowledge, where would you rate the guys? (Aaron Wilson) "I feel like the guys are certainly right on schedule. The veteran guys certainly have … There's a lot of carryover for them. There are some new things, some new concepts and things like that, and they've done a great job of handling it. And the guys we brought in here – the guys we've drafted – we spent a lot of time working with them knowing that they can learn what we're teaching coming in, and we haven't been disappointed. They all continue to get a little bit better every day. It's going to take work. They're young guys, [and] they have a long way to go. We're not anointing anybody; we're just going to allow them to compete and move forward day to day."

Coach, talk a little bit about the wide receiver competition. (Bill West) "You see it out there. There have been some tremendous plays out there each and every day. So, I'll probably name some guys and forget some guys, but [the media knows] who they are. There's really some tremendous competition outside of Steve [Smith Sr.], and everybody will be given a position – for most of these guys – to have a chance to work with Joe [Flacco]. We're moving people around, and those guys continue to move forward and have good days, and they get another opportunity, and we just see how it all unfolds as we move through camp and the preseason games."

**Marc, on that topic, WR Kamar Aiken seemed to have a strong day. What kind of things did you see from him? *(Aaron Wilson) *"[Kamar Aiken] had a strong day, and he made an adjusted catch in tough coverage, and then we had to run it again, and he made the same catch. You all saw it; so we all saw the same things, right? Jeremy [Butler] makes another play on the sideline – that's three days in a row him making a contested catch on the sideline – to get us a first down or a big play. [Those are] just a couple things that stick out. You asked me about Kamar, but that's kind of the way it has been, and the other guys are stepping up. We don't see everything out here as well, so we go up there [to the office and watch video]. One of us is on one field, one of us is on the other field, so it's a collective process of watching these guys. And we've moved them around, so they're working both fields."

It seems like both tight ends you guys drafted have had a pretty good camp so far. (Jordan Schatz) "I think [tight ends coach] Rich [Angulo] has done a really good job. He spends a lot of time with them in meeting rooms, and they're new to the game the way we play it here. But again, these are guys we spent a lot of time on before they came in. We're excited to coach them, and they continue to progress. It's just a process. It's Day 3 of training camp. They're in the National Football League, they're in the heat, they're playing against [Terrell] Suggs and the gang, and that's not easy to do. They're lining up against some of the best players in the National Football League – whether they're on the right or left side – so they're going to get ahead, because they are having to compete against very, very good players."

Has anything stood out or surprised you about QB Joe Flacco early in camp, during the first two days of camp? (Jamison Hensley) "I can't say I've been surprised about anything. I've always viewed [Joe Flacco] as a great player. I've just really – I've said it before, the last time I was up here – I've just enjoyed coming in here every day and working with him. I've enjoyed having Matt [Schaub] in the room. I think he has really brought added value. Of course, Marty [Mornhinweg is] a decorated veteran coach in our league, so our meetings are fun. I think we're making progress, we're growing, and Joe is really leading the way in that regard. He's running the room, and we're working to do everything we can to get him better, and he wants to get better. I think every good and great player still has the desire to see how far they can push themselves, and I think Joe is one of those guys. He's quietly going about his business. He's on top of everything relative to the offensive system. He is very, very good with the plays, and his reads and drops have been excellent the first three days, and it has just been a fun process working with him."

Is there any update on WR Marlon Brown? (Aaron Wilson) "I don't have anything medically relative to that."

**You've been in a lot of different teams' training camps. How does a John Harbaugh practice in training camp compare to those? *(Ryan Mink) *"It's as good as any, certainly. It's a highly-competitive practice. The thing that I think John [Harbaugh] does an exceptional job of is – and you can see it out there – we are stressed in a number of very, very difficult situations early. Look at today, we had fourth down to win the game, we had a two-minute drill at the end, we were third-and-9 as an offense – you want to be third-and-9 as an offense in [the] 10- [yard line] – so we've put ourselves in the most stressful situations in the heat. At 3:30 p.m. today, we were in fourth down to win the game after a three-hour practice three days into it. I think John is really mindful of the toughness and the backbone that a team has to have, and this is where you build the backbone. John does that the way he designs the practice, and I think they're beautifully designed."

Marc, in the past, your offenses have been known for throwing the football; I don't think that's a surprise, but the Ravens under John Harbaugh have been pretty run heavy. Is there an adjustment for you that you have to make, or how do you think that's going to work out? (Jamison Hensley)"I think that, really, that's kind of an overblown perception. Statistically, it shows that, but I'd be willing to … When you have the players to do the thing that you do best, you do them. I've had some very good running backs, but they weren't the type of running back, or did we have the line that the Ravens have? You try to utilize your personnel the best you can to achieve the things you need to achieve, and every year you go in … There [are] some places I've been [where] we've run the ball pretty effectively. And other places – because of the back we're running – we'll have Charlie Garner … We weren't going to pound Charlie Garner into the line of scrimmage. We had to find different ways to get him the ball in space, and he was pretty productive. And Adrian Murrell had 1,200 yards one year, and I coached Tim Manoa. Well, Tim Manoa wasn't Kevin Mack, but it was Tim Manoa that year. You know what I'm saying? You have to look, and you [have] to really take all these situations individually and do the best you can. Getting the ball to Matt Forte in space isn't a bad way to go, and you try to go to your strengths. But there's no doubt that the strength of this football team – or one of them, offensively – is the offensive line and the back that runs the ball. You play to your strengths, and you try to utilize the people you have to make a positive play on that down. And it starts with the running game. Raven football starts with the running game, and that doesn't mean you're not going to throw the ball, but the emphasis here is we want to be a great running football team. And we have the players to do that, so that's where we start."

What is your impression of RB Justin Forsett – he has this surprise season, at least outside perception, and now having a chance to work with him every day? (Luke Jones)"Just watching the tape, he's as good of a blocking fullback – blocking running back – that I've ever … As good as anybody. He's probably as good as anybody in this league as a pass protector, so I didn't even mention the fact that he can run the football. But when I think of Justin, I see so much of the man he is outside the game – his level of emotional intelligence, his football intelligence [and] his demeanor. He leads the way every day around the building just by his character and personality, and that's been so impressive to me. And his football really is what it is; he led the league in explosive runs. Obviously, he would give his credit to his offensive linemen and the parameter blocking. He's a tremendous pass protector and just a pleasure and a privilege to coach the way he handles himself. We can all learn from Justin the way he handles himself, not just on the football field, but off the football field as well."

Not an injury question, but from what you saw out of WR Breshad Perriman, from the portion when the rookies were here and then the day when veterans were here as well, do you think he is going to be able to make up for this lost time? (Jon Meoli)"That's a hypothetical that would be hard to answer. At the end of the day, he needs to practice as much as he can. It's not his fault that he's not practicing, but we know that Bobby [Engram] is going to spend a lot of time with him. But you can't overestimate the importance of him being on the football field, and hopefully, he'll be back as soon as possible, because he needs to practice, he needs to work and he needs to work on the timing. That's the obvious, and when he's not there, he can't do it. But he is a very smart young man; he's got very good football sense. But ultimately, we need to get him out here as soon as we can, and as soon as the doctors and the trainers OK that, he'll back on the field and we'll get him back up to speed."

Back to the running backs. Coach, share a little bit of your thoughts on RB Javorius Allen (Bill West) "I really like the group of guys we have. You see them run out there. You start with Justin [Forsett]. I think Lorenzo [Taliaferro] has had three really good days and very good OTAs, and 'Buck' [Javorius Allen] has come in and done a very good job. Again, it's an extension of the OTAs and the minicamp. He's a slasher, he has good size, and he really does have good hands. We feel really good about him. He's a smart running back, and again, he's carrying himself really well. He's a very mature kid, really good demeanor. [When] we get the pads on, and we get in the preseason games, I think we're going to get a good look at what 'Buck' Allen is all about. He'll be, I think, more than comfortable running the type of runs we have. I think he'll be very comfortable in our pass protection issues – I see he can handle that – and he can catch the ball in space and make some plays."

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