RAVENS TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS: Aug. 13
Head Coach John Harbaugh
On newly-signed FB Lorenzo Neal:"There's no learning curve right now. He comes right in and he knows the offense; he's been in it for so many years of his career. This is kind of coach [Cam] Cameron's call, and it's a great call for us. It just makes a lot of sense for our team and for our offense. You know Cam and [Neal] have a chemistry and know one another. It's a good fit in a lot of ways."
On if Neal will play on Saturday: "We'll just have to wait and see, see how he looks the next day or two. We'd love to have him out there playing, but we want to make sure we've got him in the right place to play in."
On roster moves at training camp: "We have to find the best guys for our football team. That's what training camp is for. That's why you have training camp. That's why you have preseason games."
On the injury status of the defensive backfield:"It is a concern. Those guys are all close to coming back – tweaks and nicks. So you're not going to make a change; it's not really a situation where you can bring another guy in. You just have got to work through it. You have to give those three guys a lot of credit; they took every rep today and just did a great job. I think Mark Clayton played nickel, so we're ready for an emergency."
On the status of CB Chris McAlister:"He's got a real good chance to come back next week. He wants to come back right now, and we're kind of holding him back because we want to make sure he's where he wants to be."
On the status of CB Samari Rolle:"They ran a deep over route yesterday, and Samari came in and broke it up and I guess he got banged with a knee type of deal."
On Neal's leadership importance:"That's the thing a veteran player does for you. We're pretty young on offense, especially in this offense. So here is a guy who can help teach the offense and maybe the personality of the offense, as well."
On the possibility of vets hazing rookies:"We haven't had any hazing. We talked about that. We're not a hazing team."
On the impending return of Ts Jared Gaither and Adam Terry:"I don't know how close they are, but they've been moving around. We've fitted them with some new braces that seem to have helped too, so they're getting close."
On how he wants the offense to look on Saturday:"We want our offense to be aggressive. We never say, 'Don't turn the ball over.' It's aggressive ball security. We want to score a lot of points and we want to secure the football. It's going to be the same thing with Troy [Smith]. We're going to be aggressive in everything we do offensively. We're not buttoning anything down, ever. It's just not our mindset. The offense the last two days just keeps getting better, and that should be our mindset Saturday night."
On what he is looking forward to in his second game as a head coach:"It's great as a head coach having gone through it one time, so you know how it's going to flow. I'm looking forward to seeing our fans. I'm looking forward to seeing our crowd and seeing how they react to our football team."
FB Lorenzo Neal
On what brought him to Baltimore and his expectations:"It's great. It's a great feeling to be playing in the National Football League. It's a privilege to be in the National Football League. I love it. I understand that you're a grown man playing a kid's game, and this is a great way to make a living. I had a good workout with Tampa, and it's crazy, on Sunday I talked to Ozzie [Newsome] a little bit and he said, 'Hey, we're going to get something done.' Then I went down to Tampa and had a pretty good workout, and then Sunday right after I talked to Ozzie, they called and wanted to sign, and I was like, 'God, OK.' And then Detroit says they want to talk to me. My good friend, Sam Gash, is in Detroit and they wanted to bring me in there. It was really weird when all the teams started calling and I really wasn't telling anyone what was going on. But, it's about honoring your commitment. Ozzie and I had a conversation and he said, 'Hey look, next week if no one gets hurt, we'll bring you in.' It was weird after that; teams started calling. Tampa wanted to do a one-year deal. But just being familiar with this offense, the same type of offense we ran in San Diego, and having Cam Cameron, who is a great offensive coordinator who knows how to exploit defenses and a really offensive-minded type of guy that I'm familiar with [was great]. He can see the growth in the young quarterbacks and see the growth in the team. That's what it's about. Anytime you have coaches that want to win, and here you have coach [John] Harbaugh and all these guys who want to win, and this personnel – when you say 'Baltimore Ravens,' you think defense. I was brought here to bring a physical attitude to the offense. We know offense entertains but defense wins games, and this defense won a lot of games. But our offense wants to score some points. We don't want to score just 10 points and have our defense hold some teams up. That's unfair. I think you'll see this offense score some points, and we'll surprise some people."
On the impact of Cameron:"I talked to Cam several times. Cam's a great man, great person. He's always been up front, to the point and direct. That's the thing about Cam. You know where you stand. Cam and I have had a great relationship through the years. First of all, I think he respects me as a football player. When I go out there, he knows what I'm going to bring to the table. He knows I'm going to be physical and do what I do best, and that's hit guys in the mouth. That's what I was brought here to do. I know my job. I don't need to run the ball. I'm just here to hit guys and be the battering ram that I can be, and just be leadership. You have that on defense here. You have a lot of leaders and we have a lot of talented people on offense, but they just need a little leadership. These guys can be great. We know it's there on defense and we know we have a lot of athletes on offense. We want to win, we want to compete. That's what it's about. With Cam, you have no choice because he is very demanding. He's a student of the game. He's going to coach you well, so we're excited."
On if he can still perform at a high level at his age:"Why don't you take a look at me, I'm still pretty now, don't you think (laughter)? I'm just coming off a Pro Bowl. I know I broke the leg for the latter part of last year, but it feels good. I still was rated last year not just First-Team All-Pro, but I made the Pro Bowl. I still think I can play another two to three years on a high level. You'll know when it's time [to retire], and you guys will be the critics. I'll come out here and you guys will watch. Hopefully you'll get to see me play a little bit on Saturday night and then hopefully on Opening Day. Hopefully you guys will see that [number] 41 – I mean 42 now, but hopefully 41 will come open. I'm going to probably have to spend some money to get my old number back. Hopefully people will see around this league that I'm going to play with a chip on my shoulder. You get angry when you've been at the top of your game and you've been rated the No. 1 fullback and then free agency comes, and I felt a little bit like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that I got left out of the Reindeer Games. You're 37, so teams say 'OK, you're aged' and discriminate against you because of age and not because of what you can do. I think that was the toughest part of sitting out, knowing that you're still in great shape, knowing you still can run, knowing you're still ready to compete and knowing just because of a number of age, people say, 'OK, I don't know if this guy can last; I don't know if this guy can play.' Those people that doubt me – I'm back and I'm coming for everybody that doubted me."
On how he has lasted this long:"First of all, I think the Man upstairs. I'm very blessed and very fortunate. You've got to be lucky. You've got to be blessed. I think you don't take the offseason off. You've got to constantly work. Constantly [lift] your traps. Constantly do your neck exercises, a lot of traps, shoulders. I do shoulders and traps and neck probably three or four times a week. Every time I walk into the gym I'm going to do something with my neck, shoulders or traps, because those are the parts that hold you together. A lot of it has to do with that and a lot of it is that you have to be delivering the blow, not always catching the blow. If you're bringing it most of the time and not always catching it, you can have a long career. But you've got to be lucky and you've got to be blessed."
On playing with LB Ray Lewis:"I've always watched Ray. I've had opportunities ever since I was in Cincinnati and played Ray twice a year. Before they changed the division, I was in Tennessee, so I played them twice a year. We have a lot of history together. We're great friends. I consider this guy a really good friend, like a brother. He's a great man, you know that. He's a leader. He's a guy that's committed to winning. He's committed to being excellent here in Baltimore. He wears that. He wears it hard. He wears it on his chest, he wears it on his heart, and this guy wants to win. That's one thing that I can say that we have so much in common. It affects him as a man and it affects him as a person, and he might not say it, but he wants to win and he carries that. And that's why you see that defense always with so much tenacity. He's the heartbeat over there and they've got a lot of guys, like Ed Reed, and all those guys who can play. I've been watching them. That's why those guys get along so well when they play together. It's because of No. 52. He keeps that defense anchored. It's an honor to play with Ray. It's an honor to be his friend, and it's great that he's on my side and I don't have to worry about hitting him every Sunday."
On why he came to Baltimore:"It wasn't the money. It was just talking to Ozzie prior to [Tampa], and he is a man of his word. He told me, 'Hey look, after we get through this preseason game, I'm going to bring you in.' Anytime a guy does that and says that, that's encouraging. Tampa called on Sunday and wanted me to come in and do a one-year deal with them. But once you've already committed to someone and once you've had that conversation, when you're that far and you've already been playing for a long time and you know you're in the latter part of your career, it's about…standing up for what's right and doing what you believe in. This is a great organization. I think they're committed to wanting to win. I want to win, so that's what it's all about."
On what he has seen from the offense so far:"What I see in this offense are guys with hard work. I see the commitment to wanting to get better. You see these young guys that are thriving. Going to the meeting last night and hearing Cam and the coaches, you know that you're onto something. I've been around Cam. He's just the guy who is going to tell you how it is, whether you like it or whether you don't like it. And that's how you get better – by challenging and being committed and telling guys that we're going to stay committed. Those are the things that I like about this offense. I like that Cam is going to run the ball. He's going to line up and he's going to run two backs and give you the opportunity to do what you do. He's committed to finding the weaknesses in defense, and that's what I see. Cam said that one thing about this offense is we're going to be physical. We're going to pound people. Also, if they've got nine [players] in the box, we're going to throw the ball. Cam's going to throw the ball; it's not going to be all run. So that's what you like. You like that you know the guy who is calling the plays is committed to winning."
On his impressions of RB Willis McGahee:"I know Willis McGahee. He's a good man. I played with him in the Pro Bowl this year and we talked a little bit. I mentioned [the possibility of coming to Baltimore] to him, absolutely. So I know that he's a tough guy. He runs hard. He's a physical man, and we just want him to have a speedy recovery so we can get him out here on the field. We're going to need that guy. We're going to need him because he's definitely a workhouse. The guy is a great back, and I'm looking forward to getting back here, starting the rehab, getting in there, going and getting it.