Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good seeing everybody. I appreciate everybody being here. It was a good practice – hot, tough. It's the middle of camp, and we're just trying to stack these bricks up and get better every day. The fellas did a good job with that. What do you have?"
The trade with K Kaare Vedvik yesterday. You must be happy with how you developed him and that you were able to make an investment in him. (Jamison Hensley) "The win-win trades are the best trades of all. It's a smart move by Minnesota for a lot of reasons. Kaare is very flexible. He can kick. He can punt. He can kick off, and he can hold. So, there are a lot of ways they can use him, and they're thinking that way in terms of the trade. It's great for us because we get a fifth-round pick, and it's hard-earned. [Former special teams coordinator] Jerry Rosburg deserves a ton of credit for that. He found Kaare and evaluated him. He thought he had some upside, like Jerry has done so many times before. He and Randy [Brown, assistant special teams coach] and Chris [Horton, special teams coach] and everybody developed him. We had him a whole year. I give [owner] Steve Bisciotti a lot of credit. He put him on the payroll for a year. It's good to see it pay off, especially for Kaare. He was in here every single day, every day, the whole year. Everybody would go home. He would be in here working out and kicking. It's good to see it pay off for him."
Will you bring somebody in to take the load off of K Justin Tucker? (Kirk McEwen)"We will. We'll bring somebody in, maybe a couple of guys here and there, to help us with the workload."
WR Marquise Brown wasn't at practice today. What was the reason for that? (Aaron Kasinitz)"He's recovering. All those kinds of things are just part of training camp. I'm not going to get into every single guy or why he's here or why he's not. We don't have any serious injuries. It's just part of our process."
G Patrick Mekari got some reps today. What have you seen out of him? (Jamison Hensley)"He had the back [injury] coming in to practice, so we have kind of been working him up to this. He played well in the game. He had a good practice yesterday. We'll see what he can do. That's our plan. That's what we're doing. That's what training camp is for."
In the one-on-one drills, it looks like CB Marlon Humphrey and WR Miles Boykin go against each other a lot, and that's fun to watch. Is there a method for why those two guys go against each other? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Usually, it's stacked in order. You see a little bit of that. Maybe Miles figured he's going to go against the top corner and see what he can do. Sometimes the coaches do it, sometimes the players do it themselves."
Has that one-on-one matchup stood out to you at all? (Aaron Kasinitz)"I was down at inside run. I'll see it on tape here shortly. I'm looking forward to it. How'd it go?" (Reporter: "I enjoyed it.") "Who won?" (Reporter: "Boykin did.") "Alright, that will be fun to watch. That's good."
How much does OLB Pernell McPhee look like his old self? What do you see out of him, and what are you hoping for? (Pete Gilbert) "He looks good. He's physical. He is just what we thought we were going to get. He has practiced every day. He's been out here doing really well. His leadership has been excellent, his physicality. He's Pernell McPhee. That's what we thought we were getting."
CB Jimmy Smith left the field. Anything serious? (Jamison Hensley) "Nothing serious."
We've asked you about Greg Roman designing the offense, but quarterbacks coach James Urban is the one who's working with QB Lamar Jackson day-in and day-out. What makes him the right guy to do that? (Aaron Kasinitz) "He's our quarterback coach. What made him the right guy to be the quarterback coach? Didn't you ask me that when we hired him? We're in the middle of training camp now. Do I have to tell you to read James' resumé? He's a great coach. He does a great job in every facet. I just think he's an excellent coach. He's a teacher. He's a communicator. He has had a lot of experience in different types of offenses, which is a big part of it. I think he's one of the very best in the business of what he does."
G/T Jermaine Eluemunor
On his performance through training camp and the first preseason game:"It's going well. It's just little technique things I want to work on, like dropping my pads, changing up my stance, really coming off the ball and hitting the defender, working on my hands better, and just getting a better feel for it. But, it was a good start."
On if he still feels like he's learning after coming to the game later:"I've gotten a lot better that way, comfort-level-wise. I don't really try to use that as an excuse anymore, because this is Year 7 for me. So, if I haven't caught up now, then that's my fault, because that means I haven't been working hard enough. It's gotten a lot better from my rookie year to this year. The game has slowed down more, and I've started to see things better, like the little things that I didn't see my rookie year. So, it's gotten a lot better, for sure."
On how he feels about the role of being a competitor:"I like it. Competition brings the best out of everyone. If someone doesn't like competition, then you're in the wrong sport. You have competition at every single spot. It's about competing every single day, and the best will eventually show, and whoever wins is obviously the best person for the job."
On how challenging it is to move to different spots on the offensive line:"Junior college, I moved around a bunch on the O-Line. I played tackle, guard, right guard. And then at [Texas] A&M, I moved around a bunch as well. I didn't play until my senior year, but I was playing right guard, and then a week before we played UCLA, I moved to right tackle. I'm kind of used to moving around a bunch. I like it, because it shows that I can play more than one position, and I like playing tackle just as much as I like playing guard. So, wherever the team needs me to play, I can play."
DB/LB Anthony Levine Sr.
On how much people should read into the shutout win vs. Jacksonville:"Listen, we're just going out there and playing football. We're having fun. We're executing the defense, and it doesn't matter who they play. Whoever they play, we play who we play, as long as the guys go out there and execute the gameplan. We're just trying to get better, so we're not really focused on the shutout or anything like that. This is a building block for us to get started. We have to keep building on that."
On being one of the longest-tenured secondary players, and seeing the depth and players grow:"Man, it's a blessing, because I never thought that I would be one of the last-standing guys. Like you said, it's me and Jimmy [Smith]. Playing the way I've been playing and seeing guys come through, guys come, guys go, new guys, old guys … You have guys like Lardarius Webb retiring [Saturday], and I'm like, 'Bro, we were just here together!' Honestly, it's been a blessing. DeShon Elliott, he called me 'Unc,' and I was like, 'Bro, stop calling me "Unc."' But he's like, 'Man, you're old.' But, it's just a blessing to still be able to compete at a high level with those guys and see guys come in. I'll tell them stories about when I was here with Ed [Reed], and it's just a blessing to be able to still be around and witness that."
On motivation he gains from people counting him out:"Man, I thrive on that. I thrive on guys, when they say, 'Anthony Levine is the odd man out.' I see it all the time. I hear it all the time. Actually, my little brother called me yesterday and was telling me he read some articles. I'm like, 'I'm not worried about it.' I thrive on that, though. That makes me who I am. I've been counted out my whole life. People would tell me that I wasn't going to make it to where I am now. I was on the practice squad, and they told me that I was going to be a practice squad player. And now, I play special teams, I'm just a special teams player. Now, I'm playing defense. People set this standard on me, and I'm just trying to break those barriers every time. Now, I'm getting older, and it's like, 'Does Levine still have it.' You all saw today. I still got it."
On OLB Pernell McPhee's pregame speech:"Man, it's good to have him back. Like you said about me being here, I was here with 'Phee' for the Super Bowl year, and having that energy, having that kind of guy back in the building, that's a good thing. I'm glad that he's back and he's able to get us fired up for the game."
On if, as a practice squad player, he ever thought he would be in a position to not dress for a preseason game, as he did Thursday:"Never. No, I never thought that would ever happen. I never thought I would be a guy not dressing out. That goes to show you, when you put the hard work in and you keep pushing forward, your coaches believe in you, your teammates believe in you, the sky is the limit. My teammates have my back, my coaches have my back and the organization has my back. God has my back. It's just been a blessing for me. I'm having fun. I'm out here with you guys, and you're asking me questions. You all are never at my locker! _(laughter) So, it's all good! I'm having fun, man."
On what it will take to silence the "odd man out" label:"I have to keep coming out here and making plays. Last year, I was counted out, the year before that, this year. That means it's going to happen. I'm that guy that came in, I was undrafted. I was on practice squad, so I'm always going to have that label on my career. So, I just have to keep going out every year, just keep putting in the work, and just keep doing what I'm doing and keep making plays. I keep making plays, then I'm going to be right here talking to you guys, and you all aren't going to be telling me what you're telling me right now."
On him having his best defensive season at age 31:"I'm a late bloomer. That's all it is. I'm just a late bloomer. At least I'm going to hit my peak right at the right moment. I'm 32 years old, but I'm still going. I still have the same energy, and the guys, they keep me young. I'm out here, I'm joking with the guys, we play around, we have fun, and we play a kid's game. It's nothing out here, 32 years old? That's nothing." (Reporter: "What age do you see yourself peaking?") "Shoot, probably like 40! (laughter) I'm not going to stop running until I'm about 40."
On if a rookie not being able to practice fully inhibits his growth during the preseason, especially in the case of WR Marquise Brown:"I don't know if it's a big setback, because with a guy like 'Hollywood' [Marquise Brown], he's special. Some guys are just special, and we've seen him. It's not like he's not working. When we've seen him, we saw him last week, he was working out with our trainer, Ron [Medlin, head certified athletic trainer]. 'T.J.' [Tony Jefferson] and I were looking at him. He was high-kneeing. We were like, 'Man, he can pick them up and put them down.' Some guys, they stay with the trainers and they keep pushing forward. With our organization, we have a great training staff, our weight room is good, our trainers are good, so they make sure that we're good and we stay on top of things. As long as he gets it mentally, as long as he gets it in the classroom, on the field, we're out here playing football. So, I don't think it's a big setback at all."
On why he is a good fit for the dime spot in Ravens' defensive packages:"Being here with Jerry Rosburg [former associate head coach/special teams coordinator] and making me the special teams player that I am – you have to be tough, you have to be fast, you just have to be a really physical guy, right? Playing dime, that's all it really is. You have to be a smart, fast, physical guy, and that's what I am, so I just go out there, and I just play football. The way the league is going today, there's not really a lot of power backs or power teams that are getting in the eye and just trying to go run the football. That's the way the game is going, so you have to be able to run. You have to be able to cover tight ends. You have to be able to cover the fast running backs or sometimes the slot receivers."
On how much he tells young players about the importance of special teams to earn a roster spot:"I tell them that all the time, because that's how I came up. I'm trying to show them … I read an article, it was probably a couple years ago, I forgot who it was. It was a fullback, and he was basically training and helping the guy take his position. I forgot who it was, but that's basically what I do. I basically help those guys. I tell them how to basically beat me out, because that's what we do. I've been here, and I'm trying to help other guys go, and push other guys. So, when the guys come in, I tell them, 'The way you're going to make it is special teams.' And when you first come in the league, you're not trying to hear that. When I first came in the league, I wasn't trying to hear that. 'Special teams? I wasn't playing that in college. What are you talking about?' But, I got around guys who were special teams guys, and they showed me the way. And then, I got with Jerry [Rosburg], and he showed me the way. Once guys understand, 'Man, you have to get on special teams,' everybody has their role to play. We tell DeShon [Elliott] all the time, 'Your time is coming,' and Chuck Clark, 'Your time is coming. But right now, this is your role.' I tell them, 'Look, this was my role at the beginning of my career, and look how my career is now. I'm not the big Earl Thomas or Tony Jefferson, but at the end of the day, my teammates know who I am, the City of Baltimore knows who I am, and that's all that matters."
On how the style is with special teams coach Chris Horton after the retirement of former associate head coach/special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg:"It's the same, because Chris came up under Jerry. Once Jerry gets ahold of you, there's no going back. (laughter) So that's it."
On the special teams veterans that led the way for him:"James Ihedigbo, Sean Considine, Corey Graham, 'B.A.' Brandon [Ayanbadejo] – it was those guys. Those guys showed me the way."
On if it will be special to play the Packers after starting his career there:"No, it [was] last time we played them, but not anymore. I'm over that. I moved on with my life, and I appreciate them giving me a start. But now, I'm a Raven. I've been a Raven. This is where I really started playing, so I'm a Raven for life. This is me right here.
"Appreciate you guys! We're at the podium, man! (laughter) We're going to have to do this more often."
OLB Pernell McPhee
On his journey back to the Ravens and what it means to him: "It's home. It's where I was birthed in the NFL. This is the culture that I stand by and live by. I get the chance to be myself, to come out and have fun, come out and smile, and come out to just play football and be a Raven."
On his connection with rookie OLB Jaylon Ferguson: "That's my young buck. I'm just trying to teach him some of the ropes that I know and try to let him be himself at the same time. They don't call him 'Sack Master' for nothing. He's learning a new level of game, on the next level, and I think he's been doing pretty good."
On his reaction to being back in Baltimore despite a different roster: "It's cool. We still have some animals. We still have some dogs. We still have a lot of violent guys, a lot of disciplined guys. We have a lot of guys who can play football. I think 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] did a great job installing the boys and keeping them playing Raven defense. Since I've been back, it's been all love – just fitting in and trying to help the boys become the best football players they can be, and trying to be a great leader at the same time."
On if he feels responsible for carrying on traditions and teaching younger players to "Play Like a Raven": "Most definitely, because we have a lot of young guys, especially on the defensive line, trying to figure it out. My main thing is, as long as you come here with the mindset of being physical and playing fast and being relentless, everything will work out. That's the culture around here. That's the 'Raven Way,' being relentless, playing very physical and playing very fast. I try to preach that every day, and not only preach it, I come out here and do it every day."
if he will be giving pre-game speeches this season:"I have to talk to God about that one. 'Big Baby' [Brandon Williams] kind of surprised me. He said, 'Phee, you got it.' And I'm like, 'OK, I didn't get my speech right last night.' But I think I did a great job. I learned from one of the greatest guys who ever played this game, Ray Lewis, hearing some of his speeches and hearing him talk. It was great. It was a great experience."
On if he will borrow anything from Ray Lewis' speeches:"No, I'm going to try it though. I'm going to try it proper Dade County if I get the opportunity to be in that middle."
On how easy it was to come back to Baltimore in a leadership role: "It was very easy. Matt [Judon] welcomed me with open arms. 'Peanut' [Patrick Onwuasor] welcomed me with open arms. And of course, 'Baby' [Brandon Williams], that's my guy. He was one of my young bucks, too. He definitely welcomed me with open arms. And all the other guys on defense, I just slid right in. I've been enjoying every moment of it."
On relishing the opportunity to be a full-time starter again: "I'm not really worried about being a starter as much as I'm worried about winning another Super Bowl. I'm really trying to focus on being the best player I can be to try to get us back to the playoffs and, hopefully, to the Super Bowl."
On how he feels physically: "I wake up and thank God every day for just giving me the strength. As long as he gives me the strength to wake up, and I don't feel anything, I can block the rest of the stuff out. I feel pretty good."
On his opinion of rookie OLB Jaylon Ferguson: "He's starting to figure it out, especially after the game. He finally got to play live. He was very physical today, and I think he knows he can be physical now. He has figured it out a little bit. It's only going to be exciting for the future."
On how much he has left, physically, to give to the game: "How much God gives me."