J.K. DOBBINS CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
Did this catch you by surprise at all? And how much interest did the Ravens show you in the pre-draft process? (Jonas Shaffer) "Yes, I was definitely surprised whenever I got the call. I've been waiting for a while. It was a longer wait than I expected, but I'm glad the Ravens are giving me a chance. It's a blessing to be on this team."
Obviously, the Ravens ran the ball better than anybody in the NFL last year. What are your thoughts about joining an offense that includes QB Lamar Jackson? (Garrett Downing) "It's amazing. I'm going to get to play with the MVP of the NFL, so I'm going to do my best to help him and just help the team win. So, it's definitely a blessing to be on this team."
As a running back that gets to join a team that ran the ball so very well and so often out of the shotgun, that's where you seemed to specialize at Ohio State. It would seem to be a natural fit. Do you see that, and do you feel that way? (Pete Gilbert) "Oh yes, definitely. I feel like I'll thrive in this offense. There are so many weapons on the offense as well, so I think it'll be great."
Do you have any relationships with anybody on the Ravens? And what was your perception of watching them last season when they were breaking those records? (Aaron Kasinitz) "My perception of them – the offense was explosive. I'm watching the offense like, 'Man, if I played in that offense, I would be explosive.' I don't really know anyone on the team right now, but I'm definitely going to try my best to get everyone's number and form a relationship with everyone so I can get locked in already."
Is it going to be strange playing for a Coach Harbaugh? Obviously, the Harbaugh brothers are on the other side of the rivalry [between Ohio State and Michigan] over these past few years. Is that going to be strange for you? (Garrett Downing) "I don't know if it will be strange, but I might give him [John Harbaugh] some flak about it, because we beat his brother [Jim] every time I played him. It will be great. Just being in that culture. I feel that it is a great culture I am going into. I know he's a great coach, so I'm glad I get to play for him."
Not only are you joining QB Lamar Jackson, but also RB Mark Ingram II, a veteran running back. What do you hope to learn from him? (Shawn Stepner) "Joining Mark Ingram II, I always watched him. He's a great player, and I can learn a lot from him, I believe. It's a blessing to be on this team, and I just want to soak it all in. Just learn from everyone, and try to come in and just do my job."
Just describe yourself as a runner and what the Ravens are getting in you? (Shawn Stepner) "I am an offensive weapon. I can do anything they want me to do. I can catch the ball, I can run it, and I can block. So, I feel like I'll help [QB] Lamar Jackson and this offense thrive."
Has it been a difficult process, with the restrictions with COVID-19, as far as trying to talk to teams and get acclimated to the draft process? (Todd Karpovich) "Yes, it's definitely been a long process for me. I didn't get to compete at the Combine, and I love competing. I didn't get to do a lot of things, but communication with the coaches is pretty good. I feel that it was a blessing in disguise. So, I feel like whatever happened, [with] COVID-19, it helped me in certain ways. It will help me be able to come in. Even though we can't see them in person, I think I'll be able to build a great relationship with the coaches and players [over the] phone."
Is your ankle good? "Yes, I am 100 percent."
What does it mean to be on a team that just got done breaking the NFL rushing record, and coming on as a young running back in the NFL Draft? (Matthew Stevens) "It's a blessing. Hopefully, I can come in, do some great things, and help the rushing kings stay on top. So, we'll see how it goes."
I know the Ravens have a loaded backfield. I'm curious as to when you first got the impression that they might be interested in you, and if you saw this as a potential fit? (Andrew Gillis) "I honestly didn't know that I was going to receive a call from Baltimore, but God works in mysterious ways and here I am today. So, I'm glad to be a part of this team."