Transcripts: Joint Practices at Carolina Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "[It's] good to see everybody. [It's] good to have you guys with us – we appreciate it. [It was] a good practice, spirited [and] hard-fought. We got a lot out of it. We're really appreciative of the Panthers and [Panthers head] Coach [Matt] Rhule for allowing us to come down here and get some work in. We appreciate it, and we're ready to go look at the tape and try to learn from it."

We saw DL Derek Wolfe go down for a little bit. Is there anything you can share on his status? (Jonas Shaffer) "Yes, nothing serious at all. We got out of here injury-free today, which is the No. 1 goal. So, I feel good about that."

You guys always practice with intensity. Did you feel a different level when it's a joint practice against guys you aren't used to playing against? (Cliff Brown) "I think the intensity is similar in terms of practice itself, but just the unknown, there are probably a little more emotions. Everybody takes pride in what they do. So, you see that just a little more, probably."

What did you learn from playing against the Panthers today? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "I'll have to see the tape. From an 'Xs' and 'Os' standpoint, the chance to look at that and just understand what we did well and what we didn't do well, that's what we'll look at. I think our team held up well. Our guys competed at a real high level. We made a lot of plays; I was happy to see that. Just from a football standpoint, you really need to take a look [at the tape] and see for sure where you need to improve."

We didn't get the chance to talk to you yesterday. Is CB Marlon Humphrey OK? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, it was not a real serious thing. It was something. Muscle strains happen in training camp, especially this year. This year and last year, it seems like. So, he'll deal with it, but it's not going to be too long."

You guys have a history of undrafted guys making your roster. What does it take for some of those guys – I'm thinking of a guy like FB/DL Patrick Ricard who is going into his fifth year – to make it and stick? What do you see from those guys? (Mark Viviano) "Probably one of the main things is the fit [and] where you go in terms of a need and the fit of the system that you're going to be in, because you're looking for guys to fill roles. Pat Ricard filled a role for us back then. A lot of guys don't get drafted for different reasons, and a lot of the time, it's not because of what kind of football player they are. It's for some other reason, usually a measurable reason. So, you try to look for good football players. And sometimes … A lot of times, those guys come in and play well. When you play well, you always have a chance."

It looked like the defensive backs like S Ar'Darius Washington and CB Anthony Averett made a couple plays out there. The depth you have in the secondary, how important is it for your defense to have that type of depth? (Cliff Brown) "It's very important. I think depth is important everywhere. It's going to be … It's always a long season, [and] it's even longer this year. So, you just have to have guys that can step in, and there's really no drop off. That's the important part over the course of a long season. So, we're chasing depth all the time, and as you said, in the secondary, we have good depth."

[Every year] you seem to have different themes like, 'Iron Sharpens Iron,' or, 'Chase The Lion.' I was wondering, this year I haven't seen any t-shirts. What's the theme for this year? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "The thing about those themes is that it's always something that basically comes to us – it creates itself. We don't try to just put a word on a t-shirt and say it's meaningful; it's something that comes to us. So, there have been a lot of candidates, so far. Guys have said some things. So, I'm just waiting for the exact right one, and you'll see it. It always needs to be something that has meaning to all of us – that's what we try to do."

How much has RB Ty'Son Williams stood out recently? It seems like he runs really hard. Even out at practice today, it seemed like he was heavily involved. (Jeff Zrebiec) "Ty'Son [Williams] showed that last year in training camp, and he's just continued it this year in training camp. So, he's done really well. Like you said … You just said it, that's what he is. Hopefully, he can continue. I think he will be able to. He's looking good."

After that [joint] Indy practice [in 2018], you said the confrontation was much ado about nothing. Do you have the same feelings about the scuffle that happened today? (Jonas Shaffer) "Yes, I do. Tempers are going to flare at some point in time. It was a good practice. I thought both teams took care of one another. [We] tried to do a good job with that. That's it, we're moving on."

TE Mark Andrews

On today's joint practice: "Today was extremely fun – just to be able to come out here. Obviously, Carolina is a great team, very competitive, and that's the main thing we're looking for – is to get better each and every snap, each and every play and have some good competition. Guys came out here today and competed and did their jobs, and there are going to be things that we need corrected, but that's what this is about. That's what's beautiful about these joint practices."

On how joint practices and preseason games prepare you for the season: "When you're going into a season, you build up, and I think these joint practices are great for you just to be able to feel the game-speed, and then to get in those preseason games and get some plays in. So, I like them both. I think they're both necessary. I think they're both good just to be able to feel the speed of the game and to kind of normalize yourself back to it."

On how the offense is performing and if it's tough to gain momentum without some key personnel on the field: "We've been plugging along. Obviously, there are some injures and stuff like that, but the guys that are in there, and are going, are working extremely hard. People are flying around, making plays. I know you see 'Pro' [James Proche II] out here catching the ball like no one's business, and Lamar [Jackson] is slinging the rock like he didn't have those 10 days off with COVID[-19]. So, everyone is doing their jobs, playing hard. The offense looks good, so I'm excited to keep on building on what we have."

On if he believes QB Lamar Jackson is throwing the ball as well as he ever has: "You all know I love Lamar [Jackson]. He's an extremely talented quarterback, with an arm, and he's throwing the ball … I always think he throws the ball incredible. But yes, he's slinging the rock, man. He's putting the ball right where it needs to be, and he's locked in. He's more focused than he's ever been."

On the chemistry between himself and QB Lamar Jackson, and if they can take it to another level: "Yes, I think you've always got to kind of look yourself in the mirror – see what things you're good at, things that you're not so good at – and I know for us, Lamar [Jackson] and I, and the rest of the offense, we're always looking to grow and get better. So, I think we've done a great job of kind of seeing where we're at and building off that. And so, each day, we're coming out here, taking it play-by-play, day-by-day and just getting better. If you do that every day, you're bound to get better."

On how his job is made easier when QB Lamar Jackson connects on throws outside the numbers: "Oh, it's incredible. Just the way that Lamar [Jackson] is throwing outside the numbers, throwing those go-balls, 'Pro' [James Proche II] is making those plays down the middle … To be able to have those weapons, obviously, it takes a ton of pressure off of me, [and] there can't be as many eyes on me. So, I'm excited about it. The more guys we have stepping up [and] making plays, it makes my job easier."

On practicing with the Carolina Panthers: "It was good. Those guys are a great team. They're super competitive. Everyone came out here and fought, and that's what this is all about. So, we try to keep this kind of joint practice as [if] we're all one team, and I think, for the most part, we did a good job of that. People were respectful on both sides."

On the minor confrontation during the 11-on-11 session: "Yes, it was just a … Someone went low a little bit, and I forget who came up and kind of gave a little shove. That's part of it. Emotions are flying, [we're] being competitive, and things like that are going to happen. But there was nothing too serious that happened."

DE Calais Campbell

On if DE Derek Wolfe is doing alright after getting injured at practice: "Yes. I'm not supposed to talk about injuries and stuff though, but Derek [Wolfe] is a warrior. I have no worries about him. Stuff like that happens all the time; it's just football."

On the competitiveness of joint practices: "I think the biggest thing is just iron sharpening iron. You kind of get a more game-like feel in [a joint] practice. You can't get that going against your own guys, so it's nice to go against a different team, against a different guy. You don't [have] as much information on them. The guys we go against on our own team, I know them inside and out – I know everything they do – versus today, you're kind of learning on the fly and having to make adjustments. So, it was really game-like, and it was fun to see. Obviously, it's an emotional game; you're going to get a little bit worked up and stuff. But I think we had a great day."

On if the defense was trying to make a statement with their performance during practice: "I think it's really just kind of making a statement for ourselves, for the season – what we're going to be – and try to create our identity. So, it's just making sure that we have the physicality and stuff. I feel like today was a great workday, great day at the office for both sides. I feel like both teams got better today, and that's what this is for – for us to get better."

On if he has an idea of how much work he personally needs in the preseason: "I think the biggest thing is … Obviously, if Coach [Harbaugh] wants me to go out there and get some reps, I'll go out there and play as much as I need to, but I've got a good feel for it. I feel like where I'm at right now, I could just keep sharpening each day in practice, and if the game was tomorrow, I'm ready to go; I'm ready to rock. But preseason is good … Kind of like this – the chance to kind of sharpen the tools. But I think this is even better though, because you get a little bit more realistic series. You put yourself in situations to be able to really fine-tune your tools, versus a preseason game [when] you're going to get, what, two drives? So, you don't really get enough."

On if today was a good opportunity to try new things: "Yes, you're always … You want to sharpen the toolbox, so you want to kind of try new things – especially against new guys – stuff that I've been working on for a while, but I haven't really done a lot. But for the most part too though, you've got to stay true to who you are, and so a lot of the stuff that you do is just like do what works, do what got you here this far. So, it's a balance between the two."

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