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Transcripts: Minicamp Media Availability (6/11)


Opening Statement: "OK. [It's] good to see everybody. Thanks for being here. We had a really good practice. I'm excited about the minicamp – the first mandatory practice of the year, and we enjoyed it. It was great to see the guys out there. On top of that, we had 80 Ravens Legends here with their families, kind of reminiscing. The Ravens do a great job - [specifically director of legacy engagement] Matt Little with the Ravens alumni – does a great job. All of our people do. We have a cookout out here now. Kids are playing touch football or tackle football, and everybody is having a great time, so [we're] really enjoying that. Once a Raven, always a Raven. It really is a family-type of organization, and when you see the guys back with smiles on their faces who want to introduce their kids to you ... Our players go over, take a minute to meet their kids and sign autographs and do pictures to me is what it's all about."

How many names did you recall? (Jerry Coleman) (laughter) "Well, after, I was told [that] I got them all, but you know, sometimes the faces, the names or the bodies kind of change over time, Jerry. Except for you. You always stay the same."

We talked to T Ronnie Stanley about the laps after false starts. He said the guys learned very quickly. Is that something that you just thought about doing that today? How long do you think you'll be continuing that rule? (Jamison Hensley) "Well, as long as we [need]. There's a really easy way to stop it: don't be jumping offsides. We've been going through the offseason, and we're doing a lot with cadence. We're doing a lot with at-the-line communication, and it's challenging, so we understand there are going to be those moments, and you have a choice. You either always go on one, or you push through it [and] say, 'We're going to live with the mistakes, but we're going to get good at it,' so we want to get good at it, because we think cadence is a weapon, and we want to be able to communicate at the line, and we want to be able to protect our communication, so if [offensive coordinator] Todd [Monken] wants our guys to run after they jump offsides, they'll do it, and I appreciate Josh Johnson being the first guy, to be the leader and get out there and take the first lap. That's what leaders do."

T Ronnie Stanley said he hasn't felt this good since 2020. Is that about what you're seeing? Is there any similarity between what he looked like before that season and now? (Giana Han) "I don't really remember 2020. It seems so long ago. That whole year was just a blimp, just gone. Does anybody remember 2020? Apparently, Ronnie [Stanley] does, and it was a good year for Ronnie. [It was] a bad year for everybody else but a good year for Ronnie. Where are we going with this?" (laughter) "Ronnie's doing a good job. He got in shape, it looks like. He's ready to go. It's exciting. I love Ronnie. I love who he is – his personality – but I also love what he's capable of doing on the football field. If we get Ronnie Stanley out there playing to that level, that would be wonderful."

Along those lines, T Ronnie Stanley is obviously more fit and doesn't have the injuries to deal with this season. He's spirited in practice. Are you sensing motivation from him or something out of him that's impressed you? (*Brian Wacker)* "Yes. You go by what you see as a coach, and as Bill Parcells said, 'Not what you remember.' What I see from Ronnie [Stanley] is he's moving his feet, he's got a good anchor, and he'll get into the pads and just work. He's just got to get to work and really get everybody ready. He's the same as everybody else, but obviously, having a talented left tackle playing at a high level will be really good for our football team."

We didn't see WR/RS Deonte Harty again. I know at OTAs, there was some insight about his newborn. Do you have any update on why he's not here? (Morgan Adsit) "I do. I guess I can say now. I've talked to him a few times in the last couple of days: his baby is in the hospital. [He has] a five-week-old daughter. They brought her back in the hospital this weekend, and now – the last couple of days – and he felt like he couldn't really leave his family, so we understood, and we excused him for that."

We saw S Kyle Hamilton observing practice. Is he dealing with a physical issue, and is he going to be ready for training camp? (Luke Jones) "Kyle [Hamilton] will be ready. Kyle had some loose bodies in his elbow that they went ahead and just plucked out, so it's a two-to-three-week deal."

With RB Derrick Henry being 30 years old, you've seen the wear and tear he's had over his career. Do you view him as someone who can maintain the same kind of workload he had in Tennessee here? (Nikhil Mehta) "Sure. I mean, we do. I watched the wear and tear that he put on defenses, and ours included, over the years. He's come out, he's in great shape, he's a stickler for details – knowing the plays – and he's moving really well, so I can't wait to see him in action."

On that note, without pads. ILB Roquan Smith was saying when the pads are on, that's really where he shines. What can you say about RB Derrick Henry's fit within the offense when you're doing a minicamp practice? (Kyle Goon) "Well, we're running a lot of the same plays that everybody runs. We run inside zones [and] outside zones. We run the gap schemes. We have some lean schemes [and] some traps. [Derrick Henry]'s run all those plays before. He's really good in pass protection, so I don't even think it's going to be an issue with the fit. He's going to help us. He's going to make the offense better. He's going to help Lamar [Jackson and] all of those things."

I know it's early and a lot of the practice is descriptive right now. When you do have RB Derrick Henry and QB Lamar Jackson out there together, are you seeing some of the human aspect of defenders trying to guard those guys – in read option or whatever the case may be – and that hesitation they may get? (Cordell Woodland) "To your point, you can see the potential of it, but it's a fit drill right now, so there's really no stress being put on the defense or the offense, physicality-wise. But hopefully, the idea that [Derrick Henry] can attack from the A-gap all the way out and the offense can attack from the A-gap all the way out, and they have to defend him and Lamar [Jackson for] the full width of the field – and the other guys [for the] full width of the field – that's just the width of the field, not the depth of the field, hopefully that stretches the defense out. That's kind of the big-picture concept of it. When he runs down there, it's going to meaningful."

How do you feel like the team is adjusting to all the coaching staff changes this offseason? (Kevin McNelis) "It's been great. The coaches have been great. Our guys have come in and done a great job. I look at the product, and I also look at the process, and the process has been amazing. We've added some great coaches, and sometimes it's good to mix it up a little bit [and] turn it around a little bit and get another look at things. We haven't changed our scheme on defense, but we've added stuff, [and] we've tweaked stuff. We haven't really changed our philosophy on offense – especially from last year – but we've definitely grown the offense. [On] special teams, we're chasing this new kickoff [and] kickoff return thing. [We're] trying to figure that out, so it's a lot of excitement."

Now that everyone is back, you have a lot of different experience levels in the locker room. How do you find a way to send messages to the team when you're talking to them in meetings that's going to resonate both with your two-time MVP in QB Lamar Jackson and the undrafted rookie trying to make his first roster? (Nikhil Mehta) "I don't know. It just comes to us as coaches. Usually, you go by what you see. The great thing about coaching people say is, 'It keeps you young.' It kind of does, because you're in there with the guys every day, and there is a lot of banter and back and forth and fun. We had fun out there today. Mark [Andrews] and I were going at it in the huddle and trying to get this thing tempo'd up. That's what you live for. That's the way it has to be – open and honest and just lay it out there to try to find a way to confront everything that has to do with football. I just think we have a good bunch of guys, so it's really not hard to communicate with them."

OTA and minicamp rules have changed over the years to eliminate the physicality of years past. With the reunion here, have any of the Ravens Legends given review on what they think of OTAs and minicamp? (Kyle Goon) "They didn't say anything about putting the [flag football] flags on guys or anything. They didn't mention that. They were happy to be back, and really, it's always been that way. It's always supposed to [have] been no contact, but back in the day, they didn't really police it. I remember my first time out here with the Ravens, the first time we had an OTA practice, and the defense was blitzing every play. [Former defensive coordinator] Rex [Ryan] was bringing the heat, and they were reeking some havoc and running through gaps and stuff like that. I basically told him to calm down, and then he started calling the offense, 'Little Brother,' and [former offensive coordinator] Cam [Cameron] got ticked off. I thought Cam and Rex were going to go at it. Would anybody pay to see that fight? Cam and Rex? So, I don't know. Some guys said something, and I said something back to the defense. Next thing you know, Jarret Johnson is walking out of the field coming towards me [saying], 'We're the No. 6 defense in the league last year,' and I did know my numbers. I said, 'In points, you were [No.] 24. OK. [In] points, you were [No.] 24.' So, he comes walking at me, and I looked at him, and I said, 'You want to go? You want to go right now?' What I meant was, 'Do you want to go off the field back to the locker room?' He thought like, 'Do you want to drop the gloves and go.' So, we made up pretty quickly at that point." (laughter)

You've gone over the offensive line, and we know the positions and the names that are competing, but how far out are you comfortable taking this realistically speaking? Are you going to go all preseason, or do you want to make some of the decisions, like you did for OL John Simpson last year? (Morgan Adsit) "[That's a] great question. The earlier the better. It would be nice if we could kind of [know] by the first into the second week of training camp, [that] would be a goal to have a good idea. If it goes into the [preseason] games, it could go into the preseason games, but maybe just one spot up for grabs or something like that. That would be OK, but the sooner the better."

You mentioned the new kickoff rules. I've been seeing that some teams are opening up the doors to anybody. They're really thinking outside the box on who can return. You brought in WR/RS Deonte Harty, and you have guys on this team who can return, but in your mind, is there anybody who you're not letting back there? (Cordell Woodland) "Oh, yes. There are a lot of guys. I'm not going back there, and Lamar [Jackson] is not going back there. Mark [Andrews] is not going back there. Kyle [Hamilton] is not going back there. 'B-Steve' [Brandon Stephens] is not going back there. Roquan [Smith] is not going back there. Who else?" (Reporter: "[Justin] Madubuike?") "[Justin] Madubuike is not going back there. [Daniel] Faalele is not going back there. That's for sure." (Reporter: [Ronnie] Stanley showed moves.") "[Ronnie] Stanely is not going back there. No, it's a lot of No's." (Reporter: [Owner] Steve Bisciotti was out there returning kicks.") "Catching kicks? Was he? Steve Bisciotti was returning kicks? If Steve wants to return kicks, he may go back there, yes. He's allowed. He can do whatever he wants. But, no – to the serious point – it's going to be our ... We're not going to put Zay [Flowers] back there. We're going to put our return guys back there. Those are the guys that do it. I mean, if we had an emergency, and we had to have a guy [return kicks] because of injuries, we would do it. That shouldn't happen. We have guys who can do it. We have returners that can do it and some young guys that want to do it, so we'll have the guys."


On his impressions of the team: "Yes, it's been cool. The culture is just like I expected. [We] work hard, there's togetherness, a brotherhood, [and] everybody pushes each other on all sides of the ball. This has been fun – learning, getting to know everybody – but [I'm] just trying to my job, as well."

On if he's done anything off the field with QB Lamar Jackson to boost the relationship: "No, we haven't done anything off the field yet, but I think it just comes naturally – two guys that are down to earth, love winning, love playing football. And like I said, with Zay [Flowers and Lamar Jackson] – we're [all] from Florida – I think it comes easy."

On adjusting to the scheme here: "Yes, it's definitely different terminology and everything, but it's a challenge, and it's fun. Doing something new is always going to bring a challenge to it, but I embrace it. It's been fun learning. Guys [are] helping me. [The] running backs coach, Coach 'Tag' [Willie Taggart] is helping me, as well. And [I] just continue to grow, continue to learn everything and let it [translate] on the field."

On if what else beyond the terminology is new for him here: "Just the way [we] do certain things is different than how we did them in Tennessee – some [things] can be the same. But [there is] different terminology. It's fun learning new stuff, and it brings a challenge to it – see how smart you are on the field and as football players."

On if there are things he's brought over with him from Tennessee and had dialogue with the staff about: "No, I've got to come here and show them I can do the things that they present first before I even get the opportunity, if it even comes. So, no, I've just been a sponge – trying to learn new things and going out there and trying to do my best."

On if he's gotten a feel for how the defense is reacting to having to go up against him and QB Lamar Jackson: "I think the defense is going to do what they've always done – be physical, be fast and get to the ball – no matter who is back there. So, it's been the same from now, [with] how they operate and the physicality they play with, to when I was playing when I was an opponent in Tennessee."

On the impact of QB Lamar Jackson: "It definitely brings a different aspect, because [Lamar Jackson] is a dual-threat quarterback, and he's [as] dangerous with his legs just [as much] as he is with his arm. It's going to be fun and a breath of fresh air not being the center of attention, knowing that eyes are going to be on him, as well. But I'm just excited to get to work and put the work in out here and let it all come together, when it's that time."

On how much pressure he can take off of QB Lamar Jackson's shoulders: "Yes, I think me just doing my job and executing, being efficient and everything that I do, so we help one another ... My job is being explosive, making explosive runs, being a threat in the run game and anywhere else they ask me to help out this offense. So, it's just [on] me [to] focus on doing my job, just so I'm a threat to opposing defenses."

On what the Ravens have done to help him get comfortable and adjust to his new offense and environment: "I think football is football; it's just learning the terminology and the way they do things. And then, once all that comes together with experience and reps out here, then you can go be yourself. Some of the things you're just used to from experience [throughout] the years – running plays and different things like that – but every offense has different things and how they do it ... But it's just repetition and getting familiar with it, and then going out there and being yourself and being a great player – the way you know how to be."

On coming to a team still figuring out its offensive line: "Well, I think we're all just focused on getting better. Every year, each team is going to be different, and that's just how this business goes. Each guy is embracing every single one of their roles – I know I'm embracing mine – trying to work as hard as we can, and that's all you can ask [of] your teammates and everybody as a whole."

On feeling he can still be impactful in games where he might not carry the ball 20 times: "Yes, I'm going to try to take advantage of my opportunities; I'm not going to say, 'No, I'm not going to be impactful.' I expect to be impactful every time I touch the ball each and every Sunday – or whatever gameday it is or whatever day it's on – and have an impact and do my job the best way I know how. So, for sure."

On if he's had the chance to explore Baltimore and how he's liking the city so far: "I love it. I haven't had a bad meal here yet. The food [is] good as [heck]. So, it's been fun, especially getting around with my teammates – [they've been] showing me around there. It's been cool, so I can't wait to see more when I'm fully here when the season starts."

On how he plans to make good on Jimmy's Seafood's offer of free crap cakes for life: "I went to Jimmy's [Seafood] the first week I was here. [They had a] great presentation, [and] they gave me so much food [that] I was like, 'I can't eat all of this. I'm about to take some of it home.' But I definitely appreciate them. Their crab cakes were good, as advertised. I don't know [if] I'm going to eat much [of them] during the season – I usually try to stay on a strict diet – but I might have one or two, depending on how I feel."


On where he thinks he can improve: "There's a lot of things where I think I can improve personally, but it's all about the team and personally, as a team, we came up short. There is always room to get better, and part of being here, pretty much the entire time, is that I love this. It's my job, and I love what I do, and so, it's just about finding ways to get better. There are ways all across the field, whether that's certain ways to beat different blocks, maybe route recognition even quicker. I think there are numerous amounts of things and it's always about getting better, because if you're not getting better, you're getting worse, in my opinion."

On if his route recognition is to credit for his interception in practice today: "I just knew. Most quarterbacks are taught, and then I knew we had some pressure going, so I knew most quarterbacks are taught when the defender's back is turned going up the middle chute just to lay it up, so I knew I had to get my back turned and then somehow made a play."

On how he and defensive coordinator Zach Orr built up trust in one another: "I'm extremely proud of [defensive coordinator Zach Orr] Z.O., happy for him and the way he works. The guy busts his tail day in and day out. [His] career ended short, because he probably would still be playing right now if it wasn't for that. It started from when I first got here, when I first got traded. My first day her, I remember going up to his office, meeting, going over pretty much every play. There was a lot – my head was spinning a little bit, but he was very patient with me, and he was able to teach the information that I would need in order to succeed playing a game within six days. I think that's a credit to how he gets down [and] how he's about his business. I'm just excited for him to show the world exactly how he calls a game and how he motivates a defense like no other."

On what it's like going against RB Derrick Henry in practice, knowing he won't have to go against him in games: "With [Derrick Henry] 'D-Hen,' it's a lot more chill right now because it's OTAs, minicamp; he doesn't have on his pads, so this is not his strong suit. When he puts his pads on, that's when he becomes that demon, but it's great being able to line up across from that guy – one of the best [running] backs of our generation. I have mad respect for him and all the things he's accomplished, and I still see he has a lot of tread left on the tire, so I'm just excited for him to show the world exactly what he can do. Lining up across from him is a lot different than lining up to go to war with him."

On how he holds the defense to last season's standard going into this season: "Last year doesn't matter anymore. It's a new year, new team, but we still have a lot of these dogs on the team, and it's just about staying hungry. We hunt as a pack, and I think of a safari and things like that, a pack of hyenas, lions whoever it is, [nobody] doesn't want to run up on those guys. I feel like we have that mindset and guys on all three levels. We play hard, and effort is something we'll never question and just being relentless everything that we do, and I feel like if we do that, our talent will take care of everything else."

On the strides that LB Trenton Simpson has taken in OTAs: "I think [Trenton Simpson]'s going to surprise a lot of people. He's still learning for sure, but I think the way that he doesn't make the same mistakes over and over every day – he learns from his mistakes, and I think that's crucial when you're young, being able to not make the same mistakes twice. I know he doesn't understand how fast, how explosive and how powerful he is, but once he actually understands that, which I think will be very soon, watch out."

On if it's beneficial having a former linebacker be his defensive coordinator: "Absolutely. With him being a former linebacker, playing in it and playing at an All-Pro level, not many people can say they've done that and then switch over to the coaching transition. I think it definitely helps out; we see things [with] a lot of similarity, he played 'backer in this league, so the way he saw things as a 'backer, he kind of teaches it from that, which I think makes things a lot easier to understand. I think it's going to be great, and I'm just excited to put it on display this fall, but there's a process in place, and I'm respectful of that."

On how defensive coordinator Zach Orr is going to handle calling his first game against the Kansas City Chiefs' offense: "[He's going to] step up to the plate, and whatever comes, he's going to throw everything he's got, and he's going to be prepared for them like no other, and I've got the utmost respect for him and the utmost confidence that he's going to do the job with flying colors. I don't think there's any other questions to be asked about that."

On if there's things he does with LB Trenton Simpson off the field: "We're definitely building a relationship. I feel like last year was a little different, [he] was a younger guy, [his] head was spinning all over the place, but there's numerous things that we do now starting in the offseason. We're actually going to take a trip together, and then going to lunches, dinners and things like that and kind of understand him. I think once you understand an individual, you're able to get closer with him and being able to understand a person that makes him lean on you a little bit more and actually know what gets them going and what [makes a] person [tick]. I think that's just all part of understanding someone."

On where he's going later in the offseason: "We'll talk about it." (laughter)

On going to Machu Picchu earlier this summer: "Yes, Machu Picchu, that was amazing – one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I would recommend you go and then learning about the history of the Incas, which I think is pretty awesome. I'm a history guy, and just being able to go see that and experience that – I actually went there with Ronnie [Stanley]. It was pretty unique, and that's one of [my trips], so I've got to get to a couple of more though."


On the driving force behind him being here for voluntary OTAs: "First of all, I think it's always good to be around the guys and be able to do football things – be able to do drills. [There's] some stuff you really can't mimic on your own, so it's good in that case. Also, I just know that we have a lot of new faces, a lot of new guys [that are] going to be part of this team [and] part of this offense. [I] just want to make sure we get our chemistry off on the right start."

On how he is feeling physically after battling through things last season: "I feel great. I feel like I'm as strong and as quick and as athletic as I've ever been. So, I'm ready to put that all on the field."

On why agreeing to re-do his contract during the offseason felt like the right thing to do: "Baltimore is a like a second home to me. Going on my ninth year and missing a lot of time, if that was my last year, [it] just wouldn't really sit right with me. I would probably have some regret leaving Baltimore [not] on the note that I want to leave it on."

On his catch and run from practice last week: "It was just a split reaction thing. 'Urb' [Brent Urban] tipped the ball, like he always does. I just caught the ball and made a quick move on 'Urb' [Brent Urban]. I don't think anyone was really expecting it too much. But, I turned on the film, and it was a pretty nifty move."

On building chemistry with different combinations of offensive linemen: "It's a lot about the guy you play next to. In my case, working with Andrew [Vorhees] and Josh [Jones] and the different guys in there, 'Sala' [Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu], just making sure the communication from the huddle to the line of scrimmage is clear. We don't need to repeat a whole play call. There are key words that we need to focus on, and we can remind each other and make the game easier for each other."

On if his leadership role is different based on the offseason changes: "I don't think the leadership role is any different. One thing is [that] I'm definitely, right now, the clear oldest guy on the offensive line. Last year, we had a little more veteran presence, but this year we still have some older guys, but maybe not as veteran."

On how difficult dealing with injuries last season was: "It was killing me. We may have been playing well, but it was really killing me on the inside just knowing that I wasn't playing to my potential. That's something that is harder for me to live with. But, moving on from last year, I feel very good about this upcoming season."

On how he feels physically in Year Nine: "I feel good. I'm coming out of practice still having energy, still upbeat. I could do drills right now with the guys if we wanted to. So, [I'm] feeling really good physically."

On C Tyler Linderbaum's leadership: "Tyler [Linderbaum], he's always been a leader [ever] since he's been here. As a center, you kind of have to step into that role because you really are the eyes and ears of the whole line. You're the epicenter of everything going on. This year, he's just taking another step in his communication role. He's always been clean and sharp with everything he's said to us, and I think he's continuing to just make sure everything is as clear as possible."

On his thoughts on having to run laps after false starts in practice: "I think we're going to learn quickly. I think it's going to get through our heads, for sure."

On the high standard to which he holds himself: "There's zero doubt in my head. If I'm playing the way I need to be playing, to my standard, I'm the best tackle in my head."

On what it will be like with RB Derrick Henry running behind the O-Line: "I think it's gonna be very physical football, smashmouth football. He's also an elusive player, and I just look forward to blocking for him and learning more about the type of things he sees during a run so I can make the runs as good of a play for him as possible."

On if he sees this season as a year of renewal that can set up three or four more years: "Not really. I just take every season as if it would be my last. I feel like that's why I care so much about how I'm performing or my standard [and] how I'm helping the team."

On if there is something he wanted to emphasize heading into the year: "I just wanted to be able to be the player I know I could be for the whole season, for my team, for myself [and] for my family. But, [I was] just really making sure that – because I know what it takes to do that – just making sure that I was focused on doing the things I needed to do to get there. It may have been different from other years in the past that I needed to focus on to be to that same level. So, this offseason, [I] did a lot of things to get there."

On the last time he felt like he was at his current level: "I would say the beginning of 2020."

On posting an Instagram picture from Machu Picchu when news about his contract came out: "No, I was actually there [a few] weeks before I posted that picture. But, I just happened to post it around the same time."