Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Thanks for coming over on a fairly short notice. It's great seeing you guys. It's good news; it's a good day. You had a chance to talk to Justin Forsett already. He's a running back addition, and we're very excited about Justin and what he's done in his career. He's the kind of guy that is a very versatile player. He's got great hands, does a great job in pass protection. Obviously, he can run the ball as a running back. He also contributes on special teams. He's just a very versatile football player and has had a lot of success since he came into the league. And then, [with our] our latest addition, Owen Daniels, I want to compliment our scouting staff. [General manager/executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] has done a great job throughout this offseason. [Senior vice president of football administration] Pat Moriarty has done a great job throughout the offseason, just being patient and trying to, over the course of time, put together the very best group of players and people that we possibly can, taking into [account] all of the things that are important – competence, obviously, and what they do, but also character, bringing in the right kind of guys. Nobody epitomizes that more so than Owen. So, we just couldn't be happier and more excited. I'll let him speak for himself on what he plans, but I guarantee his role will be plenty big. He's going to have a lot to do with our success next year. We have a lot of big plans for him, and we're really excited about it."* *
We've seen an awful lot of Houston Texans come out, obviously with Gary Kubiak's connections. How much are you talking to him about these guys, and how influential has his role been in bringing guys here? (Pete Gilbert)
"Two now, right? These two guys [Daniels and Forsett] are former Houston players. Is there anybody else that I'm missing? Oh, with the [offensive] coaches, absolutely. Obviously, that's going to have an impact on what you do. You try to take advantage of and utilize all of your resources. Of course, the resources that [offensive coordinator] Gary [Kubiak] and his staff bring in here from a football standpoint, but also from an evaluation standpoint, knowing who guys are as players and who they are as people as well, also what guys like Owen [Daniels] and Justin [Forsett] bring to the table as far as knowing the offense and being able to bring their insight into that with our players – that is going to be big for us. They're here to play, but those other things, that is a big part of it, too."* *
Was this something where there was an immediate interest and it was just a process in terms of getting it going? (Matt Zenitz)
"I don't know if I want to speak to the details of it, and Owen can decide how much he wants to talk about that. But there was definitely immediate interest. Even before Owen was available, it was something we had our eye on. So, he had to go through a process to make sure it's a win-win for everybody – for the team and for Owen and for his family. Figuring that stuff out is probably all part of the process. There's a lot that goes into that. I'm sure glad it worked out as it did."* *
In terms of a tandem, with him and Dennis [Pitta] and any more tight ends, what are your thoughts on that? (Aaron Wilson)
"To me, the sky is the limit. We're not going to try to downplay anything that we're capable of accomplishing. These are two of the best tight ends in the National Football League who fit this offense really, really well. That's what we're looking at. Hey, no promises; we have to go out and do it, and we have to prove it. And there will be more tight ends in here besides just two. Use your imagination. You guys know football; you can see where this is going."* *
Because they've been moved around so much, talking Owen and Dennis in their careers, are you still looking for a more blocking-minded guy? (Luke Jones)
"We'll take that as an insult, won't we, Owen? We'll take that as an insult, absolutely. (laughter) Here is the reality of it, the way we look at it now: You can't just be one-dimensional. If you're one-dimensional, and you can't block, you'll probably be out there, and you're basically a wide receiver. That conversation has been had. If you're in there, and you're a tight end, and you can't run a route, you're basically an offensive tackle. Everybody knows it. The ability to do both well, or at least do one thing great and the other thing adequately, you have to have that. Owen Daniels is a good blocker. Put on the tape, and you're going to see a very good blocker. He understands the blocking scheme. So, I wouldn't take that away from him. Hey, if we end up with some punishing, dominating, end-of-the-line-of-scrimmage blocker, you'll see me smiling. But our two guys right now block really well, too."
Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak
On TE Owen Daniels and RB Justin Forsett:
"First off, both of these men are tremendous people, and they'll be great teammates. That's the biggest thing – they'll be great Ravens from that standpoint and great teammates to everybody. I've been with Owen from the beginning. He had a little bit of bad luck last year with the injury, but he's a heck of a football player – very versatile in what he's doing and understands our schemes very well. So, he should be like a coach on the field helping us make the transition. Justin played for me a couple of years ago as a backup to Arian Foster, and he played extremely well. He's a heck of a special teams player, too. All football – both of them are all about ball. The biggest compliment I can give them both is that they'll be great teammates to the guys that are here, and I look forward to having them here."
NT Terrence Cody
"It's good to be back and to continue my career with the Baltimore Ravens."* *
Is this a one-year contract? (Aaron Wilson)
What are your expectations? You know the guys they have here. What do you think your role will be here? (Jamison Hensley)
"Just to come in and play my butt off, work hard, just to be able to help the team out and do a lot of great things this year to get to that next level, to the Super Bowl."* *
You went through the process of free agency for a few weeks. Is it nice to have that comfort level to come back and feel like you never left? (Luke Jones)
"It was crazy. It was just a big waiting game. But we got the job done, we got the deal done, and now I'm back with the Ravens."* *
You look at their moves, like signing Steve Smith, re-signing Dennis Pitta and getting Owen Daniels. You guys aren't used to being out of the playoffs like you were last year. How excited are you, looking at the moves, to be back with this team? (Jeff Zrebiec)
"Those were some big, key parts we picked up to help the team – having [Dennis] Pitta back, just being able to make our offense more versatile and to take that pressure off of Joe [Flacco]. [We] just made some great moves picking up a lot of great players. Then having Steve Smith, having that experience on the receiving corps does a lot of good."* *
During the last offseason, you had a lot of surgeries, and it took you out of the equation. How much better do you think you'll be this year with a full offseason? (Aaron Wilson)
"I can be a lot better now that I'm full-go and actually healthy for the first time in a while. There are going to be a lot of good things this year."* *
You won't have any offseason surgeries this year? (Aaron Wilson)
"No, not that I know of."* *
With Arthur Jones leaving this offseason, do you view that as having an opportunity to compete and have a bigger role in that rotation? (Luke Jones)
"That's basically what the Ravens do. They put you in a position to have success, and then after being able to have that success, you either get a big deal here or somewhere else. Arthur [Jones] is one of those guys that had success, and it got him a big deal down in Indy."
TE Owen Daniels
Based on your work in football and television, you're used to the spotlight and you're used to the scrutiny, and this is an offense that is going to be closely scrutinized this fall. Do you feel like you're up to the challenge? (Joe Platania)
"No question. Coach [Gary] Kubiak, being in his offense for eight years and coming here, it's a player-friendly offense. It's a tight-end friendly offense. We spread the ball around to a lot to a lot of people. There is no forcing it into one guy, and there are so many weapons here that it's going to be hard for defenses. We're going to have defenses preparing for a lot of different things, which is what you want on a week-to-week basis. I'm looking forward to getting to work with the guys and helping them out and bringing them along a little bit faster than without me here."
You had some other options. What made this the right fit for you? (Matt Zenitz)
"It was my first time with this whole process. I've been in the league eight years. This is my ninth year coming up right now, and I've never been in the free-agent situation, having to visit other teams and look for another place to play. So, it was new for me. I wanted to take my time with it and figure out the best situation for me at this point in my career. This place ended up being it. I just walked into this building today. [It's] an unbelievable facility, beautiful place. I've got a ton of respect for the organization and the players here just because the Ravens and the Texans had so many battles over the years back and forth with it. I've been on the wrong side of things here in Baltimore, but with all that, the respect factor and knowing what the organization was about was a huge factor for me."
How eager are you to just get back on the field period after last season's injury? (Aaron Wilson)
"I've been out of football for a little bit – 11 games – so I'm excited to get back out there and get back to work and remind people of what I did the year before and in the first five games last year. I'm just trying to help the team here win games however I can. I think being able to play alongside Dennis [Pitta] is going to be awesome. We're going to be a great tandem. [Being] very versatile in what we do individually is going to make it tough on defenses to prepare. I'm excited to get to work here, excited to get on the field, obviously. That is five months away, but that's definitely a big motivating factor for me."
I know you missed a lot of time last season, but how difficult was the slide that the Texans went on last season? (Brett Hyman)
"It was not what we expected. It was tough, really a disastrous situation starting Week 3 on. It was something that we didn't expect, obviously. We were thinking we were a playoff team, able to make some noise and take the next step. But I'm ready to put all that behind us and have a fresh start and be rejuvenated. That's how I'm feeling right now."* *
After eight years with one team and now being with this one, especially after having several tough battles with the Ravens, is it tough to wrap your head around the fact that you're now in the purple? (Pete Gilbert)
"I let go of where I was the last eight years whenever they let me go. I wasn't good enough for them anymore, but I'm excited to be a part of this organization. Like I said, I have ton of respect for how this team plays, the guys they have around and what they've done. There is no type of anxiety or anything like that. I'm excited to be on board. I kind of know a lot of the guys; I feel like I know the guys enough. [Terrell] Suggs and I have had our encounters in the past, so it'll be good to be friends with him now and be teammates. (laughter) *That'll be good. I'm just really excited about everything."* **
Justin Forsett said he has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas. You hear a little bit of that when you say that they let you go. Do you feel that also? (Pete Gilbert)
"When you're with a franchise that long, and then all of a sudden they decide you're not good enough for them anymore, and they want to go in a different direction, yes, that definitely gives you a big chip, and it gets you motivated. I think we're playing down there this year, so… What Steve Smith said about playing in Carolina..." (laughter)
Have you had a chance to talk to Joe Flacco or Jacoby Jones or any of those guys? (Brett Hyman)
"I haven't yet. I'm going to be here when the offseason program starts up in a couple weeks. I'm going to make it a point to be here and be around those guys and start building those relationships and getting close with those guys. I'm looking forward to that."
Who was the bigger recruiter over the course of this process: Coach [Gary] Kubiak, coach [Rick] Dennison or coach [Brian] Pariani? (Matt Zenitz)
"I'd have to give the edge to [tight ends] coach [Brian] Pariani. I think he was the most excited when he heard the news yesterday. People upstairs were saying that he let out a roar or something. I've got great relationships with all three of those guys. I've been with Kubiak and Pariani the longest, and so obviously, I have tons of respect for them in giving me my first opportunity to play and now giving me another one here. Being a part of that recruiting process was great for me and still to feel that support has been awesome."
Steve Smith said yesterday when he learned that you were signing here that you can never have too many horses in the stable. You were from a talented offense, too, but when you look at a Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, go down the line with all of the talent, what do you think of all the weapons that they've built on this team? (Jeff Zrebiec)
"I don't think you can say enough about it. All of those guys are a little different in their own ways, but they're all playmakers. That's what you want; you want playmakers on the field. It seems like we've got them all over the place on this offense – obviously quarterback, running back, receiver and tight ends. I'm sure there are playmakers up front, too, making things happen for us skill guys. You can never have too many. I'll cosign that for sure."
With coach Kubiak, did you play a lot of two-tight end formations down in Houston? (Jamison Hensley)
"There were a lot. We had the personnel where we were able to do that. I think there was a year in there where we actually used a lot of three-tight-end stuff. But yes, two-tight-end sets were a major part of what coach Kubiak liked to do, and we've got the guys here to do it as well. That always makes things tough on defenses. When you run the ball well, that makes the defenses make decisions on personnel, and you kind of go off that. I would say look for more of that in the future."
Are you excited for the teacher role that you are going to have in teaching this offense to the other guys? (Ryan Mink)
"I am. I kind of embraced that when I was in Houston with the younger guys that were around. I wasn't a vet that held back information. I like to help my teammates and help the team, and I'm looking forward to it now. I'd hope that I have a pretty good grasp of this offense after eight years and that I can communicate to the guys in a way they can understand and just take it and run with it. I know we have smart players here, and they won't have a problem learning it, but it doesn't hurt to have someone who has been in it for a while."
What can people expect out of that offense and your familiarity with it? (Brett Hyman)
"Everything. There is a lot of different stuff you can do. With everybody that's here, with the playmakers we have, there is no limit to what direction we can go and what we can do in terms of play-calling and what we can do week to week to get the job done. I don't know what coach Kubiak has planned, but it's always been something where whatever we've installed, whatever we do, we've had success with, and I don't think that will be any different here."
RB Justin Forsett
Talk about your journey of how you ended up in Baltimore. (Pete Gilbert)
"When I hit free agency a couple weeks ago, this was one of the first teams that contacted us. Of course the history there with [offensive coordinator] coach [Gary] Kubiak definitely drew me here. I'm excited about the system; I've been in the West Coast offense, zone running scheme for most of my career. So, it just fits what I do, where I like to be and where I'm familiar. So, it was a no-brainer."
What specifically did you like about Gary Kubiak's offensive system? (Pete Gilbert)
"I had a ton of success there in Houston with him. Like I said, I've been in the West Coast all the way back to Mike Holmgren, when I got drafted [in Seattle]. So, I'm familiar with all the concepts. And I know he's a winner, and I know this team is a championship team, and I'm at a point in my career where I want to win and I want to win now."
Did the coaches talked to you about helping the other backs get on the same page to the West Coast offense? (Ryan Mink)
"Definitely. Being able to come here and help the other guys out, bring people along with the system that we run with the concepts, terminology, things like that – I'm here for that, as well as being able to compete on the field."
What did they tell you about what you can expect your role to be with the running backs? (Ryan Mink)
"Just come out and compete, be one of those veteran guys that leads by example, go out and show the way. I'm hungry right now. I definitely have a chip on my shoulder the size of Texas that I want to get off, and I'm excited about this opportunity. I want to come play and I want to win."
Is the chip on your shoulder because of the injury last year and being released? (Ryan Mink)
"Definitely. I had a lot of injuries and a lot of adversity last year being in Jacksonville. It made me stronger, definitely a better man, and I'm excited to release everything that I have in me out on this field."
How is your injury rehab going, and do you feel that you're all the way back? (Ryan Mink)
"I'm 100 percent healthy. I had turf toe early on and I had a stress fracture in my foot that put me on Injured Reserve at the end of the year. But I'm back now and I'm ready to go."
What are the strong parts of your game? (Kevin Richardson)
"I would say versatility. My whole career, I've been one of those guys that switched with the zone run scheme; I've been able to run the outside and inside zone pretty well. [I've been] a third-down guy most of my career, being able to understand the blitz protections and being able to pick up guys and run routes out of the backfield and out wide."
What is it that makes zone running so tough to defend? (Jim Forner)
"Just because it puts pressure on the defense – you're stretching them. You're stretching the defense horizontally, and when you do that you're leaving gaps, you're leaving lanes in, and the running back has his choice of where he wants to go. As long as you're getting four-or-more yards, you're looking at successful plays."
Was seeing the pieces coming together on the Ravens' offense something that attracted you to sign with Baltimore? (Pete Gilbert)
"Definitely. You can see that by adding guys like Steve Smith to the mix, Owen Daniels – one of my former teammates in Houston. You know they're trying to win now. This is an organization that wants to get back to the championship, and it motivated me. I was like, 'Man, I know I want to be a part of this.'"
What is Owen Daniels like as a teammate and as a player? (Pete Gilbert)
"Oh man, just an all-around awesome guy, on and off the field. He'd give you the shirt off his back. Most of the time, quiet, but very strong leader and a very productive player."* *