Transcripts: Ravens Mandatory Minicamp Media Availability (6/14)


Opening statement:"Good to see everyone today. Just a quick little recap on what the spring has done for us: Right now, I'm very, very encouraged [with] what I'm seeing from all our guys right now. Every last one of these guys that have been here, they're working hard, they're trying to understand and get our fundamentals down. The veteran guys have done a great job of really bringing the young guys along. So, again, I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far this spring. We had our first minicamp yesterday, and it's really the first time we've really put everything together, from a team standpoint. We spent a lot of time working, really, our punt phase, just making sure that our young guys get out there and understand what we're trying to get done. Questions?"

Obviously, a big talking point this spring, league-wide, was just the changes to the kickoffs and the trickle-down effect that might have and whether it's a legitimate response to player safety. What are your thoughts on that right now? (Jonas Shaffer)"Obviously, I think a couple weeks [ago, head coach] John [Harbaugh] got up here, and he said that we were not in favor of it, but it is in. What we're going to have to do [is] we're just going to have to adjust and adapt to whatever those rules are. But when we met, there were probably some other things that we considered. When you talk about a player safety thing, our job, first, is to really think about the players. I believe the kickoff play that was in was pretty safe. When you watch all 19 of those plays, those head injuries, we believe, as a coaching staff, collectively, there are some things that we can do, when it comes to tackling and things like that, to really prevent some of those head injuries that happened on the kickoff play. When you talk about that play, I think back to what those coaches did back in 2018, when they changed that play; they made this play safer for the guys. And that previous play we saw, there were a lot of high-speed collisions on the back end – obviously, fitting those wedges. Those things don't happen anymore, so we truly felt like the play that we had in was a safe play. And again, the rule is in, [and] we're going to adjust, and we're going to adapt to it, and we're going to make sure that we continue to find the advantages in that play. Now, I do believe, schematically, situationally, there are going to be some things that are going to come up that we're going to really have to think about and adjust to, based on other teams wanting to take those fair catches."

You mentioned adjusting to the new rule. Strategically, what are the things you guys are looking at – squib kicks or other things – that you guys might work on? (Brian Wacker)"One of the bigger ones is going to be when you kick off from the 50[-yard line]. The offense has just got a penalty; now you're kicking off from the 50 … If you pop a ball up there, and they call a fair catch, they've benefited [from] getting that ball back at the 25. So, you might consider hitting a squib ball, line-drive, just to try to create an advantage for yourself as a kickoff team, because you've just been rewarded a penalty, [and] you kick off from the 50, [and if] they call a fair catch, they catch that ball, now they get that ball back at the 25. So, those will be some of the things that we'll have to discuss this offseason – some things that we've been really thinking about."

I know the roster decisions don't have to be made right now, but have you spoken with the other coaches about how special teams could impact roster construction? Do you think the effects of the new rule will be that wide-ranging, where it could affect how many special teams specialists will be on the roster? (Jeff Zrebiec)"We really haven't discussed that, but I do know one thing: I do know that every other coach – special teams coach – they want to keep this play alive. One, for us, and for the players – for the players that have made their way in the kicking game. I think back to the top returners in the league; if they don't have that play, who is Devin Hester, right? If this play is not alive … Devin Hester really changed the game – in the kickoff return game. Cordarrelle Patterson, he owns the record for the most kickoff return [touchdowns]. These guys … This is an exciting play, and we've made this play a lot safer, so we want to make sure that we, as coaches, continue to do that. Now, as far as how the roster and all that stuff shakes out, personally, I think we're going to play this play the exact same way. Teams that are going to want to call the fair catch are going to fair catch it. But for us, we're going to be as aggressive as possible, and we're going to allow the players that make this team for the right reasons – special teams players – to continue to have success in this league, and that's our job; that's what we should do. And as coaches, we're going to make sure that we coach this play a lot better. We're going to show our players how these other players got concussions – it's important – and tackling is a big part of it. It's not the play; it's tackling. Keeping the head out of the game, [and] all of the things that the rules are in place for. We just need to enforce it."

What would you like to see the league do, in terms of changes to the kickoff? I know head coach John Harbaugh mentioned that there are better ideas out there. What is one example of something you'd prefer? (Brian Wacker)"Personally, I would have rather [us] just, maybe, give it another year, and let's just see how this thing shakes out. There are just so many other ways; maybe we move the ball back, and we create more space for the play, so that it's not all bunched up. So, we believe that if there's more space for the kickoff return team to get itself started, then you don't have a bunch of guys just running down on top of each other; that's maybe another option. So, there are little things like that, that we might have considered, but, again, the league made a decision, [and] we're going to have to adjust, and we're going to have to adapt, and that's OK. We've done it before. We will get it done."

Are there a lot more head injuries on kickoffs than punts? It seems like they are fairly comparable types of plays. (Vinny Cerrato)"Well, based on the numbers – what they showed – there were, probably, somewhere around 19 [head injuries on kickoffs last season]. And you talk about the number of kickoffs that we have, the number of returns … Our job is … We really believe that five to six of those, as coaches, we can help our guys [avoid], again, with [teaching] the head up, keeping the head out of the game."

How much of your unit is figured out already? I know DE Calais Campbell played a lot on special teams last season. Do you have pretty much all the special teams spots figured out? Are there pretty much just one or two holes, or do you wipe the map clean? (Kirk McEwen)"Every year is a new year. Every guy comes in here, [and] every guy gets a shot at making this team; it doesn't matter who you are. Now, obviously, they'll be guys that you know are going to be here. But [with] what Calais [Campbell] did for us on field-goal block, we're going to have to fill that void, and we have guys that are here that are able to do that. A guy that comes into mind is Brent Urban; he's done it before. So, we'll continue to use those guys, but there is no … Hey, personally, I don't think that any guy is guaranteed a spot. You've got to come in here every year, and you've got to earn your spot on this team, and you've got to fight every day to make this team."

As a special teams coach, how do you sit with the idea that the NFL keeps imposing rules in the name of player safety that tend to affect your phase of the game more than others? (Chris Bumbaca)"You just kind of sit back, and you kind of ask yourself, 'OK, when is enough going to be enough?' We're doing everything in our power, as coaches, to make sure that we consider the player – that's first and foremost. We think about the players. And if we continue to make changes and make changes, then what is this phase going to be? This has been an exciting phase of the game. People [have] made their living just by doing this phase of the game. Covering kicks – you think about Anthony Levine [Sr. and] how long he played. Why? Because he covered kicks, he covered punts, and he made his living on this phase. I think about Matt Slater – a guy that I played college ball with. That's how he makes his living. So, when you start talking about taking away something that these guys have done daily and done a very good job at, it's not good – it's not good."

What do you think of the XFL rules as an option? (Chris Bumbaca)"I haven't even considered it."  


You had WR Odell Beckham Jr. in Cleveland. We saw him out there yesterday. What are your thoughts on his first steps back? (Jamison Hensley)"We're excited to get him [Odell Beckham Jr.] out there [and] get around the guys. You can tell he's been studying in his time away, so it was fun having him out there. I think he's ready to go."

Did you have to start back over because you finally got everybody here? (Vinny Cerrato)"No chance. No chance. They've got to catch up on their own. That's the idea of … We're in the world of iPads and being able to look ahead, and we've been in contact with those guys. From what I've seen, the guys who weren't here … Again, it's great to have them here; it's always better when they're out here practicing with us. But again, that's their responsibility of being pros."

QB Lamar Jackson said that your outspokenness is starting to rub off on him, and he feels like he's being louder on the field. Do you like that? (Childs Walker)"It should have nothing to do with me; it has a lot to do with the quarterback and the communication in the epicenter of what we do – starting with the center, then the quarterback. So, if that helps, then great; it means I must have to keep doing it then. The hell with it; that's the start of what we do – quarterback being loud."

Do you see a way in which you can get all three tight ends – Mark Andrews, Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely – involved in this offense? (Cordell Woodland)"I think so. There's nothing like having talent. It's the way it is; there's only one football still. But utilizing multiple personnel groups and trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together – utilizing their skillset when you can get the best matchups … So, I'm excited to work with them. We still haven't put the pads on yet, but from what I've seen, with adding the wide receivers that we have and the tight ends that have been here, it's an exciting time."

Does the versatility of TEs Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely help you utilize them in this offense? (Cordell Woodland)"For sure. The more versatile you are, the more things you can do with them."

What do you see in TE Patrick Ricard's run-blocking ability? (David Andrade)"He [Patrick Ricard] adds a different dynamic than the other guys, again, as we just talked about – specific skillsets. So, what are they elite at? What is it that they … Some guys are elite at one thing; some guys are elite at a couple different things. Some things you can utilize. So, obviously, from what I've seen in the past … Pat has not been out here, but [from] what I've seen in the past, he brings a certain element to our team – a toughness element – the ability to run the football, and he's embraced that role."

How have you seen QB Lamar Jackson improve in his understanding and ability to run your scheme since Day One of organized team activities? (Shawn Stepner)"He [Lamar Jackson] has embraced it. He's embraced trying to be louder, trying to be in control. He's embraced learning the system, and we've still got a ways to go. It's always a work in progress. We're always under construction, in terms of making sure that we execute at a high level, because execution trumps everything. I'm a firm believer that … I've said it for years: cool is out; execution is in. The cooler we are, the less we execute. When we get out there on the field, it's not about being cool – it's not about that; it's about your preparation that leads up to practice [and that] you fight like heck during the week, so that come gameday, it comes to life."

From what you've seen, how has QB Lamar Jackson's execution been? (Shawn Stepner)"Good. Good. When you're on the practice field, the fun is being out there and going through the trial and error and the mistakes you make – that's part of it, too. We're doing the same thing as we're putting this together, as coaches and players."

With the emphasis on all these new passing weapons, how much pressure do you feel, how do you measure the success of this offense, and how much time do you spend analyzing what you're implementing versus what the offense was last year? (Bo Smolka)"Not a lot [of time] comparing it to last year. I don't really think of metrics, in a term of like where we've got to be. I mean, I think it's really simple what my job is; I think that's really simple. Our job is to score points, right? A defensive coordinator's job is to stop them. And then how you get to that varies in a lot of ways based on your personality, your scheme and then who you have. But at the end of the day, it's really a lot simpler than that. How do you score more than they do? And I'm paid to score; that's what … As an offensive coordinator, you're paid to score points. Some of the other things are just a piece of that – not that I'm against metrics or analytics; I'm not. I don't mean it that way. I just mean it's a lot simpler than that. And then trying to fit the pieces in the right spot."

What are your impressions of the way QB Lamar Jackson has been throwing the ball? (Jamison Hensley)"Again, it's hard right now, because you're in the early stages of what we do, but I say that, [and] we're almost done. We're almost done, so maybe not so early [stages]. But I'm impressed. There's not a throw he can't make, not a play he can't make. Like any player, it's, when we get to the line of scrimmage, what are they doing, [and] what does that mean to us? Are our eyes in the right spot? Are we giving ourselves a chance, every single play, to be successful? And don't waste plays. And then let your players' talents come to life with what you do right now and then during the week."

What do you think WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s impact will be on QB Lamar Jackson, from the standpoint of Jackson having the keys to the offense? (Brian Wacker)"I hope he [Odell Beckham Jr.] brings a level of trust. I think that's part of quarterback-receiver play – be it running backs, tight ends, wideouts – is a certain level of trust. I think that's developed over time. That's why it's great that he's here, because you get to work together, and you get a sense of trust. Where they're going to be, how they're going to adjust, how they're going to change routes – that's a big part of it."

Do you find yourself building rapport with QB Lamar Jackson pretty easily? (Childs Walker)"I think he [Lamar Jackson] … I'm going to speak for myself, but I know you asked me about it. He seems easy to strike up a rapport [with]. He's a nice enough kid. Yes, I don't know. (shrugs shoulders) I don't mean that in a negative way – [that] I keep shrugging my shoulders. It's just, that's our job – is to [build] a rapport with the players, and that we're on the same page. And to me, it's always been really simple. We have a job for the players; to create the best version we can of the players – that's what our job is – and ultimately then score. So, if you can't find a way to develop a rapport with your players and for them to sense that everything your doing is for the best interest of them, you're already going to be behind the eight ball."

How would you measure success for WR Odell Beckham Jr., when you think about his production under you in Cleveland, but also how things changed and evolved during his career? How much time as an offensive coordinator do you really get to dig into one player and help unlock him, while focusing your headspace on the entire offense? (Josina Anderson)"Great question, and that comes with time, because, as you stated, I was with him [Odell Beckham Jr.] in '19. So, do I see, still, a tremendous football player, a guy that can separate and route run and loves to play and brings a certain amount of energy and juice and experience? And then, as we practice more together, as we get more together, now we try to fit it together. But he's always going to be crafty; he's always going to be able to find a way to separate. Where that ends up – X, Z, F – that's to be determined. But all that is just trying to figure out where that fits, and that's also with the other pieces – Zay [Flowers], the tight ends, you brought in Nelson [Agholor], getting 'Bate' [Rashod Bateman] back; we haven't even had him practice yet. So, fitting that all together is really a big part of it, but it's fun to try to figure out how to fit it together; you don't always have that."

Is it challenging to not have RB J.K. Dobbins out on the field at this point? (Morgan Adsit)"A challenge is probably a strong word. Would we love him [J.K. Dobbins] to be out here? Of course. Would we love him to be able to go through practice and be able to see that? As I told him today, I'm excited. 'Give me something. Run a swing route. I don't care. Just jog down the field. Do something. Give me something to get excited about.' It's what we do. You're excited to be around the players. Who's not excited to coach football and be out here with the guys? It's what we do. There's a lot that goes on up there, and trying to scheme up plays and what you do, but the fun is being on the grass. So, when you get on the grass, you want to see your best players. That's fun. We'd love for him to be out here. Obviously, he's not ready to go. But we're excited, and I know he'll be ready when he's out there. But we certainly are better with him out there."


Opening statement:"Hopefully, you guys are tired out by everybody before me, so I expect [only] a few questions. (laughter)Good to see everybody, though. Guys came out with a lot of energy yesterday, and the focus today is to keep building on it, so we set the table for training camp. Everybody is in good spirits, but the challenge is just to keep doing it day after day."

Are you starting to see the impact of outside linebacker coach Chuck Smith on some of these guys? (Cordell Woodland)"Yes, absolutely. [Outside linebackers coach] Chuck [Smith] has a vision for how he wants to coach pass rush, and it's a partnership between him and 'Weav' [assistant head coach/defensive line Anthony Weaver], and it's just been a great collaboration to this point. You see the buy-in from the guys, too, and the excitement on a daily basis. So, that's where we're at right now, in terms of this stage, so it's great to have the guys buy into the things that he's trying to coach them up to do, and it's a daily process to build on their moves and that sort of thing. So, we're pleased [with] where we're at right now, but we've got a ways to go to kind of mesh everything [and] put it all together."

How have you seen a guy like DT Justin Madubuike improve during the spring? (David Andrade)"Yes, it's just another year in the system. I think this is Year Four for Justin [Madubuike], and he's doing … Shoot, he's been here every day, he works extremely hard, he's an extremely tough player, as you guys know – very physical. [We're] trying to encourage him to take his game to the next level, especially [his] interior pass rush game – taking charge, making some calls on how we want to apply our pass rush rules for that day. But all those guys are doing a great job. They're working hard. I think they work really well together, and I think you'll see it pay off in the fall."

Have you considered full-time changes to any of the interchangeable players in the secondary? How have you defined their roles? (Jeff Zrebiec)"It's tough right now [with] where we're at. It's great to say that we're interchangeable parts, and that is true, and in the beginning part of the offseason, we do teach everything conceptually, so that guys are just learning X's. But as we get going into the fall, we're going to want to start to slot those things, kind of, more full time, so guys get used to playing next to guys that they're going to be [next to] in the game. So, [with] where we're at right now, we'll see. There are some things that are definitely up for competition out there. I think you know the usual suspects out there, and we're just trying to really just kind of let them cook in there and get used to playing with one another."

I'm just curious, what is your personal energy when it comes to the AFC North and your overall macro-view on the growth and evolution of the quarterbacks in the division – with QB Deshaun Watson having a second year in Cleveland, QB Kenny Pickett in Pittsburgh and QB Joe Burrow in Cincinnati? (Josina Anderson)"Our first goal every year is to win the division, so those are the guys [Deshaun Watson, Kenny Pickett and Joe Burrow] that we have to study in the offseason, and we have to win those games. And I think, if you look at our schedule, it's pretty front-loaded in division games, which is a little bit unusual, if I'm correct. So, it's a huge challenge. There are obviously great quarterbacks [in the AFC North]. We've won some great battles, [and] we've fallen short a few times, so, hopefully, we will wind up on the right side of the coin this time."

With S Kyle Hamilton, is it more of a gameplan issue and figuring out where you're going to use him – up, back, all around? (Vinny Cerrato)"That's a strength of Kyle [Hamilton's] game – is he's so versatile – but at some point, there is a tradeoff. If he's never in the same spot for long enough, the question is, does he get good enough at those things? So, that's something we need to figure out before we get kicked off."

When you coached OLB David Ojabo back at Michigan, he was still young to the game of football. What were your first impressions of him then, and how have you seen him mature over the years? (Jamison Hensley)"Man, shoot, when we first got there [to Michigan], we just wanted a quick sample of who was on the roster and what they could do. He [David Ojabo] hadn't played up until when we showed up, and we saw this big, tall guy that runs like a 4.4 [40-yard dash]; we're like, 'Why is he not rushing the passer?' (laughter)So, it was a pretty easy decision to make. And I think about your question, [and] it's just like … I remember just a lot of enthusiasm and energy and positivity, and I think he really, really wants to be good. And so, when you have that and you have that mentality and you have that attitude, that's something that he's brought here, and it's exciting to work with a guy like that. So, I think you've seen his trajectory up to this point, and hopefully, he'll continue."

Have you liked what you've seen in run defense from OLBs Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo and Tyus Bowser, who had his first practice yesterday? Do you like the edge-setting you've been getting? (Jonas Shaffer)"That's definitely going to be a challenge for us, in terms of setting the standard on how we want to play the run here. But right now, it's just impossible to evaluate because of the tempo. And really, when we're playing blocks, we're really practicing the fit and the technique instead of like beating the block, just because of the tempo on the requirements. So, right now, I just can't answer it. But that's definitely … That's going to be a challenge for our whole defense moving forward, because if you can't dictate the run and force them into passing situations, then you're going to have a tough time on defense."

How is OLB Tavius Robinson progressing? We've seen him take some reps with some of the starters. How is he doing? (Childs Walker)"Yes, he [Tavius Robinson] is doing a great job. His mentality is great, [and] he plays fast, but like I was saying, it's hard to evaluate until the pads come on. So, right now, it's how you do it with the speed and assignment. He's assignment-sound, so that's good. But the things that we're drafting him to do, I think we're going to be able to evaluate that better in the fall."

Between now and the start of training camp, are you involved in the conversations about supplementing the roster and what the personnel needs might be? What does your involvement in that look like? (Mark Viviano)"If [executive vice president & general manager] Eric [DeCosta] or [head coach] John [Harbaugh] wants my opinion, they'll come to me, and I think it's an ongoing conversation within the building of directions we want to go on all aspects. But I'm not initiating any of those conversations, no."

There's a different kind of motion on offense here. Do you feel like all the stuff you're seeing this spring is helping you get the defense ready for what you're going to see come the regular season? (Jonas Shaffer)"Yes, they're doing a lot of great things on offense, and we want to see … The more, the merrier on stuff that we see. So, we want to … We have to be able to defend everything. Some people subscribe to the theory of, like, they want to know what the offense is running, so they can kind of make sure they get the right call [and so that] you can see all the things and all the different kinds of concepts you're going to be in. I kind of go the opposite; I just want to be out there, and we have to respond to what the offense is doing, because that's as game-like as it gets. They're doing a great job, but they're doing a lot of things, too, and giving us some things we need to talk about [to] make sure our scheme is sound and simple, so the guys can go play."

Not having DE Calais Campbell here anymore, who have you seen kind of step up and start to fill that leadership void in the room? (Chris Bumbaca)"The leadership void … I would say it's more within the room; you see guys like 'Broddy' [Broderick Washington] and Justin [Madubuike] and Mike [Michael] Pierce being back and being healthy in the defensive line room. I want to encourage guys to just be themselves and lead in their own way. Calais [Campbell] was obviously … We love him, and he led in his own way, but it's this team now, [and] it's these guys' opportunity, so I encourage them to just kind of be themselves."

Maybe it's a little premature to ask, but have you guys decided on who's going to be wearing the green dot this year? (Jonas Shaffer)"Yes, that will be 'Ro' [Roquan Smith], yes."


On his first practice with WR Odell Beckham Jr. yesterday: "I think he looked pretty smooth. [He has] crisp routes, great hands. As everybody knows, he can catch the ball. He looked pretty good out there."

On the importance of working out with WR Odell Beckham Jr. after minicamp:"I believe it's very important just so we can keep our chemistry going, keep building our chemistry, because the season is right there. The offseason is pretty much over with."

On if he's comfortable with making adjustments at the line of scrimmage:"Yes, absolutely. The more I'm being here, it helps. It helps both of us out a lot. Like I said before, in another interview, [offensive coordinator] Coach Todd Monken [is] just giving us the keys to the offense and letting us do our thing. That's pretty much helping us a lot as well."

On if this style of offense reminds him of what he did back in high school or college:"Not really, because ours was strictly signals. I never had to get in the huddle at all. This offense, I still have to get in the huddle and make calls like that. So no, not really."

On the expectations with having five former first round picks at wide receiver:"You don't really care about the expectations. [It's] just the guys have to get out there and do what they do. The reason they went [in the] first round [is because they] make those plays and stuff like that. And I believe we have the guys to do it."

On how long it took him to feel comfortable in Greg Roman's offense and how long it will take him to feel comfortable in offensive coordinator Todd Monken's offense:"I don't think [it took] that long. G-Ro [Greg Roman]'s offense, it didn't take that long. I believe 2019, that's when he got the OC [offensive coordinator] job, and I feel like we went 14-2. [With] coach [offensive coordinator] Todd Monken – I don't know – the sky [is] the limit with this offense. We're going to see."

On how much time he allows for the maturation process of learning a new playbook:"It doesn't take long; you just have to study. It's a job at the end of the day. So, [it's] me doing my job, studying and trying to learn the in's and out's and pinpoint everything – every detail. It will help."

On if this new offensive system is similar for him despite the new terminology:"I see it the same way. Just the terminology [is different], but everything else is pretty much the same."

On what a successful week looks like to him, and how he wants to leave things after minicamp practice:"Let's finish this last practice tomorrow crisp. Let's make ourselves look good out there, and we're going to see how the rest goes."

On what it means to meet with his younger fans and be in the community of Baltimore:"It's cool. I was there [at Morgan State University] with friends and family as well, so ... Just hanging out with the kids. I say they're kids, because I'm 26 [years old] now, so just hanging out with the kids and some players who were on the lacrosse team – I was playing lacrosse a little bit – just to give them motivation to just reach your goals, because that's where I'm at. I'm having fun in my profession. [It's] a goal of mine I wanted to reach, and I just want them to have the same thing."

On if offensive coordinator Todd Monken being keen on small details has rubbed off on him:"Yes, absolutely. I think I did it a little bit yesterday when me and Nelly [Nelson Agholor] … Nelly went out for a route, and I wanted him to do a certain thing within that route. But yes, you can say that it's rubbing off a little bit."

On if offensive coordinator Todd Monken's personality has surprised him at all compared to Greg Roman's:(laughter)"[I'm] not even talking about [Greg] Roman, just himself [offensive coordinator Todd Monken], when I first signed, when I saw him … I didn't really think he was that explosive when he was speaking. Even in the meeting rooms, he's going to have you laughing, but he's dead serious about what he's saying. It means a lot just for him to have that going on in our offense. Everybody has to be dialed in, know what coach is thinking. So yes, [it] definitely surprised me."

On how the adjustment has been since offensive coordinator Todd Monken has "given him the keys to the offense," and if he was eager for that in the past:"Yes, I was definitely eager, just because of certain things we see in the film room that we might not get when we're playing. Sometimes I want to make adjustments, but like I said, coach Todd [Monken is] giving us that free will. It's like, we're going to make things happen."

On what adjustments he makes and how he goes about getting to that point:"[There's] not really [adjustments]. [I'm] just studying and stuff like that. You're going to naturally just go off."

On if 4,000 passing yards is a realistic expectation after originally saying he wanted to throw for 6,000 yards:"Yes, but like I really was saying that then. But they just blew it out of proportion and said my goal is 6,000 [passing] yards. My goal is to win the Super Bowl. My goal is never about yards or anything like that. I know our guys, they want the ball in their hands to make plays. And I feel like we have the guys to do it, so that's all I was saying. I feel like we could throw for 6,000 yards, but that's probably unrealistic. But, we'll see."

On the importance of getting out of the huddle quicker and how that helps him:"[It's] very important, just because we have the clock going – the play clock going – and then we have to see what the defense is in. [We] have to make adjustments at the line. We still have to have time to make our adjustments. We might have to change a play here and there, so it's very good getting to the line of scrimmage and have everything settled within that."

On how much more pressure he feels with the way this offense is set up:"I feel the same [level of pressure] I've been feeling. I don't feel like I have pressure on my shoulder about anything. I'm playing football."

On how being a dad has affected his life and playing career:"It really hasn't affected my life. I feel like I'm very playful, and I just have a daughter so it's like … I just take some edge off and play around with my daughter sometimes. She makes my day, so it's pretty cool."

On what the plan is from now until training camp and if players will come down to South Florida:"Hopefully, [I] have to see what the guys are thinking. I feel like most of the guys will come down and just get ready to grind, like I said, before the season is here. The offseason is really over with for us."

On if there's anyone in this offense that is going to be utilized a lot more and has shown him a lot over the last month:"Pretty much all of the receivers – all the tight ends – they're working their tails off right now. I believe all our receivers, [when] they get a shot out there on the field, they're going to show their potential."

On his reaction to hearing WR Odell Beckham Jr. saying he signed with the Ravens mainly because of Jackson:"That's cool. Odell [Beckham Jr.] is a legend to a lot of us [because of] what he did early in his career and the past year when he was with the Rams. Odell is him. [He's] one of those guys, so it means a lot."

On playing with his cousin CB Trayvon Mullen and if he was instrumental in bringing him here:"That's crazy. I never got a question about him, yet I'm his cousin. Yes, that's crazy. We actually just talked about it earlier this year, or last year. I'm like, 'Man, we never got to play on the same team with each other.' We always played against each other [in] youth football, high school, college and stuff like that. But now, we're finally on the same team and we're like, 'That will be dope if we make it to the Super Bowl and win it'. So, that's our goal."

On in he has changed his body at all since last year and if there's anything he wants to change physically for this season:"Not really. I'm still the same. My goal is always the same goal. That's it."

On if he's slimmed down or bulked up this offseason:"I don't know." (laughter)

On how WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s IQ and work ethic could impact this offense:"He pretty much was just telling me he's going off how I'm playing. What I see out there, [I] just let him know what will put us in a better situation and when, and he's going to do it. That's all I needed to hear."

On if he is still working with the same private QB coach and what he focuses on: "I haven't worked with him this offseason, but yes. That's pretty much still the same coach."


On if this year is different than the past couple of years:"[There's] a big difference being able to go through a full offseason healthy, being able to build and really … Build off what I did last season and get better. I really feel a big difference from the last couple years."

On his excitement for having QB Lamar Jackson back:"It's great having him [Lamar Jackson] here. I was just kind of having blind confidence in the whole thing. I was just confident that he would be back because that's my guy. Everything worked out the way I thought it would, and I was super happy, super stoked. I saw him for the first time yesterday and being able to congratulate him, just hang out with him, it's just a really good feeling having him back, knowing he's going to be here."

On his first impressions of this offense and if he expects it to be different:"I don't expect it to be too different in the sense of the things that we do – at least from [an] offensive line perspective. I do like what I'm seeing: the concepts and the schemes, everyone working together and just the mentality behind the offense. [We] really focus on the execution. I think [offensive coordinator] Todd Monken has really done a great job of just getting us all together [and] focused on the same thing."

On how his offseason preparation has changed now that he doesn't have to focus on rehabbing:"Right. A majority of my time the past couple of years have been spent on rehab. About 80% of that offseason time [had been focused on rehab] and probably 20% on training. So, being able to really put most of my time on training and building and getting stronger, getting more endurance, and just becoming an overall better athlete has been a big difference for me."

On if he's feeling as good as he's felt in his career:"This is as good as I've felt since 2019, preseason 2020."

On being able to start this year healthy and hopefully playing a full season:"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be able to come into this season healthy. I definitely don't take it for granted knowing the past couple of years how hard it is just to get back in the game. So, to be able to start a whole new season feeling good is … I'm very thankful for."

On his role whenever a starting LG is named:"Whoever it is, it's just helping him as much as I can. [I'll] continue to try to be a leader and do my best to help the players around me be better."

On having somebody in mind for the starting LG spot:"I've only been back a day, so we'll see. (laughter) There's a lot of good guys out there. We've had guys around that I know that can play, that I've played with. So, there's a lot of names out there that can fit the bill."

On if there is any lack of clarity for the league's gambling rules as a player:"I don't think it concerns me. There might be a lack of clarity, but I don't think so, because all the different rules between gambling, all the different sites, fantasy … I think guys, especially in the newer generation, probably get a little bit more confused about what they can and can't do. But, I know the league and PA [NFLPA], they try to have these meetings to make sure that we have a full understanding of things that we can and can't gamble on."

On his biggest focus going into this season:"For me, I think [my focus is] just trying to become the best athlete I can, and just really feeling like my athletic ability – pre-injury – try to match up with that and be even better. Also, just technique-wise, always trying to hone-in on that. That's always one of my biggest focuses, is making sure my technique is on point. So, I would say that being the best athlete I can and just really focusing on honing-in my technique [are my focuses]."

On not being present at OTAs:"I've done that since 2019, 2020. It's my normal routine. I just feel like I like to work on things that I think build me personally as an athlete. I like to do a lot of work like in the sand – low joint impact stuff – whereas football is going to be high joint impact joint stuff. So, I really try to split that time of stuff off my joints."

On if he feels that he was playing at his highest-level by mid-to-late season last year:"It's hard for me to tell, but in my head, I don't think I will be until I'm … Like I said, I feel confident in just the way I move and it kind of feels the same to me. I think production-wise, it was fine. I think no one was really upset about that, but for the standard I have for myself, I do want to be better."

On if he feels he can reach that potential again:"I think so, and I really feel after this offseason, my confidence level – that I will get back and further than that level – is going up because just the things I've been able to work on and really build through the offseason."

On adjusting to new offensive coordinator Todd Monken's coaching style: "I love it. He's [Todd Monken] just a real guy, and I really believe that we have the same beliefs and mentality when it comes to what makes a successful offense. He's all about the details. He's detail orientated. [He's] focused on the execution. I really think he's focused on the right things and getting everyone to think about the things that – how he thinks about it. I think he's doing everything the right way."

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