Transcripts: Ravens Monday Training Camp Transcripts


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Good to see everybody. Really good practice, excited about how the guys are working at it. We get better every day. We had a little bit of rain out here, which is good. I got warnings two or three times, 'It's coming in! The heavy stuff is coming!' I think I said, 'The heavy stuff's not coming for quite a while yet.' You know – 'Caddyshack?' Thank you – 'Caddyshack' reference!"

Has DT Brandon Williams earned the right to be considered one of the veterans like OLB Terrell Suggs and S Eric Weddle, because of the way he's played, and he's been here so long?_ (David Ginsburg)_ "Well, we're just trying to measure all of our guys. He is a little bit … He's not a kid; he's not quite as old as those guys. But he's a guy that we don't need to give a thousand reps on an extra week, so to speak, early. Those other guys need the reps, too, but they come out and work in the individual part of it really hard. Then those guys go inside, and they continue to train. Believe me – we're getting our money's worth out of Brandon and all those guys this week. He's doing a good job."

It's pretty tough to measure DT Brandon Williams' greatness in stats because of where he plays. Is he invaluable to the scheme of the defense? (David Ginsburg)"I'm a big Brandon Williams fan. Ask the offensive line coaches and the offensive linemen around the league how they feel about him – how they feel about blocking him. He's a force in there. He takes up two blockers, sometimes more. He's very stout. He can also run – he's a great athlete. You want great players everywhere, but in the middle of your defense, I think it's good to have an anchor that can keep people from running inside. It creates better looks for your defense. So all that theory, it's nice to have a big, physical run-stopper. And really, the Ravens have always had that. It's really been a staple here, historically. So Brandon, and I think Michael Pierce, is in that mold, too."

Saw a couple of razzle dazzle plays with QB Lamar Jackson. What are you evaluating when you see him put in action?_ (Mike Tanier)_"I evaluate like, 'Do they look terrible,' or, 'Do you look OK?' Those plays – they either look great, or they look terrible. You run a play like that, and it's like everyone thinks, 'Oh, it's great; it's genius; it's so creative!' Or it's a disaster and you're getting too tricky and you need to stick to the basics. We need to execute plays like that. I don't really think those are trick plays as much as they are plays that we're experimenting with and seeing how they look."

You guys are expecting TE Hayden Hurst to have a relatively big role on the offense for a rookie. What effect does it have on him when he's missed practices?_ (Aaron Kasinitz)_ "Thanks for asking that. It's a big effect. You have to be out here practicing. You can't be in the training room and expect to be your best. It's not his fault; it's nobody's fault. He's in there doing everything he can to get back, but it's part of the deal. One thing I've noticed: guys coming out of college aren't as callused up as they used to be. We used to practice twice a day in full pads. Those players … And those players know … I'm talking to you out there, who know, who've played in the National Football League or played in college 10, 15 years ago, [that] it's not even close to the same thing. There's a certain type of 'in shape,' certain type of football fitness, certain type of callousness – muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments – that kind of toughen up. They callus up a little bit, and you can practice all day and run all day. Then our guys coming in right now, most of them don't have that. So you practice for half a practice, and all of a sudden things start tweaking on them. Now, you look at the other tight ends [Nick] Boyle, look at Maxx Williams – they're taking every rep out here. And because the other guys are nicked right now, they're taking all the reps. They're not batting an eye. Why? Because they're callused up, because they know how to practice, because they're bodies are just tougher; there's a physical toughness to it. They're mentally tough. But you have to practice football to be able to practice football the right way."

Any chance you reschedule the cancelled stadium practice? I know logistics are tough. _(Jerry Coleman) _"We ended up coming back here and practicing inside. So, we had a practice – had a great practice, but it was inside for obvious reasons. That would be up to [president] Dick [Cass] and [owner] Steve [Bisciotti] and [executive vice president of public and community relations] Kevin [Byrne] – Kevin is a big part of it. Trying to find a day, right Kevin? I know they're looking hard to find a day. As far as players and coaches, we're great. We like being over there. Hey, send us down – we'll go do it. It's just right now, I don't know if we can find a day or not. If we can, we'll load the busses up and head down."

Can you talk about the opportunity FB Christopher Ezeala is getting? How big of a learning curve is there for a guy who has never even played high school football and is trying to play in the NFL? (Don Markus)"Great question about Chris Ezeala. I think you pronounced it perfectly. He has a little German accent when he says it. Great young man, German, national, played a lot of football, a guy that got assigned to us. I actually think he has a chance to make it. He's very physical, very smart. He picks things up quick. He doesn't know a lot. [Running backs coach] Thomas [Hammock] is down there … Some of the things Thomas says to him, I'm like, 'Gosh, I'm glad he doesn't speak great English.'(laughter)But he learns very quickly, and he gets better one day to the next. I think it's not going to be this year, probably, but maybe down the road he can play."

What have you seen out of WR Breshad Perriman, and does he look healthier than he has been the past few years? _(Jamison Hensley) _"Breshad does look healthier, practicing fast. I think: good for him, he's going to get an opportunity to show what he can do in training camp. That's all we need; that's all he needs."

Only a player can know about their own confidence level, but can you gauge the confidence level? Is that a concern at all?_ (Jamison Hensley)_"It is a concern, but these guys are pretty confident guys. It's pretty hard to … I don't have to usually pump them up too much – they believe in themselves. You can't get discouraged. You have to keep pounding every single day. What can you get done when you can't practice? What can you do between now and then to make yourself as good as you can possibly be? To me, that's what I push [Perriman] to do. It's not just sit on the sidelines and mope. Get in there and do something in the weight room; go catch some balls on the JUGS; whatever it is your body allows you to do, do it to the max and be prepared for when you come back."

What do you see from OLB Terrell Suggs? Do you anticipate him looking back on his career or teaching younger players about Ravens history with the upcoming Hall of Fame induction ceremony? (Shawn Stepner) _"Hadn't thought about that. Is Terrell Suggs going to get nostalgic, is basically your question? Sentimental?" _(Reporter: "Yes.") "I'm not anticipating that. No, in all honesty. (laughter)But I will say this: He does talk to the guys about the Ravens' history and about tradition and what it means to 'Play Like A Raven' and what the standard is. He does it in his unique way. It's very effective."

Are you still surprised that OLB Terrell Suggs is still playing at this high of level?_ (Don Markus)_ "To me, the things that stand out are the fact that he's a very unusual level of athlete – that's the one factor – and he's worked so hard. He's trained at a higher level than he's ever trained before, by far. Those are the two things to be the factors in how he looks right now."

Did CB Jimmy Smith and CB Maurice Canady get days off since they're coming back from injury?_ (Jeff Zrebiec)_"Yes. Jimmy and Maurice have been stacking a lot of days, so we gave them a little time [off] on their knees. Yes."

Was Ray Lewis the best linebacker you ever saw play? His value to the Ravens – was it the leadership, the on-field performance or all of the above?_ (David Ginsburg)_"Ray Lewis, right. I'm going with 'D,' all of the above, all those things. Another guy that's one of a kind. Definitely the best linebacker, I would ever say. Am I biased – sure. I think he's the best that ever played. Like you said, it's not just the on-field play; it's the whole package. He's a leader. One thing about Ray Lewis is Ray Lewis is going to be Ray Lewis. He's not going to apologize for who he is; he's going to try to be the best Ray Lewis he can be. Whenever he made a mistake, he was the first one to acknowledge it, whether it's in his life or whether as I see it … I know that's a little controversial statement a little bit. But I've been around him, and he's always acknowledged when he needs to do something better – which to me, is a great leadership trait. I can't wait to hear the Hall of Fame speech. They put him last for a reason probably, right? Can you imagine having to follow Ray Lewis? I mean, that had to be it, right? Ray goes, and you're the next guy walking up to that mic. It's probably a good call."

How do you assess the development of K Kaare Vedvik? He kicked a 67-yarder today. (Ed Lee)"Pretty impressive! All he does is come out here and impress, Kaare does. I mean, he had a little wind at his back. (laughter)But he just kicks them straight. He's a very talented guy. I'm expecting he either beats [Justin] Tucker out or someone trades us a draft pick for him. What do you think? Which one do you think it could be?" (laughter) (Reporter: "Maybe the latter?") "Maybe the latter."

Defensive Line Coach Joe Cullen

Opening statement:"You guys brought the good weather! It was just down pouring – we didn't think we could get practice in. But to start off: I'm D-line coach Joe Cullen. I'll give you a quick overview, and then I'll open it up to questions. We have a deep group, we really do. I'm responsible, and my assistant [defensive line/outside linebackers coach] Drew Wilkins, for coaching, really, the front four. In our base package, that's the end, the nose [tackle], the three-technique and our rush linebacker, where [Terrell Suggs] 'Sizz' has played and Za'Darius Smith and Timmy Williams. We got everybody back healthy – that's been a blessing. We have Brent [Urban], who was really off to a great start last year. Brent Urban – he's back healthy, really working hard, and we're excited about that. At the five-technique, Chris Wormley in his second year, is making great strides. We're excited about him. We drafted Zach Sieler from Ferris State in the seventh round, and I'll tell you, he's really pushing that group. Really, those guys are working really hard. Inside: Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce are really practicing well – two forces at nose tackle. Brandon is going to play both spots, as is Michael, but we're starting both of those guys off at nose, and they're both in excellent shape. At the three-technique spot, we got Willie Henry, who emerged last year, and is really a force inside, a guy that helped us in sub situations. Carl Davis is back healthy. He finished the season well last year as an end for us, but he's going to be bouncing from an inside three-technique position and outside five-technique. So, we really have some depth there. Then we have Pat Ricard, who made the team last year because of the training camp and did a great job balancing both defense and offense, as he's doing now. A guy we got from LSU, Christian LaCouture, is giving us some great depth in there. On the outside, 'Sizz' has come back in great shape. You guys have seen him out here – he's in great physical shape. He's ready to pick it up and have a better year than he did last year earning his seventh Pro Bowl. He's the epitome of what you want a true pro to be. You guys know he's waiting to have his … We have Ray [Lewis] going in [the Hall of Fame] this year, and 'Sizz' is on deck – I'm sure of that. But he's in great shape. Timmy Williams came back in great shape, Za'Darius Smith came back in really good shape, and they're battling that position. You see Bronson Kaufusi playing some RUSH outside linebacker. We're trying to get him on the edge in our Raven package, and we're moving him all around in our penny stuff. With that, I'll open it up to questions.

The NFL's new rules on targeting, is that impacting how you coach or how you prepare the player? (Mike Tanier) "Not so much off the line of scrimmage. But the other rule that is changed is when you hit the quarterback, your body cannot come down physically on him. So that, we have to do a little bit of adjusting – rolling away from him. But no – the helmet-to-helmet stuff, in terms of off the line of scrimmage, to me that doesn't really impact the front guys because you're in closed quarters. That's really more for the defensive backs, the linebackers, coming from distance where they have a receiver or a running back in space." (Reporter: "Is that a concern though, the way those rules are written? They have to be constant on the offensive and defensive line.")"Yeah, but I think you're coached to keep your head up and lead with your hands."

OLB Terrell Suggs was talking about DT Brandon Williams and was comparing him to the Tony Siragusas and that prestige. Do you see that this guy has a chance to be mentioned in that category of great Ravens? _(David Ginsburg) _"I'll tell you what, this is going on my third year … Brandon is the epitome of what you want a true inside tackle to be. He's dominant in the run-game – I mean dominant. It's evident last year when we lost him; we sunk a little bit. The last 10 games I think, [vice president of public relations] Chad [Steele] had a stat – you know, it wasn't good enough – but we were third in the league – gave up 80-some yards a game when Brandon was in there. One, he's really quick for a big guy, but he's so strong he can get great knockback at the point of attack if you single block him. Very rarely on a double team does he get knocked back. He let's linebackers like C.J. Mosley and 'Peanut' [Patrick Onwuasor] run to the football and scrape and make plays. So, I would say 'yes.'"

What about DE Bronson Kaufusi. Do you like in that RUSH spot that you'd give him a trial there? (Ryan Mink)"The big thing out there is he's on air and he's on space where he can get off [quickly]. Like most of the time in our three-four packager, our base defense, he's basically playing on a tackle on space. It gives him an opportunity to use his athleticism more than being inside. In other positions he will be an end."

What improvements have you seen DT Willie Henry make (Ed Lee)"He always had the flashes of really being good in his rush game, but he's really playing the run better. I knew he was going to help us in pass rush, which he did last year. But he's really striking better and playing with better pad level, and his overall game has improved – run and pass."

Both DT Brandon Williams and DT Michael Pierce played at small schools. As a coach, do you see things those guys bring to the job given that they weren't the highest-rated in their craft but can come out here and play? (Mark Viviano) "To me it's always … Ozzie [Newsome] and Eric [DeCosta] and coach 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] … This place has always done a great job of finding those gems in the small schools. It's not where you play – it's what you do when you get here and how you play. You look at John Randle, drafted – I mean, come on – the Hall of Fame, Michael Strahan, where he played, Deacon Jones. So, there are a lot of great players that have played at small schools. The thing that both of those guys had is they dominated where they played, and when they got here they just took it to another level. It was almost like, 'I'm going to show that I belong here,' and they've done that."

What changes from your perspective now that Don "Wink" Martindale is the defensive coordinator? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Shoot. I've known Don Martindale for a long time. [He's] one of the reasons I was blessed to have a chance to come to this organization. 'Wink' is just going to take off with the defensive coordinator position. He was the linebacker coach and got promoted. We're excited about it."

RB Javorius "Buck" Allen

On his comfort level after being more acclimated as a veteran:"Most definitely. Going into my fourth year, [we've] got a lot of great guys on the team, so I'm very confident, ready to work and get to it."

On how much of his success from last year he carries to this season:"It's a whole new year. Me personally, I don't live off the past. It's all about the future and, 'What can I do now?' Me, during camp, that's when I'm building up to the season. I'm going to take what I do during camp and the preseason and take it into the season."

On his focus for the upcoming season:"Just being an all-around back – staying out there, making plays. Like I said, I love the game of football, and whenever my number is called, I try to do the best I can."

On if the offense excites him with the new pieces:"This offense always excites me. Marty [Mornhinweg], when he took over, he [did] a great job of putting the right guys in the right places to make plays, and I happen to be one of those guys he put into place to make a play. And I love this offense. I can't wait to get rolling and play against somebody else besides the guys we go against every day, so I'm excited."

On his thoughts on QB Lamar Jackson:"Great, first-round [pick] or so – what you'd expect from him [in the] first round."

LB Terrell Suggs

On what made Ray Lewis a Hall of Famer:"I think it was everything about him: his work ethic, his desire to be the best football player that he can be. He just woke up and he was just Ray Lewis, so, he did pretty much everything great. He was a great teammate. He was a great brother, so [I'm] really going to be excited to see him go in and reach football immortality. So, it's just good. It's a good thing for this organization. And we all love him, and we're all … We're just excited for him, just like when J.O. [Jonathan Ogden] went in."

On if the NFL's new targeting rules will affect the way he plays: "No. I've said it before, I only know how to play football one way, and that's the way I'm going to continue to play. I'll deal with everything else as it comes, but I only know how to play football one way."

On if he's worried about fines: "Not really, not really. I don't think any NFL player is out to hurt another, but we're all out to be successful and to be the best players that we can be, without endangering the safety of others or ourselves. So, it's easy to look through a camera and say, 'Oh, he's targeting,' but out there on the field, everything is moving at 200 miles an hour and you don't have time to think, 'Oh, I'm going to get fined for this.' You're just going to go and play. That's pretty much what I'm going to do."

On how important to his career and legacy it is that his entire career has been spent with the Ravens: "That's very humbling and flattering, because I've learned that not everybody gets to do that. A lot of guys, before they're done, get to play on two and three teams. To have the opportunity to play for one organization, it just goes to show the kind of organization we have, and it's very flattering. It's very flattering. We've seen a lot of Ravens that will always be known as Ravens not have the opportunity to finish their career here. I plan on being a Raven as long as I'm playing football."

On how playing with Ravens like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed influenced his career:"It was everything. It was everything. I wouldn't be there player I am if it wasn't for those two big, pivotal pieces in my life. Also, it doesn't hurt to practice against the best offensive tackle [Jonathan Ogden] that's ever lined up. That can help your game, too. But as far as the defensive players standpoint, as a mentality, as the way they approach the game, as the way they prepare for games and for seasons, I don't think we can find two that have done it better than those two. Just their brain, just their commitment to just being dominant, it was very flattering. And that's one of the biggest regrets that I always tell these younger guys, is that when I was young, I took them for granted. I thought, 'I will always be playing alongside Ray Lewis, and Ed [Reed], 'A.D.' [Adalius Thomas], Haloti [Ngata], Chris McAllister.' I took that kind of personnel for granted, like, 'We'll always be together,' and that's not true. So, it's very important that you take advantage of the time that you have, especially with icons and legendary players like that."

On if he's thought about when/how he'll say goodbye to football:"No. You don't want to start thinking about the end, because this time that you have here, it'll pass you by. I just said, 'Make the most of the time you have.' I'm not thinking about the end. You think I should leave? (laughter)I'm not worried about it, but like you said, time is undefeated. It eventually will happen. I just hope it's later rather than sooner."

On how someone can measure DT Brandon Williams' success without numbers: "Well, a lot of things have been measured by interior lineman or defensive lineman that have come through here, that have had the honor of being considered a Raven for life. I think the No. 1 thing they had was toughness. Can you be mentally and physically tough? Can you beat the man, can you physically dominate the man, across from you? And I think Brandon Williams embodies that. I think he can be considered in the group, in the rare group of the Tony Siragusas, the Kelly Greggs, the Haloti Ngatas and now himself."

On taking owner Steve Bisciotti's golf cart at the beginning of practice the other day:"It's a tradition. It started as me and Haloti [Ngata]. We used to just steal it, because Steve wouldn't be here, and it seemed like a very fast and fun way to get onto the practice field. But yesterday was the first time in 16 years that I've actually gotten caught. He usually comes later, and the cart would be back, but he was actually sitting up there, and I turned just like a kid with hands stuck in a cookie jar. It was fun, though. It was fun."

On what excites him about the defense in 2018:"A lot of things excite me about this year's unit. It's the same thing we've had for a couple years. It's definitely depth. The personnel we have is very rare. We've always … We've had legendary defenses in the past, but we've never been this deep at every position, so that's something exciting to look forward to. And we can be a fresher team coming down the stretch in December and January football."

On if he considers LB C.J. Mosley a cornerstone player, and what he sees moving forward:"I think definitely, definitely so. C.J. is one of the premier players in this league. Like you said, like I said before, not everybody can come through these doors and be considered a Raven for life. So far, I think his resume shows that, and I think he's one of those rare guys that's going to be a lifer here."

On when it became a reality that being a Raven for life is realistic for him:"Just when I get other vets that have come from other teams. You start having a conversation, and they'd be like, 'What year is this for you?' And I'll be like, 'Sixteen.' And they'd be like … It'll kind of hit them, they'll be like, 'You ain't played anywhere else?' And I'll be like, 'No,' and then it all humbles me again. And despite everything, I'm still here: two Achilles, two biceps, full pec. And I'm still a Raven, so I'm very flattered."

On if he's surprised he's still with the team:"No, I'm not surprised I'm still here, because I know this organization. But, I do understand the business of it. That's why I am grateful and flattered and humbled. That's why I approach my business every day with so much humility. I understand the business of it, but for me to be in one spot for 16 of them, it's flattering."

On what he's seen from QB Lamar Jackson: "He likes to scramble. He likes to run, very fast. I think we have a possibility to do some fun stuff when he gets it. He's a very exciting, young talent, and granted, he approaches the game with the kind of requirement that quarterbacks are held to in this league. He could have a promising career."

On how winning the Super Bowl five years ago, and reaching the playoffs once since, influences expectations on the season and his perspective on how hard success is to come by:"Say that again? That was a lot. Remember, I went to ASU [Arizona State University], man. (laughter)

"Pretty much it's the opportunity to build from ground zero. We haven't been in the playoffs in a few seasons, so now, us getting there is going to be a result of the work that the men involved put in. So that's very flattering. You're not riding off the Ray Lewises and the Ed Reeds. You've got to do it [on] your own. Like I always used to say when I was younger, your big brothers ain't always going to be there to fight for you. I think that's kind of the mindset we've taking this offseason. It's like, 'Yo, we're tired of missing being in the second season.' We want to be playing football in January, and it shows in the way we work this offseason and in camp right now."

On QB Joe Flacco's comment expressing confidence in himself: "I like it."

On dialogue he expects himself and other veterans to have with about the targeting rule:"None. Nothing is going to be perfect, but we've got to play Raven Football. Ain't going to be no dialogue."

DT Brandon Williams

On what it means that OLB Terrell Suggs compares him to Ravens greats, and if it is what he strives for:"It means a lot coming from a guy like that, coming from Suggs. He's one of the best players [I've been around]. He's the best player I see out here every day. He's always being the best pro, working on his body, always getting in the weight room, working out, and for him to say that about me, it means a lot. I feel honored. I feel privileged to be on this defense alongside him and with the rest of the history of the Ravens. But at the same time – I'm honored that he compares me to them – but [at] the same time, I want to also do my own thing. I want to play how I play. I'm not Haloti [Ngata], even though he was a great guy and I learned a lot from him, but I want to do my own thing. I want to just be whatever I can be for the team." (Reporter: "And that's to clog the run.")"Yes." (Reporter: "You know what your job is, and it's maybe not sexy in terms of stats.") "Oh, it's sexy. As long as I'm there, it's sexy." (laughter)

On if he's OK with a "thankless" job, that his job is to set others up for success:"I'm totally fine with it. I'm totally fine with what I do. I know it's a dirty job. Somebody's got to do it, and I'm happy to raise my hand and volunteer to do it. As long as my guys have my back, and as long as my guys are making plays around me, that's all I care about." 

On how much LB C.J. Mosley means to the defense:"It means a lot. He is definitely a staple in our defense. He's one of the captains of our defense. When we go out there, we look up to C.J. as a leader. When we have him out there, we know that things are going to be called out right. We're going to have great communication. We're going to do things right, because we've got all of our dogs out there."

On if he sees Mosley as the next in line for an investment from the Ravens, as he recently was:"I feel like C.J. can go as high as he wants to go and be whoever he wants to be. He's got that much talent. He's got that much leadership ability, and I'll follow him anywhere. I think C.J. can be a premier – can be, is, will be forever – a premier linebacker in this league."

On what excites him about this year's defense:"Everything: the family aspect, the people, the players, seeing the rookies come in and having small, minimal errors – especially on the field, especially being so soon. Actually, throughout all of the offseason workouts, the rookies have come in and done a tremendous job of getting the playbook down – it being a new playbook – and just buying in, and just going with the defense, going with the scheme. And everyone else is buying in, as well. And seeing that cohesive unit, group, just open up and unfold in front of your eyes, I think that's just the best part."

On if younger players are looking to Suggs in the time they have with him:"Oh, definitely, for sure. If they're not, then there's something wrong with them, because he is the … He's pretty much the blueprint of what a Raven is. If you're not watching what 'Sizz' does, and how 'Sizz' prepares, how he studies his film, how he works out here on the field every day, then there's something wrong with you. You shouldn't be out here."

On how much experience he's able to share with players who also are coming from smaller schools:"Any chance I pretty much can get. When I was coming out of high school, I was one of those guys who, I felt like … I didn't know what D-II was. I thought I was going D-I, and [it] so happened I fell through the cracks and I went to D-II. Going to D-II, I learned a lot, and it made me the man I am today, and it kind of molded me into the fighter I am today, because I had to fight so much there in D-II to get noticed to be here. So, when I see guys, I tell them, 'Hey, you can go anywhere, and as long as you bust your butt and you put in the extra work, you can go anywhere, as long as you recognize you've just got to make a name for yourself.'"

On the origins of his "Big Baby" nickname:"I've been going by the nickname 'Big Baby' since third grade – ever since AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] basketball. I was just a big kid, baby-faced, obviously. That's why I keep the beard. But, I was always 'Big Baby.' My mom used to have to carry my birth certificate to the games, so every time the coach [called a] timeout: 'No! He's too dang big to play!' My mom used to run from the stands, 'Nuh-uh, nuh-uh, my baby can play! He's only 12 years old!' (laughter) It was crazy. I used to have to do that at least a few times every game or tournament or whatever. But it was good. I've had the name forever, so since they call me that, I knew I was home."

On if he's heard from basketball player Glen Davis, also nicknamed "Big Baby": "I've heard of him, yeah, I've heard of him. To me, I'm the Big Baby." (laughter)

On what's different about DT Willie Henry from last season: "I would say everything. If you look at him now, his body composition is way different. The way he sees the field is different. The way he sees plays, he's diving in more to the playbook. He's a game caller for us. He's one of those guys we look for. He's actually coming up as a leader now. He's doing a great job. He's getting into the playbook. He's working on his body composition. He's changed completely. I can't wait to see Willie Henry this year."

On if after Henry's weight loss, he is still nicknamed "Big Earl": "Oh, he's still 'Big Earl.' To be big is up here. (points to head)You can be as big or small as you want to, it just depends on if you believe it or not."

On what it will take for him to get to the All-Pro or Pro Bowl level:"What it's going to take from me? Just consistently kicking butt. Pro Bowl level, it will come when it comes. As of right now, I'm worried about winning games, making it to game one, two, so on and so forth, staying healthy. When I get there, I'll get there, and if it's meant for me to be there, I'll be there. But until then I'm just going to keep grinding, keep doing what I'm doing, and if that's where I'm supposed to be, then I'll be there."

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