Monday (8/13) TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS
Defensive Coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale
Opening statement: "I like where we're at right now. I think that 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh, head coach] always talks about our opponent – our nameless, faceless objects of who we go against. We stayed right on schedule with who we were going to play, how long we were going to play them. For the first 11 series, I think you saw a really good, fast defense. I'm excited in the direction that we're going. As far as the practice against the Rams and then playing them, I think it's been great for us because of what I told you all last week, as far as seeing a different tempo, seeing different people, and it helps us in our evaluation process, especially of our younger guys. I think anytime you get a chance to play, and you don't have to see that guy in the locker room, it makes it a lot more enjoyable, so we're going against different opponents. We're excited about going from … They say the biggest jump is going from Week 1 to Week 2, well we had two Week 1s, really. I liked our improvement, but I think these next 10 days are going to be really important to the defense on how far we take this thing, and that's what we're looking to do. They took a good stride today. So with that, I'll open it up to questions."
We've asked you about the weakside linebacker spot with ILB Kenny Young and ILB Patrick Onwuasor. Kenny had a pick-six today in practice. What have you seen form him and that competition and his development? (Garrett Downing)"I think that he's doing just that – he's developing as an NFL linebacker. Every day he gets better. He needs to continue to work on the playbook-side of it, and you're seeing the reactions you're getting because he's knowing the playbook more and more every day, as well as 'Peanut' [Onwuasor]. 'Peanut' has to do the same thing. I still think it's an even competition. Right now, I don't like to say, 'I don't care.' It doesn't bother me who starts between the two of them and [we might] rotate them back and forth. You're going to have a really good linebacker in that situation and somebody will eventually take that job over, and you'll see it. I just don't know who to bet on yet."
There's been no dime the first game. In the second game, we saw a few snaps of dime in the first half. What is the theory behind that change?_ (Ken McKusick)_ "In the first, it's who you had up for the game because some of the vets didn't play in the first game. We just stayed out of our dime package. You can see some of the younger guys develop because sometimes you're going to have to … We have dime, we have penny … Sometimes a team will go hurry-up. We had to have the same sub-calls out of penny, so it's good work that way, as well, just knowing the entire package with it."
Last week we talked about LB Kamalei Correa finally figuring out his position and making some plays on the field. OLB Tim Williams is also clicking and making some great plays like we saw at Alabama. What do you think for him, triggered that to be able to go ahead and make those plays? _(Pete Gilbert) _"Probably the same thing – confidence. He understands what it takes to get on the field and grab his helmet, and he's more focused. Those rookies … When the rookies come in, you have to look at [it this way]: As soon as their bowl game is over with, they go right into training for the Combine and all those workouts, which is not football. It's training for that. Then they go get ready for the draft part of it, which they go and do visits, which gets them out of shape a little bit. But my whole point is, and it goes on and on, and they basically stay with whatever organization, and get two or three weeks off maybe. So those rookies – it's a mental toll just as much as it is a physical toll when they're rookies. Some can push through it and some can't. I think he has seen what it takes to be a Raven now, Tim has. We're really excited for him, because as you saw, he can rush off the edge now."
What is OLB Terrell Suggs like to him as a mentor? (Pete Gilbert)"'Sizz' is good with all of them in that room. He is fantastic, and he can break down each guys' game and say, 'Here's what I need to see from you.' It really sounds like a coach, but obviously, it means a lot more when 'Sizz' is saying it to them – a guy who has been Defensive Player of the Year and all his accolades, Pro Bowls and everything else. I think the whole defense … The vets have done a great job with that. Eric [Weddle] has done a great job with the safeties. He's working his tail off with Chuck [Clark] and DeShon [Elliott] – he and 'T.J.' [Tony Jefferson]. Same thing with the corners; Brandon Carr does that. Up front, obviously 'Sizz' and 'Big Baby' [Brandon Williams] will do the same."
Just how beneficial has the preseason been for you, just in play-calling? Has it been like riding a bike from back in your Denver days?_ (Ryan Mink)_ "No, it's been beneficial. It really has, because everything's more up-tempo now. So it makes us as a staff … All those guys do a great job. [Coaching analyst] Jesse [Minter] is up in the box – he's telling me what offensive personnel [the opponent] is in. That helps him get in a rhythm, which helps me get in a rhythm. I'll call what personnel I want, and then you have [assistant defensive line coach/outside linebackers] Drew Wilkins – he's sending it out. It's really like an orchestra that we're practicing. I've been really pleased with that, with the communication upstairs, downstairs, on the sidelines and everything else. It helps. I said that from Day One: I'm glad we have five [preseason games], because it helps out that way, selfishly."
Is it more fun now? (Ryan Mink)"Oh, heck yes! Heck yes it's more fun."(Reporter: "Why so?")"I think any time when you're an assistant, you can't help but go through and go, 'I don't know if I'd do [that]. What would you do in this situation?' You know what I mean? Now you get to do it. It's a humbling experience, but it's a lot more fun."
How much did the experience as defensive coordinator in Denver help you the second time around? (Don Markus)"I think we've covered that the first time when I stood up here. It was humbling. I use the saying, 'You either win or get better. You either win or you learn.' We had to learn a lot that year, because it was a struggle."
In terms of the secondary, guys have talked about guys returning, being healthy. What do you see the difference so far this year? (Don Markus)"I think everything you just mentioned. Guys are healthy, for the most part, and they're just used to working with each other. You know that from your job, so you get used to working with different people, and it always is a lot easier."
I know it's early, but the fact that you have six takeaways in two preseason games, how encouraging is that?_ (Ed Lee)_"Oh, we're really excited about that. We just want to keep adding to it. We're really excited about that. I think when you get a lot of takeaways, you have a fast defense. I think that's what you guys can see that we're playing really fast. I think it's awesome. I keep hearing all these kids in the background. What was it – 56 teams, 1,400 kids are out here from Pop Warner football. I think it's awesome."
Can you talk about FB/DL Patrick Ricard's versatility? What strides have you seen him take, strictly as a defensive lineman, and is it a challenge to get him snaps in practice? (Jeff Zrebiec) "What's hard is when we have him out on the field for us, and then Marty [Mornhinweg] says, 'Hey, we need you.' So we have to be on-point. 'Hey, Patrick is going!' The other day, 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] was like, 'Hey, why are you subbing so slow?' I said, 'Because they asked for Patrick on offense.' He goes, 'Oh, OK.' But Patrick, he's really improved as a defensive lineman, he really has. He's bigger this year and stronger this year. I'm excited to see him play more and more, because he's gotten a lot better."
How have CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste and DB Kai Nacua shown their ability that you've expected out of them? They have been making some plays during practice and putting their nose out there. Even though they're not the first guys on the depth chart, how important is that to you to have that kind of depth? (Kyle Andrews)"First of all, it's really important for depth. I'll talk about Stan first. He was struggling early, even in OTAs and early part of training camp, and you're seeing the same thing which you just talked about. You're seeing him starting to climb. He's starting to rise on the hit chart. He's starting to make more and more plays. He understands route concepts better, he's using his hands better in press coverage. If he keeps climbing with consistency of making plays, I think he's going to make some noise in the secondary. Kai is a good football player. He's a little banged up, which in training camp that happens. He hasn't said a word; he just comes into work and works every day. He's done a nice job. He's starting to gather the defense as well."
S Chuck Clark has been playing a lot of first-team snaps. Could you see him having a role even when S Tony Jefferson and S Eric Weddle are healthy? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Oh yes. We'll move him around. I'm not going to tell the rest of the league how we're going to do it. If guys make plays on special teams, we'll make packages for them on defense, because we're going to use everybody we've got on the sideline, and the defense knows that as well."
Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Opening statement:"Let's wrap that last game up. Heck of a start – really, a good first half. It was far from perfect, and so right now, we're going details, details, details. And then, we have to get our hard work in. We have to get our preparation in. From that point on, we sure have installed a lot of things. In fact, last night, we put an awful lot of new formations, personnel groups and plays in, so there were too many mistakes today. We have to get that thing squared away. It seems like we've had a full preseason already, for some reason, and in reality, we have three [games] left. So, what a great opportunity for some of our young players. We have some really good young players that all they need is an opportunity, and then we'll get a great evaluation on them. Let's open it up to questions."
G Nico Siragusa got his first real playing time since San Diego State in the game. More than 50 snaps, seemed like you were pulling him a lot – seven times, by my count. Were you intentionally drawing some mobility plays for him? _(Ken McKusick) _"Man alive! You're breaking that film down. I like it! Yes, we were. We wanted to get a good evaluation on him and see exactly where he's at. He's put a lot of hard work into this thing to get himself to where he's at, and it's a pretty good start for him. We'll see how he keeps evolving here in the next couple weeks."
You said mistakes today. Do you attribute that to you installing new concepts this morning? _(Bo Smolka) _"Yes! Man alive! We have to be able to take it from the classroom on the field. We do that much of the time during the regular season. We're an individual, specific gameplan-type of philosophy. We have to be able to do that. We have to do a better job of that, bringing it from the classroom to the field and [make it] perfect."
You talked last week about how you were so excited to see QB Joe Flacco and the first-team offense, and they obviously looked pretty good. How encouraging was that to come out of the gate and see them march down the field and end the drive with a touchdown? (Garrett Downing)"I'll tell you what, there were some great things last week that way with the first group. And then, we had the penalty, just a missed assignment. We've got that covered. But then we had to overcome that, that penalty. Then, there were some really good situational aspects of the game, that really all the quarterbacks got just a little bit of those situational-type plays that come up during that game. You have to do the right thing all the time to win ball games. So, that part of the game was really good as well."
We've all seen how good WR John Brown is when you practice. What has you the most excited about him? _(Childs Walker) _"Foot speed and his ball skills. And I will tell you another thing, now. He will get in and out with the best of them. In and out of a break, I'm talking about. A lot of speed guys have trouble getting in and out, because they're so fast. Man, he gets in and out – bam – really well. He's had just an excellent camp. I'm certainly excited about his skill and ability."
At depth at wide receiver, you look at WR/RS Janarion Grant making plays nonstop out there. You look at the numbers game, I guess that's part exciting, and part like, "Crap, we're not going to be able to keep them all." _(Pete Gilbert) _"You know what? I will tell you, it normally works itself out down the stretch, late in the preseason, in training camp. It normally works itself out, and competition brings it to the top. We're in a good situation there. We are deep there. We've got some really good players, both veterans, both in the middle of their career — well really, it's a triple; it's a trifecta – and then the young guys, so we're in good shape there."
Do you normally do another round of installation at this point, or did you do it now because the offense has looked so good up to this point? (Ryan Mink) _"Here's what happened. We got the last one in, installed the last one, last night. We wanted to do that before our trip to Indianapolis and, what, two games within, what, four days? It's going to get crazy there at that point, so I want it all in. Now, we will still have some installation, but it will be special things, gameplan-type things that maybe, Week 5, we might have to utilize. So, give them a little taste of that. Man alive! I guess my press conference is over. _(laughter)Hey, I'll tell l you what, look at all these young men playing. These are the youth football guys. Man alive, are they excited! [You have to] like it. All right, last question."
John Harbaugh had said last week that giving up eight sacks in that first game means the offensive line has to be better. In your mind, were they? _(Bo Smolka) _"That's a good point. Our line had to be better than that first game, and they were. My second thing: Out of those eight sacks, there were like six of them that the quarterback position that could have gotten something done to avoid that. It wasn't quite – and I told the line this – it wasn't quite as bad as it looks on paper, but we've got to be better, and they were. So, that's a good thing. All right, men. Have a great one!"