RAVENS OTA 2: INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh, CB Marlon Humphrey, T Ronnie Stanley, RB Terrance West & NT Brandon Williams
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "I appreciate you guys being here. It is just a beautiful day, obviously. We had our first great day. It was so much fun to be out here with the sun, and we had a little breeze for the guys even. We have been practicing in the rain and the mist and all that, which has been good for us, but it was nice to be out here. We had a good, fast-paced practice, stacking one practice after another and trying to get better. It has been really good – really positive. We have a couple things going on in town here I am told. The Orioles beat the Yankees last night? Buck [Showalter], alright, good one! And they have the Red Sox coming into town? The place will be packed. Do we let the Red Sox fans in Camden yards?" *(Reporter: "We let some of them in.") *"That is alright; we will take their money downtown. We will take their money and we will take victory from them. We will take everything they've got! Then, the Maryland lacrosse teams were awesome. It was great. Congratulations to both the men's and the women's lacrosse teams. That is a clean sweep. That is awesome. That speaks a lot to lacrosse in Maryland. Obviously, you know, I have a little bias for Maryland lacrosse. On behalf of the Ravens, we want to congratulate both of those teams and the whole university, the players and the coaches for what they accomplished.
"A couple of notes: [Michael] Campanaro sprained his toe yesterday at practice. He will be out for a little while. It is not a serious injury, but it is a nuisance for sure. He was practicing very well. Tavon Young, you saw it here today. We will see how he looks. He bumped into a player. It was not much contact at all. We will see how his knee is. Sheldon Price bumped his head, so they took him in on a precaution for a concussion possibility. I do not know if he has one or not, but they are going to check that out. Jimmy Smith had to leave practice early – he had a personal responsibility he had to take care of."
Is DT Carl Davis OK? (Luke Jones)"Carl, yes. Carl strained his pec just a little bit in the weight room, so thank you. Carl Davis, also, he will probably be out [at practice] soon. He will be back soon."
In Year Two, what does T Ronnie Stanley need to work on? (Mike Preston)"Ronnie, as you know, is the sixth pick in the draft, so he is super-talented. He is already a really good player. He had a really good rookie year. But for whom much is given, much is required and expected. We expect him to be a great player. He is pushing himself, and we are pushing him really hard to improve in a couple of different areas. I think polishing up his technique in every area – footwork, leverage, hands – he is to that level. There is nothing he is really deficient at, but everything he has to get tighter with in terms of his technique. Also, just his physical nature, his maturity, his strength, his ability to bend, his ability to move his feet and be powerful … Those are things that both on the field and in the weight room we are working on really hard. The maturing process and the fact that he is working really hard should bode well. We expect him to be a great player."
How about T Ronnie Stanley's recognition? (Mike Preston)"No question. One thing about … I didn't probably throw that out there right out of the gates, because he really is smart. He really does a good job with that. There are not too many times where he doesn't understand where he is supposed to go, what he is supposed to do. I would say probably out of all the offensive linemen, he asks the best questions out of anybody I have been around – certainly any young player. He asks really pertinent questions in the meeting room. But, experience, time on the job, absolutely – making quick decisions on the move – that is stuff that he needs to work on, sure."
RB Terrance West came in last year in great shape and had a good season. Has he carried over that momentum to this year? (Todd Karpovich)"Terrance West has. He has done really well; he has looked good at practice. You saw him out here today. Terrance has done really well. I also think that Kenneth Dixon has looked really good. Danny Woodhead has looked good at practice. Lorenzo [Taliaferro] has done a good job. So, I feel really good. [Javorius] 'Buck' [Allen] has done a really good job. 'Buck' has been very quick and explosive, so I feel good about all of those guys. But definitely, Terrance, I think he worked really hard in the offseason, and he has improved."
I don't know how well you got to know him in the pre-draft process, but how much personal growth have you seen RB Terrance West from then if you knew him at all? (Bo Smolka) "I am probably not making that comparison, because I didn't know him that well. I knew draft reports or whatever. When he came here, it was a clean slate as far as we were concerned. We weren't concerned about what happened at the other places. It is just about how you put yourself here. He has done very well. He has worked hard. He is here on time. He takes care of his business. He gets along with everybody. He studies football really hard, so it has all been positive."
CB Maurice Canady had three picks out there today. What have you seen from him? Last OTAs, it seems like he had a strong summer and then he is carrying that to this year. (Ryan Mink)"Maurice is another guy … When you go through our winter conditioning, he does not lose very often. A lot of stuff is very competitive, and he finds a way to win a lot. He has slimmed up a little bit, but he has strengthened at the same time. I just think he is moving really well, and he has a knack for the game. He has to prove it in games, but he is going to get a chance to do that, because he is earning that opportunity right now."
I saw you had G/C John Urschel at center and G/C Ryan Jensen at right guard. Is this something that you are just kind of mixing and matching? (Bo Smolka)"Right, we are kind of mixing that every day. Last week, you saw it the other way, and this week you saw it that way. Both of those guys are taking reps at center. They are both going to have to play center and guard. Most of those guys inside do play all three positions. Marshal [Yanda] plays center. I do not know if you knew that, but he is kind of an emergency center. Marshal plays everything; he could probably play quarterback. *(laughter) *Those guys will both get work, and they are competing. I would put Matt [Skura] in there, too. He has done a great job. He has really looked good. We have some good competition there."
What do you see from DT Brandon Williams? What are you expecting from him with his new contract and where he fits in? (Shawn Stepner)"We are expecting a dominant player, flat-out. He has the capability of doing that. I see it in the weight room, I see it out here on the field, and I see it in the meeting room. I expect him to be a leader. He is a young guy, but he is the leader of that group. I expect him to be great."
DT Brandon Williams talked a little about improving in the pass rush. How much of an impact do you think he can make in that area? (Jamison Hensley) "I think he could because he is going to be a pocket pusher. He can work edges. Guys, we know he is athletic – you have seen all the things he can do athletically. I believe he can do it. Both he and Michael Pierce have shown pass rush ability as big players inside."
A lot of the players are having their "Bachelorette" parties and everything. Are you feeling a little angered that you have not been invited to that? (Jamison Hensley)(Note: Dennis Pitta had a group of friends from the team over for the TV show, The Bachelorette, and BaltimoreRavens.com featured a piece on it.) *"I saw the piece that you guys did. At first, I did feel a little slighted, somewhat jilted – like I did not get my rose. *(laughter) *But then, I saw the clip, and I saw the food choices. The hospitality was severely lacking. Was it like, little wiener rolls or something like that?" (Reporters: "Cinnamon rolls!") "Come on. Come on, we can do better than that. Pigs in the blanket? It was weak, wasn't it? We are all shaking our heads. So no, I did not feel bad at all once I saw the piece. *(laughter)
"Anything else? You guys all good? Everybody having fun? Good time of the year, right? We are getting better. Guys are working really, really hard. I am really excited about the attitude and the mindset of our team. We have to make it translate to when it counts. That is what we are working for right now. But, everything we are doing now is for when it counts, when we start playing games. That is the process we are in."
You said that you did not know the extent of CB Tavon Young's injury. But, if he was out, with what you guys have done in the offseason at cornerback, do you feel that would help you sustain any kind of injury at that position? (Jamison Hensley)"Generally speaking, you just want to … As Ozzie [Newsome] says all the time, you need to build as much depth into your roster as you can, because injuries are going to happen. But that particular bridge we will cross when we get there."
CB Marlon Humphrey
On how everything is going:"I feel like it is going well. First two weeks of OTAs, I feel like it is going pretty well."
On the biggest surprise during OTAs to him:"Maybe just the experience in the secondary. You have Jimmy Smith, [Brandon] Carr. Those guys have played A-plus years in the cornerback position. I didn't really know much about the secondary I was coming in to, so just figuring out how many years they have been playing [was interesting]. They have kind of been telling me things here and there, so the experience they have had and the tips they have told me has probably been the biggest surprise."
On how much it helps him as a rookie that there is so much veteran leadership in the secondary:"I think a lot. Like I said, those guys have a lot of experience. I forgot [Eric] Weddle – all of those guys. I think it definitely helps; it kind of helps me take those steps and kind of become that guy a little easier with all of the guys around me."
On what he has seen from the Ravens' receivers and his biggest adjustment in matching up with them:"We have some pretty big receivers – pretty big and fast. They have been showing me some things I have not seen before. [They are] big, fast guys that can definitely get rolling and make some big plays. Especially when Joe [Flacco] is throwing to them; he can put it just about anywhere. Big, fast guys and a good quarterback make for a pretty good corps."
On what it has been like matching up with WR Breshad Perriman:"It has been pretty … Half the time, I am so tired that I don't know who is who, but I can always tell once they get to running. Breshad … They are pretty fast, so it is pretty cool going against some topnotch guys."
On if there has been anyone specifically that has helped him get adjusted:"Nobody in particular. Kind of all the guys in the secondary have tried to help me here and there."
On if there is one tip he has received that has been useful:"Probably, 'Run to the ball.' That is one thing coach [Dean] Pees harps on – run to the ball. Coach [John] Harbaugh [also talk about it]. Run to the ball, whether you mess up or do good, just make sure to run to the ball."
On if the jump to the NFL level has been about what he expected:"It has not really been too big. Long days, I will say that. I used to always wonder, 'How can football be a job?' But, it seems like a normal job. You get breakfast, you get lunch and you get dinner. In between, you are just doing football. That is probably the only thing that is taking some time to get used to – having that 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. day for the rookies. Just football, it is really a job. I am enjoying it; I am just kind of now getting used to the schedule."
On the last time he played significant time at slot cornerback:"I played some at Alabama in practice, but never in a game."
T Ronnie Stanley
On how he feels in Year Two of OTAs:"I feel good. I feel like I'm coming back and not taking any steps back."
On what he needs to work on this year after his rookie season:"I think I just need to be more consistent – you know, really elevate my game and really showing up more on film and standing out more on film as well."
On what he means by "standing out more on film":"Just production and getting the job done and making sure my guy isn't making the play or nowhere near it."
On if he spent time with former Ravens LT Jonathan Ogden this offseason:"Yes, we actually went golfing a little together, so that was really fun. He actually came and worked out with me as well. He hasn't worked out in a while, so we kind of held the workout back a little bit, but it was a cool experience."
On what Ogden told him about succeeding in the NFL:"He told me to just keep doing what I'm doing, and just be a good teammate. Be a good teammate to your teammates and just play good football out there. And he likes what he sees, so I'm happy with that.
On how his golf game compares to Ogden's:"His is very, very much better than mine. *(laughter) *Actually, he taught me how to hit the ball, because I really want to learn how to play golf, but I want to learn from someone who knows how. I don't want to just go out and just teach myself, so he was very helpful."
On how that whole encounter with Ogden came about:"He actually reached out to me as soon as I got drafted, because he lives in Las Vegas, which is my hometown. So when I went back to train in the offseason, we connected a few times. It was just good having a conversation with him."
On what he thinks about the offensive line group as a whole:"I like what we're doing. I like the whole offense and the offensive line as a group as well. And you know, when we get Marshal [Yanda] back it's going to be even better. I'm looking forward to what we're going to do this season."
On if they have made any changes yet, scheme-wise, from a year ago:"A few changes to the scheme, but as an offensive line it's more about being on the same page and having new calls and whatnot for different schemes. But it's around the same thing."
RB Terrance West
On how he feels OTAs are going:"Great, great. We're getting after it; we're competing. The offense is looking good."
On how he feels like the running game is coming along as a unit:"I think we're doing very good. We've got a lot of weapons in the backfield that we're going to use this year, and I think we're going to get after it this year."
On what he thinks about senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach Greg Roman and the mark he has made on the running game to this point:"A lot of downhill running, getting straight to it and attacking the defense. That's what I like."
On how big of a confidence boost it is to be treated as the starter this offseason:"I don't feed into any of that. Anything can change any given day, any practice. Each and every day you've just got to come out and perform. You're as [good] as your last play, so that's how I look at it."
On if coach Roman has implemented big changes, and if it's been easy to adapt to any changes:"It's easy – it's about the same, but a little bit tweaking it at the line of scrimmage [and] how we're blocking things. I think this year is going to be great for running backs."
On what he did this offseason to prepare for OTAs and training camp:"I trained at Under Armour downtown. I stayed home, local, and got after it. I had a good workout during the offseason."
On what he thinks about RB Danny Woodhead and what he's brought to the room:"Danny is explosive, man. He's a great back coming out of the backfield. Film doesn't lie; he does it. He made some plays out here today. Anything that's going to help us win a Super Bowl, I'm down for it."
On how it feels to enter the offseason as the "starter" as opposed to fighting for a roster spot at this time last year:"Like I said before, I don't feed into any of that. I come out here each and every day and give it my all, and let the marbles fall how they fall."
On what else he does to prepare for football in the offseason besides training:"I watched last year's film on pass protection and stuff like that, things I've got to work on and get better at. That's what I did this offseason."
DT Brandon Williams
On TE Dennis Pitta's joking comments that all of his money went to DT Brandon Williams:"I do not know what he is talking about. *(laughter) *I don't know. He could have said no, I guess."
On the strengths of the defensive line:"Oh man, we have a lot of guys coming in who are rookies now who are looking good. Some need to just get in the playbook a little bit more just like every year. But, we have some guys who are kind of just putting their best foot forward and giving it everything they have out here. They are definitely taking in the playbook, and they are knowing their stuff a lot better, so we have a good group of guys, and we can definitely be No. 1."
On if he feels more of a leadership role with such a young defensive line group: "Yes, I do. We have a bunch of leaders on the team. But, yes I do. I feel like I have to carry the D-line on my back. I am trying to get to know the guys a little bit more – the new guys a little bit more and just kind of … Just whoever I can teach, help or whatever, I am definitely ready for it. I feel like we are going to be a great cohesive unit this year, and we are going to get things done."
On what it feels like to be the only remaining starter: "It feels good. I know the guys who are coming up. You've got [Bronson] Kaufusi, Brent Urban. I have [Michael] Pierce right next to me, so I know the guys. I know who I am going to war with, and I am positive that we are going to do the same thing as last year or even better."
On what advice he gives to the younger players:"The biggest thing is to try and make the team. That is the first thing you have to know. Know your lineman assignment and work hard every day, because these days you are not going to get back, and you are fighting for something that is pretty much bigger than you. You have to come out here and make the team. That is the biggest thing – making the 53. Whether it is outside stuff, you have to kind of block out everything and just work on what you have to do. We talk about this thing called W.I.N. – [it stands for] 'What's Important Now.' Right now, you are here at OTAs and here coming up soon, minicamp. You have to worry about you, get in the playbook as much as you can and come out here and give it the best you have."
On his thoughts on DT Michael Pierce as Pierce approaches his second season:"I feel very confident about Pierce. We call him 'The Juggernaut' for a reason. The dude is a stout man. He can take up a few gaps and a few blockers if he needs to. I am really happy that I have him next to me. He is doing a great job coming in and just maturing as a player, as a pro, as a person. I am really excited to play next to him."
On how his new contract changes his mental approach:"It hasn't. The money is good, don't get me wrong. *(laughter) *But, it's the same thing. It is grind time. Right now, I am worried about OTAs, and right now, I am worried about getting my guys together so we can have a great season."
On how much bigger his wedding will be after his new contract:"Not much bigger. We are doing it in Podunk, Oklahoma. It is next to my college town, so a lot of discounts, yes! We are good. I can't wait to get married."
On the position switch of playing every snap over center to playing more three-technique defensive tackle next to DT Michael Pierce:"It is not just the position change, it is me getting to the playbook and knowing every position. If I have to teach somebody, I can. If I have to play it, then I can. The biggest thing is making sure I am dotting all my Is and crossing all my Ts so I know what to do any time or in any situation and anything we've got going on in the field, I can go in there and jump and do it if you need a play or I need to teach somebody."
On what the next step he needs to take:"The next step for me, I feel like, is to just get better. People say, 'Oh you got a contract, and now you can kind of relax.' There is no relaxing. It is actually that you got the contract, so now you have to earn your keep. So, now you have to push the gas a little bit harder and kind of get as much as you can out of yourself to show people, 'Hey, I earned this.' It is not like they just gave it to me. It is because I actually do what I have to do every day."
On if he would like to serve as an inside pass rusher on third down:"Yes, definitely. I need to get my sacks up. I need to get my pass rushing up. I am excited. Like I said, I am out here every day, just trying to … I just had a meeting with our D-line coach, coach [Joe] Cullen yesterday about me kind of fine-tuning. I have the run-stop. I could still work on it, obviously, but I'm more just trying to work on my pass rush, trying to get out there and do the best I can."
On if he is expecting to be asked to rush the passer more as a three-technique defensive tackle: "Oh yes, I better. Dang, shoot! I need that. But yes, I am ready for anything. Whatever position they need me, I am just here to help the team and do the best I can."