Transcripts: Ravens Practice (8/29)


Opening Statement:"It's good to see everybody. [I] appreciate you being here. [It was a] very good practice. [We] put the pads on. The guys were very much into it. I'm very happy with what we did today. What questions do you have?" 

With the roster cuts looming, is there a difference at practice for some guys or is it business as usual? (Jamison Hensley) "It's business as usual. [The] guys did a nice job. They always do. I thought everybody was business like. Everybody understands what we need to get done as a team today, and they did a good job of it." 

Speaking of the roster, how different was it this year working on a new offense with OC Todd Monken? Was it different this year with making a roster? (David Andrade) "There's always subtilities, but in the big picture, I'd say no. The big picture, the process, the way you handle it, and still, you try to do what's in the best interest of your team. And you really try to allow decisions to make themselves based on the way guys play, practice and perform."  

There's kind of a soft timeline of when CB Marlon Humphrey had the foot surgery, but are you still feeling comfortable that he'll be able to make it back in time for the first quarter of the season? (_Cordell Woodland) _"Yes. I am." 

We haven't seen OLB David Ojabo out here in a few days, is he OK?_ (Luke Jones)_ "Yes, he's OK. There are different guys who have different things. So, there's nothing to report."  

Is there a most improved player in Training camp?_ (Jonas Shaffer)_ "A most improved player? Well, you say somebody, and you leave some people out. Really, everybody's improved to different degrees. Just as a team, we've come a long way. That's what I'm pleased with, the coaches are pleased with, [and] the players are pleased with it because they feel it in terms of execution. Now it's time to go see where you're at in a game. Now you don't know until you play a game. Then you start over again, [and it's], where are we now once you play a game?"  

The other night G John Simpson talked about how he lost some of his confidence last year and how he's rebuilt it. Did you see that with the opportunities he was given his summer? How did he seize that job? (Childs Walker) "He definitely seized the job. And I read the same thing, and it was intriguing to read it. He's always shown himself as a confident guy. I was just proud of him, and I thought he just came to work every day and kept it simple. [He] made it about being the best player he could be day in and day out. He took coaching really well, and obviously, he's a very talented player. So, if he's playing with confidence now, I'm all for it. Hearing that is a good thing." 

Is G/T Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu just full-time interior guy and with T Daniel Faalele, you talked about maybe putting him inside at guard, but is he going to be focused on the outside? (Jonas Shaffer) "'Sala' [Aumavae-Laulu] will be focusing interior at guard, and [Daniel] Faalele will be focusing outside at tackle. But we'll also, I'm sure, work those guys from time to time in the different spots just because you have to all the time.(Reporter: We didn't see a lot of Daniel Faalele at left tackle, but then it looked like he handled his own. He did his job pretty well.) He did. I agree. He didn't get tons of reps there, but he did fine when he was in there." 


On what led him to signing with the Ravens:"I feel like this is a good fit. It's a winning team, [the Ravens] have a lot of hungry guys around, and I feel like it can help me a lot. [They've] got great safeties; of course, that's an important thing. [They're] great up front … Linebackers ... [It's an] experienced defense, so, yes." 

On if he reached out to his high school friend and former Ravens CB Tavon Young:"Yes, I talk to Tavon [Young] all the time. That's one of my closest friends. Like you said, we went to high school together, so he was excited and everything." 

On his recovery from the knee injury and when he started feeling like himself again:"Really, once I got cleared. I stressed the process of getting the strength back. And one thing I made sure I did, coming off this knee injury, is run. I ran a lot during rehab just to get my topside speed back up and everything. So, I was working before I even signed, anyway." 

On when he was cleared:"About like two months ago, yes." 

On his impressions of the defense since he's been here:"I'm really impressed by the defense – how they communicate; how driven they are; how each day they come out ready to work. I came later in [training] camp, and they gave me first-week energy once I first got out here. The guys were flying around on both sides of the ball. So, I like that." 

On picking up the defense despite a late start:"I'm picking it up pretty well. The places I've been, we've had new head coaches every year. I had three new head coaches every year; this is the fourth new head coach. I know how to pick it up fast. It's corner; it's Cover 1, Zone. It's the same stuff – you've just got to learn the names." 

On if he had ever been in a training camp with wideouts like the Ravens:"I've been [in] some real good places. The closest I could probably say is my rookie year in Buffalo, when they had Sammy Watkins before he broke his foot. They had Robert Woods, [Marquise] Goodwin; they had Chris Hogan, Percy Harvin. They were squadded at receiver, so they gave us work each day – me and [Stephon] Gilmore, when we were over there. But this is a very talented wide receiver group." 

On how much confidence he gets when he's able to run with the talented wide receiver room:"One thing I'm trying to stress – getting back into full football shape – is just working my technique. Being up against these guys gives you the confidence to line up in front of anybody. These are some of the top receivers in the league, so it's like a blessing to really have them out here, because it will help you get back on track faster."  

On if he paid attention to the Ravens growing up in the area:"No, I grew up a Washington fan. Yes, I'm from the D.C., PG [Prince George's County] area."  

On how ready he feels he is to play if he were called upon early in the season:"I'm ready. That's what I'm out here doing. [I'm] getting myself back into football shape. If I get called on, I'm going to go out there and give my all. I don't feel any doubt or anything, or I wouldn't be out there getting the reps that I'm getting. So, yes."  

On if the doctors gave him a timetable coming back from his ACL injury last season and if he beat it with ease since he was cleared two months ago:"Yes. When it comes to the ACL [injury], it's really about the work you put into it. Like I said, I was busting my [butt] rehabbing [and] running. I was having like two-a-days all through the week, so I made sure I put the load on my body. Knowing that I wasn't in OTAs, [and] I wasn't in the first half of camp, I made sure I did more so I could be ready and have confidence on it. That's what it's mainly about, having confidence on your knee."  

On what the Ravens said they were looking for when you met with the team:"They just said they liked me, really. I did the workout. This was my first time going through this [free agency] process. Normally, I've always been on a team, so it was just like, they like me, and they hope everything works out. Now, I'm here."  

On if there were other teams contacting him at the same time:"There were some other teams reaching out to my agent, but it's a great fit [here]."  

On if he has a lot of friends and family coming to Week One: "Most likely, yes. They're right down the road. I have to keep a number [limit] on it. (laughter) I'm not going to let that get out of control."  

On if he's going to get another tattoo if he wins another Super Bowl:"Oh, yes, for sure. I don't know where I'm going to put it, but I'm definitely going to get another Super Bowl tattoo if we win one." 


On what it meant to him when he heard the news that he was going to be the starting left guard:"It meant a lot to me for them to trust me in that position and just getting that news – it meant a whole lot." 

On when he found out he was named the starting left guard:"It was after practice one day. [Offensive line] Coach Joe D [D'Alessandris] came to me and said, 'If we play tomorrow, you'd be the starter.' It was last week or something like that, so I learned a few days before everyone else knew." 

On his approach during training camp and what he set out to prove:"I wasn't really trying to prove … I'm not going to say I was trying to prove anything, but I just wanted to come in with my best foot forward and just put my head down and go to work. I wasn't trying to be arrogant or cocky and think that I ran everything or whatever. I just tried to do whatever they asked me to do, and if I didn't do it right I tried to do it right the next time. That's pretty much how it went. I just try to get better every day. Like I said before, I just want to get better one step at a time every day and just look at it like that. Every day's an opportunity to get better. So, that's how I look at it." 

On where he has improved the most since he signed with the Ravens since he has grown in confidence:"I don't know. It's kind of weird, because when I came in, like I said, I lacked confidence, and I just didn't really know what would happen or what was going on. I think that mindset that I explained earlier just getting better one day at a time just changed my mindset and my confidence a little bit. Mistakes are going to happen. I know that. [I] just try to overcome them and just go to the next play or whatever's next, just try to go through that. That's kind of how I helped build my own confidence, and then I have guys like Tyler [Linderbaum], Sam Mustipher – he's been a great help for me – Morgan Moses, all those guys have just been there for me whenever I would make a mistake or something like that. They'd just be there and let me know that I'm capable of doing the right thing." 

On Ravens offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris: "[Offensive line] Coach Joe D [D'Alessandris] – he's a great coach. He's been around the game for a long, long time, and he knows what his guys are capable of. You can't ask for anything better than that in an O-line coach. He also gives me great confidence. He'll get on me when I make a mistake, and then he'll give me praises when I do [well]. That's all you can ask for in an O-line coach." 

On if he felt reenergized signing with the Ravens around a new set of teammates and coaches that have served as a fresh start for him after getting cut by the Las Vegas Raiders last year:"Yes. That definitely played a part in it. I think just getting here and realizing it's still just football. I think that helped me out a lot. Nothing against those guys [the Las Vegas Raiders]. They're a great organization and everything like that, but a change of scenery did I think help me out a little bit." 

On if his mindset changed his attitude after signing with the Ravens: "I don't think it changed a whole lot besides from when I first got here until this summer like start of training camp. I think just putting one thing at a time, one day at a time and just trying to get better, honestly. I wish I had a different answer, but that's how I went about training camp. Coach [Joe D'Alessandris] says it all the time. He says, 'It's one thing at a time. One day at a time. One play at a time. Whatever it is, just do that, and you'll see improvement.' And I've been trusting his process, and it's paid off for me." 

On if he liked being part of a direct competition for the left guard spot with 'Sala' Aumavae-Laulu and if it is energizing in a sense:"For sure. Any competition … I'm a competitor. Anybody that's a competitor wants to compete, and I think that gave me a little juice. I mean, it did. It gave me a little juice, and I feel like it helped me throughout camp, and it gave me something to look forward to every day. [I'm] not saying that I won't have that same mindset, but it definitely did play a part in how I competed in camp." 

On what he would have said last December that he would eventually be named the starting left guard when he was signed to the Ravens' practice squad back then:"I don't know. I have no idea, honestly. I don't know. That's a good question. I have to think about that." 

On how he has felt being in direct competition with 'Sala' Aumavae-Laulu but also working with him: "It's been fun. Training camp has been fun. Competing against a guy like Sala – he's young. He just came in, and he's trying to figure out everything, and I kind of am trying to figure out things about this program and stuff like that. So, I feel like we were kind of in the same position, but I had a few years on him. I don't know if that's what it was or whatever, but I think that was the biggest thing. I was always there trying to help him and vice versa. We always share news with each other [and] share things with each other and try to help each other."

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