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Transcripts: Ravens Practice in London (10/11)


Opening statement:"OK. [It's] good to see everybody. I do feel like Ted Lasso right now. This is really cool. We don't have this. Our [media] just stand around in a circle. This is way better. It's an honor to be here. We just had a really good practice. We really appreciate Tottenham [for] putting us up here and allowing us to take part in these amazing facilities. This facility is eye-opening. Our guys are very excited about it. [I] saw some of the academy players down there watching practice. They stayed the whole time. Of course, they were pretty intrigued by [Justin] Tucker and the guys kicking, so that was fun, and then they went over and said, 'Hi' and spent some time together. Seeing the kids out here for the camp – that's really neat to see, too. I know our players are going to enjoy working with those kids. It's a joy to be here. We had a very good practice. Guys were in high spirits, and we're just preparing for the game. We're looking forward to playing on Sunday. What questions do you have?" 

What is something you can implement into the game on Sunday after watching the game film from last week?"The thing about football, in terms of winning football, you can do a lot of things well, and we are. You can be really close and not look good. Obviously, we have to score more than 10 points. That's something that we're very capable of doing, and we should've done. [We] should've separated early in the game, and we didn't do it because we didn't do the things we needed to do. We didn't protect the football. We didn't score in the red zone. [There were] just too many mistakes, pretty much holding ourselves back. That's what we'll be looking to try to do on Sunday." 

What would it mean to you to get your first win in London? "It'd make me feel a lot better about the country. I can tell you that. (laughter)Every time I see a picture of Great Britain on the map, I have that memory of that game [in 2017]. That was a tough one for us. It was a few years ago. Obviously, it's a new team, but every game is important. These games are exciting. We enjoy coming out here and playing, but for us, it's the next game. Every game matters. We play 17 games, and at the end, these games are going to be big in the standings. It's a tough team we're playing. The [Tennessee] Titans are very physical. We have a rivalry against them. We play them a lot. We know them. They know us. It would be very meaningful to get a win, and that's what we're going to try to do." 

You took a different approach this time, coming to London for a full week before the game. Do you think the team is having a more normal week of preparation? (Gerry Sandusky) "I don't know whether it's normal or not, but we're getting settled in. We're all sleeping just a little better than we did a day or two ago. We're getting a feel for the time [zone change]. We're going to be better for it, so we'll see. There's no science on it. Teams have come over here early and done well and not done well. They've come on Thursday and done well and not done well. Hopefully, this is something that works for us." 

How important is S Kyle Hamilton in defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald's defense, particularly in this rivalry game against the Tennessee Titans?"Kyle [Hamilton] is emerging as an impact player. There's no doubt. He's just a second-year player. He's just beginning his second year. He was a high draft pick. We had high expectations for him. He had to learn some tough lessons. He'd be the first to tell you, last year, early in the season, but he learned [from] them. He's very smart. He has a growth mindset, big time. That's one of the reasons, besides his talent, that he's making such [great] progress. He's a factor out there. Tennessee and everybody else has to know where No. 14 is." 

Do you think having those three divisional road games early and a win over the Tennessee Titans would replicate a good season like 2019 when you finished with a 14-2 record? "Well, that'd be great. That's what we would like to do. [It's] one game at a time, obviously. That was our mindset then. It would've been great to be 3-0 in the division on the road, but we didn't get it done. We didn't do what we needed to do to win the game, even though we were capable of doing it. The next one up is this one. If we could come out of here 4-2, that'd be great." 

A lot of the players felt that you all had given the Steelers game away last week. When you have that situation, what is the message to the team going into the next game? (Brian Wacker) "We had a 45-minute team meeting today. That was the message. You guys probably don't have that much time, do you? The message was that, essentially, what we're capable of doing and becoming and what we need to do to get there. It's a fine line between good and great, and breaking bad. That's the difference in terms of any kind of competition. The idea is, we're a good football team. We're capable of being great. Let's go to work and do the things we need to do – every little detail – to take that next step and become a great football team. You do that week-by-week. It's a week-to-week league. You don't … All of a sudden, you're there, and all of a sudden, you stay there. You have to do it time and time again, and that's what we're trying to do." 

How impressed have you been with WR Zay Flowers and how he has adapted to the NFL and this offense? "[Zay Flowers] has done great. Zay's just a great guy. He's a hard worker. You'll meet him. You'll love him when you meet him. [He's a] very talented young man, yet, he'll be talking about this last game [against the Pittsburgh Steelers]. He didn't do the things he wanted to do in this past game. Again, it's week-to-week, and he'll be a factor in this game, for sure." 

Who had the idea to start your playlist at practice today with The Beatles? (Gerry Sandusky) "I don't know. It's my wife's favorite group. Maybe that had something to do with it, for sure. It was a pretty interesting play list out there. There were a couple songs that might've been from out here that I didn't recognize that I'm going to get on my phone. It was good." 

How much of a concern are the dropped passes from the Steelers game? (Jamison Hensley) "They were a concern on Sunday. That was a big part of the game. They don't need to be a concern going forward, because we need to take care of business in that area. That's below the line, and that's what receivers do. They catch the ball. Our guys are going to catch those balls 99 out of 100 times. We have a lot of catches in front of us then, if that's the case. I love the t-shirt by the way; 'Nobody cares. Work harder.' That's good. [Do] you like that one?" 

How did the late arrival to London in 2017 impact your decisions and planning for this week? "It had a big impact, because we didn't feel like we put our best foot forward [in 2017], so we were pretty much going to do something different. We weren't going to do it the same, and then we just went to work on the timing. I just [give] credit to all the people involved, all of our staff. It's not easy playing and then getting on a plane the next morning and getting out here with everything we're doing. Then, the people, where we're staying, the people here [at the Tottenham facility]. Everybody's just been great. The impact was we're going to try to do better than we did last time. It wasn't just that. It wasn't just coming out late. There were other factors, if you remember, that were happening, that impacted our guys' mindset in the game. That's history now, and hopefully, we're better for it." 

Have you gotten a chance to go around London at all like some of the players have already? "No, I haven't. The players have a chance – on Tuesday – to [explore London]. There are no days off for coaches. There are for players. We're game planning wall-to-wall to be ready for today, present what we're going to do in the game on Sunday and start practicing. They were out and about. That's part of the reason we did it. The idea was that they could come down. They could get a chance to get out and around, see things and relax a little bit. Also, they'll probably be out to dinner on Friday night, just a little bit. We wanted to have them do that so it's a more normal week for them that way, not just all packed in. Then, they'll be able to get focused more on the game. Actually, my wife is in town. She was out [on Tuesday] with a number of the players and the security guys, too. She was at the Tower [of London] today and probably [the] Churchill Museum. It's great for everybody. The families are staying down there, too, so there's a lot of pluses." 

Will you be a Tottenham Hotspurs fan now since you are playing and practicing at their facility? "I'll probably be a Hotspurs fan. Yes, I probably will be. 'Man U' [Manchester United] did come to our stadium one time." 

What advice are you giving to players who did not make the trip last time the Ravens played in London or have not even been out of the United States before?"We just talked to them about what the schedule's going to be [and] what's expected of them. Our guys will be locked in. We understand it's a business trip. We're here for a purpose, and the purpose is to put our best foot forward on Sunday. That's what we're here for. If they get a chance to go downtown, that's great. If they get a chance to get out and get dinner, that's great, too, but all our guys know. That's why the practice was so good and so spirited. I feel good about that, because it means our guys are locked in on what they need to be thinking about." 

Is there any concern about OLB Jadeveon Clowney since he did not practice today? (Jeff Zrebiec) "No. We have some guys who are a little bit sick. They missed practice because they were sick." 

OLB David Ojabo is from Scotland and has brought many new fans globally. What opportunities does the new mandatory practice squad spot reserved for international players bring in 2024? "It's going to be really interesting to see, because we're going to get the mandatory practice squad player in the next couple years. I think next year it starts, so we're looking forward to that. Now, David [Ojabo]'s path along with [Odafe] Oweh, they're international players that came over and played high school [football], but only [for] a year or two. [David Ojabo] was actually a basketball player, and he came over [to the United States], and the high school football coach said, 'You need to be playing football. Why don't you come out and give [football] a try?' He didn't even know what the sport was, I don't think really. Then look, he went to Michigan and played for my brother [Jim Harbaugh] at the University of Michigan. Now, he's going to be a star in this league. There's no doubt about it [when] he gets healthy again. We'll see more and more of that for sure." 

What are your thoughts on the playing surface debate between natural grass and artificial turf? "There are good turf fields and all that. I'm looking forward to seeing the one here at the [Tottenham Hotspur] stadium, but I'm a grass guy. I'm with the players on that. Grass is natural. It plays better, and as much as you can ... I just appreciate our owner, Steve Bisciotti. Seven or eight years ago, [he] had an opportunity. The players came to him. We [had] turf [in our stadium], and they just asked him, 'Can you make the stadium grass?' And he did it, right away. It didn't matter what the cost [was]. He spends a lot of money to keep that grass up, so yes, I'm a grass guy." 

Are you confident on OLB Jadeveon Clowney playing on Sunday?"Yes. Yes." 

How is WR Odell Beckham Jr. feeling after his ankle injury?"[Odell Beckham Jr.] is feeling [his injury] just a little bit. It's [a] soft tissue type of a situation, but he should be fine." 


On what it means for him to be playing in London:"It means a lot, just for NFL football to be going global. It's amazing. And for me to have fans in London, I never dreamed about that, so that's amazing to me." 

On what British fans watching him for the first time can expect from him this Sunday:"You guys are going to have to watch the game and find out. Watch it, be present, and I believe it'll be amazing. It'll be amazing." 

On what he did around London on his day off:"I walked the [streets]. I don't know exactly where I was, but I walked the [streets]. I bought my mom something. That's it. I just hung out with my guys."  

On if the offense is on the brink of clicking and will show that this Sunday:"I believe we're headed to the right track. Each and every week, we've been having explosive plays, but we haven't been consistent, and that's been the biggest emphasis for us right now. I believe Sunday, in London, it'll be a lot of explosive plays. Hopefully, we'll be consistent."  

On how he's been adapting to the new offensive scheme and how well it brings out the best of his abilities: "I believe I'm adapting well. I'm making checks, hitting my guys in the numbers and those guys [can] catch and run. What I've been trying to practice on, throughout this process, with having a new system ... [We] just have to be more consistent, all of us."  

On how he would describe his relationship with TE Mark Andrews: "I believe it's like bread and butter." (laughter) 

On what he took out of the 45-minute team meeting: "Coach [John Harbaugh] is feeling how we're feeling. We should be 5-0, I believe. We just have to put up the points on the board [and] protect the ball. That was one of the main things he was saying to us. Every week, we've now had a turnover, whether it's me or somebody else. The ball is our prized possession, and with us having possession of the ball, we need to put points on the board [and] protect [it] as much as we [can]. Our defense, they're doing a great job, so we need to help them out, if anything." 

On how much of a concern the dropped passes from the wide receivers are and if it's something he needs to talk with them about: "It's self-explanatory. I don't need to say anything. Those guys, they feel they feel how I feel. They want to make a play. We haven't had that before. It was the first time it happened. It happened in a rival game when we didn't want it to happen. I believe our guys are locked in right now. They're going to be better, and so will I." 

On the reason for the interception he threw last game: "I believe it's just fundamentals. Guys just want to make things happen. We were trying to make something happen. [The] guy [was] trying to catch the ball and strike. The first thing is to catch the ball, and that's just what we needed to do. My job is to protect the ball, so when I'm in the pocket, I have to have better pocket presence. It's just [on] all of us. Like I said, the football is the prized possession, and [if we're] protecting that, keeping that safe, the sky's the limit for our offense." 

On how the team fixes getting a lead and maintaining the lead in the game:"I believe [it's] just staying locked in. It's staying locked in on assignment and protecting the ball, like I said. [If] we protect the ball, and we stay focused on each play and not trying to dwell on the past plays, I feel like we'll be where we want to be at." 

On if it's frustrating for him to have leads in the game and not being able to close the game out: "Absolutely, especially when you're playing football and doing something that we love. You hate to lose. You hate to lose. You're going to be frustrated, but [we] can't dwell on it." 

On if this is his first time being outside of the United States: "[It's] my first time in London. It's probably my third time out of the country, but it's exciting. I'm loving London. I'm loving it." 

On if there's some part of English culture or food that he's looking forward to experiencing:"I haven't. I need to do my research on the food I want to try, but I'm hearing [Tottenham] Hotspurs are No. 1 in their league, and they're doing their thing. Hopefully, they win it all."  

On what the gift he bought for his mother was: "It was a Chanel purse. I bought her a Chanel purse." 

On the Ravens having fans in Germany and if he realized how big football is outside the United States:"I didn't know until people recognized me [when I was in downtown London]. I was like, 'That's crazy. I'm known in London.'" (Reporter: Can you shoutout to the German fans, as well?)"Yes, absolutely. Shoutout to the fans. I'm glad you guys are watching us. I'm glad you guys are supporting us. We love it. Hopefully, we'll be out here more. We show a lot of love to you guys." (Reporter: We hope to see you in Germany one day.)"Absolutely. Hopefully, I'll be out there." 

On if he's adjusted to the time zone change: "Probably in another day or so, I believe [I'll] be. I believe us being out here early, it helped us out a lot, instead of a quick turnaround. So, probably in a day or so, I'll be perfect. I'll be perfect." 

On how it felt when former QB Tom Brady said he was next at being the greatest player:"It's not even arguably [that he's the G.O.A.T.] with Tom Brady. He's the G.O.A.T. He has seven Super Bowls, but when he said that, it was emotional – I didn't cry or anything – but coming from Tom Brady, that's amazing. I need me a Super Bowl or a few." 

On if people recognized him when he was walking around the streets of London:"Yes. A few guys walked up to me, and they were like, 'Are you Lamar?'" (laughter) "[They said it] in a London accent. I'm like, 'Yes, it's me.' I took a picture with those guys. It was fun. It was a fun experience for me." 

On if he has seen Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yet: "That's pretty cool. I haven't seen the stadium yet, so when I get a glimpse of it, I'll probably have an answer for you."  

On what song he's going to listen to before the game:"[I'm] pretty much everywhere with my music now." (Reporter: What's your favorite song or artist right now?)"My favorite song right now ... My favorite artist is Kodak Black, but [the] song right now, that's hard. I listen to everything. I listen to everything. I'm everywhere."

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