RAVENS ROOKIE CAMP: DAY TWO TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Good seeing everybody – appreciate you guys being here. How'd you like the accommodations for the media today? Pretty amazing, right? We had a tent for you and everything! What can we do for you?"
What are your early impressions on how the rookies have looked? How has practice functioned the last couple days? (Luke Jones)"It's been good. The first thing is they came in in shape. That's one thing you always concern yourself with. They've been going through the whole process with the Combine and the individual pro days, the draft, a lot of the guys have been traveling quite a bit, and we didn't have any issues [with] guys not being in shape and ready to go. We had nothing from the rookies, as far as any major or any soft tissue [injuries] or anything like that – and we went pretty hard. I thought that was good to see. I thought they picked things up pretty quickly. We've had two full-size practices for them, and then we have the walk-throughs in the afternoon. They've done a really good job. The guys that we expected to stand out have, and there have been some surprises with guys we've brought in as free agents or as undrafted free agents or tryout guys, even. There have been some guys that have done well with that. It's been a plus-plus all the way across the board."
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said last week that the first thing with QB Lamar Jackson is just teaching him how to play quarterback the way you guys want to play quarterback. What does that entail? (Tom Pelissero) "The first thing Marty is talking about is [that] you have to call the play. It's a different offense, different verbiage than he's been used to. Any rookie quarterback just coming in and learning how to call the plays is probably the first thing. You saw Marty in the huddle with both the two rookies. That's really where it starts. Getting guys lined up in the right spots … A quarterback has to do all that. He's picked it up very quickly. He's very smart; he studies, very sharp, has a nice presence on the field. We all feel that he handled himself very well that way."
Are there things that you know about QB Lamar Jackson now, after seeing him practice for a few days that you didn't know before? (David Steele)"Until you put your eyes on a guy on your practice field, it's all just your imagination up until that point. The thing that I was really impressed with was I thought he was accurate. You read the reports and stuff like that, but he's a naturally talented thrower; he has natural arm talent. That's something that people were questioning. So to see him out here throwing the ball naturally, very accurately, I thought was a big plus."
How was QB Lamar Jackson in the area of anticipation – with working with new receivers? (Mike Jones)"The plays are all new. At times, the anticipation was good. At times, he was coloring inside the lines as much as he could, because they're new pictures for him, but [he was] as good as any rookie we've had that way. He did a good job. I thought he's done well."
**You have made clear that QB Joe Flacco is your quarterback for 2018. How do you go through the process of figuring out other ways that QB Lamar Jackson's talent can help you on the field? *(Tom Pelissero) *"You do it in practice. We do it in the laboratory. Obviously, we've had coaches who have had a lot of experience with that, so that's helpful to us. We do it on the practice field. We ran a lot of stuff out here today you guys probably saw. We're going to always try to get our players making plays for us, and Lamar is a guy that can help us win games."
*As far as TE Mark Andrews, he has talked recently about being a type 1 diabetic. How much did that configure into drafting a guy or was that even a factor? (Jamison Hensley) *"I was in the draft meetings and it never got brought up – that I remember. Maybe I wasn't paying attention when it got brought up. It wasn't something that factored in to our consideration at all."
Have you noticed players gravitating towards QB Lamar Jackson? The players who talked yesterday said he just likes to have fun and joke around with the guys.* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"I haven't. I've enjoyed being around him, but I haven't noticed that, because I just haven't been hanging out with the guys, really. I've been with them in meetings and stuff. The guys are a better judge of that than me, probably."
You talked about QB Lamar Jackson being able to call the plays, what else did you put on his to do list to have him work on? (Mike Jones) "That's a good question. There's a long list of things. Playing quarterback in the National Football League, and every quarterback that's new to a training camp this year is going to have the same list. It's the toughest position to play in sports – I really believe that. You watch practice out here. From the play clock, to the formation, to annunciating the play, to taking the snap, to the fundamentals of what they have to do, to executing under stress: 'Oh, I have to handle a blitz,' 'Oh, there's a change of play.' Those guys have so much on their plate, and the constant waves hitting the shore of the play clock is always pressure that they feel. All those things he'll have to work on."
What are some intangibles that you see that maybe don't show up on film?* (David Steele)* "All [of] that is A, A-plus. He has great demeanor. He has a great face, attitude is really good, smart, studies real hard, locker room stuff that [was mentioned]. I think it's all good."
I feel like WR Jordan Lasley flashed out there. What are your first impressions of him? (Ryan Mink)"Yes, he flashed. He flashed athleticism – smooth, quick, made a couple catches out there, loves to play, loves to practice, boisterous kind of guy. He was fun to be around."
You're having a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams this summer. Was there any interesting origin to that? You guys haven't had joint practices in a few years. (Luke Jones)"Actually, believe it or not, we're having two joint practices! We're practicing against the Rams, and we're practicing against the Colts. It just kind of came up. Both of those coaches called us. We have the longer training camp this year with our extra preseason game with the Hall of Fame game. So, the way the training camp laid out, it looked like it would be good for us to create some breaks in the schedule where we could go against somebody else and organize the practices appropriately. We have to do a good job of that. [Rams head coach] Sean [McVay] called … He's a Miami [Ohio] guy, so we had a good conversation about that. They have a really talented team, so I'm excited about that. Then Frank [Reich] called, because we both play Thursday to Monday Night, [and] that's a long run. So, it'll be good for us to get out there and get a couple days with them before we play. [There are] a lot of good restaurants in Indianapolis, so what the heck? (laughter) It's going to be good for us."
What did you think of your running backs out there: RB Gus Edwards, RB Mark Thompson and RB De'Lance Turner? There was attention put on the fact that you didn't bring in a new running back in during the draft?* (Stephen Pimpo)* "One thing when you don't draft a running back, or any position, is it's really easy to recruit them as free agents when they don't get drafted. So I thought we got three really good backs. [Running backs coach] Thomas [Hammock] liked all three of those guys. He was the spearhead of that, and they didn't disappoint. They looked like guys that can make it in the National Football League, but time will tell. So far so good."
What jumped out at you about TE Hayden Hurst and TE Mark Andrews? (David Steele)"Probably the first thing [is their] hands – both of those two guys have excellent hands. You saw it today – they make catches. Other thing I really like about those two guys, watching them here for the last two days, is that they're the kind of guys that want to know everything. They want to know every answer, they want to know every detail of every play, sometimes to the point where you just want to say, 'Hey! Just play fast. You're not going to know everything right now.' But they're conscientious guys that way. [They have] really good body control. [They're] solid, hard-working guys. But the fact that they can catch the ball … They have a good feel for coverage, they body up on defenders really well. Those are all big pluses for us."
TE Hayden Hurst
On his thoughts of practices so far:"It's pretty intense. It kind of reminds me of what I did at South Carolina, but as far as the tempo and stuff, it takes some getting used to. It's exciting."
On QB Lamar Jackson:"It's pretty cool having a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback throwing you the football. He's going to make plays – that's what he does – and I'm just excited to get open for him."
On how he fits in with TE Mark Andrews:"I think it's a great fit. Mark does both things really well, so … In our '12' personnel, we get in there, we kind of work off each other and feed off each other's energy. I'm excited to get out there and play with him."
On working with assistant head coach/tight ends coach Greg Roman:"'G-Ro' [Roman] – he focuses a lot on details. We're far from perfect, we go out there every day and you try to execute things, but there's always stuff that we can be working on. I think we're going to get a lot better as a unit. Again, I'm excited to get out there and play."
On if he will make a big purchase after signing his contract:"Well, since this is my second [professional] go-around [after baseball], there's really not much that I need. I knocked that out the first time. I got a car. So nothing really comes to mind – probably just put it all away."
On if there were any surprises as he transitions to professional football: "For one, the weather. It caught me off-guard yesterday. It was like, 95 [degrees] out here. It reminded me of back home. But for me, it was just the tempo. We hopped right into it and we were going full-speed, [doing] two-minute [drills], and I didn't expect that right out of the gate. But, you have to adjust."
On if there is a level of excitement when QB Lamar Jackson is on the field:"Yeah, he's a playmaker. I think he can … Obviously, he can throw the ball from anywhere on the field and we can score. And when he takes off, I mean, you've seen what he can do on TV. So it's just exciting. Get out there, get your hands on somebody and let him do what he does in space."
QB Lamar Jackson
On his impressions of the first two days of practice:"Well, the NFL is totally different than college. It's a lot faster; you [have to] work as a unit. It's fun out here though. I'm having fun. So yeah, it's cool." (Reporter: "What is it that's so much fun?") "Because you're entering a new system. It's fun to learn, and you're doing something you love."
On what he has learned about the Ravens' quarterback position: "Just knowing their system, knowing how they want things done, different dropbacks [and] being under center a lot more than I was in college. That's about it."
On what goes into becoming comfortable with dropbacks:"It's a lot of film work, a lot of studying, watching yourself, watching film of yourself, studying the playbook even more – stuff like that."
On if there have been any surprises: "No, not really. The sun did [surprise me] yesterday – that was the only thing I was surprised about. Other than that, it's cool."
On if he felt comfortable being under center and if being under center during his pro day helped him prepare:"It helped me prepare a lot. Like I said before, in college we weren't really under center like that under certain situations, but now I'm under it constantly. So yeah, I have to work on that a lot more."
On if he's thought about what it means to have the same progression as Louisville alum and former Baltimore Colt QB Johnny Unitas: "Not really too much. I didn't really think about that too much. I'm just focused on bettering myself right now, and probably in the long run, I'll get to that. But right now, I need to get better."
On if he had a moment at practice where he felt he could play at the fast-paced NFL speed: "Oh yeah, just going through practices and doing different runs, different techniques and stuff, I felt like I could go at an NFL-pace right away."
On WR Jordan Lasley shouting when he ran up the middle on a play: "Oh yeah, I heard him! I heard him. Jordan is crazy. He's wild, but he's a great player himself."
On if he has to make an effort to be one of the guys and not separate himself from the other rookies:"No, not at all. I've always been a team player. I always put my team first before anything. I don't treat myself different, and I don't want to be treated different. All of us are here to play football, be a Raven and win games."
On playing with WR Jordan Lasley:"He just likes to get open. I just connect with him. Coach always says [to] complete balls no matter what, so that's what I'm trying to do. I always hit Jordan somehow." (laughter)
On when he is going to showcase some of his juke moves:"Probably [when I get] in pads. The quarterback can't get touched [in practice], so as soon as we get in the pads, then you'll probably see."
On if he has talked to QB Joe Flacco yet: "No, I haven't"
On TE Hayden Hurst and TE Mark Andrews:"Oh, they're live! That means they're great. They're doing their thing out there. Yeah, they're doing pretty good so far."
On what questions he has for QB Joe Flacco and QB Robert Griffin III III: "I don't know yet. How they see things on the field, what made them learn the system even faster – stuff like that."
On if learning the playbook has been easier than expected:"I'm just trying to learn as fast as I can – learn the ins and outs of certain techniques and name calling of the plays."
On how he has felt about what the coaches have thrown at him so far:"It's pretty cool to me. They want me on the field to utilize my talent and be a quarterback. So, it's cool with me."