Transcripts: Ravens Saturday Podium Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening Statement: "Good seeing everybody; I appreciate you being here. It's very hot. It was a very tough practice, in terms of focus and guys coming off the game. They did a good job of getting themselves out there and getting the work in and focusing at the end. We had good assignments, good tempo and good competition, so that was good. We had a good practice for that reason."

What were some things that jumped out at you about RB Mark Ingram II's style of play that made you want to bring him in here? (Jamison Hensley) "He is a downhill runner and a very quick lateral cutter. He runs behind his pads well. He doesn't have a lot of catches, but his ability in the passing game was really a pleasant plus for us. So, all of those things. I heard great things about him as a leader. All of those things."

You mentioned on Thursday night that you thought CB/RS Cyrus Jones looked good against the Packers. When you looked at the tape, what did you like? Where do you see room for improvement? (Childs Walker)"There is room for improvement everywhere. We're always chasing DB perfection – coverage, tackling, leverage, blitzing. Those are the things you look at on every play that you try to improve upon. He can tell you those things that he's working on, but he played hard. He played smart, generally, and he did a good job. We have a lot of guys. It will be a little bit [of a] different plan if Tavon [Young] is not there, in terms of playing more guys in the slot than we would have. We'll see how that plays out."

G/T Jermaine Eluemunor played about 90 percent of the snaps on Thursday. Do you feel like he made good progress? It looked like he was playing well early in the game. (Jeff Zrebiec)"Yes, he played well. He did. There were some plays we would like to have back. [He needs to] continue to play lower with a little more explosiveness and all of that, and he knows that. But I thought he was on-point with assignments, targets, footwork. His pass protection was really good, both at guard and tackle. And we wanted him to play a lot. There were a couple of other young guys that played a lot. Young guys need to play. It's the only way to learn how to play, especially on the O-line. You have to learn how to handle those things in real life, and that was good for him and some other guys."

Is CB Tavon Young's status the same as it was on Thursday, or has it changed? (Todd Karpovich)"It's still a decision that has to be made. That's between the doctors and Tavon and his family and his agent, stuff like that. Ultimately, it's the player's decision about how he wants to handle the injury. I'm sure he's getting some opinions. That's what guys do. Certainly, Tavon wants to play. That's for sure. So, we'll just see what happens."

The top three inside linebackers were missing from the portion of practice that we saw today. We know about Chris Board. Are either of the other two longer-range concerns? (Childs Walker) "No, not to my knowledge. I don't think so. I don't expect them to be out very long."

I don't think we'll talk to you before you go to Philadelphia. When [Eagles head coach] Doug Pederson was a quarterback there, did you get a sense that he was a guy who would be a head coach one day? (Aaron Kasinitz)"That was early. That was, like, my second year as a special teams coach in the NFL, so I was just kind of worried about that more than predicting who was going to be a head coach in the NFL. I don't think you ever know. Andy [Reid] brought him in for a reason. And the reason was, he was sharp. He was a leader, and he knew how Andy wanted to do things because he had been in Green Bay with Mike Holmgren, and he knew the philosophy. He was big that way. He was really good for Donovan McNabb. He was a great mentor for Donovan and taught him a lot of football. I'm sure Donovan would say that. One of the great stories … They'll probably ask me there because they'll remember it. Andy's first game … It may have been the second game, but it was the first home game. It might have been the Cardinals. Doug was the holder, and Norm Johnson was the kicker. We worked on 'bonsai' field goal so many times, in terms of running everybody out during the clock and running and kicking the field goal. Right before the half, it came up. So, we're screaming, 'Bonsai! Bonsai!" And I'm looking at the line. I see Doug, and he's back there. The line is set up perfectly. I'm like, 'Yes! We got it, and there's plenty of time left.' Then, I notice, out of my left eye, there's no kicker. I look out, and here comes Norm, running off the bench, putting his helmet on, strapping up. He ran out, and the ball was snapped, because Doug is smart. He snapped it at one second. And [Johnson] kicked it right on the run." (Reporter: "Did he make it?") "Wide left. _(laughter) I ran to the locker room. Andy ran behind me. I outran him, but he caught me in the locker room and wanted to know what happened. That's quite a memory. You never forget those things."

At this point, is the plan to just get G Marshal Yanda ready for Week 1? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Yes, he will not play [in Philadelphia]. He probably could go there and practice and play, but I kind of ruled it out, to be honest with you. He agreed, finally. Marshal just wants to go. We'll get him ready for the opener, and he'll be ready to go."

Do you expect WR Marquise Brown to participate in joint practices in Philadelphia? If so, will that be a good test to see if he will be ready to play in that preseason game? (Jamison Hensley)"Yes, it would [be]. He practiced fully today, so that's a good sign. We will just have to see how [his foot] responds, and hopefully, he can go there and be good."

Do you see QB Lamar Jackson playing for more than a quarter in the next two preseason games? (Bobby Trosset)"No, we don't do it that way. That's a good question. A lot of teams do a lot more in the third game, but we kind of balance it out into three games."

RB Mark Ingram II

On his comfort level at this point with the offense:"I'm definitely learning it. I'm learning the system. I'm getting more comfortable, more familiar with it. When I break the huddle, I know what I'm doing. I know what I'm looking for. Coach [Matt] Weiss and Coach Craig [Ver Steeg] in the running back room, they've been doing a great job testing me, preparing me, the whole room, getting us ready to play, getting us ready to execute, know our jobs and know our assignments. Coach Weiss and Coach Craig, I appreciate them. They're getting us right."

On strides made by RB Justice Hill:"Justice is a beast, man. I always could tell that he had juice, so he's been out there making plays. The entire running back room … Justice had some great runs, made some stuff happen on his own on the goal line, made a great run. De'Lance [Turner had a] big couple games in a row with 20-plus-yard runs. The whole running back room has been doing such a great job, even Chris [Ezeala] over there. He pulled Justice in on his touchdown run, blocking, so we're doing our thing in the running back room. But Justice, he's a beast, man, and he's only going to get better. He's only going to get more comfortable, and I'm sure he'll make a lot of plays."

On how the Ravens' running back room compares, top to bottom, to others:"Top to bottom, I think it's as good as you get around the league. Gus [Edwards] had a big year last year. 'K.D.' [Kenneth Dixon] has played a lot of meaningful snaps in this league. Justice [Hill], De'Lance [Turner], Tyler [Ervin], he's been doing a great job playing running back, doing returning and special teams. We just have a lot of great guys, a lot of good depth, and that's what you get in this league. It's a lot of good players, a lot of good backs."

On if he likes the versatility of the running back room:"I think everybody is versatile and explosive in their own kind of way. [We have] guys who come out of the backfield and catch, run routes, come out of the backfield and catch. I think guys can run inside, outside, between the tackles, outside the tackles. So, I think it will just be difficult for teams to get a gage on what we're doing based off of personnel."

On if age has an effect on his play, and if he feels like a 29-year-old running back:"No, I don't. I thank the good Lord for that. My body feels good. I've been healthy for the past five years, haven't missed a game in four years, whatever it is – for injuries, at least – so I feel great, man, and I think it's just over the course of my entire football career, from college through eight years with the Saints, I was just sharing the ball. It kind of was, I think, a blessing in disguise, because I was always wanting the ball, wanting the ball, because I always wanted to be that bell cow. And then, I feel great in my ninth year. I feel like it was just all a blessing in disguise. I feel great, and I feel like I still have plenty of great football, playing at a high level in this league, left in me."

On if he is comfortable sharing the rushing load this year:"Yes, of course. It's a long season, and when you get carries, four or five carries in a drive, you might get winded, get a catch. So, being able to have guys come in and not miss a beat, not have a drop-off, that's always essential for every position. Every single position, you want guys fresh, you want guys explosive, you want guys playing fast, so having depth is always crucial."

On how much the threat of QB Lamar Jackson running will help him:"It's huge. You have to respect it. You have to respect it when we do our QB-driven stuff and when he has to read that end, and if you don't respect it, he'll pull it and he'll make you pay for it. I think the thing he's doing a great job of is he's looking to throw. He's looking to get the ball, push the ball downfield. Even when he scrambles, he's scrambling to throw, and when it's his last resort, he'll run and show off his talents that way. But, I think, obviously, if you just look at the last games that he played last year, they had crazy success running the ball – tops in the league. That shows you he's a huge threat."

On if there is a certain style of play for running backs in the red zone:"You just definitely don't want to have negative plays. You don't want to have negative plays or turnovers, so you definitely want to get downhill, make your decision and hit it, whatever it is. If it's right, it's right. If it's wrong, you correct it on the sideline or on film. But, you definitely don't want to second-guess yourself. You just want to get downhill, you want to take care of the football and [have] no penalties. Obviously, the red zone is key. You have to tune in. You have to focus. You have to put points on the board – you don't want to lose points – whether it's a touchdown or field goal. Red zone is a huge point of emphasis, and you have to lock in."

On what changes for him playing with FB/DL Patrick Ricard:"I did actually run behind a fullback a number of times in New Orleans, in Zach Line, probably one of the best fullbacks I ever ran behind. But Pat Ricard has been doing a great job. When he gets in, he's hitting people and he's moving them out of the way. He's a huge man and a boss, but yes, he just does a great job. Offense, defense, him going both ways, it's just a testament to how hard he works and how smart of a player you have to be to know the offense and know defense. I don't mind it; I just like running the ball. So, if it's with a fullback, without a fullback, gun, pistol, I don't care. I just like to run the ball."

CB/RS Cyrus Jones

On if he feels as though he has an opportunity to make a mark on defense due to injuries:"Definitely. Tavon [Young] is a great player. I hate seeing what's going on with him right now, and I'm praying for him, as all of us are. But, it's up to the next man to step up, whoever that is. I'm just going to keep going, trying to come out here, practice hard, get better, listen to my coaches, and if I have to go in there and do the job of taking Tavon's spot, then so be it. If not, I'm going to keep going, trying to do whatever it is to help this team win."

On his performance in last Thursday's preseason game against Green Bay:"I think I played hard. I think I played smart, got a little fatigued at the end. But overall, I think I'm holding my own and out there flying around and just playing hard, trying to execute."

On how helpful it is to get many in-game preseason reps: "Definitely, just like Coach [John] Harbaugh said, the more you're out there, the more you get those game-time reps, the better you'll be when it's lights, camera, action, opening day. The more I'm out there, the more comfortable I'll get with time. And I feel like I'm comfortable as it is, so I can only keep on improving."

On if his aggressive play is his greatest strength as a defender:"I guess so. I've always been an aggressive guy, just coming out there, trying to play as hard as I can, fly around and use my God-given ability, out there in slot, using my quickness and my toughness for my size, using my coaching that we go over in the meetings, bringing that out here to the practice field and then translating that to games. That's all I try to do – not try to go out there and be Superman, but just do my job."

On if something has clicked for him this summer, and if he is playing at his highest level since entering the NFL:"That's an interesting question, because I wasn't really out here a lot during the springtime. I guess me just being able to take a step back and watch things, and kind of have another opportunity to adjust to being at a new spot and being in a new culture from where I was, has definitely helped a lot. I can say I feel really, really good about where I am versus the past couple years, so I'm just going to try to keep building off that and improving."

On if being in the flow of the game at cornerback makes returning punts easier:"It could. I'm not really sure if that makes it easier or not. Your body is warmer, because you're moving around, so I guess so with that aspect. But I'm always focused on whatever it is that I have to do to help the team. Whether I'm on the bench waiting to field a punt, I'm always warming up, getting ready if it's third down. Regardless, I'm always trying to do what I have to do to get myself ready."

On how it benefitted him to know he would be coming back to the Ravens during the offseason:"Going back and forth last year, trying to get my bearings and get my feet under me and be in the moment and not let those outside distractions, what was going on with me at the beginning, affect how I adapted here … Being settled in and having the opportunity to be here around the springtime and see how the offseason program goes and works, that definitely helped me settle in a little bit more, versus coming in here when training camp was over, leaving and then coming back again. I think being here, and knowing I was going to be here, helped me out."

On if he will be in the kick returner competition:"Whatever the coaches ask me to do, that's what I'm going to try to do to the best of my ability. I don't know too much about the competition. That's up to the coaches. If they ask me to go back there and field a kick, that's what I'm going to do."

On his often-used #FINAO on social media:"'FINAO' means 'failure is not an option.' It's something that … A lot of older guys that I looked up to when I was younger kind of coined that phrase, and as I got older, I kind of stuck with it and eventually kind of made it my own. It's my motto that I go by, but I think it's something that everyone can benefit from, especially younger kids, which I definitely try to have an effect on, being in my hometown and playing here, throughout my foundation and whatnot. I just think it's a positive message that anybody can relate to."

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