SATURDAY (8/11) TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good having you guys here. We appreciate it. You're the real pros, the guys that care enough; you're giving up your Saturday. It's hot and sweaty, just like the team. So, just like the great fans we have, all these kids out here having a great time and going nuts, it's just a great atmosphere. We had a heck of a practice, and we're looking forward to moving forward."
With T Orlando Brown Jr., how important is it, especially for linemen, where it doesn't seem like he's even missed a rep? How much does that help in his development, as well? _(Jamison Hensley) _"They say one of the best abilities is availability, and he's been available every single practice to improve. He's the kind of player that gets better with every rep, too. He's very smart. He takes the lesson learned from the previous rep and applies it to the next rep, and I think you see, in his play, the results of that."
Considering how much time he missed, how impressed are you with TE Darren Waller and how he looks physically? _(Jeff Zrebiec) _"I don't even know. What, he's been out here for one practice? Well, whatever. We'll see. Time will tell."
John, how would you describe OLB Tim Williams' growth from Year One? _(Ed Lee) _"Tim Williams' growth from Year One, I would say [is] remarkable. It's shown up in the game. It's been showing up in practice. I think even before that, it showed up in his work ethic – in the weight room with Steve [Saunders], with Steve's staff, putting the time in throughout the offseason, throughout the summer, and that kind of attention to detail with the process. That kind of work ethic tends to pay off when the lights come on, and that's what we've seen with him."
With TE Darren Waller specifically, what are you looking for? What does he need to do to stand out? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"He needs to be here! I haven't seen the guy for a year. I love him. He's a great guy, talented guy and all that. But, where's he been? So, you have to be here. You don't just come waltzing in and all of the sudden, you're the starting tight end. You have to prove it. You have to do some things for us. You have to make plays. I love him, but like I told him, I'm going to be the hardest guy on him of anybody. I'm going to be on him every single day, because he has a lot to prove."
WR John Brown came in. Around the league, the reputation was that he's a very good deep threat. Have you been impressed with more of an all-around receiver? Have you been impressed with that at all, or did you know that before? _(Jamison Hensley) _"I would say we did know it before, because I can remember not really knowing who John Brown was too much when we played him on Monday Night Football [in 2015], just from what he had done that year up until that point. And then seeing him on the field, in person? Wow! It was an eye-opening experience, because he ran a seven-route just as smooth and fast as I've ever seen one run. And that gets your attention. I never forgot that. So, you kind of expect that coming in, but then to see that it's not just the seven-routes. It's not just the nine-routes or the post routes. It's the comebacks. It's the outs. It's the stops, the snags. It's the drives. It's the shallow crosses. All those routes, he runs very well. He's a complete receiver."
We asked you a lot before camp about the long, extended camp. Now that you're entering the last week, how do you feel about that, and what are you doing to keep the energy up? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"I'm not doing anything to keep the energy up. The guys are keeping the energy up. They're doing a great job. I think it's much ado about nothing by you guys. I never thought about it. Guys are working hard every day. The attitude has been A-plus, and the effort has been A-plus, from Day One until now, and that's all you can ask for as a coach. And not just on the practice field, in the meeting room, in the training room, in the weight room, everywhere – the guys have been just outstanding. If we do come up short this year, it's not going to be from lack of effort or lack of attitude. I don't think we're coming up short this year, so I'm really excited about the guys."
How valuable, when you have a CB Brandon Carr, is it to have a player that has started game every game in his career. How valuable is that, that whatever position you're going to use him in what role, to have that experience?_ (Jamison Hensley) _"Brandon Carr, he knows how to play corner. Yes, he's been on the field. He's done all that, but every year is a new year, and this guy works like it's his first year. To me, that's probably why he's had the track record that he has. I feel very good when he's on the field, because he knows how to play, and he's going to give you everything he has."
I know he didn't play a whole lot Thursday, but CB Jimmy Smith got his first preseason action at a point in time in the summer when a lot of people months ago might not have thought. How do you think he looked, and how do you think he's progressing in general? (Luke Jones) "Jimmy deserves a lot of credit for what you just said: to be out there at this point, playing in a game and playing well. I think he's mad at himself for not jumping that early hitch route right in front of him. He probably would have taken it to the house, and that's what I want him to think. He just has to keep building on that. It wasn't a lot of reps. [He will] keep taking more reps in practice, and he should be ready to go."
How impressed are you by the versatility that FB/DL Patrick Ricard has shown on special teams, defense, offense? (Ed Lee)"Very impressive versatility from Patrick Ricard, right? I graded the tape yesterday. I don't think I gave him a minus the whole time. I think it was all plusses. That's pretty remarkable for a guy playing offense and defense." (Reporter: "How do you, as far as meetings, how do you relegate his time for what meetings he goes to each day?") "I don't know. He just figures it out. We were out there today, and he was on defense playing D-line, and they called a personnel group. He just walked across, and Joe Cullen just started panicking. 'We have to get another D-lineman out there. Carl [Davis]!' (laughter) We all have to adapt a little bit, but it's a good problem to have."
In the old days in football, there were always two-way players. What makes it special for a guy in the NFL to be a two-way player? (Jamison Hensley) _"[Patrick Ricard] is a two-way player, but he's not playing every play both ways, so it's a little different than '58. I think it takes a lot. It takes an athlete, first of all. He's a good athlete. I think some of the coaches that have seen him play are surprised that he can catch the ball the way he can. I don't know why. If you watch the tape, he's caught a lot of passes in the flat. We even threw him a rail route. Did you see that? _(laughter) So, they have to cover that, too, now! Put that on tape. Lamar [Jackson] was trying to throw him open, is what we said."
Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Greg Roman
Opening statement: "Good morning. How's everybody doing? We're having a great camp, guys are really dialed in, working hard and got a lot of work done today. Any questions?"
Historically in the NFL, it takes rookie tight ends a while to get started. Why do you feel so much gets thrown at that position maybe more so than others? (Jamison Hensley) "That's a great question. Really, when you think about it, the tight ends are the bridge between the run and pass game. So, they have to learn all the formations, all the motions, all the different subtleties of the passing game, and they have to learn all the running game, the protections and all the skills that go into each one. You can try to take a tight end and just focus on, 'Hey, this is our pass-catching tight end,' or, 'This is our blocking tight end.' The problem with that is the defense knows that this is your 'pass-catching tight end.' So, we want to be as well-rounded as we can. That involves a lot of work in a lot of different areas. I think that's probably the goal of most tight ends in the league. It takes a little bit longer at times for them to master all those different skills."
How have you seen TE Hayden Hurst adjust to all that? (Ryan Mink) "Really well – he's doing a great job. Coming from college football nowadays, there's a big jump. It's a big jump, a lot of different multi-dimensional segments or compartments that he has to really focus on: blocking in the run game, blocking in pass protection and obviously route-running against man coverage in the NFL. You see a lot more man coverage [in the NFL] than you do in college. There are a lot of different things that he's really progressing through right now. This is such a valuable time for him."
What is the most surprising thing about TE Hayden Hurst to you, now that you've had him for a couple months? (Bo Smolka)"I don't know. He was so impressive before the draft. We really felt like, I think to a man, that he was a very professional young man. I don't know that anything really jumps out at me other than once he gets to do something and understand it, he's got it, he locks it down. We always knew he was fast, we knew he had good hands, we knew he was competitive. I think he's showing us [that] we're going to be able to use him in a variety of ways. He might be spilt out there, split out here in the backfield, wherever. He's a guy that you can line up anywhere, and that's been very encouraging."
In what ways can you evaluate and keep TE Mark Andrews progressing, considering how much time he has been out? (Aaron Kasinitz)"He's missed some time, so he's a little bit behind right now – but he's grinding through it. He's really doing a good job with it. It's a 'one day at a time' plan, really, for all these guys. One thing about tight ends: They're all unique, they all have different skillsets. So, every day we try to focus on each one and emphasize certain things with him. He's a little bit behind in his progression, but he's catching up. I think we've got some time to get him caught up. But he's doing some really good things, too."
What have you seen as the differences in TE Hayden Hurst and TE Mark Andrews, in terms of the receiving potential right now? (Ryan Mink) "Well, I don't want to throw the scouting report out to everybody, but I think they're both a little bit different in that regard. I think just watching them you can kind of tell they have different styles. I think that they'll both be very productive – that's the No. 1 thing. Each tight end, every tight end is different."
What does TE Darren Waller need to do to catch up?_ (Aaron Kasinitz)_ "He's got a lot of work in front of him. He's getting there though. He's really, really been cramming. He is cramming for a final exam right now, and [there's] not a lot of sleep going on. He's doing a very good job with it. He's got some recall, being with us last spring, so that's really been helpful. But he has to get into the grind with his teammates and get into football shape. He's in good shape, but you don't get in football shape without grinding through training camp, so he's on his way."
How important is it to have so many experienced tight ends on your roster – to have the talent that TE Hayden Hurst and TE Mark Andrews have combined with the experience of TE Maxx Williams and TE Nick Boyle have? (Kyle Andrews) "Nick and Maxx are doing a great job leading the way. They're the veterans of the group this year. Again, their skillsets [are] slightly different. We have a really well-rounded group – hardworking guys. I think Boyle and Williams, Nick and Maxx, have done a very good job of showing the young guys how we practice, showing the young guys how we prepare. They're really shining examples of how to be professionals. We're very fortunate to have those guys."
With FB/DL Patrick Ricard, does he learn everything that a tight end learns, as well as everything that a fullback learns? (Ryan Mink)"Yes, he does. He can do it. You saw [him] in the game line up at tight end the other night, so we could have some flexibility there with him. He's another guy that's doing a really good job in his preparation." (Reporter: "How surprised are you by the way he catches the ball and the wheel route he had the other night?")"Yeah, you have to keep [opponents] off-balance, so you never know when Pat might show up. Pat has been exemplary in his preparation, and he does a very good job. He does a good job preparing and a good job performing. He's on course to really show us what he can do."
T Orlando Brown Jr.
On lining up against OLB Terrell Suggs, whom his father also lined up against as a Raven:"I've learned a lot from 'Sizz' [Suggs]. He's very seasoned – he's been in this league for a long time. He's seen a lot of different offensive tackles, a lot of different sizes of guys. I'm just learning as much as I can, really, from everyone, but especially him."
On his performance against the Rams:"A lot better than versus Chicago. I would definitely say I was a lot more consistent with my physicality, my punch, my footwork. There's still a lot of room to grow. I want to be one of the greatest to play this game."
On the learning curve of the tackle positions and adjusting to NFL game speed:"I would definitely say in the league it's about being more efficient with the way you approach the game, with your fundamentals, your hand placements, footwork, your timing, critiquing the little things. In college, you get away with a lot of stuff that you can't get away with in the league because of the talent, the size of guys and just pure athleticism. Here in the league, it's about being efficient, about making sure that you have everything in set. The transition from left tackle to right tackle, I would say [it's] about really teaching your body muscle memory, taking as many sets and being as consistent as you can with your footwork and your timing about those things over time."
On how his body composition has changed since joining the Ravens:"When I first got here, I was 23 percent [body fat], 338 [pounds]. Now, I'm at 350 and 19 percent. So, my body fat has changed a bunch. In January when I started training, I was at 31 percent [and weighed] 365. Yeah man – I'm just working."
On the importance of taking as many reps as possible: "It's very important. It helps me just get better. I'm learning, I'm listening. It allows coach 'D' [Joe D'Alessandris, offensive line] to coach me as much as possible. I'm enjoying it! I'm enjoying the process. I'm worried about getting better and loving it, man. It's a dream come true."
On the positive influence of G Marshal Yanda: "A lot of influence. Everything that him and James [Hurst] and Ronnie [Stanley] and Alex [Lewis] and Matt [Skura] – all of those vets that are in the room ... They've helped me so much grow as a player, understand the game, understand the scheme and understand how to be a pro – especially Marshal. He's been in the league for what – 12 years now, 11 years – so he's played a really big impact on the way I've been able to come out here and perform and to stay consistent."
On if he feels faster on the edge: "Yeah, no doubt, no doubt. It's just like I said about muscle memory. Developing that, taking a lot of reps against great talent that we have has forced me and trained me into being more consistent and better blocking the speed. It was something that I never really struggled with in my career, but the guys here on this level are a lot faster."
WR Willie Snead IV
On how much more comfortable he feels with the passing offense than when he first arrived:"I feel really good. I feel like I have a good grasp on the offense. I think I just need to work on the little details and the minor things that make this offense complete. But so far, I feel great, to be honest."
On how impressed he's been with WR John Brown "'J.B.' [John Brown] is electric, man. He's done a lot of things great since we stepped on the field here. I'm just really, really happy for him that he's actually healthy, and he's making plays like that. That's really good for the whole offense. Just to be able to stretch the field like that, it opens up so much for not only the running backs and the receivers like me underneath, but for 'Crab' [Michael Crabtree] and everybody else."
On how the transition for himself, WR Michael Crabtree and WR John Brown has been, and if it has helped all being new to the Ravens:"Yes, I think so. We're all brand-new in this system, and we all have a good feel for each other. We're always talking. We're always hanging around each other, so that relationship is being built right now. I feel like once the season starts, and the season gets going, I think that bond is just going to be embraced more and more. We all feel really good right now, and we're all playing at a high level. I think we're just working on the little details and the little things in this offense that make it click."
On his impressions of CB Tavon Young, and how they help each other improve: "He's feisty, man. He's probably one of the … He's a different type of nickel corner. He gets a lot of hands on, and that's forcing me to have to use my hands more, instead of just trying to be quick off the line. So, it's definitely a good change-up. He's a great nickel corner. He's getting better every day. He's making me better, because I have to change up techniques. I have to do things differently, which is helping me get better. We've definitely gone back and forth, and I think that's probably going to be the best matchup of my season, is with him, because he makes me better. And he's fast. He's feisty. He's hands on, so he's definitely pushing me to be better."
On why he doesn't wear gloves on certain drills: "Just to work on my hands. Today, I didn't wear gloves the whole practice, and that was just because I wanted to use my hands more in my releases and try to be strong. And I sweat a lot, so by the time I'm halfway through practice, my gloves are totally soaked, so I just wanted to practice at it today. That's something I wanted to work on this week, was just my hands. My goal is to not use gloves all the way through and just see how that helps me with my releases and catching the ball, looking at it all the way in."
On the first-team offense's confidence: "After Thursday night, that first drive, it was pretty good. I think we have a good feel for each other. Just to see it go from the practice field to the game field is really fun, and it's really exciting. But, we all know that we have a lot to work on. We're going against one of the best defenses in the league, in my opinion, every day, so that's definitely making us better. So, when we get out there on gameday, it all comes together. I feel like Marty [Mornhinweg] has a good feel of what he's doing and what he's calling for each of us. When we're able to click and move the ball like that, move the chains, it's definitely a good feeling."
On if he feels like people hope the three free agent wide receiver additions will revive the Ravens' passing game:"Yes, I think so. I think it's just a matter of time. These couple weeks, we're going to be trying to get better and better. 'Crab' [Michael Crabtree] tells me every day, 'We're going to be doing something serious this year.' And I believe it, too. I just think that we just need to keep building that time with [Joe] Flacco and just know, when he flushes the pocket, what we need to do to get open. Or, what he's looking for in certain coverages and how he sees each of us. 'J.B.' [John Brown] is the 'go get it.' For me, he's going to put it on me and 'Crab.' I think once we all get a feel for each other, once the season starts, it's going to be exciting, man. I can't wait. It's definitely going to revive this whole offense."
On if it's a lot of pressure to expect an immediate impact from three new players: "Not at all. I look forward to the challenge. People are talking about it, and I'm looking forward to it. I know 'Crab' [Michael Crabtree] is. I know 'J.B.' [John Brown] is. And that's something we've all be talking about this offseason, is doing our part [to] help this offense go and get us back to the playoffs and further on from there."