Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, [it's] good to see you guys. [It was] a great day out. We had a good practice – very spirited. We finished up with a live period, as you guys saw – that was great to see. One step at a time, guys are working hard. I'm very happy with how they're working. [We] got a guy or two back, as you may have noticed. That was nice. [We're] working some guys in, and we're right on schedule. So, what questions do you have?"
How did you think QB Lamar Jackson looked in his first practice? (Jamison Hensley) "I thought he looked really good. I would say he looked even better than I expected him to. Coming off 10 days away and hadn't started yet, COVID[-19] is tough. He had symptoms. He had a lot of symptoms. So, I think it speaks to how well he took care of himself during that time. He came out and practiced well. So, [it's a] good first step. We have, for the whole team, four to five weeks of work to get ready for the first real game. So, we'll just try to take it one day at a time."
During that period where QB Lamar Jackson was away, was he able to do anything physically in terms of trying to stay in shape with his conditioning? In terms of classroom and communication, what can you tell us? (Jerry Coleman) "He was in touch with [quarterbacks coach James] Coach Urban. He was in meetings when he could be and when he was able to be. Conditioning to the degree he was able to – not a lot, especially early, [but] toward the end a little bit. He got hit pretty hard with the symptoms."
You usually have a plan going in of how much the guys play in the preseason, their reps and all that. How much does QB Lamar Jackson's absence maybe force you to adjust that plan going forward? (Jeff Zrebiec) "We haven't adjusted it at all. We're just going to keep the train moving. We've stuck with our install; the guys have responded very well, and we're staying right on schedule."
What can you tell us about CB Jimmy Smith and how long he might be out? (Luke Jones) "He has a low-ankle sprain, so a week or two is what I was told. It was good news."
We saw WR Marquise Brown out there, and he was moving pretty well. How's he coming along? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think well. It's his hamstring, so you just have to kind of see where it's at – there's a process there. You don't want to come back and re-injure it, which we've seen before. So, that'll be the key there."
Was this the closest thing you've had to a normal training camp practice? I know you don't have everyone back, but does it feel a little bit normal with QB Lamar Jackson back? WR Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown out there, not participating, but is this the closest it's been since the start of training camp? (Jerry Coleman) "I haven't thought about it like that. I think it's been normal, whatever normal means, from Day One – it's been great. The guys have been into it. They've been working hard. They're having fun. They're challenging one another; iron sharpens iron. They are working at it. That's what training camp practice is to me, and I think it is to the players and the coaches, [too]."
When you see the defense have a practice like today where they were really successful at causing pressure, how do you balance being excited for seeing defensive plays be that successful, but also the offense and the offensive line's struggle? What do you take away from that? (Kyle Barber) "I take away that that's how it works; that's the process of it. That's practice. You have to challenge yourself in practice every day. We have a saying, 'Sweat now, bleed later.' So, you have to push yourself, [and] you have to push the envelope. The offensive line may be the toughest position to play and be cohesive on. So, I don't think the first couple days, first week [or] two weeks, even during training camp, you don't look at that and say, 'Oh, we're not going to be good in that area.' We throw a lot at them, and it's the toughest thing to do. So, that's the unit that has to be really step-for-step in sync. That's probably the toughest thing to do, so it takes the most time."
S DeShon Elliott, this isn't his second year in the League, but it's his second year being a starter. He had a full year that he was healthy. What kind of growth have you seen from Year One to Year Two? (Cliff Brown) "As a starter?" (Reporter: "Yes.") "He always wanted to play fast. He always wants to just cut it loose and go, which you want that. Now, I think he knows where he is going better. He really understands the defense. He understands how we organize the coverages. He understands what responsibilities he has, or what opportunities he has, to make certain calls to put us in the best situation. He's doing a great job of that. He was good last year, and he got better as the year went on. But this year, he's taken it to another level that way."
CB Marcus Peters credited you and this place as a place where he can be himself. What do you think you've done as a coach to foster an environment where he does feel this comfortable? (Logan Murdock) "It starts with our media at the press conferences. Guys come and you can be yourself and who you are. (laughter) I don't know if there's any grand philosophy to it, other than we respect people, embrace them and try to look at who they are in their heart. Marcus [Peters] is just a good person, specifically. [He's] a very competitive person, very passionate person – that's the kind of guy you want on your football team. He wants to be good. He wants the people around him to be good and be committed, and we want the same thing – we all do. He just fits us really well, and we're blessed that he's on the team."
When you saw him first as an opponent versus now that he's in the building, what is the difference you've seen? (Logan Murdock) "I never really … I liked him coming out a lot. Obviously, when scouting, just being direct, you read the reports and he had some issues in college with whatever. So, you look at that and you factor it in. But if he had come to the right spot, we would have drafted him. We loved him as a player, and we appreciated his interviews. So, I don't think he's any different than what we really thought. Everybody grows; I know I've grown a lot. Everybody here has grown a lot. I'm sure he'd tell you that he's grown a lot, but he's still the same basic person he was [and] has the same good heart."
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Wednesday that the train has left the station as far as offense installation and that QB Lamar Jackson has to catch up. I guess in this next month, is it just him doing the extra homework that he has to be at the point where he's good to go by Week 1? (Jonas Shaffer) "Sure, and I don't think it's much … I don't think it's going to be that hard for him. I mean, he's already been through most of the offense. He already knows it. He's played in games for a number of years. He's been through this. There are some things that we put in there that we're working on, but I think he'll merge right in. The train is a good analogy; I used it before [offensive coordinator] Greg [Roman] did, just for the record. (laughter) I'm going to go with the highway. They're moving … It's I-695 out here on the Beltway, and they're moving at about 75-plus [MPH] or more. Some people … Some days, you know the people that like race through there? (laughter) But no, he's going to merge right in. That's my analogy. How's that? An OK metaphor?"
OLB Justin Houston
On why he chose to sign with Baltimore: "More so the scheme. I think it was a better fit for me and what I was looking for. I just wanted opportunities to have one-on-ones and to be able to put pressure on the quarterback. I think this was the best scheme for me and what I was looking for."
On if he misguided his social media followers by posting a photo of himself in a Chiefs helmet before signing with the Ravens: "I don't think so. I think everybody just made assumptions. I had to work out, and I needed a helmet. That's the only helmet I had in my house, so I put it on. (laughter) That was their opinion. I was working out."
On if it's true that he received other offers that were better but still chose the Ravens: "Yes sir – [there were]. Like I said, I wanted to go somewhere where I'd know I'd have fun and I'd enjoy the scheme and [be] able to show my talents. I think this, like I said, works best."
On if he turned down a better offer from the Steelers: "I was so close to signing with the Steelers. That was crazy. They were one of the teams I was considering."
On choosing Baltimore over Pittsburgh: "It just worked out better."
On the process after visiting with the Ravens several weeks before signing: "Well, Marcus Peters called me as soon as the season was over with, and he was like, 'What are you doing, man? Where are you going? Man, come to Baltimore. I need you here.' So, I was talking to him, then the Ravens hit my agent up. I came in on a visit, and they were just explaining the scheme and we were walking through it, and they were showing me all the good stuff about it; I fell in love with it. I kind of knew I wanted to be here when I saw that."
On what he's heard about this organization from other players, including CB Marcus Peters: "I heard how great this organization was. I know a lot of guys – I actually played with in college – they were drafted here, so it was easy to know what kind of organization it was. It was more so about the scheme. He [Marcus Peters] was just like, 'Man, you would love it. You would love the scheme. The scheme is perfect for you. You'll be one on one. You'll get what you're looking for.'"
On his early impressions of fitting in: "I'm just trying to fit in right now. I don't want to impose my will on anybody. I'm just trying to fit in with everybody else and trying to learn the Ravens' way."
On if it feels good to have QB Lamar Jackson on his team: "Oh, yes. I'm glad I don't have to chase him. (laughter) I prefer him to be on my side any day of the week."
On if it was tough for him to be patient during the offseason: "Oh, no. It's Year 11, so it's a different mindset for me. I knew the phone call would come eventually, so I was just patient and waiting, working out."
On how he thinks the Ravens will utilize his versatile skill set: "I just think they're going to maximize … They're going to see on film – from what I show at practice – what I'm good at, and I think they're going to put me in a position where I can maximize my talent. Like I said, any football player, if you know football, you know defense, that's what you want to do."
LB Malik Harrison
On how participating in a more natural offseason program and OTAs has helped him: "I think the OTAs definitely helped me a lot. I wish I would have had that my rookie year coming in. OTAs, just getting with the guys and just building that bond and that chemistry, it makes everything easier."
On where he thinks he's grown the most: "I think it's just me being more comfortable and not really thinking – just going out there and just [playing]."
On inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan: "Oh, man. You never know what you're going to get out of him [inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan] each day. We'll talk about something in the meeting rooms, and the next thing you know, he'll just have a story. Every day it's something new."
On working to expand his versatility and earn a bigger role: "This offseason and the OTAs and this training camp, I'm just trying to make myself better every day, just expand my role and get a bigger role."
On what he learned last year and will apply this season: "Really knowing how to watch film and just the route concepts. Just things like that and really just asking the vets how they take the field and what they see while they're out there."
On his relationship with ILB Patrick Queen and if they discuss continuing the tradition of Baltimore linebackers: "Oh, yes – definitely. Ever since we got drafted, as soon as the day that I got drafted, we connected right after that, and ever since that day, we hang out, we talk [at] dinner every day. We just push each other to get better every day."
On if getting better in pass coverage can take him to another level as a linebacker: "Oh, yes – definitely. That will take my game to another level. Just being able to be that thumper and still be able to be an all-down backer, [it will] just complete my game."
On if he wanted to change his body during the offseason: "I wanted to slim down a little, but everything else, I'm good."