SUNDAY (8/5) TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"We got back last night [from the Hall of Fame induction]. We were talking about the private plane, and Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti has fast planes. Players asked me if I had a private plane, and I said, 'Yeah! It has a big Southwest [logo] on the side and it'll take me anywhere in the world.'(laughter) It was pretty impressive last night. I don't think there are really words. You see it on TV, but the feeling of being in the middle of it – especially where we were sitting with the family – was indescribable and unforgettable. Ray's [Lewis] mom was incredible. It was just one of those nice … Brian Dawkins was incredible. I thought the messages were incredible. I thought their messages on faith – everybody talked about faith, and even the specific faith of Brian and Randy [Moss] and Ray about Christ and the power of Christ that is unconquerable – was just strong and courageous. It was a good night. Our guys were pretty strong today to come practice after last night. We got back late, and they were out there. I asked 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] when we were talking about last night, I said, 'You know we will be practicing?' He laughed, and I said something to him after practice – he had a great practice – he said, 'Coach, I was born to do this. I'm a football player. I get up in the morning, I play football. What else am I going to do?' Wow. That's the mindset of our team. We're excited about this week. We have a big game Thursday. We want all of our fans to be there to see our team play. We love to stack on top what the Ravens fans did last night in Canton. The Ravens fans – they were in full force. To drive all that way, to spend money on gas and hotel rooms and food and everything, to be there to celebrate Ray and celebrate the Ravens was awesome. We walked in by that corner in the end zone, to the right if you're facing the stage, and they saw our guys and they went crazy! They went nuts! All of a sudden, the place roared. Thank God we came in between somebody speaking. It was just a celebration of Ravens. Our fans were great, and I'll see them Thursday night also."
How many pounds do you think Ray Lewis lost giving the speech? (Jerry Coleman)"Well, when you sweat completely through a gold jacket – that's a sweat night, that's a workout. He got a workout. He wasn't going to be confined to the podium either, was he? When he came out with that thing, that wrap-around mic right there – I think we all knew what we were in for. It was amazing."
What are the logistical challenges of having a team come in here and practice and make sure there's enough space? (Todd Karpovich) _"That's a great question. First of all, it's football practice; we all start from the same premise. Sean [McVay] and I spent a lot of time talking, our coordinators have been back and forth, our equipment managers, our trainers, to organize the practices. We'll run a Ravens-style practice, in terms of how the chains are moved, how the cameras are worked and all that, with a nod towards the Rams organization. Sean led the way with organizing most of the practice. We're kind of going with the Rams' format with the practice, generally. It's a great practice format – we love it. So many things that we do are the same. The 'move the ball' periods are all the same. The periods that we use are all the same. I think it'll be very smooth running, because we practice the same way. It's going to be great to have them in here. We respect them, we appreciate them coming in. The fields have held up pretty well with all the rain, so we're going to put about 170 or so players on the field here – and they're big, heavy guys – and see how the fields hold up. [Head groundskeeper] Don [Follett] will be watching that with a close eye. Is he OK?" _(Reporter: "He'll be nervous.")"He'll be nervous. OK."
Are there parameters on contact stuff like that?_ (Jerry Coleman)_"Sure. It's the same parameters that we have at our practice. There will be no tackling to the ground; it'll be thud. It won't even be rapid release – it'll be bump-and-release. We're not going to try to have a real physical practice out here. But I'm sure … As long as we stay on the feet … The main message is that we treat the Rams like they're the Ravens. The Rams treat the Ravens like they're the Rams. We treat each other as if we're one team, because we want to get better for the next three days."
What does it mean to have the Rams coming in to help go against your offensive line, considering who they have on their defensive line? (Aaron Kasinitz)"Exactly right. It's going to be great. It's a great test for us. You want to compete on your one-on-one matchups. You want to handle yourself well, so it's a chance to improve against a great, very talented football team."
Is there anything of note with S Tony Jefferson's extended absence? (Bo Smolka) "It's a pull. We're just working through it. It'll be whatever time it is. It just depends on how he heals. We're not pushing him back. I'm not saying, 'Hey, you have to get back out here right away.' He's had a lot of reps up until this point. It's OK if he gets that thing right."
Is G Marshal Yanda going to be on the field practicing? (Aaron Kasinitz) "He may start with individual [drills], possibly tomorrow. But he won't be going against the Rams at all."
Where do you physically house the Rams? (Bo Smolka)"Well, they do it. They have a hotel."(Reporter: "I mean like with the locker room here.")"Well, we're doing it differently now. They're going to go ahead and dress at the hotel and come down and practice. They'll do meetings back at the hotel. That's a little cleaner of a way to do it. We've offered them the meeting rooms if they want to use them, but I think they want to keep them a little simpler."
Has anything changed from having Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers here? It's a different facility here now, too. Is there any difference at all, or no? (Jerry Coleman)"It's different because the 49ers spent more time here. They spent more … They didn't want to do quite as much … They wanted to be here in the meeting rooms and stuff. So that's how we did it with them, and it's just a little different that way."
Any catching up from your Miami of Ohio days with Sean McVay? (Ryan Mink) "We had different days. My days were a little before his days. But there were some of the same places, but different days. I'm sure we'll talk. I'm very impressed with Sean. Obviously, I'm very proud of him being from Miami. I would tell Ray [Lewis] this: theMiami University. (laughter) But he's done really well, and [Miami (OH)] is 'The Cradle of Coaches.'"
Do you have any hand signals from your Miami? (Kevin Byrne)"No we don't have that. It'd be an 'M' maybe. I don't know. Here we go, you ready? The 'U' has their 'U,' but the Miami University has an 'M.' (laughter) There we go! Let's book it. I think they're going to use it. It's going to be good. We need to get a chain, too. A big chain after a turnover, with a big 'M' on it."
Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram
How impressed are you with the three free agent additions, WR John Brown, WR Michael Crabtree and WR Willie Snead IV? _(Ryan Mink) _"Extremely. I love the fact that they're great football players, but also, the classroom is important to them. Extra work, all the things they've done to get to this point, they're continuing to do that. I like the leadership that all three of them bring. Everybody's got a little different style of leadership, but they all lead nonetheless."
You've got a pretty deep group here of receivers. Is it a pretty fierce battle over those final roster spots? (Todd Karpovich)"Absolutely. I think everybody knows that, and that's why, to me, competition should always bring out the best in players, and I think that it has done that with this group. The thing that I like about it, though, is it's always competition, but they're also cooperating. Because, at the end of the day, we're trying to find the best group of receivers that are going to help the Ravens win games."
WR John Brown, the way he plays bigger than his size, the play he made out there today, what is it about him? Does he just jump high? Does he just have a good feel for going up and making that play? What is it? _(Ryan Mink) _"I think it's both of those things: just timing and ball skills."
What about WR John Brown has really stood out? _(Ryan Mink) _"The thing about John, to me, [is] I feel like he is a complete receiver. He's got the speed, but he also can get in and out of breaks, so he can transition, he can run the whole entire route tree. And, like I just mentioned, he's got incredible ball skills."
What can you guys drill to develop chemistry with QB Joe Flacco? How does that process work? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"I think a big part of that is what those guys have done up until now. A lot of that is done in the offseason, in the spring – them going out and running routes by themselves and getting that timing. And then, we structure practice in a way that, before practice, we do a lot of routes on air. We just try to hit all the routes on the route tree and all of the concepts in the offense, and they build chemistry. You can just see Joe and Lamar [Jackson] and even RGIII [Robert Griffin III] and Woody [Josh Woodrum], all of those guys, they're constantly communicating the depth, the timing, the routes [and] the adjustments. So, those guys take ownership of it."
How exciting is it to work with another skillful group with the Rams coming in here over the next couple days? _(Kyle Barber) _"I love it! I think it's old-school training camp. I think we're tired of going against each other, to a certain extent. I think they're, obviously, they're a really good football team. And, it'll be a good challenge for our guys, in particular our young guys that have only had one game under their belt and didn't get extensive reps. For them to be able to go against another quality team, NFL-caliber, in practice, they'll get to test themselves against somebody else and see where they are."
Bobby, with three new veteran guys at the top of the depth chart, how much of an adjustment is that for you when you first got them into the meeting room? _(Ed Lee) _"It's just an adjustment every year. For every group, it's a little bit different. When you get veteran guys, it's just about getting to know each other. But they're professional. They have a job. I have a job, and everybody's doing the best that they can to, like I said, make plays, score points and help the Ravens win."
WR John Brown, WR Michael Crabtree and WR Willie Snead IV, on the surface, seem quiet. Would that be a fair assessment? (Ed Lee) _"(Laughs)_ They're probably a little more talkative in the meeting room than they are in practice. Everybody's got a different personality. Everybody will speak their mind, and I love them to have their freedom in the room, because they make quite an impression on those young guys. They're looking at [Michael] Crabtree. He's a 10-year vet. They're going to listen to what he has to say, and I like that."
Do you welcome the back-and-forth with those three guys when they come up to you and say, "Hey, we have an idea or a suggestion?'' (Ed Lee)"Absolutely. Any good idea is entertained around here. The thing about it is, these guys have earned that right, and I think they handle it with great responsibility. And even as a coach, I'm still trying to grow and I'm still trying to learn. Guys that have done it and who have been around other places, I can pick some stuff up from them as well."
Veteran guys like that, do you see a difference at the top of their route, just getting that little bit of separation to make the play? (Ryan Mink) "Yes, I think certain veterans have a knack for it. Obviously, [Michael] Crabtree has been great at it. You see John [Brown] do it subtly down the field, and Willie [Snead IV], he creates separation in a different way than even those two guys do. And, I think that's where the young guys can pick up little tendencies that they've learned from running thousands of routes over the years."
What does WR Breshad Perriman need to do to turn things around here? (Aaron Kasinitz)"He just needs to make plays in the game. I think Breshad has had an up-and-down career here, but the thing about it [is] he's staying strong, he's still competing, and he just needs to go out and make plays."
Randy Moss was inducted into the Hall of Fame last night. Did you have the players or anybody specifically watch his speech and see it? And also Terrell Owens, though it wasn't his broadcast. _(Kyle Barber) _"We had practice at 8:45 [a.m.], so we hadn't really gotten a chance to talk about that yet."
WR John Brown
On what he has done to build chemistry with QB Joe Flacco:"We just sit down and talk. We try to think of what Joe's thinking of as a quarterback, and we get to one understanding. It's been working out pretty well."
On if he's excited to practice against another team in the Rams:"Most definitely. I'm excited. At the end of the day, it's ball. Going against the other guys, it'll just show how competitive you are and just have some fun."
On what it would say if he had to do a scouting report on himself:"If I was to do a scouting report, it'll say [that I'm] just a speed guy that can run routes, get out of his breaks fast and just make plays and is a competitor."
On if he always had a knack for going over guys to make a play:"Yes, of course. Anybody can do it when you have a quarterback like Joe Flacco. He puts the balls in the right place, and I'm sure anybody can do it. But yeah, I always had that type of mentality to get up and attack the ball."
On if training camp is going better than he expected:"Oh yeah, it's going really good. I'm at a place where I'm happy. I'm taken care of and they understand my situation. If there's a problem, I talk to them and they just handle it the way they can."
On the steps he has taken to maintain his health:"I just have been taking care of my body and investing more in my body – trying to figure out new things to stay healthy. Right now, it's working." (Reporter: "Any examples of ways you have invested in your body?")"Just the basic massages, in the training room, ice tub, cold tub, hot tub, those types of things."
On his back shoulder catch over CB Jimmy Smith at practice:"Over Jimmy Smith? I don't remember that." (Reporter: "Maybe it wasn't Jimmy. But you and Joe Flacco seem to have been making a lot of those plays in training camp. Why is that play successful?")"Because you have a lot of people that respect the speed and they don't want to get beat over top. You have a quarterback like Joe Flacco – he can read that also. He's just made the perfect back shoulder throw. When you have somebody that respects your speed…"
On if he has been more impressed by QB Joe Flacco this summer or if Flacco is what he's expected:"He's about what I expected. I've been around a great quarterback, Carson Palmer. Those two guys work just alike. They're willing to get better no matter the situation."
CB Brandon Carr
On how this heat compares to training camp with the Dallas Cowboys:"California?!" (Reporter: "Dallas.") "We had training camp in California. There was nothing like it – 70s and a nice breeze. This is, what, 90s with a lot of humidity and sticky? It's beautiful football weather. As an old fella, it doesn't take much to warm up, man. I come out here, run around a few times, and I'm ready to go."
On the strides the offense has taken since last season:"It looked good, man. Last year, coming in, it looked good in OTAs, but now, they look stronger. They're getting better. They're gelling. The chemistry is coming along. We have just different playmakers this year. I wouldn't say … Guys last year, they did the best they could do. This year, we have a different set of guys on the outside, Joe [Flacco] is more comfortable, and the running backs have established themselves. I think all across the board, man, our offense is solid this year."
On differences in the defense with new defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale:"It's similar, the system. It has stayed the same. It's intact, but each coach has his own identity, his own flair. We learned from last year. I would imagine if Dean [Pees] was here as well, we would be learning, making adjustments from last year – just the same way we're making them with 'Wink.' So it's just, each coach has his own little flair, own style out there. But, the biggest thing with 'Wink' this year is that he's allowing us, as players and veteran guys on the field, to go out there and make our own adjustments within the defense and [direct] the defense within reason. He's giving us more flexibility to go out there and try to make our plays with what we see on the field."
On if there's more comfort for him in the secondary:"It's Year Two of us being together. We're getting guys back healthy. They're healthy right now in training camp, knock on wood. [We need to] keep those guys throughout the season. The confidence is up from last year. We still have a little bitterness in our mouth, as far as how the end of the season went. But at the same time, we went out there and produced and played some good ball. It's just a matter of stringing along 16 weeks this year."
On competition for the starting CB job with CB Marlon Humphrey in light of his starting streak:"I love it, man. It allows me to elevate my game. It pushes me. Also, it just gives me someone to just smile at when I see him out there making plays, and to see the strides he made from last year to this year. We have Jimmy [Smith] coming back healthy. We have Tavon [Young] coming back healthy. We've got Maurice [Canady] back. Our whole secondary, man, is intact, and everybody is healthy, 100 percent, so that's what I look forward to. I love to start. I love to play football, but I like to win football games. I'm proud of the guys out there making plays, and I'm proud of myself for making plays as well. It's just all about 'iron sharpens iron.' Competition is great. It's just going to breed a lot of greatness across the board."
On how much his starting streak of 160-consecutive game means to him:"Good question. I take pride in just being available each and every week. I take pride in taking care of my body, trying to play through as many injuries – whether they're big or small – as I can. But, I've been blessed throughout my career just to kind of be lucky and stay out of the way, stay out the fray of everything and play through the injuries I have. But at this point in my career, I'm just enjoying the game of playing football. I'm enjoying being back on the East Coast. I'm enjoying being back in Baltimore. This environment is nothing but football-friendly for me. But as far as just the streak and all, everything has to come to an end at some point. But my goal, my job, is to come out here and compete, battle for a starting job and to keep the streak alive as long as I can."
On if he's noticed a difference in the wide receiver group due to the free agent additions:"Yes. They're gelling. They look good, man. They are some veteran receivers with elite-level skill sets in their own way. And they're coming together well. There are no egos in the way. Just guys coming out here working, trying to get on the same page, trying to get the chemistry and camaraderie down, and you see it each and every day. Guys come out here fighting through the heat, the humidity, and fighting through, 'Oh, guys, we want to take a day off.' But we're just out here trying to get better every single day. We take days off down the road, but right now, it's about this grind. It's about just everybody being on the same page and getting that much better each and every day."
On if he notices a difference in personalities with the new group of receivers as compared to previous teammates like WR Mike Wallace:"Receivers are receivers to me, man! (laughs)"They're cool guys. Mike [Wallace] was a cool guy, as well. The same as offense-defense. We sharpen each other. We go out there and compete against those guys, give them our best look, and they return the favor for us. We just get ready for Sunday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, whenever we play our game."
On how practice will be different with the L.A. Rams, and if he looks forward to the competition:"You know about the joint practices. You know how they go. We're going to try to be smart, but we're going to play our brand of football. We're going to come out here and approach it like a game. It's practice, but it's an opponent. We look forward to playing against people other than ourselves each and every week and day. So, we look forward to the opportunity to have two days to see what we're made of, and just go out here and stay focused, stay locked in, and then, of course, take care of the game as well. I imagine it will be intense, going to be some challenges, going to be some battles going on, because at the same time, it's training camp mode for both teams. They're trying to make their squad. We're trying to make our squad as well, so there are going to be some guys out here trying to prove themselves. But the main thing is to be smart, be productive, but try to stay off the ground. But it's football, man. Whatever happens, protect yourself. Let's go ball."