Transcripts: Ravens Thursday Training Camp

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "[It's] good to see you guys here. Day Two; we're stacking. We're stacking football. We're stacking media days, right? So, I appreciate everybody being out. I just had an experience over there along the stands with a young lady named Abby. She's 5 years old, and she's visiting. She's battling her fight with her mom and her grandma who are here today also. So, I just want to thank her for coming and just let her know and all of her friends know she's a superstar. She's a superstar and we love having her here. She's one of us. She's a Raven.

"[We] had a great practice today in terms of being the second day. We have a lot of work to do, a lot to work on, but we're chipping away. I felt like we stacked the practice on top of a good practice. So, now we'll get to work for the rest of the day as far as weightlifting, and meetings, and our ACT practice, and everything that we're doing. OK, what questions do you have?"

I saw the wide receivers breaking out a soccer ball. I don't know if you saw that. Is there any kind of … Did you maybe take a Ted Lasso kind of slant? (Jamison Hensley) "I did see that. (laughter) I love that show by the way. Season Two is out, right? I haven't seen anything yet. Have you guys seen it at all?" (Reporter: "No.")­ "Oh, OK." (Reporter: "It's good.")­ "I can't wait to see it. I think it has a little bit to do with what [Baltimore Sun reporter] Mike [Preston] was talking about yesterday with hand placement in terms of catching and eyes and finishing catches. It's just a little different than a football. When you get those guys up here … When [wide receivers coach] Tee [Martin] gets up here and [pass game specialist] Keith [Williams], they can explain the particulars, but it's a pretty cool drill."

We saw RB J.K. Dobbins do so many good things last year. Going into Year Two, you've talked about the full offseason for the guys that were drafted [last] year and the rookies, of course. But what kind of growth are you looking to see from him in what we can assume is probably a little more of an expanded role even from what he had last year? (Luke Jones) "Sure, you want to see growth. Even the practices he's having now are practices that those guys didn't have. So, they didn't have the offseason, but they also didn't have the first two weeks of training camp. There are still new days. Every day is still a new day for those guys. It'll be fun to see what happens. I obviously have high expectations. I told him the bar is set high, so we'll see what he does with it."

We saw WR Marquise Brown leave early from practice. Are there any updates there? (Jamison Hensley) "[It's] not serious, probably more precautionary than anything in terms of just making sure the muscle health continues to be there early in camp and just build him up to the reps we want to get him to. So, I would say that's precautionary in nature. Marcus Peters had a toe issue, like a toenail issue that had to get corrected. Anybody that's had that knows that's not fun, but that probably is a one-day deal, too."

WR James Proche II is obviously in the middle of a tight competition and made some plays out there today. What stood out to you with what you saw from WR James Proche II? (Garrett Downing) "That's what he does. He does everything right. He's a serious competitor. We were in the weight room this morning, and he was in there with us. Some of the coaches get in there early, and he was right there with a lot of the other guys. So, he's just … He works all the time. He works within the play, too. He finishes every play, and you saw that today."

With QB Lamar Jackson out, this has been a pretty big opportunity for QB Trace McSorley and QB Tyler Huntley to try and get some extra reps and compete out there. What have you seen from those two thus far? (Kyle Barber) "I think they've taken advantage of those reps. They've practiced very well. There's nothing like being out there for reps and for reps with the 'ones' for a quarterback. Again, they're the quarterbacks we're playing with. They're doing a good job. We'll see what they can make of it. It'll be fun to watch."

When you look at a veteran like DE Calais Campbell, maybe some veterans coming into this many training camps, it seems like his energy level is still high up there. Have you noticed that as well? (Jamison Hensley) "I don't notice it. Probably because that's what you notice, because he's just like the young guys – he's no different. Well, he's taller and he's bigger in some ways and he's more experienced. (laughter) But the energy level is the same as Justin [Madubuike] or any of our guys. I love him. I love our guys. We have a veteran D-line group. Derek Wolfe is the same way. 'Jelly' [Justin Ellis] is the same way. They just get after it, and they love to play. We're not in pads yet, but there's not a lot of room up there right now to run the ball. So, we'll see what happens when the pads come on though."

This is the last time we'll talk to you before the stadium practice. What are your thoughts about going back there and having an environment where there's going to be about as big of a crowd as you can expect for a practice? (Garrett Downing) "It's funny ... It's one day at a time, and that's two days away, so I didn't think about that until you asked the question. But now that I think about it, I can't wait, because it's such a great opportunity. I think it's a great opportunity for the fans that are really football nerds to get in there and look at our team up close and personal in a practice like that, because anybody can get in there. It's not like you have to … It's like getting a seat on Southwest, you know? You have to call like right at that second – that's how getting in here is like, but now everybody can go. But also, all the folks that don't have season tickets, or don't have tickets, or haven't been to games. I told a story one time, two or three years ago ... It was actually in 2019, and I was driving around towards Camden Yards there, and I saw a dad and he had three little kids – two boys and a girl – just little ones. They all had their Ravens t-shirt jerseys on, and he had them in his hands. I just felt like, 'Man, look how happy he is and how excited they are to be able to take his kids to M&T Bank Stadium and have a special day.' I honestly choked up about it. So, to me, that's why we do this. This is what really in the end it's all about – it's about people. It'll be cool. It'll be fun."

I assume there's no update with QB Lamar Jackson? It's still status quo, the same as it was yesterday? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, no updates. There's not going to be any updates. Those aren't things that we're really allowed to make, but it is what it … I hate, 'It is what it is,' I'm not going to say that. Except in this case, it's pretty much what it is." (laughter)

With practice, you go through film, and you go through the meetings and stuff, but the Ravens discussed a lot about the culture. How do you practice culture? How do you talk about that in the building? (Kyle Barber) "We're going to need a 45-minute seminar where we can go back-and-forth on that. (laughter) We can group interact on that one. It's a word that gets used a lot. Work environment is another word that we use. What do we stand for, what do we believe in, what are we about, who are we? Those are things we talk about. In the end, we are who the individual pieces are. Hopefully, we're greater than the sum of our parts. To your point, I think that we're about something, and I think it's very clear cut what we are and what we stand for on the field and off, even as an organization. So, hopefully you see it. Hopefully, the question answers itself when you see it."

WR Sammy Watkins

On his first training camp as a Raven: "Really, it's a good team. We've got a great group of guys. We're out there competing, having fun, and I just think, as a team and coaches, we're getting prepared for the season. I just see a lot of excitement on the guys' faces, and we're just out there having fun, enjoying ourselves and competing."

On if this training camp is different than some he's been a part of in the past: "Not really. I think every training camp is about getting better, going out there and having fun, but really just trying to figure yourself out and trying to get used to the plays and used to the guys that are out there. But I think every training camp is pretty much the same. Guys trying to win a spot or gain the coaches' trust and trying to learn the full playbook and just trying to get acclimated."

On if it's difficult or disappointing to not have QB Lamar Jackson out there: "Of course; that's the starting quarterback. But at the end of the day, we know Lamar is fine. We've got to move on. We've got a great group of quarterbacks – Trace [McSorley], 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley] – and we've just got to move on and have fun and still go out there and practice, and we can't wait until he [Lamar Jackson] comes back."

On what he's seen out of QBs Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley: "Those guys have been stepping up. The last two practices, they've been balling, throwing touchdowns; I think, no interceptions. So, I think that's big. When you've got Lamar [Jackson] gone and two other guys stepping up and we're still having good days, that shows professionalism, and we're just really out there balling and having fun."

On how he feels as he enters training camp and if it's any different from previous seasons: "[I] definitely [feel] different here. I feel like I'm older now; I know how to practice; I know how to work. But also, with just the weight room stuff and the coaches that I have, they're protecting me, and really, I'm doing well with taking care of my body at home. The training staff has got a good thing that they're doing with taking care of the body – massages, stuff like that. And really, I just think I'm in a different space here and just a great environment to help me stay healthy and stay mentally stable to go out there and perform every day."

On if he has to be in constant dialogue with Ravens coaches to stay fresh: "I think it's naturally being done. They kind of can feel me – two or three plays and take me out, put me in on certain plays. They know what I need, and also, I'm old enough now to kind of figure out, 'Hey man, I need this. I need to work on this.' And they've just been doing well with it. I just hope I can continue to keep it up, continue to take care of my body and stay healthy."

On his impressions of WR Rashod Bateman: "I just feel like he's already prepared; he's already a pro. I wouldn't tell him that. (laughter) He's just already … He runs routes, he's doing the right things, he's taking coaching; he's out there busting his behind. And honestly, it's rare to have a receiver come in prepared in this league, and I can say he's definitely prepared with everything that they've been throwing at him, and I just feel like he's going to have a successful career and year, this year."

On if he feels a responsibility as the veteran amongst a young group: "I think it's natural, but I also think it's my duty. I've been in the league eight years, and I had some guys take care of me. So, if I can help anyone out in our group or anyone around the building, I definitely think it's needed. Like I said, I had leaders, the coaches and everybody around me helping me, so if I can help any guy out, I've definitely got to take on that role."

On if he's bothered by the questions about his health: "No, I just think it's a part of the game. [With] injuries, there is a 100% injury rate. Things happen, and I just kind of give it to God. Sometimes things are meant. But I'm just trying my best to stay healthy and do whatever I can to stay healthy. Sometimes things happen, but I can say this year, I'm doing everything in my might to stay on that field and be healthy and try to go out there and help my team each and every day, and I think that's the goal."

On working with pass game specialist Keith Williams every single day: "It's a blessing to have him hands on. During the offseason, me coming here and him coming here was something good, because I've got him every single day to be in my ear – or when I get tired or when I mess up on this route – 'Ay, focus, focus.' So, that's the type of thing I think any athlete needs. Yes, we're older and we're grown men, but you've got to have somebody pushing you better than you're pushing yourself, and I think that's why my season and my year is going to go well."

On the benefits of catching soccer balls during a drill today: "I don't know; I'm not a soccer player. (laughter) But I think it's a bigger object. You've got to spread your hands and catch it. But anything they throw at us, and they think that's going to help us get better, I'm willing to do it."

On his reaction to using the soccer balls: "I did it with him [pass game specialist Keith Williams] in the offseason, so I'm like … People are probably going to look at him crazy, but I get his whole method. You've got to spread your hands. It's bigger than a football, so hopefully, we catch the ball and don't have drops."

On if he's utilized soccer balls as part of a drill while with other teams: "No, I think [pass game specialist Keith Williams] has his whole science to it. (laughter) I'll let him have his little way." (laughter)

CB Jimmy Smith

On his feelings being back at Ravens training camp: "You've got to embrace it every year. Every year is a new year – new challenge. But yes, days get long, meetings get longer."

On his impressions of WR Sammy Watkins: "It was always tough going against him. We talk it about it; our lockers are close. That dude is fast. He's going to bring a lot of plays to our team. But it's great to go against Sammy and [Rashod] Bateman and all the guys. They're probably one of our more talented group of receivers – I just said it a minute ago. But they're going to bring it every day, and they're going to challenge us. They've got ultimate speed on the outside right now, so every time that ball goes up, you really give it everything you've got."

On if this is one of the more talented receiver groups he's seen since he's been here: "Absolutely. Again, no disrespect to our guys, but as a whole corps, unit, this group is very talented."

On moving around more now with CB Tavon Young back: "Yes, we pray Tavon [Young] stays healthy. I'm here, in case anything happens to anybody. I'm here. You need a blow? I'm here. Whatever role they've got for me, I'm ready to take it on. I'm sure they're going to have some packages. I'll get to play against tight ends, play against certain wide receivers. So, it's no big deal for me. It's just whatever happens, happens."

On how he's feeling going into Year 11: "I'm feeling good, now. 'Woof,' that first rib break was something else. That was probably – of all the injuries I've ever had – by far the worst, pain-wise."

On being robbed at gunpoint in Los Angeles, CA, this offseason: "Terrifying. I mean, just with your family … You feel helpless. Just some cowards running up on you with three guns. You don't know if you're going to lose your life in that moment. Your kids are right there in the car, and the crazy thing is, I had seen it kind of coming. You know, when something bad happens, you get this eerie feeling? I kind of had an eerie feeling, and I didn't really listen to it. I hopped out of the car and just saw dudes coming at me with guns, and they surrounded me. All you could think of is, 'I want to live. I want to get out of here.' At that moment, jewelry didn't matter, and none of that matters. Just give them what they want, so they can go. And after it happens, you kind of have PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]. So, going out, going into a store, or just being around anybody with a mask and a hood on, it really kind of just makes my heart thump to this day.

"So, terrifying situation. Glad we lived. [I'll] definitely take better precautions. I mean it's hard to take precautions when you're driving to a hotel with your family, but it's just being aware of the situation and understanding that people want your watches, chains. Not this one; this is tiny (holding chain around his neck). But people, they're after what you've got, so you've just got to be careful."

On the details of the situation: "We got off the airplane, rented a car, went to the store to get some juice, and they followed us to In-N-Out, then followed us to Jack-In-The-Box, then followed us [to the hotel] and waited for me to check in. I brought the car back around, talked to my girl inside the car for like two minutes, hopped out of the car, and I saw two dudes with their mask on, and then they just kind of looked at me and kind of tracked my footsteps. Then I kind of knew they were on me, but I didn't know why, because I had my hoodie up and everything, so I wasn't sure what was going on. And then, some guy came this way (point to his left) with a gun and two dudes came this way (pointing straight forward) with a gun, and (putting his hands straight up in the air, indicating how he responded to the men approaching). And the scary part was another guy ran up on my girl and put a gun to her belly, and she's pregnant. So, it was terrifying."

On if the police caught the suspects: "You're not going to catch those guys. This is happening left and right in California. They had some other guy – I think the CEO of some clothing company – got followed home into a gated community, got the guy on the ground, and luckily, they had security in their neighborhood, and they shot and killed one of the guys, and the other guy ended up getting caught. I feel no remorse for him. I'm not going to say I wish death upon him, but they'll get what's coming to them."

On if he knew the men: "Absolutely not. If I knew … If I knew."

RB J.K. Dobbins

On how he's feeling two days into training camp: "It feels great. I've been working out all offseason getting my body right for a time like this. It's been great to get back out here, get ready for this season and be with my teammates."

On his development as a pass catcher: "I've always wanted to pride myself on being an offensive weapon, not one-dimensional. I want to be able to do it all, you know? Shoot, if they ask me to go out there and be Lamar [Jackson] for a little bit, I can maybe do that, or I can go be [Bradley] Bozeman [and] snap the ball – [I'll] do it all. I've been working on it, honing in on it this offseason so I can be great – great for my teammates and help us win games."

On if he feels like he has to be a good pass catcher to be considered an elite running back in the NFL: "I believe so, yes. I want to be a great one though. I want to be one of the greatest. I just want to be considered one of those top running backs in the League. So, that's one of the things that I need to do to be like an Alvin Kamara or a Christian McCaffrey, and that's what I've been working on. I hope that I can do it during the games and things like that."

On how much pass protection and blitz pick up is a point of emphasis: "Yes, that's always been an emphasis – even since college. In college, we worked on it a lot, and now here. Being a pro, that's what's going to keep you on the field all the time – if you can block and do things like that. So, I work on that as well. Just being an all-around back so I can stay on the field as much as possible."

On why he thinks the Ravens run the ball so well: "It starts with the coaches. They say, 'You want to play like a Raven.' Playing like a Raven is being physical, having that mindset that you're going to win every rep. In order to run the ball in the National Football League, you have to be physical, and you have to have that mindset that you're going to beat the guy in front of you. So, I think that's why we are able to run the ball a lot. Because our coaches, they emphasize that during camp [with] technique and things like that to be lower than the guys and things like that. It shows up on the field, and hopefully, we can keep getting better."

On if he has any individual goals: "No, I just take it day-by-day. Shoot, game-by-game. If I run for 200 yards [or] one yard, I just go to the next game [thinking], 'We have to do better next week.' That's how I take it, I don't really set the goals. My goal is to get the Super Bowl – that's the main goal."

On if there are things he's focusing in on as a runner to improve: "Yes, last year, I think I had one 70-plus-yard touchdown, and I want to be that homerun hitter for the team – that spark plug. Because whenever you have a long run like that, a long touchdown run, it gets the team going. This year, I've been honing in on ways to make that homerun more than one time this year, you know? I want to do it like four or five times this year, get everybody excited, get the team going and just make plays for the team and help us win a game. You do that [and] that can break the will of a defense, I feel like. They're like, 'Dang. We just let them 80 yards down the pipe. No passing plays like that.' So, that's what I've been working on. I can always get better at that. I've been working on it all."

On if there was a checklist of things he wanted to focus on after last season: "Yes. I'll always get faster, stronger, bigger, but the mental aspect of it. Last year, I didn't know what I was getting myself into mentally. In the NFL, I feel like it's 85% mental, because it all starts up there. You have to know your stuff, you have to have your energy, you have to wake up ready to go. You have to be in the game. If you get tired, you have to be mentally there. So, I did a lot of things to help my mental [and] being strong mentally, so I can play mental. Mentally strong and physically strong, that's one of the most important things I think I did this year."

On how different this year's offseason is compared to last year: "It was definitely different this year. I feel like having OTAs and things like that definitely helped, because you get to see your teammates. You get to get on the field. You get to do the plays [and] you get to get into football shape. No matter how much you do in the offseason, there's nothing like being in football shape. So, I feel like that helped a lot. When you get back into [training] camp, you've already worked on plays and things like that, so you don't have to knock rust off that much. So, I feel like that helps a lot, for real."

On how high people should draft him in fantasy football: "Honestly, I've never played fantasy football. I don't know anything about the Drafts and things like that. So, I don't know what's good or bad – I don't know." (laughter)

On what it feels like to have fans at training camp: "Man, that's what it's about – the fans. Making a little kid's day, it's great to have the fans back out here. You know, I never got to interact with Ravens Flock, so I'm so glad they're back out here. Hopefully, when we get to that stadium, gameday will be rocking and we can put on a show for them. That's what we want to do and that's what I want to do."

On how much his Spanish improved in the offseason: "A lot. A lot. I wish that Spanish Radio was out here, so I could speak to them. I would speak it to you all, but I would get no reaction." (laughter)

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