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Transcripts: Ravens Training Camp Availability (8/1)


Opening statement:"OK. [It's] good to see everybody. [I] appreciate everybody being here. [It was] a really good day today, [an] exciting day. Guys were into it, practiced really hard, [were] on point for the most part. [There are] certainly things to work on, [to] improve on, but I feel great about the mindset, the attitude, the effort, and we have a lot of good players out there who are playing well, learning our system and getting better every day. So, what questions do you have?" 

It looked like it was the first time wide receivers had one-on-ones today. Were you watching that? (Jamison Hensley) "No, I wasn't there. I was over at the run drill. I'll let you know tomorrow, or whenever, when I see it on tape. How'd it look? (Reporter: "Very competitive")Good. Good." 

Is OLB David Ojabo OK?_ (Jonas Shaffer) _"Yes, [David Ojabo] came back out. Yes, he's OK. Yes." 

Do you have any update on S Geno Stone? _(Bo Smolka) _"Yes, it's an ankle. It's not going to be a long-term ankle [injury]. It will be – I don't know – maybe a week. I don't know. We'll see. [It's] somewhere in that range. Don't hold me to it though, but it's not a long-term deal." 

Is WR Odell Beckham Jr. Still getting ramped up with the amount of reps he gets? (Cordell Woodland)"Well, I think Odell [Beckham Jr.] will be all the way up to the first game and even beyond that. He has a good plan, a good pace. He practiced well again today. [He] made numerous plays out there. I thought all of the receivers did a nice job, good practice. [The] passing game continues to take steps forward, so these guys are doing a good job." 

With the left guard competition, are you still planning on rotating reps? _(Jeff Zrebiec) _"We're going by day right now. Like we have a priority right now, in terms of a depth chart, by day. Then we'll flip some guys in different reps, and then another day or two it may change a little bit and we'll try some guys in some different spots. That will probably go on for a minimum of a week, [maybe] more, and then we'll kind of work from there probably." 

QB Joe Burrow suffered that calf injury. You play him in Week 2. How closely do you monitor that situation? _(Jamison Hensley) _"[We're] not really [monitoring that] at all right now. We're not preparing for the Bengals at this point. We're just … We're focusing on ourselves, trying to get our installs in and become as good as we can be at what we do. Then, when we get closer to those games, we'll start thinking about that stuff." 

What have you seen from S Kyle Hamilton's transition into his different role? (Ryan Mink) "[Kyle Hamilton]'s doing a great job. It's safety, so he's obviously playing back a lot more than he played at dime or nickel last year, but he looks good. I think those two guys are both playing well together back there, and I'm excited for it." 

There's been so much talk about WRs Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. this preseason and training camp. What have you seen from WR Nelson Agholor this offseason? (Shawn Stepner) "Well, probably the same things you saw. He's made numerous plays the last two days. He's made plays on the ball. I've been really … I like his route running. He's done a nice job, especially against man coverage. [There were] some outs and some crossing routes that he's gotten himself open on. So, he's doing very well."  


How much do you think CB Marlon Humphrey's physicality helps his game? (Jamison Hensley) "Well, that's part of the game. We talk about 'Raven DNA.' We talk about guys being physical, and that's at every level of our defense – whether that's the corners, safeties – everybody's going to want to be physical. So, we want guys – especially at the corner position – we're going to put hands on people, disrupt the timing. Then, when it comes to the ball being run, or we're out in space, we're going to be physical and tackle. That's regardless of whoever we have out there. We've got guys that are going to be physical." 

Is CB Marlon Humphrey's physicality what jumps out the most about him? (Jamison Hensley) "That's definitely what he is. He's definitely a physical corner. He's an old school guy. He can play ... He's got that mentality like that linebacker mentality. He's coming up and wants to hit. He's punching the ball out. You have to be on point wherever Marlon is at, because he's a great blitzer. He's the total package. He's got the speed, power. He's got all of that." 

What's your assessment of the cornerback competition and what has stood out to you? (Brian Wacker) "Well right now, we've got Marlon [Humphrey]. He's solidified himself as one of the corners. Then, we've got Rock [Ya-Sin]. Right now, he's got the nod, but Jalyn Armour-Davis, he's pushing him as well. I look for big things from him coming up. But, it's going to be a competition throughout the whole training camp. We'll find out who comes of there right now." 

Is there anything in particular about the cornerback competition that has stood out to you? (Brian Wacker) "Making plays. That's what we're going to be graded on, and that's what those guys are being graded on. They've got to make plays when it counts." 

What impressed you about CB Rock Ya-Sin before he got to Baltimore and since he's been with the team? _(Bo Smolka) _"Well, he's a lot like … My thing is, I want guys that are physical, and that's what Rock brings to the table. He's a physical corner. He's going to come up, he's going to tackle, make punches at the ball. But, he's played in a different system. He's been a Cover 3- [or] Cover 2-type of corner. He hasn't played a whole bunch of man in the multiple coverages that we play. So, there's a little bit of a learning curve with him right now. But, he's getting there." 

How has CB Jalyn Armour-Davis looked in training camp so far? (Garrett Downing) "He's climbing. Every day is a new day, and we want to make sure that every day that he comes out, he's on point, and he's doing all the things that we're asking him to do and grade out in the positive and not the negative. We fine these guys every time they have a negative play. So, positive plays, and we'll see what happens at the end of camp." 

How important is it for S Marcus Williams to be more vocal? Have you noticed him embracing that aspect? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, absolutely. Last year, Chuck [Clark] had the green dot, and Chuck was the guy that was doing all the communicating. He was just following Chuck's lead. Now this year, he's got to be the guy that's got to run the back end [and] get everybody lined up. It's not that he couldn't do it; he could always do it. He's a very vocal guy, getting everybody on the same page, and he's done a great job so far." 

Do you see DB Brandon Stephens as someone who can play multiple positions in the defensive backfield or are you zeroing in on one position for him? (Childs Walker) "No, Brandon's a guy – he's a utility knife. Brandon's played pretty much every position in the back end. He's played corner, he's played nickel, he's played dime, and he's played safety. We'll continue to use him in that aspect to try and get him on the field – [using] matchups. Our thing here is we use guys that are interchangeable parts. Wherever we see fit that we get the best matchup with them, that's where we'll put them." 

Do you feel that there are multiple players you can play with matchups and not just one player? (Ryan Mink) "Yes, it doesn't have to be one guy. There's a lot of guys. You saw last year, we had Kyle [Hamilton] playing at the nickel position, as well. So, we have a lot of guys that we can use and put in there. But as of right now, it is an open competition. We've got 'Pep' [Damarion Williams], we've got Arthur [Maulet], we've got 'A.D.' [Ar'Darius Washington], Kyle [Hamilton], Marlon [Humphrey] ... We've got a lot of guys that can go in there. Even Jalyn [Armour-Davis] can go in there and play nickel. So, it's all about who comes out of there. Right now, it's a competition." 

What does CB Arthur Maulet bring to the cornerback room? (Brian Wacker) "He's a veteran. He's picked up on the defense really fast. Along with that, he's a guy who, again, is very physical. He's a great communicator. He stays ahead of the play. He sees formations [and] calls it out. [He's a] veteran player. So, we'll see what happens." 

How important of a factor will run defense be in that nickel cornerback competition and with regards to S Kyle Hamilton? (Jonas Shaffer) "As far as the run defense is concerned, nobody runs the ball on the Baltimore Ravens. We want to be top notch when it comes to that. With Kyle, he's going to be in multiple positions. He's going to play back, and he will play up as well. It's just a matter of him getting comfortable playing back there and the chemistry with Marcus [Williams]. So, that's where he's at right now, being comfortable with the communication with Marcus and playing off of each other. As we go throughout camp, we'll assess where we want to use him and [the] best suited [role] to play him in." 

Where have you seen the most growth from S Kyle Hamilton from Year 1 to Year 2? (Chris Bumbaca) "He knows the defense. Earlier in the year, he had a lot of growing pains. So, he's ahead of the plays this year. He's ahead of the formations, down and distances and knows really how to play now. We'll see big things from Kyle. I expect this guy to be a Pro Bowl-type player this year." 


How quickly do you feel like you've adjusted to the new team and new offense? And do you feel comfortable in this system? (Garrett Downing) "I feel good. I feel really good. Honestly, a really good coaching staff and quality teammates make it easy to adjust." 

What kind of impact do you think you can make in this wide receivers room and in this offense? (Garrett Downing) "Well, I think, for one, I can be a good teammate [and] do my job as a pro – show up, work hard – and add that aspect to it, and parts of my game, to have speed and to have some experience is a good thing." 

How did you feel about coming to Baltimore? (Brian Wacker) "It felt right. It just felt right. I mean, a lot of things aligned the right way, but it felt right. And then ever since I've been here, the number one thing is the family atmosphere. I feel at home; I feel comfortable, which allows me to be myself and play fast." 

Head Coach John Harbaugh mentioned many times that you were here and working out during the summer. Was it important for you to do your work here in preparation for the season? (Kyle Goon) "Yes. [It's a] whole new offense, new home – a place I wanted to be comfortable in as soon as we got here, starting the season – so why not take advantage of the opportunity of OTAs [organized team activities] to get better?" 

With the talent at wide receiver on this team, how is that going to benefit you on the field with opponents maybe overlooking you or other guys? What do you think of the talent in this room? (Shawn Stepner) "I think we're a very talented group that has to continue to work hard and prepare to perform. And as it goes for the other teams we play against, they have to defend us all; that's the most important thing. And for us, we've just got to make our plays when our number is called." 

What has it been like working with QB Lamar Jackson to this point? And what are your thoughts on him now compared to what they were from afar? (Cordell Woodland) "From afar, you always … You see Lamar [Jackson]; you know he's dynamic. But when you play with him, you start to get inside of his understanding of the game – how he sees things, the 'whys' to certain throws, the reasoning, and also how he sees route running – and I've been very impressed by his understanding and his dialogue. The type of conversation we have has been very impressive. He's in his fifth year or sixth year – he's not a 10-year vet – but he leads and has conversations like a very, very seasoned guy. So, that's something I'm grateful for." 

The Ravens struggled in the red zone last season, and you've made a number of plays in the red zone during training camp so far. How can you impact the Ravens in the red zone this season, possibly helping them not settle for three points in those situations? (Kyle Barber) "My job and my focus is, if my number is called, and I get an opportunity, take advantage of them, and that's important; that's all I can say. It's important to take advantage of opportunities, because [if] the quarterback gives you opportunity, he trusts you, and you want to keep his trust." 

What have been your impressions of WR Zay Flowers so far? And also, as a former first-round pick, what kind of advice can you give him? (Ryan Mink) "Stay the course. I think the best thing about [Zay Flowers] is he's so electric, and he's very confident in who he is. It's not about being perfect. But [he's] confident in who he is, [has] great speed, he works hard. [My advice is] just stay the course and let the chips fall where they may. I think he's going to have a great season." 

When you say QB Lamar Jackson leads like he's been in the league longer than he has been, do you have examples of the stuff he does? (Kris Rhim) "Just the dialogue. When you have conversations with quarterbacks about what they see – techniques from DBs, leverages, why the ball is placed here or there – it takes a guy that's seeing enough tape and thrown enough balls to tell you his 'why.' So, that's a very experienced and seasoned thing from a quarterback like Lamar [Jackson]." 

Has there been one moment that stands out to you? (Kris Rhim) "We have them all the time. We just had moments today. There is no bad rep. Whether it's a completion or not, if we have an explanation of what you see and what you saw that I was doing, then we got better. Whether you guys see a completion or incompletion, I feel like we grow from conversation; that's also a rep." 

What are you hoping to see out of yourself this year? (Ryan Mink) "I want to have fun and perform in Year Nine and get better; there's nothing to it, man. I feel happy; I'm a part of something special. [I want to] do my job and truly just have some fun playing football." 

What has stood out to you about this Todd Monken offense? Are you familiarizing yourself with it, and has it been easy to pick up? (Jonas Shaffer) "Monk's [Offensive coordinator Todd Monken's] system, it's a quality system. It's not about it being easy; it's about the people that are teaching it. He's done a really good job of explaining information to us. Our receivers coaches have done a really good job of teaching us the information. It's going the right way. We're just getting better. And I want to be as versatile as possible, so I want to learn every spot. I'm getting better. I don't have it all down; I'm just getting better and growing with it." 

How does the explosiveness of this receivers group stack up with those you've been a part of in the past? (Tim Nolan) "We're working towards our peak of explosiveness. I wouldn't say we're there yet – this exact group – so it's hard for me to judge that. But I think that we have an opportunity to be explosive, and we're going to work on it. We're going to be on the same page and [take] reps after reps after reps, and then I think by [the] season, the picture will be a little clearer." 

How well did you know WR Odell Beckham Jr. before he got here, and how would you kind of describe his personality in the room? (Childs Walker) "I have always been a fan of Odell [Beckham Jr.] from afar. We played each other when he was in New York, and I was in Philly, and, obviously, he always shows love. That's one of the greatest things about him as a player – is despite his level of stardom, he's always been so humble to show love to all his peers. And what I love about him being here is the humility and the family-type energy he's brought to this environment. He is a team guy. He's always there for us; he talks to us; he shows love; he gives affection. Not only does he want to make his play, he celebrates other people making big plays, and that's a special quality from a guy with that type of stardom and that type of notoriety in this league. So, I'm grateful to have a teammate like him." 

From a football sense, what has WR Odell Beckham Jr. brought to this team? (Brian Wacker) "[Odell Beckham Jr.] is a competitor. You see him out there; he has great size, great speed, unbelievable hands. He can get the ball from up top. I just love him as a route runner, too. And he's just getting better. You think about it … He was a year off and just [is] still getting better, and I'm happy to have him." 


On what he thinks of pass game coordinator/secondary coach Chris Hewitt saying he'll be a pro bowl type player: "That's the goal ultimately – Pro Bowl, Super Bowl – all [of] that. I think top to bottom, we're if not the deepest team in the NFL from offense, defense, special teams, all of that … I feel like everybody on the field, I feel like I'm at a Pro Bowl practice every day. [I] just look around, and there's guys everywhere. I have high expectations for myself, for the team, and I feel like we can make all of them come true." 

On what S Marcus Williams and CB Marlon Humphrey's energy bring out of him and the defense: "For the offense, I can understand how it can be annoying hearing them all of the time because they both have very distinct voices and talk non-stop. For us, it gets us going. I mean when we have days [that are like] dog days at camp, and guys are feeling a little sluggish, those are two of the many guys that get us going. [They have] one big play and [are] just big energy guys. Guys like Roquan [Smith], 'PQ' [Patrick Queen], 'Daf' [Oweh], [Justin] Madubuike and everybody. It's contagious on the defense. It's pretty easy to find the odd man out." 

On who he enjoys covering the most in practice: "Everybody on that side. It's easy, the answer is Mark [Andrews]. He's one of the best, if not the best [in his] position in the league. I see why on a day-to-day basis. Even guys like Zay [Flowers], getting able to tackle Zay in an open field or just being in position, there's not a lot of guys in the league that can stop and start like he can. So, it helps us in the secondary to come out and tackle. Isaiah Likely is another tight end who offers things that are completely different to Mark, and it's a changeup. Then the receivers, like 'Duv' [Devin Duvernay] who's super fast. Odell [Beckham Jr.] just has the full package and everything. So, you get everything that you can possibly look for in an offense on our side of the ball. So, I think we're being prepared pretty well." 

On what he knows now preparing for this season compared to last season: "The season is long. It's a long year, and whoever is hitting their strides later in the season is who is going to ultimately come out on top. It's easy to go through ebbs and flows throughout the season. [To go] on a two-game win streak and two-game losing streak, it's kind of the story for your season. Depending on how you bounce back from losses or how you build on wins is going to determine how you end up in February. Hopefully we can be the strongest team and peak early next year." 

On the flexibility of him and S Marcus Williams and how it helps the defense: "I think it helps because I think we both offer a lot of things that we both do pretty well. Whether that [is] playing in the post, being rangy or being able to come down and hit. I don't think there's necessarily like a free or strong safety when it comes to us. I think we're both pretty interchangeable when it comes to that, so it kind of keeps the quarterback on his toes because he doesn't know who's going to be playing what, who's going to be blitzing, who's going to be covering, all of that kind of stuff. I think it helps to have that kind of dynamic field to our room. I think from top to bottom – Daryl Worley, Geno Stone, guys like that, [and] Ar'Darius Washington – everybody is pretty versatile in our room. Our DB coaches always preach, [we] should always be able to play every position in the secondary, [and] I think we kind of live by that." 

On how he thinks TE Isaiah Likely has improved:"Coming in last year, even from rookie minicamp, [he] kind of looks different. Everybody else is being on the field, the way he moves at his size. From last year to this year, I can just tell his confidence has gone up a lot. He proved himself last year that he can produce in this league, and the offense is getting him more looks, more touches, deservedly so. Hopefully, he'll be able to make that into a bigger opportunity for himself, and I'm pretty sure that he will." 

On his confidence in Year 2 as a player: "Yes. 2023 Kyle and 2022 Kyle, at this time, I feel like are two completely different people, just mentally. I'm making a lot of checks, a lot of calls back there. It's kind of cool having guys like Roquan [Smith] and Patrick [Queen] looking for me for checks and stuff like that and being able to give it to them confidently. It's a big difference from last year, and I feel like that was the biggest step I've taken. Not even physically, just mentally being able to lead out there with calls and checks and stuff like that."  

On what it's like to be more of a playmaker on the defense: "I think that being in that role I was last year – being the nickel – I think it helps now because now we have that card in our back pocket if we need to play it. Right now, like you said, I've been playing safety, and it's helped me a lot just being able to play this position at this level. Like I said, playing against these guys every day, it doesn't get much better than this. I think we'll be prepared very well for the season right now."