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Transcripts: Ravens Training Camp Availability (8/16)


Opening Statement: "It's good seeing everybody out here. [I] appreciate the scene. You look around, and you see the fans … Both teams had fans here, obviously, they had some fans that came up which was fun. [I] appreciate [Commanders head coach] Ron Rivera [and] the Commanders organization for bringing the team up here. [I] appreciate their team for the good competition, good practices. [They have] just a first-class coaching staff there and all that. So, I'm just really happy that we got a chance to see … I think we got better as the … because of the practices and all that. I hope they feel the same way. Now, we'll be on to our next routine, we'll play them Monday night, and we'll be going forward from here. So, what questions do you have?" 

There's a report out that CB Marlon Humphrey is going to require foot surgery and he might have to miss some of the regular season. What can you tell us about that? (Jamison Hensley) "I can't comment on how much he'll have to miss because I think that … That timeline is indeterminate right now. It's just hard to determine. It's not going to be a long-term deal, though, and he is getting foot surgery today. That's confirmed." 

Did CB Marlon Humphrey get hurt in practice yesterday? (Bo Smolka) "No. It's been a lingering thing, and they took a look at it and said, 'You know what? It's something we want to take care of now instead of waiting.'" 

TE Charlie Kolar had a really good day. Can you tell that he's developing?_ (David Andrade)_ "That's good. I was kind of managing a lot of things, so I haven't seen the tape yet. So, to hear that makes me happy that [Charlie Kolar] had a really good day because that's what we've been shooting for. Charlie is a big, physical, talented guy. I want him to express himself out there that way as a player. That's good to hear that he did it. I can't wait to see the tape." 

Do you anticipate the same setup for the preseason game where starters won't play at all, and it will be mostly the younger guys?_ (Bo Smolka)_ "It will be in that neighborhood. I don't know exactly which way we'll go with certain guys, but it will be along the same lines." 

Have you ever in your career gained an advantage from seeing another team's practice or feel like you've lost advantage from someone seeing yours? _(Kris Rhim) _"It's a really good question. It's certainly an advantage. How significant is the thing you have to decide. If anything's out there – I'm sure that this was live streamed – so I'm sure that other teams will have those plays that they see and all that. They'll look at that, just scouts will look at the players on it just like they would [in] a game. We do the same thing with other practices. You have to make a determination for the organization. Do you want to shut it all down and not let your fans see any of it, or do you want to give your fans a chance to see it? You weigh it out. Coaches, we're obviously more concerned with the information, but I also feel like it's worth the work. It's worth getting out here [and] going against another team and getting to work. We're pretty conscientious about what we allow, what we call and what we run." 

Obviously going up against a different team, you get different types of matchups. Was there a specific matchup against the Commanders that allowed you to look at a specific group on your own team more in depth over the last few days? (Cordell Woodland) "That's a really good, in-depth, precise question, and I would have to say that I was thinking more big picture, probably. Now, you go back, and you watch the tape, and you start to see … There are players we're looking at on our team and on their team, different things like that that we want to learn, but nothing to that point really per se." 

How similar or drastically different is the change with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken? Is this more of an evolutional building? (Adam Kilgore) "I would have to say it's both, to be honest with you. I do think it's evolution because so many of the schemes are similar, and a lot of the words and terms are the same. We kept a lot of it. Todd [Monken] has done a really great job of trying to blend it all together to create what we're going to be going forward. That's what you try to do. Does it become something different [or] something new? Yes, [in 2019], it really was. How new and how different it will be, we'll find out, but it will be what we feel we need to do to be most successful. That's what you try to do." 

You've had injuries with CB Rock Ya-Sin and now CB Marlon Humphrey. What's the level of concern of the secondary? (Noah Trister) "There's two levels of concern. The one level is long term. There's no long-term concern, and that's good. Then, there's the short-term concern. There's plenty of short-term concern. We've got to look at that, and it starts with the guys you have. We have guys that are ready to play and now have an opportunity to get out there and continue to improve and get the reps. We'll see what they can do. And, of course we're always looking for players, too." 

When a specific position gets hit with injuries, what's the messaging to that room or that position group even though they're going through it and missing guys? (Kyle Goon) "I don't think it's any specific messaging needed because these guys are pros. They know what they're … They know what the situation is. Most guys look at it like an opportunity. 'Here's my chance. I'm going to make the most of it,' and that's what you want them to do." 

Are you going to continue to look at cornerbacks and defensive backs that are available because of all the injuries? (Brian Wacker) "Oh, yes. We'll look at them, but you have to understand, it's late. Most guys are on teams right now, so part of that with the guys who are veteran guys is, who's in shape? Who's been working? Who really wants to play this year, because if you're guy that's out [there], and you've got some pedigree, you have to be in shape. You have to be ready to go. When you look at that, it's really on those guys to be ready to play."  

We didn't see WR Rashod Bateman out there. Was it just a rest day or did he have a set back? (Brian Wacker) "No, [there was] no setback. There's a process. There's a process to getting guys back. He's on schedule." 


On if running past CB Emmanuel Forbes sets his personal barometer:"What's [Emmanuel Forbes'] 40? (laughter)No, but you've just got to finish the play. Knowing that he's a younger guy, it was good to be able to go against someone else and just communicate about things that they're learning and just seeing how they play technique and how they see things. He's definitely got some speed. But I told you: I've still got a little bit left in here. Do you know what I mean?" 

On if he ever holds back a gear in practice:"In practice, against our teammates?" (Reporter: "Yes.")"Yes, there are some things I wouldn't do to my teammates that I'd do to somebody else. So, it's that fine line of competing, but keeping each other healthy and safe and just being able to find work. So, again, like I said, it was great to be able to go against another team and different competition. I think the last few days are very beneficial on both sides." 

On if this is hist first time facing an opposition since Super Bowl LVI:"Yes, yes." 

On how he's feeling mentally and physically after facing an opposition for the first time since Super Bowl LVI:"It was good. Like I said, it's been over 900 days to sit back and just watch everybody have fun and compete, which wasn't easy. But at the same time, there was some peace in it – just being able to have that time that I wouldn't normally have to spend with my son [Zydn]. But just to be able to go against somebody else, keep sharpening your skills and perfecting your craft … I still care for this game deeply, [and] I've always been a perfectionist, so little things will definitely [tick] me off – if I don't catch a pass or [if] I feel like I could have run a better route. I'm still very [much] my biggest critic." 

On if he's starting to see the offense blossom into what the team is expecting:"Absolutely. It's a work in progress every single day. At the same point in time, just to be able to get guys back ... You slowly progress. We all joke about it: You train all offseason, and it doesn't matter; [if] you come out here and run eight plays in a row, you're gasping for air. So, it's definitely a different shape that you have to get into. But seeing Rashod [Bateman], he looks great in his comeback. I just try and always keep people aware of, 'Take your time. Don't ever feel pressured to get back in, because at the end of the day, everyone on this team wants you to be your very best and be healthy.' So, just those guys working their way back in … We have a great opportunity here. It's just about making the most of each and every day [and] finding ways to get better – even on those days when we're all dog tired – just finding ways to progress." 

On if he's known QB Lamar Jackson for a while and where that relationship has grown since it began:"I always knew of him [Lamar Jackson] and never hit him up. We didn't talk like that, but it was always a mutual respect from afar. I watched him when he was in college; I watched him when he was here. You have a deep respect for greats. And the relationship is definitely developing. It's just cool to be able to kick it on and off the field, and, 'What do you see, or how do you see it?' And a receiver always wants to work for his quarterback. This is a guy who you're going to … He's going to have to hang in there and take a hit every now and then to get you a touchdown, and you're going to have to take a hit to complete the pass for him. So, it's a mutual relationship that [you] guys have to have there. So, everything is cool. I'm definitely loving that." 

 On the genesis of his relationship with QB Lamar Jackson:"It was forced. (laughter) No, it was just natural. Like I say, when you have a respect for somebody, you can see eye to eye on things, or you get to know how someone is. What's their family history? How did they grow up? Just those things [when you're] sitting there chopping it up. Again, like I say, I'm coming across the middle expecting to take a hit for him; he's [having] to hang in there and take one from a D-lineman every now and then – or somebody. So, every day, [we] just try and get better [by] one percent." 

On what stands out to him about offensive coordinator Todd Monken's system:"I definitely think [offensive coordinator Todd Monken] wants to throw the ball, and we've got a lot of talented guys. So, I think, just finding ways to get the playmakers the ball in their hands and be an explosive offense – that's what stands out the most. As things progress – and obviously, we play [for real] in September, [so] we still have some time here to work out the kinks and get each and every play and concept down – I think that this will be a very explosive offense. It's an explosive team, as well. But specifically with the offense, I think that's the goal – is to be explosive." 

On assessing the team's deep passing game thus far during training camp:"I think there are always things you can improve on, and that's just me being a perfectionist; like, I'm always going to say there's room for improvement. But where we're at today – at this point, whatever day it is in camp – I think we're in a good place. It's just about – like I say all the time – just getting one percent better each and every day." 

On former WR Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson saying that WR Odell Beckham Jr. would have been the first $200 million contract if not for the injuries:"I've seen it, and I hate the 'could've, would've, should've.' But I can sit up here and tell you [that], as someone at 4 or 5 years old, I always felt I was one of the best athletes, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. So, I don't know about $200 million. I would have definitely loved to have that, (laughter)but I just know that if I wouldn't … I would have loved to [have] seen what would have happened in my career if I had never been hurt. But I think God placed this journey for me to be here, specifically, to be able to be exactly who I am today. And the adversity that I have been through will allow me to … Later on in life, when things hit, I think I'll be able to handle it a little better." 

On what he's seen from the younger wide receivers:"Just that hunger, that want. Like I say, this is their opportunity of a lifetime, and it's a tricky business. There are only 53 that make it, and we've got 90 guys in there, so everyone is fighting for a spot. It's all love, and these are your brothers, but at the end of the day, each and every time you step on that field, [and] each and every rep you take, this is your opportunity to make the team. So, these young guys have come in, embraced the challenge, worked hard, tried their best to perfect their craft, and they're out there making plays. So, I love to see it. I'm always here [with] any advice [they] need or anything of that matter. I'm just happy for those guys. I'm happy … When they score or catch a pass, it's like I catch one. So, it's all love in our room, for sure." 


On how things have gone for the team in the joint practices:"I thought things went great. [I] put some good work [in] versus the Commanders. We came out [and] did what we had to do, and I felt like we became better as a team. That's all you can ask for in these joint practices, and I'm sure these guys will say the same." 

On what it was like being able to hit a different jersey today since he won't be getting as much preseason action: "Absolutely. It's always great when you're having an opportunity to go out [and] hit guys on an opposing team as opposed to hitting your own guys for three weeks or so. So, it was great just being able to get out and work against people who may not know your moves as good as someone from [your own] team may know. I enjoyed it, and I thought it was great work, and we all became better." 

On how it impacts the defense with CB Marlon Humphrey being out for a period of time:"Yes, it definitely hurts the defense when a leader like Marlon [Humphrey] is not out there with us, but I know he'll get back as soon as he can. We'll try to pick the slack when he's not out there. But I'm looking forward to him being up there pretty soon." 

On what he thought of the performances of OLB David Ojabo and OLB Odafe Oweh:"I think [Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo] are getting better each and every day. Watching [No.] 99 and [No.] 90, the guys are coming out ready to work, and it shows going up against the Commanders and the reps that the guys are getting. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what those guys are able to do come Sundays in the regular season."  

On whether he talks to the cornerbacks or other groups about stepping up in the absence of starters: "No, you really can't put much pressure on guys' plates like that, because at the end of the day, we're all opportunists. So, guys will get opportunities that may have never gotten an opportunity before, and when you take advantage of that and just show the coaching staff exactly what you can do when your name is called on. And when the guys are down – we're rooting for the guys to get back as soon as they can – but when the guys are out here with us, they're part of the team. So, we're here to cheer them on, and we expect them to make the same type of plays as a [Marlon Humprey] as well." 

On his impression on the progression of the offense:"You should probably just watch [our] offense versus [the Commanders'] defense, and that'll let you know for sure. From what I watched on film – you know, the eye in the sky don't lie, as they say – but I think it's good work going up against our offense. They give us so many different pictures, getting big balls, can spread you out and can do so many different things and that can prepare you for just about any opponent you may face throughout the year. So, I'm excited to see what our offense is going to do week in and week out."  

On has he seen the progression of the relationship between QB Lamar Jackson and WR Odell Beckham: "I see those guys kicking it as well, so that's a good way to have that chemistry amongst those guys. There's going to be a lot of great things. [There's going] to be a lot of deep balls, intermediate balls, and balls all over the field for those guys. I know they're going to be sharing amongst each other. So I'm excited about that connection for those two."  

On what his biggest takeaway from joint practice and does he treat it like a preseason game:"It's the most realistic work, and I'm not a rookie. It's not my first time not having reps in the preseason or anything like that. So, I know how to play ball, and it's always good just to be able to go out here and get game-like scenarios versus a quality opponent in the Commanders. So, it's never bad, [and] you can never turn down good work." 

On his impression of ILB Trenton Simpson since he returned:"You can tell he doesn't have the 'camp legs' unless he's just twitched up like that. But, yes, I'm excited for the guy to keep learning and keep growing into his body. There's a lot of great things in store for him and [inside linebackers coach Zach Orr] and [defensive coordinator] Mike [Macdonald] are just going to keep molding him into the player he's going to be."  

On if he noticed that him and him ILB Patrick Queen have been able to build chemistry in their first full offseason together:"Absolutely. I feel like it's night and day, and sometimes, [I] can kind of assume where he's going to be on certain plays, and I feel like the more reps that we get with each other – in like joint practices of this sort – it just brings out the best in both of us and also amp all communication up. It makes us actually know what one another is going to do in tough situations and game-like situations." 


On his thoughts of the last two days of joint practices with the Washington Commanders going up against their defensive line:"All is great for someone to come in and get some work with. [I] have a lot of respect for them. Obviously, [they're] a very talented group [and] very tough to go against, but I think it's only going to make us better in the long run. We learned a lot, and now we have to use it and get better." 

On what he was talking to Commanders' DE Montez Sweat about after practice about: "I was just asking him what he was thinking on the play right beforehand. I thought they were trying to set something up, and I was just curious if I read it right." 

On what has stood out about G/T Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and G John Simpson in the battle for the starting left guard spot: "I'll say this – [they're] both very talented guys. 'Sala' [Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu] coming in as a rookie being able to move the way he does, the way he's picking things up, the way he plays – it's impressive for a guy that young to be able to do that. And then John [Simpson] coming in – keeping a cool head. He's big. He's strong. He can do anything we ask of him, and he keeps getting better every day. So, I think no matter who ends up in that spot, I think we're going to win in the long run." 

On what stands out about offensive coordinator Todd Monken's offense after playing in many different systems:"I'd say it's very fast. I think he wants to make everything efficient, fast, clean so we can just [run] one play, two play, three play – however that goes. He's just trying to make it very efficient so we know what we can do what we do." 

On the importance of stretching that competitive itch against another team as the starters like himself do not get much time in preseason games: "It's always good to get after it. Honestly, we treated these last two days as gamedays. That's how we approached it as an O-line. I think we worked on the communication part. It felt like a game while we were out there, and it's good for us." 

On going up against a talented Commanders defensive line: "They're just super, super good – super strong and super big. You don't see guys like that every day, let alone the entire front built up of guys like that. So, you can't ask for better work than that." 

On where he has seen the most growth from C Tyler Linderbaum in his second season:"I think just more so that anything, it's confidence. He knows football now that he's been in the League a year. He's just taking everything – his knowledge, his command of the line to the next level – and I'm pretty glad he's on our team." 

On what he has seen with the connection between QB Lamar Jackson and WR Odell Beckham Jr.:"I think it's just getting better. Like you said, [they're] two of the outlier best players in this league. Being together, I think that just allows for magic to happen." 

On how much confidence setting a good pocket in passing downs against a strong Commanders defensive line gives him: "I think anytime you go against good competition, and you battle and do alright, I think it sets you up for the future. But, I'm sure even though if we feel alright about it, we're going to watch film – we're all going to be banging our heads on our desks like, 'Alright, we have to get better.' We still have some time before the season starts, so we have to use every minute we can." 

On the Ravens coaches' emphasis on the avoidance of holding penalties: "I think it's just ... We work technique every day. We work about finishing – trying to be in good position. We have refs here all the time. They're going to call it if it happens during practice, so we know what the refs are thinking and how we can be sneaky and get away with it or better yet, not do it." 

On if he has seen QB Lamar Jackson grow in the command of the offense:"Yes, absolutely. Anytime Lamar makes any sort of change or call, we know he's about to do something magical. So, [I'm] pretty excited when he does it." 

On how Todd Monken's offense is looking and if he thinks it will be varied like it was at Georgia: "I think so. I think we have a lot of really cool, unique personnel all around the ball. So, I feel like we're able to do anything and everything. It's just on us being able to show him we can master it all and get it done." 

On how the speed and efficiency of the offense affects the offensive line:"Moreso than anything, I feel like when things are going well, it breeds energy and makes us want to do it more and more and keep going. It's on us to get in shape and get it done." 

On if he thinks he is in better shape now cardio vascularly than last year because of the offense's new pace:"I think I always stay in shape, but [it] doesn't hurt running tempo and doing all that good stuff all the time."

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