HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening Statement: "[It's] good seeing everybody, I really appreciate you being. [It was a] good practice [with] pads. Coming off one day [without pads] and then two padded days before that, so three out of four days with pads. I thought the guys did a really good job with that. It was crisp, it was physical, competitive, [and] they took care of each other really well. I'm happy with that. With that, what questions do you have?"
With the signing of OLB Jadeveon Clowney, what is the impact he can have on the team? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, we reached an agreement with Jadeveon Clowney and with Ronald Darby, as you know. [They are] two guys that can help us [in] positions that [the media] have been talking about a lot, obviously, with positions … I think we've done a good job of kind of looking at our options and bringing in two of the right guys. I'm excited; I'm just excited. I think Jadeveon is a tough, hard-nosed, throws-his-body-around kind of player. We've played against him so many times. We understand how he plays. We're excited to have him, and he's excited to be here. He's a good fit in this defense. Ronald Darby, again, is another guy that's a really good fit in this defense. [He] wanted to be here, and we wanted him here. He's a guy that we've kind of been keeping our eye on with the rehab from the knee. [He] came in and worked out, and he worked out really well. [He] looked really good and was in really good shape. That's a credit to him. He came out to practice today and looked like he's been practicing the whole camp. So, we're happy with both of those signings."
What makes OLB Jadeveon Clowney a good fit? Secondly, what is the value of adding veteran guys late in training camp? (Brian Wacker) "He's a high energy player. He's a very physical player. He's a guy when he plays, he's kind of reckless with his body. He throws it around. He's heavy handed, [and] he's a power rusher. He's a really good pass rusher. He's even a little underrated as a pass rusher. [He] was a top pick in the draft and all that. But as a play-hard, heavy-handed edge setter, it gives us the chance to get four pass rushers on the field on third-down situations that are [for] true pass rusher-type guys. There's a real value in that."
You talked about CB Ronald Darby's condition, and you saw him out there for a little bit on 11 vs. 11 today. Does that you give confidence he can help you sooner rather than later? (Childs Walker) "Absolutely. We expect him to help us preseason. He'll probably play a little bit and get him ready; we'll see. Right away, Week One, he should be out there playing hard and doing a good job for us."
With the veteran presence that OLB Jadeveon Clowney brings, how much does that help the development of the younger guys? (Kevin McNelis) "Yes, it's always a help. He's a really good guy. He's a team guy. He wants to be with these guys. He likes these guys. He's spent time with these guys. We spent a lot of time together. He spent time with the coaches. We have a really high comfort and confidence level with how he's going to fit in."
Is RB J.K. Dobbins catching up with the offense and getting on track? (Ryan Mink) "Absolutely. J.K. [Dobbins] and Rashod [Bateman] both. They're both out there in team drills moving around and looking good. So, that was great to see. Our training staff and our strength staff have done a great job, and those guys, themselves, have done a great job. Rashod has worked really hard to get himself to where he is right now. He looked good today."
Where have you seen the chemistry between WR Odell Beckham Jr. and QB Lamar Jackson evolve? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, you've seen it. You see it in the plays that they make. It's not like some secret sauce that you can't see. It's in the play. It just gets better and better. It's going to continue to get better. I'm happy with where it's at for sure. There's no doubt that 'OBJ' [Odell Beckham Jr.] has 'it.' You see it. He can move. He makes catches. [He's] a great route runner. So, I'm excited about that, not just him, but all of the guys, really."
WR Rashod Bateman had a touchdown in the endzone today in practice. What does that do for him emotionally and his confidence from your perspective? (Melissa Kim) "I would say it does a lot. That would be a great question for him for sure. You know what, it helped my confidence. I felt great about seeing it. That was a heck of a catch. How did he stay in bounds? How did he make the catch? How did he track the ball? And to go in there and just throw it in there like that on his first day back on that kind of a drill, very impressive."
We didn't see WR Odell Beckham Jr. practicing for the past two days. Is he fine? (Jeff Zrbeiec) "Yes, he's been going so hard. [He just needed] a little rest. He is coming off of that knee surgery. So, a chance to rest that thing and get it feeling good is what we want to do. (Reporter: Is that the same thing for Morgan Moses, too?) Same thing for [Morgan] Moses."
There's been a lot of talk of whether in OC Todd Monken's offense will use the fullback. How do you see FB Patrick Ricard, and where do you see him fitting in? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Well, what you try to do, and Todd [Monken] is a big advocate of this, as well, is take the guys you have and use them, the things they do well. If you have a Pat Ricard – and I would put Ben Mason in the same category. You have guys like that, you want to use those guys and do what they do well, so, it just gives you an extra thing you can do. Why limit yourself when you have someone that can do something at that level? Why not make a defense defend it? I know that's how Todd is thinking."
Is FB Patrick Ricard in your mind as capable of being an in-line tight end at this point as a fullback? (Childs Walker) "Absolutely. I have total confidence in him blocking at the line of scrimmage and running crossing routes and flat routes. He'll tell you he can a run a seam and a corner. He'll tell you that."
OLB Jadeveon Clowney has been described as an edge rusher. Do you have any kind of idea of which position room he fits best in on the defensive line or outside linebacker? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"Yes, I see him in the outside backer room. Those rooms are kind of … they work together so closely anyway. They're together most of their meetings anyway because they combine on the nickel stuff. So, we'll classify him as outside backer, which he's always been. And it's a really good fit for our defense, the way we're structured. That's what he is."
OLB Jadeveon Clowney had three of his best seasons with the Texans working with defensive line coach Anthony Weaver. How much was he involved in the process of signing him? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"Oh yes, Anthony Weaver has been totally been involved in this process from Day One, from the beginning. He's been talking to him. Yes, Anthony, I would say was a strong advocate for bringing him in here, and that carries a lot of weight."
Did CB Marlon Humphrey have his surgery and did it go well for him and do you know anything more about a return date for him?_ (Jeff Zrebiec)_ "Yes, he had the surgery. It went very well, and I would say the timeline is pretty well defined. I'm not going to give it to you, but it's not super long. When he's getting close, you'll know. So, you don't need to ask probably for a few weeks, but he's going to be back pretty early in the season, and he'll be ready to roll. The good thing about the surgery – just to give you a little background – he could have definitely played with it the way it was, but you do risk it getting worse. With the surgery he received, it's taken care of. So, when he comes back, he won't have to be concerned with it for the rest of the season. And it was Marlon [Humphrey]'s decision, and that's why he decided to go get that done this time."
What were the generalities of what was wrong with the foot? (Brian Wacker) "I don't want to get into it at this point. It's his foot. Lower leg, I'm giving you foot. It's way better than lower leg. I'm pin-pointing it, near the foot. You can't ask for any more than that. (Reporter: Right or left foot?) I don't remember, to be honest with you."
WIDE RECEIVERS COACH GREG LEWIS
We saw WR Rashod Bateman doing seven-on-seven and saw him make the great catch. I know he's still getting ramped up, but what have you seen from him and how comfortable he's getting? _(Luke Jones) _"He's continuing to get comfortable within the offense. He's in all the meetings [and] understanding the language that we're speaking. Then, he's getting a couple of opportunities to continue to progress and come out here and do some of the seven-on-seven and some of the individual drills. He's doing a fantastic job. It's exciting to see him out there, and we're just going to keep building as a group with him."
With WR Odell Beckham Jr. and QB Lamar Jackson, where have you seen that connection? Have you seen instances during practice of, 'OK, they're kind of getting on the same page?' (Jamison Hensley) "They're both professionals. They've been doing it for a while. They understand what they need to do. They get work after practice, before practice in the indoor [facility] and do some stuff. Then, it shows up on the field. Not every play is a completion, but they're getting on the same page and doing a [heck] of a job working together and trying to grow the receiving corps and just from a quarterback-receiver standpoint – just the whole group. I think it's awesome just to see that work after practice, before practice, and then it shows up at times during practice. But, we have a couple weeks left before it's time, and I believe we'll be there when the time is right."
Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said that you're working with WR Zay Flowers, who's a complete receiver. We've all seen his shiftiness and quick feet. What aspects of his game are you really trying to focus on?_ (Ryan Mink)_ "[We're focusing on] just the total package. I wouldn't even point out just Zay [Flowers]. As a group of receivers, we don't focus on one particular thing. We try to make them good at catching, good at running, good at run after the catch, good at blocking and then put it out there, and then we're all interchangeable to do different things. Zay is a special talent. Everybody sees that, and just to get him out there on the field, doing the things, understanding the offense, it has been awesome. [We'll] just continue to grow with him, and when we can get him the ball, let's get him the ball because he can do some special things."
We saw WRs Tarik Black and Sean Ryan have nice catches out there today. What have they done to kind of get your attention this camp? (Childs Walker) "[Tarik Black and Sean Ryan] compete. It's been a lot of competition in the receiver room, and that's what you want. You want everybody at their best, and then may the best rise to the top. I think Sean [Ryan] is doing a great job. Tarik [Black] made a few plays today, and it's awesome to see those guys competing for roster spots, for jobs in the NFL and letting their abilities show. That's what we want. We want them to be able to play fast and do what they're able to do. Then, whatever happens, happens. You put your best foot forward. It's been great competition in the room, and I'm excited for the game coming up."
What do you tell those young receivers who are vying for maybe one of those two final spots as we get closer to roster cuts?_ (Brian Wacker)_ "I sort of use my story a lot of the times for a lot of the guys that are undrafted, free agents or sort of just moving around from team to team. Me being the 16th receiver in Philadelphia when I got there, it was like, 'What else can you do other than work each day and put your talent out there and then let the chips fall where they may.' But, you can't let an opportunity pass you by. You can't take anything for granted. You have to come out every day like it's your last day, because it could be. Whether that's harsh or not, that's the reality of it. As a football player, all you want to know is where [do] I stand. That's where you stand right now. Now, what are you going to do about it? So, I just try to be real with the guys and let them know what it is. Then, it's up to them to take advantage of it."
When WR Odell Beckham Jr. signed he said the plan for him was to ramp up so that he would be hitting his speed in the regular season. How much have you seen him progress from when you first laid eyes on him to where he is now? (Jonas Shaffer) "It's light years away from where [Odell Beckam Jr.] was when we first got up here to where he is now, but that's everybody, or else we aren't doing our job if people aren't getting better each and every day. He's doing a tremendous job with that stuff, just taking care of his body, understanding his body, working with the training staff, [working with] the weight room staff, [working with] the analytics staff and all of those guys. We work in conjunction. Then, we figure stuff out, and we do what's best for the player. Odell is out here putting his best foot forward just like everybody else, and he's making plays. The big thing with him is he's doing a great job with the younger guys in the room, just teaching them some things, bringing them along and letting them what it means to be a pro."
How has WR Rashod Bateman been as far as going through this rehab process, trying to get back out there and ramping up? How has his attitude and his mindset been? (Jamison Hensley) "I can't speak for his mindset, but from Day One when I introduced myself to him when I got the job, we got on the same page. That's what I wanted with all of the guys. We all had individual meetings, and we talked about what his goals are and what he wants to do, just [like] everybody else. He's been fantastic. He's been on task with everything that I've asked of him and everything that he knows he needs to do. He's been awesome. It's not a surprise to me because that's what I heard [about him], but it's been great."
WR Zay Flowers said yesterday that he feels like his chemistry with QB Lamar Jackson is at like 60 percent. We see him winning a lot of one-on-ones and in team drills. As a coach, what are you trying to do to breed that chemistry and put him in the right spot? (Jonas Shaffer) "[I tell him to] just stay the course. Every ball is not going to be completed to you. Everything is not going to happen the way you want it to happen, [so] just stay the course [and] continue to do what we're coaching you to do. Lamar [Jackson] will continue to do what they're coaching him to do, and then everything will work together when it's time to be. I think they're doing a great job. I wouldn't say 60 percent. I'd say 100 percent, for me, personally, with what they're doing. Each and every day you have to come out and work. You have to work at it, and those guys are doing that. Like I said before, when whatever date the first game is comes up, we'll all be ready to go then."
ASSISTANT WIDE RECEIVERS COACH KEITH WILLIAMS
You've worked with a lot of wide receivers over the course of your coaching career. What's it been like being able to work with WR Odell Beckham Jr. over almost a full training camp? _(Luke Jones) _"Right, it's been awesome. [Odell Beckham Jr.] has been great. He's a hard worker. He wants to still improve. He knows that he can get better, and he works at that every day. He's been great on the field [and shown] great leadership. He's been great in the classroom with the young guys. He's been great in the cafeteria. He's been great everywhere. It's been really good. He's a hard worker, and, like I said, he wants to get better. And he's ready to play; he's ready to get going."
You've been with WR Rashod Bateman for multiple years now. How good was it to see him make a great catch out there today after what he's had to go through? _(Childs Walker) _"It was awesome, because [Rashod Bateman] has been … He's been a little frustrated with trying to get back, because he's been champing at the bit to get on the field. So, for him to get out there today and make a few kind of difficult catches on his first day [in team drills], that was great to see. [It's] good for his confidence. He felt good about it all; but I felt great about it."
With WR Odell Beckham Jr. and QB Lamar Jackson, have there been instances out there where you can see that chemistry and picture it translating to games? _(Jamison Hensley) _"Right, well, you see it every day; we work at that. The chemistry comes with reps, [and the] chemistry comes with time. But the good thing about it [is] Odell [Beckham Jr.] is a veteran, [and] he understands football. Lamar [Jackson] is obviously a veteran. Those guys understand football, so them getting on the same page and getting rhythm and chemistry is going to … It's not going to take as long as some may think. We have seen examples of that so far, and we're just going to keep on building those blocks."
How competitive do you view the battle for the final one or two receiver spots on the roster? _(Jeff Zrebiec) _"It's real competitive, but it's more or less each guy versus himself. When you come out here, you've got to be on the top of your game for yourself. It's not you versus another guy; it's you versus yourself. You want to give yourself the best chance to make plays every time you have an opportunity, and after that, just let the cards fell as they may."
We've seen a lot of three wide receiver looks in offensive coordinator Todd Monken's offense. Just how happy are the receivers in the room about what they see coming? (Ryan Mink) _"Well, you're always happy if you're out there [when] it might be a pass at wideout. _(laughter) So, they're excited about our passing game and how 'Monk' [offensive coordinator Todd Monken] is calling it and how he sees it and his approach to it. So, yes, those guys are excited, and they're happy about that."
What has impressed you the most about WR Zay Flowers? (Jamison Hensley) _"[Zay Flowers] is actually not as good as … _(laughter)No, I'm just kidding. What we saw in him in the draft process, he's shown and then some. The one thing about him is that he is a hard worker. Aside from the traits and the speed [and] all the characteristics – his skillset is obviously there, but the thing that I was surprised – not surprised, but, impressed by – is that he's a worker. He's very smart, he wants to get better every day, and he's hungry to be the kind of player that we all think he can be. So, he brings that attitude to work every day. So, that part has been really impressive."
The wide receivers made a lot of great plays today. What were you happiest to see from that group? _(Kevin McNelis) _"Just what you said – completing the play. When a ball is in the air, and if it's intended for you, you come down with the ball, regardless [of] if the circumstances were in your favor, if your release was good, if the route was bad [or] good; it doesn't matter. When the ball is in the air, and it's coming your way, do whatever you can to come down with the ball. And that's what we call making a play. The circumstances might not be set up just right, [or] it might not be the best route you ever ran in your life, but the ball is still thrown; bring it back to the ref."
How well did you know wide receivers coach Greg Lewis before the partnership? _(Jeff Zrebiec) _"I knew [wide receivers coach Greg Lewis] not very well. I had been around him a little bit – a few times – but I didn't know him very well. But he and I have a great chemistry. He's a heck of a guy and a heck of a coach, and I'm having a blast working with him."
What is the value of adding someone like WR Odell Beckham Jr. to mentor the younger guys in the wide receivers room? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"I think it's invaluable. Whenever somebody you look up to is in your presence every day and is able to tutor you and give you an example and teach you anything that you may need to know … It's been great for [them]. Like we said, 'Bate' [Rashod Bateman] hasn't been on the field, but he's been getting a huge dose of education and tutelage from Odell [Beckham Jr.] in the classroom. So, it's been awesome, and I think it's going to show up on the field, too."
Do you think there is added value in an offensive coordinator like Todd Monken having experience as a wide receivers coach? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"I think so. Anytime, as an offensive coordinator, if you're familiar with position – and you're trying to throw the ball a little more – that's always valuable. And [offensive coordinator Todd Monken's] experience as a wideout coach has helped, because he understands the plight of the wideout in certain circumstances, where you may not understand that had you not played wideout or have not coached wideout. And so, his experience coaching wideouts has been very beneficial."
How have the routes in the offense changed dramatically? _(Jamison Hensley) _"They have to some degree. Every offense has different nuances to certain routes, [but] for more or less, the concepts are the same, because you're not going to reinvent the wheel. But in our offense [and] in every new offense, there are some new routes with new nuances. [There are] different depths [and] different styles of the way you want to get to the same destination [and] different paths to it. So, our offense is not any different in that regard. But for the most part, it's the same concepts, but for a different language."
What have your conversations with WR Rashod Bateman been like? _(Ryan Mink) _"'Just look forward. Don't look in the rearview mirror; look through the windshield and just keep going forward. You can't change what happened in the past, so there is no need to dwell on it. It's not going to make you better. The only thing that's going to make you better is what you do now and going forward.' So, our conversations have been [about] what [Rashod Bateman] is going to do on the field now. We haven't spoken much about the past, because that's not going to help him."
FB PATRICK RICARD
On if the plan is for him to be back at fullback going forward: "I think I'm a football player. I play for the Ravens, so it's kind of wherever I'm asked to play, and wherever it's most valuable of my time for the team and myself is where I play. I'm just trying to get ready for Week One. I'm coming back from my hip surgery midway [through] camp in a new offense, so [I'm] just trying to take it day by day and just try to find my role and make the most of it and be ready for Week One."
*On how comfortable it is to know that there are other players that can be versatile in the offense like himself: *"The way the tight ends have been used in this offense so far just from not practicing and watching what they can do – it's awesome to see. It's awesome to see that we're using versatility, and we're using guys in different ways, either blocking, pass protection or running routes in the run game. Whatever it is, it's awesome to see. It helps players. It helps the team, so I'm all for that."
*On if a switch from fullback to tight end would be interchangeable for him at this point: *Yes. I think most of my career here, I've been used all over the place. You'll see me lining up as a slot, you'll see me playing D-line, [and] you see me at all these different positions. I just try to prepare myself the best I can to play in multiple roles, and whatever the play's called and whoever's the personnel I'm in with. Maybe I'll be the 'Y' [receiver] this time. Say I'm with Mark [Andrews] or Zay [Flowers], whatever the play is [is] kind of where I see myself fitting in."
On what drew him to try out playing on the offensive line: "I pride myself on versatility ever since I've been here. I was an undrafted defensive lineman, and I was playing both sides of the ball my first couple years. Then, I was playing some tight end and some fullback. I'm just trying to always expand my role – see what I can do. If it helps myself or helps the team, then that's awesome. I'm always trying to see what I can do in different roles and see how everything fits out and how everything goes."
On if he could see himself playing guard this year or some time in the future: "I'm always open to whatever is asked of me and whatever I think helps myself to be on a team or to give value to a team. If I have to play offensive line, I will. But, at the end of the day, I'm just doing whatever's asked of me and what I think I can give most value to myself and the team."
On which playing position is most fun for him: "Oh man. [I'm] trying to think all of the different things I've done so far. (laughter)I do miss playing defense – I'm not going to lie. But, at the end of the day, I think I just love playing football. I think any role that I'm playing, as long as I'm playing, I'm going to be happy with."
On if there is value to an offense to have versatility with different personnel to keep defenses on their toes: "If you have myself and Mark [Andrews] in the game, what kind of defense are they going to put out there? Are they going to put out a bigger front? OK. If they do, then we're going to go play action, and Mark's going to be in mismatches, or if they try to get lighter for Mark and all the receivers, then we're going to start running the ball. So, it's kind of like those things where versatility can just … It's so valuable of how you can exploit defenses and have all the different advantages that you can have. So, as long as guys can play all different spots, then it's great for everybody. You don't want to just be like a one-trick pony and only doing one thing, because then defenses are going to know what you're going to do, and they're going to have success against you."
*On if his hip is something that bothered him all of last season and how he feels now that he had surgery on it: *"So, I started noticing some sharp pain midway of the season last year. I knew it was the same thing that happened to my other hip two years ago. I knew it was going to be a torn labrum, and [I] was just having sharp pain midway throughout the rest of the year and just managing soreness throughout pretty much all the way until the playoff game. It feels great now. The ramp up's been awesome. I think I'm getting strength back in it. I'm not having any pain – just normal soreness coming back from a surgery, but I think it's going great so far."
*On how he managed a heavy workload last season with lots of snaps while playing with hip pain: *"Oh man. Shoutout to everybody that was taking care of me – my trainers, massage therapists, cold tubs. Yes, it was a lot of work, but I knew that it's all worth it. I knew that I was helping the team win, so I was happy to play that much. I'm always happy … I'd play every single snap if I was asked to or play zero snaps if that's what it was. But, it was a lot of fun. [I'm] just trying to take care of myself every day as best I can."
On the greatest change from former OC Greg Roman's offense to current OC Todd Monken's offense: "I think the biggest thing is just spreading out the offense. We have a lot of great skill players. We pretty much brought in a whole other room of skill players here to compete for different roles. I think that's the biggest difference is we're going to be more spread out [and] try to be [a] more explosive offense. I love 'G-Ro,' and I love everything we did with him, so hopefully we're going to have great success either way. But so far, I'm really liking what we've been doing so far."
*On if he has been able to see the potential with the chemistry between QB Lamar Jackson and WR Odell Beckham Jr.: *"Yes. Odell [Beckham Jr.]'s arguably one of the best receivers to play this game, and I think Lamar [Jackson]'s also arguably one of the most special quarterbacks to play. To have them together is just going to be just explosive plays. It's been a lot of fun to watch them in practice so far, and I think as the season keeps going, they're going to be gelling more and [the] other great receivers that we have. I think it's just going to be a big blend of just guys wide open all the time. Lamar, I think everything he does in the quarterback position of extending plays and moving around in the pocket, I think it's just going to be a lot of fun this year."