Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
Coach, how are you going to evaluate this returner battle if people aren't kicking to you in the preseason? (Ryan Mink)"We had some punt returns; hopefully we'll get some more this week. It's hard to control the other team's kicker. So, we just do the best we can with it. We practice hard, we practice competitively, and we'll evaluate that, and I think the opportunity to practice against Philadelphia will be very productive, as well. We'll have opportunities to return balls in practice against them, even if we don't have that chance in the game. We hope we get opportunities in the game, as well."
Understanding it's only the first preseason game, but CB/RS Asa Jackson did get the first opportunity in the return game. How would you evaluate him, and was it frustrating then to see him go down with an injury? (Luke Jones)"I thought both he and Michael [Campanaro] did what we asked them to do on the return – [which] is to get the ball north and get positive yards – and they both did that to the tune of about 10 yards per return, as I recall. Again, it's just a couple of reps. It's a long way to go; we have a lot of practice [and] we get good opportunities again this week against Philadelphia in practice. Then, hopefully, we'll make them punt a lot and get some more opportunities in the game. We can't control the injuries; they are what they are. Hopefully we get them back soon."
Today it looked like WR Jeremy Butler had several good reps. (Ken McKusick) "Yes, we are putting [players] into situations where we think we're going to need a skilled athlete with size, such as [Jeremy Butler] has. Like a lot of wide receivers coming into the NFL, he hasn't had a whole lot of experience with it, so we're thrusting him in practice into competitive situations to find out. And today, I would agree with you. Today was a very good day for Jeremy. He made plays on both sides. Kamar Aiken is an example of a wide receiver that gives your team great value, because he can go out there and play wide receiver at a high level, and he's also an outstanding special teams player. So, we need more guys like that, and Jeremy made a positive step in that direction today."
How much does WR Darren Waller offer on special teams? (Ryan Mink) "[Darren Waller is] big. It's hard to substitute for long arms and size, and he can also run. If he develops the skills to match his physical traits, I think he's going to be very good. Not to repeat what I just said about 'J.B.' [Jeremy Butler], but he's in the same boat. He has never done it before, so we're teaching him skills that instead of catching the ball and running routes, it's getting off a block and making tackles. It's a whole new world, but he's making progress."
ILB Arthur Brown, how is he coming along? (Matt Pierson) "Arthur [Brown] is playing fast – I think you noticed – both on defense and special teams. He's a gifted young man, and I see him using his hands well, and he has always been able to run really well. I think that he showed up in practice today, he showed up in the game last week, and I trust he'll do it again this week."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
Dean, what have you seen from your secondary, their growth over training camp? (Ryan Mink)"I think guys are competing hard. They're trying to go after balls; they're trying to break them up. We're trying to make interceptions. I think we're very competitive out here – it's basically in the team-type settings. I was a little disappointed the other night [with] a couple things in the second half. Now, there are also some things in that half … In fairness to the secondary, we put them in some tough situations, like the one toss sweep for a touchdown. We didn't game-plan anything. We just called it and ran it. We would not be in that [situation] necessarily in a game, but we did it. To me, that's not [on] them as much as if we were game-planning. I think we could have helped them out quite a bit. But we're competing. That's the thing I like, and there's a lot of competition at a lot of spots and guys are practicing hard, and they're competing."
Dean, at this point in training camp, is this what you want to see from your defense overall in terms of first and second units? (Matt Pierson) "Yes, we're getting closer. The other night, based on the first game – after that incredible drive by the offense to start the game, 16 plays in eight minutes – the absolute biggest thing you want there is your defense to go three-and-out to put their defense back on the field. I was very pleased to see that and very pleased to see the next [series]. We scored again and got another three-and-out. That part was good. What we have to get better at – and we're doing so well in practice, but I was disappointed in the game – is the two-minute [situation] before the half. Like I said, there were a couple scores, a couple things [where] we put some guys in tough positions I don't think we'd put them in, in a game. But [during] the two-minute drive, we give up a draw run for 29 yards – that gets the thing started – and then we gave up a seam route that we should have defended. Those are the things – even though it was backup guys – those guys … They're not always going to be backup guys. We're going to have to count on them. During the year, we have to do better than that. The other thing, really, the other night I was really disappointed in was that two-minute drive. There are a bunch of little things here and there, but we have to do better there. We're not quite where we need to be. We've been doing great in practice in two-minute, and that's something that has been an emphasis for us and we have to be good at. We lost a game last year – [against] San Diego – in two-minute, and I don't want to lose another one."
**I know DT Timmy Jernigan has missed some time, but overall, how have you seen his camp? *(Jamison Hensley) *"It's going well. That's the biggest thing there, is the fact that I wish [Timmy Jernigan] could be in there all the time. That's not his fault. I think it's going well. It's hard to sometimes give you a true evaluation if you don't see them day after day after day after day. Like Carl Davis, we're seeing day after day, and I saw him in the game, and I thought he really performed well in the game. So, I can give you a little better evaluation. Timmy, I still believe, he's the guy that we drafted. I just wish we could get him out there a little more, but again, that's not his fault."
Dean, how is S Nick Perry doing? It looks like he's getting a little bit more time after S Matt Elam went down, but how's he playing? (Garrett Downing) "Nick [Perry] is a typical prodigy of Nick Saban. He is a defensive back that's tough and smart, and he really does a great job back there. I think he's going to be one of those free agent guys that are going to have a future in this league."
When you look at DT Brandon Williams now versus two years ago, what are the most significant points of evolution? (Childs Walker) "Maturity – on and off the field. [Not] that [Brandon Williams] was a bad kid – I don't mean that at all. It's just that when you're a rookie, sometimes you really don't know, and each year you just kind of grow into being a professional, and he has become a professional football player. [He is] taking his craft very seriously. It's really very, very important to him. Sometimes I don't want that to mean it isn't important as a rookie, but sometimes they just don't know. They're just coming out of college, it's just a totally different atmosphere of really being dedicated to your trade, and he has done that. He has gotten bigger, he has gotten stronger, he's smarter on the football field – all those things. It's just maturity in every aspect, I think."
Dean, you were a little light on the defensive line Thursday night just in a matter of numbers. How much did you like – on the flip side of that – having a chance to see maybe a more extended look at DT Carl Davis and some of those young defensive linemen? (Luke Jones)"It was good. There's nothing wrong with that. That's what the preseason is for. I'd rather do it now or make a mistake or find something now than I would in three weeks from now. It was good that those guys got a lot of playing time. They all were put into situations – especially on third down – in the pass rush that normally they wouldn't have gotten into, so it was good. We got to see, 'What's this guy like on third down?' Because normally, we might have another pass package we'd put in there with other guys. Well, we didn't have another package. You guys have to do it. And just like the draw play, they'll learn from making that mistake. Two guys got out of their lanes, and that's all it took for them to crease us. Sometimes it's just like a coach: The way you learn things is usually [because] it's messed up sometimes and you figure out how to fix it, and that's the good part about preseason."
Previous defensive coordinators here played a lot of dime and quarter defense, and last year [there was] almost no dime or quarter – it was just a handful of snaps. Is that a philosophical thing? Is it your style, or is it more personnel? (Ken McKusick) "Personnel, totally. You saw our secondary last year. Who would you put at dime? We didn't have one. I mean, that was it. We didn't have a dime, we didn't have a quarter. I've done all that kind of stuff. I've done eight DBs [defensive backs] up at New England. We didn't have them [last year]. The bottom line is you have to say, as a defensive coordinator, my job is to put the best 11 football players on the field regardless of who the heck they are. I'm not going to put a defensive back on the field in place of C.J. Mosley. We just couldn't do that. We'll see if that happens this year."
**How would you evaluate OLB Za'Darius Smith? *(Ryan Mink) *"I think [Za'Darius Smith] is coming along. That was good for him the other night, too. He played a lot of snaps and got a lot of playing time, so that was good for him. I think he's having a really good camp. It's kind of like [when] somebody asked me the question a couple weeks ago about Carl Davis: 'What do you expect out of him?' I expect him to play. [It is the] same way with Za'Darius. I expect him to play. He has to be on this team."
Dean, what do you guys hope to accomplish with the joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles this week? (Kevin Richardson) "The good thing about it is, is it's actually just not hitting each other for a change. That's the biggest thing – it's just pounding, pounding, pounding always on each other. So, you get a little bit of a break – like when the offense is out there pounding on them, we're not mixed in that. The other thing is it's just really good to see somebody else's scheme and practice against it. And usually practice is fast, just like [the] San Francisco [joint practices in 2014]. I think we'll get a lot out of it. It's a really good changeup, plus the fact we're practicing against a really good football team."
Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman
Opening statement:"To get started, as you can see – you guys have been out here – it's really just been back to training camp, and our guys have worked really hard. We came back on Thursday and worked. Friday we worked, Saturday we worked, and we're here working again. So, it's really back to work, and the competition at positions has continued to move forward."
Marc, what can QB Bryn Renner take from that last drive on Thursday night into his career going forward? (Childs Walker)"I think that he put some good plays on tape. He showed that he can overcome some adversity during the course of the game and gain his composure and get in the huddle, call the plays and execute the offense. I'm sure he would tell you it wasn't just about his ability to overcome it; the whole offense did. We had a turnover, the guys did a great job of covering the turnover and then going out and overcoming some adversity along the way to finish with a score."
Understanding it was only one drive, how pleased were you with that opening drive? I think it was 16 plays and finishing off with a touchdown. (Luke Jones)"I think you're always happy to have play-by-play success and to be able to convert. Certainly, there were some guys who made some plays to continue the drive, and the guys did a good job. We expect to do well, and it doesn't always happen that way in the first drive. They're not always indicative of how the game is going to go, but it's always a good way to start."
Going forward and installing your offense, is this kind of where you want them to be at this point in training camp? (Matt Pierson)"It's not my offense. It's the Ravens' offense. I don't know. I'm not sure. I really didn't have any expectations or any goals. I think that the coaches are really working hard to try to detail everything out, from fundamentals to assignments, alignments and adjustments. They've done a great job with that. We've got some new coaches and some guys who have been here. We've worked very well together in putting this thing together with our players. So, I don't know that we had a timeframe on how we were going to get it done. We still feel like we've got a long way to go, and each and every day, I think there's a sense that we can come out here and get better. And that starts with Joe [Flacco] and with all of us."
Coach, how is WR Darren Waller developing? I know he drew a couple of PIs [pass interference] in the game – how have you seen him develop? (Garrett Downing)"I think he's in the competition with all the other guys, and I think, with everybody, it's just developing a level of consistency throughout the course of practice and to continue to see guys moving in the right direction. We've got a lot of that going on right now – a lot of guys making plays, a lot of guys showing that they should be here. I think that's really the whole group. They all have shown something along the way. And then, it's [about] how this thing is going to sort itself out over the next three weeks through the practices in Philadelphia and in the final preseason games."
Have you done joint practices before? Just what do you think you can get out of them? (Garrett Downing)"Yes. I think anytime we can go against others in a cooperative manner to get work done and to get better, I think it always helps. I've been to three or four of these over the years, and I think we always get something positive when both teams are working to try to get better. When we can work against other teams, I think it's better for both sides and for the individuals on the competition side, because we're not seeing our own players all the time."
Marc, I noticed you on the sideline for the first preseason game. Is that where you plan to stay, and why did you decide to do that? (Ryan Mink)"I think it allows me to have direct communication with Joe [Flacco]. We've got good expertise up in the box for things that we need, and to be with the guys for just immediate communication with adjustments and getting things done [is important]. There is a comfort level there. As I said before, [it's about] whatever John [Harbaugh] wants. I've done it both ways; I don't have a strong opinion either way. Whatever he would want, but that's the way we started." (Ryan Mink: "And you plan to stay that way, I'm assuming?") *"Unless John wants to change it or look at another way of doing it – we haven't talked about it. So, at this point during the week, that's the way we'll go." Even though it's given other some guys opportunities at the wide receiver position, how much of a challenge is it not having WR Breshad Perriman? I know WR Marlon Brown got out there today, but he's missed a lot. *(Luke Jones)"It's not a challenge not having Breshad [Perriman]; that's not really the issue. We're disappointed for him, No. 1, that he can't be out there to work, and there's nothing we can do [about] it. So, we have to turn it into a positive, and the guys do so by understanding they have a great opportunity here to have another rep, another opportunity. We've got to continue to work to develop the guys we're with, and that's the positive side of it. That's all we can control in this moment. We can't control Breshad being out there. We'll just go from there, and we're very, very hopeful that he'll be with us soon."