HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening statement: "OK, appreciate everybody being out here. [It's] a great day for football, [and] our guys made the most of it. I thought we had a good, solid workday. The second day was better than the first day, so we appreciate that. We try to get better every single day; I thought our guys did that today. [They] handled the elements – all those kinds of things – well, and we'll be looking forward now. [We'll] finish up with some meetings tonight and get into tomorrow. What questions do you have?"
Speaking of the elements, is the line coming out late kind of a nod to the weather, or is that just something new you guys are implementing? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, it is [new]. We thought about it in the last couple days, because [of] the heat, so they're doing their pre-practice and their individual indoors in the indoor [fieldhouse]. So, they do that in there, and it kind of keeps them out of the heat for another half-hour to 40 minutes, which is a positive. So, that's been good, and they appreciate it."
Are there any other heat-related adjustments that you have to make on days like this? (Jamison Hensley) "You have to be very vigilant. I think our staff does a great job – training staff, strength and conditioning staff. Everybody is doing a great job of making sure we get the hydration. We're monitoring every single player. You may have a player here or there who's got to take some time out or you pull them back. We took a little more time between drills – you saw – today. We had a period right before field goal where we just took an extended water break. You just try to cool them down, get the helmets off, stop them moving a little bit. It's good. It's not often you play in this kind of heat in the NFL – maybe in early September you might get a day that's hot – so there's really no reason to push it beyond the edge, for sure, and I don't think we're even close to that. But there is an aspect of it with acclimation that is positive, if you handle it the right way, and I thought our guys did a good job of that."
Have there been playful comments from the defensive line about beginning practice inside? (Morgan Adsit) "No, the D-line [defensive line] wouldn't dare, because the offensive line is always out here earlier working, so I think the D-line knows better than that."(laughter)
With two days of training camp down, how do you feel the guys are acclimating to the new offensive system so far? (Rocco DiSangro) "Yes, I think they're on their way. It's kind of hard to put a grade on it. We really don't try to do that right now; we just look at everything that we need to correct. We always talk about confronting everything that has to do with our football [team] – every single thing – not each other, not anybody, but the football part of it. So, we're looking at all that stuff really hard and just trying to improve on it and get on the same page – chemistry, cohesiveness – talk it all out and make sure that we all have a shared understanding."
We haven't asked you about LS Nick Moore getting hurt before the start of training camp. Obviously, you never want to lose your long snapper, but given the timing, you were able to bring in LS Tyler Ott. Do you feel good about being able to acclimate to the adjustment? (Luke Jones) "Very good point. For Tyler [Ott] to be available was kind of a … It's a blessing for us, for sure, and we appreciate it. He's a pro. He's one of the best in the business, and he had an injury last year, and now he's fully healed. We love Nick [Moore]. The timing was tough. It was an unfortunate deal, but he'll come back with flying colors, I'm sure. But Tyler just got right in there, seamlessly. There are a few things to learn, but he stepped right in. He's a really good fit for what we do with our punt protection. So, we're happy about it."
What are you looking for this time of year during the team periods of practice? Without the pads on right now, what are you watching for to make it a successful day of training camp? (Cordell Woodland) "Great point. First of all, assignment and alignment; we want guys to be in the right spot. We're looking for communication, and then we're looking for technique. We want to see the footwork, the timing of the technique. Inside, with the big guys, [we're looking for] the hand placement, [them] moving their feet, leverage, base – those kinds of things."
WR Zay Flowers has been lined up all over the last few days, and you've given him different looks. Are you trying to see what he does and where he fits best, or are you just taking advantage of his versatility? (Brian Wacker) "Yes, I really believe it's a versatile [wide receivers] group, when you really look at it. All those guys have played every spot, so we're going to use that to our advantage. I know the offensive coaches are really trying to build it in – when you see those guys moving around in different spots, a lot of motions [and] things like that. So, I don't … It will be hard to find guys a little bit with what we're doing – that's a positive. Then we're just putting the offense in with the guys we've got. So, beyond that, I think it's going to … [We're] teaching it [and] getting good at what we're doing. And then as we do that, we'll get a feel for where we're at [and] with who does what when the time comes."
Who do we have to thank for the yellow trim on the QB practice jerseys? (Jonas Shaffer)(laughter)"[Owner] Steve Bisciotti, Steve Bisciotti. Yes, Steve wanted to … Steve couldn't read them either. (laughter) Yes, it's really interesting; as a coach, if all these guys … If none of these guys had a number out here, and I was watching the tape, as a coach, I could tell who everybody is. I don't know what it is; I think any coach would tell you that. You just know your people. You know how they move; you know what they look like. But if you don't do it every day, you need the numbers. So, you're welcome." (laughter)
Is the second year for S Marcus Williams as a Raven any different than last year, in terms of his comfort level on the defense? (Ed Lee) "It's got to be. It's got to be. Here's a guy [Marcus Williams] that is a year into the system; it's the same system as last year. He's definitely taken over, in terms of communication. And then with … Chuck [Clark] was doing that last year, so I think he was … Chuck kind of had that role, so he's done great with it. He's playing great; he's confident; he's talking out there; he's running around. It's fun to watch."
We saw S Marcus Williams break up a pass to TE Mark Andrews today. How tricky is it to balance physicality and have physicality when you don't have pads on? And how challenging is it for guys to manage that? _(Kyle Goon) _"Well, that's right. That was a play [Marcus Williams breaking up a pass to Mark Andrews] that was perfect, because there was no physicality to it, in terms of contact, and yet he was able to time it up, get his hand in there and make a great play. So, the ability to make that play without going through and [making] the tackle – going through the receiver like he normally would, with a legal hit – he did it in a way where he didn't touch Mark at all. That's pretty darn good – to see him be able to do that. I'm always amazed by the athletic ability of these guys. And you guys watch it, so you know; it just blows you away, right? The fact that these guys can play so fast and not be on the ground – hardly ever – not run into each other the way they do, it's just a testament to the level of play, really, and their talent."
How is TE Charlie Kolar coming along in Year 2? (Garrett Downing) "Yes, I agree with you. Charlie [Kolar] is ready to go. He's big, he's strong, he's determined, and he's running routes. He made a really nice catch yesterday on that inside-box fade. [He] made the wheel route today for the big play. He looks good."
With the higher offensive tempo, you can get in more plays. Do you also expect to get more volume over the course of camp, or do you have a set number you want to see? (Jonas Shaffer) "No, we still go for the plays. I mean, you may get a couple more [plays] with the fast tempo, but we try to keep the volume … We measure the volume very closely."
What have you liked about working with offensive coordinator Todd Monken so far? (Charles McDonald) "I just … I like the way he [offensive coordinator Todd Monken] coaches. He's a Midwest-style coach. We know each ... We're about the same age, and we come from the same part of the country, so the style, and the way he interacts and relates – there's a lot of energy to it – I appreciate it. He's doing a great job."
DB Brandon Stephens has shown versatility as a cornerback and a safety. What have you seen from him as a nickel corner? (Ryan Mink) "Yes, he [Brandon Stephens] can do that, too; it goes to the versatility point. Right now, he's played mostly safety. He can go outside and play corner. So, that's something … The more you can do … He's got a lot of tools, so it's going to help us."
WR ODELL BECKHAM JR.
On if it gets old on hearing the chants for him:"Never. Never gets old. Man, you know first day, yesterday, coming out, I just wanted to be grateful for that moment. It was a long time in rehab, talked about it, obviously. Short days, hard times and just to be able to be back out there running around. I didn't care what happened, you know, it was just a blessing to be able to step on that field. Say a prayer, thank the Man for another opportunity. I was just in a very gratitude state, I guess you can say."
On what it was like greeting his son after practice:"It's just like, I remember being the rookie and coming in and after practice and seeing everybody's kids running up to them and their family. Just [seeing] that warming embrace, and your little ones are looking at you, and you're out here, you know you've been working hard for your family and yourself. To me, it was very surreal. My son, him running up and some of my family out here, so I feel blessed."
On if he feels more comfortable now than he did in minicamp: "[I] appreciate that. [I] appreciate that. I've been working. Like I said, when you when you come out to minicamp, I have my own opinions on it, but at the end of the day, we play in September. It's about a gradual peak. If you're ready to play a game in minicamp, when does that slope going to start to turn downwards? I'm just happy to be able, you know …. It was a lot of work from going two- [or] three-a-days, going from a gym to a field, to lunch, to working out, to recovering. I'm just happy that you see it."
On what it's like being out there for another training camp: "It was strange. I talked to my coach about that, my last training camp was in, I think, in 2021. It was just a strange feeling. Do we have to sleep in a hotel? What's the schedule like? [I'm] just getting reacclimated, but I think because of everything that's happened in my life, the things you used to find yourself having small complaints about, I'm just trying my best to not hear it out of me. Just to know in a matter of split seconds, things happen. So like I say, gratitude is all I'm feeling right now. Knowing that there's a lot of work to be done and yeah it's cool, I'm just trying to enjoy the moment and have fun right now, but there is a lot of serious work that needs to be done. [I'm] just trying to find one thing to be better at each and every day."
On if there any similarities or differences to OC Todd Monken offense from Cleveland to this one:"I think life is all about situations, and not every situation is for everyone, and that's just how it is. I can see that situation may not have been for him or myself. He went to Georgia and wins national championships. You can see a level of confidence in him that I like. You walk into the room, you grab the energy. [He's] a dominant force. Obviously he has command of what he's seeing, and I think he knows, not think, but he knows what he wants to do, and he sees what we have here. I just think the level of confidence, not to say he didn't have it, but just from what I'm seeing now, he's seems very happy to be here."
On how much muscle did Odell Beckham Jr. Add after minicamp: "I don't know exactly, but just, enough. Somebody was like how much do you weigh, 180? It was just funny to me because I'm not [anywhere] near 180. I've been working hard. Like I say, it's a lot of work I had to put in to even step back on to the field and to even compete with the best in the world. We've got a very good defense that I have to go against every single day, so I know doubt in my mind that they'll be able to get me right."
On what's impressed him with WR Zay Flowers: "Definitely the smile that he has on his face, the joy ... He definitely appreciates being here, and [it was good] just being able to spend time with in Florida and just kick it. Now, pick his brain and him pick my brain. I feel like I know my role. As you know as the guy, 'I used to watch you in middle school.' I'm a little older, so I know that I'm the leader and a follower in the same breath, and I think that important for a leader to follow and listen. Just being able to be out here with him, now finally in the same colors, practice, and just knowing what we are working for and we are working towards. As much fun as we have, you know we all take it very serious."
On limitations he feels since coming back from his injury:"No, it's just hot. Do you know what I mean? There's no real limitations. It's just about knowing every detail of the playbook, and that way when you know every single thing ... It's just Day Two, once you know every single thing, you could play fast. I could just feel myself wanting to continue to learn, continue to find something to get better at, continue to harp on one thing for the day to come back and correct it the day. Again I don't know percentages, I just feel good. I feel like I'm going to continue to work to get back to who I know who I truly am."
On impression of the offense the team is trying to install: "We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I think that we'll wait when we get to September, and we'll see what we have going."
On being a mentor to the young receivers:"Experience. I learned from Victor Cruz. I've been around the Cooper Kupps, the Matthew Staffords, Eli Mannings ... The list goes on and on. People who aren't even receivers is who I learned about how to be leader and how to lead. I know [what] my role is. Obviously, I want to make plays, don't get me wrong. I want to score touchdowns. I want to dance. I want to have fun, but definitely to help the younger guys, mentally, physically, spiritually, however I can. I embrace that role and that opportunity, and I take it very serious. I don't mind being the older guy for once in the room."
On impressions of Ravens culture:"It's the real deal. I'll be honest I can feel the love of the city. I can feel excitement about the opportunity we have in front of us. Like I said, I take it serious. I take it very serious. I got to learn how to hit The Strut and all that and just have fun with it, embrace the opportunity and win some games."
On what blessings he was talking about in his tweet:"[I] can't share those, but it has to do with a lot of dancing, a lot of fun, a lot of touchdowns."
On if the strut will be his first touchdown dance:"[It will be] that or The Bop or whatever. The Bird Flu, I done hit."
On if he worked on his Baltimore accent: "'To' and 'Do.' (laughter) I like it, though. I like it. Somebody came up to me the other day and said something. I had to have them repeat it. [I'm] just embracing every single bit of what we have going here."
On how the defense is pushing him and the offense to be better: "You have an All-Pro corner [Marlon Humphrey]. You have safeties who are probably going to be All-Pro [Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams]. [You have] D-line [and] linebackers. It's everything you look for in a defense. And they are tough, fast [and] physical. It just presents a challenge, and that challenge is every single day. But that's why I said I know [practicing against this defense] is going to get me right."
On what he thinks QB Lamar Jackson's mindset is going into the season:"It probably would be a better question for him, but just looking from afar ... He looks like his mind is only on the Super Bowl, and he knows that that's a daily process, a day at a time, details, all the little things that go into the end result that people see with the confetti. It just seems that he really wants to win, and he wants to have fun. Like you said, he wants to throw for 6,000 yards, and I'm not mad at him if he does."
On what was behind his hair color choice: "It's purple. I've done it before. [It] just feels fun to switch it up, and it's probably the only time – like you know when I'm playing football – that I have it dyed. Otherwise I'll be an adult for the rest of the time, but just dye it; have fun. The purple kind of faded out, so next time you see me, it will be a little more purple. But, it goes nice with the uniform."
WR ZAY FLOWERS
On his new nickname "Joystick" that QB Lamar Jackson gave him: "Yes, I like it. It's the nickname that ran in my family. My brother had the nickname 'Joystick.' So, I guess I get to take it over now."
On the biggest takeaway from working with WR Odell Beckham Jr.:"I would say just working hard every day, going for what you want. Because, you know, he did it as a young player too with a 1,000-yard season, 1,000-yard season. I'm just trying to learn what he did, take a routine from him and trying to use it towards my way and do it my way."
On the specific takeaways from WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s routine:"I'd say taking care of your body [and] making sure that your body is always prepared for the work you do."
On his takeaways from his offseason workouts with QB Lamar Jackson and WR Odell Beckham Jr. in South Florida:"It was with Lamar [Jackson], so we were running our stuff for the team. He [Lamar Jackson] was just teaching me about delaying on routes, being patient and taking my time not always speeding everything, not making everything so fast."
On if he is still riding a high from NFL Draft night: "No. I just like working. I love being out here on the field playing and being with my teammates."
On why he is not a shy rookie: "It's football, man. We're coming to play, and I'm trying to win just like [the veterans] are."
On working with OC Todd Monken who wants to play the receivers at multiple different spots on the field like what Flowers had said he wanted to play previously:"Yes, [offensive coordinator Todd Monken] uses everybody's ability to the best. He puts everybody in places where they are able to make plays. So, you let them play outside. I played outside in college 75% of the time, and [I] said, 'You can let me play outside or inside.' Then, he puts 'O' [Odell Beckham Jr.] outside. Then, he'll put Nelson [Agholor], then [Devin Duvernay] ... We're all just rotating. We all are playmakers. So, he just uses us to the best of our ability."
On how training camp compares from what he expected to reality:"I expected to run into something crazy like being super tired [or] intense, crazy practices. But, it kind of reminds me of college. It's a little shorter, and I feel like it's a little easier."
On how comfortable he feels in offensive coordinator Todd Monken's offense:"I'm super comfortable. He makes you feel comfortable. My receivers coach [Greg Lewis] makes me feel comfortable and everybody that's around, all of the vets. They help you out so much that it feels like you're just learning, and you're playing."
On how he would describe QB Lamar Jackson's mindset coming into the season:"Win a Super Bowl. That's the same mindset I have. That's the same mindset that I had on Draft night when [the Ravens] drafted me. And then, we got 'O' [Odell Beckham Jr.]. [We] definitely have to go get one [a Super Bowl]."
On how different the learning process has been as a rookie with the playbook compared to when he first got to college:"There's not a difference. I just can't believe I'm an NFL player still, that I'm here. I'm just grinding away every day, staying humble and trying to go to work."
On if the playbook now is more difficult compared to previous ones he's learned: "Not really. It's just getting in the playbook, learning it and applying it on the field."
On what it is like being on the field with players that he grew up watching like QB Lamar Jackson, WR Odell Beckham Jr. and TE Mark Andrews:"It hasn't really sunk in yet. I feel like the first game, it'll sink in when I see them do some crazy stuff. Then, I'll do something crazy. That'll probably be when it sinks in."
On if the heat at practice reminds him of South Florida where he is from:"Oh, absolutely (laughter). I had to use a cold towel today."
On who his biggest mentor has been at training camp:"I'd say all the guys. They all support me and try to help me out with things that they see that I haven't. Nelson [Agholor] helps me out a lot, 'O' [Odell Beckham Jr.] and Lamar [Jackson] helps me out a lot, too. But, everybody just does their part to help me out and try to help me to the best of their abilities."
On if lots of people messaged him after a video of him working out with QB Lamar Jackson and WR Odell Beckham Jr. In the offseason went viral: "No, I really don't pay attention to [the attention], honestly. It's just a workout, and I'm just trying to get my work in and go about my business honestly."
On what he has had to prioritize with taking care of his body compared to college:"It's just the same thing, just taking care of my legs and making sure I'm doing a cold tub, Normatec [recovery boots], just stuff like that."
On advice that he has received throughout the whole process after being drafted until now:"Be yourself. You don't have to change for anybody. Be yourself. There's a lot more media, so you don't change for anybody. You always smile, stay happy and play football. That's all it is."
On what he is trying to learn from WR Odell Beckham Jr.:"Just keeping my body healthy and being consistent every year."
On if his new nickname "Joystick" describes the way he wants to play with QB Lamar Jackson:"Yes, I think it describes me perfect – in and out of cuts fast, do everything explosive, try to make people miss. It's a perfect nickname."
On if "Joystick" is what he prefers fans call him now: "I was thinking about 'Professor X,' but we'll go with 'Joystick.'" (laughter)
On his relationship with RB J.K. Dobbins:"J.K. [Dobbins] is super funny, super funny. We just chat and laugh. We haven't had a real conversation yet, but he's a great guy."
S MARCUS WILLIAMS
On what he thought of the play he made in practice:"What about it? I get the ball all the time. It's nothing new to me."
On if the forced fumble was hard to make:"I mean, I just look at the ball. When the ball is there, I just attack it. That's what the game is about, right?"
On if he's more comfortable with his role in this defense in his second year, especially with communication:"Every day we just work to get better. Each day I work to perfect my craft and do those little things by communicating, being a leader out there. [I'm] just talking to my guys, and as you see, we all come together. We make plays, and that's just going to help us all get better."
On if communication is a big focus of his entering this season:"I've always been a communicator. It's nothing new to me. I've always done it, even last year when I was here. So, it's really nothing new, but I'll continue to do what I have to do to make sure our team is in the right spot."
On how he thinks S Kyle Hamilton looks entering his second year:"[Kyle Hamilton] looks great. Since he was a rookie, he's always been getting better. He's continuing to get better in the film room, out on the field, getting more comfortable, playing together, side by side. So, as long as he continues to focus, lock in and come out here and do all he can to work, I think he's going to be great."
On if there's chemistry that needs to be built with S Kyle Hamilton on the field even though they played together last year: "Yes, of course. Anybody you go out there with, you want to build that chemistry. But, just being together for a whole year, it gives us that chemistry already. So, just being able to talk to him, him being able to listen – and he even tells me stuff - it's just feeding off each other so we can both get better."
On if his interception following his injury last season gave him more motivation leading into this season:"I got injured? Uh, shoot. If I came back and had a pick, it means I was pretty good. But no, there's always more for me. There's always that next step that I could take. I'm not finished being the best person I could be. I haven't peaked. I'm still working, I'm still young, and I'm trying to be better than every single person who steps out on the field."
On how good he thinks the defense could be:"We could be really good. It's up to us though. We have to put in the time, we have to put in the work, and it starts right here. It starts right now in training camp."
On what the key is to catching interceptions: "Well, shoot. You have to be a ballhawk, I guess. That's what I am. I watch a lot of film. I come out here, I practice hard, and so it translates to the gamedays."
On what he's seeing from the young pass rushers, specifically OLBs David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh:"I think [David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh] are hungry. They are hungry young guys who want to get after it [and] who want to make some plays. They are not going to stop until they get these sacks, get the quarterbacks down and not let anybody get by them."
On what he makes of the big receptions that WR Odell Beckham Jr. gets every time he comes on the field:"I hope he makes all of those in gamedays. You see him – you see it from his past teams. He makes those plays, spectacular catches. [He's a] great receiver. So, hopefully we come out here Game 1 and he's doing the same thing."
What kind of teacher is defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and how has he helped the defense improve from this time last year:"He takes his time to teach us every single day to lock in on those small details. If we have a mess up here and there, he's making sure we correct these [mistakes]. He's not going to wait until the film room. He's going to say, 'OK. This is what you guys need to do right now.' And then when we go in the film room, we correct it again so that we know that next time we come out here it's corrected, and we're ready to go."
On what stands out about WR Zay Flowers:"[He's] a young talent. He's coming out here. He's really quick, fast, gets off the ball, catches the ball. He's going to be a star as long as he puts that time in, that work in. [If he] comes out here each day and works and grinds and never gets complacent, I think he's going to go out there and ball."