Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, appreciate you guys being here. Thanks for coming out – beautiful day. Today's policy topic is going to be the economy. We're going to be talking about simplifying the tax code. (laughter) I think we're all in favor of that? OK." (Reporter: "Do you have thoughts on that?") "I do, but you want to talk football, right?" (Reporter: "Sure.") "OK. We had a couple things football-wise: We did bring Terrence Brooks [off the PUP list]. He's back, and we've been talking about this for about the last week. We felt like he's way ahead of his rehab. He has really done a great job. I don't think you ever really know how well a guy is going to move around, football-wise, until he starts moving around football-wise. And that will be a little bit of a … You get in football shape, so this week in Philly will be good for him that way, and we get him up to speed and get him going. That's one thing. Breshad Perriman did have an MRI yesterday. It came back, essentially, normal. We were looking for anything [unusual]. It has just gone slower than our doctors anticipated it would, so we wanted to get an MRI and see if there was something in there that we didn't know about, and there wasn't. It was normal. [There is] still a little bit of swelling and still a little bit of sprain – that's what they call it – and we just have to keep working on it and get him back."
**When it comes to joint practices, there's always a concern [about fighting] – you look what happened with Houston and Washington – but you had joint practices with your brother's team and now with your former team. With those associations in place, do you think everything is going to go pretty smoothly? *(Joe Platania) *"Yes, I hope so. I felt we did a great job last year with San Francisco in terms of keeping it about business, treating one another with respect. There was no extracurricular stuff right after the play. We're counting on the Eagles to do that, and we'll be emphasizing that to our guys as well. We're out there … Really, when you practice together, you're like a team. You have to function as a team in a sense, and that's what we tried to do last year with San Francisco. We'll try to accomplish that again."
*Are there any other agreements that go with that like no cut blocking or anything else? (Ken McKusick) *"Yes, the natural agreements that we have in all of our practices will be in place there in theirs. There's no cut blocking, there's no finishing blocks, taking guys to the ground. There's no pulling, tugging, grabbing, twisting. Any of that kind of stuff that you would normally have at practice, I'm sure we'll have with those guys."
**Having the two West Coast trips that you'll have during the regular season, do you like having this as almost like a dry run to have a little extended road trip? *(Luke Jones) *"I think that's a good observation. That's exactly what we talked to the guys about yesterday. We're going to be five of seven [games] on the road [to start the season]. We're going to be four of seven on the West Coast. We're going to have two trips where we're going to be staying out West. We're staying in a hotel; we're staying away. It's a hostile road trip. Even in the preseason, their fans are tough, so it gives us a chance to get ready for what we're going to face early in the season. It's a good thing that way."
For guys like S Terrence Brooks who might be a little bit behind, can they catch up pretty quick with three pretty intense days in Philadelphia? (Scott Wykoff) "We have intense days out here, too, so I wouldn't say it's any different than what we do out here. Realistically, we go really hard. There's nobody that gets more reps than we do in practice. But from a competitive standpoint – and getting in the fire against somebody else like that – I guess I see your point. It could help that way."
John, has DT Brandon Williams evolved into a player where you just expect him to be really good every time? I know general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome has talked about him maybe being the best nose tackle in the league. (Childs Walker) "I would agree with that. Yes, [Brandon Williams is] a guy that you expect to be dominant pretty much every play, and if he's not, you're kind of asking him, 'What's up?' He has become that kind of a player, which is a credit to him."
**John, now you have one player on PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] with TE Dennis Pitta. Any updates on him, or has anything changed recently? *(Jamison Hensley) *"Nothing has changed. No, I have nothing on Dennis [Pitta]. The one thing about Dennis – and the thing that probably [the media] realize – is that there's more to it than just, 'Can he play? Should he play? Will he be cleared to play?' And what is being 'cleared to play' entail in terms of liability and things like that? There's a lot to it that has to be worked out. I get the impression that he wants to play. He's rehabbing like crazy. But he's going to have to make … He has to make the decision if it's the best thing for him going forward. I think there's no urgency at this time. He's not going to be activated for the beginning of our regular season. We'd be talking about a mid-season type of a thing if we did it, so we'll just have to see where that goes."
And undrafted rookie OLB Brennen Beyer, it seems like he has been pretty physical out there. (Jamison Hensley) "Brenner [Beyer] has done well. He has been physical. [He is a] Michigan man, so he has played just liked you'd expect those guys to play. [He is] all over the field, flies around, great attitude, other guys like him a lot. Yes, he has done a good job."
CB/RS Lardarius Webb hasn't been around for two days. Do you have any update you'd like to share? (Cliff Brown) "Yes, Lardarius [Webb] is working a hamstring. The hamstring has been … He had a little bit of a feel for it [and] couldn't go in the game. He came out the next day and didn't feel good the next day. Maybe he aggravated it a little, perhaps – you'll have to ask him exactly. But it's not right, right now, and he's just nursing it and working it and trying to get it right."
Along those lines, G Robert Myers is back today. (Ken McKusick) "[Robert] Myers is out there in a no-contact capacity today coming off the concussion. John Urschel, I believe, is getting closer and closer. The thing about concussions is you never know. I can give you a little bit of Urschel [info]. This is interesting – I guess – probably. I don't know if [head certified athletic trainer] Mark [Smith] … [I don't know] if I'd be in trouble for giving you this, but Urschel … You're told when you get a concussion not to listen to certain things, not to read certain things, not to study certain things, not to do some certain things that might hurt the concussion part of the brain there. So, my man goes out the second day afterwards and does high-level math problems just to see where he's at. (laughter) Yes, right. I have to tell the guys … I'm going to tell the guys tonight in the meeting, 'Listen, guys, for all you guys that may get a little concussion issue … You want to go out and do the high level math? You want to do those trigonomic, algebraic equations? We're putting an end to that right now on our team! We'll have no more of that!'" (laughter) (Reporter: "Did you check his work to make sure it was correct?") "No. I wouldn't know the difference." (laughter) (Reporter: "Can he solve the tax problem?") "That's a good question. Nice tie-together."
*Are you excited to go against QB Tim Tebow in practice? *(Adam Vorce) *"Tim Tebow, sure. Yes, we're looking forward to going against all those guys. It'll be fun to go against those guys." *(Reporter: "What have you seen from him so far?") "I haven't seen anything. I haven't watched any of their practices, yet. I don't know what any of their players have done in their practices – have not studied that. It's a good question though."
Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks
You were talking to the referee on the sideline about the snap of the football – can you give us some color on that? (Ken McKusick) "Yes, I just wanted to get a rule. We got a little close to the line of scrimmage today, and it's all how you interpret the rule. The center was fiddling with the ball, and I thought that we had more space than he gave us. But it all depends on … He's got the flag; he's got the striped shirt. So, whatever he says, goes."
As a coach, what's the biggest benefit when you practice against another team like you're going to be doing? What's the biggest benefit you guys see from a coaching standpoint? (Scott Wykoff)"You get so used to what your own offense or your own defense is doing. You get a chance to see some different things – maybe an offensive system that might be a little different than the one we've been seeing, which is probably the case going up to Philly. You're excited just to get to see another jersey and another colored helmet. These guys are competitors, and they want to compete. Just the fact that they have the chance to go out and compete every day for the next couple days is going to be big for them."
What is it about the defensive line program you've established here that makes it so that it seems like every person in the room contributes? Whether it's DE DeAngelo Tyson or DT Lawrence Guy, all those guys, do you think there's anything about what you guys do that makes that so? (Jon Meoli)"I think, first of all, you've got to start with Ozzie [Newsome] and John [Harbaugh]; they get the right people here. And we get guys that are what we think are Raven-type guys. You mentioned DeAngelo [Tyson] and Chris Canty and Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams – those guys are Ravens. Then we bring in a Carl Davis, and we add Kapron Lewis-Moore. We don't have … Brent [Urban] is injured, but we've got guys in here that are, we think, Raven-type people. They work awfully hard, and we grind on them awfully hard to get them to do some things. But they put the work in, and they want to be good. They want to win games, and we want to win championships."
What is it that makes DT Brandon Williams so dominant at this point in his career? He's always had the strength from the time you guys drafted him, but how has he really improved? (Ryan Mink)"He just knows so much more about the game. He started every game for us a year ago. He's a very, very instinctive football player; he picks things up well. He just – coming into this preseason – he's just so much more relaxed, so much more experienced. He knows what to expect. [He's] awfully talented, physically, and he's able to show it. So, he's able to play a lot faster. [He's] tremendously strong and a great presence for us in the middle."
*Coach, have you seen his personality come out more, too, as he has become more comfortable? *(Childs Walker) *"His personality has always come out. If you're around him … You are not around him for 10 seconds, and you're laughing about something – something he said [or] he's imitating somebody. He's a pleasure to be around. But, I'll tell you what I've seen: His maturity as a player, and he has been tremendous in the meeting room with Carl Davis. It's really a joy to see how he interacts with the other guys after a year, and that's been good." (Reporter: "Is he a better defensive tackle or dancer?")* "You like his dancing? (laughter) *You know what? He dances well; he can really sing too. I don't know if you guys have ever heard him. He's quite a talented guy, but he better stick to being a defensive tackle – that's where his money is going to be made." *(laughter)
You mentioned it's nice to go against another offensive line, but do you think it helps defensive linemen here that they get to go against guys like G Marshal Yanda and G Kelechi Osemele every single day? (Jon Meoli)"I tell my guys, especially the young guys, especially the inside guys – Carl Davis, our young players, Christo Bilukidi, Micajah Reynolds – I say, 'Every time you get a chance to step in front of Marshal Yanda, you do it, OK?' Because he's, in my opinion, the best offensive guard in the NFL, and he practices at a high level. He makes everyone around him better. So yes, to stand in front of the guys we've got, and to lineup against Marshal and K.O. [Kelechi Osemele] and Jeremy [Zuttah] – every day, day-in and day-out – it's going to make them better players. No question about it."
How do you assess DT Carl Davis' progression in camp so far? (Clifton Brown)"His progression has been good; his progress has been really good. Every day is a new day; he's worked awfully hard. But he has stayed with the program; he has shown the ability to make some plays. He's certainly not perfect by any means, but he really wants to be good. He listens, and we think he's on his way to becoming a player. Thank goodness we've got three more weeks to go with, and it's there before you have to get going. He needs every rep he can get, but so far, we're very happy [with] where he is."
Coach, this being the first year without DT Haloti Ngata – and that's obviously a lot of snaps lost from the last four seasons – how do you see those snaps being divided up? Do you see a player like DT Brandon Williams taking even more snaps than last year, or would it be spread out over a broader base? (Ken McKusick)"It really depends. We've always been a rotation team here. Even when we had Haloti [Ngata], we've always been there; we've always rolled guys. And we've always been mindful of repetitions guys were going to get. We're trying to set ourselves up as usual with a rotation. With Haloti not being here, I think the same [thing]. It just holds. He missed the last four games of last year, and we happened to be able to just keep going on. That's the way we're looking at it. We're just going to line up, and those reps will be picked up as they always are by the next guy to go. We don't feel any strain there. We'll have enough guys in our rotation to make sure the reps are well taken care of."
S Terrence Brooks
On how it felt to be back on the field: "I felt good. [It is] a little surreal, but we've been putting in a lot of work to just get to that point. And being able for them … Coach [John] Harbaugh told me, 'Let's do it, and let's go.' It was pretty exciting. But we're just trying to take it easy, ease my way in there, and we'll be full-go soon."
On when he was told that he could practice today: "I don't know. It was just a number of scenarios that happened throughout the facility, and I've seen a lot of people talking and whatnot, and I just kind of 'peep-gamed' about that. But other than that, they just asked me, 'How good do you feel?' Like I said, we've been working hard every day. I haven't had a break since I got hurt, so I expected to be here now."
On whether he was informed about being cleared for practice earlier today: "Yesterday [head coach John Harbaugh] was saying, 'How do you feel about going?' And then I pretty much was like, 'Hey, listen, I feel good. I can be able to compete now.' So, he was like, 'Let's do it.' I was really ready to go this morning. I was already up really early before my alarm clock went off. I was ready to get here. But it was a good day."
On what his expectations are for Saturday's preseason game versus the Eagles: "Like I said, we're going to take it easy. We're not trying to just go ahead and throw me in there full-go and get a setback or anything like that, God forbid. We're just going to take it easy, increase my reps day by day and see how it goes."
On whether he thought he would be back to practice eight months after his injury: "No. Honestly, that was my first injury. I haven't had an injury before that, and I just didn't know what to think about it. I was numb about it. They told me the rehab time, and I didn't cry, I didn't get upset. I was just like, 'Let's do what we have to. Let's take it on and keep going.'"
On general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome saying that he might start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list and whether he used that as motivation: "Of course, man. I definitely didn't want to sit out this whole year. I put in my mind that, 'Hey, I'm going to come back and be even stronger than I was before.' Plus, I had some stuff last year that I definitely didn't like, and that [was] not in my game plan. This year, I just have a whole, totally different mindset. The knee injury – I feel like – was a blessing for me. It was a wakeup call, like, 'Hey, get yourself going. Take it seriously. This is your job now,' and I realize that this year."
On the mental obstacles he may face after coming back from injury: "Any guy that has this injury, he won't go out there and just be fully confident right off the bat. He's definitely going to be a little cautious about running into people or jumping up for a ball, and those are the things I went through today. There were some plays that I got there, and I know I could have made that play if I wasn't hurt, but I just didn't want to risk anything. I just want to make sure I have my technique down and things like that."
On possibly playing Week 1: "Like I said, it's kind of a little too early to tell right now. I'm just taking it day by day. It's definitely a process, I'll tell you that. We're going to see how it goes. If it gets to that time, then we'll compete."
ILB Zachary Orr
On how he evaluates his training camp so far:"I think camp is going pretty well for me; I just wanted to carry momentum from OTAs and minicamp. I got with coach 'Wink' [Don Martindale, inside linebackers coach], got with coach [Dean] Pees [defensive coordinator] and just figured out what I needed to work on to just come out here each and every day and improve on that. And for the first couple weeks of camp, I think it's going well, and we're just trying to strive to get better."
On being an undrafted linebacker on a team with a long line of undrafted defensive players making a name for themselves as a Raven, and if that's something from which he draws inspiration:"Yes, it's no secret. From Day One when you came in here, they tell you the history of the Ravens and the history of undrafted linebackers that started on special teams, earned a role on defense and made a name for themselves. So, I definitely have my eye on that, and I've got a great example: Albert McClellan. He's doing that. He's been around for a long time, started out on special teams, started some games, made big plays in the Super Bowl run and is a consistent player for the Ravens. So, I'm definitely aware of the history, and it's something I definitely look at."
On what he needs to do to take that next step to become a defensive player:"Just come out here and get better each and every day. I've got great leadership in the room, and we all push each other, starting with Daryl Smith, then you've got C.J. [Mosley], A.B. [Arthur Brown], Bert [Albert McClellan] and even the undrafted rookie, Andrew Bose. We push each other each every day trying to get better. We have a point system that we [use to] track production, and we're just always motivating each other, trying to help each other out. So, just coming out each and every day, trying to get better than the next day and stack days and go from there." (Reporter: "And you guys have a chance to do that both with the practices against the Eagles and the game on the road this weekend?") "Oh yes, most definitely. We're always trying to get better, whether it's practice, a game or whatever. We're trying to always improve each and every day. It's a saying, 'If you're not getting better, you're getting worse.' You never stay the same, so we're always trying to get better."
On how much DT Brandon Williams helps the linebackers by occupying blockers and creating space:"Brandon Williams is a beast. You've got to see him. He's the strongest guy on the team, probably the biggest guy on the team, and he creates that push. As a linebacker, that's what you love when your D-linemen stays square and gets a push in the backfield, [which] let's you run free and get the ball carrier. So, not only Brandon Williams, but [it's] all the D-linemen. They're coached really well. You guys just talked to C.B. [Clarence Brooks, defensive line coach]. He coaches those guys really well, which allows the linebackers to play really well here."
On how it will be for the team going against the Eagles in practice:"It's going to be fun going up there. We just want to go up there and get better. We've been going against each other for the last two [or] three weeks, going at it. So, whenever you can go against another opponent and see how you stack up, it'll be great. We're just going up there just trying to get better and improve as a football team."
On how it is determined which player wears the "green dot" on their helmet:"It just switches up. Coach likes all of us to wear it. One time, Bert [Albert McClellan] will have it, one time I'll have it, [and] it just rotates here and there. So, it's no specific reason on who has it or whatever. Coach just wants all of us getting used to hearing the call, making the call, because he wants us all to be interchangeable playing the 'Mike' and 'Will' position."
On ILB C.J. Mosley working to improve his coverage, and how much the ILB group wants to help to defensive secondary:"That's something we always want to work on. A lot of times in pass coverage, you see it's the secondary that gets a lot of the blame, but there is a lot that goes into it. And we work on pass drops each and every day. If you see us in individual drills, coach 'Wink' [Don Martindale] always has us dropping. Because as linebackers, we can make a big difference in pass coverage by getting deep in our drops [and] not letting things get behind us, like the intermediate routes, like the digs, and all that stuff. We're always working on pass coverage, and we can help the secondary out a lot with our coverage, as well."
On which undrafted players he thinks have a chance to make the 53-man roster:"A lot of guys. The Ravens do a great job of bringing players here, so it's very competitive. I still feel like I'm fighting for a roster spot, just like those guys. The whole group is talented, just like it was last year. It's going to be tough, and anybody that makes it, I will not be surprised at all.
On why he is able to learn quickly:"I've had great coaches in my life, starting from high school, all the way through college and everything. And in college, I played … My first three years of college, I played in three different defenses, so I had to learn a new defense every spring. I feel like that kind of helped me out. Then coming here, it was an easy transition, because coach [Dean] Pees and coach 'Wink' [Don Martindale] are great teachers. They made it pretty simple, so I was able to pick up on it."