HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening statement:"Very good to see you guys. I appreciate everybody being here. [It was] a lot of fun, a lot of fun. The fans had fun; players had fun; coaches had fun. Did the media have fun?"(Reporter: "Sure. We were in the air conditioning, so we had a lot of fun." – laughter)"Oh, nice. We take care of you; you take care of us, right?" (laughter)So, what questions do you have?"
WR Zay Flowers was in street clothes again today. Do you have an update on Zay? (Brian Wacker)"Yes, Zay [Flowers] has an illness. He had a stomach issue of some kind, so that kept him out the last couple days. He should be back Monday."
What did you think of the environment. For some guys, it was their first time out here with the fans. What did you think of the guys and how they reacted? (Cordell Woodland)"A lot of the rookies kind of commented on how great the stadium is – the fans, the excitement. [The fans were] cheering for every player that came out, and they [the players] just felt it; they felt the vibe. It's good to get them out here to get an understanding of what the stadium is like – just a little bit."
It's been four straight days with a lot of heat. How much do you look at that and how players work through that? How do you think they held up fundamentally through the heat? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Right, you do look at it hard – in the heat – how they hold up fundamentally and assignment-wise. It's an opportunity. Fatigue, we call it. So, when you get fatigued, take the opportunity to create the ability to produce in that fatigue and get your performance at the highest level when you're the most tired, plus there are elements of conditioning that really are a benefit to us. So, I thought the guys did a really good job of it, and [we'll] see what it looks like next week."
Did you think this was WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s best day in full-team drills and seven on seven? Are you seeing him find a comfort zone so far in training camp? (Kyle Goon)"I think Odell [Beckham Jr.] has got a really good plan, and he did … He had a nice day today. He looks a little better every day. He looked great out there. I expect nothing but classic Odell Beckham Jr. He's a hard worker. He's very conscientious about what he does, so I have no concerns about that at all. He looked good today."
What do you think of the defensive line? They were pretty disruptive today. I know they're not in pads, but they were able to get after the quarterback. (Kyle Barber)"They were. Defensive line is going to be mad, because all the cheers after the plays that get made when they might have thought they had a sack, but that's just how practice goes. So, I'll be hearing about that tonight."(laughter)
Do you look for anything extra from the guys at the stadium practice that maybe is a little different from when you guys are over at the facility? (Cordell Woodland)"Right. Well, you know, there is an element of being out here on the real grass – the game grass. But I think it's an opportunity to kind of put yourself in the mindset of playing a game in this stadium, and that's a really good thing."
TE Isaiah Likely has had a couple of really good days and is kind of stacking days up. What do you expect from him in Year Two? What are you looking for from him? (Cliff Brown)"[I have] high expectations for Isaiah Likely – nothing but the highest. He's a talented guy [who] works super hard. [He] had his best day today, like you said, and I think he … He just works to get better every day, so it should be a big year for him."
How did you feel about QB Tyler Huntley's day passing the ball? It seemed like he was producing a lot of big plays. (Nikhil Mehta)"He [Tyler Huntley] did [produce a lot of big plays]. He looked really good. I mean, all the quarterbacks looked really good, but Tyler Huntley had another really big day. He continues to … I think he's been locked in every single day."
Besides WR Zay Flowers, are you expecting anyone else back on Monday, or is it too early to tell? (Jonas Shaffer)"There's a chance for 'Pepe' [Damarion Williams] to be back. He looks pretty good with that. That's probably the first guy that should come back."
QB LAMAR JACKSON
On the energy at today's practice: "Yes, I love the energy, I love the atmosphere. I love being out here with my teammates. I was just talking to the NFL Network, and they were saying I haven't been out here since December 4th . I'm like, 'That's a long time.' It was very cold; today was very hot. But I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot."
On his assessment of where the team is right now:"I feel like we've been installing every day, except for today – actually, we did install today. But I feel like we're moving along in the right direction. I'm processing everything fast, and our guys … I feel like our guys are ready. They're going to have something to prove."
On his connection with WR Odell Beckham Jr.:"It feels awesome. He makes my job a lot easier. 'OBJ' – he's the guy."
On the touchdown pass he had to WR Odell Beckham Jr. during practice today:"It was a play action play; fake to the running back, roll out, and he was just [all the way] across the field, and I just gave him a touch pass. I saw Kyle Hamilton underneath, and I just threw the ball over him, and Odell [Beckham Jr.] did the rest."
On his "street ball" connection with TE Mark Andrews:"Mark [Andrews] and I have had that connection, like we always do, ever since our rookie season. Going back to the [Los Angeles] Chargers game [in 2018], it's always been the same thing – that's my boy. We're going to make things happen on the field that people have never seen."
On what it's like for him to see the fans going just as crazy for WR Odell Beckham Jr. as they do for himself:"I love it. I'm happy to see him [Odell Beckham Jr.] out there; I just don't scream. (laughter)I'm screaming on the inside. In my mind, I'm like, 'That's that guy, man.' We've got one of the best receivers in the game and a future Hall of Famer, and I'm just glad he's here."
ILB ROQUAN SMITH
On how good he feels this defense can be this season:"I think the sky is the limit for us. I feel like each and every game we go out – and it starts here in practice – each and every game we go out, we give everything we have and don't let complacency creep in, and we just keep our standard at a very high level. I feel like if we do that, everything will move smoother. There's always going to be bumps in the road, but that's just adversity, and that's likely to happen. But it's going to be about how we respond, and I like the way we've responded so far. It's just about how we as the team do it, day in and day out throughout the season."
On how the intensity goes up when you step in the stadium for practice: "It's a little different feeling for sure. Like when I got off the bus, I come in with my headphones on and I'm like 'Oh, man'. I had to remind myself we're just practicing for a second. I come through the locker room and whatnot, but it's definitely sweet in there. It's always good seeing the fans out in the stadium. I love seeing those guys here. Those guys are always coming with a lot of passion, so I have a lot of respect for that. We're still excited to be here, still excited to put on opening day for them as well."
On how the hot weather has affected practice: "It definitely affects you, but it's nothing until the end of the day. It's definitely draining for sure, but it's just preparing us for the season. We're building up cardio, getting our legs right with the lactic acid as well. So, I'm excited. The heat is a good thing and as long as we're staying hydrated, taking care of ourselves, it'll pay dividends for us in the long haul."
On how big working on his communication this offseason was: "It's huge. [It's good to be] on the same page even if we're wrong. If we're all wrong - all eleven [of us] wrong, doing the same thing, then likelihood we'll still be alright if you ask me. So, it's critical in this defense as long as you communicate, that solves a lot of problems and knowing where someone else is each and every given play, [it] gives you a lot of confidence as well. Communication breeds confidence in my opinion."
On what he's seen from the defense thus far that gives him momentum: "I feel like since we've been out here, since we've got to camp, since OTA's honestly … [It's] just how everyone has been so eager to just be together, bust our tails day in and day out and come out and just find ways to get better. It's no player looking at it like, 'Oh, I'm too good for this. I'm too good for that.' We're all in here each and every day busting our tails trying to get better, trying to find little things to improve on. I feel like [if] we continue at that rate, the sky's limit for us. I don't feel like we have – I've said it before and I'll say it again – I don't feel like we have any weaknesses on defense. We just can't get complacent. [We have] to do our jobs to the best of our ability and then I think the sky's the limit."