Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"OK, good seeing everybody out here. We did have a special treat here today with coach [Brian] Billick. [The media] saw him; he was here working for the NFL Network and coming back to a place he loves. Like I told the guys, here's a coach that coached a lot of bad-ass Raven football teams around here. It was pretty fun to listen to him coach, and I think it meant something to him – it meant something to all of us. [He] did a great job, and we're proud to have him back."
Can you share what the message was? (Garrett Downing) "No, he'll tell you. I have some other things on my mind right now to be honest with you, but it is videotaped, so we'll go back and watch it."
What would you tell the kids who want to play for you later in the future? (Tres Starkoski, Sports Illustrated Kid's reporter) "The kids who want to play in the NFL?" *(Reporter: "For you later in the future.") *"Play for the Ravens? I would say get good grades, first of all. You have to be a good student to be a good football player. They don't let you – at least most places – they don't let you skate by, that I'm aware of. I know they don't at Michigan. You have to get great grades at Michigan. You have to be a student-athlete, play hard, do your best, take care of one another, be a good teammate and make those around you great."
Coach, in regard to the statement that came out, I know you denied hearing anything or saying anything to the Colts, but what are we to make of the testimony, the federal testimony? It seems like somebody is lying somewhere. (Jerry Coleman) "Not really. You saw the statement we put out today, already, and any conversation that was had with the Colts had nothing to do with deflated footballs, which is what we've been saying from the beginning, from the very start of the thing. Questions are about deflated footballs; questions are answered about deflated footballs. This email – which the first I heard of it was when the report came out last night – says what? What does it say?" (Reporter: "The email was just about special teams and stuff of that nature, but there was a phone call made by [special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry] Rosburg to coach [Chuck] Pagano.") "Right. The phone call … There was no phone call made from coach Rosburg to coach Pagano, which Jerry already put out in the statement, so you've seen that before. They talked about something. They talked about a substitution situation on special teams that happened in the game. Chuck didn't see it on tape, and he wanted to know what happened, and the Patriots got penalized for it, and that was their conversation. The text, as far as [kicking consultant] Randy's [Brown] text, those guys talk about that stuff all the time – the kicking balls, the field conditions, the wind, the weather. That's what those guys talk about, so I'm not surprised they talked about that either."
Were you surprised to hear about the uproar over the whole thing? And have you read any of the testimony? I know you've been consumed with practice. (Jerry Coleman) "I don't know what testimony you're talking about. I haven't read any testimony or anything like that. I know about this email that came out. I know that we've answered the questions from the beginning to the end very simply. Our 'yes' is yes, our 'no' is no. We've answered questions directly and honestly and straightforwardly from the start, and that's what we're going to do. The rest of it, I couldn't care less about, really. I haven't cared at all about deflated footballs, or whether they did something wrong or anything else. We're on to 2015. We stand on every word said."
John, was there an email between Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg? (Mike Preston) "No. No. Nothing. I'm speaking as myself. I don't check emails, but I've asked Jerry, and I've asked Chuck. I called Chuck last night and asked him: Did he and Jerry talk about anything to do with anything about footballs? He said, 'Absolutely not.' Matter of fact, he said, 'Totally false.' [That] was his quote."
Did you ask Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano about it months ago when it happened? (Cliff Brown) "Yes, that's what I said. I talked to Chuck right away when it happened. He told me that he had not talked to Jerry about it; I asked about Jerry. He said there was no talk about any deflated footballs whatsoever. If there was talk about the kicking balls or the 'K' balls – which I didn't know there was, but it looks like there was – that's about the 'K' balls. Whatever they did with the 'K' balls was addressed in the Wells Report. That's it. I'm open to answer any questions you have about it. We're not running from any of it. I'm not going to stand up here and say that we're not talking about it. We've been honest from the beginning, so whatever you have, I'm happy to answer about it. There has to be some more. I'm asking for more questions!" (laughter)
It seems like someone is lying. It seems like someone is not telling the truth, because there's discrepancy. (Jerry Coleman) "You have to name the discrepancy here; we can talk about it, because it doesn't seem that way. That's just a really vague, out-there question. It seems like somebody is trying to distract from the real issue here, which is deflated footballs, I guess, and take the attention off of somebody else. But I don't know who's doing what, and I really couldn't care less about the whole thing. But if you look at what's even said in the email, the email is very clear cut. The guy got it wrong. Jerry Rosburg did not talk to Chuck Pagano about deflated footballs, if that's what the email says – I'm not sure [of] the wording on it. Jerry Rosburg came out and said it. I promise you I believe what Jerry Rosburg said, and I believe what Chuck Pagano said."
John, after the game against the Patriots – the Divisional Round game – were there any conversations between you, coaches and players at all about deflated footballs? (Jamison Hensley) "I didn't know anything about it. The first time I heard about it was when the report was made about the deflated footballs. The kicking balls were a whole other issue. The kicking balls – the kickers were telling me during the game – were terrible, alright? We found out they didn't get our kicking ball in the game for some reason. There's a whole story about that. Go back and read the Wells Report; you'll learn all about the kicking balls. That's a whole different, separate issue. I think I said that the kicking balls were hard or cold or whatever they were, and our kickers had talked about it. That's where that was at."
Pushing away from deflated footballs a little bit, QB Matt Schaub was not exactly looking fantastic in the practices that we've seen. Do you think he's able to get over that by the time preseason really kicks in? (Matt Stevens) "I'm going to defense Matt [Schaub] a little bit, because Matt had some unbelievable throws out here today. A lot of you [the media] weren't out here today watching practice, though, I noticed. Where were you?" (Reporter: "Reading a statement.") "OK, that's what you were doing. Reading testimony or something like that. (laughter) We were practicing. Matt had a good day today, but there are going to be interceptions. He had an interception today. Joe [Flacco] and he both had an interception. One time the receiver didn't come back to the ball. One time Joe threw a little bit behind another receiver. That's going to happen in practice. I'm pretty fired up about our defense making a few plays, too, but I feel great about Matt Schaub as a backup quarterback. Matt Schaub is … Tyrod Taylor was just the kind of backup quarterback we wanted. Why? Because he's a good player, [but a] totally different quarterback than Matt. Matt is a heck of a backup quarterback, because he's a good player, and we feel comfortable that Matt can win for us."
John, going back to deflated footballs, is it frustrating at this point [that] two statements had to be put out regarding what would have been ancillary. Is it disappointing? Is it becoming a distraction? (Pete Gilbert) "You get a little worked up about it at first. The headlines are the things that drive you crazy. You read the headline and read the article, and it's two different stories altogether. Everybody gets heated up about that. And I think sometimes the people that write the next article just read the headline and don't read the story. But we know what we did. We know the story. We know what we didn't do. We know what we didn't know and didn't say. We don't care. We never cared. It didn't make any difference in our game. We don't care going … I don't care what happens. I don't care if [Tom Brady] plays, who plays, doesn't play, whatever, unless it's in our game. That's the only game we're thinking about. What we do is we focus on practice, man. We're excited to be out here. We have our guys flying around. We're into football. I wore the 'Four Fights' t-shirt. What's the first one? What's the first fight on the back of this t-shirt? Anybody remember? Us vs. Them. That's what it has to be. If it's going to be the world we live in, it's going to be them out there, then we'll battle that. We love a good fight. Someone wants to pick a fight with us, pick it. Bring it on. Our 'yes' is yes. Our 'no' is no. When we screw up, we say we messed up. We take responsibility for it. That's how we do it around here. It starts at the top with Steve Bisciotti. I love being a Raven, love what we stand for, and I'll stand on that with these guys all day long."
John, you talked a lot about the plays of the defense, and I think that has to be one of the emphasis – trying to get more turnovers. Is that what you're trying to emphasize this year in the back end? (Jamison Hensley) "Oh, yes, and we do. It's tough a little bit, because we don't want collisions out here, we don't want guys tangled up, and sometimes that happens when you get an interception – you have to go take a shot. The DBs [defensive backs] get frustrated. I'm on the DBs now. I'm going to tell them, 'I want to see some plays made, but I don't want you guys getting tangled up.' You expect both of those things from guys, which is a challenge, but they do a good job with it. We'll be playing somebody else soon enough, so that'll be good."
How much can [interceptions] carry over into September, October? (Jamison Hensley) "Everything carries over. What you do in training camp now carries over to December and January. You try to build your team for the whole season, for the long haul. That's why we practice the way we do. Yes, sure, it carries over."
Can you talk about the progress that OLB Elvis Dumervil has made and how he looks out there? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Elvis [Dumervil] was – like we said – was a minor tendinitis thing, and he's out here today full speed. He's good to go. [Breshad] Perriman is going to be a couple days, I think. It's just how he gets the range of movement going in there with the bruise and everything like that. I want him out here right now; he wants to be out here, but they're holding him back. It's probably smart. [The training staff is] smarter than Breshad and I are about it; I know that. Who else do you guys want to know about?" (Reporter: "Tray Walker.") "Tray Walker is close. [Rashaan] Melvin was out here, so the hamstrings are close. [Chris] Greenwood is close. I'm hoping by the end of the week with all those guys with the hamstrings." (Reporter: "Ryan Jensen.") "Jensen walked off with a foot. His foot got a little sore. We're going to get it looked at. I don't anticipate it being an issue, but we'll find out." *(Reporter: "Marlon [Brown].") *"Oh, yes. Thanks. Marlon … We [had an] MRI [on] Marlon's back. We were a little bit worried about it. There's nothing in there as far as any kind of a disc or anything like that, which is what we were looking for. There's a nerve, root issue of some kind. He's going to have to … I don't know how long it's going to take. I hope not very long, so we'll have more on that later."
**Do you know if that's something WR Marlon Brown did during practice? *(Cliff Brown) *"Yes, he twisted. He was twisting to get a ball, and [his back] has been kind of locked up ever since. [He] tried to come out a day or two later. I think he was bumped or bumped into and set it off again."
What have you seen out of S Kendrick Lewis and how he has been fitting in so far? (Brett Hyman) "Kendrick Lewis [is] just an interesting guy. You don't hear him talk too much. You see him, and the thing that strikes me is I see him on tape, and he knows what he's doing, and he has been in this defense for just a couple of months now. He and Will [Hill III] are really taking charge in the back end. I love our communication back there. We're a lot better than we were last year with that, and we just have to keep building on it."
S Kendrick Lewis
On if facing adversity from Hurricane Katrina helped grow him as a player and a man:"I think it helped a lot. It helped me mature as a man. As a young man – I was in high school, my senior year in high school – I was faced with adversity, and it kind of built some strength in me as a man and matured me and got me ready for college. I had to move on to a new city in Gainesville, [Ga.], and I felt like that alone, it introduced me into a whole different aspect of life and thing like that."
On if the adversity he faces on the football field seems significant to what he's been through in the past:"It wouldn't say it's that significant, because [there were] situations where I couldn't even be in contact with my family members; I didn't know where they were. So I wouldn't put it to, as to comparing it to a football [game]. But at the same time, it was my senior year. I hadn't committed to college and everything, and I just felt like football was done, on top of me dealing with [not being able to] communicate and contact my family. That was going through my head."
On how much creating interceptions in practice carries over to games:"I'm a firm believer in: 'You practice the way you play,' and if [we're] out here communicating, if [we're] out here flying around, making plays [and] building our chemistry on the practice field, I feel it makes gameday much easier."
On if he will be able to "ball hawk" in the defensive secondary:"Absolutely. I give full credit to our front seven; those guys are phenomenal. I just love watching and practicing with those guys. [We're] building a chemistry with those guys, because they make our job on the backend much easier."
On how much he challenges his teammates to also be "ball hawks" and get their hands on the football:"Those are the things we talk about when we're watching film – whether we see something, [we're] communicating, 'Hey, listen, I'm jumping this one. Protect me here.' That's the type of chemistry we're building in the secondary when we're in meetings going over the [film], preparing and transferring it to the practice field."
On what he says to teammates when they drop interceptions in practice:"'You're dropping that money. You're leaving that money on the field.' We feel like there's money in [those] balls. Those are money balls; that's what we call them. So you drop one, you owe us 10 pushups, and that's money you left out there on the grass."
On his take-charge mentality and how that usually applies to quarterbacks:"Absolutely. I look at it as this: My whole career and my whole upbringing around football prepared me for how I play the game and how I communicate on the field. I played quarterback, I played receiver and I played DB. I learned from those positions, and my knowledge of playing safety, I use it. How did I attack defenses when I played quarterback? Or how did I attack cornerbacks when I played receiver? I use that, and I brought it with me as I approach my game as a defensive back, as a safety, and I use that knowledge of how guys attack me now. And that's how I play my game."
On how deep he thinks the defensive secondary is:"We're very deep. Barring injuries, we're very deep. [If] we continue to build chemistry, the sky is the limit for us."
On his developing chemistry with CB Kyle Arrington:"Absolutely. It's a work in progress. It's constantly growing. That's why we're in training camp right now getting better. Me and Kyle are new pieces to the puzzle, but we're connecting all [the] dots. We're working, constant work, constant communication [and] feeling out each other, seeing how this one plays, seeing how this group plays. And that's how we build that chemistry."
On Baltimore having a defensive pedigree and what's different about the Ravens compared to other teams:"What you said, the defense. It's defense. It's defensive first [and] foremost. And that was my decision making … My decision made it much easier, because I'm a defensive guy, and I know when you speak about the Baltimore Ravens, when you speak about their organization, you look at their team, it's defense first. You look at the tenacity that the defense brings, and I wanted to be a part of that."
On what's different about a Ravens' training camp practice compared to the other teams he has been on:"It's harder, it's physical [and] it's longer. But I would say down south, when I was in Houston, it was much hotter. But it was a great day to come out here and play today."
On his goals for training camp:"My goal is just to get better every day, get better at something. Before I walk out on the field, I tell myself, 'Am I working on my coverages?' If I'm working on running to the ball, if I'm working on my leverage, I try to pride myself on picking one thing out that I can get better at every day."
T Eugene Monroe
On how he feels the offensive line is coming together with all five starters returning:"We're working. It's early. We're just working. We know what we accomplished last year, and we always feel that we can do more. And we will; we're working towards that every day."
On his level of motivation entering this season having dealt with injuries last year:"It's a new year; it's another opportunity to win games and work towards a championship. That's really the only motivation. That's all you need."
On if the running game seems different compared to last season under new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman:"We're running a lot of the same stuff, but really – in most offenses – you end up having the same responsibilities when you play O-line. So, we're just working to mesh together again. It's early, so you knock some rust off, and then you start to sharpen your blades."
On the way RBs Javorius "Buck" Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro are running:[They're] running hard, running fast, looking quick. Lorenzo [Taliaferro] looks like he leaned up a bit, and he's moving pretty good. It's fun to watch those guys."
On waiting a long time to be on a playoff-contending team, his injury last year and if he is driven by not being able to compete during part of last season:"I sort of took time once the season was over to just reflect on all of that, but then it's over. It was time to move forward, and it was time to get healthy. And now we're here in a new year, so that's all in the past. It's all about grinding to try to win this championship this year."
On G Kelechi Osemele's goal of making a Pro Bowl and if his teammate is motivated by that:"You watch film, and there's no reason why the guy shouldn't have been in the Pro Bowl last year. But he's got to make it there, and that's a goal of his, so he's working toward that every day."
On if playing from the shotgun formation changes his approach to lining up on the end of the offensive line:"Before I got here, I was in a two-point [stance] in the gun almost all the time down in Jacksonville. So for me, it's comfortable to be in that situation. But as a lineman, you just do whatever. [When] the play is called, you just do your job, so it doesn't really matter."
On the key to QB Joe Flacco's continued success with frequent turnover at offensive coordinator:"Joe [Flacco] is a talented guy. I don't think it really matters who the OC is for that guy. He's sharp; he can grasp whatever concepts are put in front of him. He's going to do a great job at it."