TUESDAY (8/14) TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good seeing everybody. I appreciate everybody being here. This kind of closes out, sort of, the camp portion of what we're doing. We still have three more games and plenty of training camp practices to go, but as far as the training camp part of it with the fans and the media – where the fans are here every day and the media has the open practices – this is the close, like most teams on the second preseason game. The players have the day off tomorrow. We'll practice Thursday, and then we'll be off to Indianapolis. We'll be practicing against the Colts on Friday and Saturday, on our own Sunday, then play in the game on Monday night. That's where we're at. I'm happy with the guys, and we're ready to head to the next phase of this thing."
You just touched on it. Does it feel like any kind of marker when you hit the official end of training camp? Is it something you look forward to or the players look forward to? _(Childs Walker) _"I think the players do, because it changes their status in the hotel. Some of the guys get to go home. A few of the guys are out already, the older guys, but everybody gets to go home, if they have a place. So, they appreciate that. It's real for the guys that are in the hotel, yes."
Would you consider the fact that you have such a large break in between the last game and this one, and then just five days in between the second and third, to maybe view this upcoming game as more of your dress rehearsal game than what is traditionally that game against Miami? (Pete Gilbert)"We've gotten out of all those labels. We don't even look at it that way anymore, so we don't even have the dress rehearsal game anymore. To me, it's all based on series, based on snaps. They're all dress rehearsals, if you want to call them that. They're all practice games. They're all for us to get better at everything we do. We don't do it that way anymore, so it's kind of a moot point." (Reporter: "Just thought it could help.") "No, it's a good question, but we've just changed the dynamic a little bit."
Relative to the close of this camp portion and the number of fans that are here – and this is probably the first time since Westminster where you had this many fans regularly – is there a significance to that point and your preparation, to have people here? (Mark Viviano)"It's nice to have fans here, because it's fun. That's the bottom line: It's fun. The players enjoy it. We have tons of kids out here. [It's] another day with a bunch of youth football teams. They have the sound. They make all the sound. They cheer. They get with the music. To me, that's the significance of it. It's fun, and football is supposed to be fun, so we enjoy that."
We haven't had the chance to ask you about the PUP guys in a while. How are CB Jaylen Hill and ILB Bam Bradley progressing, and is the expectation at this point those three guys probably would go into the regular season on the list? (Luke Jones)"Yes, I would say that's true, for those guys. Who was the third guy you said?" (Reporter: "The third guy was Quincy Adeboyejo.") "Right, the expectation is for all those guys to go into the season on PUP. That's where they're at. As far as their relative progress, I really don't know. I don't get daily updates on those guys. We'll see how it goes once the long-term portion of the injury is over."
We asked you with the Rams as well, will the structure of the Colts practices be the same? And again, what's the benefit of going out there and doing this? _(Bo Smolka) _"The structure will be basically the same as the Rams practices, [with] a few tweaks here and there. Most practices are basically the same structure. The benefit is going against another team. It ramps up the intensity just a little bit. We'll see some routes we haven't seen. We'll see some blocking schemes we haven't seen, protections we haven't seen, players we haven't seen [and] techniques we haven't seen. All that stuff is huge in the process, in terms of developing yourself. I think our team is in a good place, because we've had such a long camp. The opportunity to get that, and still get all of our other work done, has been good."
RB Kenneth Dixon hasn't been on the field in a game in so long. If he gets on the field against the Colts, would that be sort of a marker, an exciting thing, just to see him in that situation? (Childs Walker) _"If your question is, 'Will it be exciting just to see Kenneth Dixon run on the field?' no, that won't be exciting." _(Reporter: "No, but to see him get a chance to do something.")"To see him go out there and do well will be very exciting. But, [I'm] happy for him – I guess to your point, which is a good point – that he gets a chance. I really want to see him out there in a game. He looked good in practice the past few days, [he] looks like he's healthy. To see him in a game will be exciting. I'll be holding my breath and looking forward to seeing him make one of his signature moves and make somebody miss and all that. If he can do that, that would be good for our team."
I know some teams like to keep a pitch count, sort of, of quarterbacks in training camp. Do you guys do that with QB Joe Flacco, and how do you manage him now compared to when he was younger? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"Preseason, it's the same in games. We've changed the reps per game. I was going to get him a few more reps last week, but I didn't feel the need to at the game. In the heat of battle, I decided to take him out after the first series, because it was a long drive. We'll see in this game. [It] could be a few more, might not be. I say we have … For our starting quarterback, or for your veteran players, you have an 'up to' number of plays. So, it might be 15, it might be 20, might be 25. Whatever it is, it's an 'up to' number of plays. And if you feel good about it before that, you pull him out."
QB Joe Flacco
On how encouraging the Rams game was: "I think we've kind of moved on at this point. It's a preseason game, really the first one. I guess we've been fortunate to have a few weeks to get ready. We've had an extra week. It was one drive. You can't make too much out of it, but obviously, it was what we wanted to do."
On if the preseason slate is strange with the long break and then a quick turnaround: "It's definitely strange. I think the last few years we've been stacked just every week on Thursdays. It just it what it is. We're in the training camp flow right now. Obviously, when you start to play these games, it breaks things up a little bit. It's always nice to get back to football. So, the long stretches – they're less than ideal, but I think John [Harbaugh, head coach] is really smart about how he sets up our schedule and it'll all work out well."
On how he handles the excitement surrounding the offense: "I don't know if you really do anything with it besides come back the next day and try to do the same thing. I think it builds confidence as a team and as an offense. I definitely think you can come out here and see that we have been doing a good job. I think besides building confidence and creating that team atmosphere and really starting to bond together like you do in training camp … Those are all really important things that should carry over to game time, and I think besides that I don't think you can read into that too much and sit there … We don't have a ton of time to sit there and think about all those things. We're here, we're practicing, we go get our bodies worked on, we have a walk-through and we repeat the whole schedule again the next day. Then you just stack days on days on days and we try to stack good days. I think if we can continue to do that, and really not think too much besides getting better each day, then I think yes, we'll be where we are right now a week from now, two weeks from now, three weeks from now. You kind of look up after that time and realize, 'Man, we've gotten better.' So, I just think we have to keep that same mindset and things will work out."
On if he had ever thrown a ball as far as his 60-plus yarder to WR Chris Moore in yesterday's practice: "I don't know. We looked at it. I think it was like right around 55 yards, or something like that, from red line to red line. I don't know if you usually have to throw a ball that far in game-time situations. Yeah – when you're out here trying to see how far you can throw the ball, then yes, you're throwing the ball that far. It's not very typical to have to throw the ball, really, more than 50 yards in a game." (Reporter: "If he was maxed out, what do you think your distance is?")"I don't know. It kind of sounds like bragging. (laughter) I'm either lying or bragging, so I don't know how I want to answer that."
On how much changes with training camp "ending":"I don't know how much our schedule is going to change with camp quote, 'ending.' I think the quote is a good thing there. (laughter)Camp is a lot different than it was my first three years in the league, and then after that it probably took a couple years to get used to how the schedule really is these days and what the Collective Bargaining Agreement sets up for. I think guys these days do such a good job of in the offseason when we're on our own and also when we're here, that training camp is just not quite what most people my age and up think of training camp being. We're in here and we're getting a lot of work done and we do grind, but it's really all revolved around getting better as a football team – not necessarily wearing us out and getting us in shape and doing all those things. I don't know how much the schedule is going to change the next few weeks. I know we have to go to Indy here in a couple days, and that'll be interesting. We, just as players, become whatever your schedule is and you just go along with it and react to it as you're in the moment. It can change at any second. I think we're doing a good job handling it and all that stuff right now, adapting on the fly and … Like I said, I think at this point you start to gear up for the season and get ready for the games that really count. But at the same time, we're still trying to go out there and there's a lot of guys who are trying to make this football team – and that's the thing you can't discredit this time of the year. We have a bunch of guys on this team that are out here fighting for their life, for a job in the NFL, and that's a big deal. It's an exciting time to be on the football team."
On if this is the best he felt prior to the 2015 knee injury: "It's tough to talk about. I just feel like as a competitor, it's tough to talk about how healthy I am and how healthy I've been. Obviously, when you get your knee torn and get surgery in December and you're back pretty quickly and all those things, it's less than ideal. But once again, as an athlete, you just make the most of your situation, you deal with whatever your situation is in the moment and you don't really think too much beyond that. It's kind of tough to talk about and reflect on where I was and where I am today."
On WR/RS Chris Moore's development this offseason: "I think Chris is a really talented kid – I really do. I think he's gotten nothing but better and better. I think specials teams have allowed him to do that his first few years. He's really carved out a role doing those things. I think he's really good at it. I think that's allowed him to gain confidence on the field in other ways the last couple years. I think the new guys that have come in have helped him a little bit. But I think he has a lot of ability – he really does. He's big, he can run, he can catch, he has good ball skills, he likes to work. It's good to see a guy that's been around a couple years like he is and be able to hold on to that confidence and get better and better. Sometimes you see guys that haven't played a ton in their designed role on the offense [and] the confidence can fade away a little bit, just because you haven't played football in so long. I think he's done a great job of handling that, managing it and playing his role to this point, and it's going to do nothing but get bigger and bigger."
On if any of the new receivers surprised him this training camp: "You know what, it's funny. Our quarterback coach, James Urban, a couple weeks ago, I remember him saying, 'Did you know Nick Boyle is 280 pounds?' Or whatever he was, because he's out there making diving catches on corner routes and things like that. I think him and Maxx [Williams] both … You talk about these new tight ends a lot and what they're going to do for our passing game, but I think you can't discredit the two of those guys and what they're capable of doing in both the run and pass game. Obviously, [it is] a little bit more in the run game, but really, how capable they are of doing everything in our offense."
On RB Alex Collins' transition to a pass-catching running back and how long it took to build trust: "I think he's getting better and better still. He's got a ton of speed, so he can definitely create a ton of mismatches for us. I was just talking to him the other day about it on little checkdowns – just finding my eyes and things like that. As far as him really becoming a big-time receiver, I think those things will be it. He's obviously going to be able to run by some guys out of the backfield when he might be the primary or the second-type guy. You're going to be able to throw some screens to him and things like that. I think if he can pick up a handful of receptions on just little, easy checkdowns that we may have missed last year – just because we weren't on the same page – I think he'll turn his game to another level. He's obviously very tough to tackle when he catches the ball, so anytime you can get the ball in his hands, it's a plus for us."
OLB Matthew Judon
On how he feels at this point in training camp: "Good, man! We're out here and we're working. We're grinding. That's what we all came here to do when we checked in the first day. All 90 or so of us guys, plus the coaching staff, we all had the understanding of what we came here to do. We came here to grind, we came here … Every day we came in the building, it was to get better. I think that's what we have been doing. You've seen from the Hall of Fame Game to the first preseason game the steps and strides that we've made with the young guys and the vets that play and didn't play."
On what he expects from the joint practices with Indianapolis: "Just going up different competition. It's nice to go against other guys than [Nick] Boyle, Maxx [Williams] and some of our tight ends. It's nice to get to see how other guys around the league block and how it is to fit runs and stuff like that."
On if the meaning behind his t-shirt is in regard to prison reform: "No. We have some stuff going on within the Ravens organization and trying to reach out and help the community. But other than that, no, not really."
On his goals this season: "My goal this season is [to be the] most help I can be for the Baltimore Ravens, every time I go out there looking to cause havoc and make plays. I can sit here and say I want the most sacks or I want this and that. Maybe I'm getting blocked differently after four games or maybe something else will happen after a couple games. I just want to go out there and be dominant every time I take the field."
On how he feels at this point in training camp: "Good, man! We're out here and we're working. We're grinding. That's what we all came here to do when we checked in the first day. All 90 or so of us guys, plus the coaching staff, we all had the understanding of what we came here to do. We came here to grind, we came here… Every day we came in the building it was to get better. I think that's what we have been doing. You've seen from the Hall of Fame game to the first preseason game the steps and strides that we've made with the young guys and the vets that play and didn't play."
On what he expects from the joint practices with Indianapolis:"Just going up against different competition. It's nice to go against other guys than [Nick] Boyle, Maxx [Williams] and some of our tight ends. It's nice to get to see how other guys around the league block and how it is to fit runs and stuff like that."
On if the meaning behind his t-shirt is in regard to prison reform:"No. We have some stuff going on within the Ravens organization and trying to reach out and help the community. But other than that, no, not really."
On his goals this season:"My goal this season is [to be the] most help I can be for the Baltimore Ravens. Every time I go out there, [I'm] looking to cause havoc and make plays. I can sit here and say I want the most sacks, or I want this and that. Maybe I'm getting blocked differently after four games, or maybe something else will happen after a couple games. I just want to go out there and be dominant every time I take the field."
On if he's spoken to OLB Terrell Suggs about who will lead the team in sacks: "We'll know when it happens. It's not like I don't see when he gets a sack, and he doesn't see when I get a sack, so we know when it happens. In the back of our heads, we're keeping count. But, I want him to have the most sacks in all time, because that's helping us win games. And, I'm pretty sure he wants to see me climb that ladder and reach those goals that he already reached. I have the most love for his game, just like he has the most love for my game. We talk about the tackles. Me, him, 'Z' [Za'Darius Smith], Timmy [Williams], Tyus [Bowser], 'KC' [Kamalei Correa], we all talk about the tackles and what they're setting. It's not like we're hiding anything from each other. We're trying to go out there and hit quarterbacks."
On how much he focuses on finer details of how an offensive tackle sets: "Yes, I think that's what sets people apart from each other, just taking that extra 20 minutes to actually see how a tackle sets or how he throws his hands or how he keeps his hands. I think that's what sets good from great, and those people in the Top 10, Top 25 of sacks. That's what they did. So, I'm trying to go out there and do that."
On if he's gotten any clarity on the helmet rule: "It's hard for the officials, man. It is really hard, and I tip my cap to those guys., They have a very tough job, because it's bang-bang. It's not like it's on TV. On TV, you can slow it down, and y'all can do so much with these cameras to where you go second by second. But, there are some calls that are going to get called differently, and we just have to go out there and line up and play the next play. Hopefully, none of our guys get ejected from that, lowering the crown of the helmet."
On if he has had to change the way he tackles:"I don't think so. I think I'll always tackle big. I always wrap people up and stuff like that. But, now that I'm actually in more space, I have to be conscious of that. I have to be conscious of, that's the rules, and if I want to play this game, I have to abide by the rules."
On his Players Coalition shirt and if he's involved with the Coalition: "Yes. A couple of us have this shirt on the team, and there are a couple more shirts. I don't think it's just a team thing. It's around the league that a couple of us have been wearing these shirts. We don't have an agenda or anything. We're not trying to stick it to 'the man' or anything. We're just letting it be known. We're letting it be known."
On who gave him the shirt: "One teammate. I just came in the locker room, and it was there."
On how much the pass rushers and the offensive line talk to each other to share expertise: "I think, actually, since the first day, me and Ronnie [Stanley] have been talking to each other a lot. I understand a lot more pass sets because of him, because we go against each other all the time, since I came in. But I talk to Orlando [Brown Jr.], and now that I go inside, I talk to a lot of the guys. And it helps, but each team is different. Each coach is different. When I first got here, we had a different offensive line coach. Now, they do different techniques, and I ask Ronnie about that and stuff. And, he asks me about some pass sets and stuff, so it's all competition, good competition between us and our offense. Hopefully, when they see that on Saturday – I mean Sunday, excuse me – when they see that on Sunday, they are prepared for it, because we gave them a good look out here."