WEDNESDAY (8/22) TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS
Special Teams Coordinator / Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
How has the race of the returner changed, if at all, and how do you maybe come back from two guys putting the ball on the ground? _(Bo Smolka) _"The race is on, and it has been on. It continues. We have two more preseason games left, and as I said early on, the depth chart will be determined by who plays the best – at all positions, but at the returner position, certainly. The results of this last game were disappointing, because the most important thing that a returner does for us is secure the ball. That's No. 1. We've had an efficient return game over the years here, because of the priority being: 'Before you can win the game, don't lose the game.' And, [with] all the returners we've had, it's been a big deal. Coach [John] Harbaugh pointed it out in the locker room after the game in front of everybody, because it is such a big deal. They have the duty to the rest of the team to protect the football, and they know that. It's two young players that got in situations where they didn't realize that they needed to practice the ball-security habits that they both have. They have those skills, and in both those situations, they need to lock the ball down, and they didn't. Hopefully, the lesson has been learned. As we go forward, those two guys are both going to get opportunities, and we'll see how it plays out as we go down the stretch here."
How has WR Breshad Perriman been progressing as a gunner on special teams, and how much is that going into whether or not the team keeps him around during the regular season? _(Kyle Andrews) _"The second question, that's not something for me to answer. What we've been trying to do with Breshad is train him in all ways on special teams because of his role change. I've addressed that previously in this forum. He's getting great practice. We haven't gotten him any game reps at this point in time. We hope to this week. And we'll see how it plays out, because that's where it matters the most, but he's continually improving in practice."
In the game on Monday, you had some penalties on special teams. You had the blocked punt. Does it help that this is preseason, so you can sort of work those kinks out? (Ed Lee)"I don't think it ever helps to get penalties and have punts blocked, but it doesn't hurt as bad. I will say that. The preseason is different than the regular season. I showed up here Tuesday morning to go to work. As always, I rolled the window down. I looked at the security camera that's out at the gate, and they looked at my face, and they let me in! (laughter) So, it's a preseason game. It just reminded me it was a preseason game. Those kinds of mistakes, we can learn from, certainly. That's not how we want to play. There are some lessons learned. There is a lesson learned on kickoff return, because of the new rules, one that we knew had been violated. So, there are a lot of things to be learned from those things, but that's not our style. That's not how we want to play. We went to work this morning, in the meeting and in practice, to fix those issues, and we think we're … We have players that it really matters to them how they play, and when they see that stuff, they don't like it either, so we'll get it corrected."
Can I ask what you saw on the blocked punt? _(Ed Lee) _"I saw a breakdown in protection. In the meeting this morning, we addressed it. We haven't gotten through the whole thing yet, but we addressed it this morning in the meeting, and I took the hit for it, real honestly, in front of the players, because it's something … It's a basic premise of our punt protection that we did not have clarity on and – with the young players that were out there at that time, at that moment – that's where clarity is so important, and we didn't have it. As a coach, I take full responsibility for those guys not having a complete understanding of what they're supposed to do in that situation."
We've seen, obviously, WR/RS Tim White and WR/RS Janarion Grant play a ton at returner, but we haven't seen much of WR Willie Snead IV or some of the other guys in the games. What's the reasoning behind that? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"The reasoning behind that is that we're getting reps for those guys in practice. We're looking for the starting returner, if it's not Willie Snead, or it's not one of the other guys that are practicing back there, and that's the reason for that."
How has WR Willie Snead IV looked at practices with comfortability? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"He's been efficient. He's in every meeting. He's locked in. He comes out here and practices well, and we'll see how it plays out down the road. Again, we still have two preseason games left, so we want to give those other guys an opportunity to show what they can do."
Closing statement:"One last thing, if I may: Today is the first day that we didn't have our intern, Edgar Jones, here. So, just a shout-out to 'E.J.' As you all now, Edgar was a great player for us on special teams and outside linebacker. He even played tight end. This is a guy who … The internship program that we have here with the Ravens, this is what it was meant for. He was so valuable to our young players and to us as a staff, and 'E.J.' did a great job. He has a bright future. Thank you, Edgar."
Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale
Opening statement:"Since the last time we talked [in a podium setting], we spent – it seemed like a month – in Indianapolis. I really like where we're going and where we're heading with the defense. I think this defense is starting to take along the personality of the city, like all the great Ravens defenses do – from Dundalk to West Baltimore to Carroll County. I like how we're coming together. I like how we're not flinching. In the situation where there was a turnover in the red zone, we went and answered. I thought it was huge for us. We had some great situational defense in that game itself. I even thought it was good … It wasn't all the 'ones' in there, but there was a little bit of a drive where Andrew [Luck] got a couple first downs on us, and it extended the plays. I think that helped us. I think the big three – C.J. [Mosley] and 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] and [Eric] Weddle – are playing at a high level, and they're ready to roll. You're starting to see the competitions. Really, there are good battles. We played 'Worm' [Chris Wormley] at three technique out of 'Raven,' and I thought he did a nice job up front. The linebackers – there continues to be a battle. It was good getting Tyus [Bowser] back. I think there's still a big battle between Kamalei [Correa] and Tyus at who will be that second SAM. I think [Matthew] Judon has taken over that role [as starter]. I think with 'Z' [Za'Darius Smith], well obviously 'Sizz,' but with 'Z' and Timmy [Williams], we have some legitimate rushers in the 'Raven' package. In sub, obviously, we can play them all three together and we have a great rotation with Judon. Now we just have to see who's going to be the other rusher with 'K.C.' [Correa] and Tyus – and it might be all six of them. It gets to the numbers game, and we just don't know yet. Secondary-wise, I think Marlon [Humphrey] is playing well, Brandon [Carr] is playing well, Weddle, I think 'T.J.' [Tony Jefferson] might be able to go against Miami – it'd be good to get him back. Chuck [Clark] has done a nice job, and he played well in the game. It'll be good to get 'T.J.' and get that whole first unit back together, hopefully for Miami. With that, I'll open it up to questions."
What was your reaction to CB Jimmy Smith? (Childs Walker) "With that, I understand and I respect that you have to ask that question. But it's a serious matter, and I think that the organization … They had their statement, and Jimmy had his. From the father/coach in me, I know there are mistakes that are made in life, and he's going to have to deal with them. It's a very serious matter though."
How will you deal with it? Obviously, for the first four weeks you're going to have to shuffle the rotation a little bit. Is that going to be difficult for you, or how do you handle that? (David Ginsburg)"What I refer to is what we've been talking about, really all training camp, is we have a lot of depth. Some guys are just going to have to step up early. We're still working on that and how we're going to do that. I'm not going to sit and say for the rest of the league, and especially for Buffalo and the next three games, on how we'll do it. They'll just have to see. We have plenty of players that can play."
The strides he made this offseason and what we have seen thus far, how disappointing is it to not have CB Jimmy Smith for the first four games?_ (Shawn Stepner) _"Like I said, let's just stick with the organization's statement and Jimmy's statement. It really doesn't matter how I feel about it, in this case. Like I said, as a father, as a friend, as a brother – I'm going to help him in any way that I can help him."
When you've had to play without CB Jimmy Smith in the past, it hasn't always gone well. Do you think you're better fortified to play without him?_ (Childs Walker)_"Yes, I do. Yes, I do, without a doubt."
When you look at the numbers, the yards, it's so different when he was on the field versus when he wasn't. Had he just been that much better than the other guys, or why do you think that's the case? (Pete Gilbert) "I don't think you can just look at it that way with Jimmy, because there's other guys that were out during that time. You know what I mean? I think that the toolbox is full – it's full with our players and our depth – and it's full with our coverages that we can go to if someone is struggling. I don't see that in the very near future, but we have those things we can go to with that."
Along with that, you also drafted CB Anthony Averett. How has he been progressing, especially with now having to deal with CB Jimmy Smith being out? You have him coming into his own, along with CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste as well. How have those guys been coming into their own during this time? _(Kyle Andrews) _"OK – that's a great question. I thought 'Double A' [Averett] made great strides in the Indy game, down there in the end zone. He made some big plays down there, and I was really proud of that. That's just nothing but positive for a rookie to be in those situations. That's why I keep referring to everybody about how I love the preseason games, because the confidence builds when they make plays like that. He made great strides with that. I was proud of Stan in that game, because there was a perfect throw and a perfect catch against him, and he was in good coverage, and then he came back and got the interception. He bounced right back. There's great competition everywhere."
You mentioned the pass rush a couple of times, how much would it mean to the defense if you can get pressure on quarterbacks without having to blitz?_ (Cliff Brown)_ "Oh, it's great. If I can get pressure just rushing one guy, I'll do it. You know what I mean? But without a doubt. As you know, it's very vanilla right now. If we can just sit and rush four and get pressure on the quarterback, that's what we'll do. I think any coordinator will tell you – if you only have to rush four and you play coverage, that's good living right there."
OLB Tim Williams had another sack against the Colts. What has been the key to his development in his second year? (Todd Karpovich) "I think the last time we talked about it, I don't know if you were here or not, but it's just the second year is where you see the most growth from rookies because of the long track they have their rookie year. It is tough on a rookie, it really is. The ones that come out and play their rookie year … Let's use C.J. [Mosley] for an example: That's rare, in today's football I think it is. I think that's rare. It's the same with any position. I think that he's just settled in, settled in to the city of Baltimore, he's settled in just to his routine. I think a year in the weight room has helped him, his nutrition is better – there's all kinds of things I could point to. But the biggest thing is he's having fun and he's confident and he's getting after quarterbacks like he did in college."(Reporter: "But coaching-wise, you haven't done anything different with him?")"I'll say, 'Go get them, Timmy!'"(Reporter: "That's it?") (laughter) "No, I mean, you can see that he's expanded his rush game. He's got different moves. He had a sack, and I think four quarterback hits, and every time he used a different move. When you get a guy that's doing that, you've got something."
When you said the defense has taken on the identity of the city, why do you feel that way? (Garrett Downing)"You were at Indianapolis, weren't you?"(Reporter: "I was.") "And you were at the practices?"(Reporter: "Yes.")"OK – now you know what I'm talking about. There were some people that crossed the line there, and there's definitely that mentality that that's not going to happen. I was … Right then, I knew we were ready to roll. It's getting anxious time now. I'm sure it's anxious time, too, for the guys battling for these spots. You have to take that into [account] and respect that too, because there's going to be some tough decisions."
How much does playing three games in 11 days affect how much you get a look at guys? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Since this has obviously been a longer training camp, I think we've been able to see a lot of guys in different situations. But what I think is great about it is we can evaluate these younger guys, just like what we were talking about with 'Double A' [Anthony Averett]. With him in a game situation and making that play to tear the ball out, in a pressure situation down there in the red zone – that's what's great about it. With the preseason, I think it helps us."
I know you said you're going to stand by the team statement, but in the statement, it mentioned about a process about deciding whether CB Jimmy Smith comes back to the team. Did they approach you at all?_ (Aaron Kasinitz)_"No."
Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Opening statement:"Let's wrap that last game up. There were some really great individual efforts. There were some outstanding offensive – as a group – efforts, and then there were some things we have to get corrected. I can think of three specific things right away with the first group. So, [we have] a lot of work ahead of us. [There have been] some outstanding plays. We have two more games. There are some great battles going on to make the ball club, so these next two weeks are extremely important for a lot of men. Let's open it up to questions."
Marty, I know you've talked about QB Joe Flacco and his improvement, how he's looked. You've talked about how physically, he's been healthier. He's much better. You've been with him for a few years now. Is there anything different with his mindset? Is anything different this year, as far as mentally, with him, compared to maybe previous years? _(Jamison Hensley) _"Oh, I can't answer for him. I will tell you, the biggest thing with Joe is that he's healthy and he's getting a lot of individual work, and James [Urban] has done a great job that way. But he's healthy, so he can get all the work in, a lot more reps for him than he has in the past several years."
Marty, how do you feel about QB Lamar Jackson when he's running and he's taking those hits? (Shawn Stepner) _"Yeah, that's not good. You see what I'm saying? _(laughter) It's just that simple. Between the numbers, now, we want to get down underneath the hits, unless you think you can score, and typically you're one-on-one. Outside the numbers, we want to get up and get out. And, we'd rather get down a step too early than a step too late or get up and out a step too early than a step too late. As you can see, that's an ongoing process. Some of it is experience, because he does have to filter through exactly what he can get away with and what he can't in this league. Its' a little different situation here, a little different league, a little different speed, a little different quickness – all those things. So, that's an important note, and he's working hard on that."
Marty, along those lines, we've asked you before about letting you coach QB Lamar Jackson to be a little more cautious in that type of setting. How do you approach it in terms of the game? _(Garrett Downing) _"Well, I just discussed it. That's the way we go about it. I will say, a young man in a Monday night preseason game, he wants to do a little bit more, and that's only natural. But, we have to get that done. That's a good point."
What factors go into deciding whether you keep two quarterbacks or three? _(Aaron Kasinitz) _"Ultimately, John [Harbaugh] and Ozzie [Newsome} will decide that. Certainly, we have some input there. That's going to be a choice that will be well-discussed within the next couple of weeks and already has been."
Do you feel like, because of QB Lamar Jackson's running ability, that he's especially dangerous in the red zone, 10-yard line and in, and do you see that he could have a role there come regular season, operating in the red zone? _(Ryan Mink) _"I will tell you, Lamar is dangerous anywhere on the field. He's a unique and uncommon athlete."
Marty, you had a couple of situations last week when you got to see the offense kind of bounce back from struggling in the initial parts of the game. But, WR John Brown and QB Joe Flacco got to link up. How big was that touchdown for just seeing how they can be resilient on offense? _(Kyle Andrews) _"It's good. John has had, as you have seen, just an outstanding camp. Bobby [Engram] has taken care of him just a little bit, as far as reps, so [it's] very well planned-out there, and he's made plays in each game that he's played. And, Joe sure is having an outstanding preseason up to date. We have to keep that thing going. So is Robert Griffin. He's had an outstanding preseason up to date. Lamar [Jackson] is in the middle of a learning process. He's done some outstanding things. And then Josh [Woodrum] – we should get Josh going here in the next couple games."
Marty, how much will the health of the offensive line, including some front-line guys, affect the decision of whether QB Joe Flacco plays on Saturday and how much he plays? _(Jeff Zrebiec) _"Always a part of the decision-making. However, it is football. And I'll tell you what, with a backup man that's fighting for a starting job, let's say, a good strategy is to put him in with the rest of the 'ones' and see how he does, rather than put him in with the 'twos' or 'threes.' Sometimes you can't get quite the evaluation. So, there are a couple of those things that may happen as well."
Marty, along those lines, what have you seen from T Greg Senat, who has gotten some run with the second team playing left tackle? _(Luke Jones) _"Greg, as you know, was hurt for a period of time. The really good thing – and we've had several players do this that have come in – they don't have much work under their belt, but they're getting better every day. And, he got better from last week to this week. That's a good thing, and let's see how far he can go in the next two weeks."
Marty, what stood out to you about the three free-agent wide receivers, and have they been better than even you anticipated when they first were signed? (Ryan Mink)"All of them have had just an excellent camp. All three of them have stayed healthy, or reasonably healthy. They're all three very smart guys. They're all three talented, and they're all three really natural types of players. So, things come to them easily. And typically, if you tell them what to do, they're going to do it the first time. If not, they're going to get it done the second time, so things go fast with them. Chris Moore has had an excellent camp as well, and then we've got a host of men that are just battling. So, it's good to see. It brings out the best in everybody when you have that competition going on."
Marty, what do you say to someone like WR Jordan Lasley after the drop that would have been a touchdown? Drops have happened. Is it a focus thing? Is it a concentration thing? How can that be coached? _(Bo Smolka) _"There are two things when you drop a ball, right? And, neither one of them are good. If you have the real natural hands, which he does, it's typically a focus, concentration-type issue on that particular play. The second thing is, some guys catch the ball better than others. And, you want to be the guy that catches the ball better than others. If you're not, then that's not a good thing. It's just that simple. I'm telling you, it's that simple. He's had a pretty good camp – Lasley, I'm talking about. Games are emotional, right? So, he drops a touchdown. However, you get back up and take a look at the big picture. We're not going to evaluate a young man on one play. However, he understands that we're going to get that done every time from this point on, or, at least, that's the mentality."
With T Orlando Brown, how has he taken the opportunity of getting starts, and how have you seen his progression? _(Clifton Brown) _"I'll tell you what, our draft was really good, now. All of these players … I talked about some of the free agents being smart, talented, natural. Things come easily to them. Orlando is in the same situation – really, really smart and mature for such a young man. And then, on top of that, he's quite talented. He's a big, big man. You've seen him. Big! He's got some natural strengths to him. So, he's working on a few things specifically, and the experience will be key for him as well. So, we're trying, you've seen, we're trying to get him a lot of reps here. He's had a very, very good camp for his situation, being a rookie."
If T Orlando Brown ends up being the starting guy, how much would having a guy like G Marshal Yanda playing next to him factor in, and does that affect your decision on whether he would be ready or not? _(Clifton Brown) _"I have not even thought about that affecting the decision, because we want to play the best players, period. And so, [we want] to communicate all of that. That has to happen no matter who we have in there. We want to play the best players, and he's had an outstanding camp, and there's some pretty good competition going on with those first, let's say, eight fellas up front."
Closing statement:"All right, we have a quick turnaround right now, so all focus is on Miami right here."
WR John Brown
On what it meant to get his first touchdown with QB Joe Flacco: "Even though it's preseason, it just felt good. [We'll] just continue to work and get all the reps we can."
On if the wide receiver additions believe it's their mission to bolster the receiver corps:"[We must] just continue to work and do what we do. We [are] all coming off a year that was down, and we have a point to prove to ourselves and make the right decisions and win games for this organization."
On the focus it takes to make a catch in a small window, like his touchdown grab against the Colts:"I practiced it a lot before practice. Me and coach Bobby [Engram, wide receivers] do those drills all the time. When we watch film, they always talk about when you're in that position, get your head around quick because the ball will be there. It all showed up in that play. So as soon as I turned my head, I had a feeling the ball was coming to me, and Joe [Flacco] made a great throw, and he trusted me."
On what he says to a rookie who dropped a potential touchdown pass:"Just get over it. Those [drops] happen. You have to have a short-term memory coming in this league, because I had a couple of those [drops] my rookie year. It was a tough decision to get over. But you just have to take the extra step – come out, do what you have to do, get the extra catches. You never know how many passes you'll get in practice. So just to continue to work and keep motivated."
On if he gave WR Jordan Lasley advice after his drop against the Colts:"Oh yeah. I gave him a word of advice. I just told him to get over it, like, those things happen."
On if proving a point to himself influenced him in taking a one-year deal with the Ravens: "I wanted the one-year deal. I just knew what type of player I am. [As] long as I stay healthy, I know what I can do. I'm just betting on myself right now."
On if the league is sleeping on him: "Oh, of course! After injuries two years in a row – I mean, why wouldn't you?"
On the process of building a rapport with QB Joe Flacco:"When we first came in it was just … Every day we were working, we were talking. When the play came up … If the play didn't work, I'm always going to him, talking to him. Or when I mess up on a play, I talk to him and try to figure things out the way to get it right. We continue to bond. It's not just with me – it's with every receiver, every tight end."
On what stood out about WR Michael Crabtree and WR Willie Snead IV, and if they have bonded:"We bonded as soon as we came in. But with Willie Snead, I trained with Willie coming out [of college]. We came out the same year, so I [have known] Willie a long time. With 'Crab,' he just came in, stepped in and took over the receiving room, like we wanted him to, because he had more years than everybody. I'm just enjoying the process with those guys."