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Transcripts: Ravens Wednesday Transcripts

RAVENS WEDNESDAY TRANSCRIPTS: WEEK 1 VS. BILLS

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: “OK, good to see everybody – appreciate everybody being here. Beautiful day – [it’s] hot, and we’ll be practicing out here pretty soon. I’m looking forward to it. We’re in the middle of meetings right now, preparing, and we’re excited to open up the season at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. What do you have?”

It’ll be the debut of defensive coordinator Don Martindale for you. Have you liked what you’ve seen in the preseason, and are you expecting a good, aggressive defense? (David Ginsburg) “Yes, absolutely. That’s Raven tradition, and Don is a very good coach. The whole coaching staff has done a very good job – offense, defense, special teams. I’m really pleased with the job that guys have done building the systems all the way back to January, teaching the system and then now, game-planning the systems. In the end, we’ll all be evaluated on how we perform. That’s where we’re at now, and that’s the stage we’re at, and we’re excited about it.”

What do you see in QB Nathan Peterman when you watch tape of him? (Pete Gilbert) “I see him playing quarterback for the Bills. Do you want more than that, a scouting report? (laughter) I mean, he’s good. He’s young, he’s on time, he operates well within their offense. He gets them in the right protections, he makes the run-checks for them. I think he’s a very accurate thrower, and he gets the ball out quickly. He was the best quarterback in the preseason, and I can certainly see why they chose him to be their quarterback. So, we’re rolling, and we’re preparing for him.”

Is he more of a dropback quarterback or a runner? (Mike Preston) “He’s more of a dropback quarterback. They run all the RPOs and read-option as well, though. They run the similar stuff that people run around the league. You look at Cincinnati, what they run with Andy Dalton is very similar, in that sense, which is good for us. We play both teams in five days. But he gets the ball out quick, and he’s very accurate.”

We’ve talked about the timing of the passing game, especially when you have so many new receivers. Now after training camp and preseason, how comfortable do you feel with the timing of that passing game? (Jamison Hensley) “I’m excited about it. We’re going to find out. In practice, it’s looked very good. We had a few game reps with those guys together. You’ve seen those, so you can evaluate for yourself on what you’ve seen in games. We’ve had some practices where we’ve been really, really good – tremendous even – and we’ve had other practices where we haven’t been as good. But mostly, I’m very happy with it, I’m looking forward to seeing how we play in games. I don’t think the first game is the end of the season; it’s the beginning, not the end. But it’s always good to see how you fare against NFL competition when it counts.”

What have you seen from G Marshal Yanda? (Ed Lee) “Marshal looked good. He looks good in practice. He’s been practicing now for what – three, four weeks? He looks like Marshal Yanda to me. [He’s a] very hard worker, very in to what he’s doing; he looks the same. Again, we’ll have the regular competition start on Sunday, and all the guys are excited about it.”

The running game was consistent last year. Have you seen the unit play at the same level this year? (Todd Karpovich) “You have to. The running game is very important. We hope to improve on it. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse – you never stay the same. We’re not trying to stay the same. We’re trying to improve and get better in every area – run, pass, everything we do. I do like our players; I do like the offensive line, to your point. We have the guys, the tight ends. We have the people to have a really successful running game. The coaches have done a great job. So again, we’ll see how it looks on Sunday and going forward.”

What about conditioning? Your starters haven’t played hardly at all and it’s going to be hot. Are you concerned about that? (Kirk McEwen)“Not at all. We’ve been out here practicing like crazy in the heat. We’re in great shape. I don’t have any concerns about that whatsoever.”

You had RB Alex Collins on your practice squad to begin last year and now he seems like he’s ready to get 1,000 yards. Are you happy with the way he’s played this summer, and what are you looking for this year? (David Ginsburg)“Yes, definitely. Alex has had a great camp. We held the carries down in the preseason for Alex just for that reason. We didn’t want to put him out there too much and get tackled too often when it didn’t matter as much. He’s had great practices. Yes, he’s going to have to be conscious of holding on to the football and getting his pads down and stuff like that in a real game, which his going to be a little bit new for him since he hasn’t done it since last season. But this guy, in my mind, he’s a veteran back, he’s been there before, and he still has a lot to prove. I think he still has a little chip on his shoulder, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays.”

The veterans on defense have talked about erasing the sting of how last season ended. Is that something as a head coach that you’ve heard, you understand, or you could care less about? How have you been able to play that? (Keith Mills) “I haven’t ‘played’ it. I think all that kind of stuff is what it is, so to speak. If you try to play it, I don’t think that’s genuine. There’s no motivation that’s cliché that works. So, it’s never going to be erased for me. It’s always going to be there. This is a new season, and let’s roll.”

The anthem stuff will be in the headlines with the start of the new season. Will you talk to the team at all about not being caught off guard if the president says something provocative? (Childs Walker) “No, we’re keeping it about football. Keep it simple; let’s talk football. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to play football, and we’ll do everything we can to do our best and in games. All that other stuff, to me, is just irrelevant noise. It means nothing to us. We’re here to get ready to play the Bills.”

Last year, the Bills were pretty good against the pass defensively. How do you attack that good secondary? (Aaron Kasinitz) “That’s their thing. If you watch them, they’ve done a great job of keeping people from throwing long touchdown passes, and that helps. You don’t give up those kind of big plays … They’ve given up a number of chunk plays, but they haven’t given up the big ones. I think they’ve turned people over a lot over the course of drives, and that’s why they had success last year. If you look at the turnover margin, especially in the games they won – they were plus-15 in the games they won, plus-nine overall. A lot of that goes to the secondary, where Sean [McDermott] is a great coach and that’s his area of expertise. So, it certainly shows in the way their defense plays.”

The Ravens’ defense had a lot of turnovers last year. Is that a function of playing sound defense or is there other things that you emphasized to create them. Is that a trait your defense will have? (Cliff Brown) “It’s both and nothing given. You have to go out there and do it when it counts. We do work on all those things that you were talking about. It’s a function of playing fast, and being in the right spot, and having good players, and having guys that can catch, and having a hard-hitting team that knocks balls loose, and guys that run to the ball that can pick up balls – all those things go into it. To me, it’s a function of just playing great defense, aggressive defense and having really good players. That’s what we’re going to try to do again this year.”

How pleased are you with how offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterbacks coach James Urban worked out? It seems QB Joe Flacco has hit it off with James, and obviously Marty. They seem to trust each other. (Jeff Zrebiec) “No question. That’s so important. We talk about chemistry or those kinds of things a lot, relationships. It’s good to be on the same page. It’s good to have a shared vision. That’s important in your room as a coaching staff. You want to build an offense that’s cohesive. Everybody needs to come to the point where they see things the same way, talk the same way, same coaching points, be on the same page, because players need it to be black and white. They don’t need to be gray. You don’t need to be the kind of coach that coaches after the fact. That’s weak coaching. Our guys, because of that relationship you’re talking about, are able to coach black and white. Expectations are very clear; the coaching points are clear. That’s probably what Joe is referring to, that he appreciates.”

Over the past decade or so, how has the slot cornerback role changed in importance? Why is CB Tavon Young a good fit? (Aaron Kasinitz) “The first part of your question is just way, way too complicated for me to answer, because I have given that absolutely no thought. But the second part, how Tavon fits in is well. He fits very well to what the position is today. It’s not an easy position to play, because you have a lot of responsibility in there in terms of recognizing plays. Then this RPO thing has only made it even more complicated, because that’s usually the stressed player. If he plays pass, they run it; if he plays run, they pass it. So, he has to be able to play both at the same time, along with all the route combinations he has to play in his own coverage. Then you have to match-up a really quick receiver that’s really good at getting open, the [Julian] Edelman-type guys, in the slot. It takes a great player to play in the slot on defense, and am very hopeful that Tavon is on the way to becoming that guy. He certainly hasn’t given us any reason to think he’s not.”

How much do you relish the fact that OLB Terrell Suggs is still with this organization and playing at a high level? (Jordan Schatz)“I relish it a lot. It’s amazing. As a coach, you like having great players – but even beyond that, you like having great players that come to work every day and set a tone for the whole team, for the whole building. To me, that’s a big part of what Terrell Suggs does. You watch him in practice as you guys do – nobody practices harder, nobody studies harder, nobody will know the Buffalo Bills and every single opponent’s offense better than he will. And I mean around the whole league. This guy is smart, he knows the game, he studies the game, and I’m glad he’s on our side.”

QB Joe Flacco

On if the team is more excited about this opener than in the past: “I always try to say that it’s tough to determine [or] compare that stuff year to year. It’s super exciting to get back to football. It really is. I hope the fans feel the same way, to be honest with you. I really do hope that they’re excited to get out there and watch us go this year. I think we’ll put an exciting product on the field, and we love it when people are out there rooting us on in the stadium, at home and on TV. We’re really looking forward to it. To compare it to last year or years before is tough, but we’re definitely really excited.”

On if it’s a strange time to be an NFL fan with attention on happenings off the field: “I’m an NFL fan, too, so you can definitely relate to the fan base a little bit in that respect and kind of see the little bit of a dilemma that they may be put in, or whatever you want to call it. It is what it is. At the end of the day, my job is to promote this game in a positive way and go out there and put a good product on the field. And, like I said, I want everybody to show up. I love everybody that shows up. I love everybody in this city, and the more people that we have, [the better]. Believe me, we want people out there supporting us. I’m a fan just like most of us are, and it is what it is.”

On how important preseason reps are: “They’re really important. The biggest thing when it comes to preseason, especially when you have new guys, is just getting the confidence going. We were able to play pretty well, and the only thing that some guys know so far is that we can be explosive and that we can play well. I think that’s a really good feeling for Willie [Snead IV], the young tight ends [Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews], John [Brown], Michael [Crabtree]. I think that those guys … I think they feel excited about where we’re going, and I think that they really know nothing else but what we’ve done so far in the preseason, and it’s been pretty good. So, that’s definitely a confidence boost, and it’s a good boost for us as a team going into the regular season.”

On if he feels more confident this season than in seasons past: “I just feel really good about where we are. I’ve felt really good about where we are every phase that we’ve hit so far. You have the offseason workouts, you have training camp, you have preseason games, and each one of those stops along the way, I’ve felt better and better about where we are as a team. So, I’m really just looking at the regular season as the next step and looking forward to feel even better about how we are as a team once we get that going.”

On the relationship between the quarterbacks, QBs coach James Urban and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg: “James has really done a great job in there with all of us. I think he relates really well to Marty. Just another year in the offense with Marty is a huge help, also. You’re able to feel each other out and know how to talk to each other and know how to prepare for the game and have a feel for what we do well. So, the combination of another year under Marty and bringing James in, who has a relationship with him and knows how he works and can kind of give us the same message in our QB room without Marty having to be there all the time, has been a great asset.”

On if RB Alex Collins is a two-way threat, and if he thinks Collins is underrated: “I definitely think he’s underrated, but it’s probably due to the fact that he’s only played one real year. After this year, I’m not sure he’ll be underrated. I think he definitely has the ability to do both. He’s growing every day in the type of pass game where he’s the primary [option]. But on checkdowns, on screens and some other things in pass protection, he does a really good job. I think he can definitely take off in that area.”

On former Ravens WR Anquan Boldin returning to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday: “When he first came in, you just saw right away what kind of work ethic he had, how much he understood the game, how tough he was, and then, obviously, all he can do on the field. It showed up right away. But obviously, I think the one thing that stands out when you think about Anquan is just how tough he was and what he played through and how he played when he was out there, both mentally and physically. He was obviously a very special player, very special to this city, so it will be cool to have him there.”

On the significance to who his backups are and which order they fall: “For me, not too much. It’s been a fun offseason, to be honest with you. I feel like our room is working really well together. I think those guys do a great job. We have a great relationship. Other than that, at this point in the year, it’s about getting ready for the Buffalo Bills and what I have to do to do that. I don’t really concern myself too much with that at this point. But, I can say it’s been a great room, and we have a good working relationship.”

On if he was happy that QB Robert Griffin III made the 53-man roster: “Yes, I think Robert has been really great. He’s done a great job really ever since he’s been here, working hard. And then, obviously, when he’s gotten his opportunity in the preseason, I really thought he played well. I thought he deserved to make a football team, and I’m even more happy that it’s ours.”

On if the wide receivers complement each other better than previous years because of the variety of strengths: “It’s tough to say, because sometimes when you have guys that are the same, it helps it, too, because the defense has to pick which guy. Then you just kind of just pick your poison. I don’t know what it means yet, quite yet. We’ve only seen a little dose of it, and it has been going good, but we have to keep that up. I think it’s definitely worth noting the fact that we do have three different types of guys. What that really means and how well they complement each other is yet to be seen, but I definitely believe it’s going to be a good thing.”

On the Bills’ defense on deep passes: “They’re a really well-coached defense. They have guys in the back end that play the ball really well and do some really good things in the back end. They allow their front to really attack the ball up front. It’s just like anything, man. When you go in there, and obviously you’re going to try to do some things and create them on your end, but at the same time, you have to run the offense and do what is called and those things will come. More so than you realize in this league, a lot of big plays are run-after-catch and things like that. I think we have the guys that do that kind of thing. We just have to rely on just doing what we’ve been doing. I haven’t really hit ‘Smoke’ [John Brown] downfield – not that we’ve played a lot in preseason – but I haven’t hit him, and we’ve had success. So whatever comes our way, I think we’ll take advantage of it, and that’s the biggest thing. Everybody gives you opportunities, because they have to take risks here and there, and it’s just making sure that if we have something called, we take advantage of it.”

On if feeling better physically entering this season as compared to last season affects his confidence: “I definitely feel a lot better, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the confidence that we have as an offense and that I have as a quarterback in this offense. Really, the confidence just comes from a good hard offseason, a good preseason and just belief that we have guys up front, outside, behind me, that can make plays. This is a team sport, and everybody plays their role. And, I definitely think we have the guys in the right place to do it.”

On if he looks at each year as a one-year contract: “That’s the way the NFL is by nature. It’s a physical game, so no matter what, you’re going out there every single week. It’s a week-by-week league, let alone year-by-year, in the sense that every time you take that field, you’re putting your … You’re not putting your life, necessarily, on the line, but you’re putting your career on the line every single time you take that field. That’s what makes our sport a little bit different. I think that’s why people like to watch it, to a certain extent. And as you get older, I don’t know if you realize that anymore. Maybe you do, just because you’ve seen it happen to guys in the past, and you know the consequences. You know not to take anything for granted. As far as anything other than injuries and playing on a one-year deal, that’s definitely the way you have to look at it. It’s a big accomplishment to make an NFL roster every single year. I think if you can continue to have that outlook as you get older and older, the more you can set yourself up for success, because you’re going to constantly be pushing yourself to get better and better. I think that’s the idea behind it all.”

On if he thinks back to his first opening day start in 2008: “Yeah, man. It feels like yesterday. It’s crazy how quickly [time goes by]. You look back at the days, and they go along just like everybody says. But man, it’s been really, really quick, and we’ve changed a lot. But hey, that’s all in the past.”

On how he’s changed throughout his career: “That’s a tough question. I’ve changed a ton. At the core, I’m the same, but I’m older, I have kids, I’ve seen a lot of different people come and go through this building. Other than that, physically, I like to think I’m pretty damn close to being the same. Thirty-three is really not that old when it comes to things, as long as you take care of your body. We like to talk about it in this sport, just because it’s a topic of conversation, but I truly believe at the quarterback position that you get wiser and wiser, and you should be getting better and better every year, and I’m really looking forward to that part of it.”

OLB Terrell Suggs

On what he knows about Bills QB Nathan Peterman: “I know he won the starting quarterback job. So that’s saying they have faith in him to lead the team. But we’re taking all precautions that he plans to come here and light it up. We’re preparing for that.”

On if he’s eager to start the regular season after a long preseason: “Anytime you get a chance to line up, you’re very eager. We didn’t look at it like a long preseason. We looked at it as we just had a significant amount of time [and an] opportunity to become a better football team. That’s how we approached it. I think our coaches did a good job of not throwing so much on us with the time we had here. I think we had a good pace, and I think we had a really good, productive training camp.”

On how he looks at the young pass rushers looking to dethrone his sack record: “I look at it like I’m cheering for them. If there’s more than just one guy getting sacks, then that means we’re doing pretty good as a team, we’re doing everything we want to do. It’s a good thing to have. You want multiple guys trying to lead the team in sacks – that’s always going to be fun.”

On if there’s any part of him that has to embrace the fact that he’s still playing in Year 16: “That’s been the attitude since Day One. You know what I’m saying? I start to get shy or flattered when I hear the number like, ‘Year 16? Oh [shoot]!’ It is a pretty long time, but as long as you know you’re still a kid at heart, still out there running, having fun, playing football … That number only means something to y’all – not really too much to me.”

On if he expects the president to comment on football players this week: “I couldn’t give a [crap], to be honest with you. Next question.” 

On how QB Joe Flacco has handled QB Lamar Jackson being drafted: “What’s Joe’s nickname again?” (Reporter: “‘Joe Cool.’”) “‘Joe Cool.’ Joe’s just … I don’t think us drafting Lamar has made Joe more motivated to be a better quarterback. I think he had plans on having a big year, this year, anyway – especially with the pieces we were able to bring in through our free agency. Drafting an explosive, a phenomenal talent like Lamar only makes our team better. I don’t think that questions our quarterback position. But you have a guy like that on the board and you have an opportunity to get him – why not get him? I don’t know if y’all know the story of my draft. When I went through at [pick] 10, they didn’t expect me to be there. Hey – shout out to Ozzie [Newsome], man. I appreciate that. (laughter) They wanted to go quarterback in that draft, and we ended up getting one. (laughter) But yes, when you have the best guy on the board – Heisman [winner], one of the phenomenal talents – and he’s still on the board when you have a chance to get him, I think you make that call anyway.”

On if he expects to have butterflies before the game: “Every game. That never changes – I’m always going to have that jittery, that nervousness. But once that first play happens, I’ll be alright.”

On if his love for the game drives him in his lengthy career: “Yeah, you could say that. I tell coach every day, ‘I chose nothing.’ I was born, and this is what I am. I could play football at 4 a.m. I could go out and do it right now – it’s just something I love to do. It’s like a shooter shooting free throws, playing basketball or something like that. It’s just … Football – it was never really difficult for me. It was everything to me.” (Reporter: “You didn’t really have a choice?”) “No. Pops kind of predetermined that. He was really focused that night. I always say it.” (laughter)

On how much of a challenge it would be for a defense to defend QB Lamar Jackson: “It’s difficult. It’s difficult practicing against the kid. Like I said, when you have an explosive, phenomenal talent like that, it’s very fun if he’s on your team. But it’s not fun to prepare against.”

On the Nike and Colin Kaepernick ad: “I love it.”

S Eric Weddle

On why he’s happy: “In a good mood! Game week, baby! All our dreams and aspirations are right there to go get. It’s been a long offseason, long camp. We’ve worked extremely hard to get better in all facets of the game, and it’s been great. It’s been an unbelievable camp, and we’re anxious to get out there and get the live bullets and see what kind of team we’ve got.”

On if the defense will be different with new defensive coordinator Don Martindale: “He’s going to put his stamp on our defense. Listen, this defense has been here since they moved to Baltimore. This is known for great defenses, and we were pretty dang good last year – turnovers, scoring on ‘D’ – and we had a lot of good games. We didn’t finish in some aspects, and it hurt us in the long run, but [it’s] something to be proud of. But, moving forward, after 16 games, hopefully the things that we’ve worked on in the offseason and in training camp have become a positive for us. We expect to be great on defense and play situational football to a ‘T’ and win a lot of games. Wink will put his personality on our defense. We love and appreciate his honesty, his drive, his passion, and knowing where you stand at all times within our defense is a huge plus for a player. We are pumped to get out there and see what we’ve got.”

On what he sees from OLB Terrell Suggs continuing to be in great shape while entering his 16*th* season: “[This is my] 12th year. Haven’t hit my prime yet, baby! Woo! [Terrell has] 16 [years]! My goodness! He’s a legend. I’ve never been around … I’ve been around some great players, and his personality, and his love for the game and being around his teammates, and just love being on the field and working and practicing, I had never known. Obviously, I’d been to a couple Pro Bowls with him before I came here, and to really get to know him, and to become as close as we’ve gotten over the years, has really been special to me. Really, I cherish our relationship that we’ve built, and the utmost respect and admiration I have for a guy to play as long as he has. Just the love of the game, it really shows the great ones in this profession. They play a long time – it’s because they really love the game, and they love being around their teammates. There are a lot of similarities between him and myself, and I just love seeing him. I love being around him. He brings out the best in me, and I would hope that I bring out the best in him.”

On if S Tony Jefferson will be more comfortable in his second season with the Ravens: “I think Tony is going to … I think a lot of us are going to have great years, but him personally, I’ve seen his transition, his comfortability and being honest with himself and what he needed to improve on from his first year. The safeties are asked to do a lot on our defense, whether it’s checks, whether it’s lining guys up, whether it’s doing multiple things, covering guys, playing in the box, playing half, disguising. It was an adjustment for him, but I’ve seen the transition and the amount of work. He’s healthy. He lost 15 pounds before training camp last year because of the surgery he had, and he never gained that back. Now, he’s healthy. He’s strong. He’s where he needs to be physically, and he needs to be the enforcer that he was brought here to be, and I fully expect that. We’ve learned how he plays, me and him personally, and what makes him a great player within our defense. I look forward to being on the field with him and helping him continue to grow and be that great player that we need him to be, and I fully expect him to do that.”

On if focus on off-the-field topics feels different than when he first entered the NFL: “Is it? No, man, it’s all about ball! Oh yeah, it’s a whole different game, just with the media and how much coverage you get. Everything is magnified – off the field, on the field, players, what they say on social media and with all the things outside of the game. It’s up to the person to really pay attention to it or not. I’m singularly focused on this team and my job, and what people say on the outside is up to them. You respect what they say, but you don’t really let it deter you from what your goals are and how you live your life. It’s definitely been a change since 2007 when I set foot in this league, but the game is still the same. You have to go out and play great week-in and week-out to win.”

On if playing situational football means end-of-game situations, and if he’s confident in the defense with them: “We’re not going to know what we are until 16 games. But, I feel as prepared for any situation, in any formation, in any adjustment, the way we’ve been coached and prepared and talked through certain things – strategies, what we want to be in situations, situational football – and have a plan. That gives us as players confidence. That gives us confidence to play fast and not worry about mistakes. In doing so, we will be successful in situational football. I said this in OTAs and training camp: I expect us to be one of the best two-minute defenses in the league, and that was our goal. I believe in it, and we’ll go out there and show it.”

On what he’s seen from the offense that makes him think it will have a big season: “It starts with the additions, obviously, with ‘Smokey’ [John Brown] and Willie [Snead IV] and ‘Crab,’ [Michael Crabtree] and obviously our two tight ends. Obviously, it hurts having Hayden [Hurst] out, but Mark [Andrews] has really come along the last few weeks. He’s gotten through a couple games and shown what we’ve seen in practice. But to see it in a game, and get through a game without getting banged up, was impressive – to see what he can bring to our team. Joe [Flacco] being healthy, same system, for going on his, basically, two-and-a-half years with Marty [Mornhinweg] taking over halfway through my first year here … Just the comfortability, the trust he has in his receivers, them getting open, them making plays with those 50/50 balls … It’s nice for a quarterback to know that when the ball is up in the air, you’re not worried about your guy not going up there and competing and making that play. I think Joe has worked extremely hard. He’s been here. He’s worked on his profession. And, knowing that it’s all one-year deals for us, we all have to go play great. He’s done that from the onset. I’m excited for him. I’m excited for this team, the work we’ve put in and what I‘ve seen competing against them for the last four months. It’s exciting, and we just have to go out and execute what we’ve been doing.”

BUFFALO BILLS CONFERENCE CALL

(with local Baltimore media)

Head Coach Sean McDermott

How much are you preparing for QB Lamar Jackson? “Well, we understand the threat that he brings when he’s on the field, so we spend a considerable amount of time in preparing for him – as well as Joe Flacco, I should say. Joe is a documented Pro Bowl quarterback. Certainly, I have a lot of respect for Joe, first and foremost.”

What are your impressions of Baltimore’s new wide receiver corps? “Very talented, very talented. When you can combine that with their different sets of tight ends that they use, that coach [Marty] Mornhinweg uses, and the running back game, it’s a talented group. John Brown is certainly explosive, and the guy that doesn’t get a lot of credit is No. 10 [Chris Moore], who is very explosive, [and has] playmaking ability. We have a lot of respect for them as well as No. 10, Moore, in the return game as well. He’s a good special teams player, which I know is high on coach [John] Harbaugh’s list.”

Do you think the Ravens’ defense will be any different this year with defensive coordinator Don Martindale at the helm? “I know coach Martindale from a distance a little bit. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a good football coach. He’s been a coordinator before. So, we’ll have a big challenge in front of us when we head to Baltimore this weekend.”

What’s different about QB Nathan Peterman this season? “I think we all have to understand that he’s still a young player, just in the beginning parts, stages, of his sophomore year – if you will. He’s only going to continue to grow and get better. He’s an extremely mature young man, with a good mental mindset and a good football acumen. I think those are good attributes for a young football player.”

How does RB LeSean McCoy look after a limited preseason due to injury? “He looks like he’s off to a good start. I appreciate the way he reported to camp, in terms of being in-shape and ready to go. He’s built up a pretty good rapport with the offensive line. So, he’s off to a good start here.”

Does the absence of CB Jimmy Smith affect the Ravens’ defense at all? “I don’t think it does. They have another very good cornerback in [Brandon] Carr there. Both [Marlon] Humphrey and Carr are very good players, as well as their nickel and the two safeties. It’s all driven by [Tony] Jefferson and [Eric] Weddle in the back end there.”

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