Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody. I appreciate you guys being here and seeing your faces here on Zoom. It's a great day for football. I just want to express condolences to Coach [Bill] Belichick and the Belichick family for the passing of his mother Jeannette. It's a sad day. Also, I want to express congratulations to the Big Ten for setting their football programs free and allowing them to play football, finally – a great decision. And it's going to be fun to watch Big Ten football very shortly. I appreciated my brother's statement: He said, 'Stay positive. Test negative. Play football.' Now, I will point out that we've had that t-shirt from Day One. You guys have seen our t-shirt, right? 'Stay Positive. Test Negative. Play Like a Raven.' So, yes, we're hand-in-hand on that one. That's a good one. So, what questions do you have."
What makes TE Mark Andrews and QB Lamar Jackson such a force? Lamar gives credit to Mark for getting open, and Mark gives credit to Lamar for getting the ball to him. Is it just that they work hand-in-hand together well? (David Ginsburg) "Absolutely. And rightly so – to give credit to one another. They both are very talented, and they both have a very good feel for the game – in the passing game specifically. And then they have developed a good feel for one another and how they are going to react in different situations. That's what you're seeing show up on the field."
Because of not having a preseason, the rookies haven't traveled at all. What challenges does that present headed to Houston – if any? (Kirk McEwen) "It's a challenge in some ways. The teams that traveled last week had to deal with it. The teams that travel this week for the first time will have to deal with it for the first time. We're very confident in the people that organize all that for us; [sr. vice president of operations] Bob Eller, [team president] Dick Cass, [sr. director of team travel] Joan [Fennekohl], [director of football information] Megan [McLaughlin]. We have just an amazing group of people that organize for us – [team operations coordinator] David Ghostlaw and others. So, we'll be fine."
For the Texans, you look at a guy like WR Will Fuller V who is kind of their No. 1 guy now that WR DeAndre Hopkins is gone. He had a big game last week with over 100 yards receiving. He's not a big guy, but he is an aggressive guy. What do you see from him? (Todd Karpovich) "Yes, he is. He's a guy who since he's come into the league out of Notre Dame, he's a high yards-per-catch guy, and he's also an excellent contested-catch player. He's one of the best in the league at taking away contested catches; you see his back shoulders and things like that. So, he's a go-to receiver, for sure. [He's] very talented, very fast [and] definitely someone that we have to mark. They have a number of good receivers. They have four really good receivers who are all high-, high-end receivers in the National Football League. [They have] two excellent tight ends and two running backs who are excellent receivers. So, they have a lot of weapons in the passing game to go with QB Deshaun Watson."
We see who you guys protect from the practice squad every week – the four slots – on the transaction wire. I'm sure you're not going to give up your strategy, but how difficult are those decisions? Especially, keeping a long snapper protected; is that more because it's such a specialized role, and you want to have some insurance in case something happens late in the week? (Jeff Zrebiec) "To be honest with you, there's not too much to it. They're not really that protected. You could lose them on Monday or Tuesday, so how protected are they? Who's going to bring a guy in on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to play on Sunday? I don't really know how that's going to work. You can't protect them until after Tuesday. So, I think it's much ado about not much. The snapper may or may not be protected this week. I guess, if you lose your long snapper late in the week, it's nice to have a snapper, because you don't really have a backup, per se. That's the thought there. That's why we kept Nick [Moore] on the practice squad. But whether you protect him or not, I don't think it really matters."
We saw S DeShon Elliott make that one play where he came in on Sunday to make a tackle. But in terms of coverage, how did he look in his expanded role? And how important is he when you're playing a creative quarterback like Deshaun Watson? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Yes, excellent point. He [DeShon Elliott] played well. He was in good position, had a really good feel. I thought his spacing and his eyes were excellent. [He] flew around – played fast – and it's going to be so important. That's exactly right. You have our safeties on top of different coverage calls and tools that we use, and DeShon is back there quite a bit – especially in the three-deep stuff, whether it's man or zone – in the single-high stuff. So, with [Deshaun] Watson running around and the things he can do and extend plays and the throws he makes on the run, it's going to be very, very important. It's going to be a big part of the game."
When you look at the efficiency of your run game on Sunday, it wasn't quite where it had been for a lot of last year. Did you see anything concerning there? Or was it something where the overall offense was working well, so you didn't worry too much about it? What was your assessment of that part of the game? (Childs Walker) "Yes, it's week-to-week. Gosh, if you had maxed out every stat on every aspect of your offense, you'd probably have like 800 yards, right? You have to do what you do against what you're being faced with, and sometimes the circumstances of the game play in. We have a lot to get better at in a lot areas – the run game, the pass game, protection, you name it. Every single guy on our team, and every single coach on our team, including myself, have plenty to look at to improve upon and build on going forward. So, we're a long way from a finished product; we're not even close. We have a lot of work to do in every area."
T Ronnie Stanley is in his 5th-year option. How's he dealt with the business side and not making that a distraction and not really affecting his play at all? (Jamison Hensley) "You've asked him that question numerous times, right? And I think he's answered it really clearly, and that's how I look at it. I haven't seen any affect at all. I think he's working hard and playing hard. His attitude has been very good – like always. Ronnie [Stanley] has been Ronnie, which is just what you expect from a pro like Ronnie."
When it comes to QB Deshaun Watson and his ability to escape pressure, what do you see from him in terms of his ability to improvise and make adjustments on the run even when he's under some pressure and duress? (Aaron Wilson) "He [Deshaun Watson] is one of the best in the league, and that's what he does. He actually holds the ball longer than anybody in the league. I think their offensive line does a good job; the scheme is part of that, but it's really mainly him. And he does it to create opportunities for the pass game. He'll throw it; he'll throw it to anybody. He'll throw it deep. He'll throw it short. He'll throw it to every different receiver – you saw that last week – and he'll run. It's a big concern for a defense – a major problem for any defense. And we're working to try to figure it out this week."
With CB Tavon Young missing a full season last year, how do you assess his play this past Sunday? (Kevin Richardson) "I thought he [Tavon Young] played well. I thought he played like Tavon. [He] didn't miss a beat from two years ago – fast, blitzed well, tackled, quick feet, tight coverage. He played well. He looked great. I was happy with him. [It's] not unexpected – he'd been practicing that way all along. So, [he played] just as we expected him to play."
Let's end on a light note. Since the Big Ten re-voted … Any consideration in the pandemic era, to maybe shifting your Monday press conference to an earlier time or perhaps a later time? (Jerry Coleman) "I understand that this has been a major problem for you personally, and I don't know if any of the other guys would share the same problem. What I've been told – and I think you've actually expressed this – is that this time on Monday falls right squarely in the middle of your nap time – your afternoon nap. So, I see it's a major issue here. Maybe we can talk to the other media guys and see if they are having similar issues with their afternoon nap time." (jokingly) (Reporter: "I don't think they have the same schedule as me, but I'd be up for a re-vote, secretly – just like the Big Ten.") (laughter)
QB Lamar Jackson
I think they tracked your game on Sunday saying that you threw a career high nine passes on passes that went beyond 10 yards in the air. How much do you think you have improved on your downfield passing from a year ago? (Jamison Hensley) "I'd say a lot. Just getting a lot of reps at it, we do it all day … I won't say all day, but a lot before practice, [and] we do some during practice. I wouldn't say after practice, but we just get a lot of down-the-field throws in to excel from where we were last year."
Do you enjoy these matchups? I know it's a team game, but when you go against the Texans and you've got QB Deshaun Watson on the other side, obviously a great young quarterback, is it exciting for you to a play a team with another one of the bright, young stars of this game? (Garrett Downing) "It's exciting against any team. I don't really pick my opponents out, but that's a great quarterback we're going against. I say no, because of how dynamic he is and our defense has to prepare for him. But [yes], you could say that. You could say that, yes."
You look so comfortable out there on Sunday. I'm wondering, has the game slowed down? And people forget [that] this is only your second opening day on Sunday. You haven't been at it that long in regular season, so how much has the game slowed down? (Kirk McEwen) "A lot. Just a lot of film study … Going against our defense, you know that they're doing the exciting things. They do different blitzes and stuff like that that have helped me out a lot. I always tell those guys [that] I need stuff like that during practice and camp, just for when I go against other opponents it'll be a lot easier for me on the field. That's where I say the biggest step has come from."
No fans for a road game, how much is that going to help you and your offense? What do you anticipate that being like? To be on the road in the NFL without the usual crowd noise? (Shawn Stepner) "Probably like last Sunday. (laughter) I hope it is; [it's] a lot easier for us. I'd say we wanted our fans in our stadium, but to go away, it'll be a lot like last Sunday. So, it's pretty cool, I guess."
Head coach John Harbaugh went to your defense on Monday about the fact that you were playing in a blowout situation. Do you mind when you're in the game or when you're pulled out of the game? I'm sure you'd like to play every down, but do you understand the situation where some people were concerned you may be hurt late in the game of a blowout? (Jerry Coleman) "We didn't have [any] preseason games, so that was my first time getting tackled since January. I felt we needed that. Coach [John Harbaugh] knows what he's doing, so it is what it is. You can get hurt at any time. I'm good. I came out of the game 100%, so it's fine."
What do you see from the Texans' defense, in particular DE J.J. Watt and some of the other guys in the front seven like OLB Jacob Martin? (Aaron Wilson) "They've got some dudes at linebacker, some thumpers. Everyone, it's all eleven at the ball at all times. It's the same team we played against last year, plus J.J. Watt. I know those guys are going to be explosive and ready to play, so we just have to prepare well."
I know you've got a lot of different weapons on your offense, but what has it been like playing with WR Willie Snead IV, specifically, the last three years? What does he bring that maybe some other guys don't? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Man, Willie [Snead IV] can do it all. He's going to block. He's going to get open for you. He's going to catch the pass. He's going to make people miss. He's going to break a few tackles. He should've broken that one where he got shoe-laced during the game. He's a vet; he keeps our young guys in check. So, he brings all that to the table."
I know last year, you and TE Mark Andrews talked a lot about your street ball connection, and it looks like that connection is just as good, if not better, this year. Can you talk about how that connection has evolved and how it's gotten even better? (Ryan Mink) "Just a whole year throwing to Mark [Andrews] … Well, two years, but I'll just say a whole year, because it was my first full year last season. And then in camp, we got back into it. A lot of repetition on getting our chemistry down pat. He just makes my job a lot easier, like I always say."
The Ravens Productions team released that Wired video last night. As I was watching, I noticed that RB Mark Ingram II was mic'd up, and as usual, he brought the energy on Sunday. Did you find yourself specifically, personally, feeding off of what he was bringing to the table? (Bobby Trosset) "For sure. I think I said it in the press room after the game, the pregame speech he gave us, that was it for me. I was ready to go after that. I was telling some of the guys, me and 'Hollywood' [Marquise Brown] were talking about it like, 'Man. I'm ready to go right now. We don't need anything else to do, just go play football right now.' Definitely."
When the Ravens drafted WR Devin Duvernay, executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta said he loved how kind of tough he was with the ball. He likened him to former Ravens WRs Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith Sr. in that way. You've been with him now on the field for a month or so. He had that one catch in the game there. What's your take on watching him play over this first month or so? (Bo Smolka) "He's explosive. He's fast. He's got speed. If you're looking at him running, it doesn't look like he's moving, but he's moving faster than you think. He ran past some of my passes during practice, so I just can't wait to see him just go when we're all out there and he's out there with us on offense, and he just goes and does his thing. I'd like to keep him under the radar right now though, so I don't really want to talk about him." (laughing)
Kind of piggybacking off that earlier question about the first road game, is there a part of you that feeds off of the opposing crowd and them getting after you guys? And will you kind of miss hearing that? (Ryan Mink) "No and no. (laughter) I play football. I don't really care about the fan noise and stuff like that. Play ball, I just want to win."
You were asked a couple minutes ago about how the game has slowed down for you. What about specifically in the pocket when you're going through your decision making? Can you speak to the comfort level that you're feeling? (Bobby Trosset) "I wouldn't say I'm too comfortable, because we've got guys coming at us. (laughter) But I'm just doing my job, keeping my eyes downfield, trying to execute the defense, trying to execute that play [and] that drive, trying to get to the endzone and that's all."
Just because you've mentioned it a couple of times, RB Mark Ingram's II speech – what specifically about it fired you up? I don't know how much you want to share, but was there something specifically that really got you going? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Just everything. The energy, the things he was saying. I wouldn't say it on here, but the things he was saying, it was just like, 'We need to go out there and do our thing.' I was just pumped up. I was anxious and ready to go. But like I said, I wouldn't want to say what he was saying on here." (laughter)
I'm wondering, did you hear what Cleveland Browns DT Sheldon Richardson said, 'He's not turning into Aaron Rodgers overnight.' It kind of reminded me of last year when you did the running back move. (Kirk McEwen) "Yes, I did. I did. I heard him." (Reporter: "So, that's fuel?") "I guess so. I guess."
TE Mark Andrews
You've had 12 touchdowns in your last 17 regular season games. How do you happen to get open in the end zone so often? Does QB Lamar Jackson have some sort of radar that finds you when you are in that end zone? (David Ginsburg) "That's a good question. It's pretty much a combination of things; being able to feel the game, and then, when you play with a guy like Lamar [Jackson], he's able to hit his open guys. Obviously, we have a good connection. And then [offensive coordinator] 'G-Ro' [Greg Roman] calling plays, scheming things up and putting us in the right position. I've been fortunate to be able to score those touchdowns and be in that position and be able to make those plays. So, a lot of credit to the teammates and coaches. That's a team thing."
First road game in this COVID-19 era. How do you anticipate it being any different, if it all? Road trip as well? (Shawn Stepner) "I don't know if it'll be too much different. I think we're still flying out, doing all the same things, staying at the hotel. A lot of the same things [that] we're going to try to keep similar. But I know as a team, we just have to be able to lock in, stay focused [and] keep our energy being away and not really having fans and stuff like that. So, we've got to bring our own energy and keep this team going."
Going back to the question about the connection you have with QB Lamar Jackson … If you had to put a percentage on the number of completions that you've had that are improvised, like the street ball stuff, what would you say? It seems like some of that, when he starts to scramble, he just kind of knows where you're going to be [and] where he's going to deliver the ball. Where would you put that at? (Garrett Downing) "That's tough to kind of put a percentage on it, but it's something that we've worked [on] and it kind of just happens. Being able to scramble and feel where … He's able to see and feel where I'm going to go, and I'm able to feel where he may throw the ball or where an open spot is. So, it happens throughout the game. It's not something that you try to do, so it's maybe make a wrong read on a route and then I've got to make up for it and get open. So, stuff like that. I don't know how often it happens, but it's been good."
Last year, I think you were around 43% or 44% of the offensive snaps. Week One, you were over 70%, I think it was. You've talked a little bit about this. With the trade of TE Hayden Hurst, did you expect this sort of workload? And was that all part of how you went about your offseason preparation training? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, I ran a ton this offseason [and] worked out a ton. In the back of my head, I knew that my role was going to grow, and rightfully so. Third year being a tight end, it naturally kind of happens that way. It felt really well, my body feels great. I felt great out there, condition-wise, so I'm ready for it. I'm ready for the task and the more the better, for me."
QB Lamar Jackson was also really efficient throwing to the wide receivers on Sunday. If that continues, does that potentially open up your game even more? (Childs Walker) "No doubt. He had, honestly, a complete game, and our wide receivers really helped him out as well. Just the whole offense and those guys clicking, it was really cool to see. It was so efficient. Even just that two-minute drive that we had; just plugging the ball downfield, guys getting open, finding the space on the field and getting up and out, stuff like that. So, guys are really clicking right now. We feel good, but we still have a lot of work to do. We still have to be able to do that week-in and week-out. We have a big test coming up this week with the Texans, and we'll see how that goes."
You talk about cool to see … It's cool to see you split out wide at 6'4", 260 pounds, or whatever. What does that do to a corner on you, and how do you like that role? (Kirk McEwen) "I love being outside. That's something that I love to do. That's something that I started playing football and I was a wide receiver. So, [in] high school, almost 100% of my snaps were from outside. It's something I'm really comfortable with. It's starting to grow throughout this offense, being outside a little bit more. I just think it creates a little bit more mismatches [with] defenses having to gameplan for that. So, [offensive coordinator] 'G-Ro' [Greg Roman] has done a great job of moving me around and kind of hiding some stuff."
Sort of along those lines, you switched to tight end permanently at Oklahoma. Can you talk a little bit about how that switch position came about and what went into that thinking? (Cliff Brown) "Yes, I got there, and it was about a couple months into it and I kind of realized I wasn't going to play that first year, so I red-shirted. And then [former Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach] Jay Norvell, who I think is at Nevada right now, just kind of came to me and told me that he really thought I had a future at playing tight end. I had the body. I had, kind of, the work ethic to be able to do that, and I made the decision to do it. I love the tight end position. It's such a unique thing. So, once I decided to kind of flip my reign and decided I wanted to be a tight end and really invest into it, that's when things started to click. Because it's not a position that you can go out there and you just kind of run around. It's a tough position and it's a unique position, but for me, it fits really well."
Kind of piggybacking off of that, how good of an NFL wide receiver do you think you would be? (Ryan Mink) "That's a good question. Probably pretty good, I don't know. (laughter) I basically play wide receiver sometimes. So, it's definitely my bread and butter, being able to get open, beat man, find the zones. So, I think I could do it, but I love being able to play tight end. I love being able to be versatile and maybe hide myself by blocking and then going out for a pass. That's the beauty of tight end, is you never know what they're going to do or where they're going to be. It's a beautiful position."
OLB Matthew Judon
I know in past years you have a victory slide down the [team] plane after a road win. Obviously, because of COVID-19, you probably can't do that. Any plans for a new tradition? (Daniel Oyefusi) "I didn't even think about it. I was, really, just going to victory slide with my mask on. So, we're going to see how that plays out. But, obviously, I haven't been away – our first game was [at] home. We're going to find out and see how that goes."
Kind of piggybacking off of that – is it kind of weird? I don't know if you guys usually go out, maybe Saturday night to eat or do anything? Do you foresee anything being really different from usual? (Daniel Oyefusi) "Yes, some of us usually go out. I usually find one of the best pizza spots in town – one of the highest rated – and I eat pizza the night before a game. We aren't allowed to leave our hotel, I think. So, they're just going to have to bring it to me and we're just going to have to be chilling up in a hotel. That's just what it is for right now. It's a crazy time and a crazy world right now. For me to keep everybody on my team safe and for everybody else to be safe, and for us to continue to play games, I'm just going to have to switch up what I do right now. Pizza can be delivered anywhere."
Just piggybacking on that – do you think that you're going to miss the opposing fans and hearing from them, and the jeering, and kind of playing that villain role? (Ryan Mink) "One thing about 'The Flock' is we travel well. I think I'm going to miss our fans at away games. For some reason, we've got fans all over the county. So, I'm going to miss our fans. And the opposing fans, it's just the opposing fans. Not glad that they can't be there, because it's just different, it's just different. This season is different and we're just going to have to face that. We're just going to have to attack that. But I wish 'The Flock' could come out."
ILB Malik Harrison and ILB Patrick Queen got their feet wet – both started on Sunday. I'm wondering your thoughts on the rookies and their play against the Browns? (Kirk McEwen) "Both of those cats, they played some big-time football with where they're from – the SEC and the Big Ten. Obviously, [Patrick Queen] 'PQ' won a national championship last year. And Malik [Harrison] – they're the big dogs in the Big Ten; everybody is trying to beat Ohio State. They actually had played in big games, and I think they didn't miss a beat. They came in and made some plays. You see Malik, he had a pass deflection that if Chuck [Clark] had better hands could've turned it into an interception. And then we had 'PQ' getting a sack and making a lot of plays on defense. I just think both of those guys, they're going to have a long career. Hopefully, they stay healthy – God willing – and they're going to have good, long, productive careers for the Ravens, and in this league."
What have you seen so far, if you've looked at the film of the Texans? They've had some time off. What did you see from them against Kansas City and the way [the Chiefs] were able to get to [Texans] QB Deshaun Watson? (Jerry Coleman) "I saw the Texans out there – I saw how they want to run their offense, and how they want to move the ball and the stuff that they're looking for. They have a great quarterback – one of the best in the NFL – and he has a good supporting cast. He has a good [offensive] line; he has a good running back; he has playmaking wide receivers. So, we just can't sleep on them. We've got to go out there and be us, be who we are. But we cannot think that they can't make plays, because they definitely can."
You guys seem all really supportive of S DeShon Elliott. Why is that a guy you rally around and what do you expect to see from him this week when you're going against a creative arm at quarterback? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Everybody saw it from DeShon's [Elliott] rookie camp. You guys were around here; you were on the field. We all saw it. Just unfortunately, the beast of the game got to him – injuries. He had season-ending injuries his last two years. So, with him being healthy, and him being thrust into the role that he was thrust into – you guys have seen it. [He's] flying out of the post – DeShon was flying out of the post to make some hits for one- or two-yard gains. And that's who we knew he was. That's who DeShon knows he is. He has a lot of confidence in himself, and I think he's trying to put the last two years behind him and move forward. As long as he's out there and he's on the Ravens, I think everybody will have 100% confidence in DeShon. On my tape, he's a good player. You have to watch out for him."
You guys went out in the opening game, looked good, stayed healthy. Players around the league seem to be just fine with no preseason games. What does that say to you, if anything, about the value of those games and playing four of them normally? (Mark Viviano) "Honestly, nobody cares about my opinion on that. The rule-makers are going to make their own rules. But, honestly, I would like to see preseason games. We have some guys in this locker room who didn't get to show to the world what they can do, and now, unfortunately, they don't get to suit up on Sundays. I'm a fan for at least two preseason games – one home and one away – just so you can get travel and stuff. You can see how that will be, and then you'll see how your home game atmosphere will be. We went to the stadium and stuff, but some of those guys might've not known where the stadium was if we didn't go to it, because we're in Owings Mills every day. It's different with not having preseason games, but as me being a fifth-round draft pick and having those preseason games, I definitely would've regretted it if I didn't have those games."
TEXANS HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN
(Conference Call with Baltimore Media)
Last week, you went to Kansas City, where there were fans. You come back home and there is not going to be any fans. How much of a competitive disadvantage do you feel that is for not only your team, but other teams around the league? (Jamison Hensley) "I know that that question has been asked a lot. I think at the end of the day, it just comes down to what happens in between the white lines. There are things that you cannot do anything about. We have a major problem in this country with the coronavirus, so everybody is doing the best job they can. The NFL, I believe, is doing a great job – knock on wood – so far. We've had zero positive tests here, so the NFL has created a bubble within each team. And then they've also, I witnessed this last week, they've created a travel bubble for the teams that traveled. Fans, no fans … we love our fans. We would love [for] our fans to be there, but that's not anything that we can control, so we really try not to waste any time even thinking about that."
You had a chance to play against QB Lamar Jackson last year. What do you take from that game going into this season, and how do you prepare for a guy like that in practice? (Todd Karpovich) "It didn't go so well for us last year. He's a great player. He's got great speed and quickness. He just has a really excellent handle on their offense. They do an unbelievable job with their offensive scheme. He's got a lot of good players around him, so we need to have a great week of practice here and play a much more disciplined football game on Sunday than we did last year. But it's a different year. Obviously, versus Cleveland, he picked up right where he left off last year. He's [an] MVP. He's a great player. I've got all the respect in the world for him."
One of the stories that kind of follows the Ravens franchise is the relationship between general manager and head coach. So, since you guys do it a different way, I'm just curious, what have you learned over the past few months, kind of handling both roles? Is there anything that surprised you or anything different about that duty? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Yes, our model is pretty unique relative to titles. [Executive vice president of football operations] Jack Easterby and I really run the football side of things together. He has a lot of what you would call in the traditional GM model, he has a lot of GM duties. I do what I do, and he does what he does. We work well together. We're together every minute of the day trying to improve the football team. That's just our model and the way we do things. We've just got to keep working and try to get better."
You guys, over the last year or so, got your bookend LT Laremy Tunsil signed to an extension and your star QB Deshaun Watson signed to an extension. How important is that going forward – to have those two pieces locked in for the foreseeable future? And how much does that help your roster building when you know you have those two guys, and you can kind of decide what you need to do with your other cap space to build around them? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, I thought it was important to get, obviously, those done. Laremy Tunsil, Deshaun Watson, Zach Cunningham is another one that we were able to get done. And then last year – Whitney Mercilus, Nick Martin. You have your core players that … Basically, you're looking at your team and you're saying … Based on how you want your team to be set up economically, there are certain positions that you have to get locked in, and hopefully you have the right player. We feel like we do at those positions, and we felt like it was … Whether it's during the season or during the offseason, it's important to get those guys under contract, and I feel like we've done a good job of that. That's one of our philosophies – that we're trying to make sure that we have our team set up economically based on the value of that player to our team. I feel like we're on the right path with those types of things."
You mentioned the travel bubble. You guys were the first team to go on the road in the NFL amid COVID. So, just looking back, how difficult, manageable, or easy was that whole experience for you? (Jonas Shaffer) "We have an unbelievable operations staff. They just did a great job. It was like … There were certain differences; like when you got there … I guess what I'm saying is we have nothing to complain about, right? When we got to the hotel, all of our meals were in a bag, ready for us, ready to go. We took it to our room; we ate. We were in a beautiful hotel, so we were able to meet in the meeting spaces, because we could socially-distance in there. Everything from the airplane, to the buses … We had about 10 buses, because you could only have 50% bus capacity. Everybody did a great job. I had nothing to do with that. It was just an awesome job by our operations staff. We have a great operations staff."
You've gone against LT Ronnie Stanley a few times over the years. In watching him on film and watching him in person, what makes him so effective? (Jamison Hensley) "Obviously, he [Ronnie Stanley] has great size, and the combination of size with really good athletic ability. He's very smart – a very instinctive player. I remember when he was coming out of Notre Dame; we worked on him in the draft. He's just a really bright guy – plays the game very calmly. He's not an over-aggressive player. He knows what they're trying to do, and he's very athletic – very technique-sound. He's a great player – great player."