S Terrence Brooks
On how quickly he is learning the defense as a rookie: "It was a little hard at first. Coming into a new system, it's definitely going to be challenging, but for the most part, with more studying and just being more of a student of the game, I feel like I've got a good grasp on how this defense is and the schemes. For an update, I would say that I'm doing really well with it, and now it's just going out there and playing for us."* *
On his biggest challenge as a rookie: "I would say just eliminating all of the clutter, all of the outside distractions and things like that, and just getting back to football and becoming, like I said, a student of the game and pretty much putting your all into it. You don't have school anymore, so this is the only thing you have to do. For the most part, I'm doing well with it. I feel like I'm more comfortable right now – definitely in a good spot."* *
On what he needs to show as a rookie: "Just how fast I can play, how well I can fit with this defense. They brought me here for a reason, so I just have to show them what I put on film to get me here. I just have to go out and play and just be myself and be comfortable."* *
On what he expects from the NFL's Rookie Symposium: "It's always a new experience. I'm just going to go in there with an open mindset. I don't know what to expect yet; it's my first time. So, I'm just going to go in there and observe all the information and anything that can help me do better at this level."* *
On transitioning to the professional level: "I would kind of relate it to going your first time to college – getting kind of homesick a little bit and things like that. I feel comfortable here. The guys are great in the locker room. The coaches are great. Practice is going really well. I feel like I fit in here, so it's not hard to transition at all."* *
On how S Matt Elam, S Darian Stewart and S Jeromy Miles been helpful: "Oh, definitely. Me and Matt [Elam] talk a lot. As soon as I got drafted, actually, [Elam] found my phone number and we chatted ever since I got up here. But for the most part, it's competition on that field, but it's not anything bad. These guys are actually helping me program, because it's only going to better the team – and that's in all phases; that goes for special teams also."* *
On how he can make an overall impact as a safety: "[Tackling is] one part of the game, but you also have to cover. I pride myself in doing it all – covering, tackling and having a lot of range on that field. It's not just hitting as a safety. You have to make sure you're the commander back there, make sure the whole defense is set up right. So, it's a lot that goes into it."
WR/RS Jacoby Jones
On what he thinks the offense is going to look like:"It's flowing. Everybody is picking it up well. The chemistry is there. Nobody is thinking anymore during the OTAs and the football schools. Everybody is playing fast and rolling with it. [We are] feeling good."
On referring to Gary Kubiak as his "biological father":"First, I need to get that DNA test. (laughter) I'm going to steal his coffee and swab the cup and figure it out. (laughter) I have to make sure. I hope my mother doesn't see this. She'll kill me." (laughter)
On if he thinks OLB Terrell Suggs is a little more relaxed this year:"'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] is still himself. Sizz is Sizz. You know, he's going to come out and run his mouth, but he's going to give you everything he's got – 110 percent. He's going to be here in practice, he's going to come off the ball hard [and] make a lot of tackles. Sizz is Sizz. Everybody leads differently, and he's a guy that will show by example. But when it's time for him to talk, he talks."
On what he is working on this season:"[I'm] trying to be one of the best receivers in the league. [I'm going to] try and play my role when they call my number, to show [I can] make that play. We fell short last year not going to the playoffs, and you beat yourself up in the offseason like, 'What did I do wrong? What did I do right?' You look for those types of small things and then build off them."
On how the Ravens' receivers make each other better:"Bringing in Steve [Smith, Sr.] as a vet, you can learn from him easily. You can learn from Torrey [Smith]. Sometimes you can learn from some young guys that come in and do something different from you that you've never seen before. When you bring us all together, we all push each other [and] work hard when you see another receiver make a play, like 'OK, it's my turn to make a play.' We all work together."
On the team adjusting to Gary Kubiak's new offensive scheme:"Everybody [can be] so tense when they're learning a new offense, and before you know it, the whole offense has been installed, and [we will] be like, 'That's it?' Like 'Yeah,' and with everybody it's just clockwork. It's all about chemistry and trusting what you're doing."
On if the offense is the same as when it was when he was in Houston:"Black and white. There might be one or two tweaks, but everything, that's why I like [it]. Every time when I see it, I'm like, 'I already know this.' Still in there computerized – five years of it."
On being more comfortable with this offense due to his familiarity with it:"I'm comfortable with it because I came in the league having learned it. It's a little different now. When I came in the league in '07, it was like, 'Here's the playbook – boom! Practice is in an hour.' It's like, 'Oh, Lord.' Nowadays you have the football school and you have your iPads, you have this, slide – no. You're looking at it black and white; flip the page – paper cuts."
On how QB Joe Flacco's skill set is a benefit to the offense:"Not to take anything from the other quarterbacks out there, but Joe, his arm is a very strong arm – of course, everybody knows – and he's very athletic and he reads coverages really well. That's why [he's a benefit to us]."
On his new apparel brand:"What brand? Don't say it like that! I just like the Roman numeral, XII. Of course it's a 12, but I get to put it on a couple of shirts and some shorts. It looks nice!" (laughter)
On whether Gary Kubiak's limit on taking deep shots downfield is a legitimate claim:"Don't sleep on that, but the way he is, he's going to take what you give us. If you're going to sit there and play that all game – you're going to give it to us – why not? Just chip away and throw it down the field. It's football. It's a chess match. You'll be stupid to sit there. Bye, bye! (laughter)"
On the offense being a good fit for him, Steve Smith, Sr. and Torrey Smith:"Yes. No doubt. Everybody is going to fit right in, play their role and show up."
On if the younger receivers are relying on his help:"When they ask questions, I help them my way, because like I said, I just know [the offense] like night and day. So, I let them know and [share] all the information I know."
On how different this offseason has been from last year:"Well, my hips are not as loose. I can tell you that. (laughter) But no, actually, I was able to rest. I let my body heal. We had a long offseason last year, but I actually feel even better. [I'm] in shape now that I came back from offseason workouts."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On being more "top heavy" entering minicamp this season:"It's whatever sustains in the season, the NFL season. My biggest thing is as long as I am in shape."*
On what he's learning about the offseason training process:"The year before, I was injured, so I really had to adjust to everything pretty much. When you start climbing in age, you can't do the other things you used to do so well. So really, everything matters – everything counts from what you're doing and how you're training to everything that goes into your diet."
On the "new-look" team with its offensive and defensive additions: "It feels good. It feels good, and we [are happy with what] we are doing defensively and [with the] guys we brought in. But the No. 1 focus is what do we need to address in this camp and what do we need to address going forward? Like I said, I love the things we are doing this year. I love the feel of having coach [Gary] Kubiak here. It's just a lot of things, but this is minicamp."
On having someone to talk trash to on the other side of the ball in WR Steve Smith, Sr.:"It's good. It's good to have that. We had it a few years ago in 81 [Anquan Boldin], and it's good to have that fire back on that side of the ball. [It's good to] have somebody who will go out there and jab back with us and compete, so definitely."
On what it was like to miss out on the playoffs in 2013:"It was very weird. It was very agonizing. For the past six years we've been in the playoffs, and to watch other teams get the opportunity to compete for a championship, it was very agonizing. It was like you've got to go back and question what you could have done better and how you not repeat that going into the next year and definitely don't have that feeling again. It was frustrating."
On if the team has the "right answers" for the upcoming campaign:"We've got some. We're not going to tell you all of them, but we've got some things we definitely need to address so we don't have that left out feeling again. I think we all, including you guys, including us, we were a little disappointed. We were unsatisfied by how we performed last year coming off the big Super Bowl win."
On how he feels being one of the older players on the team:"I feel great. To be totally honest with you, it's all in your mindset. If you think you're old, you're going to train old and then you're going to perform old. I'm 31, but I feel like it's Day One for me. So, I just need to go out there and have fun. Like I said, I think it's all a mindset."
On if he feels he still has something to prove at age 31:"You're going to always have something to prove when you're playing this game. You never want to hit your cruising altitude; you always want to be ascending with your game. You can always get better. That's what I'm going to continue to try to do. Like I said, there were some things we identified that we all could have done better last season, and definitely finishing strong is one of them for us as a team and myself."
On whether he was totally healthy at the end of last season:"Yes, I think I was. One of the things was you get a little cold and you gain a little weight. I probably put on a little too much weight down the stretch there. But that was one of my big focuses going into this year. Definitely, if I keep my weight down, I can have a strong finish. I think I was pretty much healthy. I played all 16 games. We also had tremendous depth at the outside linebacker position, adding Elvis [Dumervil] and with the emergence of [Courtney] Upshaw and Pernell McPhee. So, you definitely want to get as many of your good guys on the field as possible and try to get a rotation so we could position ourselves to make a good championship run. But, that was last year. All we can do is learn from it now. We don't want to harp on it – just continue to work."
On if having a leadership role will be easier on him this year:"Maybe. I never really thought of it like that. It was a big period of adjustment, and I was more focused on losing [Ray Lewis and Ed Reed] from a brother standpoint, not as a football standpoint. I had those older guys around to build, and it was a period of adjustment. It was weird, and it transpired onto the field – not having those guys there. But, the most [important] thing we can learn from last year about those guys not being there is those were once-in-a-lifetime guys – Ed Reed and Ray Lewis – and all we can be is ourselves. They're not going to come walking through the door to help us win another championship. So all you can be is yourself, and that should be enough."
On if he plans on having a little more fun this season:"We'll see, we'll see."
On how important DE Chris Canty is to the locker room:"It's huge. Anytime you've got a guy who's got 10 years under his belt, that's huge. Having a veteran team that knows how to work, that knows what it's like … Canty is also a Super Bowl winner, so he knows what it takes to get it done. And that's huge having Chris Canty in the locker room. I love being his teammate; he's a great teammate, a phenomenal teammate."
On the type of teammate WR Steve Smith, Sr. is:"Steve Smith, we love him. You've seen the fire. We were definitely on opposing ends a few minutes ago, but that's what you need in that purple. You need a fiery guy like that, not just on defense but on offense as well. And I'm glad he's on my team."
On having a leadership mantle to share with Steve Smith, Sr.:"Definitely. [And that's] not to discredit the guys we do have around here. I think Torrey Smith is a more of a lead-by-example guy. Joe Flacco is a great leader. Marshal Yanda [is a leader]. We've got guys in this locker room that can lead, especially on that side of the ball. Steve just adds to it."
On how leadership forms within the Ravens' franchise:"I think everybody has to lead in different ways. I know what you are talking about, but there is nobody in the history of the NFL that is going to do it like [Ray Lewis]. So, like I said a few minutes ago, you just have to be yourself in however you choose to lead. And that's how you are going to do it."
On being a vocal leader in the locker room and on the field:"Nobody has to be that. There shouldn't be anybody who tries to be that. You just be yourself, definitely."
On the mixture of veterans and young players on this year's roster:"I like that mix. I think that definitely makes for a great team to have young and veteran guys and guys that can grow up and come into their own. And we're just waiting to see what some of these guys can do – especially guys that have been waiting in the wings. I'm waiting to see Omar Brown get his opportunity, Asa Jackson as well – just to see when the bullets are live what they can do to help us win."
G/T Rick Wagner
On having a chance to win the job at right tackle: "It's been going really good – just trying to get the new offense going, and I feel really comfortable right now. We've been working out here since April, and everyone seems to be coming along pretty well."* *
On how he is acclimating to the starting guard position: "It's a great opportunity right now, and [offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak] has definitely thrown a lot at us right now. But, that's just part of the job, and I'm very happy for this opportunity and [will] just keep going when camp starts."* *
On what he needs to work on to establish himself as a starting right tackle: "Right now I think it's just getting down the playbook. [This is] another new offense for me to get comfortable with, but as of right now, I feel very comfortable."* *
On his strengths: "I want to be a consistent blocker – just doing my job, not hearing too much from [the media], grinding and doing my job."* *
On OLB Elvis Dumervil and OLB Terrell Suggs: "They're great players. It's not too fun going against them all the time, but it's definitely good practice, and it's great to have them back."* *
On whether athleticism, strength or smarts are his best attribute: "I like to think I'm a mix of all those."* *
On how his playing time last season has prepared him for a starting role: "I think it helped a lot. The biggest jump from college to the NFL is just the speed, and there's nothing you can really do except get out there and get on the field."* *
On what he learned from blocking former Broncos OLB Shaun Phillips as an emergency substitute in 2013's Week 1 game: "Again, just the speed. It was a big game [on a] Thursday night, kind of getting thrown in there, but those are experiences that are very valuable because they don't come along that much."* *
On whether blocking Phillips was more of a humbling or motivational moment: "I think both. [It was] definitely humbling, but the next day I wanted to get back there and get motivated again."* *
On whether his basketball background helps with his footwork: "I hope so. I haven't played since high school, so I hope so."* *
On his confidence going forward since blocking Phillips last season: "Any game experience is going to give anybody confidence, so I was very happy with the opportunity."* *
On the similarities between the left and right tackle position: "I think it's pretty similar. It's just a comfort thing getting out of the right-handed stance versus the left-handed, but I think it's coming along really good."* *
On help he has received from G Marshal Yanda: "It has been great [having] a Pro Bowler next to you. It's a great situation for me. [Yanda] is constantly helping me; he's like another coach out there, and I am definitely learning a lot."* *
On whether or not the offensive line has a chip on its shoulder: "We are motivated to get the run game going and protection as well."* *
On what the coaches are saying about his opportunity this year: "Obviously, it's a great opportunity. These are tough practices out here, and I think the O-line as a unit is really taking advantage of these hot days and really coming closer together."* *
On the opportunity of not having to split reps with veterans: "It's a good confidence booster, and again, I'm very thankful for the opportunity they've giving us and definitely want to take advantage of it."