RAVENS TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS: Aug. 5
Head Coach John Harbaugh
On QB Kyle Boller starting the New England game:"I think it's more of a nod to experience and seniority. We're going to balance those guys' reps out through training camp. You're going to give one guy most of one game and another guy most of another game, and make sure Joe [Flacco] gets his reps through the two games. Kyle's been here, so he gets the first game."
On how much time the first-strong offensive line will see:"We've got to get the first O-line, including [T Chad Slaughter and T Mike Kracalik], plenty of work. They'll get plenty of work, more than maybe a more veteran line would get in the first preseason game."
On rookie RB Ray Rice:"He's a rookie, but gosh he's had a lot of carries his whole career. As a running back, he's a veteran. It will be new for him playing against an NFL defense, particularly that defense, and it will be interesting to see how he'll do. But, I'd be surprised if he's not up to the task."
On his first game as an NFL head coach:"I expect not to know what to expect and how it's going to be like. You talk about the rookies and how they're going to respond… I'm interested in how I'm going to respond. We'll see how it goes."
On how the rookies feel approaching their first game:"I think they're relieved. They're excited to get out of practice and get into a game and put the soaks on, so to speak. It's something they've always dreamed of."
On whether he is excited to get going with games:"Absolutely. I love practice. Practice is great. But the games – that's the best part of it."
On RB Willis McGahee:"He's just got the knee. We decided to take about a week and work the knee, strengthen it, get the swelling down and get him back after this game."
On Rice's role when McGahee comes back:"Well, just like when we drafted him, we said he was going to be a complement to Willis. Willis is our back, no question about it. But Ray is going to be a great complement to him. You need at least two good running backs to get through an NFL season. Most offenses would prefer to have an explosive weapon like Ray to throw in there, no question."
On who will play at safety:"Of course the one guy is [Dawan] Landry. He'll be the starter. The other guys will roll through with the first group. Rex [Ryan] will start one of them – I don't even know who it is right now – and then we'll rotate the other guys the rest of the way. My guess is that all three of the backup safeties will play the whole game."
On CB Samari Rolle:"It's just great to see his face. The guys are kind of relieved and excited to have him back. He'll be back practicing Saturday. He'll be working individual stuff until Saturday."
On how long the first-team offense will play:"I'd say some combination. Most of the first half, probably for that group, is kind of the idea. If we get a bunch of snaps, we'll get them out of there, and if we don't get enough snaps, we'll probably go longer."
On Patriots head coach Bill Belichick recommending him to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti:"We talked about coach Belichick early. I've always admired him and respected him since the Cleveland days and the Scott O'Brien deal. For him to throw a good word in, so to speak, and to recommend you, that's something that a coach can only dream about."
On where G/C Chris Chester will play:"He'll cross train at both spots. In the game, it will just depend on how the reps go."
CB Samari Rolle
On his return to camp:"It does [feel good]. The hardest part was probably leaving my mom at home, but the Ravens have been very supportive from the top to the bottom. With them coming to the funeral and coach [John] Harbaugh giving me as much time as I need, it helped out a whole lot."
On how difficult it has been:"Yesterday was my father's birthday, so that made it more difficult. I checked on my mom and my brother and they went to the gravesite. I was supposed to go, but mostly I wasn't ready. Football is important, but it's just a game. But it's good to be back with my teammates."
On owner Steve Bisciotti flying several Ravens to the funeral:"He's a world-class owner. From the time that I've gotten here, he's been very supportive of different types of situations. I guess it shows everybody what type of owner he is, and more so, what type of person he is."
On what he can take from this:"God doesn't give you more than you can handle. I think at the end of the day, I can turn this into a positive somehow, someway."
On how much it means to get back on the field:"A whole lot. I think it will ease my mind and make me feel like one of the guys again, as opposed to back in Miami where everybody was like, 'Sorry for your loss; you have my condolences.' That's kind of hard because you're constantly thinking about it every day."
On wanting to practice yesterday:"Yeah, I was trying to put that behind me, knowing that it was [my dad's] birthday. I figured I'd come out here and practice and try to get over it. I didn't know I would have to take a physical and pass a conditioning test."
On how long it will take to get back into it:"I think maybe about three or four days. All these guys have been out here sweating and going through it. I want to be one of the guys again and make up the time I missed."
On rebounding from last season's bouts with Epilepsy:"I drove to the facility yesterday and today. So I'm back driving, so things are going well."
On Harbaugh:"He's down to Earth. That's the biggest thing. He's like a regular guy. He's stern but at the same time, there's no talking down to you, there's no opinion. He's just talking to you like one of the guys. He's been very supportive the whole time."
On what he'd heard about camp so far:"I heard there was a lot of hitting going on. I heard it was different from what camp has been in the past."
QB Kyle Boller
On being named the starter:"I'm very excited. The ultimate goal is to get out there, and I'm going to be out there with the first team. I just want to go out there and execute, move the ball down the field. I know it's a preseason game, but it's very important to us to go out there and execute and get the things done that we've been working hard on these past few months."
On if he feels pressure to impress:"I can't look at it that way. I just go out there and play football. I can't put so much pressure on myself to say I have to be perfect on every play. I hope I am, but if something goes wrong, it's not the end of the world. I just have to go out there and take it one play at a time and do what I know I'm capable of doing. That is executing, putting the ball in my playmakers' hands and having some fun."
On if his experience is an advantage:"Definitely. I have a bunch of starts under my belt and have seen a lot of game experience, so I should be able to go out there and have fun. This isn't my first preseason game; it's my sixth year. I just want to go out there and have fun with my guys, doing all the things we work on here at practice to do."
On if he wants to play like his performance against New England last year:"Most definitely. They got it in the end, but we definitely had a great game against them, and hopefully, that will continue Thursday night."
On if it is a relief playing another team or is he anxious:"I think it's a little bit of both. I'm excited to see a different color jersey over there. We go against the best defense every day, so it will be nice to go out there and play somebody else and just have some fun. When you're playing football… That's why you practice, to play these games. A lot of those young guys are going to be out there having fun. Hopefully, things will go well."
On the pace of camp preparing the team for game conditions:"It's going fast. One thing that we really try to work on is the tempo, and we need to try to take that into the game. That's why we're practicing it – to take it into the game. This is a good opportunity Thursday night to do that."
On if he was surprised about being named the starter:"I had a feeling it might happen, being that I have been around here a little bit. We've been splitting reps, so I'm just excited to be out there to do it with the ones."
On advice for rookies like Ray Rice that will see a lot of playing time:"Well, that's my job in the huddle to calm him down a little bit. But, he's been doing a great job all summer. He's improved so much from the first time we saw him until now, and I just told him to do what he does in practice. He's been making plays left and right. Obviously, he's going to be excited, but I don't think the game is going to get too big for him. I think he's going to do a great job."
On the differences between knowing he's the starter and being a backup:"You want to go out there, execute and do well. Ultimately, how you play in these games is going to determine who's going to be the starter, so every game is important. You get limited reps, so you have to take advantage of every rep that you have and every throw you have to win that job. The game tape is what they're going to look at."