Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good to see everyone. Thanks for coming out. [Linebackers coach] Ted Monachino is another example of the unbelievable coaching staff we have here – just great coaches, great guys. Obviously, [they are] really well-spoken guys, but Ted does a great job, as do all of our guys. A couple things to announce: Governor [Larry] Hogan was here. Did you all know that? Did you see him? Did you get a chance to interview him or anything, ask him some tough questions? (Reporter: "How's he doing coach?") "He said he was doing well. He's doing chemotherapy on a regular basis – tough chemotherapy – and he was in really great spirits. Yes, he seemed really good." (Reporter: "What was his message to the team?") "That was his message to the team – basically, that tough times require tough people. 'Tough it out.' That was probably – I'm paraphrasing – but that was kind of it. You have to fight through things. Life hits you in the face, and you have to fight [obstacles] and overcome them. That was probably a very timely message for us, so I thought it was really good." (Reporter: "Did you talk immigration, tax codes?") *"I asked him about that. He told me to stick to football." *(laughter)
What does it say about the Ravens when the governor who has been going through so much takes time out of his busy schedule to come out here and spend some time with the guys? (Scott Wykoff)"[Larry Hogan is] a Ravens fan, that's for sure. He's fired up for this week's game. Who are we playing this week? (laughter) He's fired up for that. It was great. His daughter was here. She's a prosecutor down in the southern part of the state. She happens to be a Michigan grad, so we had a lot to talk about there. She's a Maryland … I think she's Michigan undergrad and Maryland Law School, so we had a chance to talk about that. What are you going to do for that game [Michigan vs. Maryland]? I'm going to be on the Michigan sideline. I'm going to put it out there right now: I'll be on the Michigan sideline wearing maize and blue, just for the record. I like coach [Randy Edsall] over there, but I love Jim Harbaugh. But I think she's going to wear a split jersey, she said. She's going to wear half and half." (Reporter: "A house divided.") "Yes, it's both her schools. It was a pretty fun day that way. [Larry Hogan] talked to the team – like I said – and did a good job. We also had some guys that weren't practicing today, as you noticed. We took a lot of the veteran starters and backed them out. This was a practice for young guys – guys we felt needed reps, guys that are fighting to make the team – and a special teams emphasis practice. That's where we had our emphasis today. It was a good, tough practice in pads, and they did a good job with it. OK, what do you have?"
*I know injuries are not your favorite thing – especially in preseason – but still is the offensive line of any concern at all, because so many guys did go down Saturday? *(Dave Ginsburg) *"It was definitely a concern Saturday. I looked out there and saw Marcel [Jones] out there with the 'ones.' And you know what? He stepped up and acquitted himself very well. For Ryan Jensen to play two or three spots the way he did and end up at left tackle and to play the way he did and right tackle [was impressive]. It's not really how you plan it, but sometimes you're forced into finding out that guys can do more than you think they can do. Maybe we built some versatility into our group. Sometimes it's a painful method – and it definitely was in that game – but we got more guys back today. [John] Urschel was back today off of the top of my head." *(Reporter: "Jah [Reid]?") "Jah was back today." (Reporter: "[Rick] Wagner?") "Wagner. I didn't practice him today, but he would have been back today. We'll be in a lot better shape this week."
**How about RB Lorenzo Taliaferro? *(Dave Ginsburg) *"Lorenzo [Taliaferro], he's going to be out for a few weeks. It's an MCL sprain. I don't have a degree on it, yet, but it's going to be a few weeks for Lorenzo. Some of those young guys are going to step up in the immediate future."
Along those guys, your running backs look great. (Jim Forner) "I'll pass it on to them. Thanks." *(Reporter: "The guys really stepped up.") *"Yes, good point. [Javorius] 'Buck' Allen ran the ball really well – great vision, showed some real looseness in there. Both [Terrence] Magee and 'Fitz' [Fitzgerald Toussaint] both did a heck of a job. They were running hard – north/south – made some guys miss. The offensive line, really, was our third offensive line at that point going against their second defense. You're right, they did very well."
Because you guys haven't had a lot of looks at the special teams guys as far as returners – WR Michael Campanaro didn't play Saturday – how important is this one going to be on Saturday? (Brent Harris) "It's important. I feel confident in those guys. You have [Michael] Campanaro when he gets back. He has a soft tissue issue that he's dealing with, so expect him back pretty soon, but you never know with those things. And then Asa [Jackson], of course, he had the little knee [issue], but he got a couple reps in there. We put Terrence Magee back there today on kickoff return drills to see how he did. He's not a punt returner, but maybe he can possibly be a kick return guy, so we'll experiment with him. We have our aces in the hole, of course. We have Steve Smith and 'Webby' [Lardarius Webb] in the hole – as aces in the hole – but we're not using those guys right now. We're going to have to be … Those [young] guys are going to have to get it down, and we're going to have to be really good at blocking people, and we can do that. It's a team effort out there that way."
*John, injuries in the preseason are now a popular topic league-wide more than ever, because of what happened to WR Jordy Nelson yesterday and G Maurkice Pouncey from the Steelers. *(Jeff Zrebiec) "What happened to the guy, Nelson?" (Reporter: "Nelson tore his ACL. Jordy Nelson.") "Oh, Jordy Nelson. Yes, I did see that." (Reporter: "Pouncey is having surgery on his foot.") "He is? OK. How long is he out for?" (Reporter: "They haven't said. But has it changed … Has your perspective changed on how you approach preseason, because of, league-wide, all the injuries?) "It's a great question. If there was something that you could do, as far as – I'm talking about how a head coach approaches practicing [for] games – if there was something you could do, if there was some science that told us that this would help with injuries other than the 20 percent on grass versus turf, you would do it. Sometimes guys get hurt out here in half-speed drills – as we've seen before – and sometimes they get hurt in full-speed games. It's just so unpredictable with the injuries. As a coach, [what] you really have to focus on is making sure your team is good enough, making sure they're the best they can be and you come out and practice and understand that's an unfortunate part of the game. That's really the best you can do right now as a coach. If you're asking me about preseason and all that kind of stuff, I don't really have that answer right now, but it's a fair question."
How pleased were you when you heard about the NFL saying what OLB Terrell Suggs did was actually a legal hit? (Jamison Hensley) "Pleased is probably not the right word. I'm happy that they came out and told the full story on that. I read most of the Eagles' quotes. I thought they understood the play – one or two of them didn't understand the play – and when you start popping off about somebody's character, you've crossed the line. That's not really something that we would respect. But most of those guys over there understood the play and understood that No. 55 [Terrell Suggs] was playing hard and trying to get it stopped. It's very clear. Three years ago, my brother [Jim Harbaugh] brought it up and tried to get the quarterback deemed a passer in that situation. He's not a passer. He's a runner, and everybody knows that. He played it exactly the way we were coaching to play at that time."
On the sideline, you were showing [the referees] the read-option. I could see that you were. What was their explanation when you said, "Hey, this a read-option play."? What did they say? (Jamison Hensley) "I just think there's rust there, too. There's always rust there, too; that's part of preseason. [The referees] weren't any worse than we were in the game, I'll tell you that. *(laughter) *So, what was I going to say? You can look back at me and say, 'Coach, you're not doing so well yourself here.' And the other one was the roll-out block. We got definition on that, too, on the two-point conversion play where No. 86 [Konrad Reuland] got called for rolling up on the defensive end there. He did it. He was across the body, so it was legal. He wasn't rolling on purpose, but sometimes you just kind of get out of balance there. But he was in position across the body, so that was a legal one, too. That's just part of the preseason. I'm sure that we'll have no wrong calls during the whole season. They'll probably be 100 percent on that." *(laughter) *
John, you mentioned the performance Saturday night. Having a chance to go back and look at the tape, was there anything kind of sticking out as a positive that maybe you didn't see on Saturday night? (Luke Jones) "There were a lot of positives. It's crazy, we weren't trying to keep the score close, we weren't trying to … I went for … We went for it on fourth down how many times? We went for [a] two- [point conversion] twice. Now everybody is questioning me [about] why I didn't go for it when we were down there the other time. It's like, 'Gosh, it seems like we'd gone for it enough here in a preseason game.' There were lots of good things in the game. There were lots of things that we didn't prepare our guys for in terms of what we saw from them, but I love it. I love the fact that [the Eagles] came out and did all that stuff, because it's good for us. It's what they do. They did it, and it's great for us to see it and prepare against it. We learned a lot. You never want to come out of there … The feeling during the game is terrible. It's not what we want to ever feel, and we want to win those games – like we always say – but they played a lot better than us. We learned a lot and just have to get better. But there were plenty of good things in the game."
**You mentioned WR Michael Campanaro. What's the biggest difference you've seen in him coming into his second camp when he has been able to take in the offense and come here with that and be healthy in camp? *(Scott Wykoff) *"[Michael Campanaro] definitely has a bigger and better understanding of the offense. He's really sharp and crisp with his routes, and I do believe he's a playmaker. I believe he's a chain mover. And up until now, he was healthy. Nobody's more frustrated than he is. That's just going to be his issue right now. He has to keep working on that part of it."
*Is WR Michael Campanaro OK? Is this a day-to-day thing with him? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"I think it's a day-to-day thing. But I've told [the media] that before, and it has been three weeks now on [Breshad] Perriman. My understanding is it's not a major thing, but I'm out of that business, remember?" *(laughter)
**CB Rashaan Melvin. Is there anything serious with Melvin? *(Jamison Hensley) *"[Rashaan Melvin] was [practicing] today on special teams drill. I don't believe so, but again, I'm not sure."
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, obviously, is going to miss a little time. RB Terrence Magee, at least he looks very quick. I'm curious what you see with Magee running the ball. (Cliff Brown) "Terrence [Magee] looked good. He was a north/south runner, low to the ground, powerful dude. Just how he ran in college is how you saw him run the other night. It's nice when you see the transfer from the college game to this level. It was good to see. I think 'Fitz' [Fitzgerald Toussaint] is the same kind of thing. He's more of a quick, scatty guy. And Lorenzo [Taliaferro], man, he puts a foot in the ground and goes north. Both those guys played well. Of course, 'Buck' [Javorius Allen] played well, too."
John, not to beat a dead horse, but today's practice was something you would normally do not just a reaction to how many guys that got banged up? It was just to get the young guys a little more? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think we've done something like this pretty much every year. I'd have to go back and check the records, but this is pretty normal for us. Yes, it's right on schedule. We'll be into a game-week-style-type thing next week a little bit, or tomorrow."
Running Backs Coach Thomas Hammock
One of your new additions, RB Javorius "Buck" Allen, what have you seen out of him in the first three weeks of training camp? What has stood out to you? (Jamison Hensley)"He has done a nice job competing, working hard every day to get better [and] to get more comfortable in our offense. He obviously has great hands. He has good vision. We're trying to get him more comfortable as a pass protector, and he goes out there and performs when his number is called."
RB Terrence Magee led the team in rushing this last game. Were you impressed? Were you surprised a little bit with how good he looked last game? (Garrett Downing)"I can't say that I'm surprised. I think with the way we practice and all the reps that these guys get, you have a great idea of what they can do in a game situation, and he certainly went out there and played the way he has practiced."
With RB Lorenzo Taliaferro down, is that more of an opportunity for RB Javorius "Buck" Allen to get these preseason reps? (Garrett Downing)"I think it is an opportunity for all the guys, to be honest with you. It is who gives us the best chance to win. And all those guys are competing, Justin [Forsett] included, and they all want their opportunity to show what they can do."
With RB Lorenzo Taliaferro out for a few weeks as head coach John Harbaugh said, do you think RB Javorius "Buck" Allen is going to be ready to play in the regular season, to be potentially the No. 2 guy in the regular season? (Ryan Mink)"I think the big thing about the way our practice is set up is everybody gets reps. They all have an opportunity to show what they can do, and the great thing is, we've got two more games for guys to go out there and prove exactly what type of player they want to be."
When offensive coordinator Marc Trestman came in, there was a lot of talk about whether the offense would stay the same. He has made it clear that his is the Ravens' offense, not his. Have you seen that same commitment to the run game that you guys have had in years past? (Jon Meoli)"Certainly. I think up front we have a great offensive line, guys that can move people and move the line of scrimmage. And when you have a strength like that up front, it makes it easy to call certain plays."
How valuable is it to have RB Justin Forsett with so many young running backs? And he's been around, and the success he has had – specifically over the last year – just to mentor those guys and lead them along? (Luke Jones)"It's extremely valuable to have Justin [Forsett], to have 'Juice' [Kyle Juszczyk]. [They are] guys that lead by example, that work hard in every aspect – good people, good men, good character for young guys to follow, just great examples of what it is like to be a professional football player."
Linebackers Coach Ted Monachino
Opening statement:"Good afternoon, everybody. To start with where we are in the process, I think this is a place [where] that is one of the most important things we do. We are moving along through a process that we're trying to reach some goals. We are moving in a positive direction in that process. It is a *work *process, and that is where we are; we are at the work stage right now. Specifically with the outside linebackers, we've got three veteran players that are playing really well, and we've got three young guys that are pushing them to get better every day, which is always good. Competition has been good through the whole camp. In terms of our three veteran guys, all three are doing what they do best as often as possible and doing it well. With the three young guys – Zach [Thompson], Brennen [Beyer] and Za'Darius [Smith] – they are making strides every day and getting better at what we ask them to do every day. The inside linebackers – what Don [Martindale, inside linebackers coach] is doing with those guys has been off the charts. The growth in our young linebackers and the way Daryl [Smith] has revived and revitalized his career since he has been here is remarkable. [I'm] really pleased with where the group is. Anything specific to the inside linebackers would be a Don Martindale question."
You've known OLB Terrell Suggs for a very long time. So, all of the hubbub and the fact that he's willing to try to fight for his right to hit the quarterback at a certain time, did that surprise you – all of the attention that was paid to that? (Joe Platania)"I think it surprised me, yes, all the attention that was paid to it. It did not surprise me at all the way Terrell [Suggs] reacted to the play as he saw it. [It] did not surprise me at all that there was some – a lot – of noise around the nation about it. And, it also did not surprise me, [NFL vice president of officiating] Dean Blandino's response to all that noise. So, I think that we understand what we ask our guys to do in that situation, and I think he did it exactly the way we wanted it done."
You certainly would not change anything this week if you see the read option – if you see QB Robert Griffin III running that option – just the way you coach your guys to go in? (Brent Harris)"From a schematic standpoint, we've got a lot of different ways we handle that series of plays. That was one way that we handle it, and going into the game plan, we'll have another way that we may play it this week. But, we do have some rules that lead us down a path, and those were the rules that we applied to Philadelphia. And we'll see where we go with this week's game plan."
Did you guys change anything when the NFL sort of changed the way they look at it a few years back when more teams were running that read option and how you deal with the QB? (Brent Harris)"I think that they looked at it. They took a good, long, hard look at it, but they also understood that the series of plays is a series that is designed to deceive the defense. And it's not … I think it is great offense. I think it is great offense, but I also believe that we can't be held responsible for the health of a ball carrier. And if we don't know pre-snap who is going to have the ball at the end of the down, then how can we be responsible for that?"
Terrell Suggs has acknowledged that as you get older things change. What have you seen in him at this age or stage of his career? (Jamison Hensley)"I think what you see with Terrell [Suggs] is he understands how important [the offseason is], especially after the way he came back for the minicamp. He understands how important his offseason is. He also understands that it is going to take him a little longer to recover from a long season – a long, physical season at a position that is involved in heavy contact nearly every day. But, I think he knows now that it is going to take a little different type of work from February to June than it has in the past. I think you see that. I think the second thing you see is him really blossoming as a leader, not only in our room – because he's been that for a long time – but you see him doing it across the team. You see him becoming a much better communicator with me as his coach and us as a coaching staff."
Ted, what have you seen from OLB Za'Darius Smith? Where has he really improved his game? (Ryan Mink)"You see talent, first of all. You see a young guy that is growing – [he has] a long ways to go – making steps every day. Like I said, we're in that process of work, and we get to the point where a guy can take a quantum leap, we expect him to do that. And some things were exposed on Saturday night in Philadelphia that we hope we can make a big jump with Za'Darius. He has played a lot of snaps of preseason football, so we hope he continues to ramp up and make a big jump here in the next couple days."