Transcripts: Training Camp Report (7/24)

RB Mark Ingram II

On his expectations for his first training camp in Baltimore:"Just coming in ready to work, ready to get better, develop that camaraderie with the team, that foundation that we've already put in some work. We just have to keep building on it and making sure we can be on the same page and accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves. Just getting better every day, working with the guys, and making it home, making it a family, which it already is."

On his comfort level with the Ravens after the offseason:"I feel good. I love the organization, first-class. They've shown a lot of love and respect. My teammates, the coaches, everyone has been welcoming, all the staff, from equipment, to strength and conditioning, nutrition, whatever it may be, in the [cafeteria], you can tell it's a family atmosphere. It's comfortable here. My family is here now; we're settled in a house, so we're excited, excited about the new chapter."

On how he feels physically:"I feel great. All throughout my career, I feel like I've shared the ball. Even in college, I shared the ball, and sometimes, it wasn't always ideal, but I appreciate it now. Going into my ninth year, I feel great. I feel like I have some of my best years of football still ahead of me, so I feel great. I obviously didn't come off of any injuries the past few years. That helps as well. Health is always important. Availability is always important, so taking care of your body, making sure you're in shape and flexible, pliable, is always important."

On if offensive coordinator Greg Roman's run schemes have been an adjustment for him:"'G-Ro' [Roman] has an amazing run gameplan. Numerous looks, different entries out of the looks, and it's an amazing thing to see as a running back, from my perspective, just how many different runs you can get to and make them look different out of the formations, or how you enter and have the footwork with the quarterback and running back, it's special. I'm excited to be a part of the offense. I'm excited to be … Everywhere [Roman] has been, he has had success – Frank Gore, LeSean McCoy, you name it. Running the ball has always been something he's great at, and obviously, running backs love that, so I'm excited about that."

On how long it will take until the rebuilt offensive scheme is second nature to the team:"We just have to keep working at it every day. All the reps are important. The walk-throughs, those are important. The meetings, those are important. Just the ability to be able to break the huddle and know what you're doing, without having to think, without having to second-guess yourself or have mental lapses; that's very important. And when it comes to executing and being comfortable on the field, all that is very important, and that's why these training camp practices, it's a race to get better. Every team is in a race to get better every single day, so we're in a race, and we plan on winning the race."

On his goals for the season:"Of course, personal goals, there's always something. Everybody wants to be All-Pro, a Pro Bowler, rush for 1,000-plus. Those are all things that you shoot for, but the main thing is just being the best player I can be, the best teammate I can be, the best person I can be in this building to help us build a championship team, and that's my No. 1 goal, is just bringing my best foot to the table, whatever is asked of me to be done, making sure I can execute it to the best of my ability and help us."

On if outside predictions and opinions serve as motivation:"You can use it as motivation, but at some point, after a while, it doesn't even matter what the outside people think or what they say. It's really about what you feel and the energy and the mind process and the mind thought of your building and your surrounding people. That's all that really matters. There are always going to be predictions. There are always going to be haters. There are always going to be people that say you're better than you are. You're never as good as they say you are, and you're never as bad as they say you are. So, you're somewhere in the middle, and you just keep that humble attitude and you keep grinding every day. All that matters are the people that are in the building, the people that you are grinding with, the people that you are putting the blood, sweat and tears in with."

On what he hopes to see from QB Lamar Jackson to establish himself as a franchise quarterback:"He has it. He has the mindset. He has the ability. He just has to be able to go execute. We have to be able to help him as a team, as a coaching staff, as everyone around him. We have to be able to support him, make his job easy. I'm a fan of him. I've been a fan of him since Louisville. Obviously, he won the Heisman. I watched that. He went 6-1 the games he started last year, so if he keeps doing that, that's amazing. We're all rooting for him, and I'm going to be right there next to him. I'm going to be giving him the most support I can give him, the most love I can give him, and I just want to help him be the best he can be. I think he can accomplish everything he wants to, because he has the mindset, he has the attitude and he has the ability."

On the differences between the Saints' and the Ravens' offenses:"[In New Orleans], you have a dropback passer who is just surgical throwing the ball all the time – one of the best ever to play the position. [It's a] passing offense, kind of, really spread the ball around. Here, we have an emphasis on running the ball. But, in OTAs, we were throwing it a lot. So, I'm getting comfortable with the pass game, with the route combinations, because you have to be able to do it all to be great. It's different, but the main similarities are everybody here knows the value of hard work, the value of putting in that work every day to become a champion. They want to win here. The culture here has been winning and domination, and I'm just glad to be here in a culture and organization that has those values and those principles. I'm just glad to be a Raven. I'm excited to get this thing going."

On if he feels like opposing defenses will aim to stop the run first and how much importance is placed on the passing game to open up the run game:"Yeah, of course. I think they will try to take the run game away, which is difficult. But, that's why it all goes hand-in-hand. That's why it's called being balanced. You want to be able to throw the ball effectively when you need to, and you want to be able to run the ball effectively and efficiently when you need to. They complement each other. Running helps the play-action. If he [Lamar Jackson] can pass, it helps our run game, and when we can run the ball, it helps the pass game. It all benefits from each other. The defense benefits from an offense that can run the ball well. They stay off on the sideline and get rested. It all just goes full-circle. It's a team game, and you need everybody at their best. You need everybody healthy. You need everybody being their best selves in order to be successful."

On if what he has seen so far in offensive coordinator Greg Roman's scheme that is new to him:"You have your outsides on, your insides on, your pulling schemes, your gap schemes. But, just the variety that he has, the variety of ways that we can block [for] him on different fronts, the different entries for the runs …. It's just a little different. It's special. I'm excited to get to show it and be able to run in it and continue to learn it, because it is a lot to learn, a lot to get used to, a lot to get familiar with. But, that's why he's been great running the ball everywhere he's been. The different looks he can give you – you think something's coming, but something totally different is coming. How we block it, how we run it, [there is] just a lot of variety in the run game. It's good."

On if there is something that has surprised him about QB Lamar Jackson: "He's a real person. He's a real dude. He's relatable. He doesn't think he's better than anybody or anybody needs to put him on some type of pedestal. He's a hard worker, and he wants to be great. Anybody can relate to that. You have to put in the work, and hopefully, you want to be the best at what you're doing, which he does, which a lot of us do. We put in the work, and you just stay humble, you just stay grinding. He's relatable, personable, down to Earth. He has that hunger. He has that drive. We laugh, joke with him. He's just one of the guys. That's what you respect about him, that's what you love about him. I think that's why you see everybody who comes up here and talks about him wants to see him do well. We want to do well so he can do well."

On if he recalls any plays that QB Lamar Jackson made in the spring that caught his attention:"He has a lot. He's a special athlete when it comes to running the ball – with the ball in his hands, when he breaks the pocket. He's special when he runs the ball. I've seen him, his arm strength, fitting into Cover 2, turkey holes, go through his progressions, hit his three, hit his four, hit his checkdown. He's made all the throws. That's what this practice is, and that's what training camp is for, just to be able to get better, limit the mistakes and have more execution. That's the goal."

On how difficult it is to become a productive receiver as a running back in the NFL: "You just have to have a feel for it. Every offense … You just have to have a feel for the timing, being able to check your protection, get out, if you have free releases, being able to diagnose the coverages. Is it man? It is zone? Just kind of grow. You have to keep evolving. [Running backs] coach Matt Weiss does a great job with us, having us catch a lot of passes. We've been working on that – me, Gus [Edwards], K.D. [Kenneth Dixon], Justice [Hill], De'Lance [Turner], all of us. We've been working on catching the ball. Everybody has good hands coming out of the backfield, so we know that the more touches we can get … Running the ball is great, but we're close to Lamar [Jackson] a lot of times, and if he can find us on checkdowns or find us on routes that we're called the primary, we have to be able to get open and be able to make those plays happen. It's all about being versatile. You never want to be one-dimensional. The defense is going to be like, 'OK, he's not running the route.' You just want to be versatile and do everything as a running back. I know I do."

S Tony Jefferson

Opening statement:"2019 is almost underway. Glad to be back here at training camp. Year 7 is actually here, so let's go."

On if he has spoken to S Earl Thomas III prior to training camp:"Oh yeah, I talked to him a couple times throughout the off time. I follow him through social media. It's good to see what he's doing. He had a great time [at his defensive backs workout], had a bunch of DBs out there, so he's working, and we're excited to be coming here and getting the work done."

On if the team feels younger when he looks around: "We all haven't been together yet. That's still to come, but from what I've seen earlier in OTAs, yes, it looks a little younger, faster and motivated. We have a lot of young guys who are up to the challenge, to what they've been challenged for, so it's going to be a great, great thing to see, everybody battling and going after it in training camp."

On if there is more pressure on the secondary to help the pass rush:"We believe in our pass rushers, and we believe the guys on the roster will do that. Pressure, I believe, we have the guys to deliver pressure, so I think the pressure is really on them to come out and do what they have to do, but I think we have full faith in our guys."

On if losing veteran players has been a talking point with the defense:"Not more than we miss the guys that have left, as far as friendship-wise. We miss those guys in the locker room, but as far as in the film room and all of that, we're moving forward, and I think we've already moved forward, and we're excited with the guys that we have on this roster."

On if there is a transition period with the departure of veteran players:"I think there's a transition period anytime something new occurs, anytime something is different. Obviously, it's not going to be the same. But, as far as when that will change, that's up to us and that's up to us going out and executing each practice, whether it's our one-on-ones or whether we're doing team periods. It's up to us to be the deciding factor of that."

On his offseason recovering from ankle surgery:"Long offseason, a lot of watching, but did a lot of rehabbing as well. Our trainers did a great job of staying on me with it. I don't really like sitting out, so I'm always trying to rush and get back, but Ron [Medlin, head certified athletic trainer] and the staff did a great job of keeping me patient. I got the opportunity to really hone in on training in the summer, being able to really get to it, get ready for this run test that we did, so it was a good time for me. I really trained pretty hard, so I'm excited how that's going to translate."

On what he is most excited to see in training camp:"I'm just happy to be out there with my guys. I miss … You've been away for so long, you start missing everybody, and I'm just glad that we're all going to be back together and building this thing and trying to get to where we need to be."

On how he would describe the day, and if it is all business right from the start:"Oh, no. It's like the first day of school. I almost got dressed up. I was putting out an outfit. I was like, 'OK, stop. Getting a little too excited.' (laughter) I was excited. Like I said, just being around your brothers again, for me, it just feels like the first day of school, let's go."

On what advice he would give to younger safeties like S DeShon Elliott and S Chuck Clark who hope to see playing time:"Just keep making plays. The best players will play. Players will be on the field. If you can play, you're going to play on this defense. That's always been the motto. Take care of special teams, and you're going to find a spot on defense. I don't have to tell them anything. They already know. They're playmakers themselves. This isn't their first rodeo. They're like little brothers to me, so if they ever need anything, they know they can holler at me. But I think they already know, just continue to ball, and you'll be on the field."   

On how he feels playing with S Earl Thomas III will improve his game:"First and foremost, the knowledge. He's been playing this position at a very high level for a very long time. So, my first thing is always try and pick the brain of the guy with the brain. Always ask the questions. I'm not going to say, 'Oh, his style of play is going to make me play better, blah, blah, blah.' We're a great safety tandem, I believe. So, I think we're just going to work off each other, build our chemistry, and I'm just honored that I've had the opportunity to play with great safeties like this. I'm definitely going to use it to my advantage."

On what he says to media who call him and S Earl Thomas III the best safety duo in the league:"Thank you." (laughter)

On if anything surprised him or was different about S Earl Thomas III:"When I was in Arizona, I got to watch him a lot, obviously, going against him, and the plays he made. From afar, I'm on the sideline, so I'm watching him play, but actually getting on the field with him, seeing his instincts and what he sees, it's really high-level, and I believe that's where, and why, he is where he is at this point in his career."

On how the Ravens' defense compares to the Seattle defense that S Earl Thomas III played in:"I don't really get too much into scheme, so all I know is he's a great safety, and he's going to fit great here."

On the depth and expectation of the secondary:"Great competition, and I think it'll bring the best out of everybody. The better competition that you have, the better you play, I believe, and I think that's where you find the real football players, are the guys who stand up in competition, who are tough through the tough times. When you have bad plays, can you make it up and make a good play. Like you said, the depth here is obviously a great strength of ours, and we're obviously going to use it to our advantage."

On if he is fully ready to practice coming off his injury:"Yes, I'm 100 percent."

On if the expectation is still to win the division in 2019 even though other teams are being favored: "Oh yeah, I wouldn't see why it would be different. I guess if you would read what the press is saying, then I guess you would go that way. But in this building, I've said it before, we believe in our roster. We believe in everybody that we have here, and a championship is our goal. There's nothing less than that."

On if the attention on other teams can be a motivating factor for the Ravens:"Yes, I believe so. I get motivated a little bit when I see it. I see that type of stuff; I get motivated. Obviously, anytime you're not getting the respect or the belief in your team, it obviously is going to make you want to work harder. It's kind of how I think of it, and I think pretty much everybody does, too."

On if there were moments last season in practice when he noticed that QB Lamar Jackson could present unique challenges:"Yes, I can remember one vivid moment during practice. He was running, as usual, scrambling, and he threw a ball under his left arm, and it went about 40, 50 yards, and the guy caught it. When you see stuff like that, you see the potential in a guy like that, and you're excited that he's your quarterback." (Reporter: "Were you in coverage on that play?")  "No, I wasn't. _(laughter) I was not. You would have seen it on … The Ravens [digital team] would have posted it, I'm sure." (laughter)

DT Brandon Williams

On if training camp feels different this year compared to years past:"Every year is different. Every year is a different team. The Ravens of this year are not like the Ravens of last year. Every year is a different year, but we strive to do the same thing and be great ever year. Coming in, it feels like a new team, but at the same time, we know our mission. We know our direction, and we know where we want to go."

On if the loss of veterans on the defense feels more apparent entering training camp:"It has sunk in. 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] is gone, [Eric] Weddle is gone, C.J. [Mosely] is gone. There are a bunch of key pieces missing. Like always, there have been people who have stepped up; there have always been people. The next man up, that has been our philosophy. Though we don't have [Suggs, Weddle and Mosley] right now, we still have great athletes. We still have people who can fill in those roles and can also do great things."

On if he offered support to DT Michael Pierce after him missing minicamp:"I talked to him. Was I worried? No. I know he is a professional. Sometimes it gets away from you. It's happened to me before, also. I'm not going to fault him for that. If he had come in and not looked as good as he does now and didn't pass his conditioning testing, then there would have been a problem. Other than that, I love him. He's ready to go, and I can't wait to step on the field with him."

On if there has been specific discussion in the locker room about winning the AFC North last season: "No. Why? We did it last year, not this year. We have to do it again this year, so we can talk about it this year. That's the goal, to get back as the No. 1 defense, to be back in the playoffs. We don't talk about it anymore. Now, we have to prove it again."

On if making his first Pro Bowl changes anything for him this season: "No, it doesn't change a thing. I still want to get back. If anything, it just made me even hungrier because it was such a great time. I loved being there. Experiencing that just gave me that little taste that makes me want to get back there again."

On if he has any fan dance-offs planned for the Ravens' stadium practice:"It depends on whoever wants it. I'm ready. I have the repertoire full. I'm ready."

On how QB Lamar Jackson has handled taking on a leading role:"I think he has handled it and is handling it very well. I think he's being a really great pro about it. He's come in here ready to work. He's coming in here, diving in. He's having private workouts with the receivers. Everything he is doing, everything that I have heard and seen him doing in the offseason, he is doing everything that a starting quarterback is supposed to be doing. I appreciate him for this, and I can't wait to see him just get out there and sling it."

On what training camp is like with a newborn baby: "Tiring. Every training camp is tiring, but with a new baby, it just gives me a new energy, actually. [It gives me] a new focus, because there is another mouth I have to feed and someone else I have responsibility for. So, another reason for me to go out there and give it another 100 percent, for her."

On if training camp will be difficult without OLB Terrell Suggs: "Losing a guy like 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs], he's irreplaceable. He's an X-factor. He's instinctive, he knows the game in and out. You can't really replace a player like that. You can just plug a guy in and tell him to do his job and do it great. Don't go out there and be Suggs. Don't go out there and try to be anybody else. Just do your job the way the coaches teach it, and it will be successful."

On what game he is most looking forward to this season: "All of them, especially the ones we'll win. The first one [most], because that's the first step to starting 1-0."

On what he has seen in the young defensive linemen who have not played many snaps yet:"Those guys have been working their butts off this offseason. Zach [Sieler] looks great. He's definitely wanting to make a name for himself and be in a role on this defense and be in the rotation. He's hungry, and I'm liking the things he's doing. He's hustling his butt off. The work ethic is there. We just have to be good on the field. He has to prove that during training camp. Gerry [Gerald] Willis, I feel like he got set back with a little injury. It's up to him to prove his worth now. That's up to him, and that's going to be solely on him. I'm going to bring him under my wing and talk as much as I can to him about being a professional and the grind, but in the end, it's on him. In the end, it's on him to see how much he wants to be here, how much he wants to make a name for himself, how much he wants to be a Raven. I'm excited, and I'm going to support him 100 percent, but he has to do it himself."

On if training camp creates a process of figuring out who will be team leaders:"I think it's all in the moment. It's all the feeling. It's all the emotion. It's just whoever feels like they have something to say that's going to help the team at that moment, at that point. We have a bunch of leaders on this team. A lot of guys are vocal. A lot of guys are going to have to step up, but we're ready for it."

On what he keeps in his donut fanny pack: "Only the good stuff. Just extra keys, phone sometimes, everything."

On if he has ever put a donut in his fanny pack: "No, there's never been a donut in here. Actually, this came from a weird store. My buddy just got married, and he had this on the bachelor party. He bought everybody this for the bachelor party, so we just wore them the whole time. It's been pretty convenient. So, for me ragging on women with purses, I'm sorry. It's awesome. I love it."

On if he considers his bag a fanny pack: "Oh, it's a fanny, and I'm OK with it. I'm OK with the fanny. I mean, it's a good-looking fanny. I have to wash it, but it does its job."

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