Ravens, in their own words

OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers from One Winning Drive. Please keep reading for further details.

RAVENS MINI-CAMP INTERVIEW QUOTES

Head Coach John Harbaugh Opening Statement: "Good to see everybody out. Thanks for coming. [We had] another great day. The guys did a good job. They worked hard, the tempo was strong and fast, and they took care of each other, as far as the contact part of it. I thought it was a good practice."

On CB Fabian Washington: "I think Fabian has had three good practices now. We have to feel like that was a steal. To get a corner of his caliber in the fourth round of the draft – a corner that talented – they just weren't available at that point. He's had three good practices."

On what the QB competition is: "It's Troy [Smith] against Troy, and Troy against operating our offense. And, it's Kyle [Boller] against Kyle, and Kyle operating our offense. And just like it's going to be Joe [Flacco] against Joe next week. That's where we're at right now. We're building the foundation and they've done a nice job."

On the flow of mini-camp: "If you talk to our players, they would say we're giving them everything. We're not giving them everything, there's still more, but we're giving them a lot. It's a whole part of our philosophy. We're trying to give them as much as we can in the offseason and then parse it back out during training camp."

On CB Fabian Washington's strengths: "The thing about Fabian is, first of all, he's very competitive. He gets out there during one-on-one drills and he wants to win everything, even individual and the fundamental [drills] he wants to win. He's got tremendously quick feet, he's very fast and he's probably stronger and a little more physical than we anticipated. It's been real positive."

On G/T Marshal Yanda seeing time at center: "You noticed that? Obviously, you were paying attention. Marshal has been playing some guard, been playing some center. We know he can play tackle. So the more they do, the better off they're going to be."

On finding chemistry on the line: "It's definitely part of it, in terms of seeing what guys can do. And it's showing Cam [Cameron] what these guys can do as a play-caller. If Cam can see this guy pulls better on the left side than the right side, or if a guy has a better reach block on the left side, then that can help his play-calling down the road."

On how much evaluation is taking place: "No one is winning a job right now. It's part of the process. It's laying the foundation stone by stone, guys learning the offense so when they come back to training camp they've got a chance to win a job, because football is played in pads. It's not played in shorts."

On what it will be like for a full-squad camp: "It's going to be fun. I know the scouts are looking forward to that, seeing their draft picks come in, and the coaches are, too. We went through our depth chart last night and it's a lot deeper than it is right now. That's going to be exciting. It's going to be like when the freshmen report for the first time. I can't wait."

On Art Modell addressing the team after practice: "Mr. Modell came out and talked to the team at the end. He actually cracked a couple of jokes. The guys appreciated that. He just told them we had the makings of being a good football team. It's nice to hear that from Art Modell. That meant something to our guys."

On competition in camps: "Technically speaking, there's always competition. Guys are always competing. Maybe it's competing against themselves. We're looking to see if guys can learn the offense quickly, if they can move their feet, if they can run. The things you can find out in shorts we are certainly looking for."

On guarding against making presumptions before training camp: "That's a balancing act, no question about it. In our minds, as coaches and scouts, we're definitely making evaluations. You see what you see and you put values on what you see. But, you have to remember the game is not played in shorts; it's played in pads. You don't' want to rule anybody out or in until you put the pads on."

On QBs Kyle Boller and Troy Smith reacting to Joe Flacco: "These two guys take it as a challenge, just like I think anybody would at any position. But if we had a crystal ball and knew who the quarterback of the future is going to be, the quarterback of the future is going to be whoever gives us the best chance to win games in the future at that time. To say anything else or assume anything else would be a mistake, except for the fact that when you have a first-round pick coming in here, that's the expectation for him. We drafted him because we believe he can be that guy. If he's going to be that guy, that's up to him. We'll find out."

On adjusting to being a head coach: "The great thing about it is you have to pick your spots. I can decide what I want to coach and what I don't want to get involved with. I guess that's the benefit of being the head guy."

On an update on TE Quinn Sypniewski: "Nothing too detailed right now. We're still assessing it right now. We're not sure where it stands at this point."

On if there's a possibility Sypniewski's knee injury is season-ending: "Yes."

QB Kyle Boller

On the Ravens drafting QB Joe Flacco: "I think it's awesome. I think competition is going to be great for our offense and for our team. It's going to bring the best out in all of our players, so I am really looking forward to it."

On if he was surprised with the QB draft pick: "I had anticipated that's what they were probably going to do – maybe in the second round. It's doesn't make a difference. I am happy to have Joe here. I'm sure I might be able to help him out. We're all in this together and we're going to do everything we can to lead this offense, to score a lot of points and hopefully win a lot of games."

On if he'd rather learn or play as a rookie: "I think every guy's situation is different. If it were me, I'd feel like I'd rather learn. But at the same time, you want to play. And, if you're ready to play, then you should play. I just don't think I was ready to be playing at the time I played. But, you deal with it. Every situation is different, but it's not going to change how we do things. We're going to go out and compete and challenge each other. The best man that is ready to play is going to be the one out there leading the guys on the field."

On if he regrets playing from Day One: "I have a lot of great game experience. I have a lot of games under my belt. There are a lot of things I really learned from starting, too – being thrown in there, adjusting and adapting. Some of the toughest times help you out. That's when I think you grow the most."

On if playing as a rookie is the right thing: "There were parts of me that doubted I was ready. But at the same time, I was 21 years old and I was ready to go. I felt like I was ready at the time, but looking back on it – knowing defenses now and actually just learning this offense – there is a lot to learn when you're young. But, I am not going to say you can't do it."

On the Ravens' QB competition: "I am going to do everything I can to help Joe out. It's one of those deals where we're all in this together. We're a team. Our offense is a team. Whatever I can do to help this team be where we want to be – and that's to win a lot of games – I am going to do it. I look forward to having him here and working with him. I know Troy [Smith] is looking forward to having him in here also. We can all buddy-up, learn this offense together, go out there and do some special things.

On mentoring Flacco: "I came in here and I played right away. But, I think I will be able to help him out a lot. There is not a huge gap difference in age – this will be my sixth year and his first – but anything I can do to help him out, I am going to do that."

On how he'll improve and compete: "I'm continuing just to grow and take it one day at a time. I've been really busy with stuff, and I'm just trying to learn new things. If you can take something away from each day, it's going to make us so much better come training camp. Then, we can be at a full sprint ahead."

On if he worries about what the future holds: "The only thing that's going to affect my future is what I do today, then when I wake up tomorrow, what I do tomorrow. I can't really worry about what's going to happen in August. I just worry about the next day, because I want to do everything I can, regardless if they have a guy here who's a veteran or if they have a guy here who's a first-round pick. It wouldn't matter who it was. I am going to go out here every day and work hard and try to do everything I can to be the quarterback I want to be so I'm the guy under center when opening day comes."

On if he'll notice when another QB makes a mistake: "I have enough stuff to worry about myself than to worry about what other guys are doing. It's one of those things, where the time is now, May 2, where there is a learning curve and it's about learning a new offense. You're going to have bumps here and there. You try to limit them, but you're going to have them. As long as you learn from them and you don't make the same mistakes over and over, then you're going to go somewhere, you're going to get better, and you're going to become a better player."

On how he heard Flacco had been drafted: "I was actually playing in Stan Humphries golf tournament that Saturday. I got a text message that said the Ravens took [Flacco]. I was already prepared for it. I was that guy five years ago. I'm happy for him. This is a special time for him. I think it's going to be a lot of fun." CB Fabian Washington

On differences between Oakland and Baltimore: "The first difference is that they practice a lot faster here – and not just the players, but the coaches. The players expect it, and that's something you learn right off the bat. They don't settle for less here."

On if he feels this is a fresh start: "Definitely. I felt that I needed a fresh start and I'm happy the Baltimore Ravens gave me the opportunity."

On how he felt about the trade: "I knew I was going to be traded somewhere, but I just didn't know where. Once they picked up DeAngelo [Hall], it was pretty much set in stone that I wasn't going to be back next year. I was just watching and waiting for a call. Just like most draft picks, I was waiting for a call. Sunday morning I got that call from the Ravens."

On if he wants to prove he's worth more than a fourth-round pick: "I'm a first- and a fourth-round pick (laughing). I'm just happy the Ravens gave up their fourth-round pick for me. Trust me, I'll prove that I'm worth way more than a fourth-round draft pick."

On going from Rob to Rex Ryan: "It's almost the exact same thing. They sound alike, they look alike – other than the haircut – and they say the same jokes. Everything's the same, so you feel like you went out of one office and right back in the same office."

On what happened when he was demoted last season: "They said it was my tackling. That Denver Broncos game, which was the second game of the season, I stunk it up big-time in tackles. If that was their reason for benching me, then so be it. I also know that I definitely wasn't playing my best ball at the time. I was worried about different stuff other than football. Now, I'm so focused on football that I have something to prove."

On his offseason domestic battery charge, for which he will not be prosecuted: "That was a one-time mistake. I've never been in trouble. That was me letting my emotions get the best of me. It's over and done with. I've moved on from it."

On fitting in with a new team: "It's difficult going from a team where you knew everyone in the locker room to here, where you only know a few guys in the locker room. But, in a few weeks, I'll feel like this is more home."

On the similarities between the Raiders' and Ravens' defenses: "There are a lot of similarities. I would say 50-50. There are some similarities and differences. With the similarities, it's the same play-calls, but a different terminology. That's the hardest part I'm getting used to right now."

On what the team has told him his role will be: "They brought me here to compete at the cornerback position, whatever that may be. If they play me at nickel, I'll be happy with that. If I end up becoming the starter, I'll be happy with that. I'm just here to help the team win ballgames."

On the differences between Oakland and Baltimore: "It's a lot more organized. I'm talking from top to bottom; it's a lot more organized here."


Ravens Insider Top Stories