Ravens Insider Q&A with Jared Gaither

OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers with Jared Gaither, the projected successor to retired Baltimore Ravens All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.

On how he has prepared for the upcoming season: "I'm going to be me. I'm just going to go out there and go at it every day. Nothing is going to change. I'm going to give it 110 percent every day and go out there and work."

On Cam Cameron's belief that he was the most improved player during the offseason: "This is my season. I have been looking forward to it since the beginning of last year."

On how Jonathan Ogden's retirement decision affects his play: "I'm not sure what J.O. [Jonathan Ogden] is going to do. It would be great to have him back. He's a great player and a great guy. I'm going to put my head down, and I'm going forward, and if he does come back then we will be that much better. It would be better for the team and that's my goal, is to be there for the team."

On how Ogden's presence has made him a better player: "He's helped me out a great deal. I think anytime you can be around someone of his caliber, I think it can help you out a lot as a person and as a player on the field. He did a lot of things for me. He talked to me a lot. Just being next to him and able to ask questions has helped me a lot."

On what he has improved on the most: "I think, mentally, I learned a lot. There was a little bit of a commotion with coaches changing, but that's all smooth now, and we are on our way."

On his growth since last season and how he has matured: "I had to do that very quick when I got drafted in the Supplemental [Draft last July]. Since then it's just been about finding things out. I was getting ready then, and I have to be ready now."

On how he prepares himself to play mentally: "If you think about it, you can do it. It's like they say, "If you believe, than you can achieve." I'm going to focus on the plays and study the plays, and I'm going to go in there and look at film. That's going to help me mentally. Anywhere I can get ahead and anytime I can put more time in to make me better, then that's me doing it mentally."

On when he believes he finally grasped how to play in the NFL last season: "I have a lot of work to do. I don't have a grasp on anything, I believe. I'm working really hard and learning the plays and nailing them down, but there's always the next step. I don't feel like I ever have a complete grasp."

On the physical play rookie T Oniel Cousins exerts on the field: "He's a tough guy. All of us are tough. When they look to draft somebody, I believe they look to draft someone tough. He's definitely tough. He keeps up on the defense and he's a good guy."

On succeeding J.O.: Its definitely an honor. That was the first draft pick of this organization, so if I´m the next guy to sit on the throne it feels good.

Do you feel ready for that?: I´ve been preparing for that since last season, since last December. If that´s how it goes down, I´m ready to step up for my team.

What did you learn from Ogden? : Great guy, can only learn so much from a guy. He told me a lot of things about his experience. He said you´re real young and he told me a lot about a lot of things. It was great being around him. He was a good guy

Have you matured? The focus and the intensity that I have has been brought back. Every day I improve on everything

Are you bigger and stronger this year? I took off some fat and put on a lot of muscle. I´m more muscular now.

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