Ravens, in their own words

WESTMINSTER -- Talking football with the Baltimore Ravens as they launch training camp at McDaniel College.

RAVENS TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS

Head Coach John Harbaugh

On the first days of camp: "It's not an evaluation time right now. It's rookie camp. It's the same thing we did for three days in June. It's a chance to get these guys re-acclimated and go through the offense for the fifth time, give them a chance to compete come Friday."

On why the veterans were not yet involved in camp: "You can't bring the veterans in until a certain time frame, until Thursday afternoon. We'll bring them in Wednesday night, we'll meet with them Thursday and we'll practice Friday. That's what we are allowed to do. If we could have brought them in, we would have."

On why practice was cut short: "We only have in the neighborhood of 25 guys out here today. There's no way to run a two-hour practice. We got the same amount of reps for the guys that are here, but it just doesn't take as long."

On a three-man quarterback competition: "It is unique. I don't know how often it has happened. That would probably be an interesting study. It's fun. It's fun watching those three guys battle out."

On when player evaluation will start: "I think it starts Friday, really. And of course we say that it doesn't start today and we say that it's hard to evaluate, but of course you're standing there and you're watching guys make plays and watching them handle the offense. But you're certainly not making any decisions yet."

On the attitudes of the quarterbacks: "They're doing a nice job, all three of them. They look fluid. The fact that they're friends and the fact that they're good guys taking the attitude that they want to be as good as they can be and help the other guys be as good as they can be, that's just them being good guys. Make no mistake about it, every one of those three guys wants the job. It's not really a nice guy contest. We're all nice guys, but it's a quarterbacks contest."

On the players' conditioning: "We had them all for about five weeks after we got the rookies in here in mid-May, and we were conditioning them from the first day on through the practices. They had 7 p.m. weight room and conditioning sessions then. We sent them away and they all passed the conditioning test before they left. Watching them today, I didn't see anyone that didn't look like they did a nice job in the last four weeks. They all look like they're in good shape."

On recognizing the players' offseason workouts: "The arm and hammer [patch] on the jersey, that's for the guys that made 85 percent of their offseason workouts, which is a heck of a number. That's something we want them to be proud of."

On DT Trevor Pryce seeing time at corner during practice: "That's a good question. You would have to ask Rex [Ryan] that. He probably saw me and [Chuck] Pagano out there, and thought that he could do a lot better."

QB Kyle Boller

On the start of camp: "I think it's great to be able to come out a couple days early and work with a lot of the young guys. It's all about getting fit. That's the main thing. I'm out here and everybody else is out here to try and get better and do everything we can to be where we want to be when opening day comes."

On his break between mini-camps and training camp: "It goes fast. The break goes fast, but you're constantly working. It's not like you're just shutting it down. You're staying in the playbook so that when you get back here for today, you're ready to go. You don't lose a step. Those extra two days to get the kinks out and get back rolling with the receivers and stuff, that's really helpful."

On being the most experienced quarterback on the team: "I just try to go out and lead by example. Any way I can help Troy [Smith] and Joe [Flacco] out, I'm going to do. I give a lot of credit to Chris Redman. He helped me out. It's not like he didn't help me out at all. He might not have been a guy that played very much, but I know how tough it is, especially for a guy that just signed and is in here and this is his first experience. Everything I can do to help them out, I'm going to do because it's going to make us a better team."

On the quarterback competition: "I'm here to compete every day. Joe's going to do what he does. Troy does what he does. I'm just going to go out there and compete and play and try to be the quarterback that I can be, help the guys out, help my teammates out and just get better. That's all I can do is just try each week to continue to get better. When opening day comes, that's when they'll find out who's the starter."

On whether the competition will intensify once the entire team has reported for camp: "No, every time I'm on the football field, I'm competing. It doesn't matter if there are two guys out here or one guy out here or 53 or 100 guys. I'm going to be out here every day giving my all to make sure each day I can learn some things, take from that and move on."

On the advantage of his experience: "I think 40-some starts are huge. That's a lot of experience. When I get in there in games, it should be easy for me. I'm at that point in my career now where things should have slowed down. I think that's where I'm at. I'm really excited with this offense to get out there with these guys. I think from mini-camps, our offensive line has done a great job. Our receivers have done a great job. We've just got to make sure that we continue where we left off and continue each day to just get better."

On picking up a new offense: "Learning a new offense, you've got to take time. I feel like I'm getting there. I feel like I'm comfortable. Each day becomes a little easier. I take the first mini-camp I had to this training camp. It's like night and day. I see things. You get in there and call the plays. That part, I'm getting the majority of the offense down. Now I've got to start thinking about defenses, too. It's a process, but it's exciting. It's good to be back out here."

On facing different defenses: "I've had to face a lot of different defenses. We face the best defense in the league every day. That's going to make us a better offense. It's just one of those deals where if you can compete against our guys, then when you get out there on Sundays, it should be easy."

On what the coaches expect of him: "Continue to keep improving. That's the main thing. Put all the time in. Study, study, study, and just go out there and compete. Be yourself and work hard. That's all you can do and that's all you can ask for as a person. If it works, if it doesn't work, as long as you put 100 percent in, you can sleep at night."

On head coach John Harbaugh playing in coverage during team drills: "He's pretty good. I tried to throw away from him a little bit."

On whether he would have been better off not starting as a rookie: "I can't answer that. I can't say ‘yes' or ‘no.' I got great game experience. I'm not the type of person that looks at the past. I played. I learned a lot. I'm now going into my sixth year, and we'll see what happens. I'm not going to say one guy can, one guy can't. I've learned a lot. I got hurt my eighth game. It would've been nice to see if I didn't get hurt what would've happened because I really feel like I was making that turn a little bit, but that's just the way it goes."

On whether he's been negatively affected by having multiple offensive coordinators during his career; "No, the majority of the time, it was Brian's offense with some kinks here and there. I learned that offense pretty well. This is the first time that it's a completely new offense with new protections, new formations, that kind of stuff. In a sense, it's really only been my second."

QB Troy Smith

On his goals for camp: "My assessment right now is that I just want to get better as a quarterback, to get better as a player. I want to let my teammates know that I'm here for them 100 percent every day. That is our team agenda. That's where everybody is trying to get before the beginning of the regular season."

On the quarterback competition: "As a quarterback, I think you understand that at all times, eyes are on you. To me, I'm used to it by now. The competition is, in essence [within the media]. As teammates, we understand that we may need all three of us. That's the way we look at it."

On the first two days of camp before veterans report: "It's been incredible, just incredible, especially for myself because I'm still a young guy. I'm technically still a rookie until the third game, so I need these days in this new offense."

On learning Cam Cameron's offense: "Learning an offense as a whole is challenging, especially when Cam Cameron brings this kind of elite offense to you. Day and night, we have to study this offense. Guys are starting to believe. Cam Cameron, Hue Jackson – the list goes on and on of the great coaches that we have to get us ready for the season."

On keeping the focus on the team: "I think about my teammates so much. Nothing that I have achieved throughout my career has anything to do with just me. Without the other 10 guys, I wouldn't be who I am. Day-in and day-out, this is too challenging an offense to think anything about yourself because it has to be about team. You can talk to offensive linemen all the time and they usually just have to worry about the things that they have to do, but in this offense, they have to know everything because everybody has a role."

On his mindset: "I learned from an incredible Hall of Fame quarterback, Steve McNair, to stay cool at all times. I haven't seen a moment where Steve McNair was rattled. If I want to be half the quarterback that he is, that's what I need to focus on."

On the new offense: "To tell you the truth, when you first see the alignments and different variations and shifts, that's the initial thing that's going to hit you. That's what is going to bother your mind, but once you get into it and you start to understand, it's so simple. And it's dangerous."

On his conditioning coming into camp: "Actually I'm under my playing weight. I don't know what it is. I guess it's just the amount of water weight that I'm losing. I checked into camp at 213 [pounds.], so I feel pretty good. I ran and ran [during the offseason]. They can't hit what they can't catch."

On his improvements coming into his second season: "Knowing protections, knowing schemes and defenses and different schemes on different routes. As a quarterback, your learning curve never stops. There's always so much more that you can learn because the defenses are so good nowadays, and our defense is the best. At practice, we see every front, we see every coverage, and you don't get that with every team. You have to take advantage of that with the best defense."

On his relationship with Joe Flacco: "Joe Flacco and I are going to become incredible friends, which we are now. He is going to help me tremendously, and hopefully, I can help him."

QB Joe Flacco

On his first taste of training camp: "We're out here a couple days early; the veterans aren't here yet so there's a chance to just get sharpened up on everything. It's pretty much like other places we've been. [We're] just trying to get back into things and clean up things so when the veterans get here we'll be ready to go."

On the quarterback-only practice time: "It's pretty good for us. We get to do some 7-on-7 and 9-on-9 drills, and I think today we'll do some team stuff later on. It's just nice to get out here and get used to being in the hotel, going to the meeting rooms and getting over here, getting used to all that."

On his nerves: "I mean, once you get here and get settled in, you don't really feel too much. You're ready to play football. The last month you're a little anxious to get here and see what it's about and get started. I definitely had a little bit of that, but once you get here and you're with your teammates, you settle down and you go down to practice."

On learning from QBs Kyle Boller and Troy Smith: "Just to see how they treated their first camp [is beneficial]. Troy just got done with his last year, and Kyle's been through a few of them – none of them with this coaching staff – but they've been through them/ [It's good to] just see how they handle things."

On advice he's received about quarterback competition: "I just really go out there and do what I can do. I don't really try to focus day by day who's doing better than the other. I just try to go out there and do the best I can do, and root on my teammates to get it done."

On if he expected the quarterbacks to be friendly: "We don't really have anything against each other. All we're trying to do is win a spot, and we're all trying to go out there and do the best we can do. It's not really anything against the other guy, it's just the nature of the position and the way it is. I don't really have any hard feelings, I don't know if these guys do. But none of us show it, and we're able to go out here to practice and get along and talk to each other about what went on during the play. So, I think it's a pretty good relationship."

On rookie WRs Justin Harper and Marcus Smith as targets: "They've done well so far, and that's the great thing about that rookie mini-camp we had a month ago. Now, getting here at camp with just those guys, and not any other receivers, you get the chance to just work with those guys and improve with them."

On assessing head coach John Harbaugh in the coverage during the team drill: "He looked pretty good. I'm not criticizing the head coach here. He looked pretty good out there on defense. We should suit him up."

On the challenge of grasping offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's offensive philosophy: "I wouldn't call it overwhelming. You just have to get in there and be positive and try to take it day by day. Learn one thing then move onto the next, and try to gain as much knowledge as you can every day. He's been pretty good about it, and obviously it's a little bit of a challenge. But, it's nothing you're not used to as a quarterback. I kind of like that challenge."


Ravens Insider Top Stories