Ravens' G Ben Bredeson Quotes 5.5.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
I understand that you do have a photographic memory; has that helped you? I'm assuming you have a whole playbook. And, what are your thoughts about the possibility of playing center or stepping in at right guard where Marshal Yanda used to play? (David Ginsburg) "I've just always been able to remember things well off pages. I don't know if it's ever been tested as a photographic memory or anything, but I have a great memory with it, so it's always helped with learning plays and learning new schemes. I feel comfortable at all interior spots – left guard, center, right guard. I'm just going to go wherever I'll fit best for the team."
Have you guys received the playbook as of yet, and have you studied it? And, do you feel like you have to learn a lot of positions given the holes that the Ravens have? (David Ginsburg) "Yes, I started last week going over the playbook and learning everything. I have a good grasp of it. I feel like we're getting there. Working with the offensive line, it's always beneficial to know what everybody is doing so you can – like you said – play in multiple spots and know what the guy next to you is doing. I'm just learning the plays completely through, and that will give me the opportunity to play multiple positions on the line."
Going from one [coach] Harbaugh to another, do you sense the similarities, or are you already seeing a lot of differences in just your brief tenure with the older one, John? (Pete Gilbert) "There are a lot of similarities. Each of them has their own tweaks to how they run their own program, but you can definitely see a lot of glaring similarities between the two. The way the playbook is set-up, the way the program is being run, their mannerisms; a lot of them are the same. It's comforting for me knowing that I'm still in the Harbaugh family."
What do you think your biggest adjustment is going to be going from college to pro – from Michigan to the Ravens? (Todd Karpovich) "I think the speed of the game, and I think that's a common answer for most people. Everybody is bigger, faster and stronger at the next level, so the faster I can adjust to that and start playing consistently at that level, the better off I'll be." Have you spoken to Coach Jim Harbaugh at Michigan since you got drafted, and what's been his advice to you on playing for his brother in Baltimore? (Aaron McMann) "Yes, we spoke right after the pick came in. We talked a little bit that night and he told me to do what I did in Ann Arbor and everything will transfer." … (inaudible) …
We heard the story about your mom and showing dogs, on draft night. So, my question is; is she who you got your competitiveness from, and who is more competitive? (Ryan Mink) "I think it might be [from] part of her, and it could be from growing up with three boys in the house. My older brother is only 18 months older than I am, so obviously, there was a lot of sibling rivalry growing up there. We grew up in a competitive house, and she is big in the field trial world – it's a lot like hunting simulations with dogs and retrieving birds. That's her passion, and she's extremely competitive in that. My dad played college football at Illinois State, so we always grew up in a very competitive and athletically driven house. When you have three boys and none of them want to lose to each other, it's a catalyst. We're all super competitive here, and they're my best friends and my biggest rivals at the same time."
Just wondering your thoughts on the Ravens' offensive line, specifically the interior. Obviously, G Marshal Yanda leaves and C Matt Skura is on the way back from injury, but how much have you studied the offensive line here in Baltimore and your thoughts? (Shawn Stepner) "Obviously, with Marshal Yanda leaving … He's a legend, and I've been watching him for years and years. Being able to play on the same team that he once played on is kind of surreal; it's a very cool feeling. The offensive line for Baltimore was outstanding last year. I think there are a lot of quality guys there – very, very talented players, and I'm just honored to be working with them now."
By all accounts, this year is one of the best draft classes. Do you feel any pressure because this draft class is so good? Have you thought about it? Have you talked to the other members of the class about it? (Kirk McEwen) "No, I don't feel really any pressure. It's just very exciting. Looking down the lineup of all the guys from the draft class that I had the thrill of being a part of, there are a lot of studs up and down the board at many different positions. I'm just going to be really excited to come in with these guys and see what we can do."
You started four years at Michigan. Is it especially important to you to compete for a starting job right away, and why do you think you might be more prepared than maybe some other rookies to do so? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I think it's important for everybody to play. We play this game to win games and get on the field, and I'm going to do whatever I can to help the O-line and to help the team. So, whether that's starting or in a backup role, this team is trying to win a championship, and I'm going to do whatever I can to help push that goal forward."
With social distancing being what it is right now, there's talk about a potentially shortened on-field offseason workout for you guys. How are you going to try to gain an edge in what could be a competition for a starting job? (Matthew Stevens) "We just have to deal with the hand that we're given. These are uncertain times, and everybody is in the same boat – social distancing, staying home, and just trying to find a way to get their work in any way they can. So, it's going to be tough for everybody coming back, but I think we all know what we are supposed to be doing. All we can do is keep going with the plan and wait this thing out."
What do you feel is your greatest strength as a blocker? I know there was some pre-draft chatter about your arm length being on a little bit of the shorter end of a lot of prospects. How do you make up for that, because obviously you were super consistent in college? (Ryan Mink) "I think one of my strengths is my strength, and being able to move people off the line is something I really take pride in. Compared to some other guys, yes, I'm on the shorter end of the spectrum [with arm length] … (inaudible) … and lock them down in closer quarters. I've played with the same arm length my whole career, so I find a way to make it work, and it's never really been an issue for me."
What do you think It's going to be like to get to camp and compete against guys like DL Calais Campbell, DE Derek Wolfe and DT Brandon Williams on the front line? Also, how do you feel about going to a team that runs the ball as much as the Ravens do? (Cliff Brown) "Running the ball is … Every offensive lineman loves running the football. And, coming to a team like Baltimore, where that's such a heavy emphasis, it's really exciting, and I couldn't have picked a better offense to be drafted to. I'm just really excited to get there and start competing. Like you said, these are guys that we all grew up watching, and it's very exciting to have these stars on the defensive line that you get to go up against every single day. It's going to make me better, and hopefully I can make them better. It's great for practice and camp – going into that realm – and as it transitions into the games, it's really nice knowing that you have those guys on your defensive line on your team, who can get those stops and get you the ball back."
Obviously, you haven't had a chance to block for him, but have you asked about what it's like to try and block for QB Lamar Jackson, who is just a singularly unique, special talent back there? There are some challenges that come along with it that you couldn't have prepared for. (Pete Gilbert) "No. He's a remarkable player, and I'm beyond excited to start working with him. It'll be something different for me – having a guy that's so athletic and so skilled back there. It's going to be exciting and I really can't wait to start playing with him."
Have you played any position besides guard? Are you willing to play center if that's called? (Kevin Richardson) "Yes, I played all five spots in practice. In-game, I strictly played left guard at Michigan, but I feel comfortable at really any of those interior three spots. Obviously, center is included with that, so [I] 100 percent would be comfortable playing there." Another guy you'll be blocking for is RB J.K. Dobbins. I know not all your memories of him are pleasant, but can you talk about what kind of player you saw from the opposite sideline, and what do you think it will be like blocking for him? (Cliff Brown)"Listen, whenever we played them, I just heard the name, 'J.K. Dobbins,' going over the loudspeaker over-and-over again. So, I'm happy that I'll be blocking for him now, because he's done enough damage against me."