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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Ravens' HC John Harbaugh Quotes 8.17.20


Opening statement: "Hi, everybody. I appreciate you being here. [It was a] good first day – a lot of fun in terms of football. If you enjoy football, I know you enjoyed that today as journalists doing your job. I had a chance to interact with Jimmy [Smith] one of the times, and we both had big smiles on our faces. Man, it's great to be out here and great to be practicing football. I thought it was sharp. I thought our guys had a lot of energy. I thought they were into it [and] enjoying it. They've been really chomping at the bit to get out there and do football. This is a beginning for us. We have a long way to go [and] a lot of work to do in a short period of time, but we're looking forward to getting to it. So, what questions do you have?"

What stood out in today's practice? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "I thought the energy. I thought the guys' excitement to be out there was really good. There are a lot of football nuances there. Whether plays are made or not made really [isn't] that critical, because there are just a lot of reasons that aren't really related to necessarily … The pass rush isn't 100 percent. We're not full-speed live. We're not tackling today, and those kinds of things. But I thought they were energetic. I thought they were playing hard, and it's a good beginning."

You had WR Devin Duvernay back there catching punts, and he looked pretty good. Is he an option for doing some of that this year? (Todd Karpovich) "Sure. Everybody is an option. That's why we put guys back there. We have a group of guys working; they've been working. He's never done that in college, but he has good hands [and] a good feel for it, so he'll be part of the conversation."

What seemed different to you? Obviously, no fans there and coaches wearing masks, but other than that, to me, it appeared to be just a regular first practice of training camp. (David Ginsburg) "Yes, it is. It's football. It's way deeper into training camp than the first practice. We've been here for quite a while. We had numerous, numerous days of conditioning – rookies had the most. We had other days – numerous days – of rookie-only practices that were ramp-up practices. We had our ramp-up practices with our team, and now, gosh, it's August 17th. We're 26 days from the first game against the Browns, and we're just getting into pads. So, in less than three weeks, we'll be into game week, so we understand that. We understand the urgency of it, and we're going to try to feel our rhythm there, adjust accordingly and try to be ready to play in the first game."

How do you get the rookies and the free agents to understand what it's like to 'Play Like a Raven?' There's no handbook on that. Do they just pick it up from the veterans? How does that work? (Kirk McEwen) "It's a process. We talk about it, we show it to them, [and] we try to teach. I think the veteran players teach [and] the coaches teach. You try to understand … I think when you come into a new organization, the first thing you want to do is belong – find a way to belong. We have a lot of guys with a lot of character, and belonging here means understanding what it means to 'Play Like a Raven,' in a nutshell. There's a lot that goes into that, and we try to bring them along. But we think we have the right kind of guys that fit the mold, and we expect them to pick it up quickly."

How did C/G Matt Skura look? (Shawn Stepner) "I'll have to go back and see. He's just on a process still, right now. He was really good yesterday. I saw the tape and thought he moved well. Today, we didn't do a ton with him, but he's in there, and he looks good. So, I do expect him to be able to be ready for the season, but we're going to be smart with our process with him and make sure he's fully ready to go, every rep that he takes."

Sorry to ask you this after practice, but there are some reports that WR Dez Bryant is going to visit Baltimore for a workout. Do you have any comments on that? Can you confirm that? (Aaron Kasinitz) "Yes, the only comment I have is that we're not commenting on workouts and who's coming in. Like always, we're looking everywhere, at everybody, all the time. Our scouts are always tilling the fields and trying to find whatever we can – plant the seeds and find the players that can help us, and that's what they do. Whoever we bring in, once the workout happens, I'm sure that will be announced – but we're not commenting on that."

WR Marquise Brown has done a lot of work this offseason to really add some weight. Have you seen that so far in the times that you've seen him out on the field, and how do you think that has helped him? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, I think it's helped him. You're going to be more durable. You're going to be faster, better, stronger – all those things – with training. He's trained hard; that's the bottom line. I don't think weight is the point. It's being the best, the most fit, most explosive and most durable. You build up the calluses in training – all those things. He's worked hard at that."

There were a couple guys we didn't see out there – DT Brandon Williams, OLB Jaylon Ferguson, WR/RS Chris Moore. Are any of those longer-range concerns? (Childs Walker) "Jaylon [Ferguson], no. He should be back in a couple days at the most. He's OK – just normal training camp-type stuff. Brandon Williams, same thing. Iman Marshall had a major knee injury yesterday, unfortunately. He had been working hard and was practicing well. He just came down on his right leg really awkwardly, and he's going to need major surgery. I believe it's ACL and MCL. Chris Moore broke his finger a few days ago, so he's just in the process … It's amazing, that same thing happened last year, so Chris knows how to deal with that, and he'll be fine, but it'll be a few weeks until that bone heals."

As far as T Orlando Brown Jr. and his evolution from coming in as a rookie, playing right tackle and now being in his third year … Without having G Marshal Yanda there, has he taken more of a leadership role on the line? (Pete Gilbert) "That would be a good question for him. I think he's a natural leader with his personality, and that really hasn't changed; he's the same guy. He's into it. He really is motivated. He wants to be a great player. He's in there working with the guys, and I think he's the same guy, but more mature, better, just because he's another year into it. He's only going to continue to get better, so all plusses with Orlando."

You had the music playing [at practice], and I know you talked about this a week ago or so. No crowds are expected, but is that just something that you've been doing and want to continue to do, in terms of loud music to simulate a crowd? (David Ginsburg)"Yes, part of it is to simulate the crowd. And, who knows? I saw the Cowboys are going to have fans, so maybe we're getting ready for the Cowboys game – or are they coming here? I can't remember. But, it's what we do. It's fun. I think it's good for the guys to have to cut through the noise, so-to-speak, whether it's crowd noise or just from a concentration standpoint. It's a valuable tool, and I think we all enjoy it, so we had the music."

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