COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Opening statement: "Hey, everybody. Good to see everybody. I appreciate you guys all being here and watching practice. [It was] a good, hard training camp practice day. I really appreciate players pushing through it. I thought they did a really good job of competing. It was a very competitive practice, which is good to see. And we'll continue to improve and try to do the things that winning teams do in practice and prepare for the season. So, that's where we're at. What questions do you have?"
What are some of the pros and cons from not playing any preseason games at this point in training camp [practice] number eight? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "The biggest con is the fact that you don't get to see your young guys in game action – get to see them tackling, making plays under pressure when the lights come on, so-to-speak. But just the idea of it … It's very challenging to simulate a game completely in practice. So, it would have been good to see those guys compete and take that step before they play a regular season game. The pros … I don't really see a pro, to be honest with you. I'd rather have the preseason games, but I do understand [that] it's a unique situation we're in this year with the pandemic, and that's the result of that. I think we're handling it great. I guess the pro would be that our players and coaches are handling it so well; our organization has handled it so well. That's probably the biggest pro in my eyes."
CB Tavon Young seemed to be in the middle of everything today. How good has it been to see him back? And how valuable is it to have a guy like that, especially with his skillset in the slot? (Jeff Zrebiec) "He looks great. He looks to me like he picked up right where he left off before. He's really trained hard, and you can see that. He's moving great. He's a very good football player, and he's playing very well. So, I can't wait to see him play this year. I'm excited for his season. He's a special kind of guy."
OLB Tyus Bowser is a guy you've been with since Day One, and it's a big year for him. What are your expectations for him this year? And how has he developed over the time that you've seen him? (Todd Karpovich) "The expectations are high. He has really, really worked. I see it on the practice field; he's doing a lot of things really well. He's setting the edge well, he's pass rushing, he's dropping into coverage, and he's working on special teams. So, there is a lot on his plate, and I feel like he's been successful at every single thing he's taken on in this training camp. I really expect a big season from him; I really do. He's very motivated, and he's a very hard worker."
I know DE Derek Wolfe wasn't out there today, but you guys talked about, he's someone who was on your radar for a long time from afar. What have been your impressions now of getting to see him work on an everyday basis? (Luke Jones) "I'd say an even better player. As highly as we thought of him … And this goes all the way back to his days at Cincinnati – following him through that program which we follow … He's a guy who had a chance to be here, [but] it just didn't work out in the draft. We really liked him at that time, and I would say [he's] even better than advertised. He's really having a great camp. He's a tremendous guy [and] a big-time leader. Just really everything that we were looking for, he's bringing to the table."
The Ravens announced that for the initial part of the season, there will be no fans at M&T Bank Stadium. Do you know if the team is planning to use the ambient fan noise? And have you been told by the league any rules on how loud it can be, when it can be used or anything like that? (Jamison Hensley) "There are some rules out. I'm going to say … And this is just of my knowledge, because I'm not studying those memos right about now. We have a lot of great people in the organization look at those things. My understanding of it is, is that the ambient crowd noise is required. It's at a certain decibel level, and it has to be kept at that level as background sound the whole game. That's what my understanding of it is. So, if it's different or changes, then it will be different, or it will change. Then beyond that, you have the ability to put music up until 15 seconds before the snap – 15 seconds on the play clock. I don't know how loud that can be. So, we'll be looking into that, and just try to figure out what makes the most sense for us and just move forward on it. It's not the biggest deal in the world. I'm not worried about it in any way. I don't think it's going to matter. I think playing well, and playing winning football is what really matters. But it will be interesting to see how it plays out."
I'd like to get your thoughts on you guys announcing no fans right now, where some teams are allowing fans, and in the other sports there are no fans whatsoever. So, is it equitable in your opinion? And what's going on in your mind with not having fans? Are the stadium practices valuable in that fashion? (Jerry Coleman) "Yes, the stadium practices are good in that sense, because we get a feel for an unusual situation, which is playing a game without fans. As far as one stadium to the next, I think it will be pretty similar at most stadiums, for the most part. I'm not too worried about it. It's nothing we can control. I just want to make sure we're a good football team [and] playing well. To me, that will make the biggest difference in our outcomes, and all the other stuff is up to other people."
Did you feel like OLB Tyus Bowser was starting to put it together in the second half of last year? And do you have a feel for what may have clicked for him? (Childs Walker) "You're going to get a chance to talk to him; that's a great question for him. I've seen a guy that really works. He's very, very determined to be good. He's probably his biggest own self-critic; there's no doubt about that. I think he's very hard on himself, which can be really good, but sometimes you're too hard on yourself. I really see his confidence; maybe last year it started to really come together. Now his confidence is there – 100%. And I think he's very, very ready to go and determined to have a great season."
ILB Chris Board was in the mix last year for inside linebacker; I don't think he was ready for that yet. He's an imposing, physical specimen. Where is he this year? (Kirk McEwen) "I'd say vastly improved. He's a guy who didn't play a lot of inside linebacker in college as a 'in the box' type-guy, so he had a lot to learn. He's just very diligent, and we've seen a big jump so far in this training camp. He's all over the field. He was very noticeable today at practice; I know you guy saw that. He made a bunch of plays today. So, yes, Chris Board has made a big step, and we expect big things from him."
I just wanted to ask about WR DeAndrew White. We saw him come on the field halfway through practice today. Is he a guy you expect to be in the mix at returner? What are your thoughts on the way he practiced today? (Aaron Kasinitz) "He looked good out there today, didn't he? He came out about halfway through practice – maybe before that – and jumped out and made a couple catches. So, he looked good. I had a chance to chat with him briefly after practice. He's in great spirits. He's appreciative of the opportunity. Everybody is in the mix. That's what it is; it's an opportunity. All you really need is a chance to get out there on the field and play and perform and show what you can do. I know he's a guy who has a great work ethic and is just a young guy with a lot of talent. So, I'm excited. For just getting his pads and getting his equipment out there while practice was going on – after he cleared his physical – and then coming out to practice, he did a heck of a job."