Ravens' OLB Matthew Judon Quotes 8.17.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
What are your goals for the season? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "I really want to be a champ. I want to be a champion. I want to bring another championship to this organization. That's the biggest goal, and I think that's a goal for everybody, [and] right now, that's what I'm striving for. And just continue to lead on defense, and at my position, make an impact on the field. I think my biggest impact, obviously, is sacks and causing turnovers, so I'm emphasizing getting the ball this year. One of my distant goals – and I wish it happened this [past] year – is to get a pick. I want to get a pick this year, so we're going to work on that. I have the best hands on the team; I just haven't had the opportunities. Sometimes, on passes to the flats, I'll be worried about just batting it down. I'm going to try to turn those into turnovers and go ahead and pick it off. So, if I get a pick this year, it's going for six. That's a couple of my goals."
CB Marlon Humphrey was talking about how it just felt really good to get out there and do normal practice stuff today, with everything feeling so not normal outside of it. Did you feel something similar? (Childs Walker) "Yes. Yes, it felt good to be back in the pads. This virus has affected a lot of us. It has impacted the whole world, and it has impacted how we do things on a daily basis in and outside the building. So, with that being said, going forward, football is different. But, just getting back out there with the guys, getting a sweat going, starting the plays and more contact – we have the pads on – [so] just for a split moment, it felt like we didn't have to worry about this virus. But, once we get back in the building, the guys are great about it. And once we cross back over to those doors, we have to go back into – well, not quarantine – but being safe [and] practicing our safe habits that we have. I have my mask right here. I took it off so you can actually see my mouth moving. We're making sure we sanitize everything. We're making sure we take the steps just to try not to spread this disease while we're here. But out on the field, running fast, getting back, it felt a little normal."
You got franchise tagged and you embraced it. Do you feel like you're one of the best edge rushers in football? (Kirk McEwen) "I feel like I'm one of the best players in football. And I feel like that's how you have to feel about yourself. I have a lot of arrogance to me, that I just don't show. I just let my game do the talking. I think it's just confidence in who I am. I'm very confident in myself, and sometimes it might get me in trouble, but on the field, it's a good thing. So, the franchise tag – it happened. You can't do anything about it; I couldn't do anything about. But, I'm glad I'm still a Raven, so we're just going to make it work, and we are going to see how this season goes and what happens after this, but right now, it is what it is."
Along those lines, is there a different feeling being out there knowing, 'I'm the franchise guy?' Do you have a different feeling – a different kind of confidence level – that you're the guy? (Ryan Mink) "First, let's not get this wrong – we all know who's the guy here. That's No. 8 [Lamar Jackson]; No. 8 is the guy here. On the defense, I'm one of 11, and so I'm going to do my job, and I'm going to try to do my job as best as I can. I wear many hats on this defense, so whatever hat I've got to put on for that play, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. And I'm not a selfish guy when it comes to football. So, like I said, I wear many hats, and whatever I have to do – if I have to play nose [tackle] for a play, I'm going to do that to the best of my ability. I got franchise tagged; I'm not the franchise guy. We all know who that is, and that's the MVP."
When you look at the new guys on the D-line with you, with DEs Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, do you have any sense of chemistry yet, or what they might be able to provide for you, when it comes to trying to get to the quarterback and get those sacks? (Pete Gilbert) "Yes, it's kind of a natural chemistry. I've watched their tape. They've watched my tape. Mr. Campbell – as I call him [Calais] – he tells me stuff in his deep voice … (imitating Calais Campbell) … I'm like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' And it's just natural when we're out there. We all enjoy football. We kind of socially-distant sit together at lunch, and we talk football, and we talk shop. After practice, in allowed time, we try to do stuff that we don't get to do in practice together, just to build that chemistry, because we're not going to have any preseason games to kind of see where we're rushing. You don't leave it all out there on your teammates [in practice]. You can't do some stuff that you would do in the game to your teammates, because you want to make sure [that] when Week One comes around, everybody's healthy. So, there are certain games and pick-stunts that we work on after practice, and it's natural. Derek Wolfe and Calais, they are workers, and they are proven veterans. If you turn on any tape, of any game, you'll see them. I think we're going to mesh well. We're not going to have a chemistry problem."
Every year at this time, players talk about wanting to win a championship and get to a Super Bowl. But it seems like there's, maybe, even more of that talk. We know QB Lamar Jackson has talked about it, CB Marlon Humphrey talked about how that's really his only focus. Do you feel like that is very much top of the line for you guys as a team, knowing that you have this great window of opportunity right now? (Garrett Downing) "You come into the year with that expectation – I think everybody does, and everybody talks about it. But right now, our main focus is Cleveland. That's a 'blasé-blah' answer, but our main focus right now is Cleveland. We want to win as many games early and as often as possible, and we've just got to focus on the next game. Because I think we've seen it – when we focus on something that's so far ahead, we can get sidetracked and lose sight of the goal and how we actually get there. So, we get there by starting 1-0, and then you go on from there."
Have you thought about how strange it's going to be to play Cleveland, and be your first time going full tilt out there on the field? (Kevin Richardson) "No, no, I think not having preseason games is going to be bad, because some players are gamers. Some players know when to turn it on, and I think that's going to suck more for the younger players, honestly. I think that's going to hold some undrafted free agents back, and they're not really going to get to show what they'll see on gameday. I've been in this league long enough to know where – and a lot of us have – to know how to flip that switch. When it's gameday, know what to do, how to do [it], where your hands need to be. And that's why we practice the way we practice. So, I think it's going to suck for the young guys more than all the veterans that know how to play this game."
I noticed that you … It looks like you deactivated some of your social media. Is there a reason for that? (Garrett Downing) "No, there wasn't a reason for that."