Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson Quotes 4.22.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Since this has started, you've played catch with WR Marquise Brown and WR Antonio Brown, you got a tattoo, and you've tweeted with the president. It seems like you're trying to make the best of a bad time, during a difficult time for everyone.(David Ginsburg) "I actually got my tattoo before the quarantine began. With the 'Hollywood' [Marquise Brown] and Antonio Brown stuff, we were just trying to put in some work. A lot of my fans were coming on my page and saying, 'We want to see you working out,' and stuff like that. So, the media let that out, that I was working out, but it was just bad timing. We understand that we are supposed to be safe. We were just trying to get a little work in, but we know now."
What have you been able to do? I know you work a lot with Josh Harris. What have you been able to do for preparation and to get work in? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Just regular workout stuff by myself. I haven't been working with Coach Josh yet because of the quarantine, but I've been doing Pilates and stuff like that, just to keep myself in shape, so I don't fall off."
You mentioned WR Antonio Brown and your workout. That did create a lot of buzz, nationally. What are your feelings about Antonio Brown? Do you feel the Ravens should sign him? Have you talked to anybody with the Ravens about potentially signing him? (Jamison Hensley) "I'd be happy if they signed him. He's a great player. He showed it each and every year when he was with the Steelers in the past, but it's not my decision."
Can you just take us through the kind-of whirlwind experience of seeing that president Donald Trump quote-tweeted you on Saturday? (Jonas Shaffer) "Someone actually texted me about it. They were like, 'Donald Trump just tweeted you.' So I was like, 'Yeah?' [I] got on twitter and saw he was making a statement about how he liked the pick, and me being a great pick, my teammate congratulating me and stuff like that. I was just like, 'Appreciate that.' That's what 'Truzz' means. I've been saying that all year, so I don't know why it got blown up like that."
What would you like to see the Ravens do in the NFL Draft? (Ryan Mink) "Get the guys we need. We need a replacement for Marshal [Yanda]. Marshal was that guy – first-ballot Hall of Famer – [so] we need a guy for him. And whoever else we need, come in and help get us a championship."
Last offseason, you made huge strides. In your offseason work, you improved your completion percentage dramatically, your efficiency dramatically, and your touchdown/interception ratio. What were your goals in terms of improving this offseason, and what has been most negatively impacted by isolation for you and those goals? (Gerry Sandusky) "Just like last year, I want to work on everything. Whether it's running, passing, out-breaking routes and deep passes. I feel like we need to hit a lot more deep passes than we did last year. We had a lot of production, and we were a better team than from the year before, I feel, at least offensively. Quarantine is slowing down everything right now. I can't get with my guys to be working on timing our routes and stuff like that, so that's a big part right now."
We talked to some of your teammates over the last few weeks about whether they are worried about the season maybe being canceled entirely. Is that something that's on your mind at all, and is that particularly difficult given how good you guys were last year and the optimism about this season? (Childs Walker) "The world needs football. I think we'll be playing football this year, so I'm not going to put that in my mind."
Back to the tweet about president [Donald] Trump. Did you learn anything about the way social media works based on that reaction? Because as you said, it did seem like it blew up? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I did see it, but I guess that's the people on social media's job. I wasn't making any political statement or anything like that. But like I said, I was just agreeing with the way he was talking about me and my teammate. That's all."
Last year, with setting the rushing record, you obviously carried the ball a lot. As your career goes on, would you like to carry the ball more, less, or does it matter, and why? (Cliff Brown) "To be honest, it really doesn't matter, as long as it's going to help us win the game. But I doubt that I am going to be carrying the ball a lot going further into the future, because we have dynamic running backs and even more receivers. We have 'Hollywood' [Marquise Brown], Mark Andrews, Nick [Boyle], Willie Snead IV, Miles [Boykin], [so] we are going to be pretty good, and I don't think I'll be running a lot. Like I said, we have great running backs in Justice Hill, Gus [Edwards] and Mark [Ingram II]. We should be good."
You guys had 14 wins and you won the MVP last season. I'm just wondering if you've been getting any more endorsement opportunities and if companies have been calling? How have you been handling that, and how is your family handling that?(Mark Viviano) "Yes, companies have been calling, but quarantine has been slowing everything down. It's been pretty good, and we've been handling it pretty well, but it's holding us back right now too. We aren't talking to anyone right now."
What do you feel like could be next for you? After a season where you win the MVP, you won 14 games, and it was such an incredible season, what is the next step for you? (Garrett Downing) "There's no telling. The sky is the limit. I just want to be a better player than I was last year. I need to win a playoff game before anything, because I'm tired of that already. Once I get tired of something, I have to make it happen. So, that's my goal right now; focus on being a better player all around. Not just a [better] player, but teammate as well."
You had to wait for the 32nd pick, the last pick of the first round. So, what is your advice to players that have to patiently wait for their name to be called? (Shawn Stepner) "I feel like everything happens for a reason. In the moment, I was ticked-off, like, 'Why am I not getting picked?' But, as life goes on, and once you're in the league and producing, you have that chip on your shoulder, so you are going to go out there and show people how you felt in the moment. 'Just go out there and be you and look good. Why are you sitting down?' But, back to that night, it was great. It was great. I loved every moment of it, even sitting back now as I think of it."
What are you going to be doing during the draft? (Shawn Stepner) "[Alabama WR] Jerry Jeudy invited me to his draft party, so I might show up there."
I'm curious, you're doing Pilates to stay in shape and not working out with other guys. What have you been doing just to pass the time? As a young guy who has so much energy, this must be driving you crazy. What have you been doing? (Pete Gilbert) "I'm all business when it comes to football. Everything else, I'm laid back. I don't really do too much. I like to chill. So, the quarantine is not really bothering me at all when it comes to just staying inside." (laughter) I'm curious if you have been in touch with players from Louisville? You said [Alabama WR] Jerry Jeudy. Other players, and any advice you've given to them given the strange nature of this whole pre-draft process? (Bo Smolka) "No, I really haven't given any guys any advice, really. I feel like everyone is their own man. Once you come out of college, I can't really do anything for them. If they come to me for advice, then I'll give it to them, but no one came to me about any advice."
How much do you think you guys are going to have to change the playbook this year as teams sort of adapt to your offense? Do you think dramatic improvements? Or do you guys just keep doing what you did last year? (Todd Karpovich) "You've got to talk to 'G-Ro' [offensive coordinator Greg Roman]. That's a question for 'G-Ro'. I don't really know. We haven't been with each other. We haven't been in contact, really. We'll have to see."
How have you been able to balance what you've been talking about? You win the MVP, and then unfortunately, the season ends so quickly with the playoffs. How have you been able to balance that? (Jerry Coleman) "Just how I did after my rookie year. Let it haunt me, but it makes me a better player. That's all you can do."
Every day we hear of all the people who are passing away because of the virus. I'm glad your family is doing well. Do you know anybody, has this touched you – either friends or family – have you known anybody who has gotten sick or, heaven forbid, passed away? (Bill Rhoden) "No. Even though you guys see me on social media out, and stuff like that, we do pay attention to this stuff and try to stay away from it – washing our hands, and stuff like that. My family members, anyone close to me, nothing really has happened with any one of us. No sickness, nothing like that. No, sir."
A lot of sports leagues are saying they're going to come back to play, but they're not going to play in front of fans. Just wondering how you think about that – to have for the first time probably in your entire life, playing football without being in front of fans? (Bill Rhoden) "I really don't see that happening. I don't know, I've never seen anything like that. I've never played football without people watching. So, I don't know. I don't know."
It'd be like practice, right? (Bill Rhoden) "Yes, it'd feel like practice. And not [training] camp practice either, because we have a lot of fans up there in [training] camp practice. So, it'd be like seasonal practices."
I know the offseason is so important for rookies coming in. Is there anything that you can do with the rookies that you guys are going to bring in within the next week just to bring them along seeing how this offseason is probably going to be at least significantly limited? (Andrew Gillis) "To be honest, I don't know, because I don't know how it's going to play out with what's going on right now. So, I really didn't put any perspective about it to be honest with you."
When you are doing all this chilling and having all of this free time, are you getting into certain documentaries like The Last Dance with Michael Jordan? If so, are you kind of drawing motivation from that, not really having grown up with him as your Lebron [James]? (Bobby Trosset) "I'm going to be honest with you, I didn't even watch it yet. I didn't watch it. I saw everybody going crazy about it on Twitter, so I have to get tuned in. I have to watch [Michael Jordan's] 'MJ's' The Last Dance. I've been seeing it coming up on commercials and stuff like that, but I need to go watch it, then I'll have the answers for you."
Lamar, I guess the one question I'd like to ask you is every time you made the comment last season, "Not bad for a running back," what was in your mind? (John Feinstein) "I've got to produce the next week. I've got to go out there and make another statement. We've got to go win the next game. We've got to win the Super Bowl – that's really on my mind."
You were making a statement about playing quarterback, weren't you? (John Feinstein) "Oh, yes, for sure – I'm a quarterback." Last year, you came back bigger and stronger than your rookie year. I was wondering, are you concentrating at all on getting even a little bigger? I know you want to get stronger probably, but are you wanting to get a little bit bigger than you are now? Or do you feel that you're now at the optimum weight you want to be for your career? (Cliff Brown) "I feel I'm pretty good right now. If anything, I just want my mind to grow even more, get in-depth with just learning the ins-and-outs of the game even more like [Buccaneers QB] Tom Brady. That's all I want to do right now is focus more on that."
How do you feel about the governor opening the beaches in Florida? (Ximena Lugo Latorre) "I don't have any feelings towards it. It doesn't really matter to me." I know you're having a lot of time now with this social distancing. What are you doing with your trophies? (Ximena Lugo Latorre) "They're at home right now. They're chilling right now. They're social distancing, too." (laughter)
The end goal has always been to win a championship. That's almost always your response when anybody asks you about your next goal or your next mission. When did the Super Bowl goal happen for you? Was it when you were really young, or when you were drafted in the NFL? Why has that always been your end mission? (Kyle Barber) "Because when I was in youth football in the year 2008 … Well, 2004 was my first year, but 2008 was when I was playing in this division – I felt like it was an aggressive division. I won the Super Bowl in that division, and ever since then that's always been in my mind. In the NFL, the Super Bowl is the biggest thing, the biggest accomplishment to me, and that's what I want. I want to be able to lift my teammates to being the best in the world at that time. So, that's what I'm going to do."
When you worked with WR Antonio Brown this offseason, was there any advice that he gave you? I know he plays wideout, but he's played with QB Ben Roethlisberger. So, did he give you any advice on the quarterback position? (Kevin Richardson) "No, I didn't ask him. We were just working out. We didn't really sit down and talk and stuff like that." (Reporter: "Were there any particular things that you wanted to work on with him?")"No, because it was my first time. It was my first time meeting him in person, my first time asking to throw with him." [On] the [Donald] Trump tweet – not to get political, but I'm just curious – when you said 'Truzz' to him, you spelled it with two Z's. Last year it was two S's. Did the spelling change? (Ken Weinman) "Yes, because someone tried to sue me for 'Truss.' No one was using it at first, so when I started using 'Truss,' they wanted to make it a big deal. So, that's why I just turned my S's to Z's." (Reporter: "Did you copyright it?") "Yes." (laughter)
As a quarterback who has gone through this draft process, how much do you think the coronavirus would have impacted your ability to impress scouts and general managers before the draft and even getting ready for your own rookie season after the draft? (Matthew Stevens) "Probably dramatically, because they were already saying I was a running back, and this and that. So, I would have been fighting bad right there to show them that I'm a quarterback and stuff like that. It would have been bad for me, probably."
With Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, he's MVP [in 2018] and then, obviously, the Chiefs win the Super Bowl [in 2019]. Obviously, you were MVP this year. Do you think you could follow a similar path? (Garrett Downing) "I would love to follow that path right there – MVP to the Super Bowl. (laughter) That would be a great path to follow right there. I would be happy to."
I know you said you wanted to work on the mental side of the game this offseason. Do you think that that could be any harder if you guys don't have OTAs and all that kind of typical offseason that you would normally have? And how do you plan to go about doing that? (Ryan Mink) "Honestly, it can, it will [be more difficult], because you're not with your guys. And I feel like ... me and my teammates, we already talked before we left Baltimore in January. We wanted to get together and watch film and stuff like that. So, I feel like it will mess things up somewhat."
We talked last season about you being on the cover of Madden. You said you weren't afraid of the curse or anything. An article came out today saying you are the front-runner [to be on the cover]. I'm wondering if they've taken a picture yet? Have they talked to you? Where is that process? (Kirk McEwen) "Yes, they talked to me. I should be on the cover of Madden. But like I said, I'm not worried about the curse. Patrick Mahomes was on the front, and he won MVP. So, I would want that curse. I hope that's the curse." (laughter) (Reporter: "You are the cover of Madden '21?")"I am. Yes, I am."(Reporter: "Congratulations.") "[I] appreciate that." What has the offseason been like in terms of you being the reigning MVP? I know you're down in Florida. Has life changed at all significantly? (Bobby Trosset) "Yes, life has changed, but not in Florida – on social media if anything. (laughter) The president tweeting at me, stuff like that. That's where stuff changed, but other than that, life is still the same for me." (Reporter: "Have you had to manage it in terms of how much time you're spending with [social media]? Is it too consuming at times?") "No, I spend [time on it] like I have been. I don't change anything."
Two questions – the first one is an easy one: Where are you? At your house in Florida? (David Ginsburg) "I'm at an Airbnb." (Reporter: "OK, in Florida?") "Yes." (Reporter: "My other question is: After you had that workout with WR Marquise Brown and WR Antonio Brown, some people criticized you for not social distancing. Is that why you didn't have any further workouts with those guys?") "Yes, I've been social distancing."
Since the cat is out of the bag on the Madden cover, what are your thoughts on it? Has it always been a dream of yours to be on the cover? (Ryan Mink) "Yes, it's always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, since I first started playing Madden. It's dope. I have every Madden, so for me to be on the front cover, that's a dream come true. That's an accomplishment for the kids around here where I'm from, stuff like that. So, it's pretty cool. It's pretty dope."
Who are some of the guys you're excited to see take a leap this upcoming season? (Matthew Stevens) "Everybody on my team. I don't really have any individuals. I want everyone on my team to make huge leaps, because I know we know what we want to be. We know what we want to do, and we have the hearts and mindsets to do it."
I asked you before about how you would feel about playing without fans, and you said you can't imagine that. I'm just curious, when everybody does get back together, do you see yourself changing any behavior? We used to shake hands. We used to hug each other. How is your behavior going to change like with teammates and hugging and all the stuff we used to do? (Bill Rhoden) "No, our team, we don't change. It's a brotherhood going on. I've already said that, and I'm going to say it every time. My teammates and I, we're good. It's a brotherhood going on. We don't care about the outside noise, because when we're out there grinding, when no one is seeing us grinding, we're sweating, and people are tearing up and blood is being shed. We're the ones who see this. We're the ones who are going to go out there and put it on the line for each other. No one else will, so we're good."