Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson Quotes 8.18.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Yesterday, OLB Matthew Judon proclaimed you to be the franchise player, even though he has the franchise tag. How do you feel about that – having the responsibility of knowing that you're maybe the face of the franchise? (David Ginsburg) "I appreciate that from Matt [Judon], but I just appreciate that coming from guys like him, because he's been doing what he has been doing for a long period of time so far here at the Baltimore Ravens facility, and with us. I appreciate that coming from my peers, especially because we grind so hard together and our goal is to win championships. For guys to look at me, and me being so young, to be the franchise guy, I appreciate that. I just know I got to keep doing what I'm doing and keep trying to build up and bring a championship home."
You were mic'd up yesterday, and you said, 'I'm going to break a lot of long ones this year.' I heard you say that yesterday mic'd up. My observation is this – last year your visor was clear, defenders can see in [and] look at your eyes. Now, you can't see in there Lamar. Was that done on purpose so defenders can't see you, and that will lend to more long runs? Am I correct in saying that? (Kirk McEwen) "Hopefully, if I'm able to wear that visor. I hope I can." (Reporter: You don't know if you can wear it yet?) "I don't know. It's just a practice thing right now."
How competitive are you during practice? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "I'm very competitive. Our defense is going to bring it out of us. They want us to be … They want to compete. They want us to be great for Sundays, or Thursdays or Mondays. We're trying to win. We're keeping score right now, so it's just like we're playing against another team without us tackling each other. So, I'm prepared for that."
Kind of piggybacking off of Kirk McEwen's question … Why do you feel like you can break more long runs this year? Is that a part of your game where you feel like, 'Hey, I didn't even show that as much as I think I can last year?' (Ryan Mink) "Actually, it was just something from practice. I was just saying that because Coach [John Harbaugh] called me down [by contact], and I was telling him I wasn't down – I felt like I scored on the play. So, that's why I ended up saying that. But if I have to run for a touchdown, I will. But I'm just trying to win at the end of the day."
You talked this offseason about wanting to add in the deep passing game and improve in that area, and all of that. Just a couple days into camp so far, what are your impressions on where the chemistry is in that regard? (Garrett Downing) "We're building a lot from last year. We're doing a lot better than we were last year, especially at deep passes. And our guys … Receivers are in stride with the passes. We've just got to keep it going, keep building and keep getting better each and every day, and taking advantage of this time right now."
You said you're so competitive in practice and this is the second day of padded practices. How have the last couple of days gone as we ramp-up here and you guys put on the pads? (Shawn Stepner) "We [the offense] won the first day; defense won today. [We're] trying to get out there and get back [at them] tomorrow. That's how it's been going." (Reporter: "You said you won yesterday. How are you guys keeping score? Talk us through that.) "Well, it's on the scoreboard and we're just going by periods. That's all I know so far. I can't really get into details of how we do it. But it's just like one concept period, we go against the defense here – one-on-ones – we go against the defense and whoever wins out of those goes up on the score[board] – three points, six points, however they score it, I don't know. Talk to [football analyst Daniel Stern] 'Danny'; 'Danny' is our guy."
You have a lot more connections [on] all those deep balls in the two days that we've been able to watch, and a lot of them are to WR Devin Duvernay, WR Miles Boykin. A lot of the young guys are getting behind and making a play. What do you see out of your young receiving corps? (Pete Gilbert) "They're workaholics right now. They're trying to show us … Well, show the guys who've been in the league so far what their talent is made of [and] the reason they're here. We're just going to see when the time comes. Right now, it's just the second day. [We're] going into the third day tomorrow. We're just going to have to see – just keep building, keep stacking."
Coach John Harbaugh before was on talking about … And this goes back to what OLB Matthew Judon was saying about [you] being the face of the franchise. But one thing Coach Harbaugh did say was that you like to be involved in everything. Can you discuss that a little bit? Every aspect, every meeting … He said that if you could be involved, you'd like to be involved. Obviously, you've come a long way since your rookie year. (Jerry Coleman) "Just to help my mind grow. I want to know what everyone is doing. Just not doing my position, but I want to know what all my guys are doing – blocking assignments, running back blocking assignments on each and every play, just so I can protect myself and protect the play, protect the ball. The longer we have the ball, the best chance that we'll score."
Maybe related to that – CB Marcus Peters just told us as he watches you, your passion and dedication is what sets you apart, and I know that's a hard thing to describe. How do you describe your passion for this game and your job? (Mark Viviano) "I just love what I do. I've been playing since I was a little kid. When you get the opportunity to do something you love, you want to take advantage of it. That's what I'm going to do each and every day. It starts with practice."
Head Coach John Harbaugh said earlier that he thinks QB Robert Griffin III is having the best training camp he's ever seen him have. Are you impressed with his level of preparation every year, even though he knows that he's coming in as the backup?(Childs Walker) "For sure, I've been seeing him since my rookie year and he's been preparing the same way. He always goes out there and grinds. Even pre-practice, he's getting his work in. He stretches like we're going to practice already, or in game mode. He switches very fast. He practices how he plays, for sure."
You talked a lot this offseason about the outbreaking routes and those throws outside the numbers. In your mind, beyond just getting more reps [and] more practice, what's kind of the biggest key for you to get better in that way? Is there something mechanical you focus on? (Luke Jones) "Just repetition, that's all."
I had talked to you last week and following up with you on something I talked to you about – growing up with WR Marquise Brown in south Florida. I'm curious, why do you think it is that there's so much talent in South Florida? And what do you think when you hear people from Texas with those $56 million stadiums talk about Texas has the best youth and high school football in the country? (Bo Smolka) "We've just got to get it out of the mud – like, literally. Down there, it's different. Some people … A lot of the people down there, nine times out of 10, don't really have anyone pushing them to reach their full potential. There's a lot more talent down there [that] people have never seen before; people that are better than some guys in the league. It's been like that, all I've known, all my life. I don't know … It's just that we're different. Florida is different – I feel that we're the best."
You've been teammates with S Earl Thomas III for over a year now. What impresses you about how he goes about preparing for games, and then come game day, how he actually goes out there and plays just 100 miles per hour? (Jonas Shaffer) "Oh, it's no different from practice or a game with him, with that guy. (laughter) He'll be the one who'll make me … Pushing me to compete, even in practices, like, 'Oh, yes, I've got to get me a pick today.' I'm like, 'You'll probably pick somebody else off, but not me. That's not going to happen.' He got me last year – took it back for a touchdown, pitched it back to 'Peanut' [Patrick Onwuasor], our former teammate. But that guy – he's different, man. I told him he makes us better each and every day, because of his knowledge of the game, the years he's been in the league, his Super Bowl experience and stuff like that. He brings a whole other swag to the defense and helps us out a lot, even on offense."
There have been reports that you guys are taking a look at [free agent] WR Dez Bryant. Is that something that intrigues you, and is he an addition that you think would help you guys out? (Jeff Zrebiec) "We have a lot of great receivers who are here right now, but it's up to the front office. Obviously, Dez Bryant [is] on Instagram and stuff like that, running his routes and competing against cornerbacks, and he's looking pretty good on social media. But if the front office likes him, we'll have to see when he gets here."
If the team does sign somebody or bring somebody in mid-season, how long does it take for you to feel comfortable with a player – with a new receiver? Two weeks? Three weeks? How long do you think you need to get ready? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I don't know. I just have to work with them at first to be able to see. I can't tell you the answer right now."
Being the reigning NFL MVP, do you feel that you're going to have more of a target on your back, that defenses are spending all this offseason trying to focus on how to stop you? (Jamison Hensley) "No, because just like they're trying to prepare for me, I'm preparing for them as well. That's why we've got [offensive coordinator] 'G-Ro' [Greg Roman] and [quarterbacks] coach [James] Urban. We're going to be ready when [the] game comes."