Ravens' RB Gus Edwards Quotes 6.17.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
You've got training camp coming up in about a month or so. Are you at all concerned about safety issues in terms of avoiding COVID-19 at camp with all [of] those players? (David Ginsburg) "It's going to be something that we're going to have to work around, honestly. I think that the NFLPA and everybody involved is going to do a great job of making sure that we're taking the right precautions. I'm looking forward to being back more than anything."
[Owner] Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti and the Ravens put out a very heartfelt message after George Floyd's murder. I'm wondering your thoughts on the aftermath? You being a young black man, you probably run into some of these things. The league is 70 percent black. I'm just wondering what you have to say, if anything, Gus, on everything that's going on right now? It feels like a moment. (Kirk McEwen) "First off, what happened [to George Floyd] was very disturbing. I'm glad that the officers involved are in custody and are going to be prosecuted. It was a proud day to be a Raven when that happened and seeing the video. It seemed very genuine and sincere. The respect level for Steve Bisciotti just went up. Like I said, overall, it was a great day to be a Raven."
What were your thoughts when the team drafted RB J.K. Dobbins? (Kevin Richardson) "I was surprised, because I thought that he was, like, the best [running] back in the class. We definitely got better. It's going to be difficult to do better than what we did last year with breaking the rushing record, but I think it's a step forward. It's a definite step towards that, because he's a great [running] back and all. He's going to make the competition that much better in the running back room."
Do you put any more pressure on yourself playing under a one-year deal or do you sort of just keep it business as usual? (Todd Karpovich) "I can't say that I'm not looking forward to it. It's a great opportunity that I'm in. I'm doing everything the same. I've always been a hard worker. I think that's how I want myself to be remembered as – somebody that works hard. That's what the team thinks of me. I'm going to be in a great position with a great team, a team that wants to run the ball. Everything is in front of me, I just have [to take] another step forward."
There are going to be lots of carries to go around in this offense. [With] that said, there are four running backs, which generally, the Ravens have not traditionally kept [that many]. Are there enough balls to go around to keep everyone happy? (Pete Gilbert) "I think the Ravens went through it last year with three [running backs]. I think [offensive coordinator] coach [Greg] Roman is just committed to it. It seems like coach Harbaugh is committed to it. Everybody is just throwing around a, 'four-headed monster.' I think everybody is committed to it and really wants to do it. That's the first step and we'll see where it goes. I'm excited, it's a chance to make history."
I know a couple of the players were on social media talking about the conditioning test and the difficulty of that. I'm curious what made that so difficult – and then what you've kind of been doing over the offseason in quarantine to stay in shape? (Andrew Gillis) "I've been training; I've been working out twice a day. I've been doing some field work. I took the conditioning test, as well, yesterday. Fortunately, I passed it. It's a tough one. I pray for the rookies. I've got some good feedback. I think a lot of guys did good on it. It's tough and it really tests you, but we're a tough team as well. We're going to have to pass it, and I think it's a great thing. I think everybody did – I'm hearing good news about everybody passing it. So, that's good."
You've seen a lot of sports like March Madness, things that we've never imagined getting canceled. Is there any concern in the back of your head that we might get into training camp and the unthinkable happens and we don't see this football season? (Gerry Sandusky) "Nobody knows, nobody knows, and all I can say is that I'm hoping that we do have a season. I would love to be back out there with my teammates and my coaches and everybody. I'm just praying that everything works out."
We did see earlier this offseason you dropped your rap single. I'm curious what got you into that? What do you feel? Why is that something you like to do? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I've had a lot of free time on my hands. I've been hanging out with some friends, and my friends from back home, they rap. We've been fooling around, and we made the song. And I was getting good feedback from people around me about it and I decided to drop it. It's just something I've been doing to keep myself busy in quarantine, pretty much."
I'm not sure where you're working out or where you're at in the offseason, but have you've gotten the chance to work out with any other of your teammates? Have you kept track about how everyone is preparing for training camp given the restrictions?(Jeff Zrebiec) "Some of the guys went to Florida. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to go because I had to go take care of something. But me and [RB] Justice [Hill], we've been working out a lot in the afternoons, doing a lot of position work."
Earlier in the COVID-19 period, you and RB Justice Hill were working out together, I believe, or quarantining together. Just kind of curious how long were you guys together, how did that work out and how did it come about? (Cliff Brown) "We work out like four times a week together. We kind of just hit the field, do some running back drills, some change of direction stuff, catch a few balls, some stuff like that. So, four times a week." (Reporter: "Are you guys still doing that? Or have you stopped?") "Yes, we're still doing that."
A lot of media people and fans are wondering, 'What's the next step for the Ravens' offense after leading the league in scoring last year?' So, to you, what would make for a good next step for this offense? What's going to be different in 2020? (Aaron Kasinitz) "We are bringing back a lot of guys in the offense, we added more weapons [and] we are going to be more familiar with the system. There's just so much going for us. [QB] Lamar [Jackson] is going to come back better. I trust that, because he is a hard worker. Everybody on the team, pretty much has the right mindset. Guys want to win, so I think it will make it that much easier for us. We set the standard very high last year, but I have full confidence that we can build off of it."
How important was it for you to have a game like the Pittsburgh game [last year], where you were the feature, you went for 130 yards in bad weather, and you got a win? Again, the opportunities to carry the ball that often are tough with a crowded backfield. (Pete Gilbert) "Yes, it was a big moment in the season for me. I think we started off the game like 90 yards  away from the rushing record, and it was a great opportunity for me to be part of history. With the guys … We had a couple new guys step in on the offensive line, 'RG' [QB Robert Griffin III] stepped in there, and me and [RB] Justice [Hill], we got the opportunity to run the ball more. We were just happy that we were able to step up for our teammates."
Also, for you personally, the chance to show – if not just the Ravens – everyone else around the league, 'Yes, I can be that guy to get 20, 25 carries and really be productive.' (Pete Gilbert) "Yes, I think I've proved that several times. Hopefully, I have more opportunities ahead of me to continue to prove that."
I'm wondering whether you've considered taking a knee during The Star-Spangled Banner, or is that going to be a team thing? How do you think the team will approach that in the wake of what happened and with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologizing for being harsh on QB Colin Kaepernick? (David Ginsburg) "The team has taken the right step in the right direction. We released that video earlier in the week, which was a great video. If you guys haven't seen it yet, I invite you to. As far as taking a knee, I don't know what we are going to do yet as a team, but we've been having those important conversations, and we just want to do our part right now. Silence is a part of the problem, and we are not going to be silent about it. I don't know exactly what we are going to do, but we are going to make our voice heard."
If I'm not mistaken, you are going to be a restricted free agent after the season. Have you or your agent had any discussions with the Ravens about a contract extension, and how do you approach that? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I've been letting my agent handle all that stuff. I've just been taking care of the things that I can control as far as making sure I'm ready, [given] all the obstacles that this year has brought us. I've just been making sure that I'm ready to produce."
I think you were at Miami at the time that Eric Garner died. I know that he was a Staten Island guy; you're a Staten Island guy. Did that have any extra resonance when all these protests started back up again? (Jonas Shaffer) "It's a shame how familiar that situation is. It's kind of the same type of situation. The Eric Garner [situation] obviously hit closer to home, because I'm from Staten Island [and] knew his son. But I think that the country has taken … I've been seeing a lot of people who have changed their opinions, and that's definitely the right step we are heading now. Now guys need to let their actions speak, and we can't just let it be a week thing or two-week thing. This is something that needs to change permanently."