COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
We haven't talked to you since the team released their statement. So, I'm just curious what the last few days have been like for you, and what your role in releasing the statement was? (Andrew Gillis) "I think we had a great day. We had a full team meeting with all the players [and] coaches [and] everybody in our organization. We kind of expressed our feelings and thoughts and tried to put our minds together on how we can inflict immediate change. Coach 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] said that he was going to allow us to release a statement that we felt was appropriate and we felt that should be player driven. So, we went and had a separate meeting after the main team gathering. So many guys had positive input – from players, to coaches, to many guys who want to see change, who want to make an impact. Just for us to be able to put together a player driven statement that everybody had input on, everyone who had passion and desires about [it]. I think it covered a lot of our thoughts and feelings, and things that we want to put towards making action. I think things that are tangible, things that we can follow the progress of, and things that we would be striving to accomplish and make sure they get completed. So, I think it was great. It's a testament to Coach 'Harbs' and a credible organization in the Ravens for allowing players and trusting the players to come up with a statement for the organization."
Have you given RB Ty'Son Williams any veteran advice? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "Our new running back?" (Reporter: "Yes.") "I respect him tremendously. Obviously, he's been in the building … This was his second day in the building. But just to come off the street in tremendous shape, to know the playbook, to be able to function and operate in the offensive series, and to make big plays, to make big runs, score a touchdown, that's the testament of a true pro. He earned my respect, tremendously, tonight. Obviously, I'll help him any way I can to learn the playbook, to become a better runner. Anything I can do to help, I'm there. I'm proud of him and I respect him a lot for his performance tonight, second day in the building."
How do you feel, with no preseason games, just getting out in this environment? Where do you feel the offense is right now, two weeks away from the regular season? (Jamison Hensley) "I feel good about where we're at. And we have guys who have the right intent, guys who are willing to play hard, guys who want to be great. And, honestly, I think today was very needed for us – just to be able to see that we're not all the way ready. We still have strides to go to be the team that we want to be. Pre-snap penalties, being able just to execute our assignments, execute our plays. Every single person on the offense playing hard, being able to communicate the plays in and out the huddle, be able to operate under duress with a short play clock. I think all of those things are vital in order to prepare yourself for a season. So, being able to function and being able to operate in a game environment under the clock, relaying the play calls through the mic, through signals. I think there's lots of different operational things that we need to improve and sharpen up. And, obviously, the execution of our plays. I think today was huge for us – so we'll, obviously, be able to study from this film, learn from this film. Two weeks from tomorrow, it'll be live bullets. Every single day will be geared towards sharpening our swords, sharpening our tools and preparing for game reps. Every single rep is like a game rep. We've got to take advantage of every single rep and we've got to win each day, so we'll be prepared in two weeks when the live bullets starts going."
I know you guys had another practice in the stadium, but today you ran out of the tunnel; you did some things like a normal game. Was it weird without the fans? How did it feel? Did you think it prepared you for what to expect in a couple weeks?(Aaron Kasinitz) "Yes, I think it was very appropriate and very necessary for us just to be able to drive down to the stadium – especially the young players – who get a feel of how to get to the stadium, get a feel of how to warm-up properly before a game, get a feel on how we go through our warm-ups on the field, going back in, coming back out. Obviously, take a little halftime break; coming out of the halftime. And obviously, getting a feel for what it's going to be like with no fans. Obviously, we want our fans to be here, we miss our fans, [and] they're a huge advantage for us. But we're just going to have to roll with it how it is. And hopefully, we can have our fans there at some point where everybody can be healthy [and] everybody can be safe. But I think today was great for us just to be able to feel a gameday environment and feel what it's going to be like Week One and going forward in some other stadiums. So, it was a little odd not having any fans in there. Obviously, we want them there. They are a huge advantage for us. We appreciate everyone for staying safe, and we hope that you guys support us emphatically from home for the time-being."