Ravens' S DeShon Elliott Quotes 8.24.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
The last couple days, your coaches have talked about what a vocal player you are and what a vocal player you've always been. Does that go back a long way with you? Where does that confidence that we see on the field come from? (Childs Walker)"Preparation. I've always turned myself to be in my book [and] work hard. I came here being able to be around guys who work hard. And establishing that leadership that I've been following from Chuck [Clark], the leadership that my coaches bring, and also just my teammates. All my teammates – they play hard. So, when they play hard, [it] makes me want to be more in my book. And if I'm in my book, I can be more confident in myself. So, that's pretty much where I get it from."
The last couple days – you being a Texas guy and S Earl Thomas III being a Texas guy – was that harder to watch him go through this? Does it make it more personal for you? (Pete Gilbert) "Since being hurt the last two years, I kind of just realized the NFL is a business. And I trust and believe in what Coach Harbaugh and people upstairs are doing. So, honestly, what happens here – besides me being on the field and me doing things that I can control – I can't really take it any kind of way, because the NFL is a business. So, it is what it is."
You've played in six games in two seasons. The best ability is availability. When people talk about you not being on the field, what do you say to that? (Kirk McEwen)"I think I've got myself together physically, mentally and spiritually. I feel like God is going to bless me with the things I need to stay healthy this year. And I'm going to do the best I can to stay healthy for my teammates and play for them. I love this team. I love my defense. I'm just trying to stay healthy as much as I can, so I can be able to make the plays I need to make, to get us to where we're trying to get to and our end goal. So, I'm trying to play for my boys."
What's it like working with S Chuck Clark? How's your relationship with him? (Todd Karpovich) "Chuck was here a year before me. When I came in, we were both sitting behind two great players – Tony [Jefferson] and [Eric] Weddle. So, when I came in … Weddle and Tony were more of my mentors, but Chuck [Clark] was there to help me and guide me along. Any struggles I had mentally with the playbook … See, I wasn't used to sitting behind anybody. So, he was already here and was experiencing it, and I was asking him, 'How does it work?' I kind of just learned how to grow from him. And then, sitting back and watching his success, watching how hard he worked, and just being able to see the path that he's about to start, I just want to be a part of that. And honestly, Chuck is my 'dog.' I ride for Chuck. Win or lose, I'll always ride for Chuck."
Coach Harbaugh said yesterday that it's your time now. Could you talk about how eager you are to get out there and play, and show what you're able to do, after struggling to get on the field the first two years? (Garrett Downing) "Of course. I'm excited. I love the game of football. Whether they pay me or not, I'll play this game. And my health has been the only question I have from everybody. I'm not worried about my health, because I'm going to be healthy; I'm going to be at 100%. I'm going to do what I have to do to be productive for this team. Every game, every day, I'm going to work my ass off – excuse my language – but I'm going to work my butt off. And I'm just trying to be here to win with my homies – with my brothers. That's all I care about. I don't care about anything else. I don't care what people say about me outside this building. The only people's opinion I care about are my teammates and my coaches – the only people I care about."
What's it like to practice against our quarterbacks? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "Lamar Jackson is like that. He's the man. If he doesn't win MVP two times in a row, I'll be shocked. That boy is like that. And being able to play against him, it just helps us build as a defense, because we'll never play against anybody like him ever – no matter what game it is. So, being able to play against him makes us better every day. I know they're striving every day. We're just knives sharpening knives. We're going against each other [and] trying to be great."
Can you talk a little bit about your nose for the football, your desire to make plays, make big hits, get turnovers like you did in college, and whether the 'Joker' nickname plays into that? (Ryan Mink) "Making plays is what I want to do. As long as you fly around to the football and be in the right spots, and don't try to force anything, the plays will come to you. I've learned that being in the NFL. Honestly, if it happens, it happens, and I feel like it's going to happen for me a lot. Me translating my game to the league – honestly, it's the same thing. It's me just working hard. If you be consistent and work hard, eventually the hard work will pay off. My 'Joker' moniker – you never know what will happen with me. Just like the 'Joker,' you never know what's going to happen. But we're both going to come crazy, we're both going to come wild, [and] we're going to handle our business – no matter what."
Pass defense coordinator Chris Hewitt said yesterday, that at times, maybe you're a bit overconfident. Is that an accurate description, perhaps? (Jerry Coleman) "I wouldn't say overconfident. I feel like being confident in your abilities strives [from] and it comes from just being able to know that you prepared the right way. If you're preparing the right way, then you're going to be confident in yourself. And I've been preparing as a starter for two years. And so, I know what I can do, and I know what I can bring to this team to help my teammates be great. And they expect me to be great, and I love that they expect me to be great. And honestly, if he [pass defense coordinator Chris Hewitt] says it's overconfidence, I'm going to prove to everybody out there that my confidence is very worthy of it, for sure."
You mentioned that S Eric Weddle and S Tony Jefferson were your mentors. What would you say was the best guidance or wisdom that you took from those two guys? (Childs Walker) "From 'Dub' [Eric Weddle], it was, honestly, just being in that book. He was a master when it came to the playbook. He knew exactly what was going to go on. Every play during the game, he could tell everybody what to do on their assignments, and I strive to be that great. I strive to be that mentally tough. I strive to be that smart in this game of football. It's not just about running around, because after six or seven years, your ability will change. It's going to be more about mentally. So, that's what I want to be able to translate to my game, to help me make plays with my physical ability. And then 'TJ' [Tony Jefferson], he just brought that 'dog.' I already had the 'dog,' but he brought that 'West Coast dog.' So, it taught me how to be 'your boy' with 'dogs.' So, we're trying to bring all that to the field – me and my 'dogs'. Me and all the boys on defense, we're [going to] go crazy."
You mentioned coming up with S Chuck Clark. When two guys at your position … You guys both had to wait your turn. You guys both had to be patient. To get the opportunities, almost kind of coincide together at the same time, what can you say about that? Does that add, maybe, a level of chemistry between you and Chuck, or something a little extra? (Shawn Stepner) "First off, it's all God. When I was younger, I had to learn how to be patient. I had no patience when I first came into the league; I was always, 'Go, go, go.' Being able to learn that patience, and realizing, when your time comes, you have to take advantage of it, and take the opportunity and run with it. I learned that from Chuck [Clark], sitting back and watching him. When 'TJ' [Tony Jefferson] went down last year, then I went down last year, Chuck stepped up. He did the things he needed to do to be a great player and to be consistent, and that's how it is. For me and him to both be able to finally be on the big stage together, we're going to make some noise out there. I trust him; he trusts me. We love each other, so I know we're going to play for each other, and we're [not going to] let each other down."
Can you talk a little bit about how difficult that was last year, when it looked like you were finally going to have that expanded role on defense, and then, in the first game, you suffer the knee injury? And then, everybody is talking about how you can replace S Earl Thomas III, who is a potential future Hall of Famer. Is your belief that, 'Hey, I can make this defense even better, even though I'm stepping in behind him?' (Ryan Mink) "Injuries happen. It's football; injuries are always going to happen. It definitely hurt me, but it made me tougher, it made me more mature, [and] it made me look at the game differently on the mental aspect of it. And the Earl [Thomas III] situation, Earl is a Hall of Famer, no doubt. We have the same agent. So, of course, I respect Earl and his game, but I'm not worried about Earl; I'm worried about me and what I can bring to this team for my teammates. I know I'm going to make my plays, [and] I know we're going to strive to be great. So, whatever I have to do to do that, that's what's going to happen. Whether it's eight picks, 10 picks or no picks, whatever I need to do to help my team be great and win every game we need to win to accomplish our end goal, that's all I care about."