COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Obviously, you've got two really good tight ends on the roster. But in terms of trying to find the guy who might be number three, what are the things that you've been looking for? How do you assess the three players who are, kind of, in the mix there?(Aaron Kasinitz) "We definitely have two good tight ends, and we, kind of, count Pat Ricard in that count as well. I know he's listed as a fullback, but he does so much stuff for us as a tight end as well. And the three guys … The two young, and one veteran guy who's been around, they're in tough competition. So, it's been exciting. They all bring something a little different to the table, but everybody is pushing hard to learn the playbook and get better at their craft. I'm looking forward to seeing how the competition shakes out."
Can you talk a little bit more about FB Pat Ricard and his ability as a tight end? Do you truly look at him and say, 'Hey, he could be a third tight end for us if we need him to be?' (Ryan Mink) "Obviously, he would be limited on some things, because, number one, his role in our offense is as a fullback. He's so physical. But he's in our room every day. We're growing him, we're learning him, and we're doing more stuff with him in-line. So, he's not your traditional tight end, obviously, but we're just really focusing on seeing [what] other ways he can help us. Pat [Ricard] is smart; he's handling a lot of information. He's a physical guy – and you know how we like to run the football. So, anything that we can do to expand his role is going to be a plus for the Ravens."
In what areas have you seen the most improvement during camp so far? (Ximena Lugo-Latorre) "During camp, I think the guys have improved. Specifically, just some route-running ability. I think Mark [Andrews] really worked hard this offseason. He changed his body. He's playing really fast. Specifically, just releases and just being disciplined in his route running. And Nick Boyle, he is running around really well. Obviously, Nick is a physical guy. You know, he's extremely important to what we do in the run game. Probably one of the best blocking tight ends – if not, the best blocker – in the league, in my opinion. But he really helps us in the pass game in a lot of subtle ways. We're just trying to grow and just understand what our role is in the offense, whenever we're called upon in run or pass and just perfect it."
TE Eli Wolf, obviously, has not been out there the past couple of days after he had that collision in practice. How difficult is that for a young player when he is, as you said, involved in a position battle – a tough position battle? (Childs Walker) "It's tough for any of us to lose time, but hopefully he'll get back soon. And the thing with Eli [Wolf] – just through all of the Zoom meetings that we had this offseason, we understood that he's extremely intelligent. He was able to process and carry over a lot of information. For him, at where he's at in his development, he's progressed rather quickly. So, hopefully we can get him back out there as soon as possible, but we anticipate him not missing a beat."
TE Mark Andrews – he went from a third-round pick to becoming one of the better tight ends in the league very quickly. Was there a moment where it seemed everything just clicked for him? Can you talk about his development, and if there was a moment that stands out in that development? (Jamison Hensley) "I don't know if I could point to one specific moment, but I definitely think when guys start making plays, and they get more confident, and then you start getting more targets, you saw him just continue to capitalize on those opportunities and assert himself. Really, the change that I've seen is from last year to this year. He's hungry; he has a desire to really be the best at the position, and not only that, he works at it. He's a smart guy. And all of the guys in the room – they want to know the 'why's' behind the 'how's.' And they want to take that information onto the field and understand how it's going to make them a better player. So, it's a fun meeting room to be in; it's a brotherhood. Those guys work extremely hard, physically and mentally. I think the sky is the limit if he just continues to work and progress."