Ravens' WR James Proche Quotes 5.5.20
COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
I'm just curious as to what you're doing to get used to the playbook, stay in shape, and how much are you looking forward to catching that first pass from QB Lamar [Jackson]? (David Ginsburg) "I'm just studying on my own. My mom is in nursing school right now, so I'm kind of feeding off of her study habits, doing some stuff that she does for memorization. I've just been working – taking a lot of notes, using a lot of notecards, staying on my iPad. I'm excited to get to Baltimore and kind of put my foot on the ground and hit the ground running. I'm just ready to get to work. There's no glitz and glamour about me. [I'm] just ready to get up there and do my job."
Have you been in contact with QB Lamar [Jackson] at all, and how excited are you for that prospect? (David Ginsburg) "No, I haven't been in contact with him yet. But like I said, I'm excited to get to work. I'm not really excited about any individual. I'm excited about what our team as a whole can do. I'm just ready to go in, see where I fit in and do my part to the best of my ability."
I was wondering what's a normal day look like for you and the rest of the rookies here? How much time do you devote to the online, virtual stuff with Coach [John Harbaugh], and [offensive coordinator Greg] Roman, and all that stuff? (Shawn Stepner) "I wake up in the morning – about 6:30 a.m. – 7 a.m – so I can get to my workout on time. Then I'll come back home, eat, and I put in about two to two-and-a-half hours depending on my understanding of what I'm trying to learn that day. I'll spend probably 30-45 minutes with my special teams' assignments, trying to get those down. And then I'll have another workout. Then I come home, eat, and kind of do the same thing – have another hour-and-a-half to two-hour session on my plays – and just rinse and repeat." One-hundred and eleven balls for 1,225 yards – did you get double-teamed? Did coaches try to take you away? How were you able to get so many balls? Where does that "want-to" come from? (Kirk McEwen) "For sure, I got a lot a double-teams, a lot of triple-teams, even to the boundary, to the field. But we had a lot of weapons on the field: [SMU running back] Xavier Jones in the backfield. We had [SMU wide receivers] Reggie [Roberson, Jr.] on the other side, Myron Gailliard, Judah Bell, Tyler Page, Rashee Rice – the freshman who stepped up for us. We had a lot of guys who kind of took the attention off me. We made plays when we needed to. Also, my OC [Rhett Lashlee] did a good job of moving me around, getting me in good matchups. But what it boils down to is that I'm a competitor. That's what they're going to put on my gravestone. That's something that I've always thrived off of, is competition. The higher the returns, the higher I rise. If it's one-on-one, I'm going to come ready for one-on-one. If it's one-on-two or one-on-three, I'm going to come ready. I'm just going to do my job to the highest level and keep it black and white."
It's an honor and an accomplishment, for anyone, to get drafted. Within the group of guys who get drafted, if you were a lower-round pick, some guys take that as an extra motivation. What's your perspective on where you were picked and whether that matters going forward? (Mark Viviano) "I try to keep a long-term mindset of things, kind of look at the bigger picture. The greatest player to play this game was pick [No.] 199 [QB Tom Brady, 2000 NFL Draft]. So, I try to take that mindset and look at his [Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady] journey and kind of map that out. God has never made any mistakes in my life, even good or bad. I try to keep a good perspective. At the end of the day, I got drafted – that's what I prayed for, that's what I worked for. Now, it's up to me to take care of the rest and make sure that I outplay my draft spot. That's my plan."
I'm curious, when you think of your game being physical, is that something you did much of at SMU, and is that something you feel as if it can be positive in your game? (Pete Gilbert) "For sure, yes, somebody alluded to that 'want-to' earlier and kind of where that comes from. I said I'm a competitor, and I just want to compete. When the ball is thrown my way, I just want to compete. Every play, every down, whether we're 40 yards down field or coming down the slot and putting my body into a linebacker so Mark [Ingram II] and J.K. [Dobbins] can spring. I'm going to come in and do my job, whatever the team needs me to do, at a high level. "Basically, it just comes down to competitiveness and 'want-to.' I try to compete in every aspect of my game – whether if you want me at pass protection, or punt return, or kick return, slot, outside – whatever you need me to do – I'm going to compete. Blocking is a huge part of the game. I like claiming myself as a complete receiver, and that comes with it. If there's something to be good at in the wide receiver position, I want to do it to a high level."
You're known for not having that many drops throughout your career. Have you always had great hands? Is that something that comes naturally? Or where do you think your consistency catching the ball really comes from? (Jamison Hensley) "Just a combination of a gift from God and work ethic. I had an interview earlier and somebody asked the same question. A pianist only gets great at the piano by playing the piano, and that's kind of how I see me catching the ball. You have to keep catching the ball in any types of ways, in any situations, so that you're prepared. Kobe Bryant always alluded to, 'You can never shoot too many jump shots.' Always keeping your knife sharp, and just make sure you're staying ready and staying consistent. To be good in anything, it takes consistency, and that's something I try to thrive on." You've talked a lot about your competitiveness and your work ethic. So, you're doing what you can, but obviously, your desire would be to be on the field right now. Do you feel like there's going to be – especially for a rookie receiver – any sort of difficulty, challenge, ground to make up at this position when you're not out there with QB Lamar Jackson and the rest of your guys? (Mark Viviano) "Yes, for sure. You're going into a new situation, new people. It's going to take an acclimation period, but I just control what I can control. That's kind of been my whole life motto. I put in the work where it's needed, study where needed so whenever I can get up to Baltimore and get on the field and get with the guys, I'm not missing a beat. Just kind of fit in wherever they need me to adjust or add to my game, I can do that. But at least I already have the things that I can control: my conditioning, my study habits, all of those things are things that I can control."
I'm just wondering your thoughts on your draft class, and specifically getting drafted with WR Devin Duvernay. If you look at the stats from college football this year, right at the top in receptions are you and Devin. So, your thoughts on Devin and the rest of your class? (Shawn Stepner) "Devin [Duvernay] is a great dude. He handles his business, [he's a] great competitor. Obviously, [he] doesn't drop the ball, which is something I admire. I actually … The last game of the season, one of their bowl games – I forgot who they played – I was tracking every catch he had, every catch, just to make sure I had my receptions record for the year. I'm excited to get with him. It's funny that … I was watching all year, because I knew he was on track to lead the country in receptions, which he did for a little while. But I'm just excited we're teammates now and I'm looking forward to competing and keep getting better."
You mentioned earlier that you're going out to a field to work out. What are you able to do? Are you able to still catch passes with social distancing and stuff? What's that like? Can you take us through an average workout for you? (Aaron Kasinitz) "I'm doing everything I was before. I have my (inaudible) quarterback I get to come throw for me. It's not like he's throwing right by me or I'm right next to him. We're at least six feet away throwing the ball, so we'll be fine. I work out with my little brother. He plays corner at Coffeyville in Kansas, a junior college. We're just kind of getting some live reps with each other, making sure our conditioning is right. Kind of like getting back to the basics, grinding like I was trying to get an offer in college. Just back to the basics, that's really it."
Playing the piano, huh? Do you sing? Is there something else that fans need to know about you? (Ximena Lugo Latorre) "I take pictures, sometimes. Yes, I take pictures. I try to do a lot of film. Something that I'm working on. To be great at anything, it takes, like I said, consistency. That's not really something I can give my all to right now, being newly drafted and trying to get the plays down. But once I get a little free time to kind of do what I want, I'm probably going to put some attention on photography."
Just wondering, part of the reason the Ravens picked you was because of your return ability. How much do you enjoy that aspect of the game? Do you envision yourself competing for punt and kick return duties? (Ryan Mink) "I love punt return. I really just love catching the ball. Anything that involves catching the ball and go make a play, that's more what I do. As far as punt return goes, that's something I feel comfortable [with], kind of being back there alone, having full control, judge the ball and showcase my abilities once I catch the ball. I'm extremely excited about being put in that role with the Ravens organization. Like I said, I'm going to perform it to the best of my ability." You didn't run the 40-[yard dash] at the Combine. Can you tell us what your 40 time would be? (Ryan Mink) "Yes, I'd probably run in the 4.5 [seconds] range, somewhere around there."
How much did you talk to teams about the kidney issue you had? How did that kind of change the course of your life and your career? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I talked to every team about the issue, just to let them know that it wasn't an issue. I've never missed a practice or a game at SMU for that reason, for any reason. I just wanted to reiterate that to teams. As for as in my life, I try to see things as they are and move on from them and see the lessons that I can learn. And the lesson that I learned from that is I've always tried to put my Superman cape on – whether it was in pads or out of pads – I've never showed any weakness, and that was the moment to where I had to learn to really lean on my family, the people around me that care about me, and just giving all my trust to God. I feel like as football players and athletes, we tend to call on invincibility. God tends to show you and humble you in ways that you didn't even expect. So, I just take it as that."