Transcripts: Ravens Practice Week 4 (9/28)


Opening Statement:“It’s good to see everyone. Hope everyone is doing well. For us – just having an opportunity to really just kind of analyze the last three weeks of our games – it’s about the little things, it’s about the little details, and that’s really what we’re chasing. We have a division game this week. We’re looking forward to just really going out and trying to play our best football game. We still haven’t put that together, but we’re doing some good things, and those things are showing up on the tape. But we’ve got to really find some consistency, and that’s all a part of what we’re doing. [Any] questions?” 

On his evaluation of P Jordan Stout this season and his thoughts on Stout’s punt towards the end of the Week 3 contest:“Overall, I thought … We think [Jordan Stout] has done a good job. He’s done a good job, so far, of really just kind of doing what we’ve asked him to do. And then there are some things that we can always work on, right? It just always goes back to that consistency thing that I’m talking about. It’s everywhere; it’s across the board. It’s not just Jordan [Stout] and punting. It’s us covering the punt. It’s just knowing [and] just doing our jobs and understanding how to get those things done. But that punt at the end of the game, obviously, that’s an opportunity for us to flip the field. The drop was a little bit high, and it didn’t go where it should have went. So, again, we’re just trying to chase those little details. I think, overall, after three weeks, Jordan has done a pretty good job.” 

On the specifics of those little details that he’d like to see more consistency with:“Some of the little things [include] just making sure everyone is doing their job being where we’re supposed to be in coverage. We do all … We have responsibilities, and we haven’t really, truly fanned the field like we need to, so we spent a little bit more time just making sure that we all understand that. It’s easy to kind of sit in the meeting room and coach it and do all those things, but it’s another thing to go out into a game and actually get those things done. We’ve been pretty good at it. So, we just have to keep chasing those little details, and we have the guys in the room to get it done.” 

On if you are allowed to onside kick a free kick after a safety:“Right, yes. They can pretty much hit any ball that they want in that situation. And with that time, that’s kind of what we were thinking. We thought we were under the two-minute warning, and we kind of did what we did with the instructions [for] Zay [Flowers], and we just put in the right guys out there. They hit the ball, the ball … [If] they pop a ball up, we want guys out there that can field that ball.” 

On if he’s ever practiced the situation that took place following the safety in last week’s game:“We’ve practiced that situation, but when you get in those situations, it gets really chaotic, you’re trying to get the right guys out there. Normally, you’d put your kickoff return team out there. That team is different than what your hands team is, so, now, you have to run around, you have to grab all the guys and kind of do that. So, it’s just one of those things, man. We missed that opportunity, but again, that’s one thing we’re definitely working on.” 

On how much the injuries have impacted the special teams unit:“It’s huge. It’s across the board. It’s not just my unit; it’s across the team. We kind of just roll with it. Like I said last week, if you’re on this team, you belong on this team. When you get your opportunity, you just go out and you just try to play your best football. And if we do that … It has affected us a little bit, because the guys that normally do play for us, they’re playing a lot more offense, [or] they’re playing a lot more defense. But we don’t kind of use that as an excuse. If you’re here and you’re on this team and we put you out there, we’re expecting you to go play well.” 

On what happened during Indianapolis’ 32-yard punt return last week:“I thought the punt was great. The punt … It was a great location. It was good on the punt. We just … Again, we just had guys not going to that ball. When you look at that play, and we sit back and we watch those plays, Isaiah [Likely] is there to go make the play, but he’s really the only guy on the left side, so we were missing two players that should have been over there on the left side. We’ve just got to … Guys have to continue to just do their job when they’re out there and get to the football, and we’ll be fine.” 

On what he’s seeing from CB Jalyn Armour-Davis:“It’s one of the things with Jalyn [Armour-Davis]; he is a fast guy. When you put him out there, you want to put him in a position where he can utilize his skillset, and speed is one of them. So, when he is out there as a gunner, we want him making plays. If he’s in a single [block], we want to allow him to get down there and make plays. We’re playing him on kickoff; we’ve got him playing all over the place as a gunner, a corner on punt return. He can do a lot for us. He hasn’t played a lot of football, so he’s still considered a young guy that we’re trying to get to play up to the standard. And he has done a good job so far.” 


After RB Nick Chubb’s injury, do you see the Browns changing a lot from a run scheme standpoint without him, or is it kind of just plug and play? _(Ryan Mink) _“Probably more the latter. [It’s] just a small sample size with the one game, but yes, [they’re] sticking to their normal plan. [It’s a] very potent run game; some of the best in the league. So, we expect the same.” 

Do you think it will be a week-to-week thing with where S Kyle Hamilton plays and how much you’ll need him in the nickel? (Jeff Zrebiec) “Yes. I’d say that’s a fair assessment. Again, we’ve talked [about] his [Kyle Hamilton’s] versatility forever now it seems like, but it definitely allows you to have that flexibility on a week-to-week basis. On how much, I don’t think the plan was to put him there the whole time. And you see how the games go. And then [with] where we’re at personnel wise, as well, will be driving those decisions from a week-to week and then throughout-a-game basis.” 

How seamless or impressed have you been with CB Daryl Worley with his transition from cornerback to safety? (Jonas Shaffer) “Yes, that’s a great point. Really, seamless, I guess, is a great way to explain it. Throughout the spring and the offseason, it felt like a seasoned vet back there [with Daryl Worley] understanding kind of the eye progression and the overlap and the things we were trying to create in the secondary. [He] just had a great feel for it from the get-go. So, seamles is a good way to describe it.” 

CB Daryl Worley played over 100 snaps this week. How do you approach this week, in terms of workload or making sure they don’t get tired out? (Giana Han) “You don’t want anybody playing 100 snaps, but obviously the game unfolded a certain way, and you have to do what you have to do to try to win the game. And it’s a tough league – going back seven days later and sometimes three or four days later, having to play a game. So, these guys are pros. ‘Harbs’ [head coach John Harbaugh] does a great job at setting the schedule up, and we have a bunch of recovery things that guys are taking advantage of. Everyone has their own individual kind of plan on a week-to-week basis. But those guys, from talking [to them], they’re a little sore, but they said they’ll be ready to go.” 

You’re blitzing at a higher percentage than last year. Is that driven by that fact that you’re missing a lot of guys on the edge, or is it more about the matchups you’ve faced so far? What’s pushing that right now? (Childs Walker) “Well, it’s something that we want the ability to do at any given point. So, to have the threat of blitz on either side or up the middle or double edge or whatever, you always want that threat to an offense. So, that’s just part of our identity. You might not have seen it last year for several reasons – probably what we felt like our team strengths were and how good we were at the different pressure packages that we were able to get to. So, it’s still a gameplan idea, but it’s something that we’re definitely going to carry and have the ability to get to at any point in time.” 

Did you see a clear difference in QB Deshaun Watson’s comfort level in Week 3 compared to the first two games?_ (Jeff Zrebiec)_ “It’s tough to gauge his [Deshaun Watson’s] comfort level. Definitely the effectiveness and the efficiency of the offense – you can obviously go by the stats and the score and things like that – I feel like they’re finding their stride and who they want to be. Yes, definitely, for sure.” 

What impresses you with how the Browns have used WR Amari Cooper and how he’s able to line up everywhere and be successful? _(Jonas Shaffer) _“Yes, they do a great job. You don’t see that a lot – receivers playing all those different types of positions – and they find different ways on a week-to-week basis to scheme him [Amari Cooper] open, to your point, and credit to him. It’s probably not easy to be a receiver and learn all three spots – sometimes four spots – and learn the whole route tree from there. [He’s] definitely a dynamic player that we’re going to have to account for and understand where he’s at all times.”  

We saw ILB Patrick Queen taking responsibility for the loss in this previous game. What have you seen from him personality wise and with him getting more comfortable being a leader?_ (Melissa Kim) “[Are you] talking about just with ‘PQ’ [Patrick Queen]?” _(Reporter: “Yes.”)“It’s the ‘PQ’ that we know and love. It’s nothing different than we expected. It’s nothing out of the ordinary from him. To me, it’s the guy that we know on a day-to-day basis. And I’d speak for the whole defense and team rather; the mentality and the things and the discussions that we’ve had after the game – not that you’re proud to hear it – it’s reflective of the character of the guys we have on the team. Everyone is looking inwardly. We’re humble and hungry enough to look for things that we can do differently on an individual basis and eventually make our team better to take the next step and become the team we want to be over the course of the year. We’re three games in, going into the fourth game. We have, hopefully, a bunch more after this, and really, I think that attitude is reflective throughout the locker room.”  

The Browns’ defense has been tremendous so far. Is that something that you pay attention to at all? (Childs Walker) “Our focus is really just how good can we be as our defense and what we can do to win the game. Obviously, they have great stats right now, so I have to give credit where credit is due. But we have enough to worry on our side of the ball.”  

What improvements do you want to see in the run defense? _(Jamison Hensley) _“Well, to your point, there’s definitely a standard here in the run defense, and you can’t give four explosive runs. I mean, that’s just the fact of the matter. There [were] really a couple of them [where] … We lost the edge on two runs – on the 24-yarders – and then we can play the interior runs better on the stretch cutback and the split-flow play; we just needed to play that play better, and we missed a tackle on that one, as well. So, we’ve talked about those plays the guys. It’s very clear on what happened on those plays and who’s responsible for it. We’ll leave that inhouse, and we’ll just keep attacking it. This is definitely a challenging run game that [the Browns] bring to the table, so it’s all hands on deck this week, as with every week.” 

Can you talk about S Kyle Hamilton’s progress and what you’re expecting from him?_ (Carita Parks) _“He [Kyle Hamilton] had a great game and was able to get the ball off the quarterback the one time that probably could have changed the game there at the end of the half. But I’m not surprised; it’s what we expect from Kyle [Hamilton]. He’s a guy that we’re going to move around, and we expect to influence the game for multiple positions, and the expectation is to do it on a weekly basis. He’s that type of player. So, moving forward, [he needs to] just keep being him. Don’t reach for plays; let the plays come to you. But play with the effort he’s playing with, just like the rest of the defense, and keep attacking the ball so we can take it away and give it back to our offense.”  

Is there anything you need to see from OLB Kyle Van Noy, that if you need him on Sunday, he’ll be ready to play? _(Jeff Zrebiec) _“Well, I can tell you this, he [Kyle Van Noy] is an impressive guy. From the day that he came into visit and just getting to know him and talking to him about ball … He’s already got third-down thoughts and stuff like that. But it seems like he’s been in this defense for however long. But he’s impressive. Similar to when Roquan [Smith] showed up here; it’s like, ‘OK. This dude, he knows his stuff.’ So, he’s an impressive guy all the way around. Obviously, [he’s] a great football player from what we’ve seen already on the practice field, and he has a great track record. So, we’ll see how it shakes out over the course of the rest of the week, but I feel really great about him.”  


What stands out to you about the Cleveland Browns’ defense, and what challenges do they present? (Jamison Hensley) “First of all, it is a great challenge playing there; that’s No. 1. They do a great job of challenging you schematically in all areas as you get ready. In terms of your gameplan, they challenge you, and they do it with tremendous players. It’s one thing to have tremendous players, [but it’s] the way they play. They play hard. So, it’s going to be a great challenge for us, and we’re excited to go.” 

What does it mean to you to return to Cleveland for the first time since serving as the Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2019? (Ryan Mink) “I don’t know. That was four years ago, basically. In some ways, [I] wish I would’ve done it better; there’s some of that. The Haslam’s [owners of the Browns Jimmy and Dee Haslam] were great, [Browns’ executive vice president] J.W. [Johnson], [Browns’ chief strategy officer] Paul [DePodesta]. [The] front office was great. We just didn’t do it well enough. I didn’t do it well enough; that’s part of it. But I’m excited to go back. I’m a Raven, and that was four years ago.” 

Is there any extra motivation in playing the Cleveland Browns since your coaching tenure there did not go the way you wanted it to go? (Brian Wacker) “No, no. There is no … motivation is to play better on offense and to execute at a higher level and stack plays. You can’t go score, fumble and then you go four straight possessions putting the ball in the ground. That’s what motivates me. It’s not going back to Cleveland. It’s the product we put on the field consistently, starting with me – how I do it – and then our players taking the plan to practice and then to the field, because we’ve seen what it looks like. So, now, we just have to continue to improve. That’s the motivation.” 

Are QB Lamar Jackson’s four fumbles in the first three games of the season a concern and something you have to address with him? (Jamison Hensley) “Sure. It’s always a … It doesn’t matter whether it’s Lamar [Jackson] or any quarterback, in terms of their ball security in the pocket outside the pocket, and you know it’s coming the more it ends up on the ground. There’s no question [that] they’re showing that to their defensive players. So, it’s a point of emphasis, this week, of all of our players. We can’t turn the ball over. [We] can’t put it on the ground. [It] puts us all at risk.” 

Why did QB Lamar Jackson not throw the ball deep very often against the Indianapolis Colts? (Childs Walker) “Some of it was … Early in the game, we did [throw it deep] the first two drives. We hit seam throws or a pocket throw to get it, and we had another opportunity late in the game. But some of it [was that] we were trying to get the ball out; it was a situational part. There were others we did have opportunities, or we were trying to get it down the field, and we just didn’t end up getting to it either by protection route. And some of it was by design – that we were trying to stay a little bit ahead of the chains.” 

Did the Indianapolis Colts do something different defensively to stop QB Lamar Jackson from running in overtime? (Jeff Zrebiec) “Some of it they did, but they had some bigger people out there that made it a little more difficult. have to do a better job of scheming it and calling it – that’s for sure – at the end. But no, we certainly … And there is part of it that we didn’t execute well enough. So, it’s all the above. But it starts with me and how we do it and having a much better plan in giving us a chance to execute at a much higher level.” 

What is the message to the offense this week after the loss to the Indianapolis Colts? (Ryan Mink) “All the above. You don’t want to overreact, but you don’t want to just scrub it under the rug, because it was just a week ago [when] we went to the Bengals and played really, really well and functioned at a really high level on the road. We have it in us, so how do we carry that week to week? How do we install it gameplan it the right way so our guys understand what to expect? And when we get there or we get those opportunities, we have a chance to execute at a high level. That’s really what it is. At times, we have too much drag. It starts with me. I’m in charge of it. We have too much drag, and there are a lot of reasons why that is, but it really doesn’t make a (expletive). You have to clean it up and get better at it and take it to the field, because, like I said, we’ve … Two weeks in a row, we’ve taken the opening drive and gone down and scored, and then it carried over [in] the Bengals [game], and then it didn’t. We had, certainly, an opportunity on that second drive, and then we just sputtered, we just never got that mojo back, and we have to find a way to get that. have to call it better. have to execute better. That’s the way it works.” 

What are some broad ways to contend with the Cleveland Browns’ aggressive defense? (Kyle Barber) “Well first off, their goal [is] they’re trying to make every quarterback uncomfortable, like every defense is. The idea is if you make the quarterback uncomfortable, then it’s difficult for them to operate, so I understand that part of it. Our job is to try and make it where he’s not uncomfortable. It’s really actually pretty simple. In football, they’re trying to make your quarterback uncomfortable, we’re trying to make him really comfortable, and then we’ll see. That’s really the chess match there, really. Do you know what I’m saying? And we have really good players, and they have really good players, so let’s go.” 

How much does the Cleveland Browns’ speed pop on the tape? (Jeff Zrebiec) “They just play hard. I just think they’ve done a nice job of their acquisitions in the offseason bolstering their defense. Obviously, bringing in [defensive coordinator] Jim [Schwartz], and they’re bringing in the new defensive scheme. It has a new excitement, a new enthusiasm. And then when it gets backed up in games, it even just raises another level. Does that make sense? All of a sudden, that confidence level just continues to raise as … There’s a belief system, then it gets translated onto the field, so then it just raises, like, ‘OK, this is what it looks like.’ That’s our job – to do everything in our power to not have that happen come Sunday.” 

How much harder is it to put the focus you want to on blocking Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett when they also have DE Za’Darius Smith on the other side? _(Childs Walker) _“Well, they have good players, and it’s not even just him [Myles Garrett]. They’re very active at linebacker. They like to bring [Grant] Delpit. They bring multiple players. They get edgy. They make you defend a number of players, a number of coverages, schemes, just in terms of just making sure you’re sound. To me, the biggest thing is how do you stay out of those long, long yardage situations? How do you stay ahead of the chains, and when you get opportunities, be able to make plays down the field? But that’s not just them; that’s everybody. How do you stay ahead of the chains, and yet how can you still be explosive to give yourself a chance? That’s the challenge of playing a good defense.” 

How do you want the wide receivers to improve when defenses blitz? (Jonas Shaffer) “We did an outstanding job in Cincinnati, in terms of when they did come in terms of our recognition. Some of it was still good on Sunday, [but] we just weren’t as clean. We weren’t as clean in some of the protections – something to do with them. We weren’t as clean in terms of our routes. We weren’t clean in a lot of areas, [including] in terms of the calls. It’s all of us. At the end of the day, you own it. Offensively, we have to coach better, we have to attack the week better, and we have to execute better. It’s really that simple.” 

How difficult is it to stay with a passing gameplan when you might be without two of your top receivers? (Jamison Hensley) “First off, that’s why Nelson Agholor is here as a player. Devin Duvernay has made plenty of plays here in the past, and Zay is a fantastic rookie and only going to get better. Mark Andrews, I think for the first time in three or four weeks, is feeling better. I think he’s moving better. Really, this is the first week I’ve seen – in probably four or five – that I feel like he’s at full speed. So, that’s a positive. That’s a plus going into this week. And every week that we’re together, I really believe we’re going to continue to do it better. And we’ll see.” 


On the challenges DE Myles Garrett presents: “Obviously, with  being a premier rusher, the first thing when you break the huddle is you’re looking for where he’s at. Moving him around gives him a great opportunity to get one-on-one matchups, and that’s what they’re looking for. Obviously, he’s an explosive player. He has a track record in the NFL of doing great things in the game, so it’s our job to be able to block him.” 

On what to expect from Cleveland’s defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz: “You look at the defense or you look at the film, and those guys are flying around, they’re playing together as 11 people on the field, and when you can do that, the game becomes fun, regardless. That’s what you see. You just see a breath of fresh for them. They’re running around, and they’re playing great football. You can see that in their stats. So, it’s our job to come out Sunday and be able to get the job done.” 

On how winning divisional road games can give you an early advantage:“Obviously, it’s big. Our division … You look at last year, and everybody [in our division] finished in a tie. So, just to be able to get those wins early – especially on the road – is the key to what we want to do in our future. So, we have to take one game at a time and one day at a time, and that’s what we’re doing.” 

On how the team has responded to last week’s loss and turned the focus to playing the Browns:“We looked at the film. Obviously, we weren’t pleased with a lot of things that went on. A lot of it was self-inflicted wounds. Those are things we can correct, so [we’re] going back to the drawing board this week and just making sure the communication and everything that we have going on – installs and stuff like that – that we’re doing the best job that we can to get those things done. And we just go out there every day at practice and execute.”

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