A few of the Baltimore Ravens players joined head coach John Harbaugh after Friday afternoon's practice to take questions from the media. The full transcripts are posted at BaltimoreRavens.com, but here are some of the plyers and their comments:
Head Coach John Harbaugh:
On his first impressions of rookie CB Jimmy Smith: "My first impression is that he had one long sleeve on, one glove or something, whatever that was. (laughing) I didn’t see why. It’s kind of hot and it didn’t seem like the way to go. (laughing) I think he has got a ways to go, just in a lot of ways. But, we have a lot of work in front of us over camp. Obviously, he has all the tools. He has a really good attitude and he is a hard worker. I think he has to learn how to be a professional, and I am very certain he can do that."
On how rookie WR Torrey Smith looked in today’s practice: "I thought he looked good. He made a couple of plays downfield, made a couple of plays on slants. He is another guy that I think the pace of practice is a little bit tougher on the young guys in the heat, but they will acclimate to it. I’m telling you, the offseason program is way more valuable than what people give it credit for. There is a football shape, and not going through the offseason program is going to push us. It’s going to take four, five, six or seven days for these guys to be able to handle this practice, but they will, and I know Torrey [Smith] falls in that category. But I thought he fought through it real well."
LB Sergio Kindle:
On his emotions going into camp and what it felt like to be back on the field again: "To tell you the truth, it felt great. I had my feelings about coming out for the first time in a year-and-some-change now, and I was expecting for it to be a great feeling. But when you haven’t done football in so long – drills and running and things like that – it’s one thing. But when you actually get out there and do actual football stuff with your helmet and things on, it’s bad. (laughter) So, I had to get my legs back under me, but I’m starting to feel better with every play."
On whether he still feels a lot like a rookie after missing last season: "Yeah, it’s fairly new to me all over again, just because I didn’t get to do training camp last year and it’s a lot different than OTAs and rookie camp – I’ll tell you that much, especially when you don’t have those things prior to this. It can be rough, but we’re athletes, and this is what we do. So, we all came prepared."
DT Haloti Ngata:
On why he decided to lose weight: "I just lost the weight basically just to see how I felt during the season and see how it would affect me towards the end of the season. I felt like last year I was kind of getting a little worn down just having so much weight on, and I just wanted to see how it felt this year. I lost about 20 pounds, so it feels good."
On LB Ray Lewis still being able to go strong every day amazes him: "Definitely, but you see what Ray [Lewis] does every day and how he takes care of his body and how he treats his body, and you know that is the reason he is out here still. He takes care of his body so well, and you know that’s why he is here. If you just follow what he does, I think you can end up being in the league as long as him if you have that talent. It’s just amazing to see him out here, and I’m happy he is out here."
CB Jimmy Smith:
On his first NFL practice: "It was hot – really hot. A lot of the defenses I ran in college, so I picked it up really quickly. The schemes to me are simple so…"
On being teammates with big-name players: "It’s not so much awe… I mean, Ray Lewis was playing in the League when I was seven years old. It’s like, ‘Man, that’s crazy.’ I mean, I’m kind of past that already. I’m just trying to get on the field and play some ball."
On going up against Torrey Smith: "It’s really fun. We’re going to have that matchup for a while, so I’ll get used to him real quick. He’s got speed on him and he’s got good hands, so it’s definitely going to be a competitive rivalry between us both being named Smith anyway. Got to fight for the name."
G/T Marshal Yanda:
On staying with the Ravens: "It means a lot. I wanted to stay here all along, and we got to do that, so I’m excited. I’m really excited to do some good things this season. We’ve got a lot of unfinished business that we’ve built the last three years, and I’m excited to be a part of that. Just keep working hard and get out there and be sweating like everyone else and go to work."
On how his background keeps him grounded: "Just growing up with the farming background, it just teaches you to work hard and to save your money and just have fun playing the game. So, there comes a certain time in your life when you’re happy and you don’t need to change to be. You’ve got everything that you need, and I’m married and I’ve got a little boy, and I’m happy as hell, and I’m happy to be here, too. So, life is good."