Mid-week training camp chatter

John Harbaugh:

8/7 - On whether there is any excitement with the game coming up this week: “Oh, yeah. Guys will always say, ‘It’s time to hit somebody else,’ and there really is truth in that. That’s why you practice - to play games. And we try to format practice so they’re set up to be able to play well in game situations, and you want to try stuff out and see how it goes.”

8/7 - On the importance of red zone production: “The game has moved toward that. Offenses are going to be able to move the ball a little bit more than they used to. The game is going to move into the red zone more and more - it has - so, it becomes more critical. So, it’s a very important part of it, and it’s an area we need to be really good at.”

8/9 - On what he would like to see against the Panthers: “I think execution is the main thing. I think we’d like our guys to be sharp, be on target, whether it’s blocking people [when] throwing the ball, on target with our pressures, on target on defense with our assignments. That’s probably the No. 1 thing. We like to see our guys play hard, we like to see them be physical, we want them to play the way we want to play and start to establish that right off the bat if we can.”

8/9 - On if the preseason game being nationally televised shows that there is interest in the Ravens: “I don’t know. You’re a media guy; you probably know how that works. I didn’t even know it was an ESPN game, really, until I saw the [Adam Schefter ESPN bus] pull up. It’s really not on our minds, but it’s great; I think it’s great. It’s great for our fans, it’s great for our players, and it’s exciting. So, it’ll be good for us.”

8/9 - On if he decided how much the starters will play on Thursday: “We’ll have that meeting tonight. We have a good idea. We’ve got the parameters for it, and then we’ll do it specifically player by player tonight and tomorrow and work it all out. But, it’ll be standard to what you see in the preseason - the starters will play no more than a quarter, and just kind of work it from there.”

8/10 - On if he has any rookies in mind that will steal the show: “Well, you never know. That’s the great thing about this deal - you just never know which guy’s going to step up, who’s going to get the opportunity, who’s going to get the ball thrown to them on either side, who’s going to be able to get a sack. Special teams will be big for those guys. [They] pretty much have an opportunity to stand in on special teams every time you run down the field, so it’ll be interesting to see who takes advantage of that.”

8/10 - On how important it is to win in the preseason: “I can see it either way. I don’t think it’s critical. You could lose all four preseason games and win a Super Bowl. My guess is that’s been done before. But, we’d sure rather win. I’d sure rather get the feeling of winning, so we’re going to try to win them all. That’s our goal. If we don’t win, they obviously don’t count, but right now that’s the task at hand. That’s what’s important now, and we’re going to try to win on Thursday night, and we’re going to try to win them all.”

Anquan Boldin:

8/9 - On if there is any excitement to make his Baltimore debut: “No, I’ll leave that for when we get to New York. Like I said, we just want to see where we’re at as an offense with the first unit - get out, move around, hit another team. But like I said, we just want to get out there, execute and make it out safely.”

8/9 - On if his style has changed from finesse to physicality: “It hasn’t changed one bit for me. I play the game the exact same way - from my first game in Detroit to now - and I don’t think it’ll ever change. I think if I change the way that I play, then I wouldn’t be me. The way I approach the game... I’m going to come out, I’m going to be physical, and that’s the only way I know how to play.”

8/9 - On his comfort level with QB Joe Flacco: “I think we’re real comfortable. We come out here every day. We talk about certain things. I tell him what I like, what I want to see him do. He tells me the same thing. On different routes, he wants to see me do this or just be a little bit more patient on certain routes. The line of communication is there, so I think we’re good. Like I said, every day we’re going to come out here and continue to try to get better, and hopefully, the sky’s the limit for us.”

Joe Flacco:

8/9 - On how he and WR Anquan Boldin mesh and what Boldin has added to his game: “Anquan is a guy that can just... You can put the ball anywhere around him, and he’s going to come to it strong and go get it for you, and you know he’s going to come down with the ball. I figured that out in a short period of time, and he’s just a bright guy. He knows football. So, when he goes out there and takes the field, he understands what we’re trying to accomplish each play, and he’s really helped out the rest of our guys.”

8/9 - On how QB Marc Bulger has helped: “Marc’s been here, and he’s been going through practices, and obviously, he brings a little bit of perspective, like how he’s run plays in the past. But other than that, I think we’re just out here having a good time and just trying to have fun with each other and get through training camp.”

8/9 - On the difference between this year’s training camp and the previous ones he’s been a part of and whether he knows the players better now: “I think I knew everybody last year, too. I think it’s just the confidence level. It’s our third year. It’s me and Ray [Rice’s] - it’s both of our third years - and we’re just more and more confident. We know each other better, and I’m more confident with everybody in the huddle and just understand all of our players better. So, it’s easy to get in the huddle and get out there, and you know which guys are going to have questions on certain plays, and it’s just easy to answer them right away. But I think everybody is just getting more and more used to playing with each other, and it’ll show out on the field.”

Tom Zbikowski:

8/10 - On whether he still feels like a rookie trying to earn a job: “You always do, because there are always people coming up ready to take your job. And really the way our team is, I think the goals that we’ve got set, everyone’s got to have a role on the team. So, me playing safety [or] me playing special teams, whatever it is, that’s my role for now.”

Jameel McClain:

8/10 - On the biggest thing he has learned from LB Ray Lewis: “The biggest thing is definitely patience and passion. It’s two words for me, that simple. He’s patient with the game and he understands the process. He understands what’s coming and everything. Just the passion and desire that this game requires - Ray is a living testament of it.”

8/10 - On when he realized he belonged in the NFL: “I knew I belonged the day I came out of my mother’s womb. I was born to play this game. I’m born to go out there and hit somebody and play with a high intensity and a lot of rah-rah. So, it’s not like I came here wide-eyed, like, ‘Man, I don’t deserve this.’ I understand that you’ve got to work for everything in life, so I’m my biggest critic and my biggest fan. It’s for me to put in the work all the time.”