John Harbaugh On D-Line, Player Development, Rule Changes

Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave the keynote speech at Stevenson University in Maryland on Thursday. While the former Super Bowl winner barely mentioned the Ravens during his address, he discussed his team with reporters following the ceremony. Harbaugh mostly focused on the defensive line, including the players returning from injury, the team’s loss of veteran leadership, and the team’s apparent depth among defensive ends and tackles. Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun collected these soundbites, and we have some of the more notable quotes below:

On the recovery of Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore, who both suffered season-ending injuries during last year’s training camp:

“It’s really important that Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore come on. Brent looks like he’s 100 percent, Kap looks like he’s really close to 100 percent.”

On the changes to the defensive line, including the loss of veteran leadership in Haloti Ngata:

“The young D-linemen are obviously going to be huge for us. We’ve gotten younger there really quickly, capped off by the move of Haloti. We still have Chris Canty, so that’s a plus for us. He’ll be the sage veteran in the locker room.”

On the development of talented defensive tackle Brandon Williams:

“I talked to Brandon Williams about stacking another year. You come back better than before. He took last year and got everyone’s attention. Now everybody is going to be watching.

“You’re not going to surprise anybody. The expectations are up. What an opportunity to build on that and really make a name for himself. He seems motivated to do that as well.”

On the team’s depth on the defensive line:

DeAngelo Tyson is still a big part of us, Lawrence Guy is a big part of us, Christo Bilukidi is another veteran player. There’s going to be some major competition on the D-line.”

On the NFL’s new extra-point rule:

“The effort to move the line of scrimmage back on the point after touchdown, to me, is a good thing. I think it’s a positive thing. We’re for it. We were fine with it the other way. I know Justin Tucker was kind of like saying stuff about it. But I think he realizes that it’s going to give the better kickers an opportunity to shine a little bit. So, move it back and make it a little bit tougher. Make it more of a challenge, make that point mean more.

“It is going to encourage more two-point conversion tries. There’s no question about it, especially in windy stadiums. Maybe later in the year when it means the most will probably see the most attempts. I know one thing, we’re going to spend more time defending two-point conversions and practicing two-point conversions because it’s going to be a bigger part of the game.”

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