Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Highlights from breakfast with Harbaugh
By Jamison Hensley
ORLANDO, Fla. -- All of the AFC coaches met with reporters Tuesday morning, and here are the highlights of the hour-long breakfast with Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh:
- Harbaugh acknowledged he was surprised when owner Steve Bisciotti offered him a one-year contract extension last month.
- Ray Rice was as heavy as 217 pounds last season, according to Harbaugh. The Ravens would like Rice to be around 207 pounds this season. Harbaugh reiterated that Rice "will be part of our team."
- Harbaugh was very strong on three player arrests in a month span were "unacceptable."
- Jeremy Zuttah, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been brought in to be the starting center. Harbaugh talked with Gino Gradkowski, last year's starter, to break the news.
- The plan is to start Kelechi Osemele at left guard, which is where he is most comfortable. But, depending on what the Ravens do in the draft, Osemele could still play right tackle.
- As of right now, Rick Wagner would start at right tackle. Wagner was a fifth-round pick from last year. Of course, the draft could change this.
- Asked how the Ravens would replace defensive tackle Arthur Jones in the starting lineup, Harbaugh talked about starting Brandon Williams alongside Haloti Ngata at defensive tackle. He also mentioned using Kapron Lewis-Moore as well.
Tyrod Taylor has played, but he said Taylor's best football is ahead of him. Given that Taylor has one year left on his contract, the Ravens are looking at quarterbacks in free agency and the draft.
Harbaugh has been "disappointed" in how backup quarterback
- Joe Flacco has workouts scheduled with his receivers, but Harbaugh doesn't know when they will occur.
- Harbaugh said the Ravens aren't done in free agency. "I think we're actively engaged with a number of guys, some on our team and some who are free agents," he said.
- In terms of tight ends, the Ravens have Owen Daniels and Ed Dickson on their radar.
- The Ravens are looking to extend the contracts of cornerback Jimmy Smith and wide receiver Torrey Smith. The team will pick up the 2015 option on Jimmy Smith in May.
- Harbaugh is in favor of expanding the replay system. He likes Patriots coach Bill Belichick's proposal of having everything subject to a coach's challenge.
- The Ravens haven't talked to inside linebacker Rolando McClain about a potential return. Harbaugh, though, said he would welcome McClain if he can help the team. It depends on how hard McClain is working and how much he has matured, Harbaugh said.
- Harbaugh said the Ravens will have a tougher and more physical training camp this year because his players are younger.
- The seventh-round pick acquired from the Miami Dolphins in the trade for offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie is for the 2015 draft, Harbaugh confirmed. It was originally reported it was for the 2014 draft.