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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Head coach Mike SmithOn how today's practice went preparing for the Ravens:
"Well, we're not really in preparation for the Ravens.  We spent today working specific situations that were in our install, still installing offensively and defensively.  We worked some situations that will come up in the game, we did some goal line, backed up red zone, 2 minute, so those were the emphasis points today."

On Sean Weatherspoon:
"Sean was limited in his participation.  We didn't want him to have any contact quite yet, but we wanted to get him back out and let him work through drills.  He will progress each day a little bit more.  We're shooting for and our target realistically is for him to be ready to go this weekend after the game, get him out and start practicing.  More than likely, he will not participate in the game this weekend.  I will say it's very unlikely he will participate.  "

On WR Julio Jones:
"Well, he's been full participation in the last two practices, barring anything that happens over the next 3 days, but he's been back as a full participant in practice as well."

On DE Osi Umenyiora handling standing up during plays in the preseason game:
"Very good.  I think a lot of that has been overblown Defensive ends in this League, whether you're playing a 4-3 or a 3-4 will stand up at times, and I thought he did a very nice job.  It's something that he's not done a whole lot of, but in our scheme with the flexibility that we want to have and not identifying who's rushing and who's not, it gives us an opportunity to work on our disguises."

On LB Akeem Dent and LB Stephen Nicholas' offseason:
"Well, look for Akeem to take the next step in being a 3 down linebacker.  That is progression for him, to be able to come in and play three downs. He didn't play much in our sub package, except when we had injuries.  We would like Stephen to continue to progress.  He's been a guy that's played two of the last seasons as a three down linebacker.  We've got a lot of flexibility.  The linebacking crew, there's been a couple of young guys who have really showed up on the scene through OTA's and through this first preseason game they did some nice things, so it is going to be fun to watch them get more reps and get more reps different times in the games.  Often times the first time out, they're playing in the 3rd or 4th quarter of the ball game; we would like to see these guys get the opportunity to compete against some of the front line players that will be playing in October, November and September."

On OL Alec Savoie mixing in for second team reps:
"He will get in some earlier reps.  We'll have a rotation going on.  The rotation will be a little bit different than last week, in week 2.  The number of snaps that we plan on playing for our first group will be up.  It's just the natural progression we go through.  It is not going to deviate from what we've done in the past, so if you look and see what we've done in week 1, 2, 3, of the preseason, we're going to continue to do that. Ones will get more snaps and that will ultimately take away from some of the younger guys; they won't get as many opportunities. "

On going against the reigning Super Bowl Champions:
"It's going to be the first time they've played a game, even though it's not a regular season game, it is going to be the first game that they've had in their home stadium.  I know the Baltimore crowds very well, having spent time there.  They're great fans.  For us, it's another step in us evaluating our roster, that's key.  We're going up there to win the football game, don't get me wrong, but most importantly we want to get an opportunity to evaluate some of these players who did really good things in the first ball game and we're going to see how they handle the second ball game."

On the Ravens signing TE Dallas Clark and WR Brandon Stokley:
"I don't know in terms of what kind of conditioning they're in.  I'm sure with Coach Jim Caldwell there, the verbiage will not be an issue, because he has had both of those guys in Indiannapolis. We've got to be prepared for them to come and play, were not going to be game planning, but we know what Brandon strengths and weaknesses are as well as Dallas'.  He's an outstanding pass catching tight end, and Brandon has been one of the better slot recievers, so I'm sure that's where they'll line up.  They'll line up in probably passing situations.  They probably have a really good understanding of their passing, so it wouldn't surprise me if they did play."

On Baltimore being a good test for their young DBs:
"It will be a great test for our young guys.  Both of those guys did a nice job in game 1.  It is going to be fun to watch them compete.  They're going to be playing against another top flight quarterback in Joe Flacco, MVP in the Super Bowl, so it will be fun to watch.  They've got a good receiver in Corey Smith, so they're going to be out there early, so they're going to get the opportunity to play against those guys."

On how this week will mimic a regular road game:
"It will mimic it once we get to Baltimore.  It will be just like a night game that we are going to have during the regular season on the road, we have a couple of them.  When we get in we will go through the same sequencing.  It will be a little different simply because we're still in camp, about how we transport the team to the airport, but once we get on the plane it is going to be like any other road trip."

On improvements he would like to see from game 1:
"I would like to see us not have 6 penalties, that's first.  We don't like to have penalties, we try to play penalty free football, and we don't like to have penalties on 3rd down. We had a couple of them on 3rd down, so that is going to be something that we are looking at.  In the overall execution, I think we didn't execute as well as we needed to, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball on  3rd down.  I would like to see overall execution.  Again, we're not game planning, were still in installation mode.  I would like to see how we are going to handle the multiplicity of Baltimore's defense.  They do a very good job.  They've got two very good outside rushers, so it will be an opportunity for us to see how we hold up against some good rushers."

On how different it will be not having Ray Lewis on the other side:
"It's a lot different. 16 years that Ray has played in the League, it's going to be really odd and not see number 52 over there. Especially home games, they seem to always introduce their defense and he was always the last guy out. Ray was a great player for the Baltimore Ravens and he was a great player for the National Football League.  "

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