In his own words: Cam Cameron

A transcript of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's interview session with reporters Monday:

Opening statement: "First, training camp has been outstanding so far. The effort of our guys is as good as I've ever been around. It's probably as tough as any training camp that I've been through. But I'm pleased that Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Jason Brown and Adam Terry – those types of guys – have stepped up. We're getting tremendous leadership out of some guys on offense, and that's what we need at this time of year. But we're just getting started. We're not coming to any conclusions at this point. Camp has been really positive so far and now we have to keep getting better."


On what has made this camp so successful thus far: "I wouldn't say there have been minimal mistakes. There are mistakes being made, especially by young guys, but they're not repeating mistakes. That's the important thing. Guys are coming out and we're trying to get them to not focus one day at a time, but focus one practice and one play at a time so that they can learn from mistakes. That's what I'm seeing. Especially up front, guys aren't repeating mistakes. Receivers have come back in great shape, so mentally they're in great shape and that's the important thing. Mistakes are going to happen, especially this time of year."

On the practices: "Right now it is truly one day at a time and one practice at a time, just trying to get better. Obviously there are no final evaluations. We haven't played any games yet. However, these practices – and this is a credit to Rex [Ryan] and our defense – these practices are very, very game-like. I can't imagine a better environment to develop quarterbacks because the practices are so game-like. We don't need to come to any conclusions right now; we're just trying to get better. They're grasping what we're doing. However, we're going against a freestyle defense and that's just making them better and better."

On the verbal battles with the defense during practice: "I think what you're seeing there is that you have a lot of guys who care about each other. We talk about the Raven Way, and there is a culture here amongst these guys. They care about each other. Obviously there's some noise coming from the defense and some noise coming from the offense, which I think is a good thing. It can go too far, but it hasn't gone too far yet. It's good and spirited. We're a family here and I think they understand that."

On tight end Todd Heap: "I'm getting to know Todd better. Obviously, I had a decent feel for him when I got here. He's worked at it. He's a pro. Obviously, as you saw today, we had a critical play on fourth-and-five and Todd makes a play for about six yards. He's a guy we're going to lean on. At the same time, we know that everybody in the league knows about Todd, so the other guys have to keep developing. He's a critical component to what we do, but he's not the only guy. Every guy has a role. Every guy is a critical component and I think our guys are starting to understand that. We want every guy involved in this offense. Not one or two guys. We want all 11 guys and probably another handful of guys who are involved in this offense throughout the course of a ballgame."

On the three quarterbacks: "We've mixed them with groups so much that we haven't given a guy that many consecutive reps with one group. That may start to change; we'll let you know. I know John [Harbaugh] will keep you guys posted. But guys, we're just focusing on getting through the grind. It's a little early. They're all competitors and they're all talented in their own way. We're really not tailoring anything to a guy who's in there. We're just inserting plays right now. To get any separation between the three right now would really be difficult, and until we start playing preseason games, how would we know?"

On depth: "Depth is a concern for everybody in this league. As several teams found out last year, you can have depth and it can be gone in a day or in a week. You're always building depth. Is depth a concern at this point in time? We're just trying to get everything we can out of every guy. When the roster comes out, we'll just take a look to see where we are, but you understand that we have to build as much depth as we can."

On the wide receivers: "We talked last night, and you guys have watched out here. We haven't caught the ball as well as we need to. And then today I think they stepped it up and made some plays. We have to continue to improve. At times there's not going to be enough separation against our defense. And they compete. This secondary and these linebackers, they compete for the ball as well as any group I've been around, and our guys just have to continue to be strong around the football. But, we have improved. There's no doubt in my mind in that area."

On rookie wide receiver Marcus Smith: "We think he's just a good all-around football player. We'll carve out a role for him if he continues to improve. He's going through what most rookies go through – ups and downs. Has a good practice, struggles the next practice, then has a good practice for a half and struggles the next half. That's what all rookies go through. He just has to keep grinding and develop some consistency. In my mind, he's definitely a football player. He's almost 220 pounds. He enjoys the game, I think he's bright, and we just have to carve a role out for him."

On running back Willis McGahee: "When he's practiced, obviously he's a guy that we're going to lean on tremendously. He didn't practice much today or yesterday, and it's early. There is a process, and Willis and I have talked. We're in communication in meetings and he is learning the system. He is one of the brighter guys that I've been around as a running back, and that's encouraging. So we just have to keep getting our work in and get him as many reps as we can and see where it takes us."

On the attitude being established at camp: "With the goal-line scrimmage, it was nice to see the ball get in the end zone a couple of times. There's a way, there's a system that John is establishing here and it's about enthusiasm. It's about energy. It doesn't matter whether you're a rookie or whether you're in your 25th year coaching, that's our way. Ray Lewis – if you can't come to practice as a coach – Ray Lewis gets me jacked up. I remember being around some other guys like Junior Seau that can do that. We want to impact these players as coaches, but these players impact us as well. It's nice to see that enthusiasm from the coaching staff and offensively, that starts with me."