A minor war of words broke out when the Ravens three unit coordinators met with reporters after Thursdays training camp practice.
No, they werent talking trash. (I might pay to see that.)
They were seemingly, if unwittingly, competing to see who could say nicer things about Corey Graham, the Ravens new defensive back and special teams specialist.
We are really pleased with him, defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. Im just really, really pleased with where he is right now.
Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said, Hes such an experienced veteran, and today is a primary example. The first kickoff repetition that we had during practice was directed at him I was trying to beat him, because the whole design of the play was to beat him and he didnt fall for it. And he called me out right afterwards. So yeah, hes very crafty. Hes good to have in the (meeting) room, too, because he can help a lot of the young players.
Graham, 27, signed with Baltimore during the offseason after spending his first five years in the league with the Chicago Bears. He made it to the Pro Bowl for his special teams play in 2011, and the Ravens recruited him to shore up that area, which was a problem spot for them at times last season. But he changed teams partly because he also wanted to play defense as well as cover kicks, and the Ravens said he could.
During the first week of training camp in Owings Mills, he has had an impact in both areas, immediately becoming one of the cornerstones of the coverage units while also intercepting several passes on defense.
The guy is versatile, Pees said. He has come in and played some corner. We knew he was a real good special teams player. We put him in at nickel. Very smart, very intelligent, love guys like that. Hard worker, doesnt say boo, just goes to work. Told him to learn a little safety; you never know what might happen. We always want to try to have all our bases covered. He does it.
Meanwhile, Rosburg was asked if it seemed Graham had been with the team a lot longer because of the veteran knack he has displayed.
Thats a very good observation, Rosburg said.
When asked about Graham a day earlier, secondary coach Teryl Austin was similarly effusive.
Corey is a really good football player. He has a lot of savvy, great ball skills, understands the game and what youre doing. You see him in the team situations, and he gets around a lot of balls, and when he does, he has the ability to finish, Austin said.
Its hard to say who won the war of words, but its clear the Ravens feel they won by adding Graham.