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Post-Game Quotes: Falcons vs. Ravens

Posted Aug 15, 2013

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Head Coach John Harbaugh

(Opening Statement) “OK, a couple of things – Elvis [Dumervil] has a slight groin, he’s fine. And [Matt] Elam had a little ankle, he’s fine. The really positive thing is nothing really came out of this game injury-wise. First of all, congratulations to the Ravens for winning the game.  I told the team in there the ones give the twos and the threes a slap on the back and a hand because our guys, they came out and found a way to win the game. That’s really important – I’m excited about that. I like the fact that our guys will fight and try to find a way to win, no matter what the adversity [or] circumstances are. That’s the good part of it. And that’s really the most important thing in a lot of ways. Some people would argue that’s not, but, I don’t care. When you play, you try to win. That’s why they keep score. So, I’m happy about that. The things that are disappointing are obviously the way we played fundamental football in the first half and the first quarter. There was really not too much good about it. Penalties on offense and the field position set us back tremendously. We didn’t run the ball real well – give credit to their defense – but, we didn’t run the ball well. That was a negative. We didn’t stop the run – that’s something that has to happen – we have to stop the run. I’m really disappointed, because I felt like we’d come out, based on the way we’ve been practicing, and play a lot better. But, it wasn’t the fact that we were getting knocked around, it was the fact that we did not do a good job of playing team-run defense, and you have to do that. One guy can’t be upfield, and one guy can’t run behind the block. We’re better than that, and I think our guys are so excited to play that they lost track of their fundamentals a little bit. That, and the penalties on defense, and the first drive or two, really hurt us. Those are things we can work on. The good news is, those are things you can correct overnight. Doesn’t take much to correct those things. But, it has to get done if we’re going to be the team that we hope to be.”

(on if there was any consideration to bring the first-team offense back in the third quarter) “Well, we did. The only guy that wasn’t out there was Joe [Flacco]. The receivers were out there and the first team offensive line was out there.”

(on if there was consideration about bringing QB Joe Flacco back out) “To bring Joe [Flacco] back? No, not at that point. The risk-reward there wouldn’t be worth it.”

(on the plays that Brandon Stokley was in on) “Yeah, I don’t know how many he ended up with. But, the idea was to get him five to eight plays, mostly in third-down situations. He might’ve had a few more than that, I’m not sure. But, that was the idea going in. He’s in great shape, he’s really smart, he picks things up quickly, so [I’m] looking forward to seeing the tape and seeing how he did.”

(on the lack of offensive rhythm in the first half) “I would agree with that. That was really what you saw. Like I said, it wasn’t great fundamental football, by any stretch. We didn’t run block real well, so we couldn’t get the run game going. Then, the penalties and field position really hurt us. You go first-and-25, that’s tough. We had a hands-to-the-face call, and after that we were backed up and we couldn’t get a first down to get any kind of rhythm. If you don’t get the first first down, I’m not sure how you’re ever going to get rhythm, and we were never really able to get the first first down early on.”

(on the importance of Tandon Doss being consistent) “It’s good to see Tandon make a play like that. That was really, really great to see. Consistency is important, too. You’ve got to stack good plays – we’ll have to go back and look at that and just see for every guy how that plays out – you really need to watch the tape and kind of see where the situation is to evaluate it fairly.”

(on Asa Jackson’s punt return for a touchdown) “Well, it was a long punt, for one thing. He kicked it pretty far down the middle, so that always gives you a chance. They’ve done a great job – I think Jerry [Rosburg] has done a great job of working on some fundamentals with the whole team. He has really worked those young guys fundamentally, in terms of blocking and tackling and stuff like that. Special teams – the basics. And then, Asa [Jackson] just did a good job of hitting it. Asa can run. I don’t know if he gets enough credit for how fast he is. Obviously, he opened it up pretty good. Tommy Streeter had a nice block. It looked like both vices were excellent – so, they did a good job. The rest of it, I’m not sure, it was kind of a blur.”

(on the punt at the end of the game’s placement – if they wanted it out of bounds or not) “We wanted to cover that punt. We would’ve hit that out of bounds in a normal situation, normal game, but we were just trying to hit a punt down the field and see who would cover it.”

(on if the same technique was used for kickoffs as well) “Right, we were trying to get returns on all of them. We didn’t want any of those to be touchbacks. We wanted to give them the best opportunity to return. They didn’t return many of them – we wanted them to so that we could cover them.”

(on Tyrod Taylor’s development and expectations of him as a back-up quarterback) “Well, the thing he’s proven he can do is move a group down the field. He makes enough plays and I think he’s done a good job in the pocket as a pocket passer. His vision has been good, he’s had good feel for moving around the pocket and creating some things. Obviously, the dimension of running the ball is important. I think he has really developed as a passer and operating the offense – he’s done a good job and you want that to grow. You want a guy that can win, not just a game for you, but if needed, come in and win a stretch of games for you.”

(on A.Q. Shipley’s performance at center) “I really don’t have an answer for you on that, as far as the center situation. I just have to watch the tape. It’s kind of hard to see that from where I am.”

(on WR Aaron Mellette’s progress throughout training camp) “Aaron has had a good week of practice. Not just in the two games has he played well, but he’s had a great week of practice and I’d like to take credit for that. (laughter) But, it probably wouldn’t be fair. I think he has done a great job of battling through some adversity and responding well to some hard coaching, and that’s the mark of a guy that I think has a lot of character, a lot of confidence – so, he’s done really well. [I’m] proud of him, very proud of him.”

(on the new players getting acclimated to the crowd and field at M&T Bank Stadium) “There probably is, but, in any NFL stadium … Last week was a visiting stadium, so it’s new for those guys. You can kind of see which guys can handle the size of it, and it’s not too big for them. It looks like we had some young guys do that, so it’s a positive thing.”

(on being concerned over the number of penalties) “Yes, we don’t want penalties, so we’ll look at them individually, and try to clean them up.”

QB Tyrod Taylor

(on the key to getting the offense going in the second half): “Just to get a couple first downs and as far as quarterback play, to get your first completion. That’s one thing that Coach [Jim] Caldwell speaks about a lot. Coming out of halftime, we just needed to build some type of rhythm. The first two series, kind of slowed down, but then after that, we were able to get a first down. Unfortunately, we threw the pick on the end of the drive. But we had a chance to get back on the field in good field position and bounce back on the touchdown to Aaron [Mellette].”

(on what he’s seen from Mellette so far) “I’m just confident in his ability. Of course, he’s young, and he is going to make mistakes, but he doesn’t let it bother him. He’s confident in his hands, and he’s confident to even go out there to make plays against anybody, and that’s been in our practices, and it shows up in the game as well.”

(on what he takes out of this extended playing time) “I just try to get better at every aspect of my game. I [have] a lot of time out there spent with these guys in practice, and they look at me as their leader when I’m on the field in the game. So, I try to better myself, try to conduct the offense, and take us…down the field and ultimately win because that’s our goal every game.”

(on how much different the game seems to him now with a few years experience) “I won’t say it’s slowing down, but I’m definitely more comfortable with the offense, more comfortable about change of protections and getting a good feel of the offense and just getting the guys where they need to be and correcting guys as well as just trying to conduct the offense with that fast tempo that we use.”

(on if he could sense the first-team offense’s frustration earlier) “I think as a unit we were all frustrated, especially [that] we had only 20 plays in one half. That was kind of tough. But we were able to put points on the board; Torrey [Smith] made a good catch – that was early on the game – but like you said, it was definitely frustrating at times. These are things that we have to work on, and we’ll get better.”

(on the interception involving LaQuan Williams) “We actually had another route called on. Miscommunication between me and him and just didn’t get on the same page and [it] resulted in a pick. [We] can’t have turnovers down there in that type of situation. We talked about it, but that’s something we can’t have in the future.”

DE Chris Canty

(on the overall performance of the defense) “I think we had some excitement going into the football game. But we got a little bit away from our fundamentals, and they were able to move the football on us a little more than we like. It’s one of those games that wasn’t pretty, but we dug deep and found a way to win the football game. The second and third units really dug deep and put them in a hole. They found a way to dig us out of it. We’ve got some work to do, but we’re excited to get the win. We really look forward to a week of work.”

(on pressuring the quarterback) “It is what it is. We’re just trying to work, and improve any way we can. We’re trying to be successful; that’s what we’re after. It doesn’t matter how – just as long as we get it done.”

(on adjusting to being a Raven) “It’s important to build that rapport any time you’re coming into a new situation. There’s a new locker room, there’s new personalities that you have to get to know, and it’s got to be on a personal level. You also have to understand that you have a job to do and you’re assembled as a team. But you’ve got to get to know the guys you’re working with. Football is a team game, so you have to care about one another in that regard and able to be a successful football team.”

(on his first game at M&T Bank Stadium with the Ravens) “I’ll tell you what, it’s better to be on this side of things of M&T than on the other side. I was out there last year with the New York Giants, and I didn’t fare so well. I realized then that this is a tremendous fan base. People in this town really care about their team, and they show it in the stadium. To have that energy supporting us when we’re out there on the field is awesome.”

QB Joe Flacco

(on the offensive struggles) “We were just sloppy, obviously. First-and-25 on the first drive; second drive we score, third drive where we’re backed up, we false start, and then didn’t get out of there. We completed a pass there but short of the first down. We were sloppy, and we didn’t run a lot of plays because of that. We were just unable to get into a rhythm. You love the one-play touchdown drives, but at the same time, it would have been nice to get a little bit of a rhythm.”

(on whether the team is jelling) “You definitely feel that way, but that’ll be the coaches’ job to see. It’ll be our job to look at the tape and say ‘you know what, we’ve got to fix this,’ each guy to each guy. We can’t have that. We’ll be fine. We’ll come out here and go back to practice, and then when we come out here and play under the lights; we have to come ready to go and not do stuff that’s going to hurt us.”

(on how important the third preseason game is) “Everything we do, we always look at as it’s very important. We’re going to go back out there and put a lot of good work in. That’s what we’re going to do, and it’s going to go well. That’s how we’re used to doing it. Having said that, we’re not going to overreact to something like this and get all crazy and things like that. We’ll get through this. We feel like we’ve had a great camp, and we’re continuing to get better. This is one of those things we’ll have to look at and make sure we improve on.”

(on his TD to Torrey Smith) “It was a little play-fake. One of the underneath guys sucked up, and I just threw a slant pass to him. He did a great job of making a safety miss with his right arm. Then you could just see his speed from there.”

(on not having Marshal Yanda) “Any time you have a guy like Marshal, you’re going to miss him. But I think our guys are doing a good job, to be honest with you. I’ve felt pretty protected when I’ve been in there the last couple of weeks in game situations.”

(on the center competition) “We’ll have to look at the films. I can’t tell too much from just being out there. Even looking at the film, you have to see how the offensive line coaches feel. I feel comfortable with both guys, and things have been going very well with both guys.”

(on whether the offense has struggled the last couple of  weeks) “I don’t think so. We really don’t think about it too much besides when we’re questioned about it. You guys look more at that stuff. We just go out there and play and do it with who we have out there. I think the guys are doing a great job.”

(on his INT) “I threw it into a bee’s nest. I thought Jacoby might be able to get around the Sam linebacker, so I kind of threw it off of his shoulder, but Jacoby was just getting behind there, so I threw it into too many people. The DB that was behind Jacoby that was breaking on the play, it hit him in the thigh and sent the ball up in the air.”

(on Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark) “We’ll see. They’ve only been out there for two practices, but they’re veterans who’ve played very well in their careers. They still look like they have a lot left, from what I’ve seen, so I’m excited to get going with them.”

LB Arthur Brown

(on tonight’s game) “It was a great atmosphere. That’s what I enjoyed about it. It was nice to get a chance to experience what it’s like here at M&T [Bank Stadium]. First impression was a good one. I’m definitely appreciative of that. As far as the defense goes tonight, it wasn’t a pretty perfect game, but it’s all about how you respond in the end, and we did respond. We got the win.”

(on him getting acclimated with his teammates) “It’s a process which you are not in alone. You ride with your teammates. I’m recognizing that, really taking the time and being patient going through the process of acclimating and getting together with your teammates. That happens at practice and that happens in the game. So like I said, I’m just thankful.”

(on getting adjusted to the pro game) “We prepare and the main thing in our preparation is fundamentals and technique. You have to take that and carry that out on the field. Instinct comes into play, but I always have to keep my eye on technique and fundamentals when I’m out there on the field.”

(on his goals this year) “My goal is to play my role and do it successfully and have an impact on this team. Whether that’s special teams, second team, first team, wherever I am, I want to be a major impact and feel my role as a teammate.”

(on the reputation of the Ravens’ defense) “This is probably one of the only teams that I recognized when it came to the defense and the standard that was set and the impact that they made not only here in Baltimore but throughout the whole National Football League. That’s something I was very aware of when I came in here. It’s a tradition that I’m grateful to be a part of.”

WR Torrey Smith

(on the touchdown catch) “It was a slant, and I hit the seam and I just go. And that’s it.”

(on his catch being about all the offense in the first half) “We kind of beat ourselves with penalties, and certain miscues, and it’s tough to play from behind. When you’re not playing many plays, it’s tough to recover from that, but we’ll be fine. We know what the mistakes were that we made, and you can’t make penalties, so obviously we need to correct that.”

(on beating Asante Samuel on the touchdown) ”I’ve played against plenty of No. 1 guys, so there’s not much that he can do different.”

(on the route for the touchdown) “I’m running the same routes that I ran last year. It’s nothing special to me – it’s just a score on a slant. I thought I had a great chance of getting the ball based on the coverage. I thought, once I caught the ball, I was able to widen the gap.”

(on the importance of catching a touchdown in preseason) ”I think it’s just like another practice, but it’s just against another team. I’m always excited about it – one, you get to go against someone else, and now we have one final tune-up, and we’re looking forward to one great final week of practice. We just can’t beat ourselves up with penalties, and we’ll be fine.”

WR Tandon Doss

(on catching the TD from Tyrod Taylor) “It felt great. I’m used to catching passes from Joe [Flacco] and Tyrod [Taylor]. I felt my timing was good from Joe and from Tyrod, and it felt good to make a big play.”

(on developing consistency) “Yeah, it’s so important. I feel comfortable with Joe, but he hasn’t been able to hit me yet, and he hasn’t looked my way yet, but once we get that going, we should be good.”

RB Ray Rice

(on what the offense needs to work on) “We definitely need to get better, but it’s the preseason. All 32 teams are working on things – nobody goes in with a magical game plan – you know, like we’re going to run guys over. We’re just trying to execute and get better week-by-week. Obviously, our young guys had been working really hard, and for them to come back and win the game tonight was really cool to see.”

(on the struggles of the offense) “You’re calling them struggles – I’m calling them preseason work. That’s what you work on in the preseason. If you don’t have things to work on in the preseason, then obviously you’re the greatest team in mankind. All 32 teams got to work, but it was proven tonight that our young guys have the ability to come in and get a win, and it was pretty amazing.”

(on talking about the second teamers) “Those guys get just as many reps as we do, and when those guys went out there, they just found a way, and they played with a lot of heart. Hats off to those guys tonight. Obviously, we went out there and tried to execute, but we only played a certain amount. You really have something to be proud about when you see your young guys working hard.”

WR Aaron Mellette

(on catching two touchdowns in two games) “I’m just always telling myself when coach Harbaugh calls my name to go in, I’m just going to go out and make the most of it, and I did that two games in a row. When you come in and you’re not a high draft choice, and you’re not really heralded, that’s how it is – you have to come in and make big plays.”

(on being from a small college) “Yes, that’s how it is, unless you’re from the first three rounds of the draft, you have to prove yourself. But that’s all I do – when I get in the games, I’m a gamer.”

(on if it matters that he came from a small college) “When did Joe [Flacco] come in – 2008? Over the last five years, the small school label is really kind of getting pushed out the window. If guys can play, they can play, and NFL scouts will come find you.”

(on responding to coach Harbaugh’s criticism during the week) “It was in that moment, but then you get past it, and you’re in the next minute. After that happened, I went right back out on the practice field the next series and made some more plays. If the coach gets on you, you can’t harp on it. You have to move on.”

(on if he’s been this tough all of his life) “Yes, my basketball coach was really tough on me, and he really toughened me up. He told me, ‘Don’t let the good plays or the bad plays affect you.’”

(on coach Harbaugh saying he responds well to tough coaching) “Yeah, I’m going to go out there and get after it. I don’t want him to have a perceived notion about me.”

(on what he has to do to keep separating himself from competition) “Just keep doing what I’m doing – catch touchdowns. I just need to show what I can do on the practice field and on game day.”

CB Asa Jackson

(on his punt return touchdown) “It looked like [the punter] outkicked the coverage a little bit. The punt was just set up to the wide side of the field, and all the guys blocking, they did the work. I did the easy part; I just had to catch the ball and get around the corner. They were the ones that set the blocks up and made the wall for me, and at that point I almost walked into the end zone. It was really all up front – those guys did a great job blocking for me.”

(on if he started to slow down a bit when he saw all the penalty flags) “I mean I knew I wasn’t going to let anybody catch me, but right when I saw both flags I was upset, but thankfully it didn’t get called back this time. I got to keep the ball finally. I was upset because I didn’t keep the ball last week after my interception, so I made sure I held onto the ball no matter what. So, yeah, I finally got a game ball and we got the win. It was a great day.”

(on if it feels good to come out and play well after a tough past few weeks) “Absolutely. It’s all a part of football and it’s all a part of life. You’re going to go through ups and downs, but it’s how you handle things when things are bad that really define your character – not when they’re good. So, I’m just going to try to keep going out there and do what I can to help the team win games and show that I can still be a valuable asset to the team.”

OLB John Simon

(on his quarterback sack) “Kind of just an instinctual thing. He beat me on the speed, so I tried to counter inside, and fortunately for myself and the Ravens the quarterback was still in the pocket.”

(on if he felt more comfortable on the field this week) “Yeah, absolutely. It’s just getting a feel for how things are and getting a feel for the playbook and just calming your mind down and slowing the game down. I think I did that pretty well today. I definitely still have a lot to work on, but it was an improvement.”

(on how fun it was to be out at the end of the game and needing a defensive stop to win) “That’s exciting. We had a great comeback, and we wanted to come back for the veterans as best we could, and we were able to do that. The way it ended was awesome, and it feels great to get the win.”

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