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Post-Game Quotes: Texans vs. Ravens

Posted Sep 22, 2013

Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) “On the injury front, we had four things. Terrence Cody has a knee sprain; it does not look to be a long-term sprain. We’ll know more tomorrow. It could be this week, but more likely, it will be a couple weeks – we’ll see. Shaun Draughn had a high ankle sprain, so we’ll see how that goes. I don’t know the severity of it, but it is termed right now as a high ankle. Albert McClellan has got a minor hip. And really, that’s all the major stuff right now. As far as the game went, I commend our fellows – that’s a great team win. I commend  the football team for playing rock-solid football, for displaying the mental toughness it takes to beat a team of that caliber, to overcome a first quarter the way we did, when we really had no field position, when our defense or offense had no field position. [For] our defense to step up and keep them out of the end zone, for the score to only be six to nothing. The way that the field position-football went in the first quarter – I thought was outstanding. Come out in the second quarter, have the interception for the return, then the punt return to break the game a little bit, build some momentum for us – two huge plays by the defense and the special teams. Come out in the third quarter and take it right down the field and get that score – to build on top of that was big. I thought our defensive line was tremendous. Talk about the secondary covering those good receivers – nine routes, crossing routes – but, the D-line, we played with four guys most of the game, against that run game and against that quarterback – [that] was really special. It’s just a great team win, rock-solid win. I’m very proud of that.” 

(on the new faces on the defense and how they are coming together) “You know, it’s hard to put a timetable on that. We feel like we can be a great defense. We’re still working towards that. We talked about this last night. We do feel like we’re as far along as we could possibly be right now with this group. I’d say on both sides of the ball, as far along as we can possibly be with the new group at this time.”

(on RB Bernard Pierce and how he battled throughout the game) “Bernard battled the whole game. That’s a really good front. We were battling up front and Jim [Caldwell] stayed with the run game, was patient with it – which was good because it kept the clock moving. Made some big third-down conversions again. For Bernard to take the ball North-South against that defense and hold on to that football was a key part of the game.”

(on WR Tandon Doss’ return for TD) “It was well-blocked. For one thing, we got the gunners blocked, which is not easy, and Tandon made a couple guys miss, and then showed some real acceleration up the sideline.”

(on if the penalties were addressed at halftime) “As I recall, mostly the ones that were of concern were the offensive line penalties. I think we grabbed the face mask twice in there, we had a holding. Sometimes against a good front, that stuff comes up, but we don’t need to do that. Our offensive line is too good to have to resort to those technique issues. We talked about it at half time. The guys did a good job of cleaning it up.”

(on the twelve-man penalty) “That was a mistake on our part. Once we had an injury there, we lost a player who wasn’t on that team anyway. Another player thought he was replacing that guy and we got stuck with 12 on the field. For me, if I had seen it soon enough, I would’ve called timeout. I didn’t see it soon enough.”

(on how big it was to break a special teams TD) “It’s a momentum changer for the special teams. You have an opportunity … And they did a great job with their special teams on field position. How about [Shane] Lechler punting? I guess it was about a 65-yard-or-so punt that he drops on the one-yard line, and it dies. That’s phenomenal. He’s a tremendous punter. For us to make a play against that group is huge for us. Obviously, it was a big turning point in the game.”

(on the ability to attack down the field after the half) “It was a matter of having field position. It’s hard to throw those passes off your goal line, so that was important. Torrey Smith – who can say enough about Torrey Smith? A year ago, this week was something we all lived through. That was on all of our minds as well. And for Torrey, to dedicate that to his brother and his family, to play the way he did was very special.”

(on any changes to the offensive playbook due to injuries) “I don’t know what we had in our playbook to this point (laughter). We’re so new to this with a bunch of new players. No, we really haven’t. We’re still building an offensive playbook at this time.”

(on K Justin Tucker’s recovery this week after missing two field goals last week) “Randy Brown, who coaches our kickers, just came over and told me ‘we got our kicker back.’ We had our kicker back on Wednesday. He came out on Wednesday and did a great job. [Justin] Tucker’s a rock-solid guy. He doesn’t let things bother him too much. I think he’s really confident.”

(on former Ravens LB Ray Lewis’ introduction with the team defense at the beginning of the game) “That was really something. You just don’t know how emotional you’re going to get about these things. When Ray came out, and the crowd went crazy the way they did … I think everybody expected him to do the dance and the music to start up, but Ray said ‘no’ to that. That’s not something Ray wanted to do. He’s already danced his last dance. I thought that was very respectful to the guys who were coming out behind him. It was a very special moment.”

(on his interaction with Texans’ S Ed Reed after the game) “I said ‘Hey, you’ve still got it.’ I didn’t call him an old man, but he’s still got it. He played very well, just like [we] expected that he would. We talked before the game, just kind of family stuff and everything. There’s tremendous respect and love there. Ed will forever be a Raven. He’s a Texan now, but he’ll forever be a Raven.”

(on if the interception return or punt return for TD had a bigger impact on the game) “You know, it’s hard to evaluate which is which. I would just say both. Both were huge. It’s 14 points – that’s what it really boils down to. You’re talking about 14 points, and that’s a huge difference in the game.”

(on the interception return and punt return for TD taking pressure off of the offense) “Like we just said, it’s 14 points, which is huge. Anytime you’re able to score 14 points – I don’t care how you do it, especially in quick fashion like that – is a tremendous turning point.”

(on LB Daryl Smith’s touchdown and his impact on the defense so far this season) “We ran a little zone where we were passing off the coverage there, and Daryl anticipated the route, stepped right in front of it… It was just a great play. I’ve seen him make that play a bunch of times in practice. The impact he’s had on defense? It’s sort of fitting, and I guess there is an article to be written here, about Ray [Lewis] going into the Ring of Honor, and Daryl playing the way he played – not only in this game, but the way he’s played all year. To try to transition that position, it’s probably pretty deep, and you can probably come up with something there – you may want to give it some thought.”

(on the team’s ability, after giving up seven touchdowns to Denver, to not giving up any in the past two games) “(laughter) We played better. The biggest difference is [that] we haven’t given up the big plays.”

WR Tandon Doss

(on what his TD meant to him after a rocky start to this season) “It’s been a long three years for me. You know, came in, like I always say, high expectations for myself because I always had confidence in what I can do on the football field. It’s been a rocky first couple of years. Just having that play in front of my home team fans, that was amazing. Hopefully, I’ll just keep doing it.”

(on what he saw on the TD) “It was a sideline return. It was actually to our bench. A couple of their guys overplayed it, which made me force it back to the right, and like Daryl [Smith] said, you kind of get a little hazy. You don’t really know what’s going on. You just react.”

(on if he saw Ray Lewis waving him down the sideline) “I don’t remember nothing. The only thing I remember was Torrey Smith screaming at me. It was a good feeling. He came running down the sideline.”

(on if he realized how close he was to the sideline) “I thought I stepped out, honestly. I was running down the field so I just kept running, though. Everybody was saying ‘go, go, go,’ so I kept running, and I got in.”

(on what he went through when being released and how he bounced back) “Coming into this camp, the coaches kept telling me this was going to be a great year for me. Just having that situation happen, it was kind of like a shock to myself. I put God first, and I just relied on Him to get me through it. I knew something, one way or another, I was going to be on a team. I just didn’t know where. Thankfully, the Ravens called me after the Denver game and asked me to come back. It’s been a blessing. It was a business decision by them. It’s all business, so [I] had to go about it that way. I’m glad I’m back.”

(on how much these big plays helped his confidence) “It’s just nice just to be able to contribute. It’s been a long time, like I said, since I made plays. It just feels good getting back on the field and being part of a team win. It feels amazing.”

(on the flip) “I just had to do something, for my birthday.”

(on how much a special teams TD helps the offense) “We’re always known for our defense, coming up big [in] a lot of our games since Baltimore came here. We trust in Joe [Flacco]. We trust in our O-line. We’ve just got to get things rolling early. Once we start doing that, I think we’re going to be fine.”

(on if he always had this return ability) “I’ve been doing it my whole life. You just kind of react. Everything’s a reaction in this game, so I guess I catch the ball pretty well, and they trust me back there, and I enjoy it a lot.”

(on what it felt like to get the TD on his birthday) “That felt good. I had family and friends in the stands. It felt good just to make plays for them. Hopefully, I’ll keep doing it.”

(on how being released and brought back changed his approach) “It has a lot. I came in very naïve about the whole business side of it. You see it – people leave the locker room each and every day. The guy next to you, locker’s boarded up; you never think it’s going to be you. And especially a draft pick. I know I was the fourth round, but the coaches always seemed like I was going to be around for a long time. When it happened, it got to me a lot. But that week I had … and I got my mind right and I have just been thanking God for everything.”

(on a different attitude now, like at practice) “Yes, time to go to work. Being young, I came out my junior year, just being young and not approaching it like it’s actually my job. It’s hard to realize that. I did a poor job the past two years. You know, just taking care of my body and just doing things off the field I shouldn’t have been doing, honestly. My mind wasn’t in it all the way, and I’m glad I had that opportunity to see what I needed to do to change it.”

LB Daryl Smith

(on if he rose to the occasion with Ray Lewis being here today) “I don’t know. We just wanted to come in, and we knew we had a tough test today with Houston coming in and what they’ve been doing the past couple weeks. We just knew we had to come in and grind it out. It was definitely a team win, and [we’re] just happy to get it done. It was just a great day – got a great win, and it was Ray Lewis day, too.”

(on if not allowing a TD the past two games is a response to the performance in Denver) “You go back to Denver … You don’t ever want to have a performance like that. So, each week, we’re going to concentrate on getting better. Each week, we want to concentrate on getting better, and that’s what we’ve been doing. And each week, we’ll grow together, we’ll gain more chemistry, we’ll learn to trust each other more, and I think we’ve done that the last two weeks, and we just have to continue to do that.”

(on the interception return) “It was just something we’ve seen on film through the week. We’ve been getting pressure on him, but he was getting rid of the ball pretty quick. I knew I had a chance to jump it. We got pressure on that play, and I jumped the route, and I was able to take it for a touchdown.”

(on how big it was to hold the Texans to two field goals in the first quarter) “That’s huge. Six points versus 14 [points] – we’ll take that all day. We don’t ever want to give up points as a defense, but you would rather give up the field goal each day of the week. It was huge. It didn’t let it get out of hand for us and kept us in the game.”

(on the impact not having Duane Brown had on the Texans’ offensive line) “He’s a huge part of their offensive line. I think they still tried to do what they wanted to do and run the ball and run plays off of the run. We were just able to play pretty stout against the run – not as well as we wanted to – but we did well enough to get them in passing situations.”

(on if they stayed in more 2-TE and 2-RB formations than usual) “No, I just think it depends on their game plan for that week. I’ve seen them stay in two-back, seen them go to two tight ends, so that was just their game plan, and they stuck to it.’

(on what’s improved for the defense over the last two weeks) “Just time and growing together, watching film together, talking about it on the screen as we see it and just trusting each other.”

(on if the defense feels more confident) “Definitely. The more time we spend together, I think that will continue to grow. Like I said, we’ll just continue to work and talk and communicate. The communication has definitely been better, too. We’ll continue to do all that, and hopefully we’ll continue to get better.”

(on if playing Matt Schaub before helped him to read the play on the interception) “I think it was more from the pressure up front. If we weren’t getting the pressure up front, maybe he pumps it and holds on to it and goes to another read. But like I said, we were getting pressure up front, and he was getting the ball out pretty fast. He really didn’t have a choice.”

(on the experience of returning the interception for a TD) “I guess it’s sort of like a dream. You catch it, and it’s just kind of hazy. I just remember catching it and just running as fast as I could, trying to get in there. And getting in there … I’m not a dancer or nothing like that. (laughter) I just gave them a little something and just went on back to the bench and got ready and lined back up.”

(on if Ray Lewis being here made the TD even better) “Yeah, definitely. I mean, on Ray Lewis day, and we were able to get the win like we did today – that was huge.”

WR Torrey Smith

(on coming out strong in the third quarter) “Well, first of all, we didn’t have any penalties, and we weren’t behind on the count all the time. We were just able to execute and move the ball consistently. We weren’t in second and 20 anymore. We were able to go straight down the field and move the ball.”

(on the Ravens’ defense) “We’ve been praising them all year long. Obviously, we are all going to have our ups and downs. There are some great leaders over there. A guy like Daryl [Smith] makes a huge play and turns the game entirely around.”

(on Ray Lewis being honored at halftime) “It wasn’t like we were in here at halftime saying ‘Oh, Ray’s out there getting inducted into the Ring of Honor,’ we were in here trying to get our act together on offense. I think that playing with a guy like that, he’s a legend. It’s special to know that he’s the guy you can call up and ask him anything. Obviously, what he accomplished on the field speaks for itself. Obviously, a guy like Ed Reed is still somebody I still communicate with. It was weird seeing him on the other sideline. It was pretty weird to look over there and know it’s not practice. I was happy to see him today, but, in the end, it’s all about football.”

(on his 48-yard reception) “I should have stayed inbounds and scored. Otherwise, that’s just playing football.”

(on Tandon Doss’ punt return for a touchdown) “You all know how I feel about Tandon [Doss]; he’s like my brother. Just to see him go out there and have some success and have his confidence up like that. I put my helmet on to make sure I didn’t get a penalty, and I led him down there. It was special. It was his birthday today, and for him to score a touchdown like that I was happy for that, I was happy for him.”

(on his reception that was reversed) “I think I caught the ball, but then I lost it.  And they said when I regained it, my foot was out of bounds. The guy made a great play. I was going to tuck it, and he knocked my arm off, which made the ball come loose. I just have to make that play.”

QB Joe Flacco                                                                               

 

(on the win today) “Anytime you can start off slow like that, have some help from your defense and your special teams, really kickstart your team; that really propelled us today. We are a young team. We have a lot of new guys, and we were thin at the running back position today. We are going to have some growing pains throughout the first couple of weeks. I have said all along the biggest thing will be can we win while we have those. So far, the last two weeks we haven’t played great, but we’ve managed to win football games against two pretty good football teams. We have to continue to get better and come out next week flying around.”

(on being better in the second half) “We thought we could run the ball well today, so we came out trying to establish that. Credit them, they did a good job stopping that. In the third quarter, we really started to mix it up and get our guys going. Torrey [Smith] on the sidelines, Dallas [Clark] on a couple of out routes, it really felt good to get going in the second half.”

(on facing former teammate Ed Reed) “We broke the huddle on the first play of the game, and I saw him. But from then on out, I didn’t pay too much attention to him. On a couple of plays, I gave him a couple of double look-offs, but other than that, I figured he was breaking wherever my second was looking. So, I was trying to give him a quick look this way and then back here, you know, but I don’t know.  It’s always fun to have someone that you’ve played with on the field. It’s funny to go against those guys, but Ed Reed, he’s on a different level. I purposefully didn’t pay too much attention to him today.”

(on how well the defense played) “It was awesome, there was no doubt about it. The Texans’ offense early on looked like they might get something going, but our defense, man, it didn’t break. And then they just got after it the whole rest of the day. Give a lot of credit to those guys. They’ve played two weeks now where they haven’t given up a touchdown. That’s pretty good. You’re going to have a tough time losing when that happens.”

(on relying on the defense) “We’re just playing. It’s something you pride yourself doing every week. Just going out there playing football and making smart decisions. That’s a lot of what the quarterback position does. I’m just thinking ‘Go out and make the play.’ I have to trust my eyes that they are telling me the right thing. When I can do that, we’ll be pretty good.”

(on chemistry with Dallas Clark) “We got into a rhythm there. He was lined up on some linebackers. He had a mismatch on them. There was a couple of times where I could have went to [Brandon] Stokley or Torrey [Smith], but you know you have such a good matchup with Dallas [Clark] that you have to stick with him, and he did a good job.”

(on Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokley getting used to the offense) “They’ve still only been here a couple of weeks. They have to get their feet under them to really get confident in our offense. They are two guys who are going to get better and better as the year goes on. Just like our young guys along with our running backs. You know guys like Tandon Doss. All these guys are going to get better and better and better. The fact that we’ve won a couple of football games in the process is huge.”

(on his 48-yard pass to Torrey Smith) “I think they were clouding over there. We had three guys on the other side of the field running verticals. I was able to pin the safety on the inside vertical. I think the corner felt like he had some over-the-top help, but our tight end, I’m not sure which guy it was, did a good job of getting across the field quickly. That allowed me to put my eyes on him. That gave me the whole shot with Torrey [Smith]. That really got us going. Then I hit Torrey [Smith] across the middle, after the one that got overturned. I think that was the first drive of the second half. To come out there after what our special teams and defense did in the second quarter and put more points on the board, that was huge.”

(on scoring 30 points today) “Like I said, it was a good team victory. Our defense really held in there all game. They did a good job hanging in there while we were trying to get our feet under us. Really, from the middle of the second quarter on, we played a good team game of football.”

TE Dallas Clark

(on the offense’s performance) “It was just a process of playing together and eventually making plays when we needed them. We were much better in the second half than in the first.”

(on his chemistry with QB Joe Flacco) “It’s coming. It’s definitely a battle but I like where we’re at.”

(on the defense and special teams) “Yes, when we’re not doing anything with the ball, finding other ways to score touchdowns definitely helps. That’s what great teams do. We’re definitely not a great team yet, but we’ve got the components. We’re building, we’re working, we have a lot to work on, and we have a lot to improve on, but we’re coming.”

(on playing in Baltimore) “I love it. It’s special for me here. It’s a fun team. I love it. It’s a great situation.”

G Marshal Yanda

(on today’s game) “We did what we needed to do to win the game, and however that happens, that’s what we’ll do. We got the win today, and in the end, that’s all that matters.”

(on the running game today) “It was tough. They’re tough. They’ve got a tough run defense, and like I said, we did what we had to do to get the win.”

(on where breakdowns may have occurred on the offensive line) “I have no idea. I mean, I’m focused on my thing. I’ve got tunnel vision, and obviously haven’t seen the film. We’ll look at the film and correct the things we need to correct as an O-line.”

(on the slow first-half start for the second consecutive week) “Hey, just one play at a time. We were just trying to execute as well as we could, and yes, it was a slow start. They’re good. They’re tough. Field position wasn’t on our side, and that limited some of the things that we could do. Look, we got the win and did what we had to do. We only made one turnover, and that’s our kind of win. That’s how we do it. We play tough on defense and do what we need to do on offense and limit turnovers.”

DT Arthur Jones

(on how well the defensive line played against a good offense) “Hats off to them; they have a great offense. They do a good job of running the ball in that zone-read they run. We just had to buckle up. It wasn’t pretty, but we got the win. The defense, I felt, actually did a lot better. I felt like as a front we rallied. We came in the locker room, got back to fundamentals, and went back to the basics.”

(on the play where he recorded a sack) “Every time I get on the field I want to make a huge impact. We’ve got so many guys [like] Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and guys coming from all different edges. They can’t double us all. They left me one-on-one, and that’s not the thing to do.”

(on not allowing touchdowns in the red zone) “Yes absolutely. I think we did a great job practicing red zone. That’s something we take pride in as a defense – the red zone. We’re just going to keep getting better. We’re going to stay and watch film, and we’re going to correct our mistakes and prepare for next week.”

S James Ihedigbo

(on keeping the Texans out of the end zone) “We know in the secondary that we have to play to a certain level if we want this team to go where we plan on it – where our goals are. Once again, at the top of our goals on our board is no touchdowns. We’re going against a high-powered offense like this, [and] when you do that it means a lot. This is going to be one of the teams that when it comes down to the end of it –the hunt – they’re going to be in it. To be able to do that and accomplish that here in this stadium is awesome.”

(on keeping Arian Foster and Andre Johnson in check) “Dean Pees gave us a great game plan, and we executed. We knew that we’re going to give them different looks. We’re going to move guys around, and we’re going to play our style defense. We’re going to play fast. We’re going to play relentless, and we’re going to play physical, and we did that. “

(on his dance celebration) “That’s the ‘grave-digger’ right there. The fans changed the nickname. I actually got it from Rex Ryan. He called it the ‘dig’. I like the ‘grave-digger’, I like that.”

(on Ed Reed being in Baltimore) “It was awesome to see Ed [Reed] again. I had a chance to talk to him after the game. He is such a player that always has wisdom to shower on you. In talking to him, he continued to encourage me as a player, and he has helped so much in terms of my development as a safety. I thanked him for that, and I told him I loved him. It was good to see him, and that he’s continuing to do his own thing – being Ed Reed.”

CB Jimmy Smith

(on stopping the Texans’ offense) “We just followed the game plan. Our defense came up with some big plays, sacks, and a turnover for a touchdown. We keep playing ‘lights out’ [defense.]”

(on the progress the defensive unit has made) “Each week we’re building our chemistry. We’re gelling, knowing exactly how we’re going to be playing, and where we’re going to be. I feel like it’s a chemistry thing, just gelling together.”

(on S James Ihedigbo) “I feel like he’s one of our smartest players on the team. He’s very aggressive. He comes down on the run and makes plays in the pass game. It’s not a surprise to us at all that he plays that well.”

(on playing against the tough Texans’ offense) “We played pretty well. We held them to a low score and made some plays. Like you said, they are a top-10 offense and it feels good to knock them off.”

(on what’s the most important thing to defend the Texans) “Not letting them get to [midfield.] We limited them on the big plays, and that’s how we did it.” 

NT Haloti Ngata

(on a second-straight game without allowing a touchdown) “It’s phenomenal. Definitely something we work towards. They didn’t score any touchdowns – had a few field goals – but, yeah, we worked hard throughout the week and it’s great. It’s great that we were able to click the way we are, and hopefully we’ll continue to get better as a unit.”

(on holding the Texans to three-of-12 on third downs) “That’s huge. You’ve got to get off the field on third down, and we did that today. Hopefully that’s something that we’ll continue to be successful at and really, we just want to continue to get even better in all phases.”

(on his QB sack) “Yeah, getting there and [Matt] Schaub actually still having the ball when I got there, it’s pretty good. I had a few quarterback hits, but I was happy that I got the sack. It felt great to get that sack and I just want to keep on producing for the team.”

(on if it was special to have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed back in the stadium today) “It was cool, and definitely for Ray Lewis, to be inducted into the Ring of Honor, it’s a great thing. He’s done so much for the city and for our defense and for our team, it was just great to see him and see him receive that honor. And Ed Reed, you wish him well, but you don’t want him to do well against us. After the game I gave him a hug, and hopefully he just continues to feel better and get healthier, and just continue to be Ed Reed.”

RB Bernard Pierce

(on the Texans’ run defense being pretty stout today) “That front seven was definitely a monster. They played great, there were a lot of motions and shifts that confused us a little bit, but like I said, at the end of the day we started pounding, pounding, pounding, and eventually a little bit gave way.”

(on his 25-yard run and if it got him going a little bit) “Yeah, a little bit. It was the one that I broke for a little bit of yardage after they weren’t giving up an inch. It was definitely an ego booster and I think it definitely motivated the offense.”

(on picking up a big first down at the end of the game and if he saw the marker) “Yeah, I’m always looking for the markers, always.”

 

OLB Terrell Suggs

(on the defense remaining confident by keeping them out of the end zone in red zone situations) “Any time you keep a team out of the end zone, it gives you confidence. But it’s only now that we can appreciate it, because we still had a whole game to play and they still had opportunities to go down there and score touchdowns and win the game. So, when we were doing it, we can’t pat ourselves on the back, we have to continue to play football, and that’s what we did.”

(on if there was any discussion  in the fourth quarter about making sure to keep them out of the end zone) “No, we just knew we had to play solid defense. In the NFL, you’ve got to play solid defense, otherwise you’re going to lose a lot of games. We knew the past two weeks they had comeback victories, and that was pretty much our focus, to not let them come back in our home stadium and let them come back and win.”

(on if that felt like an old-school Ravens defensive performance today) “I don’t know, we’re just here playing football. You know me, I always assess it tomorrow when we look at the film when we go in. But I think this was a great team win. Offense did some great things, special teams did some great things, as well as the defense. So, it was a great team win. We’re not satisfied by any means, we know we’ve still got to work, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

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