BALTIMORE RAVENS POST-GAME QUOTES
Head Coach John Harbaugh
(opening statement) "Appreciate you guys being here. Obviously, a good team victory. I congratulate our players and coaches – everybody – for doing a great job and getting it done. Tremendous performance. One thing I do want to mention is that we dedicated this game to Konrad Reuland, as you know, and his parents were here. They were in the locker room, and Griff Whalen – Griff was a teammate of Konrad's at Stanford – presented them the game ball. It was a very emotional, very awesome moment. I just want to thank them for being here. In Konrad's memory, it was a great win."
(on QB Joe Flacco's status) "Joe had a concussion and a cut ear. He was cut from [his upper ear to his earlobe]. They were stitching that up [at halftime] without any anesthesia, so he's a tough dude. That's as much as I know about it."
(on his interaction with Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso after the hit on QB Joe Flacco) "Yes, we were OK afterwards." (Reporter: "Are you OK? That wasn't a clean hit, was it?") *"I'm not commenting on that. It was penalized correctly, I would say." *(Reporter: "Did you feel like he should have been ejected?") *"That's not for me to say. Thanks for asking." *(laughter)
(on what the difference maker was in tonight's game) "I thought we played well. We coached a lot better, obviously, and we played a lot better. If you're comparing the [last] two games, that's all I can say about it. [It was] a much better game for us."
(on if the defense took the media criticism personally) "I hope so. I think they did, and I believe they did. It's really not what we're about – giving up a bunch of yards in the running game. Sure, they took it personally, and I'm proud of the way they responded."
(on if he can explain the highs and lows of the NFL) "I'm looking forward to reading your article about it, because I don't know. It's a week-to-week league, it really is. There's a lot of good players, and one week, the game goes one way, and another week, the game goes another. To me, it's what makes this league crazy and interesting, and fun to watch."
(on how impressed he has been with RB Alex Collins' performances) "He got a game ball tonight. He ran well. He made some real … That run up the left sideline at the end of the game – you probably got a better look at it than I did, because it was on the other sideline – I thought he was down, but then he was still running for 10 more yards up the sideline. [It was] a pretty athletic run. He made some really good runs. He had a couple runs where they had him in the backfield, two or three times, where he got positive yards. I thought 'Buck' [Javorius] Allen was very physical, very physical with the way he ran the ball. It was just a physical effort for the whole offense."
(on if he has been impressed with RB Alex Collins' efforts to secure the ball) "I think that's a great observation. He really has [made the efforts]. He's about as good as he can be at it right now, and he needs to keep doing that. He's very secure and technique-sound with what he's doing with the football."
(on if the run defense appeared more cohesive in tonight's outing) "It was that. It wasn't many major adjustments. There have been a few things that we have been doing the past couple of weeks. There are some X's and O's things, but they're not the factor. The factor is in the way we played, and guys played the way we play the run defense here. They were physical, they were square, they played with their hands, and they got to the football, and they tackled."
(on if there was added motivation to win the game after losing QB Joe Flacco to a penalized hit) "I don't know. That would be a good question for the players. I think execution is different than getting mad about something. You have to execute, and to me, they executed."
(on how proud he was of his team's response to all altercations throughout the game) "That is a good point. I felt very good in the way we responded to those things. Our guys didn't get out of control, they kept their poise. Austin Howard, I thought, kept his poise very well later in the game. That was good to see."
(on the franchise's 200th victory) "I didn't know that – but thanks! It's good to be a part of that. That's big. That's a big deal. We're proud, and I'm proud, to be a Raven. I'm proud to be a part of this city. I know our players feel the same. We talked a lot about that last night, 'What it means to be a Raven,' kind of like with Konrad [Reuland] and his situation. Without getting too sappy, it's meaningful to be in this program and a part of this community."
(on how important it is for other phases to step up when the starting quarterback goes down) "Everyone has to step up at all times. We've had a lot of practice with injuries this year, so our guys know how to handle it. That's a position that we have to go with a backup – then the backup is a starter. We expect there to be no drop off. Everybody else rallies to make sure that happens."
(on how he explains the success he has had in Thursday night games) "I don't really have an answer for that. It's a good question. I would just like to have more of them. I'm glad we have a couple of them this year. We appreciate it. You guys know the story on that. It was just a good performance. I'm proud of our guys."
RB Alex Collins
(on the getting the first 100-yard game of his career) "It feels great. It feels amazing. It's been long coming. I've been close a few times, and you know, just the encouragement from the teammates, the other running backs, the O-line, you know, everybody just wanted to make it happen for me and really worked extra hard making it happen for me. I felt the strain out there from everybody else, felt the energy to each other. We definitely played for each other and worked hard for that."
(on how things changed after QB Joe Flacco went out) "Oh, we didn't miss a beat. Ryan Mallett came right in and was doing a great job of rallying all of us, just keeping us going and staying in the game, and that was the most important things. Coach [John Harbaugh] mentioned it earlier with our execution, and that was the main thing. We just wanted to go back out there, execute the game plan and not miss a step, no matter if it was Joe coming back in or Ryan finishing strong."
(on the way the team played after Flacco left, were they playing for him) "Oh, most definitely. Seeing him going down like that. He's walking off the field, got blood coming from his ear. We're very passionate about our team and protecting the quarterback, as far as protections and everything, so just seeing him go down like that, I could just see in everybody's eyes that we wanted to finish this game strong for him."
(on the hit on Flacco) "I didn't really get to see it but from the sounds of it, it looked pretty bad. Just seeing him come off the field and just hoping he got nothing [really] wrong with him and [has] a speedy recovery."
(on how rewarding this year has been) "It's been really important. I just give a lot of credit to the staff and the head coach and everybody for giving me that opportunity coming in, and trusting and believing in me. I had a few mishaps earlier in the season and just sticking with me. It's a great feeling. I feel the family atmosphere. Everybody's got your back, and I love it here. Just the perseverance of coming to a new team and learning a new system. Just definitely just kept my head down and just worked hard to get where I am."
(on what he thought his role might be this year at the beginning) "From the beginning, even though I was on the practice squad, I always prepared like I was the starter. Every rep I took in practice, going versus the number one defense. We've got great guys over there, so I was really getting a lot of good work going against those guys going full speed. They really prepared me and got me ready, and you know, it's just an opportunity thing. We had a few injuries and with the studying and learning the playbook and other running backs helping me along, I was just preparing myself for this position if it was to happen, and it happened and it worked out for me."
(on how he's proved he can hold the ball and still run hard) "That's the thing. That's one of the problems that happens is when you lost that focus or you're not really worried about just ball security. I've been doing a good job, and coach has been hounding me on it, even though I have perfect ball security throughout practice, you know, he's always reminding me. So it's just second nature now. So when I'm out there, you know, that's the first thing, I grab a ball. I make sure it's secure again, my eyes are up, reading the offensive line, reading the tight ends' blocks and just going from there and then finishing when I get the pile, put two hands on the ball. That's just what most important."
(on how he rates his confidence) "I feel like it's definitely growing. It's just getting the feel for the team and getting the playbook and working with the quarterbacks and other running backs. They do a great job of just bringing me along and helping me learn a new scheme. I feel like when you know what you're doing out there, you can play fast and confident. Everyone was on the same page, and we knew what we were doing today."
(on how comfortable he feels with this offense) "The sky's definitely the limit for us, and that's just the goal as well. Just keep working and keep trying to improve. This was the first 100-yard game, but I guarantee you I'll go back and watch film. There's a few plays that I'm wishing I would have [done] something different. That's definitely the main focus – celebrating the win but moving forward quickly, and that's just exactly how we're going to handle it."
ILB C.J. Mosley
(on his thoughts when QB Joe Flacco went down and what that play is like for a LB) "You're taught when a quarterback slides, you want to aim for the head, because when he [does] slide, your trajectory is going to be going over where his head was at the initial play … Was it clean; was it dirty? It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, our quarterback went down, and the whole team took it personally. We were all right there on the sideline. That's just how we are. We're a family. That's our quarterback, and that really set the tone for the rest of the game. It was a little chippy going throughout that. That's our type of football. That's what we do for four quarters. I hope he's OK and everything. We were just looking out for our family."
(if he felt everyone kind of rallied around that moment) "Oh, yes. For sure. Definitely after that, it spiked up a lot more, especially on the defensive side. I was trying to throw [an] extra elbow here or there or bring the [players] down a little harder. It shouldn't take that. That should be our brand of football. We've got to have that mentality for four quarters. That's what we did the first two weeks. We kind of slacked off…it was a good feeling to get a game like this, get the shutout, having everybody – offense, defense, special teams – rolling. We've just got to keep that formula going and going for the rest of the season."
(on stopping RB Jay Ajayi and the Miami rushing attack) "Besides [his first] run, we've kind of been playing that way the whole season. Here and there, we let a run slip out. We get a big gain or the quarterback scrambles and gets 20 or 30 yards. Just play Raven defense. You know, when you stay square on the front seven, everybody stays in their gap, and if you do that, it's hard for a running back to find a lane. That's very satisfying. That helps us. When you get the offense negative yards on the first and second down, that's [good]."
(on what he said in the huddle after Ajayi's early long run) "I didn't see the play. I think [S] Tony [Jefferson] had the tackle, but he got blocked off. I first felt like, 'Hey, come on, we've got to keep the edge. He's a great back. We did a good job staying square, everybody playing their spot and doing their job. That's kind of been the M.O. for this short turnaround. We didn't game plan a lot of new stuff, did a lot of basic things. It was all about playing technique and playing Ravens' defense."
(on how tired they were of hearing about being ranked 32nd versus the run and how much it motivated them) "That was a big topic. We've been in the Top 5 since I've been here and way before I got here. Being 31st in the league for a Raven running defense, that's unheard of. Today was a good start. We've just got to make sure we've got that same mentality for the rest of the way. That's our brand of football. That's how we make our play, to stop the run and get the offense backed up. We know we can get after it on second and third down."
(on if fumbling on his interception against the Redskins was on his mind while scoring a TD in this game) "First of all, if the lineman's going to catch me, oh, man it's not going to go well. Once I kind of got away from him, I saw [on] the 'Jumbotron,' I saw Ajayi come in so I went, 'Yeah, I don't care if I score or not. I'm making sure I'm not fumbling the ball.' It was just a good play. You know, right place at the right time."
(on catching it at the line of scrimmage and taking off) "I was telling [teammates] once the third quarter ended, they were still going no-huddle, and they'd be seeing quick check-downs and [short passes]. So I was saying, I was telling the guys we've got to rush, just make sure you get your hands up. We ran like a blitz path off the strong side. I got blocked. I just backed up and tried to bat it. It just landed in my hands, so it [was] just right place at the right time."
(on talking with the family of TE Konrad Reuland in the locker room and how emotional it was) "It was tough when we heard the news when he first got his aneurysm. His mom was texting Coach Harbaugh and keeping tabs on how he was doing. The first day, they said he was fighting, doing good. Then, all of a sudden, you know, he passed away. It was tough but it's always good, especially getting a win like that, when his parents [were here]. His mom was emotional… It just showed the strength he had when he first got her. He came in on practice squad, the scout team just to show a look, and he was one-hand catching and catching on the 'one' defense like he'd been here, so that just showed the type of motivation that he had. No matter what position he was in, he wanted to be a part of the team. He was definitely part of the team."
(on how much relief there is that the team showed how well it played) "I wouldn't say it was a relief. We knew we could do it, and for the most part, we [weren't] doing it, like I said, letting those runs leak out. You know, they always leaked out at the wrong time in the game. It's a good thing to put it on tape. We got back to what we do. We can look at the things that we did wrong, the plays that got out and look at this whole game, once we play our technique, everybody stays square in your gap, the results showed. Just got to make sure we have that same mentality going forward."
CB Jimmy Smith
(on his interception for a touchdown) "It was a quick out-route. I saw the quarterback's eyes and we had the blitz on it, so I squatted on the route a little bit. After that, it was just catching it and scoring."
(on the defense locking down the Dolphins) "We locked it up tonight, it was a good win. We can enjoy it for two days, but then we have to get back to Tennessee. They're going to present a real challenge in the running game."
(on the physicality of tonight's game) "It was a very physical game. It was very chippy. We saw guys out there fighting after almost every whistle. They brought it tonight, but we came out victorious."
(on the hit on Joe Flacco) "I saw it, but I'm a defender, so I really don't have a say about that. Kiko [Alonso] I'm sure saw him sliding. He made a judgement call and he hit him. He may need to pay a fine, or whatever."
(on if this was the most complete game the defense has played) "Absolutely, absolutely. We stopped the run and we stopped them from throwing. We got some turnovers and we scored on defense. It was a good game."
TE Benjamin Watson
(on how sweet the win was) "It's always good to get a win. But when your defense comes out and plays like that and scores defensively, it's pretty amazing."
(on his touchdown) "That's a play that we've been practicing for a while. It was play-action, you always come into a game with a certain set of goal-line passes and goal-line runs. Sometimes you carry them over from week to week. We hadn't used that yet, it was just a corner route and [Ryan] Mallett did a good job getting me the ball."
(on the hit on Joe Flacco) "I was on the sideline when the hit happened. I saw him running and going to get the first down. I'll have to look at the film. It looked like it was kind of bang-bang, but it's one of those things you can't hit the quarterback. They're going to have to protect the quarterback. I hope he's going to be alright [Joe Flacco]. I think he's going to be. But overall, they'll take the proper precautions for him."
(on the overall physicality of the game) "It's always going to be physical. [Ndamukong] Suh is one of those players who is a very dominant guy and he's been a very dominant guy in this league for a long time. That being said, he's always a player that takes it too far sometimes. That's his M.O., he's been doing it since he's been in the league. I've seen him do it multiple times and it's unacceptable."
(on getting the running game going tonight) "It's definitely something we wanted to do coming in. We wanted to establish the run, especially against a team like that who has a good front four. We wanted to control the clock and control the ball. The good thing was we were able to run the ball, but also move the ball. It's one thing to just run the ball and not get first downs, but tonight we were able to get big chunks."
WR Jeremy Maclin
(on his touchdown) "I think it was right on time. We were kind of catching them with 12 men on the field. It was a play where I had the only deep route, so I knew I was getting the ball. Joe [Flacco] put it right where it needed to be."
(on building on this win) "Unfortunately, we haven't had all of our pieces out there at one time. I think the last game we did was Oakland and we were able to do some pretty good stuff in the passing game and the running game. We've just got to keep fighting. We're battling injuries right now, but we've got a little bit of a mini-bye. Hopefully we'll get some guys back and we'll get ready for Tennessee."
(on the play that caused the Joe Flacco injury) "I thought it was dirty play personally. I don't think "Kiko's [Alonso] a dirty player, but I thought that particular play was dirty. Hopefully Joe [Flacco] can get himself ready to play, but if not we have to ride with [Ryan] Mallet and it's the next man up."
(on missing the last two games) "I don't know what report came out that I was going to play last week. It was one of those things that it was a game time decision. The doctor's didn't think that it was best for me to play. I'm still going to have to battle this thing and continue to get myself ready to play every day."
G/C Ryan Jensen
(on the hit Joe Flacco took) "I felt it was a dirty hit and Joe's our franchise guy. We've got to go out and protect him. Joe getting 'cheap-shotted' like that, I felt I had to do something to protect him and show him that I've got his back."
(on the overall chippiness) "Yeah, it got chippy out there, but that's okay. That's the kind of offensive line we want to be. We want to get those guys frustrated, but from that point on when Joe got hit it got chippier and chippier."
(on a step forward for the offense) "Definitely a step forward. We ran the ball for over 170 yards and it feels good to be able to run the ball like that."
(on getting back to .500) "It's huge. It's a .500 league right now. We've just got to put a couple wins together, get some people healthy and get on a roll."
(on Alex Collins) "He's a vicious runner. That's how I describe him. He's elusive, but he'll hit it down hill and run some guys over and break tackles."
(on if Kiko Alonso have been ejected) "It is what it is. I don't know. It's up to the officials. I saw what I saw and it was up to the officials to make that decision."
QB Ryan Mallett
(on coming in cold) "It's not my first time. It's my job to be ready whenever I'm called upon. You just have to be prepared. It's my seventh year, and I know what I'm doing in this league. I prepare like I'm going to start every week anyway, so nothing has really changed here."
(on the hit Joe Flacco took) "I saw it, but I didn't really see the extent of it because I went to grab my helmet right away because it didn't look good. I just wanted to make sure I was warmed up in case he had to come out."
(on the offensive line) "The O-line kicked butt today. They dominated that front seven, and that's a testament to our ball carriers and the O-line."
T Austin Howard
(on what he made of the hit on QB Joe Flacco) "Gosh, [I] saw the hit – everybody saw it. It's obviously not the game that we intend to play, but obviously that stuff happens. We're all upset about it. Right now we're just hoping for the best for Joe [and] hoping he makes a good comeback, and we're all just praying for him. I hope he's OK."
(on if the team was angry) "Absolutely. It was a blindside shot, it was unnecessary and I hope the NFL takes the correct actions and takes care of that. But, right now, the game is over so we're just looking forward to moving on."
(on if he wanted to see LB Kiko Alonso ejected in that moment) "I really wasn't worried about ejection at that time, it's just more of an emotional thing. I just wanted to go out there and make a statement with my play."
(on if he was ticked off about the eye poke) "Oh, the eye poke. This is a man's game, and people want to try to act up, but the fact is we're out here to play a game. That's what we're focused on, we had a good win, and we're just looking forward to next week."
(on how satisfying it was to control the line of scrimmage) "It was great, we're not satisfied though. We still have a lot of work to do. It wasn't a perfect game by any means, and we're going to watch that film and get better from it and look forward to Tennessee."
S Eric Weddle
(on all the talk surrounding the team) "We don't care what people say. I would think everyone would know that about us by now. We just look at ourselves in the mirror, and we do as a team what we need to do to play better. If we all play good as a defense, we have a good chance to win. If we don't, it's just reality that we won't. But it was nice in a short week to get back to the fundamentals, the basics in playing team defense, and it really showed tonight."
(on the hit Joe Flacco took) "I saw it live. I'm not going to say it's dirty, not dirty, whatever, it's football. Obviously, you never want to see a teammate get hit. He was sliding, and the guy came in high. They're trying to take that play out, but it happens. Maybe they'll look at in in the offseason, and in that situation, the guy should get ejected."
(on if Kiko Alonso should've gotten ejected) "I'm not really focusing on what they're doing. I just wanted to make sure Joe [Flacco] was OK, and everyone stayed on the sideline. Whether or not he gets ejected, that's out of my control. I'm just trying to do my job."
DT Brandon Williams
(on the importance of this game) "It was very important. We had a job to do today – and that was stopping the run. I am totally proud of my defense. My guys were just stepping up after being called to the mission, stopping the run and executing perfectly. Everybody did a great job; we were flying to the ball, and we were all excited. It felt like the first two games, and we were going to continue that [type of play], but we can't be satisfied with this one. We have to keep going."
(on if it's fair to say that the defense was aggravated) "Definitely. We have a standard to keep in Baltimore. We need to get back to what Baltimore does: that is hard-nosed defense and that's stopping the run. Today proves it. It just feels amazing. Obviously, people on Twitter, they're a bunch of keyboard 'whatevers.' What are you going to say now? We are who we are. Thank you to the fans who have always been there. I am just proud of everybody: offense, defense and special teams came together, giving everything, and playing Raven football."
(on how motivated the defense was) "We are definitely self-motivated. The stuff outside is just outside noise. We know who we are, we know who the real fans are. The ones who tweet out every week – win, lose, or draw, Ravens all day – we appreciate those fans. To the ones that tweet the negative comments: what are you going to say now? We are going to keep on going with what we have to do. Last night, I was up until about midnight and I had to say something; it was time. I said, 'A storm is coming.' That is all I said, and I'm happy about that."
(on what made him feel that a "storm was coming") "I just knew. I know what the Baltimore Ravens have and who we are. What you just saw is exactly who we are. [We are] a hard-nosed team, a defense that runs to the ball and stops the run, gets a bunch of tackles in the backfield. That is who we are and that is what we displayed tonight."
OLB Terrell Suggs
(on Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso's hit on QB Joe Flacco) "I didn't really see the whole play. They didn't show it on the replay [screen], like I wasn't paying attention when it happened. The quarterback has to give himself up, and the defender has to know when to back off. I have to see it. You can't really make an assessment from it because you have to see it on the TV copy. I just hope my quarterback is alright, and I just hope it was a clean play. I know he hit Joe in the head, but we just have to see it, and I hope my quarterback is alright."
(on if the defense felt this performance coming) "Well, we know how we are capable of playing. Today, I think we got a little back to 'Raven Football.' You can't take shutouts for granted. We have two of them this year, which is pretty good. But we also have been on the other side of that where we have been lit up. We are .500; we have been here before. Eight [games] left, it is all about what we do with it."
(on the difference in 4-4 versus 3-5) "It is huge, especially in the AFC. You want to win your home games. That is a good team over there. They have a lot of firepower over there. But we got back to playing a little bit of 'Raven Football' tonight. We get healthy, we get some guys back, and we will see where this thing ends up at."
(on if the defense was pissed off) "I'll let you say that. Of course Ray Lewis would say, 'We are pissed off for greatness!' But we just got back to playing 'Raven Football.'"
(on if the defense was more successful because they were more physical) "I couldn't tell you. Like I said, we are going to watch it tomorrow. We minimized the things that we haven't been doing so well, and we got back to the things that we do well. We are .500. It feels good to get one back in the win column, but we still feel like we have a lot of work to do."
(on the challenge going ahead potentially without QB Joe Flacco) "The challenge going ahead is that you have eight left. You can't go .500 out of those eight. You definitely have to take care of the games you are supposed to win. You have to win the games on your home field, and you have to play some ferocious football down the stretch."
(on the importance of consistency) "You definitely want to be consistent – I have said that before. Mediocrity is the worst thing in the world. You do not want to just be average. Like I said, we have a lot of work to do. We are 4-4. We got one in the win column tonight, and we are going back to work."
S Tony Jefferson
(on the importance of this game) "It was a big game because it was the next game. It was a short week, but we went out there, and we made some plays, and we played better on defense."
(on what the focus on defense was) "Stop the run. Definitely stop the run and play 'Raven Football.'"
(on how he felt about his own performance) "It is whatever. I was just out there trying to make the plays that came my way."
(on if the dominant performance gave the defense some confidence) "We just played our regular football. We played sound football. This is how we can play if we stick to our techniques, have gap discipline. We want teams to have to throw the ball."
(on having two shutouts in one year) "We are looking for more. That is the main thing – we are looking for more."