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Transcripts: Ravens Postgame Quotes (12/17)


Opening Statement: "[I] appreciate everyone being here. Thank you. [It was a] late night with a great outcome for the Ravens. [I'm] really proud of our guys coming here [and beating] a very good football team. [The Jaguars are] a very well coached team that played well. [It was] kind of a playoff-type environment that we were in. The place was rocking. It was loud, it was full, [and] it was a night game here. I think it might have been the first Sunday night game here in a while, and they were into it. Their team was into it, and we had to play a really good football game, a playoff-style football game, to win, and that's kind of how it played out. [It was] that kind of a football game, which we expected, so [I'm] proud of our guys for the win. A lot of guys played really well. Of course, there are things we can do better, but that's a big win. We'll get a day or two [off], and then, we'll be onto San Francisco. We do have some injury announcements. Keaton [Mitchell's injury] is going to be a serious injury – knee injury – so it looks like he won't be back for the rest of the season. Marcus [Williams] is going to be kind of day to day probably. We'll see, but we'll know more tomorrow. That looks like it will probably be day to day. Ronnie [Stanley], I think, will be OK. Those guys will be looked at concussion-wise. We'll see how that plays out. What questions do you have?"

You said last week that QB Lamar Jackson played that game as well as he ever has. What did you think about this game?*_ (Jamison Hensley)_* "I stand corrected. I stand corrected. [Lamar Jackson] played even better. He played even better this week. I could give Lamar Jackson our game ball every single game. He wouldn't take them. He wouldn't have anywhere to put them in his house. [He'd have] too many game balls, but that's the way he plays. I've said it before; I believe he's the best quarterback in the National Football League. I've said it many times before, and he continues to prove it. He proves me right. He just took the game over in so many different ways, all the different ways he does it, with spectacular throws. [He] handled the gameplan. We had a lot of no huddle stuff. We had a lot of plays at the line [of scrimmage] we were switching to and calling and changing around. We had a lot of motions and shifts that they had to deal with, and then the play clock comes into factor there. Nobody is better [at] handling the play clock than Lamar Jackson. [He was] managing the game, but also, making the plays. I'm just very proud of him, obviously."

Are you experiencing a thrill ride seeing QB Lamar Jackson escape the pocket or make a juke? Is there this element where he's kind of always close to danger or escaping danger? Do you develop a resistance for that, or do you go along for the ride?*_(Reporter)_* "It's simple; it's a player's game. As a coach, coaches get a lot of credit sometimes for things that they really don't [deserve]. If you're a good coach, you build your system and your plays and your schemes and everything – your operation – and basically everything around your players. Players are the guys out there playing the game. We have a great football player in Lamar Jackson, and not just Lamar. [We have] so many guys like that, that you try to build it around, so if we're smart, we try to build our offense in a way that Lamar can thrive in it, as best we can [and] as best we can figure out. He's a big part of that. He's involved in all the game-planning every single week. [He] has input, and he helps us decide those plays. He's out there just playing the game, and that's what the game is. You go out there, and you play the game like that."

You rushed for over 200 yards, I believe, in the second half. What was the difference in really getting the run game ramped up?*_(Jeff Zrebiec)_* "[We had] 204 [rushing yards], as it was pointed out to me in the locker room, and I think 251 [rushing yards] overall. We just kind of kept coming, and after a while, it had its impact. Our guys were blocking really well, [our] backs were running really well, and Lamar [Jackson] had a number of yards, as well. Yes, that was a big factor in the fourth quarter, too. We had a bunch of yards – maybe 100 in the fourth quarter, or something like that – so it was good."

Your team clinched a playoff berth.*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "We did know that. Yes. We're very grateful. We're very excited about that. That's the first step. That's our starting-point goal, and we'll go from there."

Jacksonville had these moments, especially at the end of the first half, where they wanted time, and I think, there was another play where they quick-snapped it and got them with 12 men on the field. What do you make of your team's poise in some of those moments, as there was a lot of chaos, and being able to take advantage?*_(Reporter)_* "Both sides of the ball ... Lamar [Jackson] and the offense did a great job [with] substitutions, and then that becomes part of the game within the game. Lamar catching them there and getting that penalty ... Look at Marcus Williams' play at the end of the half. [Defensive coordinator] Mike [Macdonald] made a great call. Marcus makes a great play [to] tackle. their guy running a flat route in bounds – a play we had anticipated. It's just a play [that] people run in that situation with no huddle, and Marcus made a great play. That saved us, right there, at least a field goal. [It was] just a fabulous play, and there were other plays like that in the game. How about Isaiah Likely [and] those catches that he made? How about Arthur Maulet getting that fumble early in the game and really turning the momentum a little bit? They had some yards in the first half, but we made the plays we needed to make to keep them out of the end zone."

Is the plan right now to bring RB Melvin Gordon III up on the 53-man roster? Is that what you foresee yourself doing?*_(Jeff Zrebiec)_* "Yes. We'll bring Melvin [Gordon III] up. He's been working super hard, he's in great shape, and he'll be ready to go."

For RB Keaton Mitchell to suffer that injury, how difficult do you think that's going to be?*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "It's heartbreaking. [Keaton Mitchell] is a guy that ... I was just in [the locker room]. We were just in there, and we were talking, and we prayed, and he just has a great attitude and demeanor about him. It's a guy that you want to see well. He deserves to do well. You just feel for his parents right now. They're watching, and I'm sure they're feeling that, too."

You have a lot of hype around this next game against the San Francisco 49ers. Does the 24-hour rule still apply to this team with handling the noise that's going to be coming its way when you guys get back to Baltimore?*_(Jonas Shaffer)_* "Absolutely. That's how these guys are. These guys are going to be thinking about one thing – thinking about the next game. 1-0 has been their mantra. Lamar [Jackson] talked about it before the season ever started, and it's not going to change."


On how important it was for him to play since he was injured in the last game:"My parents always raised me, 'If you can go, go.' So, I felt like I [could] go and throughout the week got better. I felt decent Friday, and then it was just up to me whether I felt my pain tolerance was enough. I went out there before the game [and] had some pain. It was really just pain managing throughout the game, [and] adrenaline was going and everything, so I feel good." 

On when he felt the pain, and if it wasn't that bad when he broke up a screen play early in the game: "Yes. Maybe the first couple plays, I was maybe babying it a little, but after that, I kind of trusted it – after that."

On what it means to clinch a playoff spot: "It's dope. It's the beginning of what we want to do – not the end goal, obviously. We just [need] to keep on building, and I don't think we're even close to how good we can be. So, everybody is stepping up. [There are] injuries, [and] people going down, [so] it's a team effort."

On playing tough teams on the schedule, and if playing in a playoff atmosphere like this game sharpens up the team for what's to come in the next few games: "Yes and no. It's always great getting wins against good teams, and that was a good team. At the same time, playoffs are different, and we play different in the playoffs. It's win or go home. You never know who you're going to get, so we have to be prepared for anything."

On the defense's poise when time ran out on the Jacksonville Jaguars' drive at the end of the first half:"We just gave up a big play. For us to get lined up, 'Ro' [Roquan Smith] gave us the call and [said], 'Everyone get set.' Marcus [Williams] made a great tackle on the sideline to keep the clock running. Fortunately, they ran out of time. That was a big stop for us going into halftime. It kept them at zero [points] at that point going into halftime. That's a good offensive team over there, and I think we did a good job overall. [There's] still stuff to improve on, though."

On what it is like having QB Lamar Jackson as the leader of the team:"I remember on the sideline just watching [Lamar Jackson]. He had a bunch of crazy plays tonight. One play, I just leaned over to Geno [Stone] or somebody [and was] like, 'That dude's special.' I'm glad we don't have to play him, because it'd be so frustrating as a defense. You know you have him bottled up, and out of nowhere he scrambles and dudes are back there [in the secondary] covering for 10 seconds. It's hard to do that in this league with guys getting open and making plays. He presents a lot of problems for defenses, and I'm glad he's on our team."

On if QB Lamar Jackson plays like a football player and not like a quarterback:"I definitely think [Lamar Jackson] plays like a quarterback in a sense that [he does] what a quarterback needs to do. [He] delivers the ball on time, is accurate, runs the offense well, makes checks – everything in a quarterback that you would typically think of. Everything else is a plus. That's what makes him so good. That's what makes him the best in this league, honestly. I think there's nobody that can do what he does – arm-talent-wise [and] his legs, obviously. He's a different breed, and it's something we have never seen in the sport – ever – I don't think. I'm glad he's on my team."


On the pass to TE Isaiah Likely where he escaped the sack: "The defense went quarters [in coverage]. They dropped quarters on me. We had verts [vertical routes] going little stick knobs. I don't know if it was [No.] 91 [Dawuane Smoot], I want to say, [on the] right side. He just made a good play [and] beat our guy. I just had to make a play [and] make something happen. I [saw Isaiah] Likely. I believe if he wasn't so free, Likely would have scored because I already [saw] him, but I couldn't throw it because [No.] 91 was rushing, and I [didn't] want to have a fumble happen, so I just made something happen, and I [saw] him. I [saw No.] 31 [Darious Williams] flying under. I'm like, 'If I try to drive it, it's going to be an interception,' and I already threw one, so I was [ticked] off. So, it's like, just give Likely a shot. I know he can jump a little, so it's like, just give him a shot, and he made a play, a great play."

On what goes through his head when scrambling:"[I'm thinking], 'Make something happen [and] make a positive play.' I'm not trying to get sacked, but I'm also trying to keep the ball safe at the same time. That's the most important thing when playing offense and [scoring] points. So, we were driving the ball down the field, we can't mess up. If anything, [if] we can't score, [Justin] Tucker kicks a field goal, points matter in all these games."

On what are his emotions when having to dodge rushers and does he feel calm:"Do I look calm? Do I be looking calm?" (laughter)"Just keeping a level head. Like I said, I'm not trying to make a mistake. I'm just trying to keep us with positive yards, keep us moving, and that's what we had to do tonight." 

On the team passing heavy last week and this game rushing for over 200 yards and if this team can shift gears between passing and rushing: "I believe they were prepared. Before I passed, their rushers, the guys would just rush, clogging up the line and stuff like that. So, we can't make our reads and progress sometimes, but I believe we left some plays out there on that field because if I would have thrown a better pass to [Rashod] Bateman in that end zone, that would have been a touchdown. So, I'm [ticked] off about that as well, but we got the 'dub.' We clinched the playoffs, so I'm happy a little bit about that."

On if TE Isaiah Likely is becoming a target for him like TE Mark Andrews with the amount of catches he's made in the last few weeks:"Mark [Andrews] and [Isaiah] Likely are two different players. But both of them bring greatness to the game, and we already knew what Likely was capable of. But nobody is like Mark, and nobody's like Likely."

On how it feels to reach the playoffs and also the Ravens fans chanting MVP to him as he came off the field:"First of all, Flock Nation was in the building. I should have [already] shouted the fans out. They were wonderful tonight for us. I didn't know we clinched the playoffs. I'm just trying to win. I'm trying to get there. I'm trying to win a game at a time, but I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for the opportunity."

On how everyone on the offense has stepped up in TE Mark Andrews' absence: "We've had those guys. We have [Rashod] Bateman, [and] Bateman is that guy. We have Odell [Beckham Jr.], he's that guy. Zay [Flowers] is that guy. 'Nelly' [Nelson Agholor] is that guy. We have guys who are going to step up. They just need an opportunity, that's all."

On how tough it was to see RB Keaton Mitchell go down with an injury and what's the mood of the team:"That was very tough. I believe [Keaton Mitchell's run] was going to be a touchdown. He's lights out. He was just starting to get started, so that's tough to see. My thoughts and prayers are with him because he's a guy. That was a crazy injury."

On what it says about this team to defeat Jacksonville with a double-digit victory at their place on Sunday night:"I believe we're just getting started, but that was a tough team. That was a great team that we just played. We can't downplay what was going on out there on that field even though, like you said, it was double-digit score. But that was a tough team. Things just don't happen like that in the league, so you have to be prepared each and every drive; each and every play. You have to stay focused, and I believe both teams were."


On his big catch from QB Lamar Jackson:"I [saw] Lamar [Jackson] getting ready to throw the ball, and [I was like], 'I have to come down with this.'"

On how he's felt the entire offense has stepped up in TE Mark Andrew's absence:"Really just having the one-play mentality, being where your feet are and just trying to fill the void, like you said. [We're] just going by every day [and] really just being ready when the game comes."

On if it took time to learn to keep moving when QB Lamar Jackson is scrambling: "Yes, for sure. That's just repetition [and more] repetition. I feel like now, I have a good idea of where [Lamar Jackson] is going to be most of the time when he's back there being Lamar."

On if the play is never dead with QB Lamar Jackson: "Never ever. You all [saw] it when [Lamar Jackson] threw the ball. I didn't even know he broke three tackles before he threw the ball before seeing the video. That's just Lamar. [He can] make it happen when nothing is there."

On what's going through his head as two defenders were closing in on him as the ball was in the air:"I didn't see the one [defender] behind me, but the golden rule is if you wave your hand trying to get the quarterbacks attention, you have to come down with the ball. So, that's definitely what went through my head."

On if that's two weeks in a row waiving down QB Lamar Jackson:"Yes." (laughter)

On the feeling in the huddle when the run game started going and if they got the feeling that they were breaking the defense down: "Yes. The emphasis was really just [having] that one-play mentality [and not] to always look for the homerun shot. We knew they were a good team, and we knew that it was going to take all four quarters, so we [really] just [were] staying true to who we [are], and it ended up working in our favor."

On what making contested, gritty catches means for himself and the offense: "It just puts [less] stress on Lamar [Jackson] to be able to throw it in those tight windows, still, and really just be able to still have that outlet when the going gets rough."


On what it means to make history tonight with a half-sack in 11 consecutive games:"I don't think it [has] really hit me yet. It feels good. It feels good, especially when we get the win with it. I'm just out there just trying to make plays [and] help my team win. That's just what the bottom line is, and I'm glad both happened. We got a win, but [I give] all glory to God, honestly. Just hard work in the offseason, just a lot of sacrifices being made [are] just paying off. This [isn't over]. We [aren't] done yet."

On the sideline conversation with teammates after his sack: "[There were] a lot of conversations, so I don't know which one you want me to take about. Everybody was just congratulating me [and] telling me how proud they [are] of me just playing plays. I was hyped up, man. I was hyped up because we were winning, and people were making plays [like] 'Art' [Arthur Maulet], myself, 'Marlo' [Marlon Humphrey], 'B-Steve' [Brandon Stephens]. Everybody was just making plays, so [it was] a great team win, honestly."

On what the streak feels like emotionally and if it's hard to wrap his mind around:"Kind of, but every game I tell myself, 'I'm just trying to get back there at least one time.' Then, after one time, I want to get there again and again and again and again. Hard work pays off, and I'm not done yet."

On what it means for the Ravens to clinch a playoff spot tonight: "Huge. That's the expectation, honestly. We go out every game with the intention to win. That's what we did today, and we're going to the playoffs. I know everybody is happy about that, but [the] job is not finished though. We have a next opponent, so we're going to celebrate this for 24 [hours] and then, get back to work, honestly."

On what it means to be in the company of some great players like DE Jared Allen and DT Chris Jones who share his sack streak record: "It's huge. Those are guys that I watch film on. When I was a rookie, when I was [in my] second year [and] even my third year, I watched film on [them]. I wanted to just keep elevating my game every year, and it's showing now. [The face that] I'm in the conversation with those guys is huge. It just makes me more hungry to want to stay there. It makes me more hungry to want to keep working harder. My mom was texting me [and] calling me [saying], 'Congratulations.' I was like, 'No mom, this is [just] the beginning.' I love this game, and I love playing with these guys. I love this team. It's great."

On if Kansas City Chiefs DT Chris Jones is who he watches film on:"Chris [Jones], Aaron Donald, obviously, Fletcher Cox a little bit – just a lot of guys. All the guys do different things well, and I just try to emulate them and put my little spin on it and try to create my own [path]."

On if playing the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football next week has crossed his mind yet, or if he is giving this game the 24-hour rule: "[I'm giving it the] 24-hour rule like he just said [until] the next game. I didn't even know who we were playing, but the [San Francisco] 49ers. Yes. They're a good team. They have one of the best backs in the league [in Christian McCaffrey]. [They have] a good quarterback [in Brock Purdy]. I'm excited for it. I know you're excited for it, too. It's going to be a great game."


On what clinching a playoff berth means for the team:"It's big time. That's the vision starting at the beginning of the year – [to] win the division [and] make the playoffs. We're just getting started. We're happy about it, but we're not satisfied."

On if he knew that if they won the game they would clinch a spot in the playoffs:"I'm pretty locked in all the time. [I'm] just thinking 1-0 for each and every week. Obviously, I had friends and family that say things to me like, 'If you guys win, you guys are in the playoffs.' I hear that, but it's big time. [I] love being in the playoffs, but that's part of it. We're not done."

On how the defense bowed up in red zone situations:"I think that's what we do – bend and don't break. The biggest thing in this game is not yards. It's about how many points you score, because that's what wins games. You can go out there and run for 500 yards, throw for 300 and then you score three points. What good is that? [I'm] just thinking about it from that perspective. Us as a defense – we bend [and] don't break. We just try to impose our will on people week in and week out. Obviously, those guys … I heard their little motto this week was, 'Be the bully' or something like that. I overheard that saying that they wanted to be a bully. That was their thing this week. Hey, I guess the bully gets hit in the mouth sometimes. How do they respond? It was a great team win."

On if last season's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars was brought up in the meeting rooms during preparation for the game and if that stuck in his crawl:"Honestly, it didn't have to be discussed in the meeting room. I think amongst ourselves, each and every guy including the coaches, knew everything that was at stake. We knew we didn't finish the game last year, but that's a whole different year than this year and a whole different team the way we wanted to. For the guys that were on the team [then for] some of us, it was definitely personal. We came in to their house, and we got the job done."

On if he was able to see QB Lamar Jackson escape pressure on offense when he was on the sideline:"Yes, it's pretty unique. I'm like, 'I'm glad [Lamar Jackson's] on my team.' I'll say that, at least. Some of the things the guy does, he's the only one that's doing it. Some of the things he gets himself out of or get the team out of, that just goes to show he put it on his back, put the city [of Baltimore] on his back [and] the team on his back, and [said], 'Let's go.' We're all about it."

On if the defense celebrated with DT Justin Madubuike after setting his sack-streak record and what makes Madubuike so special as a rusher: "Honestly, I had no idea about it until we were in the locker room when 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] just mentioned it. 'Buikes' [Justin Madubuike] – we kick it all during the week. [With] the way he works throughout the week – even out of the building – I'm just so proud of the guy. The guy just puts his head down and doesn't really say a lot. [He] busts his tail day in and day out. You can't do anything but respect him, and I think the guy can do it all. If you're running gang [stunts] with him, he's elite. If you just want him to rush the passer, he can do that. [In the] run game, the guy can strike blockers, guards – whatever the case may be. He's shredded. Have you ever seen the guy with his shirt off? The guy looks like a wild animal. I wish I looked like that." (laughter) "He's shredded, and I see why he's able to do some of the things he does. I'm just proud to be his teammate."

On if S Kyle Hamilton showed him anything about his toughness this week: "I have the utmost respect for Kyle [Hamilton]. That guy is a warrior. The way he came up there and everything he's been going through this season and just the way he forgot about it all and just said, 'Hey, I'm going to put it all on the line for us.' When you think about that, that's the ultimate teammate that you want in the locker room – a guy that's willing to sacrifice himself for the betterment of the team, knowing if he was good enough to go, he was going to go. I'm just proud of him, and he's a tough guy. That's how they raise them down in Georgia." (laughter)

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