Half-Time Quotes: Preseason vs. Vikings

BALTIMORE RAVENS

HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH

(Opening Statement)

"It's good to be in the stadium for the first time and see our crowd for the first time. It was fun to be a Raven for the first time. There are a lot more good times to come."

(On the play of the quarterbacks)

"I think they had some good moments. I think they had some not-so-good moments and opportunities to learn. In a game like this, I think both of them showed that they could move the football in this league.

(On separation between the quarterbacks)

"It's hard to say what kind of separation there was or wasn't. I know coaches say that all the time and everybody goes, 'You got to look at the tape and then worry about making decisions.'"

(On which QB will start the next preseason game)

"We haven't decided that yet."

(On if RB Ray Rice can win the starting tailback job)

"We've got two tailbacks that we know can play in this league and get yards for us. Right now it's Willis (McGahee). Willis is healthy, he's ready to go, he's our starter, but both those guys will play. But he (Rice) played like a starter, if that's what you're asking. No question about it."

(On evaluating individual players)

"There are a lot of guys flying around out there now. You have snapshots of different plays, but I don't want to characterize anyone's play before you see the whole."

(On if he can evaluate the defense with so many starters out)

"I think what you take out of it is an opportunity to learn and get better. The reality for a game like this is that it's a camp game and when you're at camp, we're playing a football game. We've got guys holding out, guys who are out, guys who are coming into camp and they're not fresh. We need to take the things we can improve on and get better."

(On QB Joe Flacco)

"I thought he did a nice job. He started off, held on to the ball in the pocket, threw a couple nice shots, threw it in play at the end of the game. Those were all things he was telling me in the locker room right now. That's the kind of guy he is. That kind of excites you as a coach."

(On if he was familiar with Vikings' head coach Brad Childress' play calling)

"Brad has a powerful offensive line, two great running backs and a quarterback that can move around in the pocket. It's not surprising to see what he does. They've got a physical football team. I think you see after three years of putting that program together, it's starting to come together."

(On the Vikings' first touchdown)

"There was miscommunication on the coverage. That's something that gets worked on at training camp."

(On the turnovers in the preseason)

"Turnovers concern you all the time. Every turnover in games, every turnover in practice concerns you. No turnovers mean you have a good chance to win a football game. One turnover, two turnovers, it lessens."

(On if QB Joe Flacco will start in regular season)

"I think Troy (Smith) and Kyle (Boller), by the basis of practice so far have separated themselves from Joe in terms of being ready to line up and win a football game for us at this level. Not to say it couldn't happen, but right now they've moved ahead."

QB TROY SMITH

(On his individual overall performance)

"It was alright, it can definitely get better. There are some areas on the field where my passing game can get better. I can still get better. Especially towards the end of the half, it was totally my fault… I'm not trying to say I was greedy but I was just trying to get a guy another play and I should have went elsewhere."

(On RB Ray Rice)

"Its incredible. Ray Rice is an incredible tailback in this league and he is going to put his mark down. He is obviously a guy who can work hard and can continue to be positive. He is going to start enjoying the fruits of his labor."

(On the home crowd)

"They are incredible. The fans stuck with us all the way through it. We didn't get a win today. We wanted to win. Minnesota did some great things today and you've got to compliment them for that. We just have to go out there and get better."

G BEN GRUBBS

(On establishing the run)

"I think we had some great plays, obviously there is a lot of stuff that we can get better at. I think we took a step forward tonight."

(On RB Ray Rice's 42-yard run)

"We just put an emphasis on the run game in particular on a few plays. That was one of the plays. I think we executed well."

(On the offensive line's communication)

"It's getting better. We have a long way to go. It's a transition with our tackles being hurt. Of course it messes with the communication. We are working on trying to get better."

(On where the offense needs to improve)

"It's finishing, just finishing drives. There were key third downs that we could have converted and we didn't take advantage of it. We started but we didn't quite finish them, we just have to work on that."

S Haruki Nakamura

(On the differences between the first and second game)

"I think that the experience of the first game definitely helped us out a lot but as young guys, we still have a lot to learn. That's something that comes with experience. It's learning pains. Next week we are going to get better. Each week we will continue to grow and get better as a team."

(On how the team has improved since last game)

"Things slowed down a lot. I think that's the first thing I noticed, and a big difference for us. It was mostly because we had a little more confidence in knowing what we had to do. It's just one of those things where each week we will continue to learn something new and grow from there."

(On his play during the game)

"I feel like I made some big plays on special teams, but there's a lot of areas where I can still improve. That just comes with growing pains and it will be something that I will continue to have to work on myself."

CB DERRICK MARTIN

(On his interception)

"Maybe I made a play to get a job. I'm always thinking that. Anytime you make a play, there's always somebody watching. So, you know that you have to make the plays to stay out there and I made some big plays so I'm hoping that lets me stay out here."

(On how the team has improved since last game)

"There's a lot more communication. I mean, I really can't speak for the first game but they're doing a great job. When I'm out there with Tom Zbikowski and Haruki (Nakamura), they are doing a great job as young guys. They are telling me what they have and what I have. We have been able to take that and implement that on the field."

(On teammate Haruki Nakamura's play)

"Oh man, Haruki is all over the field right now. You see him flying around. I mean, it's all about communication. He's been able to talk to us, and get everybody in the game. He lets you know when he has your help and when he doesn't, which lets you play to the best of your abilities also."

(On his play during preseason)

"I'm where I want to be heading into the third preseason game. I still have things I want to work on. I still have things I need to tune up before the season starts. That's just my goal in the next game for me. It's not to the season yet. I'm just worried about tomorrow and when the season comes it will come."

S DAWAN LANDRY

(On the Vikings offense)

"They just came out, they ran the ball and they did play action passes. They converted on the third down when we needed to get off the field, and we didn't get off the field."

(On his performance)

"I just was around the ball. I was close to the ball. I played coverage. When the plays came my way, I just made the plays."

(On Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson)

"We got pressure and the guy got out of the pocket a couple of times and made a couple of runs and scrambled around."

(On where the defense can improve)

"Secondary wise we just need to focus on our communication. We gave them two touchdowns, one in the first quarter on miscommunication and in the second quarter with miscommunication."

RB RAY RICE

(On playing with the first team)

"When you get in that huddle, you're the starter then and you've got to play like you're the starter. You have to come out there and do the best you can and put the team in the position to score. We'll have a successful drive. That's the thing, being in the huddle with veterans like Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton and Troy Smith and big offensive lineman, is pushing me along. I'm just out there playing and doing my best."

(On the long run)

"It was designed to move the linebackers and my running backs coach tells me all the time, you've got to move your linebackers in order to score or cut back and hit it the way I did. I think they had a bust in the defense, but my being able to move the linebackers is all about timing."

(On his first home game and fan support)

"Oh man, every experience I go through is new to me. Last week was my first NFL experience, even being in an NFL stadium playing in my first snap. This is my first time playing in front of the Ravens fans and I knew they were going to support me. My family came for the game so there were a lot of things going for me this game; it's always great to see my Mom out there. She's my biggest fan. Getting that touchdown at home and with my family meant a lot to me too."

BART SCOTT

(On the team)

"You've got to go into the season optimistic. Hopefully we can get into this thing healthy and make a run. I think there's some good things and a lot of mistakes that we can…correct and move forward.

(On the game, and the success of Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson)

"He made some good plays out there. He caught us in Cover-5. He made some great plays and we just learn from it. We're not in their division. He fared well, I think, controlling the ball, and we've got to get off the field on third and long."

(On defensive communication issues)

"Communication is communication. (It's) always the key. We had some miscues on a couple of things. We'll get that corrected. It's still camp. We're still getting the kinks out."

WR DERRICK MASON

(On tonight's game)

"It was one of those, I guess, kind of a transition game... leaving camp, trying to finalize things down in Westminster, guys coming back here and just trying to re-focus. But I think, all in all, we played hard today and we let them get up early on us. We came out (on) the first drive and did well. We let them get up early on us. The second and third unit and the fourth unit, they fought back hard and made it a game again."

(On QB Joe Flacco)

"I think he did a good job. As a rookie quarterback, you're going to have those moments in a game where (everything) seems like it's kind of flying by you real fast. But he settled down, got into a rhythm…and was able to get it down the field. I think, all in all, he did pretty good."

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

HEAD COACH BRAD CHILDRESS

(Opening statement)

"(There were) some good things and some correctable things. It's good to see those young guys in a two-minute situation there at the end, and having an opportunity to get a stop. I just thought it was important in the second half that the young guys played the game fast, and they weren't tentative. I saw some guy put some good rushes on the passer, saw some good things on the special teams, guys made some big hits, and there's plenty to work on. Maybe the defense can start a little bit faster. You don't want that one series, trying to wrap up, we got two weeks in a row. We'll adjust that. Offensively, I thought the ones were in there, and when Gus (Frerotte) came in there and finished, I thought they did some good things when they faced the blitz. Tarvaris (Jackson), while he was in there, I thought was sharp."

(On Tarvaris Jackson's injury)

"He just banged his knee…we're calling it a contusion right now. We had the opportunity to keep him in the second half and keep the swelling down, and we started that process right away. We'll see how he responds tomorrow morning. He played for two plays after that. There's a chance he could have (come back if it was a regular season game). You want to always be able to protect yourself. That's always a litmus test for us."

(On the play of John David Booty and if it's part of a learning cycle)

"You hope so. I don't want him to struggle on and have them run back balls for six points. That can be your undoing, and he's got to do a better job of taking care of the football. That was our one turnover and obviously, it was responsible for seven of their points."

QB GUS FREROTTE

(On playing for the Vikings)

"I'm really excited to be here. We have a good team and a lot of weapons on offense. It's going to be a really good season."

(On tonight's performance)

"I went in a little bit earlier than I expected. I just went in and felt pretty comfortable. When you go in with those guys you just have to step up. It's just like the regular season. When you're the backup, you have to be ready to come in at any point in the game and let it rip at anytime. It was a good situation for me to come in and go against this defense. It showed how well our line does and how well our special guys play."

(On the offensive line)

"You feel pretty comfortable as a QB but there are times when the defense gets to you. Those are the times where you have to step up and make the right decisions. For the most part those guys were solid, and you feel like you can stand in there and make some plays."

CB BRANDON SUMRALL

(On the interception)

"I ran the route. I just went after the ball. I made a good play on the ball and I have to give thanks to my teammates. The defensive linemen made a rush for them to throw and I came in with the pick."

(On the defense)

"We did well. There are some details we have to iron out, but overall I think we did pretty well."

(On his role on the team)

"I am just coming in trying to play a role. Just make the team. Just coming in working hard everyday and what God has planned for me, that is what is going to happen."

RB ADRIAN PETERSON

(On tonight's performance)

"I think I did alright. I got better after I got a couple more snaps. There are some things I can sharpen up on."

(On the season overall so far)

"I'm feeling pretty good. I'm going to take it one week at a time and keep improving."

(on Tarvaris Jackson's injury)

"While he was running I was like 'go down, go down, go down,' but I know his mentality. That's how he plays - all out."

(On working with RB Chester Taylor)

"We like the things that we did. We know that we can come out and set the tempo. We are just going to continue to do that."

LB EJ HENDERSON

(On the defense)

"I think we came out kind of flat. We gave up that first drive and then got ourselves together and just gave up seven points. That's all you can ask."

(On the addition of DE Jared Allen on the defensive line)

"I can't be happier. I mean I feel good back there. If I can't do what I do with him in front of me, something is wrong with me. I am happy with the guys we've got in front and I'm happy with the guys behind them. We should be alright."

(On the upcoming season)

"We feel pretty good. We have a tough match next week against the Steelers. We'll probably play the first half and a couple of series so we'll see how we look then. "

(On the future match-ups with the Packers)

"I think they are a different team with Brett, that's not to take anything away from Aaron Rogers, but you know Brett Favre is Brett Favre. Hopefully we'll come out ahead and beat them on Monday night."

DL JARED ALLEN

(On playing for the Vikings)

"I'm lovin it. These are a great bunch of guys and everybody works hard, and everybody cares about each other as a football player. You can't ask for a much better situation."

(On the Vikings defensive line)

"I'm excited about it. It's great to be able to play with these guys. Every time we got out there we have a blast."

(On leading the league in sacks again)

"That's my goal every year. Whatever it takes to do that and whatever it takes to win games is what I'm all about."

WR MARTIN NANCE

(On his TD catch)

"It was just kind of a read play. Tarvaris (Jackson) did a great job of finding me in the back of the end zone behind the safety. We kind of got the look that we wanted and it was a good connection."

(On being the go-to guy)

"My future is whatever they need me to be. With Bernard (Berrian) kind of resting today it gave some other guys the opportunity to step up and try to do the best we could."

(On the long sideline reception)

"That was all because of the offensive line. Great play action, and Gus (Frerotte) just put the ball up and gave me a chance to make a play. That's my responsibility to go up and make a play."

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