BALTIMORE RAVENS TRANSCRIPTS
TE Todd Heap
On how QB Joe Flacco might handle his first road start on Monday Night Football:"There's no question, Joe is well-equipped to handle this. Granted, it is Pittsburgh. It's different than he's, than we've, seen to this point. But, I think his level head, the way he handles things, I think with his personality – he's handled everything great to this point and I don't expect anything different this week."
On the next steps for the offense:"The next step is exactly what it is – it's the next game and it's trying to get a win. That's the bottom line when it comes down to it. Obviously, there are things we can improve on; there are things we can get better at. Those are all the things that we plan on doing this week and plan on getting better at. But, no matter how it all ends up, or no matter how it turns out, we want to get the win. That's the bottom line."
On if he feels the offense has yet to scratch the surface of its potential:"Oh no question, no question. Obviously, we're building toward something that's a lot better than where we're at right now. And we can see it, but you know, we have to go out and execute on Sundays, this week on Monday. But we've done some good things, and you can see on film that we've come out and done some things that we've been trying to get accomplished. But, we haven't been great, yet. We haven't accomplished what we want to yet."
On what he thinks about playing on a Monday night in Pittsburgh:"It's going to be loud. You know what? Monday night is just a different atmosphere, let alone in Pittsburgh. We know what to expect going in there, we know how loud it's going to be, we know what we're going to hear out there. Those things are all expected. Not too much is going to surprise us in that respect. So now, it's just time to go out and play football."
On if playing on Monday night is different in Pittsburgh than other places:"I think Monday holds its own. I don't think it's going to be too much different. Obviously, Pittsburgh's a divisional opponent; it's our rival, so we've got to treat it like that."
On if last season's Monday night game against Pittsburgh was lopsided due to Ravens injuries:"Oh no question. It was lopsided last year, and we obviously don't expect it to be that way this year. We're expecting different things, a different outcome."
On how the team has changed since that game:"That's the thing, too. We're two different teams; we're in a different place right now. We have a whole different coaching staff, different mindset. So, I'm excited to go see how this new team and this new coaching staff, how we go in and approach them. I'm excited to see how we go out and handle all this."
On if this game against Pittsburgh is a statement-making game:"I don't know if we look at it like that, but I think the fact that it is a divisional opponent, the fact that it is the next game, the fact that we have an opportunity to go 3-0, I think those are the things we're focusing on. Statements are going to get made by your record, by how you play on the field. So, we're not too worried about going out and making statements. We're worried about taking care of our jobs, and that will take care of itself."
On how playing against the Ravens' defense in practice helps the offense prepare for the Pittsburgh defense:"They do a lot of similar things. We know Pittsburgh runs that 3-4 and they have guys flying all over the place with [Troy] Polamalu. You don't know where he's going to be. But, we've been prepared for that. That's what we go against every day, and all offseason we've gone against it. We see a lot of similar looks, so it's something that we're prepared for. We're prepared for a lot of different things they can throw at us, and obviously going against our guys is only going to be a benefit to us."
On if he has ever worked with a quarterback who has been so laid-back early in his career like Flacco:"No. Definitely, Joe is, he's a different personality than any quarterback I've played with to this point in my career. I mean, going back to as far as I can remember. I see a bright future for him. He's shown that he's capable of doing some really good things. He's just got that calmness about him, he's got a good head on his shoulders and he takes everything in stride. He doesn't let, you know, the lows get him down. He just kind of brushes them off his back and goes to the next play. It's good to have a quarterback back there who doesn't let anything faze him."
S Dawan Landry
On how his recovery is progressing:"Progress is going real well right now. Blessings have been asked. I want to thank all the fans, my teammates, the whole Ravens organization, the Browns and everybody for helping me through this process right now. It's truly a blessing."
On how scary the injury was:"It was really scary. That was my first time every being really injured. At the time, I couldn't feel anything. I could talk, though, and felt my toes a little bit. I knew I'd be fine eventually, so it was a blessing."
On when he knew he would be OK:"By the time I got on the stretcher and I got to the ambulance, my feeling was starting to come back slowly. I knew I'd be OK."
On whether he was awake and alert the entire time:"Yes."
On how long he'll wear a neck brace:"Another week, then I'll go back to the doctor next week. Then, I'll start to be able to rehab and things like that."
On if he will have to strengthen his neck before he plays again:"It's up in the air. [I'm] just taking it day by day."
DT Haloti Ngata
On facing Steelers rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall:"We're just getting ready to play the Steelers. They're a physical team, and they're going to try to get some holes for him to run though. So, we're just getting ready for the game."
On whether never having faced Mendenhall will make playing against him tougher:"No, because I basically just play off O-linemen and try to get to the running back. Hopefully, we can just close those holes and tackle him."
On Pittsburgh's offensive line:"They have Chris Kemoeatu in there, and they have a new center [Justin Hartwig]. They look the same, pretty much, because they're physical, big and strong. So, they're pretty much the same."
On if he was surprised at the number of times QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked on Sunday:"Yeah, because usually the O-linemen do pretty well picking up blitzes and stuff. But hopefully, we can just do the same thing."
On playing on the Monday night stage:"It's just pretty much a divisional game. We want to get the lead in the division and hopefully get a win. We're just playing Pittsburgh, pretty much. We don't really think of it as a big Monday night game. It's pretty much just a divisional game."
DE Trevor Pryce
On the Steelers' brand of football:"Playing them when I was in Denver, you kind of know who they are. It's a smash-mouth football team. I don't think it has much to do with the rivalry. It's [that] they have a game to play, we have a game to play, and neither of us will be talking about the game."
On if he is eager to go after QB Ben Roethlisberger after he was sacked nine times by the Eagles:"No, because he's not going to get hit like that again. Whatever they were going through, they'll fix it. I think Philly kind of caught them off-guard. He won't catch anybody off-guard."
On why Roethlisberger is tough to sack:"His strength makes him hard to sack. He's bigger than I am, and that makes him not so much slippery, but like trying to tackle the stationary tackling dummy. You're going to bounce off it. He's a big, strong dude. He should have been playing defense, quite honestly. It's hard to get him down. He only goes down when it's the last viable option. If there's nothing else available, he'll let you lay him on the ground. But, you're not going to tackle him. He's too big and strong."
On expecting the Steelers to do more to protect Roethlisberger:"Yes. You can expect a lot of things, like getting rid of the ball quicker. You can expect them to be sharper. That game might have gotten them back on track, which is like, 'Oh man, are you serious?' I don't know what to expect. We really don't have any idea, so we'll see after the first series what they're going to do. It's like, there are 11 players and only one ball, so what more can they do?"
On trying to strip rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall because of his preseason fumbles:"You don't [focus on it], because if you [try to] strip the ball, you miss tackles. Strips are a by-product of effort, so don't go in there and try to rip the ball from the kid, because he won't fumble the ball."
LB Bart Scott
On his rivalry with Steelers WR Hines Ward:"What are you talking about? I don't have a rivalry with anybody. Just trying to get up for a football game and get a 'W.' Need a 'W.' You got a 'W?'"
On the locker room being somewhat low-key:"Chill mode. It's early in the season. We've got a long season to go. It's an important football game, obviously, and our one opportunity to showcase ourselves on Monday Night Football. It's an opportunity to get out there and play and try to get a 'W.'"
On what the game means to the players:"It's a division football game, so they count more than just the typical win. So, you try and win your division."
On whether there's any element of payback in this game:"We just want to get an opportunity to get a 'W' and to be 3-0 in the division, which is a good thing to be. You can try to take control of your division if you're 3-0 in your division."
On if the No. 1 defense in the league still has room for improvement:"We're still leaving a lot of plays out there, and we're still trying to get better. We can always get better and execute. Last week, we allowed the ball to be moved on us a little bit early in the first half. A lot of those were self-inflicted wounds, so we want to tighten that type of stuff up because that'll come back to bite you."
On the experience younger players gained last season against the Steelers:"Last year, those games gave an opportunity for a lot of young guys to grow up and to learn and give us tremendous depth this year – guys like Derrick Martin. Guys who played in those games, you can see the maturity process from the first game that we had on Monday night to the second game. Some of those same players that we had breakdowns with made plays to win that game last year. I think it afforded us the opportunity to let our young guys get experience and make us a deeper team."
On whether he will try to get under the skin of rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall:"That doesn't matter. Whoever is back there with the football, my job is to destroy him, and that's what I'm going out to do."
On what the Steelers' offense looks like without RB Willie Parker:"I haven't really seen them without Willie Parker for a long time, since Jerome [Bettis] was back there. They're going to do what they do. They're going to try to come out and establish the run, and that pretty much sets everything else up. Our job is to try and make them one-dimensional."
On if he was surprised at how many times the Eagles sacked Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger last Sunday:"The Eagles have a tremendous coordinator [Jim Johnson], and he comes up with some creative ways to get pressure on the quarterback. I think they were effective. So, no, because they're that type of defense."
On Roethlisberger:"He really owes us some money for his career (laughing). We got Tommy Maddox out of there, and he was born. So, he really owes me some of that hundred million. Holler at me, Ben."
On whether the defense naturally goes harder after a rookie like Mendenhall:"I mean, it's a rookie, so he doesn't have that experience. But I'm sure some guys came in thinking the same thing about our rookies, and our rookies have fared well. Just because you're a rookie doesn't mean you can't make big plays. You still have to respect them as NFL football players."
On if he expects the Steelers to try to confuse QB Joe Flacco:"Well, they may try to pin their ears back and confuse him and be complex. We just have to execute."
On whether he will exchange pleasantries with Ward:"If I would, why would I tell you something like that? You've just got to ask the question, huh? No, I'm going out there to try to win a football game. All that other stuff is whatever."
On what he thinks of Ward:"I think he does some tremendous things. I was really impressed with what he did, bringing those kids over from Asia last year. I watched a [TV] special. I think that was heartfelt. You know, football is a totally different thing. I don't care if my mother was out there – I'd smack her around, too. It's football. It doesn't matter. If she had a different jersey on, she's got to get dealt with."
On the rivalry between the Ravens and Steelers:"I think it's a mirror image of two teams that are very physical. Whenever you've got two rams butting heads, of course there's going to be some animosity because we're pretty much built the same way. I mean, we know it's going to be a man's day. It's going to be a physical day. The best team – the team that comes out and makes a couple big plays and lays the wood the hardest – usually wins the game. Simple mission."