BALTIMORE RAVENS TRANSCRIPTS
Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan
On facing the Giants' rushing attack:"We've shown we can stop [the run] for 10 years, so we'll see what happens. But it's the defending world champs, so it's a great challenge for us, and we'll see what happens."
On defending Giants WR Plaxico Burress:"Obviously, he's a tremendous receiver and it's a guy that they really go to. It's hard to match up size-wise with him, but we've got a few things for him. Every now and then, shoot, you're going to be matched up one-on-one with a corner, and we'll see what happens. But it will be a big challenge for us."
On the football they play in the NFC East and memories of it from when his father was there:"Oh it was great. Back then they had, I mean, golly, had Dallas winning all those Super Bowls back then. If not Dallas then Washington, if not Washington then the Giants. The only one that never won was Philly, but they won the division twice. But those are some… You talk about the 'black and blue' division of the NFC Central, but I think in those times, clearly, it had shifted to the NFC East."
On how he would characterize how the NFC East plays football now:"Right now? I was saying back in those days, the 'black and blue' division. Everybody's built on, 'You have to be able to run the ball and defend it.' And I think when you look at all those teams, they're kind of built that way. It's great. You look at the Giants' running attack, that's Bill Cowher running. When [Kevin] Gilbride was in Pittsburgh, it's the same rushing attack back then. Take that Bill Cowher rushing attack, send it over to the Giants, and they're running the same plays. That's been an excellent run offense for a number of years, and it still is, obviously, right now."
On if practicing against the Ravens' running attack is a mirror image to what they'll face against the Giants:"No, not really because we can put a tackle out there for [Brandon] Jacobs or something. It is what it is. They've got three good backs. Their offensive line does a great job. We'll see what happens."
On the motivational factors going into this game, like a chance to be 7-3, facing the defending Super Bowl champs and being called the underdog:"They've been calling us the underdogs for a lot longer than this one game. We're excited to get an opportunity to play anybody. The fact that they're the world champs, there probably is a little extra juice or something, but really it shouldn't be that way. Each week is an opportunity for us to go out and compete, and see how we match up with people. We want to get to the playoffs, and you've got to beat good teams, and you've got to beat good teams on the road to do that."
On if he sees similarities between Eli and Peyton Manning:"Yeah, I see the same similarities. You see some in the mannerisms, things like that. The fact that they've both won Super Bowls probably speaks volumes. You know, it's kind of like the Ryan brothers. You're going to get one defense this way… There are some differences, things like that. I'd say Peyton is more like me, and my brother's more like Eli. But Eli Manning is a hell of a quarterback in his own right. But again, hey – this is another opponent, bring it on, and let's see what happens."
On how far Eli Manning has come since the last time he played the Ravens in 2004:"I really don't care how far he's come. Obviously, he has come a long way since he won the Super Bowl, and he's done a good job. It's a heck of a football team. But I really haven't noticed how far he's come and all that stuff. We're just worried about… We're not even worried; I guess that's the wrong word. We're just excited about this opportunity Sunday, and we'll see what happens."
Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron
Opening statement:"I think Rex [Ryan] said it perfectly. It's just an exciting opportunity for us. It's a big game against a very good football team, and they have a great environment to play in. I know our guys are excited to play."
On the Giants' front seven and their ability to get after the quarterback:"When you look at the two guys that they lost from last year, and now they're leading the league in sacks… Obviously, it starts with their front seven, but I think the key is the way they play collectively as a defense. The back end helps the front end by making them hold the ball. The front end can then give pressure and make the ball come out quicker than they want it to. And they're not afraid to blitz every guy. That's the thing. They'll drop every guy, and they'll blitz every guy. I think if you look at it, at some point in time, every one of their guys can either come [rush the quarterback] and every one of their guys can drop. So we've got to be sharp."
On whether he thinks WR Derrick Mason will be able to play Sunday:"Well, he's one of the toughest guys I've been around. You guys have seen that. You saw what he did in the second half the other day. I don't think there's anything Derrick could do that would surprise me from a toughness standpoint, so we're just going to wait and see what happens."
On if this is another level for QB Joe Flacco to rise to:"I think every week – for, really, any quarterback, but especially a young quarterback – is just another step in his development. It doesn't get easier. People are more familiar with him, but the good news is he's getting more familiar with NFL defenses. But this would be a test for any quarterback. I think Joe's approach is sound. It's solid. In his mind, it's football. He's approached it that way, and it's worked well for him, and I think he'll continue to do that."
On the impact of QBs coach Hue Jackson role on Flacco's development:"Tremendous. I think every quarterback, even going back to Kyle [Boller] before he got hurt, would tell you [about the importance of Jackson]. Starting in the spring, he does a tremendous job. He does more than just help coach the quarterbacks. Our entire offensive staff – and I know you guys have talked about this – we've got a tremendous offensive staff. I'm just a guy that's putting the whole thing together. I'm getting tremendous support from all our staff, and he's done a great job with the quarterbacks."
On whether he envisioned having someone different step up and have big numbers each week:"You don't always envision that, but you've got to be ready. You talk to your guys [about how], technically, you don't have starters and backups. You have starters and then the next starter. And you believe that because you've seen over the years guys come in and step in and do well. So we try to approach it that way. It's nice to see Yamon Figurs come in and step up, running backs by committee. Receivers now, it's almost by committee. The offensive line, guys are getting ready. I think that's a tribute to the players and to the guys that are coaching them, but that's what you have to have in the NFL to be successful."
On how having different players step up makes it more difficult for defenses to game-plan for them:"Each week brings different matchups, and maybe it gives you the ability to do some different things each week. The more flexibility that you have, we always tell the players, 'The more you can do, the better off you're going to be in the National Football League.'"
On how he knew that Figurs would break out last week:"You really, you never know. But then, you factor in the game plan, and then you tell him, 'Hey, we're going to push the ball to you.' And he about had a couple more. That could've been one of those games where he got behind them two or three times. So the game plan was kind of set up that way, but you see it in practice. I'm not a guy that really calls plays in games that haven't worked in practice, so you start to feel good about things based on how they look in practice. Then, I think, the players buy in when you play like you practice, and the same things will happen."
On who is next:"It'll be interesting to see. It might be Marcus Smith. It could be anybody."
On if it helps that Flacco feels like the field is looking smaller to him:"I just think that probably comes with just the more you play. Over time, you'd like to think the field becomes more defined and the speed of the game begins to slow down, but all that can change. It can change, but it's good to hear that. It doesn't surprise me. That kind of adds up to the way he's playing. It looks like that's happening."
Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
On what stands out about the Giants' special teams:"The Giants are a very deep and wide club. They're getting a lot of contributions from a lot of guys. They have a very solid corps. They've got some big linebackers that can run and are physical. They have a number of DBs that are also in the same fashion, that have some size and also are physical and have played a lot of special teams. They have some experience in the secondary there. But overall, I think the biggest thing that sets them apart is they're getting a lot of contributions from other people. The starters that are playing in phases, they sprinkle them around in there. It makes for a very deep team."
On what K Steve Hauschka's range is:"We shall see. I guess we never really know until we put him out there."
On if he thinks Hauschka could hit from beyond 54 yards:"Well, again, we'll have to find out when the time comes. You never really know until the time comes what that range is going to be. We'll keep giving him opportunities until he doesn't make it."
On telling Hauschka they needed a touchback on the final kickoff last Sunday:"Well, the last kickoff in that part of the game, you knew something was going to be up, as far as the opponent's concerned. They needed a big play, and we needed to shut them down to make sure that we ice the game. So I talked to him about trying to drive the ball and get more depth on it. The other factor was No. 12 [Jacoby Jones] went back there. He's a very dangerous returner, and we wanted to try to eliminate it. We were willing to sacrifice a little hang time for a little extra distance."
On whether he could say how long Hauschka has kicked a field goal from in practice:"No, I can't. I know, but I can't tell you because I don't want them to know."
On if he is happy with the hang time on Hauschka's kickoffs:"The hang time, I think, had a lot to do with our success in kickoff coverage last week. Like we like to say, it changed the map of the coverage because you had more time to get off the blocks. You had more time to see the whole scheme, and it's not on top of you quite as quickly. You not only had distance, but you did have the hang time. I think it really helped our guys."
On the diagnosis of K Matt Stover's missed 50-yard field goal:"What stood out was that it was like the one he missed [earlier this season]. I don't remember what game it was, but he missed one in a similar fashion at home one time. More than anything else, it was just a tempo situation. We got a little quick on it, and things just didn't work out right. Also, when you get into the 50-yard range, it's very common amongst kickers, you try to get a little extra push to the ball and you end up getting a little quick on your hips. I think that's what happened."