Opening statement:"Thanks for coming out. A couple things: First of all, the situation we find ourselves in is something we've been working really hard for. Since all the way back in April when we first got here, through the course of a season – like most teams have that are full of challenges and highs and lows – our guys have been fighting like crazy to get to the point where they have an opportunity to go to Pittsburgh. I think when we got the schedule, we saw that one on the schedule – the chance to go to Pittsburgh and then on to Cincinnati to try to win a division championship. They've earned the right to do that. We're fired up about it, and we can't wait to go play the game. Before that, to prepare for the game, we understand the challenge that's presented. Pittsburgh is playing great football. [It is a] great team – all phases – a very well coached, obviously, excellent playmakers, tough, hardnosed team, and we're looking forward to the challenge. But we feel like we're up to it.
"As far as the game goes from yesterday, [after] watching the tape, our guys played extremely hard. That's the thing that jumped off to me. We played extremely hard in all phases. There was a lot of determination. The plays were made, and the plays that needed to be made when they needed to be made were made. The things that we can do better we'll continue to go to work on. I thought the Eagles played really well. I didn't get a chance to say that yesterday. [They are] very well coached. [It was a] very tough game, very physical football game. We were coming off a short week with a physical football game Monday night the week before, and this is one of our most physical games that we've played. They played extremely well. The one thing we talked about yesterday, as far as that play call, in terms of the end of the game, I just feel like looking back at it, we want to be aggressive. We've hired aggressive coordinators. I've always been very aggressive, in terms of approaching the game, game-planning and going after victory and giving guys a chance to make plays and all of those kinds of things. That's something we're going to continue to do, and I want our guys to do that. I feel, in that situation, we probably got a little greedy. We wanted to tack one on right there. We should have played it a little bit more conservatively, but that's my responsibility to do that. That's not my aggressive play-caller's responsibility. I want our guys to be aggressive, and then I'll take the opportunity to pull them back when the time comes. The other thing about the game I thought was really valuable to note was the fourth-down stops. We talk about going for it on fourth down, and the Eagles have been very aggressive doing that all year. It was really a great job by our defense to get those fourth-down stops."
Now that you've had a chance to look at the film, was it easier to pinpoint why the Eagles had so much success running against you? (Joe Platania) "We understand why. Looking at the scheme and looking at the way we played the scheme, it was two plays. It was a stretch-zone, wide-zone scheme, and it was a take-two draw, we call it, a sprint-draw-type of a play. We know how to play those plays; we just have to play them better. We're capable. We were in the right fronts. We can play them better than we did."
**Going back to what you said yesterday, before you left, you called it one of the worst play calls ever. You said you could have vetoed it. There was a timeout before the play took place. With the conversation that took place there, did it ever enter your mind to veto it? *(Jerry Coleman) *"Like I said, we can hash it over. It's just not a good call. Should have vetoed it – didn't. Got a little greedy. It wasn't executed well either. I think Joe [Flacco] said that. I like what Joe said in the sense that he said something along the lines of, 'I have to take care of the football there.' He knows that. That's all of us together, and we have to work to do that. That's something that you don't want to do. You don't want to put yourself in a position to make it tougher than it needs to be."
Why did you call the timeout, by the way?* (Jerry Coleman)* "Play clock was running down."
**On the other side, it was one of the most efficient running games that you guys have had. What was working in the run game? *(Ryan Mink) *"The run game was working on offense. We did a good job of executing. I thought we blocked well. Our backs did a good job. When you play a front like that and a defense like that, it's going to be hard to come by those yards. That's a really good front. I would say their front four is as good as any in football – better than most everybody else. They're good. They're really good. They get after it out front. If you ask our offensive linemen, they'll tell you the same thing – very aggressive. You're going to have some negative yardage plays against them, which we had a few, but you also have an opportunity to pop some runs on them. I thought our offensive line did an excellent job – tight ends, backs running really well, broke some tackles, mostly a downhill run game. It was important for us to do that. We had a lot of yards. We needed to have a lot of yards, and it was good."
*John, you were strong in your criticism of your offensive coordinator yesterday, and then you had WR Mike Wallace on the sideline, and we all saw what was going on there. Are you concerned about the attitude of your offensive players and your coaching staff? *(Mike Preston) *"First of all, I would dispute the first part of the question, because that's not the case. That's exactly what I *didn't say. Secondly, we want guys that want to compete. That's what we're all about here. That's what we've always been about. We want hardnosed, tough guys that want to compete. I didn't see anything about what you're talking about. I didn't see it. [Senior vice president of public & community relations] Kevin [Byrne] told me about it just about 10 minutes ago. If [Wallace] slammed his helmet down after catching a 60-yard pass to put us into the red zone, he's probably pretty excited about the play. If all of those receivers want the ball, I want them to have the ball. I want them to have the ball, and I want them to make plays. I want them to block, and I want them all to want to win and to compete. It's an emotional game, and you better have emotional guys that like to play it, because it's a hard game to play."
How much do you relish this matchup with the Steelers and game-planning for this team every year? (Jordan Schatz)"We go against them twice a year. We have a lot of respect for them. Their coaching staff is excellent. They have a great head coach and great coordinators. [They have] great players, a great organization. We know each other really well, both sides. We respect them, and we look forward to it every time we play them."
What has been the key to T Ronnie Stanley playing so well? Is it just a matter of getting the opportunity to get healthy and kind of work off all of the rust that he had?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"Ronnie is a really good player, first of all; he is talented. He was the sixth pick in the draft for a reason. I think it is a credit to him that he is playing so well as a rookie. He is only going to get better. He is smart. He works very hard. He does not make the same mistake twice, usually. He can improve on things from one week to the next when you give him areas of improvement that you are kind of targeting. He does a good job of that."
Has having G Marshal Yanda move over to the left side helped T Ronnie Stanley at all? (Todd Karpovich)"That would be a good question for him [Stanley]. I think anytime you play next to Marshal Yanda, it is probably a positive for any player."
After you watched the tape, what did you think of how CB Shareece Wright played, stepping back in the starting lineup?* (Ryan Mink)*"I thought Shareece played well. He played [with] good discipline. He played fast. He was glued to his man the whole day, and that was in every coverage we had. I thought he played well. He had some tackles and played really hard. He did a good job. The whole secondary did."
What was your assessment of how WR/RS Chris Moore did as the primary kick returner? (Ed Lee) "He had a big return, and he made a mistake. It is probably what you talk about with a rookie. I thought the big return he had was really just good patience and good vision. He popped one for us there. Obviously, when you break out in the open as a young guy, you have to know you are going to get stripped when you get tackled from behind. I thought Marqueston Huff did a great job of tracking that thing and recovering that football; that was really big for us. Then, bringing the ball out of the end zone there was not something we wanted to do – on his first one – that was not the game plan. Those are just the decisions I think that he is going to have to do a great job of going forward, and we expect him to."
Did OLB Terrell Suggs get out of the game OK? I only ask because he declined talking to the media and said he had to go see the doctor. (Luke Jones)"I do not have him on the injury report at this time."
What is your status? (Jerry Coleman) "I have not coughed yet. (laughter) I apologize for that." (Note: Coach Harbaugh's post-game presser yesterday ended early because of constant coughing.)
What is the diagnosis? (Jerry Coleman) "I am going to make it. Are you OK with that?" *(laughter) (Reporter: "You won't be on the injury report?") *"I'll be out there on Sunday."
Can you talk about WR/RS Michael Campanaro back in there and getting the punt returns, and did you think he did well? (Bill West)"I thought he did a great job in terms of solid … He caught the one tough one there early. The crowd cheered; they were excited to see the punt caught. That was good. I thought he did a good job. He had the jet sweep where he made a huge play for us on that. Marty [Mornhinweg] had a couple of other things schemed up for him there. That was good, and he did a good job with it."
I don't know how much you diagnose the schedule when it comes out, but when you saw the last two games and they are at Pittsburgh and at Cincinnati, did you have an inkling that some way or another, how it finishes on the road was how your season would be determined, somewhat? (Jamison Hensley)"That was the goal, definitely that was the goal. When you saw the schedule come out, the goal was for those two games to be meaningful, for them to matter for the division championship however the way it goes, and there was a lot that goes into it to be able to do that. That was the idea, and I know personally, I am very excited to be in this position. I believe our players are, too."
How tough is it to finish with two on the road? You know how tough it is to win on the road, but what about to finish on the road against division rivals? (Jamison Hensley) "We are looking forward to it. We really are. We play them on the road and at home every year, and these are the two times we play them on the road, those two teams. They are great teams. They are great teams, obviously, in their stadiums. We are looking forward to it."
I know OLB Terrell Suggs has always been a leader on this team, but have you seen him even more this year embrace being a leader? He seems to be having more fun with it than he has in the past. How much have you seen him enjoy this season and be even more accepting of a leadership role?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"I'm not into making a comparison. He has always been a leader, but he has done a great job this year. He has done a really, really great job and not just in … In every area, [he has been a leader]. He has been a leader in conversations with me, with our leadership council group; he has been great. He has been great with the players, first and foremost, especially with the young guys. But [he has] also [been great] with the way he has played. To me, his play has been A-plus, and his effort has been A-plus. He has done a great job of embracing the way that we want to play football here. I feel like he is a big part of establishing what that definition is. For him to be playing that way is quite a statement for all the guys."
I know you are not going to give too many keys to the game plan, but the Ravens have done a pretty good job of containing Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell. Is there a general thought as to what the first step is to containing him? (Jamison Hensley) "It is just team defense. That is the only chance you have with a back of that caliber. He is so patient, he is so big and strong, and he has burst and all that. They have a big, physical offensive line that does what they do well. You have to play team defense. Everyone has to play together, do their job, be physical and do it as a group."
S Matt Elam – Named the Ravens' Ed Block Courage Award Winner on Monday
Opening statement:"This is an honor, for real. Just to hear the names that won this award is an honor. Then, to get voted by my teammates and the respect that I have for my teammates and how much I appreciate my teammates and how they always stood by my side through my injuries and all the negativity and all the downfalls [was great]. They stuck with me; they always encouraged me and still lifted me up every day. It was a great honor, and I appreciate everybody that was a part of it, and I appreciate my teammates. I appreciate the training staff for helping me get back to this point. It was an honor, and it is definitely a blessing to be able to do this again."
On if this award is special because it was his teammates who voted for him:"Yes, because they see it every day. Some guys have even been through it and know what it takes and things like that. They see me working hard every day, being here when guys were not supposed to be here and just putting in extra time. [It was great] just to get back in and help them out and knowing that the things I do definitely helped them win on Sundays and helping them be better players, too. They see me every day working and working to get back and trying to improve."
On if he has more appreciation playing after missing the entire 2015 season and the beginning of 2016 due to injury:"It is definitely a blessing. It is a blessing, for sure. A lot of guys that go through this do not get the chance again. It is a blessing, and I can't thank God more. To be able to have this opportunity to help this great organization to accomplish the goals they want to accomplish is a great feeling, and it is definitely a blessing to be out there just help this team."
On if he can point to a specific instance that was hardest to go through:"The injury. That was the hardest. Well, the first one [the biceps injury]. Knowing that I was possibly going to be out the whole year and missing the whole year and knowing how much I put into it and what I wanted to do [was difficult]. The rehab is going to be hard, so I was expecting that. I put myself through that, and I grind hard for it. Like I said, probably the injury – getting the injury – was probably the hardest part."