RAVENS VS. PANTHERS PRESEASON GAME
Head Coach John Harbaugh
(opening statement) "[It was] an exciting game in the rain. I thought the guys played hard. It was good to play a game in that environment. The crowd was great. I thought it was exciting. A lot of good things out there. I thought our first offense did a lot of good things, throwing the ball and running the ball. Joe [Flacco] was on target. He made a great throw in the corner down there to Mark [Clayton]. Defensively, I thought we were good the whole game. I thought our coverage really stepped up. I mean, our coverage was impressive. A lot of credit goes to [secondary coach] Chuck Pagano. Chuck's been working with that group. There's been a lot made about this being a banged-up group and all the issues we've had back there. From the first guy to the last guy, [each one] went in there and played well. They were in great position. It was very impressive what we did on the back end. Pass rush was excellent. The run defense was okay. I thought we could have been better on run defense. I was disappointed on our pass protection, with all of our groups. They really couldn't do much in the second half, offensively, because we couldn't block anybody. That was disappointing. So, there's a lot of good things to work on. [We'll] build on the good things, work on the things that weren't so good, get back and study the tape, and try to get better."
(on if Terrence Cody played well tonight) "Yes, from what you could tell from the side. I can't wait to see the tape. He made some plays in some big situations, where we had to get some stops, and I thought he controlled the [line] in there pretty well."
(on his overall impression) "The turnovers were disappointing, and yet we handled the ball pretty well, for the most part, especially early in the game. We didn't use timeouts. We got lined up in formations. Penalty-wise, we were pretty decent for the most part. For the first game, some of the things you expect to see, you didn't see. There were some other things you didn't necessarily expect to see and be disappointed in, but we were a little bit."
(on if he left QB Joe Flacco in longer than he wanted) "No, it was just kind of the number of plays and the play count. I think the fact that we were so short in the second series, put us in a position to put him out there for a third series, and it carried over into the second quarter. I think it was about 20 plays, so it turned out to be about right."
(on the best thing he saw tonight) "The best thing? I saw guys playing hard. Guys were flying around, playing with enthusiasm. At the end of the game, young guys were trying to win the game, and the veteran guys were right on the sidelines cheering them on and teaching, coaching them. That's kind of what you want to see out of your team in a preseason game."
(On if the pass rush was aggressive) "Yes, it was, especially at the end. In the two minute, we got pressure at the end. That was great to see – young guys bringing it. Most of it was three- and four-man rush. Our pressure package was there early."
(on adjusting to the new turf, especially with the rain) "You know what, it's really good we saw that. We slipped a little bit. Some guys have to figure out their shoes a little bit in those conditions. But once they kind of figured it out, I didn't see as much slipping in the second half. So it was good for us."
(on how he would rate T Joe Reitz's celebration dunk) "Well, you know, I didn't see it. [Senior vice president of public and community relations] Kevin Byrne informed me that he missed the dunk. He should be making dunks of all people, right? Basketball? Obviously, he was boxing people out in his college career and not scoring."
(on RB Curtis Steele and the fumble) "He looked explosive. He had a couple big runs. He's got talent, no question about it. But he has to learn in that situation. We talked about that. [Running backs coach] Wilbert Montgomery talked to him before he went out there about protecting the football. He got anxious and tried to make too much happen and put it on the turf. But the other thing was not getting out of bounds on the sideline run. When we're in a four-minute mode, you need to get down and stay inbounds to keep the clock running. That would save our defense about 40 seconds there."
(on the performance of special teams) "I'm really glad you asked that, because I thought special teams played very well. The touchbacks first of all with a little bit of wind going early on. Those were some really good kicks. But the coverage was good all the way across the board. Having the big returns. Zibby [Tom Zbikowski] had the early return. Prince [Miller] had the late return. We were kind of pushing forward with everything we did. We played with discipline. And that's a good start for our special teams."
(on the play of the inside linebackers) "I don't know, we'll just have to see once we watch the tape. There's so much, it's hard to see on the sideline to make individual evaluations like that. We'll grade every play, and we'll talk to them about it on Saturday."
(on WR Mark Clayton's standout performance) "Mark played well. Mark's had a really good camp all the way through. He's in really great shape. He's looked explosive to me. I put Demetrius [Williams] in the same category. He's had a great camp. So two guys who've been here for awhile, who have been kind of forgotten, have really stepped up their game in training camp."
(on the decision to play Chris Carr at the last minute) "He did lobby us a little bit, but we kind of planned on not playing him. He felt so good in pre-game. He felt he could get a little nickel work out of him. He did a nice job, and we got him out pretty quick. Cary [Williams] played really well. It was good to see. I can't wait to see the tape, but from my eye on the sideline, I thought he played with great discipline. He really played with an attention to detail and technique. When he does that he's a heck of a player, so I enjoyed Cary out there, it was good to see."
(on Ray Rice not getting many carries) "I don't think our plan was to give Ray a lot of work going into the game."
(on Terrence Cody performing better in games than in practice) "He's had his moments on the practice field. The biggest thing with Terrence right now has been working on technique. We play a two-gap system a little bit different than what Alabama does. We think he's very well suited for that, but he's got to learn those techniques. And it's going to be that way all year. It's going to be a learning process all year for him, but he's really built for that kind of a system. That's why we drafted him, so it did show up today."
(on what he'd say to the fans that stayed to the end of the game) "I'll tell you, the fans who made it to the end…I don't know when it was, the end of the third quarter, and they got the ball and we were up by a little bit, and the stadium was twenty percent full, but it sounded like a full stadium. That's when it started raining really hard, and they just went crazy and got loud. It was really exciting and fun. It was a warm rain so I think everybody was ok."
(on if Antwan Barnes stuck out to him) "I though Antwan was explosive coming off the edge. He had a couple near-sacks and rushed him out of the pocket a few times. He's done that all camp."
(on if he was surprised with how fast the Ravens started) "I was a little surprised because we've had a tough camp. I didn't expect us to have legs, and I don't think we did have our legs. We'll start working on our legs back over the course of this weekend, and really over the course of the next three weeks. But for the first pre-season game we looked a little quicker than we probably would expect."
(on if the linebackers were playing too fast) "I'll have to see it on tape. They ran some plays. There were a couple of runs that slipped through there. We'll just have to see what happened. You never know until you see the tape."
WR Donte' Stallworth
(on being back on the field) "I felt really good. It's nice to get back out there. We moved the ball pretty good on offense today, and it was a good test to get back out there. Now we're back to the drawing board. I'm excited to get back to practice, check out the film and correct the mistakes."
(on building a relationship with Joe Flacco) "It's going good. We're working hard in practice every day. We're getting a lot of different reps, and guys are working really hard. To build that kind of chemistry is really important."
WR Anquan Boldin
(on how it felt in his first game as a Raven) "It felt good. We've been beating up on each other for the past week, so it felt good to get across from someone else to see where we are."
(on the ovation after his first catch) "Yeah, very welcoming."
(on the first few offensive series) "We moved the ball a little bit. There are still some things that we need to clean up, but for the most part, I think we did what we needed to do."
(on the rhythm between the wide receivers and Joe Flacco) "I think we're on the same page now with Joe. We've had quite some time to get familiar with him through OTAs, passing camp and this summer. I think right now, we're getting to where we want to be, although we're not there yet. We're going to continue to work and strive to get better."
(on the focus of the passing game) "During the season, we still want to be balanced. We still have three great backs in the backfield. We want to have those guys touch the ball, because at the end of the season, the only way you're going to win is if you're able to run the ball."
FB Le'Ron McClain
(on his impression of the first-team offense) "Good. As a first-team offense, we moved the ball. We got some points on the board. We've still got a lot of work to do, but the first step was to get this first win."
(on the how much the new receivers helped the offense) "They're real good. Anquan [Boldin], Donte' [Stallworth], the rookies, they all had a great game as a whole."
(on carrying the ball) "I've been doing that. I'm just trying to get back in form. I'm trying to get back in my groove. 'McClain for running back. Mo carries, mo touchdowns'."
S Haruki Nakamura
(on getting a lot of playing time) "It was just fun. Ed Reed came over to me and said, 'This was just like you being a rookie again.' It was good to get out there and compete and just be with the guys. We have a great football team, and it's just fun to be a part of that."
(on the defense) "We did a good job. The best part about it was we did a great job with substitutions. Some of the young guys, the rookies, came in and were making plays. The young guys played really well."
C Matt Birk
(on the first preseason game) "It's always good to get the first one out of the way, get a starting point, get out there in a real game situation. It went OK, I guess. But it's a starting point. Obviously, we have plenty to work on, but now we have a film we can watch and get better from."
(on what went well with the offense) "We put a nice drive together, a 96-yarder, and we got to see some looks that -- I don't know what went best-- but it's just good to go out there and play against different guys, different schemes, play against some defensive looks that we don't go against, have to make real, adjustments on the field, adjustments on the sidelines, it's just good to get back into that groove."
(on where they go from here) "You keep [working]. Obviously, the goal is to get better. We have plenty to work on. It's a process."
QB Marc Bulger
(on his first game as a Raven) "It's exciting. The crowd was really into it for a pre-season game, and Ray Ray gets them going and gets the team going. It's pretty exciting."
(on his work on the offense) "The first turnover's on me. I've got to protect the ball better. But once I settled down, I got in there, and we had a couple good throws. Unfortunately, we didn't score, but we moved the ball a little bit."
(on being with a new team) "Putting the uniform on was a little bit different. But once you're out there, and, I've been working with these guys for two or three weeks now, it seems like we've been together for a year. Once I got past the purple, you know, it was the same. It's exciting just to be a part of this team. I've been on the other sideline a couple times, looking across and admiring them. Now I'm a part it."
RB Curtis Steele
(on his first game) "It was bittersweet. I had a couple of good runs, but I'm really upset about that fumble I had. I've just got to protect the ball. That comes first. Like I said, the game could have easily been put away if I had held on to the ball. We still end up winning, that's the main thing."
(on what he learned) "There's just some mental things I've got to work on. There's another run I had towards the end, I ran out of bounds, I should have stayed in bounds. It's just some mental things just coming from that college level to the NFL, you've got to adapt in every way, every aspect of your game."
DT Terrence Cody
(On playing in his first NFL game) "After my first snap, I got the jitters out of me and then you know, just started making plays after that. It felt real good."
(On whether his football instincts were kicking in) "Yeah, just settling down [and] making the transition from college to the NFL. Once I settled down, that's when my instincts kicked in and I just started doing what I do."
(On whether tonight's experience was everything he'd hoped it would be) "Yeah, it was fast. Everything was moving fast; the game was moving fast, the players were moving fast. It's a whole lot different from college."
(On how it felt to get his first tackle) "Oh, it felt good. You know, I wanted to celebrate but my shoe came off and I had to come off the field and stuff. But it was all good."
(On whether he was surprised at how much he played tonight) "Yeah, two nights before the game, the d-line coach – [Clarence Brooks] – told me, 'Drink a lot of water, because you're going to have a lot of snaps.' And I looked at him and I was like... I paused and I was like, 'What?' But he wasn't lying. I took a lot of snaps today and I think my conditioning is really well and I could play a lot of snaps during the game."
(On taking a couple of snaps on offense as well) "Yeah, that was a new experience for me, being in the NFL, playing fullback. But, I was kind of nervous at first, but next time [if] we do it again, hopefully I can do a lot better than I did."
CB Prince Miller
(On how it felt to play in his first NFL game) "You know, it felt great just to get out there that first play and to get the jitters out. It was great. All the work that we've put in, it paid off today. And the guys who have really been helping me, they were out there supporting me the whole time and it just felt great."
(On his punt returns tonight) "Well the first thing is the blocking was great. I had no guys in my face, but the first thing I wanted to do was just make sure I caught the ball; the [weather] conditions weren't great. But afterwards, it was just ability taking over and just trying to follow all those blocks."
(On what he can take from this game experience going forward) "Just get better. It's in the past now. We've got another game coming up next week, so you just want to build upon this."
(On how he adjusted to the speed of the game) "It wasn't too big of a difference, but you know what, when we're playing against another opponent, it's going to be some type of speed increase. And you know, they played hard, they wanted to win, so obviously speed increased, but for the most part it was fine."
QB Joe Flacco
(On what he can take from the first preseason game) "We can clean up some things, but overall, it was a great start, a great foundation for the first preseason game."
(On spreading the ball around to a bunch of different players tonight) "Yeah, that's where we… It will help us out if we can spread the ball around like we did. And obviously we have the weapons to do it, so those guys are just going to have to be patient, and understand that sometimes the ball is going to go here, sometimes it's going to go there. But I think we've got a great group of guys and like I said, it was a great start tonight."
(On whether he was anxious to get that first pass to WR Anquan Boldin) "Yeah. You could tell when he caught his first pass that [the fans] were excited for it. So, I was happy to be able to get him one."
LB Antwan Barnes
(On his thoughts of the first preseason game) "It was pretty nice to get out there against somebody else and to just showcase what we've been doing all summer, all training camp, all that we've been learning and taking in from the coaches."
(On his performance against Panthers' LT Jordan Gross) "Yeah, [the coaches] just wanted to see me going against the first-team O-line, seeing if I can do it and everything like that. I'm just out there to prove, to show that I can go against anybody."
(On whether he was surprised that Gross held him both times) "It was just going and doing the move. I didn't plan on for him to hold me, I just wanted to beat him. So, [it's] good that he held me, [but] I didn't get the sack. I'd rather get the sack than the hold."
(On the fumble recovery on the 1-yard line) "It was just good eyes. When I was running, I was like, 'Did he fumble it?' But the ball went down and just made me go get it. So, I just had to go get it and then recover it. Just helping my [defense] out."
QB Joe Flacco
(on his impression of the first-team offense) "We need to clean some things up, but overall it was a good start. We drove the ball down there and were tripped up with that penalty, but that's OK because some of those guys are not used to being down there. Hopefully, during the season we'll be able to capitalize on that drive. It was a great start for us, and I was happy we were able to cap it off with a touchdown on that last drive."
(on his 30-yard touchdown pass to WR Mark Clayton) "They were playing single-high coverage, and Mark was one-on-one on the edge. I just had to give him time to get on top of the guy, and he made an unbelievable play."
S Tom Zbikowski
(on his impressions of the first-team defense) "We were just getting the kinks out, and still, as much as you practice, there's nothing like game speed and sustaining a tempo like this. There are going to be mistakes, but we're all working to be on the same page. I think we exhibited that by not giving up many big plays."
(on his sack and forced fumble) "The lanes really cleared up because we had some guys in the front that just opened up the blitz. Carolina was in a protection that is perfect for that blitz. Basically, I was just trailing behind two guys, and I was able to storm in free."
(on his long punt return) "I've been working with the punt return [unit] for two years, and all of our guys know how to block. If it's a returnable ball, you're going to have time and space to make a play. It's all about making that first guy miss and then getting up field."
RB Willis McGahee
(on the offense) "The offense looked pretty good, and we really had our screen [pass] game going on. That's something we've really been working on, trying to get down the field. I think we are where we want to be for this point in time, but we still have a lot of work to do. We need to do a better job of blocking for the quarterback, because as you saw, they got a couple of sacks in that first half. That's something that we can't allow them to do, because we need to keep Joe [Flacco] clean. Still, I think we are all happy that we kept moving the ball down the field."
Head Coach John Harbaugh
(on the first half) "We did some things well and some not, and that's good for the first preseason game. We have enough teachable moments. Our run defense, with the [second unit], isn't what we want, but the secondary and special teams played well."
(on the quarterbacks) "I thought both quarterbacks played well in the first half, despite some problems with our pass protection. We have to get that part better. We sustained drives without a lot of penalties."
(on FB Le'Ron McClain) "I'm not voting for [Le'Ron] McClain, even though he gave me one of his t-shirts. It was good to see him run hard. We know he can play, and we're having fun with him."
Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron
(on the offense) "We have to pass protect better than we did in the first half… We didn't really try to run in the first half. We emphasized throwing downfield, and we had some success, including the touchdown from Joe [Flacco] to Mark [Clayton]."
(on Le'Ron McClain) "I'm a big fan of Le'Ron [McClain]. We all know he's a good player. We know he can run the ball well. He's proven that."
(on "Mark [Clayton] played tonight like he has all camp, and he has had a good camp. And, I like the way we got the ball to Demetrius [Williams] and Donte' [Stallworth] on the six-route."
Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison
(on the defense) "We need to play better in the run defense. I think we had some guys too focused on getting to the quarterback and some out of position."
(on forcing a fumble at the goal line) "That's Ravens defense at the goal line. We don't give up until they cross. If we have a place to stand, we'll fight and play like Ravens."
LB Ray Lewis
Excerpts from ESPN Interview Tonight
(on returning for another season) "[I'm] just loving the competition of it. I love putting my body through a certain level of torture, and I just love being around the guys, and I love competing."
(on his performance on the field) "On the field, it comes down to just really loving my craft – studying and really just understanding what's going to come year after year. The older you get – I always say this – the wiser you get, so the bottom line for me is the game has just really slowed down, and I just have a good time playing it."
(on if injuries in the secondary have hurt the team) "Well, honestly, it doesn't begin to because the bottom line is always the next man up for us. It's not about one part of who we are. On our defense, we're three parts – defensive line, linebackers and secondary. So, the bottom line is, if our secondary's hurt, then our front seven's got to get it done. We don't have to worry about that."
(on his gut feeling about when Ed Reed will return) "Just to listen to him, I think he's excited just about his improvement and where he is. The surgery is healing kind of fast. I won't really speak for him. I just speak about what he told me. He's just feeling good, and anytime you can come out or surgery and hear somebody that is feeling good, that's all you can ask for."
(on if the team watched the first episode of Hard Knocks) "I don't know, I think everybody else was in their room, but I passed out in five minutes. I think it's a great opportunity for [the Jets]. Congratulations to Rex [Ryan] and his team and all the fun they have over there. We're going to be working, and we'll see them Week One."
(on the trash talk with the Jets) "Talking is whatever it's going to be. The bottom line is, come Monday night, somebody's going to get hit."
WR Mark Clayton
(On the first team moving the ball well) "We wanted to come out here and play against another team. We've been in camp for two weeks, and it's good to play in the first preseason game. And what was it, like a 93- or a 97-yard drive? We just wanted to come out and make some plays and score a touchdown like we did, and it was good."
(On his touchdown catch) "I caught it. It was just a go-route."