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Post-Game Transcripts: September 7 vs Cincinnati



(Opening statement)

"I just want to thank you all for being here, and give credit to our football team. That was a team effort starting with our coordinators – Cam Cameron, Rex Ryan, Jerry Rosburg, just tremendous game plans. I think you saw the style of football they've been promoting throughout training camp and the offseason, and it was there today. It was a team game. You can talk about the leaders and the veterans, but our leaders and veterans – we're talking about Ray [Lewis], and Derrick [Mason] and Brendon [Ayanbadejo] who were the captains, right on through. Through some adversity in the games, through some tough times, having each other's backs. Defense supporting and picking up the offense, offense supporting and picking up the defense and special teams kind of undergirding the whole thing.

"That's basically how we won the game."

(On if he was happy with the physical play of the team)

"You know it starts in the trenches. It's an old saying, and you've heard it since you were a little kid, but it does start in the trenches. John Matsko with the offensive line rushing for 240-something yards, I think, and the defensive line giving up how many yards rushing was it? It wasn't very many. It starts in the trenches with Clarence Brooks and those guys too, and that's where football games are won and lost."

(On the play of FB Le'Ron McClain)

"He was running north and south and the ball was high and tight. He did a great job with it. He's a load, he's tough to tackle. Here's a guy who came into training camp and had to work himself into shape, and worked harder than maybe anybody throughout training camp to get himself ready to play in the opening game, maybe than anybody I've ever been around."

(On the play of QB Joe Flacco)

"This was the beginning for Joe. We talked about it before the game; this is going to be a beginning. This is going to be a jumping-off point. Now we've got an idea of where he's at and what he needs to do is get better. He played well but he needs to take this week to next week and make the most improvement, maybe that he will ever make in his career. That should be his goal."

(On if Flacco will be the starting QB from now on)

"We'll see."

(On how he felt about keeping the ball away from the Bengals in the fourth quarter)

"That's the thing, that's what a football team does. We've got a thousand things we've got to work on between now and next week and for the next 15 weeks. But when you've got a bunch of guys, that's heart, you know. It's an offensive line coming off the ball, and it's a bunch of running backs. We're just as tired as they are, and our guys found it down within themselves to make sure the defense didn't go back out on the field. That's an offense making a defense better."* *

(On Flacco's touchdown run)

"The neatest thing was that I saw him the whole way. He's so tall, The field's flat, you have a bad angle, and I could see him run all the way around the far sideline because his head was kind of above everybody else's. Which was surprising to see the fact that he was still running, but maybe Cam [Cameron] can tell you about it. The more impressive part about it was that he made the adjustment on the play. You know Jason [Brown] said he expected a back to have the ball, that's because they ran a certain blitz and the play we had called was dead and he kept the ball and took it around the back side on his own. That's something Cam teaches and he works on and he saw it. It was really more of a mental play than it was a physical one."

(On what the win means to him)

"It could have gone better. As a football coach that's what you see and you'll look at the paper, and we'll see, again, a thousand things that we need to get better at. It's a thrill. I'm appreciative of Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the Ravens organization for giving a no-name a chance to be a head coach in this league. We've got a long way to go as a football team. The coaching staff, players, everybody else, to prove ourselves, but this is a good start."

(On RB Willis McGahee)

"Well, we were concerned about the knee and the fact that he didn't play a lot. We were hopeful to get him into the game at some point in time, but the way the game shook out, we were unable to do it. He'll practice in a more physical manner this week, and then we should have him ready to go next week."

(On Lorenzo Neal's play)

"I'm guessing when we look at the tape we're going to see Lorenzo Neal opening some holes. And then he had a screen pass, he got up there and ran it like Lorenzo Neal does."


(On the defensive scheme)

"Carson Palmer is probably as good a quarterback as there is in the league. We've got to do a lot of things to Carson. You can't just play standard coverages or he's going to light you up. And their receivers, obviously [T.J.] Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson, Ocho Cinco, whatever, those two guys are some great receivers. And I would like to stop the run first, but when you're playing against a talented group of guys like that, you've got to put it on your front seven to stop the run. You can't bring that eighth guy down. It's frustrating a little bit at times, watching them run a little bit on us, but there's some give and take. We'll give up ten yards as long as we can try to frustrate T.J. and Chad a little bit out there."

(On having seven defensive backs in the game at times)

"We did, and it's funny because the preseason we don't show you fires on every snap. With us, that wasn't our mindset, it wasn't our mentality. I don't think we ran a single call today that we ran in the preseason. I kind of had to bite my tongue and watch it out there, but we've been working those packages all along. You see some of our young guys contributing, and it really is an outstanding job by our coaches. Any time you put in that many packages, the guys have got to be well coached. I think from Clarence Brooks on the front end, to [Greg] Mattison and [Mike] Pettine on the linebackers, and [Mark] Carrier, and of course Chuck Pagano, they all did a great job this week, and really have the whole training camp."

(On when he knew Ed Reed would play)

"About when you guys did, I think. I was in there when he was talking to the doctors. They asked me if I thought he could play. And I said, 'Yeah, I think so.' But really, it was his decision. It came down to Ed wanting to play. We all know Ed. If there's a chance he's going to play, and they gave him that chance, and he took advantage of it. We're thankful for that. We know the kind of competitor Ed is."

(On defensive depth this year)

"When we get those guys back, it's really going to be a great situation. Hopefully we'll get Fabian [Washington] back, and that's really going to be a great situation in our secondary. We've got some guys that can really play. We get Jim Leonhard over here, a free agent from Buffalo, and we drafted the two young safeties, [Tom] Zbikowski, and Haruki [Nakamura]. I think all those guys can play in the back end, and hopefully we can get Kelly Gregg back next week or so."

(On the big fourth down stop late in the game)

"Marvin [Lewis] is a smart coach, no question about it. And he went to a goal line formation. Most teams don't do that on the field, but he went to a goal line formation. So we knew that they were going to get the first down had we not played our goal line defense. So we were able to get our goal line defense out there, and then when they ran the ball, it probably wasn't real smart to run it at [Haloti Ngata]."

(On if this performance was the defense's best)

"I'm not sure about that. I think we kept them out [of the end zone] last year when they were here. Of course, they had seven field goals. It was definitely a chore. I'm just thankful that we had our players out there, and all the hard work at training camp really paid off."

(On Jarret Johnson's effort today)

"When it's Double J's time to make it, he'll make it. When it's Trevor [Pryce's] time, he'll make it. It was a great team effort. Offense, defense, special teams, whoever we had active played a major role in our victory. So it was fantastic. Even the kid we picked up from San Diego got some snaps in. I will admit this, I told [Clarence Brooks], 'I said, CB, here's an opportunity to play that kid Lamar [Divens] because quite honestly I don't want him playing in the fourth quarter because he doesn't know all of our defense yet.' We were able to give him some snaps and he contributed well. So it was great."


(On his NFL debut)

"It was a lot of fun here. I had a lot of help. The offensive linemen, the receivers, the running backs, they all did a hell of a job. And then you have the defense, that was ridiculous. They didn't let up all day. They got a couple of turnovers for us. We even had a punt return called back. Yeah, we played well. Obviously we're going to make strides from this week to next week. But it was really a great time out there."

(On if his touchdown run was the longest of his career)

"Yes, since high school. I had one in high school that was 60 yards."

(On his touchdown run)

"I started running, and I was thinking 'first down, first down, first down,' and I got to the first down point, and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I don't think there's anybody here.' I just started going up field, and I just thought, 'I'm going to get in the end zone here.'"

(On his emotions about his turnover in the first quarter)

"I went back, I completed the pass, I was like, 'Alright, let's go.' We turned the ball over, our defense did a [heck] of a job, they got the ball back, and we got it together. That's what we did all day. There were a couple of bad situations, but we made good of them. That's why it was a great day. Our offensive line at the end of the game just wore those guys out. And that's how you win football games. You get your offensive line and you get your backs going, and that's what we did."

(On his block on the double reverse)

"[Laughs] Yeah, I'm supposed to block. But I really think I'm just supposed to not mess anything up and get in the way. So I don't really know what I was doing there. Derrick [Mason] made a nice run and got in the end zone. It was pretty exciting."

(On if his touchdown was a designed running play)

"It wasn't necessarily designed, but I saw the defense they were in and I went out there and took it around the end. Like I said, the big thing for me was getting the first down.

(On his approach going into the first game)

"It's just football. It's a lot of fun though, just like it's always been. Once you get out on the field and you're around your guys, it is just football. It's the same thing we've been doing for the last twenty years of our lives, we've been playing football. It was a lot of fun out there. We went out there and played our tails off today, and that's why we won."

(On if he didn't feel in control at points)

"No, I think our offense was in control all day. And obviously we had a lot of help from our defense as I said all along. But the offensive line and the receivers and running backs, those guys all did a great job."

(On the 'Let's go Flacco' chant)

"Yeah, I thought I heard it. I kind of thought I heard it, but I wasn't really sure. I thought, 'Why would they be doing that?' [Laughs] Hey, if I can keep them on my side like that, it will be a good time."

(On being a rookie and getting the win)

"I don't pay attention to that. I've got a great team around me, and I've got 52 other guys that are behind me and behind everybody else on the team. When you have a team like that, it gives you a lot of help. They were able to give me a lot of confidence going into the game, and we can just go out and play football."

(On third down conversions)

"That's what we were doing all week, to tell you the truth. Stay out of third and longs, and that's the way you're good on third downs. Good third down teams are good on first downs and second downs, so they don't get themselves in a third and long, and we did a good job of that all day. We were able to wear these guys out and win the game."


(Opening statement)

"Good afternoon everybody. Let me get a few things off my chest first. First, I want to say that that was the epitome of team effort – offense, defense, special teams. I know you recall the guy from the A-Team, I love it when the plan comes together. I don't think you all understand how much hard work and effort we put into this in the offseason. All of this coming together in the first game is a beautiful thing. And it's just the beginning, just the start. Of course, we have to go back next week and keep moving along.

"I am especially proud of the guys on offense. Of course, you know we faced a little adversity at first, that turnover early in the game, and a lot of you were thinking, 'This is going to be like it was last year, isn't it?' But no, we had to come back and regroup and understand that that was just adversity. We had to move on from there. I'm especially proud of Le'Ron McClain, the way he ran his butt off today. It was the next to last drive, or maybe it was the beginning of the last drive, he got hit pretty hard out there because he was talking smack out there early in the game, and they hit him pretty hard. He was lying on the ground and I tell you what, they gave it to him. They were just dog-cussing him, talking about his mamma and everything and he laid down there for a good while, but he got up after that and the way that he finished running that last series, that last drive. I'm so proud of him and I know we're going to expect a lot more great things from him later on this year."

(On the offense being established)

"It's not pretty. We were out there just trying to be physical, just playing smash-mouth offense. And the thing is, you saw adversity here and there. Even a couple of things, it was the next to last drive we had a pre-snap penalty, we also had a holding call. It got back to third and long and we said, 'Come on guys, we're better than that, we're a lot better than that. We've worked too hard to start the game the way that we did and to piss it away at the end. We can't do that.' That's when we re-grouped and came back in at the last drive. Lorenzo [Neal], he's a great asset to us. He's a great leader, a great veteran out there, and he looked at us dead in the eyes and pretty much told every one of us, 'I've been here before, and this is what we need to do to drive it down there.' And you know what we said, 'We got your back.' And that's exactly what we did.

(On signs of wear and tear on the offense)

"Of course you know Cam [Cameron] likes to run a no-huddle offense, and we work so hard week-in and week-out. Wednesday and Thursday practices we're practicing so hard it seems as though we're draining ourselves, but the thing is we're actually conditioning ourselves for game day, so when we go out there we have that fast-paced, upbeat, up-tempo offense. And it's very hard, if you catch some of those defenses off guard. And as the game progresses, they will start to get behind.

(On if QB Joe Flacco's touchdown surprised him)

"Yeah. I was about to say, I thought he was supposed to hand it off to somebody. I didn't know it was Flacco, that he was going to keep the ball, and the whole time I was thinking, 'Please, if somebody's about to run and hit you, just slide.' But the kid, he has so much heart, I knew that he wasn't going to do that. He had his eyes dead-set on the end zone. He was going to get in there no matter what."


(On the offensive line's performance)

"I thought the O-line did great. We didn't give up any sacks. We gave up a few pressures, but we kept Joe [Flacco] clean. We just have a lot to work on, and we're going to look forward to Week 2, getting better and just making sure he doesn't get touched – no pressures. That's what we're aiming for – perfection."

(On WR Mark Clayton's 42-yard touchdown run)

"It was good play-calling by Coach and definitely good execution by all of us on the offense. Coach put his trust in us to run that play, and we did great job."

(On rookie QB Joe Flacco)

"He did great. We won the game. I told him before the game we were going to keep him clean, so just sit back there and do your thing. That's what he did."

(On receiving advice from T Willie Anderson)

"We just acquired Willie Anderson, and we've been talking to him for the past day or so. He's done a great job communicating his expertise and his years of knowledge to me and to the rest of the O-line."


(On things they wanted to work on for first game of the season)

"There are a lot of things out there that we need to work on, ball security is one, we got to make sure we don't turn the ball over. If we don't turn that ball over, that game is not 17-10. That first and foremost we have to keep on working on. We really need to take advantage of the opportunities we are given, because when we look back, we had a number of opportunities to score on that we didn't. We'll look at the film and correct some things that need to be corrected. I think that for the most part we played hard as a team."

(On QB Joe Flacco's performance)

"He played like a veteran. He played poised. Regardless of what happened, Joe stayed in the game. Through the ups and downs and in between, he was always in the game. It showed on the play that he scored on. He read the defense and kept the ball. He scored a touchdown and that is what veteran quarterbacks do. He is starting to really come into his own right now. We just have to continue to help him and make his job easy. "

(On his personal performance)

"There were some things that I can do better. Route running, I dropped one pass. So, there are some things I need to correct. For the most part I went out and played hard just like the rest of the team. That is something that you can't coach."

(On defensive play)

"They were good. They were just relentless. They looked like the old defense. All of our players were back and we don't have any injuries on the defensive side of the ball, they wreck havoc on the other team's offense. They took a very good Cincinnati defense and made it sub-par."


(On the Ravens overall performance of the team)

"It was so tough out there. There is no way to explain it. It is just completely different than preseason. I'm just glad this one is over. I made my rookie mistakes, but I think the leadership on this team bailed me out, and that is what family is for."

(On his overall performance)

"You have to step up your level. That is what I try to do. You don't have to be a rookie to know it. Just from watching it you see. After experiencing it I understand you have to go ten times harder. I got a great team, great teammates and they are all sticking up for each other."

(On whether he was pleased with QB Joe Flacco's performance)

"Great performance. He's a rookie quarterback but didn't make the rookie mistakes. Hats off to Joe, that is what they brought him in here for."

(On the defensive play)

'"Sometimes you just have to watch them in awe. They took over; they have so much chemistry there. Sometimes you just have to relax and just watch them."


(On team's overall performance)

"We can do a lot better. Take care of the ball on offense. There are some things we can work on for next week. We need to just run it out and take it to them and go out there and try to compete. We are in good shape and we are working hard. Training camp proved to be critical for this week. The offensive line played real well. The running game was great."

(On how to have an effective passing game to compliment the running game)

"It's great to have both established. You can't be one-dimensional with the lead, you also have to pass. We have some things we can build on and we just have to get ready for Houston."

(On QB Joe Flacco's performance)

"I think he did great. He got his start today, and he did a great job. I know he is going to do big things with this offense. He is just calm. There is no panicking. He just goes out there and plays. That is what you have to have to play in this league."


(On his TD run on the reverse and how Flacco helped with a block)

"It looked good in practice, and it certainly looked good today. To me, I'm like Joe, just don't hurt yourself no matter what you do. Coach tells us if you don't have the ball, you're a blocker, and that goes for all 11. Everybody was able to make some good blocks, and I was able to get the ball in the end zone."

(On Flacco's TD run)

"I didn't even know Joe had the ball. I was downfield; my back was to the play, and I'm just kind of watching the DBs....when I saw Joe shoot past them, I was like, 'What in the world is going on?'"

(On Flacco's presence in the huddle)

"Joe was unbelievably poised. For me and my take, I don't almost consider him a rookie quarterback. He prepared well, and he came out here and he was ready and poised to put us in a position to win the game."


(On coming up with a late fourth-down stop)

"Either they drive you back or you drive them back. That time I made the play."

(On the defensive alignment on that play)

"Just playing basically man-on-man. We see all those guys up there lined up in the middle, just going head up. That time I won, so it was just really great."

(On the defense's performance)

"It's great to see our defensive line getting to the quarterback and DBs covering guys so that we can get to the quarterback. It all gelled – linebackers, D-line to DBs. As you can see, we dominate when we communicate together."


(On holding the Bengals short on a fourth-down shovel pass)

"That felt good. I just read it out."

(On his responsibility on the fourth-down play)

"I'm just rushing in. The tackle blocked down. They ran it on us two years ago and actually popped a long run on it to my side, so it's something we worked on pretty good."

"[Defensive coordinator/assistant head coach] Rex [Ryan] is always going to put you in an opportunity to make plays, and he's going to move you around and let you do different things. That's why it's always fun. You get to learn something new every week. Next week, we'll be doing something totally different. It's just a fun defense to play in, and we got after it today. I'm sure we made a bunch of mistakes, but we'll correct them tomorrow."


(On how many picked the Ravens to lose)

"But it's all right. I ask a favor- do it again next week. Go right across the board, pick us to lose, and that's what we want to do. The situation is, it's tough on everybody else, but it's just right for us. That's our motto, and sometimes you got to make it a little tough otherwise it wouldn't be us."

(On seeing Ed Reed start)

"I was very surprised to him start. But once I looked up, and they started the startling lineup, I looked up, and he was behind me, I [said], oh, we're good. I told him early in the week, 'You ain't got to hit nobody. We'll play them 10 on 11; you just get lined up, tell us where we've got to go, and we'll be all right.'"


(On the team's performance)

"It's just exciting the way the team played. The defense played very aggressive…Flacco made some great plays, the same plays you see at practice. I think our offense, with the injuries to Willis [McGahee] and you watch [Le'Ron] McClain and you watch rookie Ray Rice, I just think we made a lot of great plays, but we still have a long way to go."

(On Flacco and his running ability)

"He can really run, and he showed it today, and we knew that. We sit back there saying, 'Wow, is he's going to go all the way.' But he's a young kid who loves football, and he's very smart."

(On how good the defense played)

"I think today we accomplished every one of [our] goals. When you have as many starters as we had come back—Ed Reed did great to come back and play with his neck, and Chris [McAlister] on a limping knee, when you have that many people sacrifice, it's just beautiful to see."



(Opening statement)

"I'm disappointed in a couple things. We got an opportunity there to stop and get the ball back, and we didn't do a good job there. Offensively, we didn't do at all what we needed to on third downs. We didn't run the football effectively enough. Again, the two explosive plays defensively, given up in the running game, seemed to be the difference in the football game until the final drive. We knew this would be a field position-based day, and we had an opportunity right away to set the tempo. We had the ball down in there, and the ball goes off our shoulder and they intercept it.

"Conversely, on the other side they end up getting three points out of their [turnover] when they got up and we didn't stop them and they get three points. Those kinds of things make a difference. You've got to convert and get points. Then, they end up turning that next possession in a touchdown. I think, obviously, the key fourth down – third-and-one, fourth-and-one – we don't stop them on defense there at the end, and they stopped us defensively. Those were critical plays in the football game, so those are the things that physically, we've got to play a better football than we played today. We kept playing, played hard, played through, lost some guys with minor concussions and other guys had to step up and play. But I think all in all, that's the disappointing thing, to get down and dirty and to be more physical at the end of the game on both sides of the football. That was a big difference in the fourth quarter."

(On what kind of tone was set)

"You keep hanging in there and just hope you can grind and get some points. I think conversely, the defense hung in there and was able to keep them from getting some points when they ended up with the field-position plays a couple times. There were lot of positives, but again you want to win the football game. We didn't win it today. We've got to start from scratch and get back and open up at home next week."

(On considering challenging the fumble at the end of the first half)

"It wasn't about considering it or not. A fumble is a fumble. No question the ball was out. He stripped the ball while he was up in the air."

(On the offensive line)

"We've got to stay on and keep chiseling. We're half a guy away. At times, we had some good runs in there today. Other times, we didn't identify very good, and they were able to get a guy running. They ran around a couple plays and made a couple plays. Sooner or later, you're going to hit some of those, but you've got to get where you can play after play after play keep some rhythm to do that."

(On QB Carson Palmer being hurried in the first half)

"I think our tempo in and out of the huddle caused a lot of that. We have to do a better job getting in and out of the huddle to give him the opportunity at the line of scrimmage for identification and get moving that way. He put himself in some bad situations. By us being too long at the huddle and not getting him an opportunity to make the proper [checks] and everybody get identified the right way."

(On not everyone being available in the preseason)

"I think looks a little different, so they weren't sharp today as an offense. We've got to be better than that. That's the way it is. Everybody has that. They have a couple guys on their defense that haven't played. That's what you've got to do. You've got to go play."

(On Ravens QB Joe Flacco's touchdown run)

"A guy missed a tackle, and he kept coming. But we've got to make the tackle."


(On WR Chad Johnson saying the offense "sucked" today)

"That's about as good as you can sum it up. [We scored] three points. Defense played great. They gave us a chance to win the game, plenty of chances to win the game, and we didn't do it offensively."

(On play up front)

"We got beat. We got outplayed. It was just an ugly game offensively. When you score three points, it's never good. Our three points were on a two-minute drive where we physically beat them up front and moved the ball and kept moving the chains. It's a sick feeling, and it's going to be even sicker when we watch the film. If there's a positive to it, it's game one. We have 15 more. It is a division game, and that hurts you. But we still have 15 more games to play, and we've got a big one next week at home. We need to go look at the film, see what we did wrong and improve on it and move on."

(On not getting a chance to play with Johnson and WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the preseason)

"I don't think that was a huge factor. It definitely would have been nice to have had everyone healthy, but we just needed to come out and play better. We had some chances to have some bigger plays than what we actually ended up getting. But we're all veterans. We're all better than that, and we need to improve on what we did today."

(On the first-half interception caused by S Ed Reed's hit)

"That was a big play. T.J. nine out of 10 times catches that ball and takes the hit. That's what he does. He's physical, as tough a guy as there is on the field [including] offensive linemen and defensive linemen. He's a receiver, and he's that guy on the field. Like I said, nine out of 10 times he makes that play. I think Ed Reed did a good job. He realized the ball was coming in, and it was unfortunate. That was at least three points, if not seven."

(On what the Ravens did on defense)

"Pretty basic. They do a lot of the stuff they've been doing for years. They did have two new wrinkles for us. The first two times they ran them, they got us. We made adjustments, and by the time we made adjustments they went back to the other stuff they were doing. We knew that going in. We knew that they were going to have something that they hadn't shown at all in the preseason or last year because it's the home opener and they haven't had some of the starters that were doing it on the field with the new looks. They hadn't had those guys in the preseason. They were injured. They did a good job saving it, coming out on big, critical plays that they got us the first couple times. We just really need to do a better job of seeing it, recognizing it, communicating what's going on and executing the plays."

(On fourth downs)

"We had two big fourth downs. That's our bread and butter. That's what we want to do. We have big, physical offensive linemen, and [the Ravens] did a good job pinching the gaps and hitting us in the backfield. Again, it feels like nine out of 10 times, it's a play that goes our way. But they did a good job pinching the gaps and shooting their guys through free on the one on Chris [McAlister], and Jarret Johnson made an unbelievable play when I believe it was fourth-and-two, the quick shovel pass that we ran. He looked like he knew it was coming. He played it like he knew it was coming. He just went straight for the tailback. Normally, that guy is a lot farther outside, so he did a good job reading the play and making the play and getting us off the field."

(On whether the loss is demoralizing)

"It's not demoralizing. It's just disappointing and frustrating. You've got to move on in this league. In this division, there's going to be teams that go to the playoffs possibly with eight wins, if nine. At the most, 10 or 11. In our division, with who we play this year, it's going to be a battle week in, week out. We've got to look at the tape, like I said, make the adjustments, move on and get ready for Tennessee."


(On Bengals' offensive performance)

"We got beat and we got outplayed. We only scored 3 points. It's a pretty sick feeling. Our defense played great. They gave us a great chance to win and they even scored a touchdown. We just couldn't get it done. If there is any positive we can take from this, it's our first game. We've got 15 more and plenty of time to get better."

(On Ravens' defense)

"They played pretty basic Baltimore defense – with a few new wrinkles for us. We knew that they would have something special for us because it was the season opener and they have a new coach. They caught us in some big spots. By the time we adjusted, it was too late in the game."

(On two 4th down plays)

"Those fourth down-and-short yardage plays have been our 'bread and butter' the last few years. We have a great offensive line and we can usually make those plays 9 out of 10 times. But the Ravens did a great job and pinched the gaps well.

"On the shovel pass to Kenny [Watson], Jarret Johnson made a great play. I was surprised to see him there. He read that play very well."

(On pre-season injuries that kept offense from working together)

"I don't think that was a huge factor. It would have been nice to get more work together but we are a veteran team. We've been playing together for years and we should have played better today."


(On the Bengals offense)

"We didn't perform up to par."

(On fourth and 1)

"That's on me. I'm supposed to make that. There's nothing else to say except that I'm supposed to make that play. It doesn't matter what happens I'm supposed to make that. It's 4th and 1 and that's on me."

(On the Bengals defense)

"They did a great job. We let them down."

(On the Ravens defense)

"They came at us and they did their job better than we did our job."

(On the Bengals poor performance on offense)

"Well the rushing is on me. I can't speak on the passing. The rushing I'll take, that that's on me. I'm supposed to make those yards. That's what I'm here for. That's the spot I wanted to be in and that's the spot I have. You can't put that on anything else other than me."


(On the Bengals offense)

"We sucked basically. Everybody on offense who got a chance to play. What was there, maybe 13 or 14 of us? We just suck on offense right now. That's terrible, we can't move the ball we can't get a first down. We can't run, we can't throw. We just didn't play good on offense, bottom line. The defense played great and we just didn't play."

(On how much the Ravens affected the Bengals play)

"I would say it was all us. Obviously, they get paid too, but the way the defense started off the game you would have thought that we would at least come away with some points. We had the ball in their territory right off the bat and we got zero points. We've got a lot of things to fix offensively."

(On the Ravens defense)

"Obviously with them having Willie [Anderson] I'm sure he went over there and ran his mouth, but that's what he's supposed to do. He's not here any more so what would you expect him to do. They pretty much did what we thought but they had a few wrinkles in there. We adjusted to them but we just suck on offense right now. Bottom line."


(On Bengals' offensive struggles)

"I'm not sure what happened. I know we got beat and the Ravens beat us in the basic fundamentals of football. But, you have to understand that we were playing the best defense in the NFL. They gave us some very exotic looks and I know they had some new stuff for us. By the time we made adjustments, it was too late.

"It was very frustrating for us. Who's their defensive coordinator? Rex Ryan? I give him two thumbs up for what they did today. They did a great job. Thank goodness we don't have to play that defense every week."

(On shoulder injury)

"I'm good. I'm healthy. I'm 100%. That wasn't a factor today."

(On whether the Bengals used him enough against the Ravens)

"Based off what Baltimore was doing, our offense couldn't use me any more today. They wouldn't let me do anything. Part of their plan was to keep me and T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] from catching any passes and they did a great job. I only caught one pass and that must have been a blown coverage or something. They didn't let up on me the entire game and I don't think they let up on T.J."

(On wearing Johnson on his jersey)

"I'm not worried about the name on my jersey. It didn't have anything to do with the game."


(On performance of Bengals' defense)

"We didn't give up too much to them. They only scored two touchdowns on us. One of them came on a double reverse and it was a good play. The other touchdown was on a busted play when the quarterback just scrambled and scored a touchdown. Take away those 2 plays and we might win. But, the bottom line is that they played better than we did today.

"In the fourth quarter, they really wore us down with their running game."

(On moving forward)

"It was only the first game of the season and we made some mistakes. But, we'll go back to the drawing board and make those corrections and come back next week."


(On his first NFL start)

"Just trying to get better. We didn't play anywhere near our capability. I single myself out as a guy to get better. I mean it's football. At the end of the day you just got to play."

(On the Ravens rushing game without Willis McGahee)

"We knew those dudes were good and that they have a good running team. We just weren't able to make the plays. I had a ton of missed tackles and that will kill you every time. We just have to get better."

(On regrouping after the loss)

"It's game one. There's 16 games. There's 15 more games. We have a long way to go and this is just the beginning - we just have to keep working."


(On the defense stepping up)

"Every time you are out on defense whether the offense is picking up points or having a bad day you have to stop the opposing team. Just keep fighting through all four quarters."

(On the Ravens TD's)

"We gave a couple big plays. I think on both of those big plays we had the guy tackled. Unfortunately he stepped out of the tackle and scampered for a touchdown. If we could have made those big plays I think the game would have still been 3-0. So that's pretty much how it went."

(On losing to a division rival)

"I think it's real big. Being a rivalry anytime you go out there whether it's a division opponent or another opponent you want to win the game. That was our main focus here to come in and win the game."

(On Joe Flacco as a quarterback)

"I think he did okay at the line. He made a few checks at the line, but I think for the most part they pretty much kept the tempo. We had a couple of times at the end of the game to stop him on the run and we failed to do that. That's pretty much what cost us the game. We could have gotten a stop and gave our offense the ball back with plenty of time left to make a run and get a touchdown.

(On his fumble return for TD)

"They were just running the ball trying to kill the clock. Rashad [Jeanty] made a great play in the backfield with the tackle for a loss. He stripped the ball. I just happened to be pursuing to the ball and picked it up with a clear path."

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