AFC CHAMPIONSHIP AT PATRIOTS POST-GAME TRANSCRIPT
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening Statement: "Obviously, a tremendous football game, disappointing, stunning loss at the end there. Congratulations to the Patriots. I thought they played a great football game. They are a great football team; always have been. I think [it was] two big, strong football teams getting after it and I am proud of our guys and impressed with their guys and they found a way to win. Just as far as our guys, I thought our guys played their hearts out. We made plays [and] came up a play or two short at the end, but it doesn't lessen what they accomplished this year and it doesn't lessen what they accomplished in this game. We talk about mighty men, we've been talking about it for a long time and I don't feel any less about our guys in that way than we felt four years ago when we started, than we felt when the season started, than what we felt about them last week. I'm proud of them. I am proud of our quarterback. Proud of the way he played, the way he stepped up in this kind of a setting. And the plays that he made down the stretch, I think it says a lot about him and his future. I just like our football team and I like where we are going."
John, did the refs offer you any explanation on the Lee Evans play at the end? Was it close enough to try to get their attention?: "I tried to get him to get their attention. I thought it would be looked at. I thought they would at least look at it. I'm surprised they didn't look at it. Obviously, in that situation, I thought they would look at it. But they didn't. I have not talked to anybody, didn't get a chance to, so I don't know what the explanation is on that."
Talk about the decision to go for it on fourth-and-six and not kick the field goal with Billy [Cundiff]?: "We just felt like from a percentage standpoint, we probably had a better chance of getting the first down. We were throwing the ball well there. That's a long field goal. It's a tough field goal down there, under those conditions on a cold day like this, so we liked our chances there to convert on fourth down."
What would have happened if you had thrown your challenge flag?: "You don't have a challenge flag at that point; it was inside of two minutes. It's a penalty, you can't do that. You can't challenge inside of two minutes."
The field goal at the very end, they were rushing on the field. Any thought to call a time out to slow it down a little bit?: "Yeah, that never occurred to me. I didn't think that. You know, looking back at it now, maybe there was something we could have done. But in the situation, it didn't seem like we were that rushed on the field. [I] thought we were in pretty good shape."
And for the field goal miss, was there anything that you saw, other than him just kicking it left?: "I don't know. We will have to look at that. I didn't see anything at live time."
John, can you talk about Joe's [Flacco] performance? The criticism over the last week from the national media: "I thought Joe played a great game. Obviously, he played well enough to win this game. I have said it all along, you know, to run down the qualities that makes Joe Flacco a great player, a great quarterback, a great person. I have said it many times, I think his best football is in front of him. He only gets better, he's our kind of guy, he's a tough guy, he's a competitive guy, he's a leader, and I just can't wait to see where this thing goes with him. And we are proud to have him as our quarterback."
Were you able to see a replay of Lee Evans's drop?: "No, no, we were not able to see a replay. We had to really run the next play and didn't want to use a time out there, you know, to try to get them to look at it. I am surprised they didn't look it it."
Is there a sense that this might have been taken away from you a little bit?: "No, no, you know, I think that's the way football goes. It's something that they will all look at, they always try to whatever they can do to get better in every area and they might have been fine with what they did. I am not saying anything. If we had played a little bit better, made another play or two, we would have won the football game."
Saying something to Billy [Cundiff] after the football game has to be one of the hardest things as a coach. Did you talk to him, what did you say to him after?: "I just told him that it's going to be ok. You know, we'll move on. He is a great kicker. You know, and everyone has a tough moment. All of us do, so Billy will be fine."
Were you happy with how your defense played?: Yeah, I was happy with the way everybody played. I was happy with how our defense played. I thought we handled their speed ball well. I thought we did a nice job of getting lined up; we didn't turn receivers loose. I thought we played technique football very well. Credit to our coaches, our coaches did a great job, our players did a great job, we understood their offense, and we defended it pretty well. But they made their plays too, give them credit. They did a nice job, they are very good and they made enough plays to win the game."
Much of the second half they had to defend [Anquan] Bolden with [Julian] Edelman. Should you have gone to him a little bit more?: "No, I don't wish anything right now. We don't wish. It's not really in our vocabulary."
John, what was it like in the locker room after a game like this? What did you say to the players to get them to bounce back a little bit?: "I mean, hey, this is what we do, you know. This is what football is about; what pro football is all about. It's why you want to be a part of this, you want to be in this arena and this is part of it. We didn't come back with a victory, but we laid it all out there and that's all you can tell them. You are proud of what they did. It makes them no less in any way. And there are other things in life, there are other things . . . Ray was talking about a young man who has been to our practices a number of times, that's struggling right now. You care about people, and it means a lot to you and you try to win the game for people like that – people in Baltimore, people who care about us. But, I think they are proud of our guys. I think they understand what our guys are all about and what our guys tried to do out there today."
You guys have tried to get to the Super Bowl for four years and a lot of the fans are obviously really disappointed, but do you think that it's a great accomplishment that you get to the playoffs and get this far? I mean, can you reassure the fans?: "I really don't think our fans need any reassurance. And I don't think they are looking for any. I think our fans understand what's inside our guys and how they fight. I think our fans are proud of what they have done this year and in past years. And our fans, sure they are disappointed at us losing this game. So are we. We are in that together, in that sense. We wanted to win the game [but] they won the game. Give them credit and we'll move forward and we'll try to become a better football team. And we will become a better football team – that's what we do."
Would you mind talking about the interception that [Bernard] Pollard made. It was one of the most athletic plays, in the pressure of the moment: "Well, you talk about sudden change. Our defense has been incredible at sudden change defense all year. That is about as good at sudden change as you can get. Obviously they had the turnover and they came back and took a shot and tried to finish it right there. Both guys were back there in great position and I credit [secondary coach] Teryl Austin, who obviously does a great job with those guys. They were playing great situational football, they were on top of that rob, BP [Bernard Pollard] knocks the ball in the the air and then Jimmy Smith, I mean, to make that catch. You aren't going to see better playing football. Just a great play."
John, were they extra committed to stopping the run from what you could see?: "I think they did commit to stopping the run. We started wearing them down a little bit, had a little more success as the game went on, but give them credit. They did a nice job, especially early in the game. It's a good front, it's a good defense and it's a good football team."
Could you guys have done better against Tom Brady? Hard to in vision with no touchdown passes, two interceptions, and in his house: "Well, like I said, I am proud of this defense. I am proud of this team. I am proud of the offense. Proud of the special teams. That's what we do, that's how we play. The team, the team, the team, it's not going to change. I love our guys, I love the way they fight."
QB Joe Flacco
What did you see with Lee Evans in the end zone?: "I couldn't see much once it went over the defender's head. I kind of just saw our sidelines start to celebrate a little bit and that's what I went with."
Was there a designed back shoulder throw there?: "No, not really. We were throwing a little slant and go there. Normally I get off of it just because I've rolled over the top of it. But I just figured even though they have a safety on that side, we have a chance to have the corner turn his head and get lost here. And that's what I saw. Lee was able to get them going a little bit and he had to turn around and chase from behind and with that I just said, 'I'm going to throw it and give Lee a chance with it.' "
After the interception by Brandon Spikes, John Harbaugh said something to you on the bench and you got up and joined Cam Cameron on the sidelines. How did that play out?: "The guy made a hell of a play. I thought he had it. We had Ed [Dickson] running right down the middle of the hole and he sticks his right hand up and catches the ball and goes the other way. That's all that was said, 'Hey, guy made a hell of a play. We'll get another chance, go out there and get them.'"
Did you guys think you had a shot at the end? Take us through the process after the fourth-and-six.: "It's fourth-and-six, there's a lot of time left on the clock though. Even if we get that there and go down and score, there's probably still time left for the Patriots to get the ball back. So, we knew the game wasn't over at that point. We wanted to get further. I think it would have been a 50-yard field goal; that's pretty tough. Take your chances with fourth-and-sixth. If you get it, you get a chance to get a touchdown, if not, you get closer for a field goal a couple downs later. I think we played it right, we didn't score, we didn't get it, but we did get the ball back and had a great opportunity at the end."
Did you see a replay of the Lee Evans play?: "I have not."
After seeing the sidelines celebrate a bit, did you think for a second that Evans scored a touchdown?: "Yeah. I threw my hands up and started running that way. And then I saw the referee give the incomplete sign pretty quick."
Pretty devastating?: "Stuff like that happens. You move on to the next play and try to do the same thing during the next play."
Knowing the magnitude of this game and how it ended, is this the most devastating loss that you've endured?: "I don't know. It's definitely tough to be as close as we were to going to Indianapolis and not having it go our way. We played a hell of a game; they played a hell of a game. We didn't win; they played better."
Do you think you proved something today?: "I don't care, look at the film. If you look at the film you see how I play. I pretty much play the same every week. If you think I played better this week than other weeks then I think you're wrong. This is the way I play every week and I really don't care. I don't know if I ever will prove everything; that's not up to me. My job is to go out there and play and give our team the best shot to win."
What was the mood in the locker room after this?: "Just quiet. Guys go to their lockers and sit there for a little bit and let it sink it. It was really quite. I eventually got up and went around to my guys and said great game."
What did you say to Billy Cundiff?: "I didn't see Billy. It's a touch spot to be in, but that's what happened. It's a team game. It's football. We all have to win as a team."
Did you think that was a 'gimme' situation for a field goal?: "I don't know. My opinion is you have to do the best you can to get in the end zone. First of all, a field goal only sends it into overtime and you never know what's going to happen at that point. So when you get a good opportunity like we did, we drove the ball down far enough for us to put us in position to get a touchdown. When we put ourselves down there, we have to put it on us to get a touchdown there. We've got to put the game to an end and give those guys the ball back with 30 seconds or 15 seconds to score."
The long pass to Torrey Smith seemed to loosen things up. Can you describe that last play?: "Yeah, you know, we just faked the ball into the line and the corner must have seen that and thought it was a run because he just let Torrey run right by him. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to set up and let one go because I thought someone else might get there by then, so I just tried to just hit him on the run and I didn't quite get it out there very far. He did a good job of throwing his hand up and alerting me that he was open out there."
Was there in-game adjustments that looked like they were committed to take the run away?: "We had a plan going in and we executed it. We got to a couple things that we talked about getting to in the second half. We got to them a little earlier because we thought they would work, and it really did. But these guys had a stout interior line; they have some big guys in there. You have to give credit to them for their ability to come up there and get some penetration."
Can you sum up this whole week, with Ed Reed's comments?: "This is a normal week preparing. I didn't really take those comments for too much. Me and Ed talked about it earlier in the week and said 'Who cares?' and from then on we just moved on just like a normal week. We come in here, we've played here before. We've played a lot of good games here, so we were confident coming in. We put ourselves in a position to win it. We just weren't able to pull it through."
Your performance was such a vindication, but then you lose the game. How do you put perspective on it?: "We lost; someone has to lose. For us, we laid it all out there. We didn't leave anything on the field. We can look at each other and say we left it all out on the field and gave it our best. Did we play every play our best and did we execute everything the best? No. But in this type of game – the AFC Championship game in their place – but to have the chance we had, we would like to think we would have made it and we'd be sitting right here, probably out on the field right now celebrating. But it just doesn't happen that way. Somebody lost, it was us. We left it all out there. We've got to be proud of that and move on."
K Billy Cundiff
What happened with the kick?: "I think we can just keep things simple. It's a kick I've kicked a thousand times in my career. I just went out there and didn't convert. That's the way things go. There's really no excuse for it."
Was there any reason not to kick to the 50-yarder before?: "You have to look at it as a statistical decision and take the emotion out of it. If you look at my stats this year at 50-plus, I didn't really give coach a lot of confidence that I'd make that play. Because he's going to look at his sheet and say, 'What are the percentages and how are they going to work in our favor?' This year, I wasn't as successful as I'd like to be in that range, so I probably made the decision for him pretty easy."
Any of your teammates come and say anything to you after?: "There was a lot of encouragement. I feel like this team is a team that – when you first arrive, it's a tough group to get into because obviously you have to earn respect. And to earn respect on this team, you play well. I felt like up to this point, I really have given these guys a lot of reason to believe in me and that things would come through. So, I think if anything, the disappointment is letting my teammates down. This is a team game. You know that Ray [Lewis] has poured his heart out, and he's had a long career, and you don't know how many years he has left, and to let him down is pretty tough."
When a game ends like that, do you take it personally?: "When you're at this level, and if you're going to be a professional and it's your job, I think you have to take it personally. I get paid to make field goals. We'll move on from this. It's one of those things that will strengthen me in the end. Throughout my career, I've had challenging situations and I'm still standing here today, so it's something that will be tough for a little while. But, I've got two kids; there are some lessons I need to teach them. First and foremost is to stand up and face the music and move on."
Have you been in this position before?:"I've never been in an AFC Championship game, but if you look throughout this game I think someone would tell me this is the first kick I've missed in the fourth quarter all year. It's something I take a lot of pride in, regardless of what happens early in the game, I feel like my teammates can look at me and know they can trust me. So, it's tough not to convert, but as you heard Joe [Flacco] say, someone's got to lose this game and most football players would tell you, this is a team sport and you generally you don't lose a game off of one play. There are a lot of things happening throughout the course of the game; you've just got to take it for what it is."
Did John Harbaugh say anything to you?: "I really respect this organization because of how they operate. Coach Harbaugh believes in me, he knows that I'll make it, that's exactly what he told me. He said 'You'll be fine. You have broad shoulders. You'll be able to move on from this.' For me, this means there will be a lot more fuel for the fire."
I imagine this is a situation you think about all of your life, how much pressure did you feel as you jog on the field with 15 seconds left?: "To be honest with you, I was just really focused on what was going on. I didn't really think about any ramifications of the kick. Just like we had that turnover and we were up by one, and we needed the field goal to make sure they needed to score a touchdown instead of the field goal. You just don't think about 'We need this kick.' Those aren't thoughts coming to your head. For me, I just went out there, the timing seemed a little bit off, and I just didn't convert. It's just that simple. It's a 32-yard field goal, something that, over the course of training camp and the regular season, I probably make a couple thousand of those."
Did you say anything to Ray Lewis or your teammates afterward?:"No, I haven't. To be honest with you, I don't think they want to hear an apology. They laid it all out there [and] I laid all out there; sometimes it's just not good enough. When you play long enough, you're going to have games where things just don't go your way. And that's the reason you play this game. You want to lay it all out there – and you don't get this kind of adrenaline rush sitting behind a desk – with this kind of pressure. It's what comes with the territory."
POST-GAME LOCKER ROOM QUOTES
LB Ray Lewis
(On it being the toughest loss ever) "Absolutely not, been in this business way too long to be the toughest loss ever. Is it a tough loss? Absolutely. As a team, the way we came out and we fought, we fought, we fought and for the game to come down the way it was going to come down, we knew that because we're built for 60 minutes. I take my hat off to my team because there's so much else going on and the way we came in here and fought all year. Up and down, up and down. Injury here, injury there and the way we fought back to get back to this opportunity and then in the last seconds of the game, to come out and have an opportunity to tie that game up, to win the game, whatever it was, you can't ask for anything else. God has never made a mistake, ever. Somebody is going to feel like this tomorrow. Somebody is going to feel like this in two weeks in the Super Bowl and whoever wins it, that's their year and that's a fact. It is nothing that nobody else can do about it and that's the irony of sports. There's a winner. There's a loser and when you lose, you've got to suck it up like a man and say, 'You know what Father? If it's your will, then so be it.' As a man, you've got to keep moving and as a team. We've got to keep moving, keep building, keep building and remember this taste no matter how many times you go through it because when you finally get it, you appreciate it more.
(On if this loss will drive him in the offseason) "Every time you go through something like this, it has to drive you. I truly believe that it is the only thing that makes people great. It's not the ones that's always winning that people remember. It's the ones that go through tough times. As a team, we have been through every up and down rollercoaster through this journey, but for us to be here now, I'm hungry again. I'm thirsty again. Is this my last time as a Raven? Absolutely not. It's just too much. Life offers too much, it really does. Every time you step on this field, there's a true blessing so you can have an opportunity to do what we try to do and we didn't do it. We didn't do it and that's it, there is no, 'Oh, man. What about this? What about that?' Not one play won or lost this game. Not one play.
(On almost celebrating when Lee Evans had the ball in his hands at the end of the game) "If you weren't celebrating, you weren't a Raven fan. When you saw the catch – once again, that's the irony of sports. It's a game of inches. That's just the way it comes down. Trust me, I've been a part of a lot of those same games to where the inches didn't go somebody else's way. I mean you could take last week, the Houston Texans, inches away from beating us. But guess what? It didn't happen and now, it's the next step. San Francisco and the Giants, somebody else is going to go through the same thing. And that's the thing, you learn from it and move on."
(On the last two minutes being the biggest rollercoaster he has been through) "No. We've been through some roller coasters in Baltimore. We don't ever make things easy. As a team when you sat there and not one guy doubted is probably the most important thing that we learned from this as a team. In that last drive, not one guy doubted what Joe [Flacco] was going to be able to go out there and do. For Joe to go out there and march the ball down the field – all of the hoopla about Joe Flacco all week, all week, all week – Joe played his tail off. Our offense played their tail off. Our team played their tail off. If you listen to all of the – I don't want to say ya'll – but if you listened to everybody, we weren't even supposed to be in this game. We couldn't stop [Tom] Brady and we couldn't do a lot of things. It's the neutral respect of when you line up and you put your pants on one leg at a time. They knew that they were going to have to deal with everything we got and we gave them everything we got. "
(On what to do to regroup Billy Cundiff after the game) "Honestly, I said it kind of earlier. Not one play won or lost this game. Could you have put us in a better position to keep playing? Absolutely, but one play didn't win or lose this game. There's never been one man that has ever lost a game. And for me to go to him, which I will very quickly, don't you ever drop your head. We win as a team. We lose as a team. There's no, 'Billy is at fault. Billy missed the kick.' There's no Billy missed the kick. It happens, move on very quickly as a man because life doesn't stop."
(On how much Joe Flacco silenced the critics) "I think his play speaks for itself. I mean I don't have to back Joe right now. Joe did exactly what Joe came to do. Joe played a heck of a game in the Championship football game that everybody forgot about how good the Houston Texans' defense really was. They forgot about that, but Joe came in here today and proved again that Joe Flacco, once again, is the quarterback to put us in position to go to a Super Bowl. He proved that. There's nothing else for him to prove from my side."
(On the difficulty of the New England Patriots' offense) "It's an offense that you have to be very patient with their offense, very patient. You know that they are going to make plays, that's why it is the National Football League. You know that they are going to make plays. They have skilled positions all over. At the end of the day if you can keep knuckling up the way we kept knuckling up, give them three, that's the things you have to do to this offense. But it is a very, very spread around offense. Everybody gets the wealth and that's what kind of makes it very difficult. As again when there were plays to make defensively, we made those plays. You give us four interceptions, you take two away, it's championship football. Sometimes you can't take those turnovers.
(On a message to fans back in Baltimore) "Absolutely, we're Baltimore. We're going to always be Baltimore. From day one, from the time we came from the chance to win the ring, we're going to go right back to work and do the same thing just like all of the 32 teams are. But there is one thing about my city, my city would never turn their back on us because we're not going to turn our backs on them. We're grinders. The bottom line is we're coming home. We coming home with smiles, but most importantly, when we start back training, we coming back pissed off. Why wouldn't you be?"
WR Lee Evans
(On the incompletion) "To be honest with you, I felt like I had it, but it came out. I mean I don't really know how to put it in words. The most disappointing part of this is, that I feel I let everybody down. This is the greatest team that I have been on, and I feel like I let everybody down. It's hard to sit here and accept how or why things happened, but it's the reality. It was a great pass by Joe (Flacco) and it was just a pass that was not completed by me. Nobody else can take the fall for that."
(On his feelings toward the loss today) "Honestly, the most disappointing part is that I personally feel like I let everybody down. This is the greatest team that I've been on. I feel like I let everybody down. Yeah, it's on my shoulders. Ray (Lewis) gave a good message coming in. It's hard to sit here and accept how and why things happen. But it's reality. This is as tough as it gets."
(On being surprised the officials didn't review the incomplete pass) "No, not really. Obviously, they didn't feel like it was close enough to be reviewed."
(On Joe Flacco's play in today's game) "I think he played great. He stepped up and made a lot of big plays. He did what he had to do. He led our offense for the entire game. It's a shame it has to end this way on my behalf."
(On the disappointment of not going to the Super Bowl) "There is a laundry list of things to go through and say, but the reality of it is, when you get opportunities to make plays, you got to make them."
C Matt Birk
(On being close to reaching the Super Bowl, but falling short) "You're right, the opportunities are rare. But we made a lot of the opportunities. We hung in there; everybody on the team and everybody on the coaching staff. Obviously, it didn't go our way. I couldn't be more proud to be part of this team and the character we show week in and week out."
(On being able to move the ball the way they did and the emotion when the desired outcome did not follow) "Obviously, it's tough. That's the game. That's sports and that's the game of football. For whatever reason it just wasn't meant to be. I don't think we could have played any harder or hung in there anymore. We just kept playing and kept fighting and that's what we always talk about. That's what we always do. We can be proud of living up to our word."
(On being surprised to see Vince Wilfork playing on the edge) "No. That's what the (Patriots) do. They have multiple fronts and multiple personnel groupings. That's part of their scheme. They change it up and try to confuse you. For the most part, we didn't get confused. We fought. Those guys are good and we certainly give them credit for beating us today."
(On his decision to move forward with his career next year) "We'll see. This one stings a bit. I'm going to take time and get away for a while. Then I'll make that decision with my family."
RB Ray Rice
(On how tough it was to only come away with a field goal after recovering a Patriots fumbled kickoff return) "That's football. It's hard to score on a short field. They did a great job and we didn't execute. Needless to say, Joe Flacco showed he's a top five quarterback in this league. With that said, it wasn't me today, it was Joe Flacco. Joe Flacco drove us today. I would just appreciate if some of the people who criticize him layoff him now. That's my quarterback and we're going to be here for a while. We taste this feeling and we'll take it into the offseason."
(On not being able to reach overtime with opportunities late in the fourth quarter) "We only live once. I have a life to live. These moments in the locker room come with the team. Like I said, I'm not the guy who points any fingers. They made plays, we made plays, they made more than we did and they're going to the Super Bowl. Congratulations to the New England Patriots and their organization. I have tremendous respect for those guys. I'm going to do what I do every offseason; come back in shape and ready to play."
S Bernard Pollard
(On the defensive performance against Tom Brady and the Patriots) "I thought we played well. I think a couple of times we could have been more disciplined with our underneath routes with the tight ends and receivers. For the most part, it was dink-and-dunk, making a play and tackling them where they (caught the ball). We held them to three (points) a lot of drives. There were just a lot of mistakes. Like I said, with the mistakes, we were still in the game. We had the lead for a little bit. To come out the way everything did, it sucks, but somebody had to lose. When you play a team like this, it's one of those things where you have to be on your "P's and Q's" at all times. They can fire back quick and they showed that today."
(On the disappointment of Billy Cundiff missing the field goal in the fourth quarter) "That's the game and that's what happens. Sometimes you'll need a field goal kicker to go in and tie it or win it and that's what we needed today. It didn't happen, but we're rallying behind him. It's one of those things where like I said, it hurts. To be where we were, this hurts."
(On the defense potentially performing with time left on the clock in the fourth quarter) "It was 18 seconds. You can't drive the field in 18 (seconds). I don't care who you are, you can't drive the field in 18 seconds against us. Shoulda, coulda, woulda, but we didn't."
(On the loss) "It (stinks) to lose, and to lose by three. We were facing a really good team; I thought they played a really good game. We didn't do a lot of things good, but I think we stayed in the game. We had a chance in the end; we didn't take advantage of it. I think for us we just got to rally up, and continue to get better in any way in the offseason, and get back in this thing next year."
TE Dennis Pitta
(On the offense performing and keeping up with the Patriots' offense) "I mean we know what we're capable of offensively. Maybe people have said all year that we haven't been a great offense but we know what we have. We know what we're capable of. We know how good of a quarterback Joe [Flacco] is. He does this every week but he was really able to showcase that tonight and march us down right there at the end in a critical situation. Set us up for the win and be able to push it to overtime."
(On his impressions of the Patriots' defense) "They're a good defense. That's why they are playing at this level. We knew, especially early on with their crows behind them that they would come out and play with a lot of emotion. We saw that early on. They got some stops early. We just had to be patient and the plays would come. We were able to move the ball throughout the game and we felt like we would be able to. We knew we would have to, of course, with the potent offense that the Patriots have. We felt good about things. We had a chance to win it but we didn't get it done."
(On his feelings about the Ravens' season and the way it went) "Obviously, right now there is going to be a lot of disappointment but when you look back on things, we accomplished a lot and did a lot of great things. This football team is very good and we obviously feel like we should still be able to move on but really, only one team is going to feel good about things when the season is over. Unfortunately, that was not us but we have a lot of great things to build on. I think that was the central message – Coach Harbaugh's message after the game – we did a lot of great things this year. Take that into the offseason and build upon it."
(On if Joe Flacco had to prove anything in this game) "In my mind, he didn't have to prove anything. I think there is a lot of people outside of this team and organization that were pretty critical of him but he's been doing this for us every game. When we needed him most, he stepped up and made plays, especially there at the end, marching us right down and gave us a chance to win it."
CB Lardarius Webb
(On the illegal contact penalty) "They called it, you can't take it back now. They made a good call."
(On whether they were able to rush Tom Brady to make bad throws) "Tom Brady did what it took for him to win that game. Got to take your hat off to him they won."
P Sam Koch
(On the missed field goal) "We went out there and we lined up as we normally do and everything was fine. It just so happened to go off to the left a little bit…this is something we practiced before. Was there other things that we probably could have done, there probably were. It is just really unfortunate. I feel for Billy (Cundiff) and he put his heart and soul out there today and he wanted to go out there and win it for us and it is just very unfortunate. It was just one of those things where it just happen to go off to the left. Everything felt fine, maybe a little bit of a rush. I haven't really talked to him about it, but it will be something we will diagnose later to see what he thought about it."
LB Terrell Suggs
(On if he thought they had it with Lee Evans' catch) "I think we all did, but it kind of happened that way in the Pittsburgh game, but once I saw we had the three, I was feeling really good. Hey, that's the way the game goes, that's a good team that won the football game."
(On Joe Flacco) "You all saw what he did. We knew he was an outstanding player. He silenced his critics, but he has to realize they are going to be back next year."
(On what he would say to the fans of Baltimore) "I'm distraught that we couldn't bring it home for them. We've got the team, the players to do it and we even made the plays to do it, but we just fell 15 seconds short. Just because we lost doesn't mean we are defeated, we'll most definitely be back, everyone in the AFC, in the NFL knows they are going to have to deal with us."
FB Vonta Leach
(On the offense) "I think our offense held up pretty good against them. We moved the ball pretty well passing. We had some lanes and could run. It felt like the passing game was going to be open and it was. Hey, our hats go off to them. They made the extra plays to win."
(On Joe Flacco)"Joe Flacco played his (tail) off for us. He is a guy who the media has been on him. Scrutiny, all week long, but Joe came through. Joe led us today. Joe had our team and he led us pretty good."
T Michael Oher
(On Joe Flacco) "The guy is a great quarterback. He plays well every game. Sometimes he may not have a good game here or there but the guy plays great the majority of the time. We should have had this game. It was a great game on both sides. I tip my hat to New England. They pulled it off. Two great teams. That is what you saw out there. That is what it looked like. They beat us some but we beat them some."
DT Haloti Ngata
(On the game) "Brady does a great job of mixing up plays. If there is an open hole he checks it and they got quite a few yards on the ground. That is just what it is. Hopefully we can work hard again and try to get back here. No excuses. It is what it is. It was a great game plan, a great job by our coaches. They gave us a lot of information that we could use out there. Our DB's did a wonderful job. Our DB's and Linebackers disguising things. They had the better team and they won. I thought we were going to go (to the Super Bowl) but it didn't turn out that way."
(On Joe Flacco) "He did a great job today. He was moving the ball, especially on third downs. He did a phenomenal job."
DE Cory Redding
(On the play of the defense) "Our defensive coordinator put together a heck of a plan. Our coaching staff, guys did a great job. We disguised stuff, showing him one thing then we would give him another. A lot of things to keep it confusing and it put us in good position. We did everything we could to get three and outs and get good pressure when we could. We did everything we could but it just fell short. They got some yards on us (running the ball). Credit to them, they saw it and they got some good yards."
(On Joe Flacco) "Joe played his butt off. I can't stress that enough. They need to get off him. The guy is a play-maker. I hope everybody respected what they saw out of that guy today because he went out there like a warrior and played."
QB Tyrod Taylor
(On the play where he came on the field, then had Flacco replace him) "We talked about it earlier in the week. We did something to try and confuse them. It depended on what they did. We had plays that I can run if coach sees something. It is not about me, it is about the team."
WR Anquan Boldin
(On Joe Flacco) "He played his butt off, what else can I say? He is an elite quarterback. We moved the ball up and down the field the way we wanted to. Just missed opportunities. That is it."