Postgame Transcript - Lions

*Head Coach John Harbaugh *

(opening statement) "First of all, it was obviously a team victory. I think all three phases really stepped up – offense, defense, special teams. It was maybe the first time all year that we put it together in that kind of fashion, and that is encouraging. Then we can talk about Ray Rice. Obviously, you're going to get a chance to talk about him. We're going to talk about the offense. The offensive coaches put together a great game plan, but it was executed. That's the bottom line. It was executed. Throws were made. Catches were made. The offensive line blocked exceptionally well. We broke tackles. You can put together whatever kind of game plan you want, but when the players execute it the way they executed it today – and really, with defense who can say the same thing and with special teams you make the same statement – that's what makes the game plan look good. I'm just proud of our players for the way that they played, and I think that's where the credit belongs."

(on if he had a chance to breathe at the end of this game, as opposed to the other close games) "It's always good to win. The thing that was good to see was we drove it down the field early. We made a little error, in the weather conditions. We thought it was important to handle the conditions and to beat the conditions, but the conditions beat us on the first drive. But that guy right there [Ray Rice] bounced right back and the rest of our offense and defense, obviously, in all three phases, bounced back and played through to the end."

(on Terrell Suggs) "I can't say I was focusing on him, but I didn't see any problems. I saw him in the backfield against the run a lot. I saw him getting pressure. He had a little bit of a limp where he had to adjust the brace at one point, but he seemed fine after that."

(on Joe Flacco's performance this week after his three-interception game) "Joe bounced back. I thought it was gutsy. He fought through, and they got to him maybe once. He made some good throws. I thought Cam [Cameron] and Hue Jackson, especially, did a nice job this week working with Joe. It was a good performance."

(on if Ray Rice surprises him) "Not now. It's funny – you saw him in college, I think he probably does the same thing here that he did in college. That's a great testament to a player. When you can take what you see in college and carry it right to the NFL, at this level of competition, it just speaks to what kind of player he is. It's not just now. He's got a great physical talent. I'm speaking to him – he's standing right there. I think he's a better person than he is a player. Nobody works harder. I've never seen a young guy attack a game plan or attack a week of practice better than Ray Rice does. That's what leads to that kind of success."

(on what he does to ensure that his team defeats the team they're supposed to) "I don't know. It's hard to put a finger on one thing. We think practice is really important, and our guys practice. We may have had our best week of practice this week, after the disappointing Monday night. It speaks to the character and just the kind of people we have in the room. When you put a big week of practice together, you at least have a chance to execute on Sunday. We've put together good weeks and haven't executed as well on Sunday. I think the week before was an example of that. But that's what they do well, pretty much week in and week out."

(on the play of the offensive line) "It was huge. How about you take Michael Oher and you move him to left tackle, and then you plug Oniel Cousins in, who we've been working with – and Oniel has worked very hard for what, two years now almost? For him to step in and play the way he did and to have a physical presence like he had, of course the rest of the guys, too…the offensive line was probably the key on offense today. No doubt."

(on the official's change from fourth down to first down) "The clip came off the chain, so they couldn't measure it at that point. What they did is, they look at the landmarks. So, the line is about what, three inches long? The ball is about halfway up on the line, and they could tell the marker was about a third of the way up on the line. So, they signaled it first down. They lost the clip. That was a first."

(on if he would rather get that call in a close game) "I don't know. I hadn't thought about it. That's a good question."

(on if he has watched the scores of other games that may affect the Ravens' playoff push) "I haven't seen any scores yet. The bottom line is we have to win. Now we have to win two in a row to have a chance to do what we need to do. We have a Chicago Bears team coming in here on Sunday that's going to be ready to play, and they are a very good team. So, that's where our focus goes."

(on if it was pleasing to have less penalties in this game than in the last) "It really was. I thought Chuck Pagano and Mark Carrier have done a great job to get those guys to understand. It's really about playing technique in the backfield. You have to adjust your technique to the way the game is called, whether it's roughing the passer or whether it's pass interference or holding, whatever it is. Chuck did a really nice job this week, and our guys did a really nice job getting that corrected. But next week is a new week. We have to continue to focus on things like that."

(on players stepping in for injured players) "That's what we talked about in the locker room. We talked about he O-line and we talked about the secondary. We had guys out. For Ed Reed to be out and for us to be able to stay on top of a player like 81 [Lions WR Calvin Johnson]. Calvin Johnson may be the best receiver in the league. He's right up there. He's as good as any of them. There's no doubt about that. Daunte Culpepper is an experienced quarterback. I think the conditions helped us a little bit, just like it helped them on defense a little bit, passing game wise. But our secondary played really well.

LB Ray Lewis

(on if the Ravens are a playoff team) "Overall the things we spoke about was, 'Forget the record, this team is very capable, and we have a lot of very good athletes on both sides of the ball.' The bottom line for us is to just come out and win in December. It's always about the next game. We talked about a six-game season, and that's another one down. We just have to keep going no matter who it is."

(on Ray Rice) "I love to compare him to himself. He is his own identity right now. That's kind of a great thing. To have a young guy that humble. I love him to death because of his humility. Some of the things he can do on a football field is almost overwhelming. And, he was the same guy in college. With maturity, he's only going to get better."

(on comparing Rice to other running backs) "He reminds me of a lot of guys, but the way he spins out of tackles, the one guy we saw come through here years ago was Barry Sanders. He had that type of ability. Those guys are built to where all their power is in their legs. All of the plays, he's so low to the ground. He really reminds you of Barry Sanders. With his quickness, he reminds you of Eric Metcalf. He springs like a cat, and he has a heart like a lion. That combination alone is well deserved."

(on today's rainy weather game) "I think the wet weather helps us. Any team that can truly run the football loves getting into these types of games. If you can run the ball successfully, it does benefit guys like Ray Rice."

(on a dominating win) "It's the same thing that we spoke about before the game. 'Let's go out and be who we are.' This is December football. This is something that me and Coach [John Harbaugh] talked about. I told him, 'This is the greatest time that you'll ever have in football – December. The playoffs are getting close. Everybody's winning and losing. Just come out and have a good time playing the game. It was good to see a lot of guys having fun today."

LB Terrell Suggs

(on the Ravens' defense) "The secondary played pretty well, even without Ed Reed back there. I think it was a pretty good game, but we have to get it to snowball to get into that dance [playoffs]."

(on his knee) "It felt good. They hit it on the second play of the game, and it's been hurting ever since. But you have to shake it off. I wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of… I mean, two plays… So I shook it off, taped it up some more and got back in there. I put a little brace on it, but we just really taped it up tighter. That kind of let the pain go away, and it was alright."

(on whether his return had a big impact on the defense) "I don't know about that – this defense has been playing pretty well the last couple of weeks. I just added to it. I had the unfortunate pleasure of looking at it from the outside in. When we're out there just running around, and we're having a lot of fun, we're going to be a tough team to beat."

(on the Ravens' playoff chances) "We just kept looking at the scores after Joe [Flacco] and Ray [Rice] and Willis [McGahee] and 'Mase' [Derrick Mason] just started doing their thing, we started looking at the scoreboard, 'OK, who's doing what, who's winning what?' We saw that Miami beat Jacksonville, and Indy beat Denver. Those are the two big ones, so all we've got to do is handle our pressure first."

NT Kelly Gregg

(on defeating the Lions) "It's good to get a win and get some help from other teams, but more importantly, we have to try to win 2 in a row. We've been winning one and losing one. So, we definitely have to get two in a row. That's what we're focused on now."

(on whether a lopsided win gives a team momentum) "It does, but whether you win by three points or one point, it's still a win. You're playing for keeps here in December. I don't care if you win by three or 25, just to get a win is very important."

(on Ray Rice) "That's a great thing to watch, but all of the offense, especially the offensive line. The way they went out and played, they're definitely gelling."

(on stopping Detroit on 3rd-and-short on the game's first possession) "It's huge. To get off the field any way is great. But to stop them on third-and-one, that sets the tone that it's going to be a long day for them."

(on his injured shoulder) "I'm doing all right. It feels pretty good. I probably would've felt like crap if we lost, but since we won, it feels pretty good."

WR Derrick Mason

(on his big play) "It was a routine slant play and my own sole purpose was kind of straight on catching the ball. It was lucky I was concentrating on catching the ball because I didn't see the defender, and he made a good hit and lucky I bounced off the guy that was behind me and I was able to stay on my feet. I didn't realize it I kind of just stood there for a quick second and then realized I was still on my feet, so I took off from there, but he made a good hit on me, and I was just fortunate enough to be able to stay on my feet and score."

(on being in pain in the end zone) "Yeah, he hit me in my chest. I took a good shot in the chest, and it kind of caught up with me once I got into the end zone, and now that my body is settling down I'm kind of feeling it now. I'll deal with it throughout the week and by Sunday it will be gone."

(on the offense getting off to a fast start) "We made the plays when they were there. We controlled the line of scrimmage. The offensive line did a good job. We didn't turn the ball over with the exception of the play in the red zone. Ray [Rice] would love to have that one back, but I think us not turning the ball over and the offensive line doing what they were able to do and pushing their defensive line caused us to get off to a fast start. The defense played tremendously, they held that team to three points and they held that wide receiver [Calvin] Johnson, he's a phenom and for us to hold him to two or three catches, they did a great job on him. So when your defense is doing a good job and your offensive line is blocking well, you can get off to a fast start."

(on the impact of the win) "It does nothing if we don't win the next game. Point blank. It does nothing for us if we can't get the next game. We understand and realize that we from this point on, we're on a three game playoff, and we have to win these three games so we're going to enjoy this tonight but get back to work tomorrow. We understand that we can't have any letdowns. Yes, it was great to go out there and score 48 points and shut that team down to 3 points and have all these yards, but we understand that it means nothing if we can't come back and duplicate it the next following week."

(on the offensive explosion) "If you look at what we did the first few weeks of the season, we didn't turn the ball over so that means you score points and then in that middle part, we had some turnovers that was uncharacteristic of us but when we don't turn the ball over or we're in the plus in the turnover battle, we win football games. If we can continue to aggressively protect the ball and the defense continues to get there turnovers like they have been, then we will continue to put up points and put ourselves in the position to win football games."

(on importance of the run game for the offense) "It does a lot for the passing game because no longer can they just sit in the seven man box. They got to bring that eighth man or possibly that ninth guy down and then you're able to throw the ball outside but what's so good about us, especially this game, even though they brought that eighth and ninth guy down, we were still able to run the ball. That's just a testament to the offensive line and they took pride in what they were doing."

RB Ray Rice

(on what happened with his fumble) "I don't know. That rain was coming down, and I'm a guy that always tries to make a play. Coach Harbaugh actually told me to keep it simple. 'Just do your job,' and it came out. I know, and I tell you, I'm not a fumbler. I'm just glad I was able to bounce back. I've got a short memory, and even when I'm doing good things, you've got to have a short memory and get back to the next play. They stuck with me. I heard it on the sideline, but it's good when a coach comes to you. I feel like if I'm not being coached, there is a problem. So [have] a short memory, bounce back and just keep going."

(on the condition of the ball) "It was wet. It actually just bounced right out [on the fumble]. It was definitely a wet ball. At the time, the rain was really coming down. Every catch had to be hooked in. It was one of those situation, you've got to be smart. I've got to know. That's probably the youth in me. I'm still learning. I try to say I'm still learning every day, but if I'm in that situation, just get up field and get what you can, get to the next down. I think we scored points on that drive."

(on if this could be a better day for the Ravens overall with the win and other AFC teams in the playoff hunt losing) "Overall, like Coach Harbaugh said, and I heard him talk, Coach Harbaugh hit it right on the dot: The way we practiced this week, was the same way you saw me busting runs, the same way you saw the defense deflecting passes, that stuff happened during the week at practice. I can tell you right now, I remember on the Thursday practice running the same run to the left side, timing it up perfectly and hitting it and scoring in practice. They say you've got to come out ready to work. This is a team effort. I just can't be more proud of the guys I have in front of me - the offensive line, quarterback, wide receivers and the offense. This is the bounce back from what we did last week. It's like a tale of two stories. You didn't recognize us last week, but this week you recognize that it doesn't matter who we're playing against, an NFL team, they get paid just like we do, and they were actually stout against the run. Coming into this game, they were stout against the run. We figured we had to get our run game going, and I just couldn't be more proud of the guys I have in front of me."

(on the 1,000 yard milestone) "It kind of hit me by surprise. I knew I needed 125 [yards]. Going into the game, I knew it was in the back of my mind, but 1,000 yards is very special in this league. Especially [because] it doesn't come often for guys. I'm just glad I was able to do it, maintain my health, and I have guys that are fighting along with me. I'll be able to cherish this moment. It will be something I cherish for my life, second year to run for 1,000 yards and actually win the game. It's special. It's definitely special. Overall, you're doing it on a team that everybody's sticking with each other."

(on the offensive line domination despite the shifting of players) "That right there just shows that it's next man up, but for us, we have guys like Michael [Oher] who can move from right [tackle] to left. Not many guys can do that. I haven't seen it done. It's usually another guy that's played left tackle. Mike moving from right to left, we didn't miss a beat. When we're healthy with [Jared] Gaither in there, it gives us different things to do. Mike's an athlete. That's what we brought him in here for. Oneil Cousins really did a great job today. If you watch the guy, he's physical, he just got after it. We didn't miss a beat in the running game, passing game. One thing we wanted to say was, 'Keep the guys off Joe [Flacco].' And I'm not sure Joe got touched too many times today, but it's great when you've got guys that can move around like that, that's on the whole offense. I can go receiver, I can do what a fullback does on plays. Coach [Cam] Cameron does a great job of letting everybody learn different things. That's one thing that's great, he makes everybody into a football player."

(on the 10-yard conversion play) "I was actually on the hook route. One thing that me and Joe have really developed is the 'me to you.' I find Joe's eyes, he finds my eyes, and I try to find a little gap between the defense, find somewhere where I can make a play. I was actually supposed to break out, but there comes a time in the game where you've just got to trust a guy. Joe trusts me with the ball. He trusts where I'm going to be. He even tried me on the 'outside nine' route. The guy trusts me with the ball, and I'm just glad when I get it in my hands – make the first guy miss, be smart with it and know where the sticks are. On third down, that's the most crucial down of the game. You keep third down, you can set up pretty good things."

(On his big plays today) "I came into this game, actually, just wanting to start fast on offense. We wanted to start fast. So, on my first run I wanted to set up something. When you practice all week, and you practice hard all week, you're coming out on Sunday really ready to let the hard work pay off. That's a sweet feeling when you know you work all week, watch the film, you know what you're going to get and it's your will against their will. That was more pleasing to me, knowing that I started fast and the game ended the way it was supposed to."

C Matt Birk

(on what today's performance does for the team morale) "Well, it's big. We just want to come out here and most importantly win, but also be able to play a game like that where everything is clicking. All three phases played really well, and that's what you want to do in December. That being said, it's just one game, and we'll enjoy it, and tomorrow we start getting ready for Chicago."

(on the performance of the offensive line in helping to establish a strong running game) "Yeah, coach had a great plan, and up front we did our job, covered guys up, and that's what we want. We want to get guys like Ray [Rice] and Willis [McGahee] and Le'Ron [McClain]; you want to get them to the second level. That's where they can turn 5 or 10 yard gains into huge gains, and that's what they did today. It's just great to have guys like that on your team."

(on whether the running and passing games did a good job complimenting each other today) "Yeah, certainly. To have that balance is key; then defenses really can't gang up on either the run or the pass. To have that balance, offensively, we got the receivers, we got the running backs, and I feel like we can do some damage. And today, having that balance, things were certainly working."

(on the team's mindset going forward) "Just worry about one game. Worry about one game at a time, and just focus on ourselves. Focus on what we do, focus on playing good football, and things will take care of themselves."

QB Joe Flacco

(on coming off a tough loss at Green Bay and taking control here tonight) "Yeah, well I don't think you have any choice. That's what you've got to do. You've got to move on and go get the next game, [and] I think that's what we did a good job of doing today. Everybody just came out [and] we had a lot of fun. When you're playing the way we played today, it's easy to go out there and have a lot of fun, and continue to play well. So, I think everybody just came in focused, and we accomplished what we had to."

(on his connection with RB Ray Rice) "Yeah, I know where he is, and he seems to be able to find my eyes and do those kinds of things. And whenever you have that kind of guy, and you have that little connection with the guy, it really helps you, because they've got everybody down field. You know, you can have trust in the guy to go get the first down for you by dropping it underneath, and he's done a great job all year of that. And coming into the season, I said how big that would be for us, and [that] turned out [to be] true."

(on the receivers making good separation in the secondary) "Yeah, we have confidence in these guys. I'm not always worried about the guy that they're one-on-one with; I'm worried about the guy that's coming off somewhere and trying to make the play from there. I have confidence that they're going to beat the guy one-on-one, so all I need to do is put them in a position to beat that guy and worry about the other guys. And today we did a good job of doing that. Our guys did a good job of going up and making plays. Derrick [Mason] did a great job of staying up on that pass, and obviously we get the first down , which is all good, but the safety kind of kept him up a little bit – it hurt him – but it kept him up a little bit, and he did a great job of staying on his feet running to daylight."

(on how much easier his job is when the running game is going so well) "I don't know how much easier it makes it, but it just makes everything go. Today we just had everything going, and like I said, I don't know how much easier it makes it for me, but it makes it a lot of fun. And like I said, it makes it a lot of fun for everybody on the offense, and that's what it was like today.

RB Willis McGahee

(on getting more playing time than he's had in recent games and being back in the mix) "Yeah, felt good to get out there and play. You know, let other people know that I still go out there and do things, make plays.)

(on what was going on in the open field against the Lions defense) "Well, it was a rainy game, and you knew it was going to be hard to tackle. We have great backs – Ray [Rice] did a great job today. And he did an awesome job as far as breaking tackles and finishing runs. So, we just knew it was going to be that type of game."

(on whether it was exciting to watch Ray Rice before he entered the game) "Oh, yeah. You know, I was all for him staying in, getting that Pro Bowl vote, making it known [that] you've got to make a statement in order for people to realize that you've been doing a lot. So, I was happy for him."

(on whether this is a confidence boost for the team going into the final three games) "Yeah. We know what we have to do. We know that we have to win the rest of our games out, regardless of what happens. And I know we need a team or two to lose a game so that we can jump in there and be safe, but you know, we're going to go out there and play, because we were in this situation last year."

T Michael Oher

(On the offensive line and the running game): "We did a good job of blocking, and the running back did even better running the ball, though, so all the credit goes to the backs. I just know we went out there and did our best, and the backs did a great job of running."

(On shifting to left tackle): "It's a very difficult thing to do, You get used to one position and then you've got to go over there and play left tackle, especially a tackle spot, so they're very different. It's not easy."

(On the team's performance): "Everybody did a good job, all phases, special teams, defense and offense."

CB Lardarius Webb

(On how the team's good week of practice paid off ): "It was just hard work all week. We did not take this team lightly. They're a great team. They play so hard. The way they play doesn't show in their record. We just have to take it one game at a time. We worked real hard this week and it showed on the field."

(On the game and the weather): "You just have to get settled in and get used to this weather. For me, it was different, cold and raining. The other guys have been through it, so for me, it was just settling in and getting used to this rain and learning how to stay low. We played good as a defense as a whole. As a whole team, we played good. I think everybody really stepped up today to get this win."

(On Culpepper's throwing): "We thought we were going to get way, way, way more shots than we got with that monster they've got other there in Calvin [Johnson]. We thought we were going to get like 100 of them, but they didn't use him as we thought they were going to use them. They played a great game, but we played a great defensive game."

S Tom Zbikowski

(On what the defense had to do): "We knew we just [had] to contain [Calvin Johnson]. They look to him a lot of times when they're looking for a play. [Kevin Smith] played good, though. He's a talented running back. He's going to be very good and we knew if we just kept fighting, keep staying on top, the offense was going to take care of business and we're going to be rolling."

(On getting his chance to play): "I've gotten what every back-up or special teams player can ask for—an opportunity, and you've just got to make the best of it when you get in there."

(On Ed Reed helping on the sidelines): "Just watching him first…him just keeping you focused, more than anything [is important]. As a young player, you can lose focus pretty easily with good play, bad play, whatever it is, so him just making sure you keep focused on where you're looking with your eyes and being smart [is good]."

(On the difficulty of covering Calvin Johnson): "He's dynamic. He's one of the best throughout the league. He's very dynamic. He's a unique guy. He's 6-5, 240 and runs whatever he runs, 4.3 and can jump 40 inches. Those guys can't. You've got to keep an eye on him."

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