Postgame Transcript - Vikings

Congratulations to Minnesota, they made a lot of big plays and obviously there is a reason they are the kind of team that they are. I was very impressed with some of the plays they made. About our team, I couldn't be more proud of our team. There are many things that we can and will get better at. The essential element is in place, basically our guys have the heart of a lion, that's what they are. That doesn't make it not to finish the game, that doesn't make it okay to play the way we did in some stretches but it's the key element. We can build on that, we can stand on that foundation and be the kind of team we are going to be for the rest of the year.

Q: From your vantage point what did you see happen on the last field goal attempt?A: I saw it went left, he pulled it left.

Q: Were you a little disappointed with some of the lapses in the secondary?
A: What we always say, "It all goes together." You have to play well in all three phases to win a game like today. There were times we could have covered better, pressured better, stopped the run better, and there are times we did those things well. Obviously they scored too many points, they scored two more than us and that is too many. We didn't score enough on offense because if you don't score more than them, it isn't enough. You can figure out where you want to place the blame, there is nothing we can do about that, we are not interested. Our job is to go to work tomorrow, identify the things we need to correct, identify the things we did well and need to do better to become a better football team. We need to build on this experience, like we have been the last six weeks.

Q: Lardarius Webb looked like he does a good job of covering and he looks like he is really starting to contribute.A: Lardarius is a good football player. He is a young football player with plenty to learn, special teams-wise and defensively. He is a guy that continues to earn playing time and expanding his role and he did a good job on kickoff returns and on defense.

Q: What did Joe Flacco show you as far as being able to take hits and bring this team back?A: I told Joe on the field, "That is a performance that you're going to see out of a 15 year veteran or a second-year veteran." That is what Joe is right now. He has guys around him making plays and our offensive line protecting him. Joe is courageous, he is physically and mentally tough. Standing there against that defense to keep chucking it and making the throws he did, speaks for itself.

Q: What did you guys do as far as pass protection? It looks a little better in the second half than the first.A: I thought our tackles did a nice job on their outside guys. We slowed down their second step a little bit, with the way we were releasing our tight ends and backs. It was basically five and six minute protection throughout and I think our guys did a good job of blocking them.

Q: With six seconds left in the first half you decided to kick the field goal, was there any thoughts on going for it?A: We would have loved to taken one more shot but six seconds is too tight. If it would have been eight, nine or seven seconds, maybe but probably not. That was just not enough time to think that we could risk losing the three points.

Q: At the end was there any thought of taking one more play before you kicked the field goal?A: Maybe, but with no time outs you are taking a chance. We were in field goal range that was certainly makeable. We got done with that drive what we needed to get done to win the game.

Q: What adjustment did you make after the first quarter, because you did stop the run better?A: Defensively we changed our set-up a little bit. I thought Brad Childress did a good job of attacking on our first and second down defense, with the passing more than anything, which kept us off balance in the run game. We got into some different coverages and settled down a little bit. We took a couple shots there to climb out of the hole, but we didn't start off very well.

Q: With Brett Favre there aren't a lot of secrets as to what he can and cannot do when you give him the opportunity.A: When you give him time that is going to be a problem. He can get the ball down the field and he has great vision down the field. When we got to him he wasn't effective and when we didn't he was effective. Obviously he is a great quarterback for a reason.

LB Ray Lewis

Q: What did that late surge tell you about your team?A: I commend my team. Anytime you find yourself in football games where we find ourselves in football games, every game has come down to the freaking last drive. To me it speaks volumes. It speaks volumes because it shows a team that never stops fighting for 60 minutes. So the bottom line is that we get away from it, come back to it, and correct things in the fourth quarter that hopefully get us over the edge.

Q: Is Adrian Peterson as good a back as you've seen all year?A: I think he plays the game the way the game is suppose to be played. You bottle him up and bottle him up and then one time you get a little lackadaisical and then 'Bam', he's out. That's any back. Any back has that ability. I just think overall, once again, you get in the fourth quarter, here we go. You get big penalties late, move the ball 60 or 70 yards down the field on two drives. That's crucial with a team that's already good. Those are the things that we got to go back and correct and understand why we're trying to move forward as a team.

Q: A Hall of Fame linebacker meets a Hall of Fame quarterback and you know Brett Favre is going to make those plays at the end of the game. Hats off, he's still Brett Favre, right?A: The bottom line is I don't care who's throwing the ball. If you give Brett Favre that type of access to throw the ball one-on-one down the field, he's going to make that throw every time. Like I said, those are the things we have to correct. The bottom line is that we have to get off of the field. Offensively, you look at what we did on that last drive, driving the ball all the way down the field. You make the field goal and you're happy, you miss it and you're not. Every game has been a game of inches. But for me, being in this business for so long, it just speaks volumes for our team in the way we fight, regardless of what circumstance we've been put in.

Q: What about Joe Flacco and the way he led that comeback.A: We saw that two weeks ago in New England. The maturity of what's happening to this team I think in the long run is definitely going to help us and that's what's exciting. And every word on the sideline is 60 minutes. On that last drive you say 'here we go', you kick and miss or make it. That's why it's a game of inches. You just have to come back to work, buckle-up your chinstraps and keep on grinding.

K Steve Hauschka

Q: How did you feel once the ball left your foot during that last field goal?A: I thought I hit it pretty good on my foot. I looked up and it was going left, so I was disappointed. There were a lot of plays in the game, but I think our team put up a good fight out there. I will just have to get the next one.

Q: When did you feel comfortably in range during that last drive?A: We had the range as soon as we made that first down. I figured I would be kicking a field goal. 55 yards was definitely in the range today.

Q: Have you had a pressure kick like the one you missed today?A: I have. I made it. It was definitely disappointing to miss this one.

QB Joe Flacco

Q: Did you watch Steve Hauschka kick the field goal?A: I was just watching my own guys and seeing how they reacted and the crowd went kind of nuts, so I figured it was a little bit missed.

Q: Because of their rush up field, is that why Ray Rice and the screen passes and quick runs were so effective?A: We were trying to get those guys. We had a couple of things that took advantage of their up-field guys. Late in the game they were sitting down a little bit and Ray (Rice) did a great job of finding the little creases to get in. We had little post routes coming out of the backfield for him and he did a great job finding the crease and breaking a tackle here and there to get loose.

Q: Did you use Benny Sapp and Antoine Winfield's injuries to your advantage when they went out?A: A little bit and we tried to take advantage of it as much as possible. Mark (Clayton) went up once in the end zone and made a good catch. You have to give it to them, they fought hard with the men they had in there, but we definitely tried taking advantage of a few things that they had missing because of injury.

Q: Did you go up and talk to Steve Hauschka afterwards?A: I didn't talk to Steve (Hauschka), it happens. He will get another chance and he'll get it next time.

Q: How is your injury status?A: I'm good. I just got my ankle rolled on a little bit early in the game. Guys kept stepping on my foot. Our line did a great job and those guys fought all day to keep us in the game. I think it showed that we wore them out and our offensive line was a big part of that.

C Matt Birk

Q: Do you feel like Hauschka has been pretty good for you?A: Yeah, he's good. Steve is real good. It just so happened today, you know, if every guy could have made just one more play, one more block, it could have changed the game but we didn't. I am sure proud to be in this locker room with these guys. We fought our asses off and we stayed in it until the end.

Q: You guys had trouble moving the ball early, but then you really turned it on late?A: They have a good defense and you have to give them credit. We certainly didn't perform how we wanted to in the first half offensively. We have great coaches that made some nice adjustments and we just didn't get our playmakers the ball and those guys didn't make plays.

Q: Is this a heartbreaker?A: Yeah, they are all heartbreakers. You know, every time you lose it sucks because you lost. That is just the way it is. At the same time, this is professional football. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you.

RB Ray Rice

Q: Both you and Willis seemed pretty stacked up in the middle there early on. What adjustments were made?A: To be honest with you, it was just plugging away. We knew they were stout up front, but if we get long drives, that is when it seems to start to open up. On my first touchdown run there were seven guys in and out. We did a quick count and just got off the left edge, they missed tackles. I got in the endzone.

Q: You know there are only a handful of points and your record would be completely different.A: It is frustrating. But at the same time, 3-3 going into a bye week is not always the worst thing in the world. I think we were in the same position last year, if I am not mistaken. I don't like to compare this year's team to last year's team. One thing we are doing is establishing our identity. Any team that looks on film, they are not going to say the Ravens' record is 3-3. They are going to say, "Man that is a good football team." You know we just could not push it out at the end.

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