Postgame Transcript - Week 11 at Panthers


Head Coach John Harbaugh

RE: MilestonesT. J. Houshmandzadeh, 600th career catch.
Derrick Mason, 900th career catch
Ed Reed, 50th career interception
Joe Flacco, most TD passes in Ravens history
Ray Lewis, 30th career interception
Ravens second time ever, 2 interceptions for TD in one game

RE: Game summary

It was that kind of a game. It was big plays in so many ways. I like the way our team fights. I like the way our team competes. I like the fact that we were in control in the first half. It should have been a bigger lead if not for the turnovers. The two long runs in the first half; those are the things that you look at as a coach and try to improve upon, but we played well and we were in control. In the third quarter, we hit a lull. We need to stay on the field. We need to convert third downs. To give up the long touchdown pass is something we just can't have. It let them back in the game and made it tighter than it should have. For those two guys on defense to close it out the way they did is impressive. I would like to keep the ball on the four minute deal. So we've got plenty of things to work on. That team competed. Congratulations and credit to John Fox and his coaching staff. That's a great coaching staff. They've got a bunch of fights on that side too, and they really competed. We could have played a lot of better, but we're happy with the direction we're going.

RE: The LateralThat's the kind of lateral you're looking for. I think he executed it perfectly. It was a backwards lateral, which is harder than you think in those situations when both guys are moving, because the momentum sometimes carries the ball forward from the spot where it's released. He pitched it outside the wall. I thought the wall was set up pretty good. That was something we practiced. It was executed really well.

RE: Have you ever seen a lateral pitched that far?I'm not sure. That's a good question. I don't know that I have. It was about a 6, 7 or 8 yards?

RE: Were you concerned about the lateral at first?You know what? In that situation, I really wasn't, because I could tell he had Dawan in position. Dawan was exactly 4 yards deep, the way that we coach it, maybe a little bit more. And the wall was set up. I wanted to score right there.

RE: So are you in favor of those laterals?I want touchdowns, but we don't want turnovers. You've got to put into guys hands to make good decisions, and you try to coach as best as you can. Obviously that was a good decision.

RE: BlitzWe had a five man rush on it. So, it was kind of a run/pass blitz we had on. Josh got a little nosy on it, and obviously got behind it. That was a disappointment.

RE: Defense's performanceThree sacks are not enough. We want more. We want more sacks. We want more hurries. We want more.

RE: How do you think you did in terms of defensing against St. Pierre?I thought we executed our defense pretty well. I told you guys it's a good run team. The offensive line is a good run blocking offensive line. They do a great job of coaching offensive line. This guy is fast! He's fast, and he's big and he's elusive. We kind of recognized that from last week. I'm kind of disappointed that he got back onto the field to get the yards that he got at the end on those two plays they were trying to get yards on. That's our fault, but he's a good player.

RE: Tony Moll and Chris Chester's healthTony looked like he played well from what I could tell. Chris had cellulitis. The fever is going down. They went back in the second time and cleaned it out because his fever spiked. So he's probably going to be a week or two until everything calms down. We just have to wait and see how he responds.

RE: Is he still in the hospital?I think he's out now, but I'm not sure.

QB Joe Flacco

RE: Strange seeing lots of purple in the stands?When we came running out it was like a home game down in Carolina. I was actually hearing from people at the hotel last night that the whole city was covered in purple, that there were lots of Ravens fans in town. And they were right. There were a lot of people that traveled.

RE: Happy fans?Yeah, I think so. It's a great place to come down play a game and it's probably a great place to come watch one, especially when we come down and win.

RE: A take care of business kind of day?A little bit. I don't think we played as well as we would have liked to. We're going to have to look at that. It was good to come down here and get a win. Now we're going to have to go back home and get ready for Tampa.

RE: Difference today?We made some plays. I think the first part of the game I got sacked. It wasn't like I got sacked because of a bad play. They did a good job covering guys. There wasn't really anybody down field. T. J. did a good job of getting on top of guys with speed. Without our offensive line on that play it just doesn't happen because I was sitting in that pocket for a pretty long time waiting for things to develop down field.

RE: Moving the ball down field?I think we definitely showed those guys we were going to try to take shots down field even when we didn't throw the ball down field we were making moves that were going to push those corners back and I think that definitely helped us do some things later on in the game.

RE: 3rd quarter lullYes. We felt like we could have played better in the second half, even the first half. So we'll look at that. These teams are all good. You can't look at their record. They're going to come out and play hard and when you let them have some success they're going to play even harder and harder. We'll look at, like I said, but we definitely could have played better at points in the game.

RE: FumbleThat was all me. My head got scrambled a bit, which can't happen and I went to hand it to Ray, I put it in his stomach and I'm like why isn't he taking it and then I was like, oh yeah! So it was all me. I take full responsibility.

RE: Passing for 300 yards todayIt was just another day. That's what we had to do to win today I guess and I think we did a good job taking some chunks on them. When we did complete passes they were for some pretty good yards and they changed the field and that's what was good about it.

RE: Tony Moll's play?Tony did a great job. We miss Chris (Chester) I hope he's back home getting better right now, but Tony did a great job. We'll be excited to see Chris in a couple of days. Welcome him back, but Tony did a great job filling in.

RE: Kick off return play?It was huge. It would have been a lot bigger if we had scored a touchdown instead of getting three points out of it. That was a huge return by David (Reed). He's got a lot of speed back there and we know he can make some plays. It was good to see him make one.

RE: Moving the ball?We definitely came in wanting to take some chunks and wanting to run the ball pretty well and we took some chunks early. We were able to move the ball down field and pick up some first downs without even getting in third down situations.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Re: His touchdown and if he was surprised how wide open he was on his touchdownI am never surprised at that. I am surprised I got out of the box. But it's fun. Anytime you can help the team, it is always fun.

Re: His 600th receptionI feel like I can play, to be honest with you, five more years, easy. I didn't even know it was 600 catches until somebody told me. I had no idea. I guess it has been that type of year for me. I had no idea.

Re: Describe his touchdown receptionIt was just a post route. I forget who was on that side with me, but I'm really just supposed to clear it out for them. I saw the ball, and I had the easy part. It was just catch it and get in.

Re: Getting so much playing time todayI didn't expect it. I didn't think it would happen, but when it does, you have to be ready. You beat down on yourself a little bit and things like this kind of wake you up.

Re: How it felt to get to play so muchIt doesn't really matter. I know the position I am in and it is what it is. You just have to make the most of every opportunity, period. I know what I am in and it is what it is. You just make the most of it. And that's what I plan on doing.

Re: How he remains calm and has he gotten calmer with ageSome people would say I'm really not that calm. It just depends on the situation. But I have always been like that. I don't really let too many things bother me, at this point. I guess, like you said, it's just a sign of getting older because I was always one that was real fiery and always against the opponent. But when I get on the sideline, I am always really calm. I don't know why.

Re: If Flacco is taking command of the non-verbal gameThey are just giving him a lot more leeway, you know. The last couple weeks they are giving him a little more leeway to do certain things on the offense that he wasn't given the liberty to do early on and he is doing a good job of it.

Re: If Flacco had to earn thatYeah I would say so. As long as the offensive line blocks the way they block, we should be very successful. That's clear. If they play the way that they can play, we will be successful.

Re: Scoring firstI thought it was big. Going into the game… I watch a lot of TV, and everybody thought we would blow these guys out. And the score looks like we did, but the score isn't really a good indication of how the game went. It was the same thing in Buffalo. Everybody thought we would blow those guys out, but with five or six minutes to go it was a seven-point game. So, looking back on it, it was big for us. I'm sure everybody thought that was just one of many, and that wasn't the case."

TE Todd Heap

RE: TurnoversThat's always a key for us and something that we need to get better at. We need to focus on next week. It's something that you always need to focus on. It was unfortunate that we lost a couple. We had some momentum a few times and they got away from us. That is on all of us as an offense to take care of the ball and make sure we don't put our defense in a bad position. We can get better at that.

RE: View on today's gameAlways when you go into a game like this there is more pressure on us to perform, to make plays, to make it the kind of game that everyone is expecting. It doesn't always turn out that way. It took a little bit longer today before we ended it the way we wanted to. That is the way the NFL is. You know going into every game that it is not going to be easy no matter who you are playing. That's the way it was today. We are happy to come out with the win. We are happy to get to seven wins. I feel like we are still improving and getting momentum moving forward.

RE: Capability of defense to finish games like they did todayThey have always been capable of doing that. From my standpoint, I've been around for a long time, it's just a matter of time before those guys make those plays. It was a pretty opportune time for both Ray and Ed for back to back interceptions to score touchdowns. Huge point in the game for us, when we really needed it. It speaks a lot about our defense. It speaks a lot about those two guys.

WR Derrick Mason

RE: 900 catches milesoneI'll think about it later on. We got more pressing issues, we got to get the offense going and we got a lot more games left. I'll worry about that at the end of the season.

RE: Difference between the offenses performance in the first half vs. the second halfI don't know. We dropped some balls on a couple of situations we had and Carolina played good defense, you have to give it up for them. As an offense, we just have to do better all the way around. We need to play as good in the first half than we do in the second half.

RE: His finger injury and how that changes the way he catches the ballIt changes at times, I pick and choose when I have to use my body to catch it. I always have to adjust how I catch the ball and it's more so now. I still trust my hands and I still try to catch everything but if the ball is coming at a certain angle I know that instead of catching it with my hands, I know because of my finger, I have to use my body a little bit.

RE: Dropped passI let the ball get behind me and instead of catching the ball the way I should, I had to turn them the other way and I kind of lost track of it. That's what I mean, I'm just trying to adjust my hands to certain passes and trying to do my best to catch the ball. That's a catch that with eight fingers, nine fingers, 10 fingers, I have to make. That's the way it is.

T/G Tony Moll

RE: How he's handling the position switchIt's pretty much the same and that's how you have to train and focus and study. I could go in and play center if I needed to. As a backup role, that's what you have to do to stay in the NFL.

RE: Were you brought to Baltimore for a day like today?I really hope not. Maybe someday will be my time where I can break into the starting role but I definitely feel like I'm one of those guys that can play every position on the line and I think that's a major help to have a sixth or seventh guy to at that position.

RE: Mashal Yanda's big weekThere was so much emotion in our room this week with his baby and everything like that. With Chris (Chester) going down, that's just kind of the highs and lows and we really just needed to stay focus to win the game and I think we did that today.

S Dawan Landry

RE: Did he think he would score when he got the ball
When he pitched it, I knew I was going to score. I initially was trying to get a block for him but he just pitched it to me because he saw I had a better angle. It worked out.

RE: Defense's ability to close out the game todayIt felt good. We held them for the most part. We gave up a couple of cheap things. Overall we played real well.

RE: Does he feel bad that Ed Reed didn't get in the end zoneYeah, I kind of do because initially I was speeding up when I saw him cut across field because I wanted to get a block for him. I wanted him to score but he pitched it.

LB Jameel McClain

RE: Following Ray Lewis' directionThis man knows this game inside and out. How could you second guess a Hall of Famer that has done it? Whatever he says, I follow his lead. That's easy.

RE: The amount of special team plays todayThat is part of the deal. You have to be able to do it all. Like Coach Harbaugh says you have to be able to play everything and play all facets of the game. Special teams did their job and the defense stepped it up majorly. Thank God for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

RE: Consistent pass rushing today
The D-line got after it. With the blitz calls we got a chance to get after them and got them to throw on the quick.

RE: Changes to game plan this weekIt was pretty much the same thing. Just the linebackers are thinking more so be prepared for the quick slants and things like that. The defense got after it.

RE: Mean more to close out today's game how they did because of what happened with AtlantaIt definitely means a lot. The defense needs to be able to finish. That's what we did with our two leaders and the D-line getting more sacks at the end and getting that pressure. It is definitely important to finish strong."

NT Brandon McKinney

RE: His position progress this season
It was kind of a longer process than you would think. We played around with my position for awhile. I'm starting to feel like I finally have a role and I'm happy with it. Although it is a bigger type guy position and I feel like I've been able to put on a little bit of weight and as well as use my quickness. Coach has done a great job getting me ready for these games.

LB Terrell Suggs

RE: Why Ed Reed didn't pitch the ball to himI get the pitch when there is an actual pitch that exists. I got two touchdowns though, but they didn't pitch it to me this time, I just got to get the blocks.

RE: Opportunity for an interception on the Ray Lewis interceptionI know, I know, had I been a better linebacker, I would have anticipated it and made the play. But now I just got to get better during the week and next time I'll be in a situation to make the play, I'll take it home for my city of Baltimore.

RE: Point in the game where they said "enough is enough"Yeah, kind of. I think after the bomb that (Brian St. Pierre) threw. We were wondering how that happened with the coverage we were playing, we should have been defending that. It still happened though, but that happens. At that point we said "that's enough, we've let them play around long enough and we got the job done.

RE: Whether the defense is angry about Mike Goodson's performanceHe did a good job, he had a good game, you can't take anything away from him. He's a professional football player just like the rest of us.

RE: Getting a sack vs. getting an interceptionI wanted an interception, I wanted to join that party, but I'll take the sack all day, every day.

RE: St. Pierre's performanceI think he did pretty good, they kept it simple for him and who knows, maybe he's won himself a job.

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