Postgame Transcript - Week 13 at Browns


John Harbaugh

(Opening Statement) "Good to see everybody here. Couple of things first, I want to introduce my grandpa, Joe Cepeda, a lifetime Cleveland resident. I'm very proud that he's here to share this with our team. Our players were all hugging grandpa on the sidelines, so we're very happy. Secondly, this game ball that we want to present to Ron Smith. I think everybody here from Baltimore knows Ron Smith and what he's meant to Baltimore and to the city and to the people of Baltimore. I had a chance to have a conversation with him on Friday that was just one of the most encouraging and motivational conversations that I've ever had with anybody in my life. He gave us a message for the team that we carried to the team Saturday night and they carried with them on the field today. To Ron and June and their family, this gameball is for you. Thank you very much and congratulations."

"As far as the game, this was a team victory. I think it was won up front on both sides, offensive and defensive line. First the defensive line, we had to stop Peyton Hillis and that running attack, you can see how physical he is. I think as the game went on we got even stronger doing that. Also, the pressure like (CB) (Lardarius) Webb referred to. Colt McCoy is a heck of a quarterback, they've got some weapons out there but he didn't really have a lot of time to find them back there except for really one play. Offensively, obviously the offensive line, (FB) Vonta (Leach), the two running backs, the physical nature of how we played on this kind of a field, in these kind of conditions was a difference in the game. (I'm) just proud of all our guys, coaches, and players. It was a tough win here. We're about to see these guys in three weeks and they're a very good football team."

(On if this was an example of how good they can be if they decide to run the ball) "No, it's not that."

(On the play of RB Ray Rice) "I thought he did a really good job of pressing the play. I thought he did a really good job of staying behind his blockers. Ray is one of these guys, he's got great vision, he's got a great knack for making big plays. You saw both of those today. I think he gave our offensive line time to really block the plays out, but then he made a couple of plays on his own, like only he can."

(On the missed field goals by K Billy Cundiff) "It's the worst possible situation. We would have liked to have gotten him in a little better situation there, maybe on the left hash, but what you had was really bad footing, a crosswind coming from that corner in the Dog Pound. We knew that we weren't going to be able to go very deep there because of the crosswind down there in that corner. We had him on the opposite hash with the wind coming from that corner with bad footing. You notice how on the other one (made FG) that we got it close. He almost took it over to the left because he overcompensated on the two that went to the right. That was how much trouble he was having getting his plant foot down enough to get the ball where he wanted to."

(On what he said or did to help Cundiff following the missed field goals) "I think you have to trust him. I think you have to say that he's a pro, that he knows what he's doing. He'll get it worked out. We have plenty of coaches that put their two cents in but I think that everybody kind of stayed away from him and let him try to figure it out."

(On the importance of scoring after Cleveland cut the lead to 10-3) "It was critical. Obviously, when you are one score away from anybody, especially on a field like this, when someone can slip and it could lead to a touchdown. That (the TD) was the key to the game. To come back and answer like that. I think the down field block by Anquan (Boldin) was such a key that it got us 30 more yards on that play. So it was a huge answer for us."

(On the play of FB Vonta Leach) "I think that when we watch the tape, which I am looking forward, we're going to see big blocks by Vonta. They (Cleveland) have some really good linebackers. (Chris) Gocong is very physical, D'Qwell Jackson is very good. They had (Kaluka) Maiava in there this week, who is a very physical downhill kind of playing guy, so Vonta was a difference maker."

NT Terrence Cody

(On defending RB Peyton Hillis) "As a group, I think we played well. At first, he was able to put together a couple of good runs. But we calmed ourselves down, and we were able to slow him down. "

(On the offense helping the defense) "We love watching the offense run the ball successfully. When they are running the ball well we are able to rest on the sideline. We have a good time on the sideline when the offense is doing well."

QB Joe Flacco

(On a run-heavy game) "We were running downhill on them all day and the offensive line was playing a physical game. That's the way it goes sometimes, we had success running the ball so we stuck with it."

(On three 20 yard pass completions) "I felt we did some things in the passing game, even though we didn't have a lot to do. We had some third down conversions, but I think we left some out there that we could have converted. I think we will need to make those plays down the stretch."

(On if weather had an effect on the passing game) "To be honest with you I felt like I threw the ball well. I felt 'on' today. I could put the ball where I wanted to put it. We didn't throw it much, but I was pretty accurate and the wind and rain didn't affect me much."

(On the defense affecting the offense's game plan) "I don't know. I think it was partly to what kind of day it was. It was conservative, but it was because we were able to run the ball so well. We almost had 300 yards rushing, so it was a good game by our guys."

(On remaining games) "As long as we continue to win games we are in control. We are going to have to continue to play these hard, physical games and convert on third down. Score some points; continue the way we have been playing. We have some tough games left, but it is all up to us."

RB Ray Rice

(On his big game) "I've got to give it to my offensive line. Weather conditions did play a part, but it was a total team effort. I know I get all the glory because I had all the yards, but my offensive line, and the receivers blocking down the field is how big plays happen. I think it was my first 200 yard game, so it felt good, especially against a divisional opponent. We know we are going to see these guys again in a few weeks. So needless to say, our guys played hard today. Everything played a part in the run game today."

(On the point where he thought it was going to be a big game) "I mean I knew I was over 100 yards at halftime. Coach Montgomery said 'you know what, let's start all over'. So when I came back out, I had a carry for nine or ten yards. I came back to the sideline and he said 'you got ten yards', meaning that we started all over again because it was a new half. I wasn't really worried about it. Once he knew I was getting closer to that 200 yard mark, he did let me know when I needed like four yards. I was like I need to get these four yards before it eats me alive. Coach Montgomery has been very influential in my life and my career because he sees what I see. So it makes it a lot easier for me. Today, he told me I was in a good rhythm."

(On responding after Joe Flacco's turnover with the long run) "I mean things happen. You look at the guy that made that play, (Browns DE Jabaal Sheard) he's been doing that all year for them. He's a great player. I saw him coming behind. (QB) Joe (Flacco) usually has more time but with the weather and everything else, they got us on that one play. But I think as a veteran on this team and as a leader, I think we had to get back to what was working, and that was the run game. So when he called that play, I said it's either now or never. We had to make a play then and there. Then we were up by two scores. That's the difference. That was the turning point in the game. Then, obviously, (Lardarius)Webb with the punt return, that was big."

CB Lardarius Webb

(On the punt return) "The punter punted it kind of low. All ten guys blocked well. We've been working on it all week about everyone getting their man so we can make something happen. It shows how important a punt return is and how you can change a game with it. The guys did a great job of blocking their guys and staying with them. When I broke it they followed me to the end zone. The punt return team did a great job meeting me in there."

(On feeling on the verge of a big play happening) "I just knew that this punt return team wasn't doing what we normally do. We needed this play in the game because not everything is always going to go right. When you have a punt returner that can go the distance, we have to do this in a game. It just shows what we can do when we put our minds to it."

(On the Browns' touchdown) "I really don't remember what happened. We just needed to communicate. A lot of the things we gave up tonight were because we were not communicating. We just need to be able to communicate better."

(On jumping Colt McCoy's passing routes) "We just knew we couldn't make it easy for him. He's a great quarterback. He will make the throw if you give him time but our defensive line was in his face all night. The d-line did a good job tonight and makes our jobs so much easier. With (DE Pernell) McPhee playing the way he is playing, a young guy, is just plain relentless trying to get to the quarterback. He was a great pickup for us this year. The whole d-line was playing great."

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