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Postgame Transcript - Week 13 vs Steelers


Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) "Obviously, it was a tough loss. Basically, we gave the game away at the end. We should've won the football game, and that's disappointing. We'll keep fighting like we always do. That's what we do. We'll find a way to get in the playoffs. We might still win the division. We'll keep fighting for that, and that's where we're at."

(on his decision to go for it on the final fourth down) "It was just a tough wind up there. It was really outside of our range, as we designated going in. We felt like we had a better chance to get the first down than we had to get that field goal."

(on if it was a 48-yard or 49-yard field goal) "Were you down there on the field? Did you see the wind down there? Did you see the way the ball was tracking with the field goals in pre-game? It was a tough kick. I'm pretty good at that. I've been doing that for a long time, and I understand what those guys can do and what they can't do. It was a very low percentage kick."

(on what range he wanted to get to) "The 27-yard line. That's where we wanted to get the ball. We thought the outside range was 30. That was the drop-dead range – 30."

(on if he thought to challenge the QB Joe Flacco fumble) "There was talk about it. But, when I saw it on the tape, I didn't want to waste a timeout because it was a fumble."

(on choosing to throw the ball for the aforementioned play) "I don't really sit in here and criticize my coaches' play-calling after the fact. Never have; never will. We could've run it. We could've protected it better. We could've completed it, and we'd still be running, and we'd be talking about what a great call it was. We tried to stay aggressive. We called it because we thought it would get us a completion. We didn't protect it, and that's the bottom line."

(on if TE Todd Heap's injury changed the game plan) "It took us out of one package, so it wasn't a killer. We stayed healthy with the rest of the stuff that we did. I thought the young tight ends did a pretty good job. After Ed [Dickson] dropped the first pass, he made some plays for us. I think if we complete those two, we'd still run another flat-route. So, I thought he played OK.

(on not activating a fullback) "[Le'Ron McClain] was a little bit gimpy. We worked on the three-tight end stuff all week, and we felt like the packages were very similar. What I didn't want to do is put ourselves in a position to run packages we hadn't practiced. Plus, the two-tight end stuff and the three-tight end stuff that we had was pretty good against their outside pass rush."

(on the defense's performance) "I thought the defense played great. I thought they played really well. I'm proud of them."

(on LB Terrell Suggs) "Terrell played fantastic. He broke the huddle for us. Terrell was a dominant player. He's one of the premier players in the league, and he played great."

(on if T Michael Oher's performance was affected by injury) "I'll have to look and see. I'm not sure if it was injury-related or not."

(on the offensive play calls after the Steelers' 16-play scoring drive) "I think we took a sack right there, which put us behind schedule. So, if we protect better, we're OK. I don't question play calling before I watch the tape. If I question, I question with my coaches privately, not in this kind of setting. Never have; never will."

QB Joe Flacco

(on the fourth-down throw) "I was working Anquan.[Boldin] the same route we were able to hit T.J. in earlier in the game. It worked out for us before. That wasn't open. I never got my hips turned around enough to get enough pop on the ball over to Ed [Dickson]."

(on the loss) "Well, it doesn't feel good. We played a very good football team. I feel like we gave this one away. It happens. They made a good play. So we've just got to keep our head down and get ready for Houston."

(on if he sensed if Polamalu was coming on the blitz) "It was an all-out blitz. They really brought everybody, and I took three steps and raised my arm and just got hit. I was pretty shocked to see it myself, but that guy's made [that] play in his career."

(on struggling to move the ball in the 2nd half and if the Steelers made changes) "I guess we just never really got into our groove. We would like to score more than 10 points, obviously. We would have liked to have put a touchdown on the board there instead of a field goal. We'd be talking a little different conversation right now [if we did]. But I know that's not what happened. We didn't score enough points to win. That's really what it came down to today. I thought our defense played great. They made a key play, and they put up the points."

(on the blitz on the play where he fumbled) "Everybody was coming. I took three steps and tried to get rid of the ball as quick as I could. I was going to either the flat or the slant. I took three steps, and I had the flat open. I was getting ready to throw him the ball, and I got hit."

(on whether he thought about the game-winning drive in the previous game in the final minutes) "Not really. We knew we had to go down and put some points on the board, whether it was a field goal to tie or a touchdown to win. We felt pretty confident about doing it, and we went down there and just didn't make a play."

(on whether he was aware of where the Ravens needed to get to for a field goal) "We try not to pay attention too, too much to that. You've got to get as close as you can, and then let Billy [Cundiff] take care of it from there. We were trying to complete as many passes and get as many yards as we could, and then let the coaches on the sideline decide whether they wanted to kick it or go for it. We're not really paying too much attention to it unless we're in a certain situation."

(on whether he was surprised to go for it on fourth down at the end) "No, not really. You're going into the wind. Billy does have a good leg, but it was fourth and a couple yards. We had the guy open, and just didn't execute the play."

(on whether he thought his arm may have been going forward on the Polamalu hit) "No, it happened so fast. As soon as I brought the ball back, there was no way. Even if my arm went forward, the ball went backward, so if you throw a ball backwards, I think it's a fumble anyway."

(on bouncing back from this loss) "We've got to get ready to play another game. It happens all the time in the NFL. You lose football games. We've got to get ready for Houston and get ready for another big game. We'll be ready to go. We're a good enough team that we can handle this the way it's supposed to be handled. We'll go back out there and play on Monday night."

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh

(on the loss to the Steelers) "The defense gave us every chance to win, but we just threw the game away."

(on second-half struggles) "It's a combination of things. Of course you're going to come out and try to adjust and not do the things you didn't do well and do more of the things that you did well. But, they're going to come out and make adjustments, too. To be in a situation where our defense completely dominated the game, we were fairly effective, but only scored 10 points. We shouldn't have lost the game the way we lost it. And, if we would've done anything to help the defense out, we would've won."

(on the Ravens' last offensive play) "They played a zone defense. They did a good job of mixing it up. They played more man on that last drive, but the corners didn't want to give up the deep ball. It was just a zone defense. I thought we had a pretty good play call, just didn't execute it right."

(on whether they should've kicked a field goal) "I don't know. You would have to ask coach Jerry Rosburg, coach Harbaugh and Billy [Cundiff]. I have no idea what he thought he could make. The way he kicks the ball, I wouldn't put that past Billy. But, you'll have to ask those guys that."

(on whether the Ravens were conservative in the second half) "I wouldn't say we were conservative. I think we just didn't move the ball. If you want to call that conservative, you can. When you guys are watching the game, you might see it differently than when we're playing. Whatever it was, it didn't work. It's very disappointing when Ray [Lewis] played the way he did, when 'Siz' [Terrell Suggs] played a great game. Everybody on defense played a great game, and we didn't do anything to help them out. That's the disappointing part about it, because we should've had a lot more than 10 points."

(on how good the Steelers' defense is) "We gave them the game. You all watched the game; you know that. They know that. It's just that they took it with a turnover at the end. It's a tough win to swallow because of the way the game was played and because of the way our defense played. I thought our defense played great. And, it's the same song. If we do anything in the second half, we had two possessions in the third quarter, and they were both three-and-out. We kept the defense on the field entirely too long. We just didn't do enough."

(on whether he thought they could win like they did in Pittsburgh) "Of course. That's human nature. I felt like we were going to do it again. Worst case scenario, I thought we'd get a field goal, and we would go to overtime. I never would have thought we would lose the game, even after they scored. With the time we had, I never thought we'd lose the game. Hopefully, we can get some help in the last four games and take care of what we have to take care of."

T Michael Oher

(on whether the Steelers' defensive scheme was anything different than what was expected coming into the game) "No, we'd basically seen everything, and I think we did a pretty good job of picking up everything."

(on what happened on the S Troy Polamalu sack-fumble play) "I don't know, we've probably got to go watch film on it. But he's a great player; we've got to account for [No.] 43 at all times, we can't let him get out of our sights. So, we've just got to watch film and look to see what we did wrong."

(on what this loss is like for the team) "It's a heartbreaker. It's our rival. You know, Pittsburgh, we want to beat those guys every time, and then we're fighting and wanted to take control of the division. To lose this one, we're going to have to keep fighting for the rest of the year."

CB Josh Wilson

(on the mental state of the team after this game) "Man, it's tough, a tough one. You know, these are the ones that you think about, but like we were talking, you've got to get ready for next week. We've got another big one coming next week, and we can't sit here and dwell on this. We'll definitely have another chance at this."

(on whether they look back at the game winning drive and wish they could take that one back) "Yeah, it's a tough one. It's a tough one."

(on what happened on his interception play) "Oh, they ran the slant earlier, and they came back and when they ran the slant-and-go, [it was] a foot race. God blessed me with good skills, and I just had to make the catch."

(on whether he was surprised that QB Ben Roethlisberger was able to hold up as well as he did with how much pressure they had on him) "You must not watch the Steelers play too much. *(laughing) *That's his thing; he's going to get hit, and he's going to break loose, and he's a tough guy, a great player."

(on whether they felt like they ever had Roethlisberger out of the game) "No, when you have a rivalry, that's what happens. It's going to be a hard-fought battle all the way to the end, like every game has been. The last game was with them, and in the past I've seen that's how they've been."

TE Ed Dickson

(on his thoughts when he saw TE Todd Heap injure his hamstring on the first play of the game) "Well, I thought he was going to be alright. He's like Superman. So, I just got in there and basically said, 'Do my job and not miss a beat.' That's what we work on through the offseason, [and] if something major happened like that, I'd go in and not miss a beat, and that's what we did."

(on whether he felt comfortable right away with all the things that the Steelers do, or if he had to grow up very quick) "A little bit of both. I mean, we know these guys like no other team, so I've got a lot of film study, and I felt really comfortable out there with these guys. And I got a lot of support from my teammates; the O-line, Joe Flacco and a lot of receivers."

(on what happened on the first pass that he bobbled around) "When I saw it, the wind had grasped it a little bit and took it right out of my fingertips, and I just kind of bobbled it. And I should have just picked it out of the air like a cherry. So, you learn from that, you can't let that affect your play, and I just wanted to continue the game and catch everything else."

(on his second to last catch and whether he thought he was down after he dove to catch the ball, or if it was just tough to get up and run) "Well, the ball came out a little bit low, and then I just tried to secure the catch and roll out of bounds, because I knew the play clock was rolling. So, I didn't try to get up and run with it, I just tried to roll out of bounds and stop the clock."

(on whether the pass on the last play was deflected or just came up short) "I'm not sure. I think it got deflected and just came up a little bit short, and that was tough. Real tough."

CB Chris Carr

(on the Steelers' win) "They got a play at the end on the sack-fumble. We wanted to keep them out of the end zone, but they had a great play out there. It's disappointing that those things transpired. We just have to regroup, and hopefully we learn something."

(on LB Terrell Suggs' effort tonight) "We were aware of it. We could hear the sacks, and we could hear everyone cheering out there. We were covering for a long time, and it's good. We have a lot of good players on our team. If we can sit there and cover for a long time, Ben will start scrambling and we can get them opportunities to get sacks. Suggs is one of those players who is one of the best in the league, and he had a great game tonight. Unfortunately, we just didn't get the job done."

(on dealing with the loss) "We have a lot of veterans on this team. You can't gloat after a win, and you can't go in the tank and think your season's ruined after a loss. A lot of people tonight are going to be thinking about it. People will probably lose sleep over this one. But, we have a while until we play on Monday night. By the time people wake up on Tuesday, they're going to be fine and they're going to be over it. They'll be watching film on our next opponents, the Texans. We'll be fine."

(on losing a close game) "Sometimes, it just comes down to who makes plays. We were up 10-6 with two minutes left. They get a sack-fumble and run it down to our eight-yard line. That puts the defense in a very tough position. We stopped them on first and second-down, but unfortunately they got a good play on us on third-down. It just came down to that. Great play call on their part."

LB Jarret Johnson

(on the loss) "It's like a playoff game; you've got to play four quarters. You can't play three and play all the way up until the last three minutes. It's too bad, because we felt like we controlled the entire game, and then you look up, and it's over. We have to get past this. We have to win some games and move ahead."

(on whether the long drive affected the defense) "Yeah. I mean, any time you get a quick turnaround after a long series is tough. I had an opportunity to make a tackle at the end, and I missed it, and it would've been big to hold them to three [points], but we didn't get it done."

OLB Terrell Suggs

(on whether he played his best individual football game of his career tonight) "No. No. We didn't win. You can say you had a good game, but that wouldn't be the best one. I think plays were left on the field and even some momentum."

(on whether he felt the game was ripped away at the end) "No, we gave that to them. Is that something new – [Steelers S Troy] Polamalu at the line of scrimmage? You can't give their defense opportunities to make plays. They have a lot of good defensive players over there, as you all can clearly see. That play changed the outcome of the game. We've just got to know our opponent better. I feel like we have to play better as a team – offensively, defensively – and play the game. We need to learn from our mistakes. I remember another sack, fumble for a touchdown in 2008. It's like, 'Have we learned nothing?' You've got to know who you're playing against. [Steelers defensive coordinator] Dick LeBeau, he's an aggressive defensive coordinator. Nine times out of 10 that [No.] 43 [Polamalu] is at the line, he's coming. We can't give them that opportunity to make plays, and we did."

(on the Ravens' defense not giving the Steelers much) "It doesn't matter, because they're going to be happy as hell on that airplane back to Pittsburgh. They got the 'W'. In this league, that's all that matters. They don't want to say, 'Oh, well, the Baltimore defense played phenomenally, and didn't give up anything.' They lost. That's all that matters."

(on his view of the go-ahead touchdown) "He threw it quick. It was a three-step [drop], so I don't think he had a shot…"

Reporter interjects: "No, once the receiver caught the ball"

"Oh, the tackle. He didn't have far to go. We missed a couple. He made a play for his team. That's all you can say. He made a play. They scored."

(on the Ravens giving up a fourth quarter lead for the sixth time this season) "You've got to look at how you've been giving them up. When you're playing the Steelers, you have to keep them out of the end zone. At the same time, you can't give their defense opportunities to make plays. We know we were up. We had some injuries. You've got to play the hand you're dealt. You've got to adjust some stuff. Everybody, I think, watching at home, everybody…When you see [No.] 43 [Polamalu] at the line, four-minute offense, he's coming. It was like, 'Man, I hope we've got a plan,' because it just didn't feel good when I saw that hair at the line of scrimmage."

(on whether he was trying to force a fumble when he had Ben Roethlisberger wrapped up) "I was, but I was trying to strip it. I didn't even know he was outside the tackle box. Once I did strip the ball, I was just going to bring him down. Me and him, I think we weigh the same. He threw the ball out of bounds, and they score in the next two plays."

(on whether he felt he was pretty close to stripping the ball) "I didn't get it. Grenades and horseshoes… In this game, almost doesn't cut it."

(on whether the emotions of this rivalry will make this loss harder to get over) "No, we're going to move on because if we let this get to us, not only can we not lose the division, but we can still slip farther down the line and not make the playoffs at all. But, we're going to move on. It's going to suck. It's going to hurt tonight, but the moment I get home, I'm going to kiss both of my babies and get over it. They don't really care what happened today. I may have some diapers to change. Daddy will be Daddy."

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