WEEK 14 POST-GAME TRANSCRIPT
Head Coach John Harbaugh
(opening statement) "It's good to see everybody. Obviously, we're happy with a victory, and we're pleased with where we're at as far as 10 wins. We are in December football, and that's what counts. There were a lot of great things out there, and I'm sure we'll talk about them. But, I thought our defense was absolutely outstanding. Obviously, until the last drive, we were on the verge of setting a record, so we're disappointed with the last drive. That's something we could've done a lot better job with, with some young guys out there. I guess that's something that we'll look at. Terrell Suggs was just a game-wrecker. He was a game-wrecker in the run. He was a game-wrecker in pass rush. I think he had three caused fumbles. Unfortunately, we didn't come up with any of them. It bounced right back to the Colts. Overall, I thought our offense was solid. They did some things they had to do, and special teams played well."
(on the play of the pass defense) "I think we're playing well defensively across the board. It all goes together. It's coverage, and it's pressure. We've done a good job of playing together. We haven't had too many issues, as far as mistakes, back end or front end. When we do, we try to clean them up right away, and that leads to a lot of consistency. As far as the Chargers, it's going to be a huge challenge. That's a tremendously talented offense, with a premier quarterback. So, we'll have to go to work on those guys right away."
(on how the pass and run complemented each other in this game) "I thought it was a good blend, absolutely. We were moving the ball, getting first downs. In the red zone early on, it was good. We got the score right away. Obviously, we were disappointed with the two short yardage plays. It would've been good to have gotten those two [first downs]. We'll have to go to work on that."
(on Ray Rice's performance and his back-to-back 100-plus yard games) "I didn't realize that. It's really important. That's what this time of year is going to have to be about. You're going to have to be able to do that. There are going to be games when you're not going to be able to run the ball, and we'll have to lean on the passing game. But, if you can run the ball, and you can stop the run, you should always have a chance this time of year."
(on how important it was to not let the Colts hang around) "The important thing is to concentrate on us and play as well as we can play."
(on how close Billy Cundiff was to not being able to kick today) "As far as injuries generally, I don't think we had anything real major coming out of that game. It was important for him to be able to kick, but he started feeling [something] on the kickoffs as we progressed in the first half, so we went with Sam [Koch] in the second half on kickoffs."
(on if Terrell Suggs is playing the best of his career) "I haven't thought about it. That's a good question. He's playing great football. Terrell Suggs is playing great football."
RB Ray Rice
(on watching the scoreboard) "The AFC is very competitive. We have control of our own destiny. We're in our driver's seat, but at the same time, other teams are playing good football as well. So you hope a team drops one. We don't say help because we feel like we control our own destiny. As long as we keep winning, we'll be fine."
(on wanting to play a home playoff game) "I mean, I've played in every playoff game. I've played in the Wild Card, played in the Divisional, played in the AFC Championship, and they've all been on the road. And I'd like to tell you—it's tough. Anybody will tell you it's tough. Any team that I will tell you … plays us, and know that they have to come to Baltimore, it's tough as well. That's something that we're looking forward to, but we don't have to play [those] other teams right now. Right now, we have to play the San Diego Chargers. That's the next task at hand."
(on the offense)"I just think we're playing good team football. For me, it was one of those games where I didn't want to try to do too much, but just stay the course. We were cooking on all cylinders. We passed when we needed to pass it and ran when we needed to run it. When you come out of a game, you're always looking at something that you're trying to get better at."
(on how he's being used) "I guess I have to say I'm pretty fresh right now considering the amount of work load I had in the first half of the season. I'm not saying I saved my best for the end of the season, but I'm doing a great job of keeping myself fresh. I get a great relief when Ricky Williams is in there. I am just looking forward to being consistent."
(on the importance of getting to a quick start today) "We had to. I don't look at any team's record any more because you've got to bring your best on any given Sunday. On any given Sunday, if you don't bring your best, you're going to get beat. We have been victims of that, whether it's on Monday night or Sunday, it doesn't matter. We've been victims of not bringing our best, and we've been beat. We wanted to come out and score to help our defense out, number one. You saw what they did last week. You [saw] the glimpse of a great team, last week against the New England Patriots. They could have easily [gotten] momentum going. It could easily have been that kind of game. We wanted to protect our home."
(on the way the run game is coming together) "A little bit of commitment and getting reps. You can't take away the live reps. That's where the OTAs, the mini-camps, we've missed that since the lockout. But we're now getting the reps, and we're getting good. Our offensive line, we trust each other. Vonta [Leach] trusts me. Each week, it's a different scheme, but the trust is just, I can't even tell you how much I trust Vonta that he's going to get the linebacker, I trust Matt [Birk] that he's going to get the backside cutter. There's just a lot of trust going on right now."
(on reaching 1,000 yards) "It means a lot to me. Anytime I do something, I give my credit to the offensive line. But to do three straight [1,000-yard rushing seasons], it does say something, consistency-wise. I try to just stay the course. Coach Wilbert [Montgomery] was talking about it's a great accomplishment, but I know there's a lot more football left, and I always do my reflecting on how the season played out a couple weeks after the season."
LB Terrell Suggs
(on if he's having a career year) "I don't know. It only counts if we get to Indy and the confetti drops. Right now, I think we are all just doing our parts—holding levee until the general gets back. That's how I honestly think we are playing. Like I said, [defensive coordinator] Chuck Pagano, if anybody is trying to hire a head coach, if they ask, I'm going to say he sucks (laughter). He's terrible. He's a terrible coach. His players don't love him, and he doesn't know what he's doing when he's calling a game. But we all know he's doing a good job. He's playing the chess match to death, and we're doing a good job as a unit and as a whole team."
(on the energy level of the stadium) "I think the world of my fans, and that's why I do so much for them. I always try to have fun with them and get them as involved in the game as I can. You see when we are out there having fun, and M&T is rocking, we are a very tough team to beat."
(on if the team is building momentum with each win) "We just have to keep it rolling because, as you've all seen through the years, championship teams, they don't settle for what's happening right now. Every week, they try to get better, and they try to continue to go and find ways to get on a roll, like we're doing. We're doing a lot of things good, but we have to correct things and get better at the things that we're not doing so well. We've still got work to do. We've still got work to do. We're still not satisfied. This team is still hungry."
(on what it says about the defense to play this well without Ray Lewis) "It doesn't say anything. It just says what kind of character we have on this team. Don't be fooled. This is still Ray Lewis' team. He is still the general of this team, and he has a personal relationship with everybody on this team, and it's showing. As I said, his presence is still very much there. When we come off the field, we are still getting an earful from him. We just held the levees until he gets back. We can't wait until he gets back out there doing the things that he does great."
(on the depth of the defense) "We have a tremendous amount of depth. That shows what kind of coaches you have and what they are teaching the guys. Like I said, from the front line to the back line, we have amazing coaches, and we are doing a great job this year. We can't be satisfied. We just have to keep going. We got to win No. 10. Like I said, we are going to enjoy tonight, and tomorrow we start [preparing] for San Diego."
(on the amount of forced fumbles he's compiling) "Definitely [outside linebackers] coach Teddy Monachino, [defensive line coach] Clarence Brooks. Turnovers help your team win. We are always going to try and get the ball back for our offense. Last year, I missed one that ended up costing us the game going for the strip. Our coaches, they really hound on getting the ball out, and that's what we're doing a lot this year."
(on if the team needs to start falling on the fumbles) "We have to start finding them. It's chaos out there. A lot more is going on than what you all actually see. It's like "The Matrix" out there, with a little bit of "The Inception." It's a little bit crazy. Like last week, I dropped a pick. It was right there in my hands. Like I said, we're having a lot of fun when we're clicking and that includes our fans, too. Like I said, we're just going to keep striving to get better."
(on staying on a team until the end) "Yes, this was big. It was win No. 10, and with an AFC opponent, we just have to keep chugging along. They are a good defense. They are having a rough year, but they still are pretty good. This is the NFL, and we just didn't want to drop one. We got to win No. 10, like I said, and we're just going to continue to work and get better. We are not satisfied at all. We are happy to be at win No. 10, but we want this thing to peak—we want to go to the highest point we can."
TE Dennis Pitta
(on getting open for his touchdown) "Yeah, I think it's just having a feel for the game. You know, feel where the openings are and scramble rules tell you to run with the quarterback, and then come back downhill and all that. But, sometimes you just have to be a football player and find the opening, and Joe did a great job of finding me in the middle and putting it in there."
(on the offense clicking today) "Yeah, we came out and we started fast, and that was the emphasis for us. We wanted to set the tempo early in this game, and we were able to do that and sustain it through all four quarters."
(on what happened on his touchdown catch) "Yeah, Joe scrambled out to the right, and I just kind of felt a void in the middle, so I just sat down in it, and Joe did a great job of finding me in the middle and putting the ball in there where I could go up and get it. And fortunately, Torrey Smith was coming from the other way, and didn't knock it away from each other, and we were able to get the touchdown."
(on the mindset going into the last few games) "Every game is important from here on out to stop the AFC, and we understand that. We've got to play hard each week, and this is the most important game on our schedule this week out in San Diego."
DT Cory Redding
(on the defensive performance today, limiting the Colts' offensive yards) "We're just getting better, man. We're just getting better at the right time, and we're making a real strong push for this playoff position. And we're just getting in the mix and fight for this trophy. We all know what we're playing for, and we have something special here, so it's all about getting better each week."
(on whether there is a message in the locker room that each week really does matter) "Oh, yeah. Everybody knows that. We can't take one game for credit. It's all about going out there, executing the plays and coming out with the win. No ands, ifs or buts about it; we can't let one get away. And I believe we fully understand that as a team and everybody is out there playing like… We're playing for keeps."
(on whether there is a feeling that today was a team win in all phases of the game) "Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You've got to applaud how the big boys are blocking up front, creating holes. Vonta Leach is getting a lot of yards. Ray Rice and Ricky Williams, these boys are pounding the rock. As a defensive lineman, we hate that. To get on top of someone, offensively, and just keep running the ball left, running the ball right, running down the middle; it doesn't get any better than that. And that allows us to go out there and hunt, and go out there and rush the quarterback and just have fun and pursue on defense."
(on whether this game is the best they've played all year) "No, the best is yet to come. Come on, now. We've still got a lot of football left, and like I said, we're getting better week-in and week-out and the best is yet to come."
QB Joe Flacco
(on whether the fast start on offense was a key to the game) "Who knows? If we don't start off quickly, is it a different game? You never know. But the bottom line is, we didn't, so we don't have to think about that. We started off well, and we were kind of able to ride it from there."
(on his thoughts of the run/pass balance today) "We did well today. We had some success in both. It wasn't like we were getting stoned in the passing game and stoned in the running game, and had to pick between one. We were actually able to be successful in running the ball and in throwing the ball, and we did both of those."
(on the touchdown pass to TE Dennis Pitta, and whether he was aiming for him in the end zone) "Yeah, I was throwing it to Dennis. He was actually my main read on that, and they did a good job of covering him up. I kind of felt like the pocket was closing down on me a little bit, so I kind of took my eyes off downfield for a little bit and found a little crease to step up in and thought I might be able to run for it. But when I kind of got out of there, I kind of got a feeling that I might not be able to, so I dragged the play on and just make it a little bit of a longer play, and I happened to peek back and see Dennis with his arms up in the end zone."
(on having success in the red zone today) "You convert, you go down there, you give yourself a good shot, a couple shots to get in the end zone, and you execute. We ran a couple simple plays, Torrey [Smith] did a good job running his route and catching the football. Same thing, we were kind of able to make a play on Dennis' touchdown. But, when everybody blocks well and executes their route and then reacts well to me moving around back there, things just kind of work out. And like I said, it was just execution."
(on whether he's started any scoreboard watching yet) "It's out there, so you always see it. It looked like there were a couple close games, couple of shots, looked like Houston might go down; and they didn't. Looked like New England might go down, and they didn't. But, I'm not really banking on that anyway. I'm looking at the rest of the season saying we've got to win the rest of our games."
C Matt Birk
(on the team's red zone production today) "I would have liked to have been four for four. It's something that we can definitely get better at, and it goes back to our overall killer instinct. When we get teams down, we have to put them away. There's no reason for us to keep it within striking distance. We certainly did a lot of good things today, good enough to win the game. But, there are also a lot of things we can get better at, and we're going to keep working and see how good we can get."
(on what the key is for red zone production) "It's not just one key, but certainly a little finer focus down there. Things happen fast with the run and pass, and a lot of these teams we play have a 'bend, but don't break' scheme. And they try to stop you in the red zone if they don't stop you before. [A key is to have] a little bit better focus, and all it really means is a little bit better execution, especially on a long drive. If you get it down by [your end zone], you need to score the touchdown."
(on the overall feeling in the locker room after 13 games)"Just keep playing. Keep working hard. Keep getting better. We can get where we want to go but all the stuff, all the external stuff, about playoff scenarios and what if's - it doesn't matter. All we have to do is focus on our opponents this week and work hard and get as good as we can."
CB Lardarius Webb
(on the defensive effort) "I thought the defense played great today. This opponent we had, I thought they had the two best wide receivers in the game, and I think the back end did a great job. We still have to work out some communication issues, but I think we're on the way."
(on where he is as a player right now) "I'm getting there. Our communication on the back end is getting better and better. I'm just learning the defense more, and I'm learning where my help is now. I just look at it and say 'I'm growing up a little bit.'"
WR Torrey Smith
(on his touchdown catch) "I thought I had a good shot at getting the ball, so I just ran the route to the corner, and Joe [Flacco] made a great throw."
(on being the possession receiver today) "Every route is an important route. It's just part of being a receiver. When you think about it, I've only run past guys a couple of times this year. The majority of my catches have been underneath. It's just something I'm learning to do, and I want to be great at it. My thing is, I can get there, learning from guys like Anquan [Boldin]."
(on the efficiency of the offense) "We want to be a great offense. In order to do that, we have to run the ball, pass the ball, not have any penalties and be able to score in the red zone. We're not there yet, but we're working towards that."
(on the near collision with Dennis Pitta) "Man, that would have been bad. I saw the black helmet at the last second. Joe [Flacco] said he was throwing it to [Dennis] Pitta, and that would have been bad. We would have run into each other, and the ball would have dropped in the end zone. But he caught the touchdown pass, and that's all that matters."
(on the run-pass balance) "I think we're still improving, but there's a bunch of new people on the team, and especially, from Joe's [Flacco] point of view, we're still growing and getting a better feel for each other each and every week."
DT Haloti Ngata
(on the Ravens' victory) "We did a great job, all the way around. When our offense can be on the field and give our defense some rest, we can go out and hunt. We shut the run down early, and they had to start passing the ball, and that's when Terrell Suggs went crazy."
(on the defense coming together) "It's real important. I think if we want to do well in the playoffs and want to have a home game in the playoffs, we have to win out. That's what we're trying to do, and now we have to go to San Diego and get a win out there."
(on facing Colts' C Jeff Saturday) "He's definitely a veteran guy that you have to be careful of. He's so quick, and he's smaller-sized, so he's able to go side-to-side, and he's really good at doing that. He's tricky – all of a sudden he'll swim-move you and get to the second level. You just have to be really careful with veteran centers like that. They're smart, and they know who they are playing against. He does a really good job for them."
(on the Ravens' success at home) "I think part of it is the fans. The fans make it frustrating for the opposing offense. They can't really communicate well. I think our fans do a great job. I also think our defense does a great job of feeding off of that and staying hungry all the time."
WR Anquan Boldin
(on his catch down the middle) "That was just Joe [Flacco] anticipating. It was a crucial third down for us. That's one of my go-to routes across the middle. Joe led me, and I was able to make the catch. It's something that we do in practice all the time. It's one of those stretch routes, Joe just puts it in there, and I make the catch."
(on catching the tipped ball off of Ed Dickson) "That's just being aware. I honestly didn't expect the ball to bounce off of Ed, but you know we all played defense in high school, and we all did the tip drill, and that was just one of them."
(on the development of the offense) "I think we're starting to be more efficient. Our front line is playing well, which enables us to move the ball, and it opens up the passing game. Everything is working out well. We're giving the defenses a lot of different looks, and everybody is getting the ball."
(on winning at home) "We play well here, there's no secret about that. The fans have a lot to do with that."
(on 700 receptions in his career) "At this point it really doesn't mean anything. I'm trying to get a championship. That's what we all play this game for. I think if I can get that, then I'll be satisfied."
S Ed Reed
(on beating the 0-12 Indianapolis Colts) "Hats off to those guys, because they are still being professionals over there. It's very tough circumstances. I know a couple of the guys over there. It's even tough seeing Peyton Manning on the sidelines. It's a different ball game when you are playing against Indy, and Peyton Manning is standing on the sidelines. We'll take it though, we'll definitely take it. We needed it."
(on teams changing their scheme against the Ravens' pressure) "Not really, but they do have to be conscious because we have so many guys that rush the passer. We have Terrell [Suggs] coming off of the one side, Phee [Pernell McPhee] up the middle, Haloti [Ngata], Arthur [Jones], C-Red [Cory Redding], [Paul] Kruger, you just don't know who is coming at you. Then we have the secondary covering and making picks. We have got to capitalize on that, and we have got to continue to study tape for this team to get better. We all know that."
(on if this is the best Suggs has ever played) "It's still early. He and I continue to talk about it. He is playing awesome right now, but there's a lot more football to be played. There's a lot more time to grow. We have San Diego coming up, and we know those guys are definitely going to throw the ball. We are just going to have to look out for them, and guys are going to have to continue to step up."
(on the margin of error for home field advantage) "It's very small because if you lose this one, or you lose that one, you never know how the tables will turn. That's why early in the season you have so much frustration losing to those teams that we lost to. At the end, everything changes. That's why we keep jumping Pittsburgh, and they keep jumping us."
(on the Ravens' defense being 4-0 without Ray Lewis) "It's hats off to the system, and it's hats off to guys who work hard and prepare the way they prepare. They have to understand that the next man is up, and it does take a lot. It takes 11 the whole time. The mentality really hasn't changed since Ray's been out, and guys understand that."