Postgame Transcript - Week 15 vs Saints


Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) "First of all, to the Saints, that was a great football game, and that's a great football team. You can see why they are the world champs. They do not quit playing. I think that was on our mind at the end of the game. I'm just so proud of the coaches and the players on this football team for that victory. The gameplan, in all three phases, was tremendous, and I thought it was really well executed. I thought our players – like they always do – fought. But you know what? They played a little better. They found a way to make plays when they had to make plays. That's with all the different things that happened in the game. I'm just proud of this football team. I'm proud of these men, and I'm proud of what we accomplished today. That's a big win. Obviously, we have two division games coming up, and we'll have full focus on that starting tomorrow. But that's a big win for the Ravens."

(on the ability to re-establish the run) "I think our guys blocked. Ray [Rice] and Willis [McGahee] ran hard. We had probably more broken tackles than we've ever had. I thought that they ran really hard, and I thought that our offensive line finished blocks. We moved people and finished blocks. That's a credit to our offensive line. Our offensive line, they work hard every day. Sometimes you don't see the fruits of your labor as quickly as you want to, but it paid off today, and I'm proud of those guys."

(on the defense's ability to stop the QB in the fourth quarter) "That's a great point. That's something that we've struggled with at times, obviously, and we've been disappointed with the consistency at the end of games. We gave up one [touchdown] at the end of the half, but they got it done at the end of the game when they had to today, and that was big."

(on if he felt the team played for the full 60 minutes today) "I think we always get the full 60 minutes out of the team effort-wise. I think our guys play like crazy for 60 minutes. Obviously, we haven't made the plays that we need to make sometimes, or call the right plays at times. We all take responsibility when things don't go well, but this is a tough league, and that's a great football team. We had great coaches and great players going at it, and our players found a way to win the game. That's where the credit belongs. It belongs to the players."

(on the secondary's performance) "Well, we covered. We covered. I think Greg [Mattison] did a nice job of mixing pressure. I think our guys did a really good job of running the pressure. We blitzed a lot, so a lot of the pressure that we got was also four-man pressure. Give Cory Redding and the rest of the defensive line a lot of credit. We had a lot of four-man rush pressure. We ran some gains, some twists in there. I though we were very physical with our pass rush, and we kept Drew Brees in the pocket. He's a little bit of a shorter guy. It makes it harder for him to see some things, and that made a big difference. When he had some lanes and a vision, he was able to make some tighter throws. But when you don't have great vision – because you have a D-line collapsing the pocket – it's harder to make some of those throws."

(on whether this felt like a playoff game) "You know what? You're right. The intensity of the game was like a playoff game. Our guys didn't do a lot of talking. But let me tell you what, we did some responding. But I think they came in here, and that's the way they played. They have a bully mindset. They want to push teams around. They want to intimidate you. They want to get out to a lead quick, and our team is not going to have that. We're just not. I'm proud of the way we responded, and I thought we did it with composure and poise. I'm proud of our guys for that."

(on the defense playing with a lot of energy coming off a short week) "We got some great conditioning last Monday night for our defense. It paid off for us today, so we're proud of that."

(on whether this was a big win) "I like to think of it as a team win. I think all three phases… Our offense scored points. We moved the ball when we had to. Even though we didn't finish out the last drive, we did the things we needed to do to take that time off the clock. Special teams played tremendously. We pinned them down most of the second half. After they pinned us early, we got them pinned pretty much the rest of the second half. It was a great team victory, but it also has ramifications for the playoffs. We keep the pressure on Pittsburgh this way. We're still trying to win the division. They have the edge because they beat us, but we're not conceding that just yet."

(on whether this is a signature win) "I don't know. That's a fair thing for you guys to talk about, but for us, it's a win we needed this week. We needed to get 10, and we have 10. Now, we need to get 11."

(on RB Ray Rice's performance) "Tremendous. How many yards did he have? 200-plus? Just a tremendous performance. He broke tackles, he made people miss. Plus, give the backs and the wide receivers credit. That's one of the best stripping, tackling teams in the league. That's their trademark, causing turnovers. I thought our guys did a tremendous job of protecting the football. If you want to put [the win] on one thing, that was probably the difference in the game."

(on whether this win was more satisfying because some breaks didn't go their way) "If you look at the numbers, you're right. They played a solid football game. They put two balls on the ground that we didn't come up with. Credit Drew for recovering the one. I think one of their linemen got the other one. What a catch [by Lance Moore]. We thought he stepped out of bounds 10 yards ahead, but [referee] Walt [Anderson] said he didn't have a good look at it. I couldn't believe he made the catch. Then you start watching it, and you say, 'The kid might have made the catch.' But I thought you had to challenge it. There's no way you could just let that go. We focused on some camera angles. Maybe he was bobbling, or maybe he stepped out. We thought maybe he stepped out of bounds 10 yards upfield, but they didn't have the look at that. I thought you had to challenge it. It was a good catch."

(on the defense keeping their composure during tough situations) "I think there were probably some things. They came up in the Pittsburgh game. It came up at the end of this game. Our guys kept their composure, played the defense at the end really effectively, and made plays to get off the field. I'm just really proud of them."

QB Joe Flacco

(on how important it was to run the ball and control the clock) "It was important because we were successful and scored points while doing it. The biggest thing is that we knew we were going to score points. When we got down there in the red zone, for the most part, we put the ball in the end zone, especially early on. After we got down 7-0, we came back with three big scores, and the running game was a big part of that."

(on taking a kind of cheap shot and showing some passion) "I don't know if they rallied around it. Everybody wants to say passion…I have my things on the sidelines sometimes. I don't know that they always get caught. But apparently, this one did. I wasn't too happy at the time. it happens. I feel like I was hit late."

(on Ray Rice's performance) "It was great. Ray came ready to play, big time in the running game. Our offensive line did a great job of creating space on the line of scrimmage. Ray did a great job of finding that room and then creating a little bit of extra yards on his own. Ray did a great job on some of the screens. It was a really good game."

(on the improvement of the offensive line during the game) "That happens on some drives, and it happened to be the first one. They came out ready to play from the very beginning, a big part of our win today was because of those guys just fighting and doing the best they can."

(on whether he knew coming into the game that the running game would take over) "I had no idea. "You never know. Cam [Cameron] may have had a better idea. We came in with a normal mind-set, and I think we saw pretty early on that we could play a physical game with these guys and do a good job with it, and we did."

RB Ray Rice

(on what the victory says about the team) "I can't be more proud of my team. I will just straight up tell you, Ray Lewis spoke to the team last night, and his message to the team … You've got a guy who played 15 years and gave all of his blood, sweat and tears. You know when the time is trickling down late in the season, and we've got to push for that. He spoke to the team, and I just think everybody heard that message last night. We just came ready to play. I actually came into the game joking with [the offensive line], but I was serious and told them, 'I only need 102 yards to get a 1,000, let's make it happen.To do it against the defending champs and come away with a W,' it was just a great effort. I don't know what I have to do for my guys, that's two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Maybe a steak or some early Christmas gifts. I'm gonna help those guys out."

(on what LB Ray Lewis said in his speech) "It was more like sacrifice. What are we going to sacrifice now until the rest of the season? We had our bumps and bruises, but what is everybody willing to sacrifice for one goal? The one goal is to win a Super Bowl. Let's not forget, they were the defending champs; they still are the defending champs until somebody knocks them off. To beat them this late in the year when they were peaking and how many games they've won, it just says something about our team. We respond to situations really well. We've been making it pretty interesting, but one thing about our team is we've got a resilient group that can rebound, that can bounce back, especially after a short week, and we played our game. We figured out a way. We ran the ball. That was one thing that I was more impressed about because we developed mentality. One thing Ray said last night was: 'If we're going to run the ball, run it, and let's not stop until they stop it.' I definitely felt that message played a part throughout the whole organization because everybody came to play today."

(on where he ranks this game in his career) "I think this was my career high from what I was told. That's why I laid my shoes over there. I'm going to give them to my mom for Christmas. I'm going to sign them and give them to her for Christmas on top of her other gifts."

(on where he ranks the game emotionally) "Emotionally right now, every game from here on out is like a playoff game. So emotionally, it was just … especially coming into the game knowing that there was some doubt that we weren't going to be able to beat the defending champs because of last week's performance. But this is a new week. We scored, they scored. We matched them hand-for-hand. We played chess with them today, and it just so happened we finished the game with a checkmate."

(on whether he knew if the running game would take off today) "I saw the gameplan; I knew we were going to run the ball today. We knew one thing we would be able to do was run the ball. It wasn't anything against their defense, their defense is ranked pretty high. One thing we had to do was run the ball because they played that man structure. The cold weather doesn't bother me. I've been in Rutgers, grew up in New York. It felt like it was 80 degrees out there for me. I was good to go. Late in the year, it's a mentality thing. It just felt good to know that we said we were going to do something and went out and did it. There were no complaints, even when there was a bad play. The first couple of plays of the game, I'm getting knocked back for negative yards. So what? The guys had the mentality 'next play'. You can't do anything about the last play, [you have to move on to] the next play and the next drive. There was so much positive energy in the huddle that it felt different than any game. We're running the ball, and next thing I know, my receivers are blocking down the field. When you've got a group of guys that are willing to sacrifice, like Ray [Lewis] was saying, for one thing and that's to win. The lucky number was 10 today. We just happened to get that done today."

(on whether the team got their identity back) "I think we've established our team mentality back. Our identity was to win as a team. No matter what we've got to do to win, whether it's run it 50 times, or pass it 50 times. Whether it's defense making a play or whether it's special teams, I think we developed our team mentality because everybody has to sacrifice for one thing and one goal. Whenever Ray [Lewis] brings it up, it's one mission, one team, one heart. We played like that today. In the film, it'll definitely show that."

(on what he thought of QB Joe [Flacco] showing passion on the sidelines) "We both had little situations with the refs. We both got a little hyped up. Whenever you see Joe fired up, you've kind of got to say, 'Joe's fired up.' He keeps it cool, and he maintains the balance, but I've seen him fired up before. I've seen him ready to go. We go as Joe goes. Sometimes, other guys have to take the lead. If I've got to be the sparkplug, let's be it."

(on his touchdown catch) "[QB Joe Flacco] threw the ball perfect. I couldn't even tell you how perfect the ball was. One thing I refuse to do is let a linebacker cover me man-to-man. With me running I've got a full head of steam. If that was in the midfield of play, it probably would have been a catch-and-run after it because it looked like we had the safety beat. Joe put it to where I could catch it, grab it and develop my feet to make sure I wasn't going out of bounds. That's a big time throw. I saw it at the last minute. I just wanted to get a full head of steam, and make sure I had the guy on my hip, so if I had to back shoulder or something – and that's where he put it – I got it. It was just one of those throws where it should make top 10 this week on ESPN."

C Matt Birk

(on how tough it is to run on a blitzing team like the Saints) "Yeah, it's tough, but at the same time, too, if you catch them sometimes there are holes there. There are holes there. And our backs got to the second level a few times today and were able to break some long runs. That's really what we've been missing."

(on what this win means to this team going forward) "Well, it was a game we felt like we had to have. The Saints are a great team, the defending World Champs, all that stuff, but we're fighting for our playoff lives at our place in December, and it just felt like it was a game we had to have. It was great, because today was a total team win; offense, defense and special teams. All three phases made plays, and we can feel good about it, but at the same time, we go back to work. What we did today guarantees nothing next week, so we'll just start over and keep preparing the way we do and practicing hard and give [ourselves] the best chance for success on Sunday."

(on the offensive line's performance as a unit and the play of RB Ray Rice) "Yeah, some good, some bad, kind of like we always do. But it was great. It was the type of game… I mean, we always want to establish the run and then converting of third downs, staying the field, you know, longer drives. That lends itself to calling more runs and just the type of game it was. And every week we try to get Willis [McGahee] and Ray [Rice] and those guys in the second level, and they can do their thing there, and fortunately for us, they got up into the secondary and did some things. That's what those guys do, that's why they're special."

(on whether it had been frustrating having trouble running the ball earlier this season) "We certainly hadn't run it the way we wanted to, but frustration, I don't know. Nothing comes easily in the NFL. If you're frustrated, I don't think a lot of positive things come from that. We just kind of said to our men, 'We've got to get it going, we've got to get the running game going,' and just really had like a laser focus this week in practice. We practiced hard as an offensive line, I mean we were hitting each other and doing some things, and it's just obviously important for a lot of reasons. But the run game helped us win this game today. But it's one game, and next week you've got to do it all over again. But certainly, like I said before, we're at our best when we're balanced on offense, so establishing the run game is important for us."

LB Ray Lewis

(on whether this was 60-minutes of football today) "It doesn't get… I just think it just doesn't get any better. First of all, God is so amazing, and this team has been through so much. You know, we've been through every up, every down, every peak, every valley, and just for us to come out and fight the way we did; we knew these were the defending champs coming in here. And we've been a 60-minute ball club all year, and for us to pull it out the way we did, you've got to tilt your hat off to our team."

(on what went through his mind when the Saints tied the game in the fourth quarter) "Nothing. As long as it's a tie score, we can't lose. And that's what I was walking on the sideline telling the guys, 'Let's go finish it now. Let's finish it.' And that's what good defenses do, great defenses do. They go out and finish it, and we knew they were going to have some success. You're talking about the defending champs, you're talking about Drew Brees, but a lot of weapons over there. But the way we came out and played today, I mean offensively, defensively, special teams, we had a heck of a game plan going."

(on whether the team needed this win for confidence at all) "Confidence? I'll tell you, the only confidence we need is piling on more wins than losses. And that's what we've been talking about all year. Forget what everybody is saying from the outside; just keep piling up wins, and at the end of the day let's look up and see where we are."

(on his speech to the team last night and what it meant to him and the team) "Everything that I speak to my team about is just always straight from my heart. And me spending a lot of time with God before I came to the meeting, and He just kept putting things on my heart, kept putting things on my heart. And so when I just came, it was just about one thing; sacrifice. I've been in this business 15 years, and I've seen some good teams, and I've seen some OK teams, but what we have right now, the question was very simple, 'What would you give for the man beside you?' That's it. That's it. I don't care what the score is here and there; if we come out of here with the win, we became a better team. And that's basically what it was all about last night. Now, of course, it was much deeper, but that's kind of personal, because I really went into some personal stuff with my teammates to really share that these moments will never be again, ever. Ever. I remember when I was in my first year, and I went all the way back to that, and now I'm in my 15th. And if they understand this – the young guys that we do have – then they'll appreciate every second, every time we step on that field."

(on playing in a chess match with Saints' QB Drew Brees today) "Those games, man, you see the way it goes. They're going to make plays, we're going to make plays. But when we needed to, you know, Coach Mattison did a heck of a job putting us in, just communicating with each other, making sure we made the right checks, and we did. And we did, and we really got after them. Our front seven really just got after them. The ball never really got over our head, you know, we gave up one play. But then you take a 15-yard penalty that they gave us to give them a touchdown, you know, it's things like that you've just got to keep fighting with. So, again, I really, really liked the way our team fought today."

S Ed Reed

(on whether he had a déjà vu feeling at all after the Saints tied it in the fourth quarter) "No, no. We knew [it was a] 60-minute football game before we even went out there. Just like we play all the rest of them; it's no different than the way we played all the rest of them. Same mentality, man, whole football game."

(on a lot of unsportsmanlike penalties being called, including one against him) "Yeah, well I swung kind of hard. I thought I was going to be able to get the ball and wound up hitting his head and whatnot. So, those plays are going to happen, it's football. You've just got to build from it, not make those mistakes and try to not do it, because we kept drives going. You know, they scored after that. So, you've just got to be smart about what you're doing."

(on the way RB Ray Rice ran today) "Hey, man, give him the ball. We've been having that staple all year, we knew it, [and] it's just a matter of getting rolling and being able to read your keys as players and coaches and execute. Our [offensive] line did a tremendous job moving the line, changing the line of scrimmage."

(on the defense not appearing to show any signs of fatigue this week) (laughter) "Hey, we were playing in Houston, man, that weather was different, they closed the dome, and we played 90 plays. Some people don't know anything about football."

(on whether the crowd helped a lot today) "Always. Playing at home, representing Baltimore, Baltimore representing us well. So, it was a great win."

(on whether this was a signature win) "I don't know about signature win. It can come back once you look at the season, but we've still got two games left in the season. [We're] trying to get to the postseason and finish up strong."

(on how much the Ravens needed this win today) "I mean, we needed it for what it was. For what it was at this time, we knew it was going to be a long stretch going into the playoffs. It's real tight in the playoff race right now, and all we could do is take care of ourselves and that's what we did today."

DE Cory Redding

(on the defense and rushing Brees) "The main focus was the integrity of our rush lanes, stay disciplined. He's not a really big, tall guy, so we have to get our hands up when that ball is thrown, and as long as we put some pressure on him, and the guys [cover] it, that was going to give ourselves a good chance to win this game, and that's what we did. I believe we executed quite well."

(on if this is the kind of game he envisioned when signing with the Ravens) "I envisioned winning when I signed with this team. You're going to get a tough game every single week, regardless, if a team is 1-15 or they're 16-1. This is the NFL. People get paid to win. And guys have got heart and pride. So every week you're going get your best game, so you can't take not one game for granted. We just played one heck of a team, great quarterback, great coach, great organization, and we hung in there to the end and fought against these guys, and we came up with the victory."

(on the interception) "It was awesome, first career. Made sure I got to the highest point so nobody could take the ball from me and try to get some positive yards with it. It was awesome, just to see that ball in the air, and say 'you know what? I can get this ball'…and prove to my coaches and teammates that I catch. That was huge, to get the ball back and give it to our offense and have a potential chance to score. We put points on the board with the field goal and ran time off the clock."

(on keeping Brees in the pocket) "That's the whole design is to keep him in the pocket, make the pocket collapse around him. But there were sometimes we designed to have him flush out of the pocket, have somebody come from the back side to chase him down or somebody rush up in front of him to pull him up. We put a great game plan together, we executed, and guys ran around and tried to corral him as much as we could, try to frustrate him, hit him, touch him any way we could."

(on using a four-man rush) "That's the beauty of watching tape. We saw some things that we felt could expose them in getting into the rush lanes and making guys move around. They're big guys up front, but sometimes big guys don't have very good feet, and if you can make them move, we can create mismatches and get them off balance and put pressure on the quarterback."

(on the defense having more energy at game's end) "The energy, first, is from our crowd. We feed off the energy. With Willis and Ray running the ball like they did tonight, the offensive line, everybody blocking the way they did, it gave us time to rush on the sideline. And so we went out there fresh and felt good to go out there and get the stops that we did."

LB Dannell Ellerbe

(on beating the Super Bowl Champion Saints) "It's always important to get the tough win. That's the key. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. They are the best because they won the Super Bowl last year."

(on limiting the Saints' offense) "They have got a high–powered offense. You cant just double cover one guy like you can on some teams. You just have to account for every guy and just man up."

(on Saints QB Drew Brees) "He's very accurate. I've always seen him play on television. It was an honor today to play against him in person."

(on winning their 10th game) "We're just trying to win out and hope for the best."

DT Haloti Ngata

(on beating the Saints) "We just wanted to win. It was great that we played almost a complete game. We played 60 minutes and got a win out of it. It's a beautiful thing."

(on shutting down the Saints' running game) "That's what we try to do early. We let them know that they couldn't run the ball against us, and we made them one dimensional. That allowed us to pin our ears back and try to get some pressure on [Brees]."

(on the tipped pass on DT Cory Redding's interception) "I was supposed to hit that A-gap. The Saints closed it, so I just spun around, and I just saw his eyes looking behind me, so I just kind of jumped up and tipped it. It was perfect."

(on DT Cory Redding being on a winning football team) "Even if he had been on a winning football team before this, this year feels great. It's great to be on a winning team and I know it feels great to him. Winning has been kind of foreign to him, but hopefully, he can be here for a long time and we can keep this going."

(on being held in the end zone) "I didn't get the call, so you just got to try to play hard and get another pressure on the next down. I was just happy we got off the field on that drive, and let our offense do what they do."

(on the Ravens blitzing more) "I think our coaches did a great job of getting us ready this week. Last week we had a tough game, so they made sure we were fresh throughout the week. They didn't put too much pressure on us – they rested us a little bit, and we were able to come back and come out here and get a win."

(on New Orleans' possession from the 4 yard line in the 4th quarter) "We were just trying to get off the field, maybe get a three-and-out or possibly, safety. They converted a first down, but we were able to get off the field after that set of downs."

(on whether he was thinking about past 4th quarter leads)* *"Of course, of course, I think everybody on our defense was thinking that we couldn't let this one get away. Throughout this year we have always let teams finish us off. It just felt that great that our defense could help out our offense like that."

LB Terrell Suggs

(on preparing for the Saints) "Our coaches did a good job of getting us rest. That was our number one priority this week. We rested and studied our opponent. They did a good job of resting us so we could play this week."

(on whether the Ravens blitzed more week) "I don't know, I think we definitely didn't want Drew Brees to get comfortable. Brees is one of the premier quarterbacks in this league. You definitely don't want him comfortable. You don't want to turn the game into a seven-on-seven pass drill. He's the best in the business, and he's the defending champ. We just wanted him not to get comfortable."

(on Ravens LB Jarret Johnson's claim that Suggs goes where the sacks are) "I just try to go where I think it's best for our team, and where I need to be successful. Double-J [Jarret Johnson] made some great plays for us, which he always does. He does the dirty work for us. He does all of the heavy lifting, and it's hard to get noticed when you have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on the same defense. Right now, we're just clicking as a unit. We're definitely clicking on the pass-rush front, and we're having some success."

(on what beating the defending Super Bowl champions means) "It just goes to show that when your offense is clicking, and in sync, you can be a deadly team. I think [the Ravens' offense] did a good job with time of possession and making sure that we were rested. When we have games like that, we're a pretty good team."

(on holding the Saints to 25 yards rushing) "They run the spread offense, and they kind of go to the run as a change-up. They have three amazing running backs, but everybody knows Drew Brees wants to get that thing out, he likes to sling it around, that's their game. We really just got back to the basics of stopping the run, and we were successful."

(on what the win over the Saints means) "This was a big win. We defended our home, especially since we didn't last time we were here. We take pride in giving our fans what they want. When we're home, we give our fans a show. We just played really good football today."

(on whether today's performance will help his Pro Bowl chances) "That would be a nice added bonus, but we all know what the team goal is. It would be nice, but if I don't go, I'd be happy with getting a first round bye."

(on Cory Redding's interception) "I was looking at him, and I saw that he caught it, and the first thing I was thinking was 'when is he going to get down, please?' He made a great play, but that play was actually made by Haloti Ngata. Haloti's been making plays like that for us all year. We knew that all we had to do was get our hands on one ball, and that it would pop up, and one of our guys would pick it. It was just a great play."

(on getting on a roll) "The 2007 [New York] Giants got on a roll, and then they beat an unbeatable team. We definitely want this momentum going into the playoffs. We have two games left, and we have two very, very tough teams to play."

TE Ed Dickson

(on his contribution today without Todd Heap) "Credit goes out to the offensive line, because the tight end is part of the offensive line. It wasn't easy but we got the victory."

(on his touchdown catch) "It was a delay play. We knew their tendencies. We knew they like to come after us in the redzone and third down plays. It was a great play call by [Offensive Coordinator] Cam Cameron, Just a little wide delay. The guy that had me, added on in the blitz. He came out late. I was wide open and I saw the end zone, and there was only one defender back. I had to go either around him or through him, so I ended up going around him, and I was able to reach the end zone."

(on being ready when Todd Heap went down) "A lot of credit goes out to my coach Wade Harman. He stresses that he doesn't see us as young tight ends, me and [Dennis] Pitta. He sees us as vets, so to speak. So the calls came for me and Pitta to step up, and we've been able to do it these last couple of weeks. If it takes us to catch some balls, or it takes us to block for our great running backs, then that's what we've got to do."

WR Derrick Mason

(on blocking down field for his running backs, specifically Ray Rice) "He just did a good job of using his blockers, but both of our back really, Willis [McGahee] had some long runs as well. Both of them have excellent vision. When you have three backs like we do, that are able to make cuts and see the field, it makes for a good running game. Hopefully, it can continue. Teams are going to look at what we did to New Orleans, and try to stop it.

(on the chippy play) "I guess on those key situations in the game, things can get a little testy. It got a little testy towards the end there. But luckily, there was not a personal foul from us. They got one, a key personal foul, but we were able to stay calm. Thankfully, we showed a little maturity out there when things got a little rough. But we didn't engage in any of that extracurricular stuff. Proud of my team for that.

(on Joe Flacco not getting the call when he was hit in the head) "He should have. I mean, come on. You have to protect our quarterback. I know his last name is not Brees or Manning or Brady, but our quarterback is very good. He needs to be protected just like the rest of the bunch. You can't allow our quarterback to be hit after he throws the ball or he's on the ground. That's just not called for. If the league fines them so be it, but if there's fine, then there should have been a flag as well."

LB Jarret Johnson

(on the pressure they were able to get on Drew Brees) "Yes, definitely more aggressive. We were able to get to him on some edges. Even on a four-man rush we were good. We mixed it up between pressure and coverage, and that was a lot more our style."

(on the general chippiness between the two teams) "Any time you get late in the year, and you have two good teams fighting for playoff position, it going to go like that. When you have two bulldogs fighting in the ring, they're going to go at it. It was a chippy game, that's how we like it."

(on his sack against Drew Brees) "Happy to get that monkey off my back - I finally got a full sack. It's been a crazy year for me, whatever. I just wish I could've gotten to the ball quicker, but [Brees] was able to roll over on it."

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