Postgame Transcript - Week 3 vs. Browns

POST-GAME TRANSCRIPT

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "Obviously, it was a team victory, and when you win, that's usually the way it goes. We stood up here last week and talked about how well we played on one side last week, and we didn't get the victory. It doesn't matter. What matters is how you put it all together as a team, and you find a way to win. I thought the Browns played really, really well. That's a good football team. Their defense played well. We talked about it all week. I thought their offense did what they had to do in terms of running the ball against our defense, and that's something we have to work on. We have to make sure that we don't allow people early in the game when it's run-pass to run downhill on us. But, by the same token, when we had to get the run stopped at the end, we got the run stopped at the end. That was probably the key factor in the second half. And the last thing was our special teams. I think our special teams were up against it in this game. It's easy to forget that now that the game is over, and they didn't break anything on us. But that was the best special teams unit in the NFL last year. We aspire to that. We have a bunch of guys here that want to be the best in the league in that phase. And we made a step in that direction, I think, today. I'm proud of the way those guys played. Penalties were a problem in the second half. The personal foul penalties in the second half is not okay. You know, sometimes in the heat of battle, tempers flare, but you have to understand what gets called and what doesn't. It doesn't matter if you get pushed. It doesn't matter if you're not emotional about a play, those kinds of things we have to do better than that. I thought, obviously, the passing game in the second half, with the big plays were big. Anquan Boldin came up with some big plays for us. Joe [Flacco]-to-Anquan [Boldin] was a big difference. But understand why those things get set up. It's because they're not covering one guy. You've got guys that rotate to [Derrick Mason], or they're dropping down to make sure they cover T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] all the time in the three-wide set. They have to cover Todd [Heap], so that's a team effort right there. So other guys are going to have big days, for sure. I thought we ran the ball pretty well for the most part. It was a tough win against a really good team. I thought the crowd was tremendous. Now we move on to Pittsburgh."

(on Ray Rice) "I thought he played really well. He made some good runs where the hole was designed to be, and he made some good runs where the hole wasn't designed to be. He broke some tackles on screens, and that was really important. We don't know right now [about his knee injury]. There's nothing ligament-wise that's a problem, so that's probably where it starts, so that's the most important thing, or cartilage-wise, as far as we know. We don't know [the extent] for sure."

(on Joe Flacco beating the Browns' blitz on Boldin's TD) "That was a big-time play. When you talk about a guy making progress in his third year, I think it showed up right there."

(on the pass blocking) "The protection was there. They do a very aggressive blitz package, similar to what the Jets do. Rex [Ryan] and [twin brother] Rob [Ryan] are very creative guys, and they come up with some good stuff, and I thought our offensive line was all over it. Our backs were all over it. Not one time did they have a free run, really, that could've been picked up by the protection, so our guys did a nice job. I thought Joe handled it really well with the receivers. He got the ball out fast, he handled the pressure. We gave a little bit of ground and got the deep throw to Anquan [Boldin], just like I said, it's a team effort there, on the blitz."

(on the performance of the offense) "I think the whole team won the game. That's important for [our offense]. Our offense wants to be that kind of group that can – if we're not shutting a team down like we're capable of doing, which we didn't do today like we've done before on defense, we have to be able to score some points and keep our defense off the field and give them a break. It didn't happen all the time. There were times when we had to get back out there on defense and find a way to get a stop. I thought our offense carried themselves really well."

(on how well Joe Flacco rebounded from last week's loss) "It says he's the kind of guy you want playing quarterback for you. I don't think there's a guy in the building that doubted that for one second. Not Joe, not Cam [Cameron], not one of our players, not me. That's not to say you don't do everything you can to be as good as you can be, because that's what you do. But Joe's done it before, and he'll do it again. Every game he plays is not going to be perfect, but he played well today."

(on the performance of Anquan Boldin) "You talk about Anquan, but I really want to frame it up in terms of all the guys. It didn't show up last week. We weren't able to take the so-called weapons and put the kind of points up, so it's not going to be there every week. That's why it's got to be a few men with [big numbers]. But Anquan Boldin showed today why we wanted him to be a Raven. He's our kind of guy. He played, we want to play. I say that about [Derrick] Mason, I say that about T.J. [Houshmandzadeh], I say that about [Todd] Heap. It's going to be Anquan today. It's going to be the next guy the next week. That's what we're really all about on offense."

(on if his decision was validated on keeping K Billy Cundiff) "Thank you for bringing that up. I should've mentioned that. What's the word? I told him he was a stud when he came off the field. I couldn't think of a better word. But he wanted those deep kicks. We were piddling around in our minds of squibbing it and side-kicking it and stuff like that, because [Josh Cribbs] is dangerous. And Billy said, 'I want that deep kick,' and he came through twice. And then he came through with a huge field goal, and it wasn't an easy kick, at the end of it, so it was a big day for Billy Cundiff."

(on if he knew how dangerous RB Peyton Hillis would be) "That's a good question. This guy, Hillis, we watched him on tape, and we thought, he's a downhill player. I know that Eric [Mangini] really liked him, just by what you read. He's physical, but I guess he's a guy you have to see in person to appreciate him. He is physical. I mean, this guy is hard to bring down. He's a north-south runner. And, he's a guy we're going to have to contend with for a long time in this division."

(on problems on defense at the start of the game) "We were playing kind of a mixed defense. In other words, they were in a situation where it was run-pass, and you've got Seneca Wallace, who's a threat, who gets outside the pocket, and we were playing defenses and fronts that allowed us to kind of cover and play run. They were running the ball well enough and blocking well enough where it didn't hold up for us, so we tightened up with some calls in the second half. We were more heavy at run-oriented defense, and it worked out."

(on Derrick Mason's delay of game penalty and his frustration) "Well, I'm not sure about that particular play. It wasn't out of frustration. That's the thing I saw. He and I looked at each other, and he said, 'Take me out for a play.' Then he said, 'Coach, I'm good. I can't believe [the officials] threw [the flag], but I have to know better than that.' And that's what [the officials] do. It's a delay of game situation when you throwB the ball or kick the ball or anything like that. And it wasn't a frustration factor. The other side of that is – this is what you've got to understand about NFL football players – they want to be the difference. They want to be the guy that wins the game. And they understand the ball is going to get spread around. Same thing on defense. We rotated our corners a little bit. They didn't want to come out of the game. So I don't mind seeing that. I just think we have to understand how the rules are called, never put our team in jeopardy with a penalty, and that's where the line is drawn. I need our guys to be smart enough to do that."

(on why Terrence Cody was inactive) "Well it's two-fold. I think his knee is not 100 percent. He's done a good job. He certainly could've played. It's also, 'Who do you put down?' We had some good players up, and you only get 45, so that balance right there made the decision for us. And we'll just have to see next week where we're at. He's ready to play though."

NT Kelly Gregg

(On the Browns' offense playing well) "They were making some plays. You've got to take your hat off to them, and the offensive line was blocking well, and the running back ran hard, and the quarterback made some plays. We were lucky to get a win."

(On the second half) "We made some halftime [changes], we switched up our calls a little bit, and they just did a good job. It was very good to get a win in our home opener, and hope we'll play better next week."

(On winning the home opener) "I was talking [about it] this morning, I can't remember two times opening on the road. I don't remember starting a season like that. To come home and get a win, especially a win like that, where it's a nip-and-tuck, it's good for us, and we can build on it."

K Billy Cundiff

(On deciding when to kick to Cribbs and when not to) "It kind of just depends on the wind; the direction kind of changed by minute. So it kind of depends on what we were feeling at the moment. I know that the next-to-last kickoff they were going to go ahead and sky it up. I told them today I'm feeling really good, let's try and kick it out of the back of the end zone. They kind of gave me the green light knowing that 'OK, let's see if this kid actually can do what he says he's going to do,' knowing that if I don't put it [at] the back of the end zone, I'm probably going to get screamed at. So, for me, I felt really comfortable with that, and just did it. And the last kickoff, same thing. So [I'm] just kind of riding that wave of confidence."

(On if deciding to kick to Cribbs is a challenge) "At this level, if you want to be successful, you're not going to consider it pressure, you're going to take it as a challenge, and so for us, we knew we got a top returner in the league, it's our time [on] special teams to try to make a difference. I know Sam, he was trying to put the ball as close to the sideline, if not out of bounds, as far down the field as he possibly could. For me, try to get the ball to the back of the end zone; if I didn't do that, at least get it close to the sideline, let's get some hang time. We wanted to make a difference this game, and that's what we felt like we did."

(On the first FG hitting the upright and the second one going through) "It felt like a great hit [the first time], and as I look at it, nine times out of 10, that ball goes through. It was really strange. We had a left to right wind, and the ball actually worked right to left. If you kind of frame things that right way, you can still have confidence going into the next kick, even if you miss it. I knew that if I [kick] that ball, nine times out of ten, it's going to make it. Why not turn around go the other way, let's just play it off to the right side just a little bit, go ahead hit down my line and kind of let it all hang out.

TE Todd Heap

(on his slide protection on WR Anquan Boldin's third TD of the day) "That was a protection we put in this week for these guys. Obviously, we've done that protection a lot, but they were bringing the house. They were bringing everybody. So, we had to get six [points] up. Joe [Flacco] wasn't going to have a lot of time, and he kind of just hung in there and made a great throw. But the offensive line blocked it up, Willis [McGahee] and I were able to block it up in the back end and afford Joe a little bit of time to put the ball out there. And he and Anquan were making some big plays today."

(on whether he's just as proud of a great block as he would be for a great catch) "Well, you'd rather be there catching it, but obviously you're just as proud. You know when you score and how big of a play that is, and it's a team game. You're doing everything you can to make that play work. And the way it turned out, and the way we made it work was pretty special, because there were a couple different ways we could have blocked it, and we blocked it just right."

(on his key third-down conversion today) "We knew they'd been bringing a lot of pressure, and I think that was one where Joe [Flacco] just kind of had my eyes and kind of saw where he was going to put it. [I] cut back underneath that safety covering me, and we were able to connect and get the first down just by a little bit. That was one of the plays that we needed after having a couple of hiccups. We needed to come back and make a big third down catch and make a big third down play, and I think some of those third downs were working coverage today."

(on a big division win today) "Huge win for us. Obviously, our first home game, we wanted to come out and get a win. In a division game, you want to get off on the right foot, and we were able to do that. They played us tough. You've got to give them a lot of credit for how they came out and played on the road. But we kind of know what to expect from them. We know it's always going to be a battle when they come to town or when we go to their place. You've got to tip your hat off to them a little bit, but when it came down to it, we made the plays we needed to, and that was the biggest thing."

LB Ray Lewis

(on getting the win today despite a good push from Cleveland) "I say it to these young guys all the time; if you've been in this business long enough, then there's one thing that matters in this business, and that's wins and losses. You know, you want to come out and you want to play b--- -out and you want to hold people to [low] yards, but you take away those two big plays that [RB Peyton Hillis] had and… And all it is is one way or another gap integrity. Bottom-line, you come back and you correct it and you move on. But you look at last week, and we gave up five field goals, and you look at this week and our offense bails us out. I think that's what builds a team for later in the year to where you start to really create that balance. On special teams we contained [Joshua] Cribbs incredibly, not to mention Sam Koch did a heck of a job punting the ball in places and kicking the ball deep and stuff. And then, offensively, we just came out. And then in the fourth quarter when we needed to get stops, the defense got stops. And then that's the way you win ball games in this business. And as long as we can keep progressing like that, everything will take care of itself."

(on whether there is panic for the run-defense) "Unless you don't play for us, you can panic. (laughter) But if you've been around here long enough you come back to work, and you go back to work, that's it. Like I said, last week it was, 'We held them to this, we held them to that.' That's cute, but bottom-line, give me a 'W'. And I go home and my food tastes better, everything tastes better, because at the end of the day you do what you're supposed to do as a team. It's not a one-sided affair, and I'm really, really proud of the way we came out and played."

(on WR Anquan Boldin and the offense ) "Once again, I'll tell you. Time and time again, as we keep progressing throughout the year, that is kind of what we're looking for. 'Q' made a lot of big catches, but you look at probably one of the biggest plays in the game, which was [the catch by T.J.] Houshmandzadeh. To even catch that pass was so big for the guys jumping in front of him, so that's the kind of mix that, I think, when you look and you see us as a team, you're going to start to get. And then the beautiful part about it is when we come together as a team and put it all together, then that's when you really start to progress."

RB Ray Rice

(on getting a big division win) "Their record doesn't show how good they actually are. They're a good team. They're a team that's going to be good in this division. It was a tough, hard-fought game, and I'm just glad that at the end of the day, we were able to get a divisional win."

(on the offense clicking today) "Yeah, it was a great mixture today between run and pass. Joe [Flacco] was able to find things we needed to find, and we were able to run the ball pretty good. It was really a total team effort. There are going to be games like that, where the game isn't won in the first quarter. Sometimes the game is won in the fourth quarter, and that's what happened out there today."

(on heading to Pittsburgh for another divisional game next week) "Pittsburgh is 3-0. They're playing good football, and they're tough up-front. We're going to prepare hard this week and hopefully everything will be good to go."

(on injuring his knee this afternoon) "Right now everything is standard. I'll take some tests on Monday, but everything looks positive right now."

S Dawan Landry

(on Cleveland's offense showing something different than what they saw on film) "No, not really. They were pretty true with what they showed. They're real physical and [Peyton] Hillis is a tough back. It was tough to stop the on the ground, but we were able to stay in there and wear them down at the end."

(on the physical nature of play) "They are a physical team, and we expect them to play that way every time we play them."

RB Willis McGahee

(on if Cleveland's defense showed anything different than on film) "No, we saw it all during the week. And we expected a physical game from their front seven. It's always personal when we play Cleveland."

(on getting the ball in the fourth quarter) "I'm ready, my body is ready. My body is in good shape. Week to week, I'm ready to go when they call my number."

(on closing out Cleveland in the fourth quarter) "It's good to do it with the running game. It felt good to get in there and hammer it down. If that's the way we've got to do it, that's the way we'll do it."

T Michael Oher

(on his personal foul call) "That's my teammate. You got to have your teammate's back."

(on whether he was worried about being thrown out of the game) "I don't even remember because we had so many plays after that. It was a long time ago."

(on the Ravens' offense) "I'm pretty sure that when we go back and watch film there's going to be a thousand things that we have to correct. You just have to keep getting better. I'm not disappointed at all. We just got to get better. We have to get ready for the Steelers' because they're playing lights out."

(on playing at home today) "The home crowd is a lot of fun. We have the greatest fans in the league."

DT Haloti Ngata

(on whether the run defense struggled with gap control) "A little bit of that, but [Peyton] Hillis did a great job of finding those holes. With a big back like that, once he gets that full head of steam going it's hard for anyone to stop him. We had to adjust a little bit and shut those holes. He did a great job at just hitting those holes. It was great that our offense and special teams did a great job today, basically getting that win for us."

(on whether the defense knew HIllis was that good) "Yeah, we did. We've been watching him on film. He did basically the same thing against Tampa Bay and Kansas City, so we knew he would be a hard runner. He had more carries today because I think [Jerome] Harrison wasn't dressed. He did a good job."

(on the defense traditionally struggling against big running backs) "Their offensive line did a great job of opening up in the middle for him, and he just found those creases and hit them. We've just got to have a good week of practice and make sure that it doesn't happen again."

(on if the defense feels like they fail when giving up a touchdown) "Oh, definitely, definitely. When you go two weeks in a row without letting two pretty good offenses score – not saying that Cleveland isn't a good offense – but we just kind of felt like when they scored those two touchdowns, it just sucked. Our feeling as a defense… We just feel like we're better than that."

(on the defense going 10 quarters without allowing a touchdown) "It's a great stat. As a defensive unit, we always want to continue that. Hopefully, we can start another one and keep it moving."

OLB Jarret Johnson

(on the defensive performance) "It was pretty streaky, and it was pretty disappointing to allow a team to come out and pound the ball like that. All in all, we played well in the fourth quarter, and we got them stopped when we had to."

(on halftime adjustments) "We struggled early and to be honest with you, I don't know exactly what it was, but we changed up some of our calls when some of our stuff wasn't clicking, and we were able to come out in the second half and play a little better. You have to give them a lot of credit. They came out and pounded the ball, and he's [RB Peyton Hillis] a tough kid. We got a win. That's what it's all about."

(on playing in his 100th game) "It felt good. You just have to stay consistent, and there's a lot of luck involved. It's really easy to get hurt in this league, and we all play through a lot of injuries, so it's tough to do."

(on the Cleveland running game) "They were just lining up and running down hill. We were expecting some perimeter stuff. We know he's [RB Peyton Hillis] a down hill back, but we were thinking they were going to run the other guys more, but they just line him up and ran him down hill and popped a lot of good runs. It was really disappointing to us."

(on correcting the Ravens' run defense) "Anytime you rush for that many yards, we're going to be watching the film this week, probably until about six o'clock in the morning."

WR Anquan Boldin

(on whether he continued his vocal leadership this week) "I'm not a "rah-rah" guy. I prefer to go out and let my actions speak for themselves. I don't shy away from saying something when I feel like it needs to be said. At halftime last week, I felt like something needed to be said, but I think this week everybody had a different mentality going into the game. Everybody took it personal, especially this offense with the performance that we had last week. As an offense, we wanted to put our best foot forward."

(on recording his 600th career reception) "I guess it's something to be proud of, but at this point I don't really want to dwell on it. I think once my career is all said and done, it's something I'll look back on. I think as a player you can't get caught up in things you do while you're playing. For myself, I always want to stay hungry. You can never be satisfied."

(on his first regular season home game and three touchdown receptions) "It felt great. The crowd was unbelievable. I played here only once in my career as a Cardinal, probably about three years ago. The crowd was the same way. To be a part of it now, it's unbelievable. It's second to none. To go out and have a performance like that, it feels good."

(on if today's performance is why they brought him here) "I guess so. I was told to come here and be myself, and whatever that entails – going out and making plays whenever they need it."

(on whether he kept any of the touchdown balls) "I think they went back and got the 600th. I always give the fans the ball whenever I score a touchdown because I feel like fans come to the games for a reason – to enjoy themselves. I think giving them something like a football is something they'll remember for the rest of their lives. I'm not a big memorabilia guy. I don't have jerseys and balls everywhere. I don't have any problem giving them away."

(on whether he noticed a difference in QB Joe Flacco this week) "Joe is always Joe. I think he's a great quarterback. I think he caught too much flack last week, but that comes with the quarterback position. Whenever a team is doing well, quarterbacks get all the praise. Whenever things don't go well, they get all the blame. I love what he did today. He came out and just played football. He made a lot of great throws out there. I think he made quick decisions, good decisions, and you see the end result."

(on whether he felt he had an advantage on CB Eric Wright) "I feel like they put him in some positions where it was single coverage. That's one of the matchups that we felt we could take advantage of."

(on whether he felt like he could beat Wright every time) "Our receivers feel like we can beat anybody when it's man coverage."

(on how often he was in one-on-one coverage) "Early on, we got some one-on-one coverage and then they started rolling coverages in different directions."

(on how close he was to catching the fourth touchdown) "I thought it was a pass interference. They didn't see it that way. Hopefully, we'll get it next time."

(on replays showing that the defender was on his back and whether he said anything to the official) "I just looked at him. They kind of made an emphasis on giving a flag signal or anything like that. I think after seeing the replay that it was a pass interference, but that's something you can't harp on. If the official doesn't call it, you go back to the huddle and try to make the next play."

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