Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 14

On why QB Joe Flacco was not listed on the injury report yesterday:"I don't do the injury report. [Vice president of medical services/head certified athletic trainer] Bill [Tessendorf] does. You'd have to ask… Well, you can't ask Bill, can you? I guess [Flacco is] OK. I guess Bill feels like he's improved enough to where it's not an injury. What it usually means is he's not receiving treatment anymore."

On if he feels like the team is peaking at the right time:"We don't really gauge that. Like, last week, the question was just the opposite that everybody had, and we came out and played well, obviously. We just try to play well every week. You try to play the best you can every week, and the results are what they are. Sometimes the results aren't as good as the way you play; sometimes the results are better than the way you play. That's all you try to do."

On if he grasps what playing the Colts means to the city of Baltimore:"I think there's probably… I don't know. We understand the history. I'm old enough to know the history. Most of our players aren't. You'd have to explain it to them, probably, for sure. And, I'm not sure they'd be that interested because their focus is on other things, and that's really our focus is on the game. We're playing their team. I don't think they are thinking about that. I doubt that they have any concern about it whatsoever. The concern is the game that's going to be played Saturday night."

On he gets a different feeling about playoff games:"I guess you do, but this league, it's so much just an opportunity to be a part of this league – to coach or to play or just to be a part of it. To cover it, I would think, you know. And it's exciting. It's the playoffs, so it's probably that much more exciting to be a part of it. But, Week 2, I can tell you one thing: I was all fired up Week 2, as you probably remember. I'm fired up for this one, just like all our guys are."

On how much last year's experience factors into this weekend:"It's the same answer as last week. It's probably a part of it. It's good that we've been in this situation before, but every game is different. Every week, every year is different. Every team that you play is different, every situation is different. So, you just kind of approach it as you find it that week."

On Jets head coach Rex Ryan giving the players a schedule that went through the Super Bowl and how far in advance do the Ravens' schedules go:"Our schedule goes through the week."

On G/T Marshal Yanda playing so well after suffering an injury in last season's Colts game:"Well, I guess there's some irony to that. It's a credit to Marshal Yanda, what he's done, how well he's playing. He was playing really well at that time, but I think he's playing much better now than he even was at that time. To be able to improve through a multiple-ligament knee injury is just the kind of guy he is."

On if the Ravens will take the ball if they win the coin flip:"We'll find out before the game. We have a little strategy for that, so you'll see if we win the toss. We had a strategy last week, but I don't think we won the toss, right? They gave us the ball."

On if scoring touchdowns in the red zone is the difference in this game:"I think that, yeah, that's the key. Red zone, turnovers, third-down conversions, those are all critical elements, and when you play this team, that's really the thing. They're not ranked that highly as far as giving up yardage, but that's not what counts. Points are what counts. They're ranked very highly against the score, and that's how a defense is measured, and that goes down to the red zone. They're ranked right up there at the top of red zone defense and red zone offense. So, that's been a big emphasis, but it always is. That's going to be an important part of this game."

On RB/KR Jalen Parmele being consistent in the return game: "Yes he has. As I said earlier when Jalen started, the thing that Jalen brings to the table is running back skills. He's been able to go in there and catch the ball well, secure the ball well and then run vertically. He made a couple guys miss tackles, and that's when you get a guy that's used to carrying the ball that's an advantage in that regard."

On how LS Matt Katula is doing: "He's had a very good week of practice. He's been accurate, he's feeling good, and I'm confident he'll play well again this week."

On how formidable Colts K Matt Stover is: "Matt's a highly-skilled player. He's a veteran with poise, so I suspect that this environment is not going to be anything that's going to bother him. He'll go out there and play his usual game, I suspect. I suspect our kicker will do that same thing. We have a lot of confidence in Billy [Cundiff]. They're never going to be on the field at the same time, I don't think, so it won't be exactly a battle between those two guys, it will more be the field goal block team against their field goal unit."

On the big-play potential or ball security being more important in the return game: "Well, I'd like to find that package in both. (laughter) Whenever you're playing special teams, the one thing that you really preach is ball security. You don't want to ever give the ball to the opponent because you set your team back so far. It's great to hit homeruns, but if you don't have the ball, it doesn't do your team much good. So, ball security is certainly a priority for us."

On what happened with the punt that hit S Tom Zbikowski last week and if the wind had anything to do with it:"Well, a lot of things actually. No, I don't think the wind had anything to do with it, really, I think a lot of things happened on that play. The first thing of which is we didn't get the guy blocked at the line of scrimmage, which led to him running down the field and we never really got him back in the vice and stopped him before the ball got there. It was a really good punt. It had really good hang time, and we had to fair catch it. By that time, the gunner was right on top of us, and it was our fault. We messed it up. We've got to do better this week in that situation, because this punter is fully capable of hitting those kinds of balls as well."

On if it's CB/RS Chris Carr's job to tell his other teammates to get out of the way: "Yeah, we have a call like that. It's also the responsibility of the two guys that are blocking when they get a guy that far downfield. They have to have an awareness of where the returner is. So, it goes both ways. It was one of those situations where any one of those guys could have handled that better and it would have prevented that from happening."

On whether red zone scoring has improved since they struggled against the Colts in November:"No. 1, they're the best in the league. And that's… Everybody's struggled to get points on those guys down there, but we needed to improve regardless. Kicking field goals against good teams isn't going to win you a lot of games. It might on occasion, but that's an area we've got to improve in. We have improved in [it], and we've got to improve on it in this game. But they're good. They're good down there."

On whether LT Jared Gaither will be able to play this Saturday night: "He practiced all day today. I don't know if there's much that's going to keep any guys out of any of these games – on their side or our side. So, good question, and my guess is he'll be ready to roll."

On what T Oniel Cousins learned from his challenging experience against Pittsburgh in the event that he does have to play this weekend: "Oniel is a good football player. And again, that thing has really taken on a life of its own. That was a function of our entire unit; that was not him. He was the same guy blocking all of those runs and protecting. There were three plays where he was about 50-percent of the issue. We're not blocking guys like that one-on-one. I don't care who the tackles are for the most part. So, he learned – in all of those games he started – he's becoming a good football player. You're talking about a guy who has come a long way, real conscientious, a good worker, gives us some depth, some youth. [He's] an outstanding run blocker, and he's like all young tackles: They have got to learn how to pass protect in this league, especially against the great players."

On whether it will be tough to stop DE Dwight Freeney and DE Robert Mathis: "Yeah, you would assume they're 100-percent. They played sparingly in our last game, so we really didn't get to see them a lot in the game. But, you go against those guys over the years… You know, I got to know them a little bit at the Pro Bowl last year, and the Colts for quite some time now have been one of the great pass-rushing defenses in probably the history of the league. So, we've got our hands full."

On whether he ever takes a step back to just think about how cool it is to be in this position: "No. You know, you're focus is… I think as you get older, you don't lose your focus, but there's no guarantee in this thing how long any of us are going to be around. So, you probably need to find a way to enjoy it. So, again, you guys have heard me say it: I think I've got the greatest job, for me, in the world. The guys I get to work with on this offense, be around these defensive guys and this coaching staff, I'm going to enjoy what I'm doing, but I'm going to be very focused on who we're playing."

On whether he finds it odd that the whole "10 passes vs. New England" has taken on a negative spin in the media: "It depends who you're talking to. It depends who you're talking to, because everybody is going to look at it one way or the other. Johnny Unitas could have been the quarterback in that game, and the game plan would have been the same, because that's what that game [called for]. That's what was called for in the game. It's my job to help us win as a team, and not get caught up in the offense's statistical [figures]. You know, I'm sure we could have a game like the one later on that night [with Green Bay at Arizona]. We'd like to be able to play on both extremes. I mean, we really would. But we can't be stubborn and try to make something fit that doesn't fit. I think to do something that's never been done – since I was a senior in high school – probably took something that maybe some people hadn't thought of."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising