Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 8

Opening Statement:"Good practice – guys working hard. I think we've had a good week. Everybody has been very focused, as you would expect them to be, but that's how they are every week. And we're excited about the opportunity to go play a playoff game against a team with the tradition they have. We've got a lot of respect for this team, a lot of respect for their coaches, organization, players – the whole thing. So, it's an opportunity that we're very excited about."

On whether he's addressed the fact that they're playing the 2009 Patriots, not the team that has already won a few Super Bowls: "Right, well that's the way it always is. I'm sure we've talked about it, but that's obvious. I mean, you play a football team, so we'll be playing that collection of players as their assembled, and it will be our collection of players the way we're assembled. And everything that you become throughout the course of a season is what makes you who you are as a football team. So, it'll be us against them."

On whether he addresses the public perception that you must battle the Patriots and the refs:"We don't believe that. We're going to go play the football game. You know, we've got a tough, hardnosed, hard-playing bunch of guys. We play good, clean football, and we're capable of playing good, clean, smart football. And I think that's the same for any team. So, it's an intense game, but we expect to play a good, smart game."

On how QB Joe Flacco did all week with his hip injury: "Yeah, he's fine. He's full participation all week."

On why Flacco left practice early: "Well, guys get treatment. He was done with his work, so he goes in and gets treatment. We've had that with different guys. We do that all year, so it's part of how we do it."

On all the talk about the Patriots' legacy, and does what the Ravens are trying to build get lost in all of that: "I don't know. If it gets lost, it gets lost. It's really not important. You guys kind of observe all of that, and do a good job of chronicling all of that. When it's all said and done, if we can achieve what [New England] has achieved, or even beyond what they've achieved, that's something that you hope for and dream about. But that's something that we have to do before we can start talking about it too much. But we're excited to play this game."

On having minority owner Art Modell and director of player development O.J. Brigance in the huddle after practice: "Having Art Modell and O.J. Brigance in the huddle was special. They're part of us, obviously. Art Modell is the foundation of this whole organization and this whole franchise. O.J. Brigance is probably the spiritual foundation of this whole football team. So, they're what we're built on."

On if he looks forward to engaging in a chess match with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick: "The rook can go straight or either way, right? What's the horse do? He goes up three and over one. Is that what happens? The bishop goes diagonally right? I'm going to have to remember that for this game. (laughter) That's part of the fun of football, but that's going to have a lot less to do with it, if there is that really going on, than how guys play or guys making plays. It's going to come down to the players in this one. Coach Belichick is a great coach, and I've got a lot of respect for him and what they've accomplished. I think there are a lot of things that they do that we try to learn from. We try to pattern some things after he and Andy Reid and all the people that you learn from over the years. I just think he's one of the greatest coaches of all time. So, of course, you try to learn as much as you can, but if we were to line up against each other, I don't think I'd be very interesting to watch. It wouldn't be much of a matchup. (laughter) So, It's going to be the players. That's what the game is going to be about, and it's going to be fun to watch."

On how you get a shovel and a sword across the country on an airplane: "President [Barack] Obama is asking the same question right now, right? (laughter) For the record, we did not take it across country on the plane. We got it out there, and it stayed out there, for the record. We had some of our friends at Stanford take care of that for us."

On if he has something similar planned for New England: "I don't know. That stuff kind of comes as it comes. The one thing about us, you just have to take it as it goes. Our guys have fun with that stuff."

On how and why he planned to use the shovel and sword in the locker room:"Well, the whole deal with that whole thing is it goes back to when we first started. We told the team about Nehemiah's story, which is about a great man who went back to Jerusalem way back when and rebuilt the wall around the city. What that took, and all the obstacles he faced and the challenges that were in front of him, and part of that, throughout the course of that, was the fact that there were people trying to stop him from building the wall. So, they had to keep working, and it says in there [the Bible] they had a shovel in one hand and a sword in the other. They had to defend themselves at the same time that they were working. We felt like that was appropriate for us midway through the season, and our guys had fun with it. That thing was sharp. *(laughter) *I don't know if you noticed that. That was sharp."

On if some of the players looked at him like he had lost his mind:"No, they knew exactly what we were talking about. I noticed there was a lot of separation, a lot of distance. Did you notice that? No one got very close." (laughter)

On if he foresees a day when his brother, Jim, is coaching in the same league as him:"That'd be pretty cool. I hope so. But he's happy there [at Stanford], obviously. I don't think he's in any hurry to leave. He's got some things to do there. One of them would be winning the Pac 10 championship. But that would be a great honor, a great thrill if that happens. He definitely could do it, there's no doubt about it."

On why the team practiced indoors this week:"We've had sessions outdoors. We've had some of our sessions outside. The fields, right now, don't allow us to go out there as much as we want from a footing standpoint. They're frozen. Probably, if they weren't frozen, we would have been out there more, but we had it as cold as we could get it in here. Did you wear your jackets? (laughter) You see your breath, right? And, we're playing on turf, so we just felt like that was a priority – the footing was a priority."

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