Press Conference Transcript - Practice 11/03


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "We are excited to get back to work. We did have a good practice on Monday. Now we're on to our Wednesday, and we'll be in our regular routine."

On how CB Fabian Washington will rebound mentally from the last game and be ready to go on Sunday:"He seems well. We'll find out in the game. That's what corners have to do. To play corner in this league, they say you have to have a short memory. I kind of prefer a long memory. I think you learn from your mistakes and you apply it and try to get better. Fabian's done that. He's worked hard all week, and I expect him to play really well."

On his comments regarding Shawne Merriman the other day:"I'm not too sure that I can comment on that now – Ozzie [Newsome] has made me aware of that – because he's still in the waiver process. So, I'll probably have to leave that one alone."

On if he believes the Ravens pass rush needs to get better:"We are always trying to get better. I've said it before: I see a lot of good things in the pass rush; I see a lot of good things everywhere. But as coaches, you always see the things that need to get better. What you guys talk about all the time is the number of sacks. Absolutely. We want more sacks. We definitely want to get more hits on the quarterback. We have pressure. In the Buffalo game, it wasn't the issue in my mind, because the ball was coming out so fast. And we forced some quick throws. We definitely want to get better with our pressures, with one-on-one technique. That would be part of it."

On if he sees a difference in WR Donte Stallworth's character and personality since he knew him as a coach in Philadelphia:"I don't really see a difference in his personality or character really. I held him in high regard in Philly. He was a very professional guy. Guys grow up and mature. He's a little older, a little wiser, certainly. He's probably talked about that a lot. So, I guess you do probably feel that a little bit. But, I've always thought he was a first-class guy."

On Miami not being a team that makes mistakes to beat itself:"That's their personality with coach [Tony] Sparano. It's kind of what they're trying to build there. The fact that they are undefeated on the road speaks to that a little bit. And that's the kind of team that they have been over the last few years."

On the psychology of playing on the road versus playing at home:"I don't know about their situation exactly, because I don't really know the details of what they would say about that. That would be a good question for Tony today. But, playing on the road is tough in this league. We've had our good days and we've had our not so good days. But for the most part, our guys do a very good job of competing on the road. You've got to be tough-minded. It's a tough environment. You guys have been there – you know how hard it can be. So, that's probably the biggest thing."

On Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall being so tough to defend because of his physicality and his ability to run after the catch:"He runs the entire route tree out there when he's playing 'X'. He runs quick passes and does everything downfield. He's a very good route-runner for a big man. When he runs the underneath stuff, it's always a catch-and-run idea. One of the biggest things in their passing game is catch and run. The throws to [Davone] Bess and Marshall, especially – and a lot of times to the backs and the swing routes – are catch-and-run ideas. They're an extension of their run game, and we're going to have to do a great job tackling those guys, because that's a big part of what they do."

On his assessment of Miami's tackle situation:"They've got two really good tackles. Vernon Carey on the right side is a big, physical, flat-back, coming-off-the-ball kind of guy. And obviously, Jake Long is one of the premier tackles in the National Football League. I think their offensive line is the strength of their offense, for sure. They have very physical guards [and] a young, very athletic center. So, it's a big challenge for us."

On the Miami-Pittsburgh film being a good resource for evaluating the Dolphins:"Every game probably gives you a great opportunity to evaluate [a team]. Pittsburgh helps us because we know Pittsburgh so well. So, we get a good reference there with them being a division team. But we know the Jets well; we know New England well. You get to know the league pretty well."

On seeing similarities in Pittsburgh and Miami:"Not really. We don't look at it that way. It's more like you look at them for what they are and what you have to play against more than anything. We respect them. The things maybe you are referring to are the things that we definitely respect. They're a tough, hard-nosed team. They don't make a lot of mistakes. They have a young quarterback, a strong defense, they can run the ball, [and] they are physical. I guess you could say that."

On having to prepare for the possibility that the Dolphins will run the Wildcat offense:"Oh yeah, it's right there. They can turn the Wildcat on at anytime. I doubt they have to practice it to run it. So, we definitely have to be prepared for that. That's something that we have to spend time working on."

On how Miami's scheme is similar to what he's seen over the last few years:"Very similar. The ideas are still the same. They have the same offensive coordinator, and of course, Tony is working with the offense as well. They've evolved a little bit based on who their receivers are and the personnel, so they've grown that way. The defense is a little bit different because Mike Nolan is now the coordinator. So, you see his system in place. But, it's still a 3-4 scheme, the same basic players – really good linebackers. [They have] a really good front and a couple of good, young safeties. [They have] young good corners, high-pick corners. So, they've got talent."

On the Dolphins' scheme in their back end defense:"They do everything. They play a lot of zone in early downs and they'll pressure you. They play a little bit of man back there, too. Mike mixes it up. He's got a nice pressure package. It's consistent with what he's done over the years though."

On how he gets the message across to his defensive players that they need to tackle better:"Probably what you just said, you re-emphasize it. You're always chasing something, and there's always something to correct. But, the most important thing I think we can do in pro football – because we're not going to be out here tackling – is to be in position to tackle. So, run to the ball, take good angles, finish on the proper side, finish high and through and put ourselves in the position to tackle. And these guys know how to tackle. We are a good tackling team, so I would expect us to tackle really well on Sunday."

On the importance of the Ravens playing good red-zone defense on Sunday:"It's huge. They've done a great job of moving the ball and sustaining drives. They're excellent on third downs. The third down is going to be real important for us. They've managed to stay on the field and extend drives. They're going to be very intent on scoring touchdowns if and when they get down there. First of all, we're going to try to keep them out of there. That's the No. 1 goal. And, if they get in there we've got to keep them out of the end zone. So, that will be a big part of the game."

On how much of an affect weather can have with regard to injuries, the kicking game, etc.:"I'm not sure about the injury stuff. That would probably be something that would be interesting to look at. It definitely affects the kicking game. Hopefully we're a team that's built for weather. I hope we're built for the heat of August and the weather of December and January. That's our idea when we put this team together, because we've got to play in weather. So, we'll see how that plays out."

QB Joe Flacco

On how his family reacted to his Halloween haircut: "Oh, geez. They saw pictures by the time I got home, and they knew I was doing it. I don't know if they thought it was going to be as detailed as it was, but everybody liked it. It was pretty cool."

On his confidence level since the Week 2 game at Cincinnati: "I don't think it's any different. I think I came into the season confident. I think we did, and I still am pretty confident at this point."

On how his timing is with WR Donte' Stallworth: "We'll see. We practiced Monday. That's about all he has been out there really. I'm sure it'll be pretty good. We'll have him doing specific things, things that he's good at."

On how Stallworth looks: "He looked good. He doesn't look like he lost a step, and he's pretty fast, so that's saying a lot."

On whether he has to be aware of LB Cameron Wake coming off the edge for the Miami defense: "Yeah, they've been playing pretty good, and he's definitely been disrupting some of the pass rush, some of the timing and things. We'll have a plan for him, and I think I'll just have to have trust in my offensive line that they're going to get the job done like they've been doing all year."

On how well he knows Dolphins QB Chad Henne and Falcons QB Matt Ryan: "I came out [of the same draft] with both of them. I was at the Senior Bowl with Chad, so I got to spend a little bit of time with him, probably more so than Matt. I've seen Matt out and about like during the offseason and things like that. I wouldn't say I know him really well, but I know him a little bit."

On whether the Miami secondary shows anything different than other teams: "They put in a new corner last week. He's a big guy, probably has a little bit of range to him. We'll see. [Yeremiah] Bell is back there. He likes to come up in the box and be physical and get in the run game a little bit. We're going to try to attack them just like we do any other secondary, but I think they're playing pretty well as a defense right now."

On whether the Dolphins like to do any one thing defensively: "I don't know. I think when it comes down to it, I think they're pretty much a man-concept team. Most of the time they're in some sort of man, so we'll see how that goes, but I would say that's it."

On whether he measures himself against the other third-year QBs in the league: "Maybe a little bit, but you're not really worried about that stuff when the season is going on. It's kind of cool to look around the league and see guys that you came out with, and see us all playing and doing pretty well. Other than that, I don't really pay too much attention to it."

On whether he notices how TE Todd Heap has played through injuries: "Yeah, definitely. Todd's definitely been a little banged up, but he's been fighting through it out there, and he's been playing really, really well. We've got to make sure we keep him as healthy as possible and we keep him out on the field, because when he's out there, he's a big presence for us."

LB Ray Lewis

On how much he has reflected over the bye week:"I think more importantly, just us getting away from it was just awesome as a team. Just the energy coming back with the… You kind of see it in each one of our eyes. We want to get back on the field. Kind of got to wait, but we really are anxious to get back on the football field. [We've] been off for a week and things, [so] our muscles heal up and things like that. I just think everybody's excited."

On whether he's spoken to CB Fabian Washington to regain his confidence after the Bills game:"I think something I always say [is], 'No matter what it is – win, lose, draw, whatever it is – 24-hour rule. Once it's over, it's over.' You're going to have good days; you're going to have bad days. I think the thing you want to do is stack more good days on top of them instead of having more bad days. And, Fabian is the kind of guy that's going to come out and just play football. 'Fabe' [isn't] going to worry about two weeks ago. Bottom line, all he can worry about is right now."

On whether he has talked to LB Shawne Merriman recently:"I spoke to Shawne last night. I speak to Shawne a lot. It's always a tough situation anytime you find yourself in the situation that he's in. But, it gives him opportunity now. It gives him opportunity to hopefully go to a team that can really use his talents for what he can do, and that is get after the quarterback. It's a long list that I didn't know about that we have to go through, a procedure, before he can make any move. Other teams can do something, whatever. So, it's kind of hard to say if I want him here. Of course I would want Shawne Merriman here. Why wouldn't I want him here? But the list is too long, so we'll just have to wait it out and see what happens."

On whether Merriman has a lot of football left in him:"Yeah. Just having conversations with him, I think his thing is just to get back on the field and just have fun. That's kind of what I've been preaching to him. Don't worry about nothing else. Don't worry about nothing else. Just come out and play football. Come out and do what you do best – what you've been doing since [childhood]. And, that's what he's truly been reflecting upon is really just getting back on the field, establishing himself as that presence again."

On how important the pass rush is against the Dolphins, given that QB Chad Henne has been sacked only 10 times this year:"The Dolphins do a great job in protecting him. They keep a lot of people in to keep him protected, and he's getting the ball out very, very quickly. And he has some playmakers over there – some real playmakers. This young kid, [Davone] Bess, is really growing up very fast in front of a lot of people's eyes. But Brandon Marshall, you know the type of presence that he demands. He is a problem at the receiver position. But I just think they do a great job in protecting [Henne] and things like that. So, we have to get after him. It's just the way we play football. We are going to stick to our game plan, and hopefully, they stick to theirs. And we'll see what happens Sunday."

On whether he expects to see the Wildcat on Sunday:"You know what? They started it, so why wouldn't you see it? I think you saw it in every game that they've played in. You just have to stay in your gaps. Just play disciplined. Nobody try to do something that they shouldn't be doing, because if you do [overreact] on their Wildcat, you never know if a pass is going to come out of it [or if] Ronnie Brown is throwing the ball out of it and things like that. So, you just have to be conscious of what's going on. But just hit your gaps and just keep the ball funneled inside. Pretty much that's kind of one way to slow it down, but they do have a lot of tricks coming out of it. So, expect for anything, really."

On whether he's surprised that Dolphins RB Ricky Williams is still playing well:"No, I'm not surprised at all. If you watch Ricky's career, I don't know the years that Ricky ever had a really down, down year. He probably wasn't getting as many carries. But anytime he's touched the ball, he's always been that type of explosive back. And that's what they're riding on. They're riding on their two horses in their backfield – Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. We understand that, and we know that they want to come in here and run the ball. So, the test still remains what we always look for: People want to run the ball; we want to stop the run. And so, here we go again. We've always played classic games with the Dolphins, and right now they're riding high. They're 4-0 on the road; we're undefeated at home. So, something has to give come Sunday. So, it should be a pretty good game."

On why the Dolphins are successful on the road:"I don't know. That's something that you can't see on tape, because you watch the Pittsburgh game that they played a week ago, and you would think that they won that game. So, it's not something you can see on tape, but maybe it's a mentality from inside. Maybe they're more comfortable when they leave their home. I don't know. There are a lot of things that can be that rule. Bottom line is they're coming into Baltimore, so we have to defend what's ours, and that's our home field."

On whether he could imagine life without a bye week:"Life without a bye? Don't know what that would feel like to your body. But, I just think it's good for anybody. It's good for anybody. You go so hard, so long, whatever point your bye comes in, you've got to take full advantage of it. You have to get away from it [and] really clear your mind. Just get away from it. I went home and spent time with my kids, and I saw my babies do some incredible things. I was just a father this weekend. I wasn't worrying about the football aspect of it. So that really refreshes you. It really takes your mind away from it. So now when you come back, you really want to get back into the groove of it very quickly."

On whether he's thinking about the short turnaround before the Falcons game:"Not at all. The No. 1 thing on our mind right now is the Miami Dolphins. They're playing at a very high level on the road, and we understand that. And we're playing at a very high level at home. So, something has to give. That's where all of our focus is right now."

On what it means to him to still be playing and be named the 18th greatest player in NFL history:"It's one of the greatest accomplishments you can ever just be recognized for. You're talking about the greatest of all time. Arguably, anybody can put anybody at No. 1, No. 10, No. 18 – whatever it is. But, for them to put me there, and me still playing the game, I always say this: I don't know how you can finish the list if I'm still going. That's always been my thing. You've got me on that list, but I'm still rolling. I love doing what I'm doing, man. So, congrats to a heck of a career that I've really, really, really sacrificed for and dedicated for, but I'm not done yet. So, I still have time."

On whether he looked at the 17 players ranked ahead of him:"No. I still get mad. See, then I'll get back and feel like I felt during the draft – like I felt during the draft when I dropped 26 picks. But I'm going to let that go, too. But no, you don't feel bad, man. There are a lot of great people, and I always go by eras. I always go by eras because it's so hard to compare today's time with back-in-the-day's time. It's just extremely hard. And so, when you see the top 17, whoever that may be, it's congrats to them. But I always think it's just hard to compare eras. I think everybody was great in their time, and whatever time you [played], that was your time that you had. And then there was another era that somebody else came and took over."

On whether he has always wanted to be No. 1:"That's the only reason you play the game. That's why I'm still playing. If I was done, then I would be reflecting on that list. But right now, I'm not done."

On what he has to do to move up on the list:"I'm not trying to move up. I really am not. The bottom line is I'm trying to get my team another championship. That's it. That's the only thing. That's the only reason I play this game."

On whether another championship will move him up:"Well, individually, they can leave me wherever I'm at. If I win another ring, then I'll make myself No. 1." (laughter)

RB Ray Rice

On how confident the team is following a week of rest: "A week's rest definitely feels good, not only physically, but mentally it definitely helps out the team, especially going into our bye week knowing that we're 5-2 with the whole second half of the season ahead of us now. So, that felt good. I'm sure physically, everybody got a chance to rest, and we came out Monday, had a great, fast practice. Everybody looked healthy, including myself, and it just felt good to go out there."

On whether he feels like he has been targeted by defenses: "I've been facing a lot of different fronts. I think rushing-the-ball-wise, I'm right where I was a little bit last year. And in the past games, I've been getting spied a little bit. But at the same time, when you've got guys like Anquan Boldin and other guys doing their thing in the passing game, somebody has to do it. That's part of it. Sometimes I'll be the guy to be taking the extra defender out of there, and that's part of my job. I'll take less stats for wins any day."

On whether there is any way to offset being spied on: "You can. My job is to win my one-on-ones, and in the passing game I've won my one-on-ones. But at the same time, Joe [Flacco] is doing a great job of getting the ball down the field, and I'm not going to be the guy to flag Joe down when I'm open. He'll see me. That's what's great about our team now. I don't have to worry about being a burden or doing anything extra. I just have to do my job out there, whether it's run the ball, block or catch it."

On how WR Donte' Stallworth's return will impact the offense: "I think Donte' is a different guy. His speed… I would like to say he's the fastest, if not one of the fastest guys on the team, definitely one of the fastest guys on our team. His speed will change defenses' looks. He's a guy that can go deep, and he brings us multiple options."

On whether he gets a burst of momentum going into the second half of the season: "You do. It's a different feeling knowing that you get to your bye week. I break the season down in intervals for myself. You always want to get to the bye week on the winning side. We got to the bye week 5-2. We'd love to be 7-0, but then you get to the bye week, you take yourself back, and you reflect. You think about, 'What could I have done better?' You take that time to reflect, and then the second half of the season is just one of those things. You're in the hunt now. When you set yourself up for 5-2 right now, you're in the hunt for something greater. Really, we have to just take care of home, win at home, and try to take care of the things in our division. I think everything else will take care of itself."

On whether he takes a lot of pride in the Ravens' historically playing well in November and December: "Yeah, I think we've been a great team in the past history for later in the year – me personally, myself, later in the year. The running backs – we've blossomed late in the year. That's the kind of team we've been, and we're getting guys back healthy. We're as healthy as we've been in a long time, being that we've got Donte' and other guys back. Guys are getting healthy, and that's great going into the second part of the season."

On getting to be the team coming off a bye after facing two in a row coming off their byes: "It sure helps being at home off this bye week, too. It's no excuse that we have to play another game the following Thursday, but coming off that bye week and being at home gives you a little added motivation, especially with a team that's hot right now. They're great on the road. I mean let's give [credit] to them. They're 4-0 on the road, but we've got a job to do, and that's to protect our home."

On whether the Thursday game is in the back of his mind with the short turnaround: "It can't be, just because of Sunday. But right after Sunday, your mind has to flip. You can't even think about Sunday's game. We have to play Sunday, and that's the fast transition. I'm sure it'll be different for all of us, but we're pros, and I'm sure our coaches will do a great job of helping us out throughout the week. We'll be ready to play for that Thursday game as well."

On whether it is easier to play on the road because of less pressure: "Well, you know what? I think it's hard to win on the road. For them to do what they've done, that's spectacular because it's hard to win on the road. We always say, 'Take care of home.' It's kind of like a reversal for them. They've taken care of the road – and I'm not saying they haven't won at home – but they're 4-0 on the road, which is hard to do. We know what kind of team they are under pressure. That just shows character, what kind of team they are under pressure. But at the same time, you look at how we've played at home, and we've been on the upside of winning at home."

On how he would describe playing at home in Baltimore: "It even starts in pregame. You feel our fans' energy, and on third down, how loud it gets. We feed off that kind of stuff. Any team will tell you that the crowd does play a factor, and our crowd gets into it. Even in the national anthem when they say that big 'O' when they scream that 'O' in the stadium when they sing it. Our crowd is just electric. Whenever our guys get into the game, our defense feeds off it, and our offense feeds off it. That's when the home advantage is to your advantage. We have to use it."

On whether it is fascinating to be back in first place without playing last week: "Well, I tell you, it felt different watching all those games on that Sunday. But at the same time, you get to see games from a different perspective, from what you say perhaps your guys' perspectives, to sit back and watch the games. Just to see the turn of events… I'm sitting back like, 'Wow, a lot of stuff happened,' but at the same time, when you get back on your team, and you get back with your team, you know your only focus has to be the Ravens. If the Ravens win, the Ravens will be in the playoffs, and that's the ultimate goal. Obviously, in our division, you want to see a couple teams lose here and there, but at the same time, we have to take care of us."

On whether he felt good while sitting back and reflecting: "Yeah, it made me feel good knowing that the ball is bouncing either way right now, and every team is in a different scenario. But when you have to mention a team to beat in the AFC North or the AFC, you have to put the Ravens in that category."

On his reaction to being voted the third-most underrated player in the league by his peers: "I didn't even see it, honestly. I'm so locked in I didn't see it."

On whether that recognition means anything to him: "No, I always feel like I flew under the radar. I just go out there and play the game. I think my game speaks for itself, [and] my opponents respect me, especially from the things I did last year, even going into this year, playing against different teams. It's a level of respect. Obviously, you can see I'm not a guy who really jaws back and forth with guys, but it's a level of respect when you're out there playing the game. A lot of the polls and stuff are different, but you've just got to give everybody a chance."

On whether he watched the Dolphins game last Sunday: "I actually did. Being that we play them, that was the first game that I put on. I was obviously watching from a different perspective. You want to see what they're doing on defense. At the same time, you're watching a team that's in your division, the AFC North, Cincinnati. You're kind of getting the best of both worlds when you're watching both teams. It was just different sitting on the couch watching it, not on my laptop watching film action."

On whether he'd like a chance to run the Wildcat: "I don't know. I think I could do it, but that's a different perspective from our offense. You never know with this offense what Cam [Cameron] will put in. The Wildcat is something… We have the talent to do it. One thing with the Wildcat, you've got to have the talent, and we have the talent to do it."

LB Terrell Suggs

On whether he feels refreshed heading into this game after the bye week:"Well, we're rested. It's always good to have the week off, especially in this league, because every weekend is brutal. There's not a day off, or a Sunday off, I should say. So, it's definitely good to get the rest, but our play time is over. Back to work."

On whether it's good to just get away from football and get it off your mind for a little bit:"Sometimes you've got to get away. Sometimes you do have to get away and just get away from football and just relax and do the other part of your life, which is be with your family – you know, be with your kids and your loved ones. So, all of that was really good, it was really nurturing and [restful]. I'm just glad none of my fellow colleagues or myself got in any trouble during the bye week." *(laughing) *

On why there isn't the drama in Baltimore such as they've experienced in other NFL locker rooms:"Well, I think we've got good, classy guys in there, and we've got veterans. So, we do a good job of not only taking care of ourselves, but taking care of each other. We all try to look out for one another, but I can't speak for any other team or why they have the problems that they have. All I can speak for is us, and we do a good job of taking care of each other."

On whether he's more inclined to reflect on the things that are going well or what needs to be done better:"Both. You know, you definitely want to look at both because – I've said it before that – the NFL season, it's a marathon, it's not a sprint, and you always want to continue to get better. And the things you're not so good at, those things can get you beat down the stretch. So, you definitely want to become better in the areas you're not good at, and you definitely want to increase the levels you are good at."

On how he feels his performance has been with regards to pressuring the quarterback:"I feel pretty good. I don't have as many sacks as I'd like, but I guess I'm one of the guys that breaks away. You know, it's not how you start, it's how you finish, and I think I did a solid job the first half of the season. We just have to [have] more emphasis as a team of all of us getting back there and getting some more [sacks]."

On how much he counts on his teammates to do what they do in order for him to be able to get a sack:"It's got to be a point of emphasis for everybody, not just one guy. If you look at the guys around the league, everybody's getting after the passer. Whether you're looking in Dallas or New York or even the Colts, they've got numbers of guys with a knack for getting after the quarterback. So, when teams take it upon themselves to get guys after the quarterback, then that's when all your sacks come."

On Miami being undefeated on the road and Baltimore being undefeated at home this season:"Yeah, it's got kind of a championship atmosphere to it. Yeah, we like it. Something's got to give. They're a great road team, and we've got to do our job at protecting our house – taking care of our business at home. And this is an AFC game, and down the stretch every game counts. So, they're going to come in here and they're going to try to get a win. Much respect to them, and we're going to definitely defend our home."

On why he thinks the Ravens are such a good home team:"The 12th man. The city of Baltimore. [The fans] come out and they want to see us play and get fired up. And we never want to disappoint them. We've felt that empty feeling of having our fans leaving our stadium disappointed, and we've even scared them a few times. So, we just have to do a great job of defending our house and taking care of business at home."

On whether he knows LB Shawne Merriman much and what he thinks of him as a player:"I know him a little bit, and I think he's pretty good. Why? What are you getting at? (laughter) **

On what he thinks about the potential for Merriman to end up in Baltimore and what type of impact he could have:"Well, I don't know what type of locker room guy he is, because I haven't ever been on his team. But we have been at the Pro Bowl together, when half of the time you're at practice and the other half you're drinking Mai Tais on the beach. So, that can't really count. But from what I notice, he seems like a pretty good guy, and I guess if he did come here we'd just have to see how it'd work. I can't say it would, you know? I thought [Randy] Moss was going to be great in Minnesota, but that threw me through a loop."

On how he views quarterback pressures versus sacks:"Well, sacks count. (laughing) Sacks count as the stat. The pressure, it's like, 'Atta boy! Way to pressure the quarterback.' But the sacks are what help you win the game. Pressure really doesn't. I mean, they do their job, they have their benefits – they can [force] a quarterback to throw the ball higher or before he wants to – but me, being the No. 1 thing that I like to do, I like to get the sack, and I'll leave all the pressure to Haloti [Ngata] and [Jarret Johnson]."

On whether he feels like the first half of the season was a lot of near misses on sacks for him:"All these near misses, definitely. I think we're going to start getting them, not just myself, but us as a team. And it's just going to start happening for us."

On the process of making that happen to record more sacks:"I don't know. It's just sometimes [the quarterback] holds it for a second longer. But I ask myself every day, 'Would I rather have eight sacks like DeMarcus Ware [in Dallas] and be [1-6]? I don't think so. I don't think so. So, I'll take what I have right now with the winning record, and we just have to get more [sacks]; we've got to break."

On whether the Ravens have to be ready for the Wildcat formation, even though Miami hasn't used it as much this season:"You definitely do, because Ronnie Brown is dangerous with it, and when you've got Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams running it, it's pretty crazy. It's intense, and Ronnie, he can throw the ball, so you definitely have to prepare for it. And I think they kind of went away from it because everybody's doing it. They were the first team to do it. It was their style; they kind of were the team that brought it into the NFL. Now everybody is doing it and everybody is kind of learning how to game-plan for it in different ways. But they're still very effective at it if you ask me. I mean, as long as you've got those two in the game, it can pop at any minute, and we just don't want to be the team that it pops on."

On how nice it is to be the team coming off the bye this week, after playing two consecutive games against opponents who were coming off the bye:"Coming off the bye and [being] at home has a lot of benefit. Like I said, you're rested and you had a chance to get away from football a little bit. Now, it's like you kind of got that hunger for football, you're ready to get back to work, and we're like, 'All right, I've had enough time off.' Some guys prefer a little bit more time off – like myself – but it was pretty good though. It was pretty good to get away. But like I said, now we're back. Play time is over, let's get back to work."

On whether he could tell that New England and Buffalo were teams that had just come off a bye week when they played them:"Well, I could tell by the different things that they were doing. They did some different things that we didn't see before on film because they had their bye. And I think that's pretty much the only benefit of the bye week for our opposing offense; they get to draw up a lot of [different] plays."

On whether he gets offended when he hears people say the Ravens need a player like Merriman or need help at the pass rush:"No, because half of you all writing that have never played football before in your life. So, it really doesn't bother me too much. I just play. I just play. I know the attention to details, and I know the knack, the want to, to get to the quarterback. It's there; we just haven't really cashed them in. It's not like we haven't gotten any pressure on the quarterback. We just haven't got him while he had the ball in his hand, so to speak. So, like I said, the difference between pressures and quarterback sacks is that the sacks count. So, I don't think anybody around here is like, 'Oh my God, absolutely every quarterback we play is lighting us up because we don't have pass rush.' Trust me: All of them, they feel us. They just know they've got to get that ball out."

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