Skip to main content

Press Conference Transcript - Practice 11/17


Head Coach John Harbaugh

On treating this week similar to coming off a bye week with 10 days between games:"I don't know how we would treat it that way. We practiced Monday, in that sense. So, that's something that we did a little bit differently than we do in a bye week. It does seem like a long time since we played. We are creatures of habit. You get into a routine Sunday to Sunday. But our guys are rested up, and we're probably as healthy as we can be, and we're ready to go."

On keeping the team motivated when preparing to play a team with a sub-500 record: "Every game is important in this league. Our guys understand that. I don't think it's anything we're doing as coaches. There's no pep talk or anything like that. We've got mature guys – leaders – and you have to win every game. They all count the same. Every game counts for one win, and we need to win."


On his feelings about the development of the cornerback position this season:"I would say every position remains a work in progress. You try to get every position to play as well as they can. Every guy tries to do better every single week, and that's what you try to do."

On if he sees improvement in the cornerbacks:"Oh yeah. Guys are getting better. You work on stuff every week. Every week is a new week. You play a new passing game; you've got a new challenge at quarterback. It's not the same. Every week is not like [previous weeks]. It's not the same type of challenge. Every week is a different type of challenge. You are going to have weeks where you go through passing yards and no running yards and weeks where you shut everything down. We're going to try to shut everything down. That goes for the cornerback and everything else."

On the importance of the defense stopping teams from scoring after offensive turnovers:"Sudden change is huge. It's an emphasis. It should be. It speaks to the fact that we have a good defense, first of all. Our guys don't cave in – ever. We make mistakes. We don't play things right all the time. We can be a lot better at a lot of things, but that's a reflection of the heart and character of our guys and their mental toughness."

On having a winning record despite the Ravens' negative turnover margin:"The turnover ratio for a stretch in there was real good. It started off really bad. The Cincinnati game really put us behind the eight ball. Last week we were behind two, which hurt us. If we hadn't been minus two, we probably would have won our game – no question about it. So, we need to win the turnover ratio. That's really important. It goes to all three phases."

On the importance of scoring early in the game and maintaining the momentum throughout the entire game:"That's something we need to do. That's the goal. I want to start fast. You guys made a big deal about it Monday. To me, it's obvious and goes without saying. We want to come out of the gates. We just talked to the guys about it right now. We want to play 60 minutes. We want to play a complete football game every week – that's the goal. It's hard to do. You see it from week to week in this league. Teams play well one week, [and] all of a sudden they look like a different team next week because it's so competitive. But, we need to find a way to do that."

On the ups and downs of many teams and what it says about the National Football League:"It says to me it's a tough business. It's a competitive league. There are a lot of professional people out there. There are a lot of good players on every team and good coaches. It's tough. It's not like you've got five teams that are so much better than everybody else. It's not college football. It's different. It's what the NFL wants. It's exciting every week, and it makes it really hard and really challenging. But, anybody can win. That's why we have a big challenge this week. It's a good football team."

On leaving the decision to play with injury up to players and the training staff:"I guess the answer is yes and no because it depends on the situation. As a coach, if you don't feel like a guy can perform – if you think he's just not up to speed – but the trainers say he is able to play medically, and you think [the player] can't give you what you need, as a coach you make a coaching decision and you put the other player up because you think he's a better player at this time in that situation. If the trainers say, we don't think he should be playing, it's over. You don't even have a conversation about it. If it's one of those things where he can play but it's a pain-type of thing, a pain tolerance issue, believe me, there are some things out there that hurt so much that a guy just can't perform through it. Other times they can. We do have some guys – like Derrick Mason – that because [if] a guy has played so many games for so many years, you've got to assume he's got a pretty good pain threshold. And, Derrick caught the ball well. So, he looks fine."

On getting help from former Carolina player QB Hunter Cantwell, who is on the Ravens' practice squad:"It hasn't helped us at all. Hunter's forgotten everything that he learned in Carolina. (laughing) No, he's helped us. I'm sure they expect that. We met with him long and hard on Monday and Tuesday. The guys don't remember as much sometimes as you'd like for them to. He didn't bring a notebook. We did ask about that. He didn't get one out of there."

On the importance of QB Joe Flacco's ability to come back in games and win:"You have to be able to do it to probably win at the level we're hoping to win at in this league. You have to be able to come back and win games. If our defense had gotten the job done at the end – that goes back to all of us, coaches players, everybody – then Joe would have been lauded for the comeback. That's why it's such a great team sport. We're all in this thing together."

On what problems the Carolina offense presents:"Running the ball. They run the ball as well as anybody in the league. Offensive line, combination blocks, drop-scheme combination blocks where the lineman are working together to knock the defensive lineman off the ball into the backers, and the zone schemes where they're stepping outside to knock the defensive line off the ball into the backers. They probably do that better than anybody in the league right now. They have four really good running backs. I think we'll see DeAngelo [Williams] probably. All of their guys can really play. So, the run game is going to be the bottom line. Then off of that, there's always the play-action shots. They've got Steve Smith out there. They've got a couple of guys who are fast, vertical guys. And defensively, they run to the ball, they blitz you constantly. They're a challenge on defense."

QB Joe Flacco

On whether he prefers having extra time after the Atlanta game or getting back out on the field right away:"I think it's always nice to have a little bit of time to get a little bit healthy and get your team back ready to go."

On how important it is for the offense to come out strong against a team that is struggling:"It's always important to try and get off to a quick start. But if you don't, you can't let it bother you. You've got to continue to stay at it. I think the bottom line is we want to put points on the board, and no matter when we do, it's a good thing to put points on the board. But, I think you always want to get off to a quick start and get your confidence going early."

On not having thrown an interception at home this season, only on the road:"I threw four in one game; that doesn't help you. There's no difference. It's just the way it's worked out, and that's the truth to it. I think if you look too much into that, you're searching for something. But it's just the way it worked out, and we'll see what happens in the future."

On teams with a losing record approaching games with an added determination:"I think, no matter what, in the NFL you're going to have to play a good team each week. I don't care how many games they've won. Each week you're playing a pretty good team and you've got to be ready for their best. We're not paying attention to Carolina's record; we're paying attention to us trying to get our seventh win and improve ourselves."

On his impression of the Carolina defense from what he's seen on film:"They're going to be pretty good. They've got a good group of linebackers. They've got a couple of good corners, and they've got a couple of guys on the edge that can put some pressure on the quarterback. So, we'll be ready for it all. We think we can score some points, but they're going to do a good job."

LB Ray Lewis

On whether he expects Carolina to go into the game hungry for a win:"Yeah, you never fool yourself. This is a very, very talented ball club. If you watch the games, a lot of games they're losing, they're losing in the fourth quarter – last drive, last second of the game. So we just have to come out and play our game. We understand their record, but the record [means] nothing. This team is going to come out, and they're going to fight. They have a lot of pride over there and a lot of young guys who have a lot of talent. So, they're going to definitely come out and give us their best shot."

On the best way to get into the head of a rookie QB:"I think just giving him looks that he's not usually seeing. And really, really disguising the way we know how, to make him think one thing is coming, and then we give him a totally different look. Anytime you can start getting to him, I think that's the most important thing. If you can really rattle them early, then you can really get them off their spot and really start making them do things that they really don't want to do."

On whether the close game against Buffalo, another losing team, will help their perspective going into Carolina:"Yeah, I think it's definitely a totally different perspective that no matter who you're playing or what their record is, it's still the National Football League. Every team is going to come out and give you 100 percent no matter who it is. I know you try to get up for the teams who are always winning, but I try to always tell the guys: 'Make sure you're getting up for every game, because every team is going to get up for us."

On whether teams are closer together in talent now than when he started playing in the league:"I think one of the biggest things for that is free agency. Free agency now shuffles so many people around. Once people get that unrestricted mark on them, they really get ready to make whatever choice they want to make. And that's why you see all the teams are really evening out now. Over the years, the Cowboys, the 'Niners... You always saw those powerhouses, but now it's really evened out. Definitely since I've been in the league, I just attribute a lot of that to free agency – all of the movements. It's hard to keep a whole unit together for a long, long time nowadays with all of the different things going on with teams. I think that's the biggest change."

On what his message is to the team after games that they lose in the final minutes:"If you've got a team down, put them away. Put them away. Don't leave those great plays out there, those plays that you come back and say, 'I should've done this. I should've done that.' Definitely don't look toward referees to give you nothing, no matter what calls are made. There are just a lot of things that if you keep playing the game the way you're supposed to play the game, those things change when you get in that situation again in the fourth quarter. And that's our mentality: Finish. Finish the game, and that's it. Don't leave it in nobody else's hands, because when you leave it in somebody else's hands, you've got a chance of it coming up and ending the way it ended last week."

On whether there are a lot of similarities between the Bills and Panthers in regards to their losing records:"I don't know if I'm putting them in the same category as Buffalo. I'm putting them in the category of the Carolina Panthers. Like I said earlier, if you watch enough of their games, they've been in every ball game. They're fighting to the end. Maybe a ball doesn't go their way here or there, but they are a very, very talented team, and we know that they're going to give us everything [they've] got. But at the same time, we don't have [any] room to go and take breaks and be easy on nobody, either. So we have to keep our level of play up. We've got to go in as pissed off as they are. Their record is whatever it is; our record is whatever it is. But the bottom line, the person who wins on Sunday comes out with a certain mentality to win."

On whether there has been a transition from former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to defensive coordinator Greg Mattison with the pass rush:"No. I think both coaches… Everybody kind of does… It's a copycat league. Everybody kind of does the same exact things. It's just how much more you do it than the other person does it. I think we do it an equal amount as we did it when Rex was here. So, I think it's the same thing. I just think sometimes in games you get in there and it may look that it's not looking like that. But we have a great way of disguising a lot of different things to make it look like something it's really not. And, coach [Mattison] gives us a lot of flexibility to definitely turn things into things that they're not supposed to be, either."

On whether he has been pleased with the pass rush this year:"I told my team this: I've got to tip my hat off to my team, period. I just think overall, you're talking about the whole season through nine games. We've probably had [the toughest], if not one of the toughest, schedules in the NFL. We played some very, very tough games on the road. And for us to lose to New England or to lose to Atlanta, who's at the top of both conferences, we're still in first place right now in the AFC – in the AFC North. And that's our goal. Our goal is to win the North, and our goal is to keep pace with where we're trying to go. We went through the bulk and the tough part of our schedule, and now we've got to grind and start building on these wins and set up for the second half of the season."

On how good this defense is compared to past years:"I think there's definitely been a lot of changing parts. But I think over the years, what happens when you do see a lot of changing parts, a lot of things stay in place as well. You see me, [Terrell] Suggs, Ed [Reed], Haloti [Ngata], 'Double J' [Jarret Johnson]… A lot of us are vets and have been playing with each other for a long time. And now you see us adding little young pieces in here and there. And every team does the same thing. Every team is going to have a veteran… You saw New England, I think they started almost five or six rookies the other night on defense. So you start to fit your pieces in on who starts to fit, who starts to gel. But I think this defense has the ability to go on and do whatever we want to do once we finally start solidifying those pieces on who's going to be our starters."

On whether he thinks the secondary is progressing throughout the season:"Yeah, I definitely see it getting better, because I think there's more chemistry. I believe that on any championship-true team, the most important thing you have is chemistry. And right now, just moving the pieces around the way we are – going from Josh [Wilson] to [Lardarius] Webb, back to [Chris] Carr – it's a great movement. It's a great movement, because if you see in our room how close we are to making that one play of getting off the field here or there, it's just now putting it all together as a totality, as a group. And I think everything changes from that point."

On whether he thinks the defense should be ranked higher than 10th in the NFL because of its reputation as a strong defensive team:"We used to chase [stats], and we still do to a certain extent. But, I think that the biggest thing for our focus is [if] we keep stacking up W's, all of that will come later. That's just the fact of football. You don't… You [can't] get caught up in those numbers, because some of the teams that are higher than us have way worse records than us. It can kind of be misconstrued at times, but we just have to keep playing football, and everything is going to roll out the way it's going to roll. Like I said, we went through the roughest time of our schedule that we were going to go through. Now it's time for us to start building on that, and stats will come with that if you're looking for those."

On whether the defense has been focusing on the success that Atlanta had with its no-huddle offense:"The exciting part about when I hear stuff like that [is] people say Atlanta had so much success. They scored one touchdown the first half. That's it. So however much success, or whatever they got, we gave them. You give them up front. You make a play; they make a play. It's just the National Football League. It's not what they did so much; it's what we didn't do, and that is on third down, get off the field. Step in front of a slant, knock down a pass, make that play. And that's just the simple things that we didn't do that game. So, forget everything that they said they did. I just think it's the things that we didn't do."

On whether he got a chance to watch the Eagles-Redskins game on Monday:"I didn't, I didn't, I didn't. I missed the whole game. I had to go see some kids and make some kids smile. So I missed the whole game actually. But [Michael] Vick is Vick. Vick is Vick. Vick has been Vick since Vick came in this league. And now him just maturing into the man that he is, I think his upscale is way high."

On how it is possible for Vick to play so well after being out of the game for a while:"Because the game of football doesn't change. It's never changed. If you had success before, you're going to continue to have success in this league. And when you surround yourself around the type of talent that he has in Philadelphia, your chances are very high."

(WR Derrick Mason asks about Lewis' Thanksgiving charity event)

"This year, my foundation is… We've built something now that we're actually feeding over 1,200 families this year. And I'm definitely going to look for you [Mason] to be out there. I tell you, just the interactions I had last night with the group that I'm actually partnering with, it's almost overwhelming that people [spend] however many hours, countless hours people put in to prepare for people that don't have anything. I know we play a game that bracketed us, that makes us very selfish at times, but there are so many people that are hurting in this world. And I just think one of our biggest advantages and one of the things that I always talk to you about is leaving a legacy of helping somebody. And I think my foundation is doing a great job of doing that. And all the people in Baltimore are really coming together for Thanksgiving."

On what he is thankful for:"You've got to be thankful for what's real. You've got to be thankful for life. You've got to be thankful for just having the opportunity to really bless someone. I saw some things last night at an event I was at in Ellicott City that it makes you really click in to what life is really about, and that's about influence. It's really about how can you give somebody hope, faith and love one way or another. You're walking and you see these babies and these wheelchairs… And then I got this email yesterday about this young junior kid who is playing nose guard, great career, and now has bone cancer. And he doesn't know this, but I'm definitely going to surprise him and just go over there because that was one of his wishes. We complain about so much, but we forget that somebody's always going through things way worse than you. And that's always something to be thankful about is that you can help somebody."

WR Derrick Mason

On the Carolina secondary: "They're good. Obviously, their record is not what they want it to be, but they've got some guys in the back end that can play. For us, we've just got to try to take advantage of every opportunity we get. If they give us something in the passing game, we've got to take advantage of it. This is a team that is hungry and wants to win. We've got to go down there and play a very sound game against [what] I believe is a very good defense."

On what makes a hungry team dangerous: "I think it's a pride thing. You don't want to get beat. You don't want to go another week thinking about a loss. There comes a point in time as a team [where] you've got to put up a fight, and you've got to draw a line in the sand basically. That's what makes a team dangerous, when another team comes in [and] thinks they're going to walk all over them or bully them. That team is thinking, 'You know what? This is our opportunity. This is our chance to basically draw a line in the sand and fight.' I think that's what makes a team dangerous when everyone else is counting them out."

On whether he sees a change in QB Joe Flacco when he is leading a comeback: "No, I don't. I think Joe goes about his job the same way. First quarter, fourth quarter, it's the same thing with him. He's probably one of the only quarterbacks that I've been around that his demeanor doesn't change. I've been around some good ones, but his demeanor doesn't change, regardless of if we're up 21 or if we're down 21. He just wants to go out there and make plays and help the team win. He doesn't change at all. He basically orchestrates the offense, runs it the way it needs to be run and makes sure that he completes every pass."

On playing hurt: "This is the way I've been my whole career. I don't think I've ever allowed an injury to hold me out of a game. I had one knee injury early on in my career, and I think I missed a game; had surgery. Luckily, we had a bye week, so I ended up missing one game. But that's the way I was brought up. You play through pain. Whatever it may be, you play through it. If you can go out there, run and catch the ball, then do it. Right now, I believe I feel better than I've ever felt before at this stage of a season, especially the last three years. If I've got to play through an injury, so be it, because right now these last seven games are big. And if you can play, you need to play and put aside your aches and pains."

On how difficult it is to catch a pass with an injured finger: "It's not tough. It's like riding a bike. Once you've been doing it, you don't forget how. When you're in a game, your adrenaline is going so you don't feel it. I don't feel it. I just go out there and I play. Unless somebody really takes a shot at it, then I kind of feel it then. But after a while the pain kind of subsides, and I continue on with the play. For the most part, I don't feel it at all because I'm so tuned in and so focused in on what I've got to do as a player."

On whether he felt the pain the day after the game: "I felt it two days after. It takes a while for my body to kind of settle down. Saturday is when I really started to feel it. Then the pain started to lessen a little bit more, and today it feels fine. So, hopefully no one will hit it today in practice and I can go through our practice without it swelling up more than what it is."

On what it is like to have another player like WR Anquan Boldin speak up on the sidelines: "It's good. You've got to pick and choose when you say things to certain people, and I think we've got enough people on the sideline that we understand that, and [Anquan] understands that. There's a time where you've got to uplift your team with your words, and then there's a time you just kind of sit back and kind of let things unfold. For us, that time against Atlanta was, I believe, in the third quarter. [It was the] second quarter or third quarter when [Anquan] came over and said something, and then we went out and we put together a drive. So, I think you've got to pick and choose your situations and your time when you say [something], especially when you're talking to your quarterback or when you're talking to the guys up front, because they've got so much other stuff they need to worry about. Like I told you, I respect those guys for what they do, so I think it's good that we have [Anquan] and even some other guys that are able and are willing to go up there and say something."

On whether defensive backs are smarter now than they used to be: "No, I'm smarter compared to my rookie year. I don't think defensive backs… I mean obviously, if you play in this league for a long time, you get smarter. But I don't think they're any smarter than they were my first year. I've gotten smarter, I think. I think me getting separation is still there because now I've really learned how to run a route, and I've been able to find weaknesses in a defensive player or a defense. Now that I look at it, it's not really a defensive player, it's more so the scheme of the defense. You find a weakness in the scheme of the defense, and you try to exploit it as much as you can. So, that's where I get the separation, and just running my routes the way I've been running them for the last 14 years. That hasn't changed."

On running routes better than he used to: "I feel better, which allows me to run them faster. That explosion is there as opposed to previous years where I was a little bit tired. Now, like I said, I feel better than I've felt in a long time, so that explosiveness is there. Not necessarily that I'm running my routes any different, but I think that explosiveness off the line is there, whereas in previous years, as the season started to kind of wind down, I got a little bit worn out because of the way they used me. Now, we have [Anquan] and T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] and a lot of other guys. I'm not used as much as I was the previous three years, and that allows my body to be fresher."

On whether he feels some explosiveness coming on offense throughout the rest of the season: "I think it is. We had some shots in Atlanta, we just didn't connect on them. So, we'll continue to press the issue with the explosive plays, and we've just got to make sure we're on one accord when it comes to that. When we have plays down the field, we've got to be able to connect on them. Or when we have plays underneath and getting that run after the catch, we've got to be able to do that. They'll come, and I believe you'll see us starting to put the pedal to the medal, because we have to. We've got seven games left; we can't hold anything back."

On his charity event Monday: "Oh, the karaoke [tour at the retirement home]? We went to a retirement home and we had a very, very good time. My singing wasn't as good as it normally is."


Ravens senior vice president of public & community relations Kevin Byrne interjects: "Do they have the tape?"

"Yeah, they've got the tape. (laughter) We had a good time. A few of the staff members came to help me out. It was a delight for me to go and enjoy two or three hours with a bunch of older people, and to make them laugh, because I truly made them laugh by the way I was singing. But to make them laugh, and just to enjoy the time with them… Because I think we focus so much on the younger children sometimes that the older people, they need love, too. We kind of miss that boat sometimes, but the last two years we have been very adamant at trying to get out and make the older people a part of our charitable giving."

On his go-to song: "My go-to song was Michael Jackson: 'Got to make that change…'" (starts singing) **

S Ed Reed

On whether he accidently hit Falcons' QB Matt Ryan with his elbow on the scramble play where Ryan slid:"Once he hit my ankle, I have no clue what hit him. Once he hit my ankle, I knew he was down already. I was just like, 'Oh my God, you slid right into my ankle.'"

On whether the time off did him well the past few days:"It did me all right. I wouldn't say it did me well, but it did me all right. You know, anytime you can get some time off, it's good for you."

On whether it's strange that the Ravens have never beaten Carolina in the regular season:"Yeah, that was my first away game [in the league]. [It] was my first loss in the NFL, in this league, but it doesn't really bother me or bother us. They're an NFL team, like anybody else, [and] we're not going to prepare any less or more than what we would do for any other team. We know that we're playing Carolina this week, and we're preparing to play against them. I'm sure they're doing the same."

On why he thinks opposing offenses have been getting more passing yards in the secondary over the past month, and whether it's an issue with technique or scheme:"It's both. It's all of it. It all factors in, but we had some fundamental stuff and technique stuff in the last game that I think we didn't play well on. Communication is getting better, [but it] needs to get better. It always needs to improve as the season goes by. It never should lack. I think everybody to a man, we knew we matched up well against their receiving corps. We thought we matched up really well, but technical stuff on certain plays – just one guy here, one guy there, whether it's me or anybody else – you've got to cover your guy."

On how much of that was Matt Ryan knowing where to go with the football:"He's a great quarterback, too. And when you show him something and he knows it's Cover 2 or Cover 3, he knows where to go with the ball. It's just a matter of his guy getting open and being where he's supposed to throw the ball at that time."

On whether developing chemistry and communication is tough when you're constantly rotating different cornerbacks in the secondary:"It's tough, but we, in meetings, talk about a lot of stuff. We communicate all the calls; everybody knows the calls. It's just a matter of getting in the flow of the game and guys just talking to each other for the most part. So, it's really not that difficult to do, especially when you're playing on the road and the fans are not cheering for the offense. It's just something, like I said, constantly [that] you've got to get better on as the weeks go by in the season."

On how he reacts when people say this defense isn't the same caliber as the defenses this team has had in the past:"Yeah, some people don't know anything about football. (laughter) Everything factors in – offense and defense alike. We all play the game together, so we can't come out lacking on defense and offense is playing great ball, or vice versa. So, all that factors in. We were playing good ball, and we're going to continue to play good ball. It's just a matter of all of us putting it together in all three phases of the game."

On whether the spread formation is something that's tough for all defenses to combat:"No, no. I mean, you've just got to play the defense that's called and execute. It's all about execution at the end of the day."

On him saying after the Atlanta game that it was a learning experience and that the team is still growing and getting better:"If they'd beaten us 59-28, then we'd have problems. (laughter) Oh, I was just throwing some numbers out there. If we'd have gotten beat 63-0, or something like that, then we've got concerns on defense. The score was 21-26, you know? They made a play at the end of the game. You can't put the calls in the referees hands; you've got to make the play. So, you can say our defense isn't this, our defense isn't that, [but] look across the league. That's why I said, some people don't know anything about football. You've got to look across the league. Every week is something different, and that's [the media's] job to write certain stuff. So, every week is different. One minute the defense is not doing this, the next minute it's the offense not doing this. We're still a great defense, and you're going to continue to add guys in every year and continue to take guys off. That's the nature of the business."

CB Josh Wilson

On how he's made the transition and settled into being a Raven:"One thing about this game is football is football. It's still going to be the same. You still play the same, and the plan is to get the ball back to the offense. The key is just learning how everybody else likes to play. That was the thing that was probably the hardest transition, was just learning how Ed [Reed] likes to play, how Dawan [Landry] likes to play, how Chris Carr and Fabian [Washington], [Lardarius] Webb – how everybody likes to play. Then, once I learned that, it allowed me to play a little faster."

On the criticism the corners have received this season and if the Ravens are a work in progress at the position:"It's called the NFL. You're going to have your good days and you're going to have your bad days. And, you've got to weather them all. Of course, when the bad ones come, everybody wants to come for your head. And, when the good days come, everybody is going to pat you on the back. So, you just have to weather the storm and understand that every once in a while it's going to happen."

On if he foresees the Ravens utilizing a two-man or four-man scheme:"I don't know. I know one thing: I'm going to try to keep my spot. That's the most important thing – to make it so I take care of my side and position, and whatever the coaches decide from there is on them. But, I control my own destiny."

On whether he envisioned himself becoming a starter so quickly after joining the Ravens:"I envisioned becoming a starter when I got here. I guess I'm not a guy who likes to sit on the sideline and watch the game. I don't like to pay for my tickets; I like to be on the field playing for my ride on the bus."

On getting any explanation from the NFL why no penalty was called on the touchdown play last week in Atlanta:"For me, I'm past that play. I'm on to Carolina. The NFL rarely explains anything to me. So, I'm not really expecting to get that letter in the mail. I'm past it. Nothing's going to change it. The most important thing is not what happened to me, what happened to the defense [and] that we lost. You're not going to change a loss. So, anything other than that really doesn't matter."

On what he can learn and take away from that play:"It's something you've got to [learn from]. Of course, that's now how I wanted it to happen. But, you've got to play your technique and you've got to understand where your help is and your leverage is. Personally, I thought I played good technique and held my leverage and just tried to do what was asked of me on that play. And it was made kind of hard."

On how the defense feels when it takes the field after there has been an offensive turnover:"It's fun for me. Of course, you don't like to see turnovers, but for us it's like, 'Oh man, we get this ball back, that will take everything they've got.' When a defense gets a turnover for the offense, that's the greatest momentum shift in the building. If you can bring that momentum right back, that can kill a team. If you can get a turnover off another turnover, that team is like, 'Man, what else can we do?'"

On if he liked having the extra time between games or would he rather have gotten right back to playing after the loss in Atlanta:"I would have rather played a game right after that Thursday, personally. But we had some time to look over it and learn ourselves, and that's the most important thing with all this stuff in all these games, is learning yourself and learning how the Ravens' defense needs to play."

On how the defense prepares to play against a team that is using a quarterback with not much history on film:"Just film study, film study, film study. It's all about that. It's not really about the quarterback, per se. A lot of times it's about how they've got a great receiving crew over there. They've got [Steve] Smith, of course, who can hurt you in every way. And they've got some young guys who are coming along and making big plays. If you just look at how they run their routes, how they do their thing and how they want to beat you, and that's it. The quarterback, all he has to do is get the ball there. They're the ones that get open."

On having to adapt his style of play for S Ed Reed versus S Tom Zbikowski:"A little bit. It's fun. It's fun either way. I've played with a lot of safeties in my short career, and you've got to change your play for everybody. From Dawan Landry to Ed Reed to Tom Zbikowski to Haruki [Nakamura] – everybody plays different – and you have to understand how that person likes to play and just talking to them. Like I said, that was the hardest transitioning part for me, just figuring out how this guy wants to play this route. And now that I've gotten a feel how everybody wants to play, it's been fun. It's fun for me. It's like, 'OK, I know I can go get this line and with this guy, I know with this one I better stay over top.'"

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