Opening statement: "Good to see you guys. It's good to be here. We went outside today, even though it's a little bit cooler; everybody had their sweats on instead of their shorts. You guys have got your jackets on instead of your T-shirts, *(laughter) *so fall is here. [We are] coming off an important win. Had a chance to go through it this morning, obviously, as coaches, and then go through it with players. We spent a lot of time on the tape, went outside and went through practice, like we do on Monday, and got a good practice in for what we do on Monday. It's a corrections day, and then we'll turn our attention now toward Dallas."
With the parity the NFL has achieved in the league, how do you explain the Ravens' success at home against NFC teams? Is it a question of not seeing them as much? (Joe Platania)"What's our record at home against the NFC? (Reporter states: "24-5-1") Really? I didn't know that. How long does that go back? Oh, back for the Ravens in history? I have no explanation for that. I don't know. That's great. I don't know, I haven't thought about it. I have no idea whatsoever. I'd love to give you something, but I have nothing of value to add to that. It's a great accomplishment, though."
In terms of the Chiefs' pass rush, what did you see from how your offensive tackles performed against Tamba Hali and Justin Houston when you watched the tape?* (Aaron Wilson)*"We did some good things, and we did some not so good things. I'd say we were inconsistent, probably. It's going to happen some times on the road against two excellent pass rushers. We've got two great pass rushers coming in this week, so that's why it's an important thing to look at. We got edged once or twice one-on-one. We got beat inside once or twice – one time on what we call a 'me-game' where the end goes first and the tackle comes around second. So, those are the things we are going to definitely have to work on."
With third-down conversions, is part of the key there kind of eliminating the situations where you get in the third-and-long, third-and-10 situations and having more of third-and-manageable to make those to have a higher success rate? What is the key to avoiding third-and-long situations and having third-and-manageable where there is a higher success rate of converting to first downs? (Garret Downing)"Absolutely. It's very important. It all ties together – first down, second down, third down. The more you are in third-and-long, the tougher it is going to be to convert. We had the same situation against Cleveland. So, it's going to be very important for us to do a better job in the earlier downs and try to get to third-and-medium and third-and-short."
What do you think the key is to finding an offensive rhythm earlier in games? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Getting first downs. That's the key."
Is there anything you can point to as to why the team hasn't been able to move the chains earlier in games? (Jeff Zrebiec)"There are a lot of reasons. When you watch the tape, there are a lot of reasons – none of them I'm really interested in sharing with you at this time."
How much did you like Dez Bryant when he was in the draft in 2010? Did you feel like you guys were close to drafting him? (Ryan Mink)"I really don't remember. It was a long time ago. We liked him. Whether we would have taken him with that pick if we hadn't traded out – if that's what you're asking – I really don't know. [General manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] is right upstairs, though. You could ask him if you want. *(laughing) *But, he is a good player. He is a really talented guy. You talk about the Cowboys, obviously, they have a tremendously talented quarterback who is capable of just doing amazing things. They've got maybe the most balanced receiving corps in football. Miles Austin, obviously, is a great player. They have four really good receivers. They have a great tight end. They have two home-run-hitting running backs. So, they've got lots of weapons, and everybody knows that."
Coach, there were a couple of uncharacteristic drops yesterday. Is that a concern at all moving forward? (Garrett Downing)"We don't like drops. We're not happy about that. We would really much prefer to catch the ball when we get the opportunity."
How much do style points count in the NFL? (Ryan Mink)"Who is keeping track? Who is the style points track keeper? You'll have to ask him. Whoever is keeping track of style points, you can ask them." (laughter)
It looked like the Kansas City fans were happy when Matt Cassel got hurt. Eric Winston went on quite a rant about that. In general, what do you think about the fans taking it out on a guy laying on the ground with a concussion? (Aaron Wilson)"That's tough. I did happen to see Eric's comments about it. I can see where, as a player, that would be something that would definitely be something that you'd be frustrated by. I know, when he got up and came off, our guys clapped. That's what you do. You understand that it's a really tough game. It's a really tough game to perform. It's a, physically, very tough game. Some of the guys make a lot of money, but still, it doesn't make it any less challenging what they go through. That's what respect is about in the [NFL]. Most fans really respect that. Most fans understand that. Most fans express it maybe in the right way more often than not. But, it happens. It's just part of sports."
In the second half, it looked like Paul Kruger and Pernell McPhee were getting a lot of penetration. Is that what you saw on the tape as well? Were they playing well in the second half? (Aaron Wilson)"You talk about Kruger more on the edge, along with Albert [McClellan] and along with Courtney [Upshaw], [they] did a really nice job of setting the edge really throughout the game. We got good knockback on the edges. Once or twice, he got around that and even got a few yards, and then we ran it down. We did a better job inside [with] Pernell and even Haloti [Ngata], and then our nose guards, 'Kemo' [Ma'ake Kemoeatu] and [Terrence] Cody, got a little more penetration upfield. Sometimes, we came behind some of the reach blocks. Sometimes we got a little better knockback. [Our] linebackers did a better job in the second half of really playing downhill. We were a little closer to the line – all of those things kind of combined. Obviously, we played pretty good run defense in the second half. It's tough.
"You talk about style points. It's a clever way to ask it, and it's fun to think about, but it's not an easy question to answer. There are a lot of things that we're not pleased with. How we're really looking at it, there are a lot of things that we're not pleased with. We sit in here, and we look at it, and we feel like we don't want to give up any of those plays. We're chasing our 'A' game every week. We want to have our 'A' stuff. It's like a pitcher. We want to have our best stuff every single week. We did not have our best stuff yesterday. Give the Chiefs some credit now. The Chiefs are a talented team, and their running back is really good. This game was really important to them. They were at home, and they were determined to win that football game. So, we understood that, and we knew what the challenge was, and we found a way to win the game. I'm pleased because we didn't let frustration overcome us. We didn't lose our patience. We didn't get too anxious. We didn't make the kind of mistakes at the end that would have cost us that game. We made the plays at the end that allowed us to win the game. We got the stop when we needed to get it. How about Joe [Flacco] making the scramble, which was a huge play? Everybody was covered, and he gets out. It's Cover 5, it's man under. They cover everybody. Joe finds a crease in the rush lane, and he gets 16 yards. To get the three [conversion] plays, which we have not done that … There have been plenty of times in the past where we've sat in here when we did not convert when we needed to in a four-minute situation. We had to punt and put the defense back out there. We were able to do that this week and win a game. We played better in zone coverage underneath. Our underneath drops were much better. So, there are a lot of things we did better within the game that we're pleased with, and there are other things that we just have to continue to chase to be the kind of team we want to be. So, that's really the answer to the kind of questions that you all really want to ask and that everybody wants to hear about. So, there are a lot of things we have to work on. But, I am glad we can work on them with a win, albeit not a style-point win, but a win. We've got a tough game coming up Sunday, so you're attention just goes to that."
What can you do to kind of combat … I mean, teams are coming at you guys it looks like with press coverage. Is there anything you can do to help your wide receivers get off the line? I know Anquan [Boldin] had success with it, but it seems like they've been able to bump some of the other receivers into traps at times. (Matt Vensel)"That's something that … We have to handle that. We talked about that today quite a bit. We are getting pressed, getting Cover 1 for the most part in this game. It's the same thing that they gave us two years ago in the playoff game, and we did a much better job with it. We were in bunch routes. We did have motions to stacks; we did that sort of thing. The drops were a big part of that. We threw a number of fade routes; we threw a couple wheel routes. The guys would be the first to tell you that if we make those plays … Now you create more plays. We only had 25 … We only had, actually, 20 plays that we ran in the first half. So, you give yourself a chance by making a play or two here or there, and you give yourself a chance to create more plays, and then you have a chance to score some points. We had the one untimely turnover. We shot ourselves once or twice jumping offsides. It kind of all ties together. If I'm thinking back ...You think back towards the end of the game when we had the two pick calls – those are the kinds of things that you try to create on offense, as well. They are trying to do the same, but you try to do it legally, so stacks, rubs, just one-on-one nine routes against press coverage to get past a guy. Those are things that we can do better. We've done that pretty well at times this year. So, that's what you are talking about; that's important."
*John, what is the thinking regarding [Terrell] Suggs and also David Reed as they come back from major injuries, just in terms of taking your time with them and … (Aaron Wilson) *"Yes, I saw that report. I talked to 'Mort' [Chris Mortensen] about that. I don't know where he got that. He didn't get it from me. You guys do a great job with sources and stuff like that, but the reality is … It's really a quote that I said something about that in August is probably where he got it. The quote was along the lines of: '[Terrell] Suggs is going to push it, and then we are probably going to be a little more cautious than he is going to be, because he is going to want to play.' Yes, that's probably fair. He's really worked hard. He's done a great job. [I will] stand up here and just tell you that the reality of it is the guy has done a great job of preparing himself. The six-week window ends before the Houston game, right? Then there are the rules that apply to PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] that we will just have to apply. None of us know. None of us know. Could it be that game, but could it be … We have the bye week, then two weeks after that or three weeks after that? His progress from between now and then is going to determine that. We don't know that yet. So once he gets out there and starts practicing, then we'll just have a better indication. Is it a possibility? Yes, because he's eligible to come back then, and he looks pretty good right now. But he's not going through any football workouts yet. He hasn't been through a practice or anything like that yet. I don't think you know until you see him practice."
Going back to the press coverage, I'm just curious on whether it's kind of unusual to see an opponent do that considering how much speed you have outside with Torrey [Smith] and Jacoby [Jones] especially. (Ryan Mink) *"Their corners are good; I give them credit. They have two excellent corners, and they played very well. Just like this week, these guys [Dallas Cowboys] have two excellent corners – they have four excellent corners. People are willing to match their corners up, and we just need to take advantage of that and make some plays. That's what our guys want to do." *