Ravens Post-Game Transcripts: Week 13 vs Steelers

Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) "A very emotional game, a very disappointing loss, a very tough loss. Compliments to Pittsburgh coming in. They played very well. They did a nice job in the turnover battle, obviously, and won the game. [I'm] very disappointed. There's a lot of things we could have done better. One loss does not define any football team. It certainly does not define this football team, and we will learn from it – all of us, every single one of us, starting with me. And, we will move forward. We're off to our next challenge, which is the Redskins down in Washington."

(on OLB Terrell Suggs' injury) "No immediate word on Terrell Suggs."

(on getting RB Ray Rice more touches throughout the game) "I don't know how many touches. Yes, you can write that story if you want, but that's not the factor in the game. We got the ball to guys, and Bernard Pierce looked pretty good. I thought our guys … We did fine."

(on his thoughts on what the factors of the game were) "They made a field goal with three seconds left that was the difference in the game. Off the top of my head, that's the immediate thing."

(on the secondary's performance) "I thought we had some errors. A couple of their guys got open on us, over routes and things like that. A couple of man-coverage plays where they got loose on us. They did a good job of faking a screen one time. Twice, they showed screen looks, and then released a guy up field, got loose on us. We overreacted to the screen a little bit. That's what happened on those plays."

(on QB Charlie Batch's performance) "Played very well. He did a good job. Charlie's always been a good quarterback. We had a lot of respect for him going into the game. Yes, he did a nice job."

(on what he saw from the offense in the fourth quarter) "It was, obviously, not good enough. We, obviously, needed more; we needed points. We needed to score some points, and that would have made a big difference in the fourth quarter. We didn't convert."

(on QB Joe Flacco's struggles ) "Yes, if you complete those balls. Obviously, Torrey [Smith] might have stopped on one of them at the end, I don't remember off the top of my head. It's just a group thing, it's a team thing. It's not our job to stand up here and assign blame to any individual. And, I'm not going to do that, haven't done that, and I won't do it. It starts with me putting guys in positions to make the plays. I thought we competed. I thought we fought. We didn't always execute as well as we needed to to win the game. They executed better, and they won the game. It's a typical Pittsburgh-Baltimore game. It's a three point game. It's amazing how it works out that way. Maybe someone expected it to be different. We were hoping to come out on top, but we weren't able to get it accomplished. We will just move forward here. Our immediate goal is to win the AFC North. That's our next goal. That's what we need to accomplish, and it's going to be a big challenge to get that done, but that's what we're looking to accomplish."

(on throwing the challenge flag in the third quarter) "Yes, that was not a good decision by me. That was not a good decision. I just felt he was lying on his back and winging it, and I thought maybe his arm wasn't going forward when I saw it. Looking back at it, it wasn't a good challenge."

(on if he talked to QB Joe Flacco after the game) "No, I haven't talked to Joe."

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RB Ray Rice

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(on the loss) "We win as a team, we lose as a team. This game is not going to make or break our season. Give credit where credit's due. They made the plays we've been making over the last few times. They were the last team to beat us here. I guess they're on their playoff run right now. We know what we've got to do to get forward, and obviously we've got a lot of game left ahead of us, and I don't want to take nothing away from that team's win. They deserve it. The flip of that coin didn't go our way this game. We're not trying to win by luck; we could have executed a little better. We'll live to fight another day. We win as a team. We lose as a team. I'm looking forward to getting back to work."

(on breaks seeming to even out over the course of a season) "I wouldn't call it that. We didn't get the break today. Obviously, they executed a little bit longer than we did. That's a tough defense, and we'll give them credit and all the guys they have playing in the game, and when we executed, we did well, when we didn't, it showed and with a short field, they took advantage of it. So that's just a football game situation."

(on if he saw the 'Hey Diddle-Diddle' signs) "It's all good-natured. I'm a competitor. I want to win. I'm not going to beat myself up over a loss. I'm going to get to work tonight, watch the film, try to get it all watched by tonight and then try to move on to the Washington Redskins. I know there's a lot of football left in this season. This game didn't determine where we are in the AFC right now. This game didn't determine the AFC North right now. We still can go ahead and win the division. We're still the defending AFC North division champions from last year, and we still got a lot of football left. We'll go ahead and try to get over this loss. It happened at home; we always have these close ones, and this is one that they got on us."

(on the strip sack of Flacco and how things went after that) "Honestly, I'd just been on the sideline saying 'you know what, defense's is going to get them stopped and we'll get the ball back and we'll execute.' But they scored and obviously we had a chance, and then we didn't execute. The Steelers marched down the field and they did what they had to do. That's just football. We're not going to beat ourselves over it. We had the ball back with a chance so we still could have went ahead and took care of business."

(on his touches) "My touches go with the game flow. Obviously, I turned up a huge bunch of yards today, and we could have ran the ball a little bit more. But you know what? Situational football came into play. We put ourselves in the best situation to try and win the game. It was all about execution today. We just fell a little short. Our offense is still a young, growing offense and we're going to continue to try and get better each week."

(on his TD run) "It's a cutback. Their defense is a hard over-pursuing defense, and I actually pushed [Vonta] Leach into somebody. I don't know if he tripped or not, but I was able to get the back door and made a big play from there."

QB Joe Flacco

* *

(on the loss today against the Pittsburgh Steelers) "We don't feel good about it right now, obviously. There's something about this league, and putting this kind of game behind you, and you have to go play well in the next one. It's exactly what we have to do against Washington."

(on struggling a little bit today) "I don't know, it's just kind of what happens. We put ourselves in some situations that weren't good. Too many third-and-longs. It's not very easy to convert some of those. We also had some incompletions. We had the one great run by Ray [Rice]. Other than that, we didn't put ourselves in good situations. We had a couple of false starts to begin the second half. I felt like we could have moved the ball today, and we didn't do what we needed to do to have that happen today."

(on missing the opportunity to win the division) "It's always tough, we had an opportunity. I said it before, the more games we win, the more important each game becomes and this was an important one. We just didn't capitalize on the opportunities. You have to give them a little bit of credit, too."

(on his interception intended for TE Dennis Pitta) "I was trying for Dennis [Pitta], I got away from the rush, but I never got a chance to get my eyes down the field. I didn't realize the safety was there, I thought he was going to be one-on-one, himself with the sideline."

(on the sack-strip) "Everybody was covered downfield. I was getting ready to tuck it and chalk it up as a loss. The guy came around and hit my wrist; he hit the ball and just got it out. I tried to hold on, but I couldn't."

(on WR Anquan Boldin's touchdown) "He was getting pressed over there. I'm confident that when he's one-on-one, he's going to win the ball, and that's what happened."

(on the fourth-quarter offense) "I think we probably hurt ourselves. That's the way I look at it. I'd have to look at exactly what we did, but in the second half, it didn't seem like we had very good third-down situations. We probably have to look back and see what we did. Pre-snap penalties, obviously the fumble. I was trying to take one for the team there, I probably should've gotten down, everyone was covered downfield, and the defender was able to get his hands on me and knock the ball out."

(on his misconnections with WR Torrey Smith) "You guys saw them, I'm going to have to look back at them on field to see what happened. I think we missed a couple of opportunities early in the game, to take a better hold of the game. I thought we could have put up thirty or forty points today, and we didn't do it. That's probably the best reflection that we hurt ourselves a little bit."

(on if the Steelers came in with more intensity) "I don't think so. I felt pretty good out there today. We had room to take advantage of some things, we just weren't able to do it."

(on having a two-game lead in the division)"Obviously, there's a little bit of comfort in that, but right now, we don't care about that. We didn't do what we wanted to do today, and that's really all that we're thinking about."

(on WR Torrey Smith's technique) "On that one pass, right before Ray [Rice] scored, he kind of jumped and gave himself a little bit. I told him I wanted him to go up and meet the ball, but that happens sometimes. We were able to come back and make a play after that."

(on how not having timeouts hurt the team) "We came out and really didn't do anything. The fact that we didn't have timeouts probably hurt us a little bit, but you never know. Obviously, we weren't able to call any, and that let them hold the ball and kick a field goal. You always try to keep those timeouts for the end of the game, this was just one of those games where we weren't able to do it."

(on the Steelers being short-handed) "This is a missed opportunity because of what we weren't able to do. I don't care about their situation. They have their situations, we have ours. You just have to go out and play the game. The missed opportunity is the fact that we could have separated ourselves even further, and we weren't able to do it."

* *

(on bouncing back from the first loss here in two years) "We've been good at it every year here. You're going to lose football games in the National Football League. Week-to-week, you don't want to lose any of them. And, you don't feel good about it when you lose. But, the bottom line is, you have to be men about it. You have to say 'hey, we lost a game, and there's nothing we can do about it.' The only thing we can do about it, is get ready to go this week and win next week."

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TE Dennis Pitta

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(on losing at home) "Obviously, we're disappointed. We feel like we could have won that football game. We didn't do enough to win it. We're disappointed, but its only one loss. We're going to continue to prepare well, come out and be ready to play next week."

(on the offense leaving plays on the field) "We shot ourselves in the foot a lot. Pre-snap penalties always hurt. You know you just can't make mistakes like that. We have to get a little bit better this week."

* *

(on QB Joe Flacco's interception intended for him) "He started to scramble, so I tried to turn it upfield to give him an option to throw to me. I felt like I was getting [into] collisions on both sides, I was trying to fight through it, but the safety was just kind of sitting there. It was a tough play."

* *

(on the last three weeks) "It was a tough stretch, but we knew it would be a big stretch for us. We're still sitting at 9-3, we still have everything we want to attain ahead of us. We just have to go out and put this one behind us, and play well next week."

S Bernard Pollard

* *

(on losing to the Steelers) "It sucks to let this one go. We let this game go. Right now, we're just trying to figure out how and why. Right now, we're eating humble pie, and nobody likes to do that."

(on not stopping the Steelers' last drive) "We have to finish. We didn't do a good job of that today. Games like this, we need to be ready to go. We've got to finish, and today, we didn't do a good job of it."

(on getting past the loss) "One loss doesn't define a team, but this is a win that we should have had. You can say whatever you want to say, but for us, this sucks. It sucks to let a team off the hook. It's something we have to deal with until we play next week."

(on the Ravens-Steelers rivalry) "We didn't care who their quarterback was, we knew it was going to be a tough game. For us, we just have to watch the film and figure out where we messed up. We've got to find out what we've got to get better at and move on."

(on if he was surprised at how well QB Charlie Batch played) "No, he's a professional quarterback. He's on the roster for a reason. He can make throws. I look at it as, we let some things get away. We should have stepped on their throat and choked them when we had a chance, and we didn't do it."

(on Steeler receivers being open in the middle of the field) "We need to be sound with what we're doing. We're going to watch the film and see where we need to fix these things, and we're going to do that."

DT Haloti Ngata

* *

(on the Steelers' offensive line's protection of QB Charlie Batch) "They just did a great job of blocking us up front. Sometimes they had max protection, and sometimes they didn't. We just didn't do a great job of converting. I think we were playing a little bit more [to defend] the run game, and they did a great job of mixing it up."

(on the frustration of giving up a 10-point lead and squandering an opportunity to clinch the AFC North)"Yeah, that's definitely frustrating. You think you're going to win, and at the end, they just come back. They did a great job of moving the ball, and we just didn't do a great job of getting off [the field]."

(on if the Steelers were a more desperate team this time around) "No, they played their ball. Like I said earlier, we just didn't get off the field. They did a great job of moving the ball and breaking a lot of tackles. We just needed to do a better job of keeping them down when we had them."

(on if the Steelers' running backs bouncing their runs outside is difficult to defend) "Yes, we usually think we have them capped off, but their running backs did a great job of bouncing out and finding that edge. We just need to do a better job."

(on the next stretch of games ahead) "We just have to move on, and we have a team that's really versatile on offense with the quarterback that [the Redskins] have there. Hopefully we can do a great job of stopping [QB Robert Griffin III] and get the win."

(on if the loss is more disappointing because it's at home) "No, it's just disappointing that we lost. I think we all felt that we could win this game, and we just didn't finish it at the end."

(on if the Ravens were surprised by the play of Charlie Batch) "No, they did a great job of mixing up some screens and keeping us honest. I think we just didn't do as great a job of pressuring him as much, and we just need to do a better job of that."

* *

WR Anquan Boldin

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(on if squandering the Steelers' chances of winning the AFC North adds to the disappointment of the loss) "No, I think we're all right. I think everybody is disappointed that we didn't pull it off, but this doesn't define us. We are all right. We're 9-3. We're still in the lead for this division. We're still going to win this division, so we're OK."

(on if it feels weird to lose at home) "Yes, it does. It's been about two years since we've lost at home. Again, we go back to the drawing board and correct the mistakes that we made and get ready for Washington."

(on giving QB Charlie Batch his due) "Yes, you do. They made enough plays to win the game, so you have to tip your hat to them."

(on his touchdown catch) "It was just press coverage. We had a three-route, but when we get press [coverage], we converted to a fade. The guy tried to come up and jam me. I beat him off the line of scrimmage. Joe made a good pass and allowed me to make a play on the ball."

(on if he feels the team left some things on the field) "Yes, we felt like we left plays out there. We felt like we could have put them away early. [We] missed opportunities here and there, so like I said, we will go back and correct them."

(on why he still feels like they will win the division) "I know what this team is all about. A loss doesn't change who we are. We'll still go out, we'll win the AFC North like I said, we'll be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs."

(on what he saw from the offense in the fourth quarter) "Just lack of execution. They didn't do anything to stop us – just more of a stopping ourselves."

* *

(on if the missed opportunities in the fourth quarter makes the loss tougher)"Yes, like I said, it's frustrating, especially the opportunity we had today. You definitely don't want to miss out on that, but like I said, we will be OK."

(on if the Steelers stopped them or if they stopped themselves) "No, they didn't take anything from us. It was more of us not doing what we're supposed to."

(on if the Steelers' defense was daring them to throw early on) "Yes, it was pretty much a box count in the beginning of the game, seeing what they were doing with the safeties, how they were rotating, what kind of coverage they were giving us, also."

(on if the Steelers' defense was different with S Troy Polamalu) "No."

(on what the officials said regarding the offensive pass interference call on him) "They were making bad calls all night. I know they don't want to say it, but this is what it was. You can't allow a guy to hold and then when the receiver breaks free call a pass interference. You can't have it both ways. If you are going to allow us to play football, let us play football. If guys want to hold, I know how to get a guy off of me, but you can't just let the guy hold somebody and then complain about a guy throwing somebody off when he is trying to get out of a route."

* *

S Ed Reed

* *

(on squandering the opportunity to clinch the AFC North and knock the Steelers out of contention in the division) "First off, hats off to those guys. They played their heart out. They played smart. It's always tough playing against the Steelers. [They have] a bunch of great competitors over there, great coaching. You have to know the game is going to be like this, like you said, every time. You know what to expect when playing against the Steelers. We didn't play our best ball today."

(on what went wrong in the second half) "I wouldn't necessarily say went wrong. They made plays. They made adjustments to certain things we were running. They made the plays, and we just have to play with better eyes, better composure and be smarter with the ball. You can't turn the ball over, and you have to get off the field on third down. I don't think we did either one."

(on if he thought he had a chance to score a touchdown on his interception) "I knew it was close. There was one time I probably should have pitched it to Cary [Williams], I heard him calling. I put it in one hand, but I kind of got the best of myself. I'm trying to make a play, because you know these games are tight. If we could have gotten more yards or something like that – maybe a field goal or something – but it is what it is. You all know what type of player I am. I figured I had a chance. When I looked up, honestly, everybody stopped, so I probably should have stayed straight at first, then cut back to the right. It happens."

(on how surprising it is to be beat by QB Charlie Batch) "It's not surprising at all; maybe a little bit. (laughter) Charlie Batch is a professional. I've been playing against him, and he's been on that team for a long time. He's seen Baltimore a whole heck of a lot. With Ben Roethlisberger here and having maybe eight to 10 eyes on me and knowing what I'm doing. He did some good ball movement, ball fakes, pump fakes, that kind of moved me a little bit, but at the same time, like I said, we have to look at ourselves as individuals. This is a team sport, but I think we had a bunch of individual plays out there – not selfish plays – but individual things to where all of us can look back and say, 'Man, if I'd made that play, if I would have done this, we could have been there.' Like I said, Pittsburgh is a good team. I'm sure they have stuff that they could correct, too, and they got the better end of it. That's why it was a field goal to win the game at the end. We just have to regroup. We know this is a journey. We are into the fourth quarter of this thing. We wanted to be 4-0 in the third quarter, but we are not. Now we have the NFC coming up with a tough Denver, New York and Cincinnati and Washington next week. We have a tough schedule coming up. This is far from over. That's why it's called a season. It's kind of like life. You have to be able to make adjustments and go through things, adversity, and it builds character. If it's going to be tough, we have to regroup from it. We have a veteran group of men."

(on what it takes to get on a roll in December) "It's going to take us to not to fall apart after a game like this, especially after [losing] to a team like this, playing against Pittsburgh. They're a tough team and smart. Those guys lost on their home turf against us. You don't think they want to come in here and come out with a win? If you look at the faces when they ran off the field, this wasn't the Super Bowl, so yes, we have a lot of frustration, and guys are frustrated, because we hate to lose. That's the thing that eggs you – we hate to lose. So, to see these guys frustrated, I know it's there, but at the same time you have to be able to talk about that in the mirror when you get home. I think as a team we have to do that. We have to go talk about it in the mirror, because there are a lot of plays that I know we all left out there. It was not one play or one person that made the difference in that game, but if we all make our plays …"

(on how tough it was to see OLB Terrell Suggs come out of the game with his injury) "I saw that. I don't know everything that is wrong with him, but I saw him going off and I kind of shook my head. You hate to see that for anybody, but for [Terrell] Suggs to battle the way he did to get back and to have something like that, hopefully, it's just minor. But, when I saw that I hate to see him go down like that."

(on Washington Redskins' QB Robert Griffin III) "He's an awesome athlete. Robert Griffin is an awesome athlete. I'm a fan of his when we are not playing. He is a great athlete with a lot of great weapons around him. We have some challenges with those guys coming, or us going over there. It's going to be a challenging football game."

* *

OLB Paul Kruger

(on the roughing the passer penalty) "I had a clear shot at him. I just got my hands too high and shouldn't have made it that close. It was a big mistake on my part for even making it a possible call, and I just can't believe I put my teammates in that situation. There's not much to say. I mean, it was a big mistake, and we have to make up for it."

(on whether he thought it should have been a penalty) "I didn't think so, but I saw out of the corner of my eye the referee throw the flag. I'm just disappointed in myself, and I can't put my teammates in that situation."

(on the team surrendering a fourth-quarter lead) "To be honest with you, we're going to have to go back and look at the tape. I'm not sure how they were hurting us. It just seemed we were out of rhythm. They were making the plays they needed to make, and they were hitting us right where they could. We just have to go back and make those corrections and finish strong. We're still in a good position, but it's a disappointing loss, especially here at home against our rivals. It's really disappointing."

(on the Steelers' use of the wide receiver screen) "They were giving us a couple different looks, but we had seen on tape that they were running those screens. We were expecting those, but we just didn't defend them the way we should. We'll just have to make those adjustments and learn from them."

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C Matt Birk

* *

(on the loss) "This one is hard to explain. All I know is that we're going to use this to get better. Our goal is always to just get as good as we can during the season and be our best at the end of the season."

(on whether RB Ray Rice should have gotten more touches) "Whatever they call is fine with me. Ray [Rice] makes big plays. [RB] Bernard [Pierce] has been great for us this year. They have a little different style, but it's a great change of pace for us. Sometimes I couldn't even tell you who's in the huddle, but I know Bernard broke some nice runs for us, and that's just how it goes."

(on this loss not defining the Ravens) "Yes. We're mature enough to realize that, and as badly as we feel that we didn't win the game for all the obvious reasons, we're going to keep our eye on the big picture, and that's just to keep getting better. We didn't play our best football today. Certainly give the Pittsburgh Steelers a lot of credit. They're a good football team, and they certainly had a lot to do with that. We were going to go to work tomorrow whether we had won or lost, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to go back to work and get better. That's the NFL, no time to sit around and feel sorry for yourself, because we have a game against another formidable opponent."

CB Corey Graham

(on if it was tough sitting back in coverage allowing QB Charlie Batch to throw the ball) "I can't say it was tough sitting back in coverage. You've got to cover; that's what we get paid to do, go out there and cover the receivers. So, we've just got to find a way to go out there and hold up. Timing, sometimes you're going to make guys miss, and get time. We've just got to find a way as [defensive backs] to make more plays than they make."

(on if there was any sense of comfort once they built a 10-point lead) "To be honest with you, no. I never felt that way. I can't tell you what everybody else felt, but when you're out there in this battle, we know it's going to come down to that. We're playing Pittsburgh, we know how physical those guys are, we know that it's going to be a close game. So, we never felt like that, or at least I didn't. We've got to find a way to make plays and finish the job."

(on his interception play) "We all know that [No.] 84 [Antonio Brown] can throw the ball. Watching him on film, he made a lot of passes over his career, so we know he throws the ball. So, when they do the reverse, we've seen the reverse pass several times, so it's just my responsibility to be back there and not bite up on that, and when the ball comes up you've just got to make a play."

WR Torrey Smith

* *

(on what the Steelers' did in the fourth quarter with the Ravens offense stalling down the stretch) "We've just got to make plays. It's that simple. They didn't do anything special, you've just got to make plays."

* *

(on having a lot of opportunities today that just didn't quite fall his way today) "Yeah, it's definitely frustrating. But regardless of how tough it may be, it's my job to make the play, and more often than not I make it, but there were a couple of plays that I left on the field that I'm very upset about. But that's how it works sometimes."

(on today being a pretty typical Ravens/Steelers game) "Yeah, it shouldn't have been close. If we would have executed, it wouldn't have been a close game, but you've got to give credit when it's due. They found a way to win, but we'll go on to next week."

(on if it was more the Steelers' defense stopping them) "Everything is about execution. They didn't do anything special; we stopped ourselves. They made plays [and] we didn't when it came down the stretch, and that's the end of the game."

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