Ravens Postgame Transcripts 08/23


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "OK. Thanks for hanging around for the whole thing, I appreciate it. We had a couple of injuries – Sean Considine, he had a concussion on top of the one he had last week, which was a minor deal, but this one we will have to look at really hard. One of my favorite guys broke his leg, [Emanuel] Cook. He's had a really good camp, and he's one of our most valuable special teams guys from last year. So, that was tough. And, Corey Graham had a stinger. He came out of the game. Just compliments to our guys. Joe [Flacco] put up some good numbers there for a quarter and a drive he played. Torrey Smith, I think he had eight catches. Red zone defense was really good. The thing we did was we finished things. OK, we finished things this game. That's one thing we've been striving for. It's kind of been something important to us in practice when you're fighting to accomplish that every single day. We finished catches. We finished runs. We finished blocks. We finished drives for the most part. I will probably watch the tape, and there will be lots of things that will have to be better, but when you finish things, you have a chance to execute, when you have a chance to execute, you look like a good football team. So, that was the best part, and I'm proud of the guys for that."

On if S Emanuel Cook's injury is season-ending: "Yeah, I think we do. It's a break. I think it's in the lower leg. So, it's a season-ending deal."

On the assessment of QB Joe Flacco: "Yeah, I think it's his city. He looked sharp. He did a great job. Not just… He was accurate with his throws. Guys made catches for him, timing was good, real decisive.  I think even with the offense, running the offense, determining the run pass – those kinds of things, he did a really nice job all the way around."

On the tempo being fast: "Right, we've been practicing that, pretty much all camp. So, we can run most every tempo that there is, we'd like to think as we go forward here. Doesn't mean we won't be doing it all the time. We'll be huddling plenty, too. But, it looked pretty good."

On RB Bobby Rainey making the team: "You know, that's just something we'll have to figure out. More goes to it. I think there's a lot of guys that have done a lot to make the team. Bobby [Rainey] no less. He's done … He's had a heck of a camp. He's been impressive. So have a lot of guys. We'll just have to determine what factors are going to go into how many guys we keep here or there, which side of the ball – those kinds of things. It's going to be tough."

On the decision of K Justin Tucker kicking full night: "Right. The thing about Billy [Cundiff], Billy has had a great, great camp. He's done really well. I think we know Billy. Billy would have come in here and made every one of those kicks, and when we kicked it deep, he would have kicked every one into the back of the end zone. Billy has proven. 'Tuck' has not proven. This is something that he needed. We needed to see if he could handle a whole game from beginning to end and have that pressure on him, and obviously he handled it very well."

On if the K Justin Tucker decision to kick all night should be read into too much: "Well, no. We have to make some decisions here again next week. So, we'll just have to see how that goes."

On how the running backs did: "I think they ran the ball really well. [Bernard] Pierce was physical. He had been talking about his hamstring a lot to me, and then he jumped over that guy. So, I don't want to hear anything more from the hamstring [laughing]. The hamstring talk is finished. And, Torrey [Smith] is another example of an injury thing. He's been telling me he's fine, he's fine, then, I saw him limping, and I grabbed him and pulled him out, and I said, 'He's done.' He kept running over to me and says 'No way, I'm playing.' And, then he has all those catches. It shows you what kind of player mentality he [has]. I thought the running backs did a good job."

On G/T Kelechi Osemele: "Well, you know it would be kind of fun to see that. It's harder to see from where I'm standing on the sidelines. But, I didn't see anything that was glaring. So, it looks like he did OK. To what degree, we'll see on tape."

On the defense as a whole: "I thought the defense played well as a whole. We did a good job against the run. They did a nice job on their quick game, and they have really talented receivers. [Blaine] Gabbert gets the ball out really quick, and I thought our corners covered pretty well."

On what he sees on WR Torrey Smith and his progression: "Well, Torrey Smith? Well, same thing you see. He gets better every day. I've said this many times about Torrey. He's the kind of guy that just comes to work every single day. Nothing stands between him and getting better. He's just always been that way. I think he sets a great tempo along with Anquan [Boldin] for our wide receiver group and our offense. He's standing right here so I don't want to give too much praise on him, but I'm pretty biased towards Torrey Smith because he's just what you're looking for."

On how WR Torrey Smith is contributing in different ways: "Last year he also … He made a bunch of plays last year underneath and other things like that. I think he's on the way to becoming a complete receiver. He'll probably tell you that that's a long way off; it's probably closer than he would admit. But, that's the kind of mentality he takes all the time."

On the performance of QB Joe Flacco: "You never take it for granted. I think Joe looked good, and I think the whole offense looked really good. Credit goes to [offensive coordinator] Cam [Cameron]. Also, and coaches they've done a great job throughout training camp, but we have a long way to go. It's the third preseason game. None of them count yet. So, we have a lot of work to do, and we need to get back to work on Saturday."

On what he saw from  G/T Courtney Upshaw: "He seemed physical. He seemed like he was setting the edge pretty well. I saw a lot of powerful rushes. So, we'll just have to see. It looked like he played a solid game."

On QB Tyrod Taylor's play: "It was good to see Tyrod because that's the type of Tyrod that we've all seen in practice. It was good to see him take that to the game. He played well."

WR Torrey Smith

On what happened when he came off hobbling: "The toughest person on me is Coach 'Hos' [WRs coach Jim Hostler]. He [said] 'you're full of drama, limping. I just need to walk it off. I was fine. I come to the sideline and [they said] you're done. Done? I'm all right. I just need to walk it off real quick. I was excited to get back out there."

On the fact that DBs are backing off because of his deep speed: "I guess it definitely benefits me a lot because there is so much that opens up, the underneath routes…I understand that's a part of the process, and that's why I've got to continue to work on everything and get better, so it's kind of tough on them having to respect going deep and underneath routes."

On his thoughts on so many guys getting the ball in the first half: "I think we just showed the type of talent we have around. Everyone touched the ball. Jacoby, Anquan, all three running backs. I think Joe [Flacco] spread the ball around well in the passing game and I [think] our running backs did a great job. A lot of the credit goes to the offensive line. They did a great job today. If it wasn't for them, obviously we wouldn't be able to throw the ball that many times and wouldn't have been able to move the ball down the field like we did."

On the no-huddle: "I like it a lot. It's tough on a defense, and they can't substitute or get off the field and for us, we know what we're doing, so we have to think on the fly. It benefits us in games because we practice that way anyway. Even last year, we were always no-huddle, no-huddle. There's definitely more of an emphasis on it this year. It's tough on the offense, and the way we practice, it's tough on us in practice [also]."

On the importance of this kind of a performance in this preseason game: "I think it's definitely big for us. It's kind of, I guess our final tune-up game, and we did all right. We'll definitely go and watch some film tomorrow, the next day and see what we have to do. I'm sure we have a lot of mistakes to fix. You definitely can't be disappointed with the way Joe did, with the way our offensive line did and the receivers. We'll just have to fix some little things."

QB Joe Flacco

On if the offense took a step forward on the no-huddle: "Yeah, it was fun. I felt like it could have been a lot quicker at times, and put a little bit more pressure on them, but I think overall it was a pretty good job. Once that ball was snapped, we were flying around, running really good routes, running full speed. That puts a lot of pressure on those guys."

On if he was happy they were able to finish: "Yeah, I think we did a good job overall. There was still one drive early where I wish we would have put the ball in. I think we had a couple of opportunities where we just didn't get it done and ended up settling for a field goal. But, other than that, I think we did a good job, and I think if this was a regular season game, we would have come out [feeling] pretty good about it. So, yeah."

On the no-huddle offense's effectiveness in the red zone: "Definitely. Yeah, it's the preseason, but guys are out here fighting for jobs on the team, fighting for starting positions. We are out here playing, so yeah, definitely. I think those are kind of run downs and people might look at it that way, but like I said last week, it's when you get simple looks, if there are any in today's football, that's where you get them. You can kind of catch defenses by surprise here and there, and if you make a play, you make a play. If not, you come back on second down and have your choice. So, I think it's not only in the red zone, it's just all throughout. I think you have to keep them on their heels a little bit and keep them guessing with you, so you have to switch it up, and I think we did a great job of that today. I think if we're going to throw the ball, we have to get completions so we can move the chains. I think the biggest part is the amount of plays that we ran. We ran a lot of plays tonight – at least it felt like – when we were out there. We didn't have any short drives, except we did have one three-and-out. But, we ran a lot of plays, and we wore the defense out. Besides being successful, completing passes, scoring touchdowns and doing it quickly, the no-huddle puts a lot of pressure on the defense in the sense that it can wear them out. When you're rushing upfield after the passer every single snap, come the third and fourth quarter, it's going to be tough to continue to rush the passer, and it's going to be tough to stop the run. So, I think we have a lot of things working in our favor."

On why they haven't run the no-huddle offense in the past: "Last year, we were a pretty young offense. This year, we have those guys that we had that were first-year guys last year that are really comfortable. If you remember last year, we didn't have our offensive line until Week One against Pittsburgh, and we're still dealing with a little of that this year. But, we have guys that are more ready and more confident in themselves, more confident in the playbook. You can have more freedom with those things, and everybody is going to grasp it and be able to be on the same page. Where in the past, you might risk somebody missing out on something or something bad happening, and I was cool with that. I thought last year, we could have dealt with a couple of mistakes because most of the time we are going to be on the same page. This year, I think we are going to hit the ground running, and we are going to be real smooth at it."

On if the offense is farther along than last year's game against Jacksonville: "[Last year's Jacksonville game] was a bad game. There are not really too many ways that you can cut it up. It was a bad game. Even last year, we rebounded after that game. We had a couple of bad games, we lost four games last year. I don't know if I can look at the offense now and say we're a ton better than we were at that point last year. We are pretty similar. We have another year under our belts, and we have a little bit of confidence. I'm trying to instill that confidence in everybody in that offense, and I think that's what we have to do. I think we are really working towards that consistency, that confidence with where if we're consistent every week, we will build more confidence. If we are fortunate enough to play really well and make the playoffs, we'll hit the playoffs going full speed and not kind of dying off."

On having so many different targets to throw the ball to: "Sometimes it just works out that way. Your progressions take you different places. It's not like I'm not out on the field and say 'OK, I am going to try and get Jacoby [Jones] the ball here and then Torrey [Smith] the next couple and then Anquan [Boldin] then Billy [Bajema] then Ray [Rice].' It just works out that way when you're going at a quick tempo and you are just calling plays, and you're not worried about what they are going to be running. You call a play, you get lined up quick, you call the play, you go with it, they throw a defense at you, they react. I think when you do that, when you are playing confidently, it just happens to work out that way."

On if he has more of a voice in the offense than he has in years past: "I don't know. I would say I kind of feel like things that I'm saying are kind of being taken a little bit better. I think [quarterbacks coach] Jim [Caldwell] is a great communicator, so if I say something, he does a great job of getting it across to the rest of the offensive coaches and the rest of the team. Me and [head coach] John [Harbaugh] have great talks, and I think that helps, too. You talk to the head coach and you both are on the same page, it definitely facilitates your voice getting across."

On WR Torrey Smith's development: "Yeah, I love it. Torrey is a great kid, so it's awesome to see him turn into the football player he has become. He is a guy that, last year, did so much for us just because he can flat-out run. This year, and even last year, even as the season progressed, he is just becoming a complete receiver. He is catching the ball really well, he is running his underneath routes really well, and that's the biggest thing. You saw today, when he was standing still, but he was able to get his speed up, get some yards after the catch, and I think that's where him, Jacoby, I think everybody on our team, I think that's where we're really going to improve this year, is getting some yards after the catch. Not catch, tackle."

On if the tempo of the no-huddle offense is an emphasis: "I think it just has been all camp. I think that's the way we've been practicing. We've really been practicing very fast. Sometimes it's tough on the defense because we are subbing and they don't get to really sub. So, it's kind of unrealistic at times. We practice really fast and then when we get out here, Torrey said it, I have always thought that games tend to be easier than practice, because things are just more clear, nobody is trying to jump this and cheat that. But, we practice at a very high tempo, so to come out here, it's no different. It's just what we're used to, so we have to continue to work at that, and make sure we keep people healthy, and keep their legs under them so we can continue to practice at that pace, and come out here and just have it be our second nature."

On if he campaigned for more no-huddle offense: "I don't know if I campaigned too much, but I am cool with it. We've always had a pretty successful two-minute [offense]. I feel like we should do that all the time. This is kind of basically what you're doing, and I think it gets defenses in vanilla looks, or at least it gets them into not doing too many things. Even if they are bringing a lot of pressure, you can kind of get a feel for that, so it just works into our hands."

DT Haloti Ngata

On today being encouraging for the third preseason game: "Yeah, I think we played pretty good. We kept them out of the end zone – we let them get that field goal on one drive – but other than that we just need to look at what happened with that drive. We'll tighten up a few things and I think we'll be ready to go."

On whether the defense seems to be making more progress each week: "Definitely, definitely. I think we're doing a lot better. [Paul] Kruger, and Courtney Upshaw and Albert [McClellan] are doing a great job, we're all communicating well together, and we have a lot to build on from that, and we'll just continue to get better and better as the season moves along."

On watching the offense from the sidelines and what he sees from them: "It's awesome that our offense is gelling out there and moving the ball. It's just exciting. They look explosive out there this year, and I think Joe [Flacco] and those receivers, and then even with Vonta [Leach] and the running backs are doing a great job. I think the whole unit will continue to get better and better, and we'll see a lot of great things from them this year."

CB Lardarius Webb

On if he likes where the defense is going as a unit right now: "Oh, yeah. I've been liking where we were from the first game. Even though everyone was saying that we had a bad game, I thought we did a great job. But yeah, we're putting it all together now. We're coming in, and we're just taking our time with it, and we've been more focused right now and knowing what's going on. I can see where we're going, where we're headed. I've seen where we came from and where we're going to be at by the first game. The guys came out today with confidence through the roof, and they played like it. I think the whole secondary came out and played their butts off. Bernard [Pollard] came out with a lot of passion, hitting people, and that got everybody started. [Ed Reed] being back there, that's always him. I'm a young guy, but I like what I see with where we're at right now."

On if it has been fun to watch the offense from the sidelines: "Joe [Flacco] is growing year by year. I've been here for four of his five years, and I can see how he's progressing. It's all due to Joe – he's doing a great job, and he can handle that offense. So, I'm waiting to see how much he grows within the season, too."

On the effort from the defense tonight: "I loved it. The effort was there 110-percent today. The guys were flying around to the ball, they were playing Ravens defense tonight."

K Billy Cundiff

On if the plan going into next week is for him to play the whole game: "I have no idea. I'm on a need-to-know basis. I found out before this game that I wasn't going to get any reps, which shocked me; I felt like I had a really good week of practice. So, it'll just play itself out."

On if he went through the warm-ups before he found out he wouldn't kick today: "No, I was told last night that I wasn't going to go. So, I just went to warm-ups to make sure I got a kicking session in, get a snap and a hold. It's a chance to kick in the stadium, so I might as well take advantage of it."

On if he has any idea what the plan is for next week: "No. That's kind of the way it goes, right?"

On if he was disappointed when he found out last night that he wouldn't play: "Yeah, I'm a competitor. I feel like anybody who would be OK with not playing… There are certain situations, obviously in the preseason, where there are guys that are beat up or whatever the case may be and they want to rest. But no, anytime that you feel like you're not getting reps, the competitive side comes out and you feel like you want to be the one out there kicking."

On whether this will affect him going forward: "No, let's be honest, I feel like I've been through enough. There's not a single thing that I think somebody can trap me that I'm not prepared for. So, I know my confidence has been high, I know when I came into training camp a lot of people asked me where my head was at and kind of questioning whether I'd be able to even kick. Whatever the case may be, I felt like I proved continually throughout training camp that I came in prepared. And regardless of what's thrown at me, what the situation is, I feel like I'm ready to kick."

RB Ray Rice

On the Ravens' offense tonight: "We definitely wanted to come in and finish drives and we did a great job coming in and finishing drives. Everybody did their job. Not one guy tried to do too much. We all just did our job."

On the great performance of backup running backs tonight: "You're seeing the same thing that I'm seeing. One thing I know is that when I come out, the coaches want to feel confident about who we put in. You don't draft a guy that high [Bernard Pierce] to sit on the sidelines. He's doing a great job of getting downhill and he's doing a great job of doing both running and catching. Everybody's doing their job. We'll just have to see the numbers game and how it all shakes out."

On his looking forward to opening night: "I think I'm all geared towards Monday night. This is what I came to training camp for. That's the greatest part about my situation. My contract situation is done, so I'm surely focused on Monday Night Football."

LB Jameel McClain

On the defense's performance tonight: "The goal tonight was to go out there and stop the run like we always do and play like a unit. We always look to do those two things. I think we did those pretty well but, we'll look at the film and see if we made any mistakes. We'll go out next week at practice and try to get better."

On the defense coming together: "That's what the game is on this level. It never changes. You're not going to see the same faces out there year in and year out. Everybody knows there're new faces out there and it's next man up. They have to step in and get the job done for someone who got the job done at a high level consistently. So they know they are held to a high standard, and that's what we focus on."

On preseason game planning: "The goal is to go out there and make plays regardless, no matter what game it is. Whether it's the last preseason game, the first preseason game, or the third, we want to go out there and be competitive and show our style of defense."

K Justin Tucker

On how he feels about his kicking: "I feel like I'm kicking the best I ever kicked. And that's a big testament to what coach [Jerry] Rosburg, coach [John] Harbaugh and [kicking consultant] Randy Brown have been able to do with me since I've been here. To the naked eye, it doesn't look like I've made a lot of changes, but I've made a complete transformation from the kicker I was in college to the kicker I am today. So I owe a lot of my recent successes to them, they've been on me about getting better at something every single day."

On what kind of changes he's made: "Little small things like keeping my head over the ball, swinging my leg down field as opposed to across my body, getting my plant foot where I want it to be. Pretty simple things, but once you've engrained them into your muscle memory, it's kind of hard to change, and then it comes just right off the bat. Took a little work, took a couple of days, and now I feel like I'm striking the ball as confidently as I ever have."

On when he was informed he would be the only kicker tonight: "I was notified late last night, but that doesn't change anything with how I prepare for the game. I do the exact same thing, I follow the exact same game day ritual that I always have. Getting the news like that doesn't really affect my preparation, because in this environment you just have to come to work every day and be a pro."

On how he felt after he hit the 53-yarder: "It's always good when they go through, I felt good about that. But, I'm just as excited about hitting an extra point as I am a 53-yarder. Every kick is the same in my view. You have to approach it with a very black- and white-attitude. It's either going to be good, or it's not. So you have to hit the ball to the best of your ability every time."

On if he feels he has done enough to earn a job in the NFL: "I'm not going to read into that. I'm just focusing on coming to work every day, bring my lunch pail and getting after it, finding something to improve on every day."

FB Vonta Leach

On his touchdown: "It always feels good to get into the end zone whether it's the preseason or the regular season, but hey, we just went out there and showed different forms of our offense. And I was just happy to get in there."

On the offense's mindset tonight: "Our mindset was going into the third preseason game; we knew we were going to play the starters a lot. And it's the game that really matters. We were really fine-tuning things before we go into the regular season, and the first game against Cincinnati. So what we have seen tonight is the offense we have been working on all season and during training camp, and it is finally all coming together."

On the offense finishing drives: "We always move the ball, but something always happens when we get down in the red zone, and we don't score touchdowns. It's alright to get points, but we want to score touchdowns and want to finish. Tonight, that's what we came out and did."

RB Bobby Rainey

On the running game in general: "I think we did well today. We've gotta come back next week strong and do it all again."

On if it is an advantage to being an undrafted free agent: "I don't think so, I guess it all goes to the opportunity you are given. I'm coming in with a chip on my shoulder, definitely. Yes, I didn't get drafted,  but I don't think it's an advantage, but I do want to take advantage of the opportunity they are giving me."

On if he has been ready every time they have called on him: "I think I have. I didn't do so well last week, But I think I did alright this week. Last week I didn't have as many runs as I had today. I had a good first game so I feel like I went down last week a step. But today I went back to like I did in the first game."

On what it's like to play in front of 70,000 people: "It's a great feeling and such a blessing that I have had this opportunity. The atmosphere is great all around."

On what he saw on his touchdown run: "Green! That's all I saw. Everybody was on the other side. I was running as fast as I could to get into the end zone. And I got a great block from Logan (Payne). If it wasn't for his block, I probably would have just went out at the 1-yard line. So big ups to him."

On if he feels he has done enough to make the 53-man roster: "I think I have but I can't worry about that right now, I can only control what I can control. And that's to continue to play game by game. And let the cards fall where they fall."

RB Bernard Pierce

On the play when he hurdled the tackler: "I remember doing that in college, so I thought I would give it another try. I was one on one with the corner. I didn't see the linebacker flowing at the time, so I figured if I did I would jump over him. But I definitely took a hit too."

On gaining positive yardage tonight: "That one negative play last week, I didn't even realize how many yards I actually lost. But, I think now I have the swing of it, and I'm starting to learn the North and South mentality of the league, because there's not too much East and West. So I want to get a foot in the ground and go North. And overall I think this was a better game than last week."

On if you have done the right things to be Ray Rice's backup: "Hey, it's still an open competition. We'll be fighting for that No. Two, honestly all year. I don't think it's something that will be won in the preseason. We have a group of good backs who complement each other. Somebody could be the No. Two one week, and it could be somebody else another week. But at the end of the day, we're going to produce, and we're hungry."

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