Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Congratulations to Steve Smith Sr. on the nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award – very deserving. Steve does an amazing job in the community, an amazing job around the building. He's great with all of our families. To see it represented like that and a man like that … Steve said it very well, there are a lot of great people in the National Football League, and that award recognizes that. It's a very valuable thing, and it's something that we all should be very proud of."
What did you think of WR Steve Smith Sr.'s Yoda onesie? (Jamison Hensley) "Did he have the footies on there?" (Jamison Hensley replies: "He had slippers.") *"Oh, the slippers, yeah. I like them better with the footies. In the footies, it's a little warmer. It's a little more cozy when you have a onesie with the footies on there. *(laughter) But it was a good outfit, yes."
You have the No. 1 ranked defense. How well, in your estimation, are they playing? Is it among the best you've had here as a Ravens head coach? (David Ginsburg) "You know I'm not going to want to even get into the ranking system right now. I don't have my ranking list with me, but we're playing the kind of football that we need to play at this time of year. Really, the fact of the matter is our focus is on how we play this week. That's what we need to talk about, not what we've done in the past. Whatever we've done in the past has gotten us to this point. We're going to be facing the most difficult and challenging offense yet to stop that we've faced all year. We're going to have to play our best football of the year to stop these guys."
You have matched up with QB Tom Brady a lot over the years. He has probably seen everything, but how much of it is playing to your strengths, or are there things you have to do, to change things up, because when he gets in a rhythm and he sees things, he can exploit them? (Jeff Zrebiec)"That's a good point. It's just that. I think you start – and they'll do the same – both teams will play to their strengths. You build your schemes through your personnel, and you play to the things you do well. You don't want to go out there and start running around trying to do things that you don't know how they're going to play out. They'll be the same way. There will be wrinkles in the game plans, I'm sure, on both sides. He'll have studied us in every which way possible, I'm quite sure, looking for every indication that he can. That's just what he does a great job of. That's one of the things that makes him the great player that he is. We're just going to have to be ready for everything and play our style of football."
**As you have prepared over the years to get ready for Brady, how is it different? The idea that, now, at age 40, he's not the same player that he was when he was 30. Although he was never a blazing guy, is he different, or is he the same kind of guy that you have always had to get ready for? *(Pete Gilbert) *"If he's lost anything physically, he definitely makes up for it with his mind and his experience. He's moving very well. He's moving around the pocket very well and creating throws for himself in the pocket. I don't really see any diminished skill set whatsoever."
You guys have met multiple times in big games over the years. How much do you appreciate this rivalry? (Jordan Schatz) "We do appreciate it. I talked to the guys a little bit about that today, just briefly, because it's really just about the game we're going to play. We're glad to be in this game. We're glad we've earned the right to play a meaningful game in December, most especially against the team we're about to play, because they're always in that position. We're glad to be in this position. We're excited about Monday night. We're excited to go play the game."
Do you toss out the past because of the turnover from two years ago, the last time you were there to play a game? I know you have a lot of the same guys and you're still the head coach, but do you dismiss some of that because of the turnover in players? (Jerry Coleman) "What part of it in the past are you referring to?"
I'm talking about some of the draft picks that are coming in and making their first trip to Foxborough. How do you convey that to them with what's gone on in the past? (Jerry Coleman) "That's something we probably don't do and don't try to do. I don't think you can – you can't really transfer experience. We try to prepare them for what's going to happen in the next game and prepare them for that as best we can. The past games aren't a part of this game. It's the next game, and it's the one we're focusing on."
**You did a big story on ESPN in the offseason about the past with the Patriots. You talked about appreciating what Bill Belichick has done, but it's tough to play in so many big, high-stakes games to have that relationship. Has anything changed with your relationship with him over the years? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"I feel like we have a good relationship. Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach – greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title. And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around. [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."
He said he "showed you the light" in lacrosse (Jeff Zrebiec) "Did he say that?"
He said the exact same thing you just said, except he has to show you the light and you have come around regarding lacrosse. (Jerry Coleman) "That's probably true. I'm a lacrosse guy. I take a lot of heat here, because I really like the guys over at Hopkins, coach [Dave Pietramala, but I really like the guys at Maryland, too. They have a great crew. It's tough to walk that line in this area. I'm the head coach in Baltimore. I'm a fan of Maryland big-time, and I'm also a fan of Hopkins. How is that possible? Let me tell you, the Maryland folks don't understand it and neither do the Hopkins people. (laughter) I'm a bigger fan of my daughter. I'm a bigger fan of girls' lacrosse right now. I know [Belichick's] daughter is the head coach at Holy Cross, so I'll bet he feels the same way. Girls' lacrosse is a great sport. It's a great skill sport. The sticks are a little tougher. It's more of a skill game, I think, in some ways. I'm going to be on the bandwagon for that right now. I watch a lot of girls' lacrosse."
We told him. He said the National Championship is in Foxborough this year, so everyone has to come up and watch in his part of the woods. (Jerry Coleman) "I would be all for that. Maybe we'll get a dinner and maybe a boat ride. It's in May, right?" (Jamison Hensley replies: "You're still waiting for that boat ride.") (laughter) *"I want that boat ride, man." (laughter) *
QB Joe Flacco
On how important the stability on the offensive line has been:"Yes, I feel like we are talking about that a lot. I don't think it can be stressed enough as to how important those guys are and what kind of role they play in the game. They are a huge part of it; it all starts with them. To have a group that is playing together and playing well together and getting more used to it is definitely a big thing for this team."
On the media saying TE Dennis Pitta is "back" after two touchdowns: "You guys are cracking me up. I went home and saw some stuff, too. Everyone is acting all of a sudden like, 'I feel so great for Dennis.' He has 61 catches. Just because he caught a couple touchdown passes, it doesn't mean that he has not been productive. It has kind of cracked me up a little bit. But that is the whole nature of this beast; that is just how it is. It seems like people did not want to … I don't know, I don't pay too much attention. I guess people didn't want to acknowledge it almost until now he scored a touchdown or two. Who cares? We still would have won that game if we didn't score two touchdowns, and he still had a great game. It is just how it is in today's world. I thought it was kind of funny, though."
On how it might be seen as a big deal because TE Dennis Pitta has not scored for over two years:"Like I said, he has 61 catches. He has been productive. We have not been in the end zone that much. I don't know, I thought it was a little different. I felt good for him, obviously, because I felt good for us. But I think it was probably a little bit overblown."
On if past success against the Patriots can translate to Monday's game:"I think the bigger thing is the fact that we are in it right now, and we are playing good football, and we are playing meaningful football. I think guys can look at what has gone on up there before and just the type of games we have played up there. There is some kind of feeling that is in the building when we go up and play [at New England]. I think the bigger thing is just the excitement that is naturally here because of the position that we are in. A lot of the players in there have grown up, and they have had no choice but to watch the New England Patriots play football late in the year, so they kind of know what it means. I am sure they will be extra excited to go up there and do that – play against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. It is an exciting thing."
On if he can point to a reason as to why the Ravens have been successful against the Patriots:"We play in a lot of tough games every year. We have had to go up there a good amount late in the season in the playoffs, and I think that gives you a sense of confidence to go up there and to get the job done. When you have not experienced it much, I think they are a team that can intimidate some people. But I don't think that is us. I think that we have done it enough that we feel good about doing it. We have had good teams. We have always had good teams going up there and a bunch of guys that feel that way and have felt that we can win the game. I think that always helps."
On if he senses bitterness between the Patriots and Ravens, compared to the rivalry with the Steelers:"I hear where you are coming from. I don't get a ton of that. I think it comes from the fact that we have played so many games [where] us versus Pittsburgh is going to decide a lot of things. Whether it is a playoff game or a late game in the year, it is going to decide the division. There is probably a lot of frustration on our part and on their part when you are the team that does not get it done. Then, obviously, I think the biggest thing is just the fans. Pittsburgh is not far from here. Baltimore didn't have a team for a little while. Did you go to Philly? Did you go to D.C.? Did you go to Pittsburgh? That is the biggest part of it, I think. I think it is with the fans. That always translates to us and the stadium atmosphere come Sunday or Monday, whenever we end up playing them [the Steelers]. I think that is what we feel. We just feel the excitement in the stadium. You can feel the hate, and it just gets you excited to play. It is tough to worry about all of that other stuff." *(Reporter: "You are talking about in Pittsburgh, not in New England?") *"Yes. You can feel it here, too, for them [the Steelers]. It feels good."
On if staying aggressive is important against a team like New England, which is capable of coming back from a large deficit:"Yes, you don't want to wait for them. You do not want to just wait and hope that they do not come back. You still have to take your chances and rely on you playing sound football. [You have to] understand that if you do make a mistake in the moment, it is still going to pay off in the long run more so than it might hurt you in that one specific play. Yes, you might turn the ball over and they might get a touchdown – a quick touchdown. But if you keep it going, it usually pays dividends in the long run. I think that is the idea. You do not want to get out against these guys and just try to hold on and be in a situation where you have to win the game at the end. You want to do all you can to keep the gas going the whole time. Most likely, it is still going to be one of those games you have to win at the end. Everybody will be confident about what we are doing and probably just be in the flow of the game that you don't even realize it. You just go out there, you react and you play football."
On what he sees from the Patriots' defense:"They are just a good, sound-playing defense. They are going to be physical up front. They are not going to run by the quarterback. They are going to try and push the line back, stop the run. They are going to play sound football in the back end. They are going to go get the ball when they get the chance to. They are going to play man coverage and help out inside a little bit. We are just going to have to take it one play at a time, just like always, and kind of move the ball methodically. We are going to have to be good at it, and we are going to have to be precise, because that is what they want you to do. They want you to have to move the ball and score by taking your time and methodically moving the ball down the field. They are going to hope that you make a mistake at some point and give the ball back to them. We are going to have to be precise in order to win against these guys."
WR Steve Smith Sr.
On his Yoda onesie: "At the Holiday Helpers event, they had it. It's been a few decades since I've worn a onesie. I tried it on, I bought it, and I thought I have to use it. It was raining yesterday and kind of doom and gloom. I try not to waste money."
On if he is a "Star Wars" guy:"Yeah, yeah I am! I shouldn't have said it like that, but I am. (laughter) It really has nothing to do with [the onesie]; I just have to use it one more time."
On how close he was to signing with the Patriots over the Ravens when he was a free agent:"That was a long time ago. A lot has transpired."
On if he was considering the Patriots:"Yeah, I spoke, but I'm here, so that has nothing to do with this game coming up, does it?" (Reporter replies: "I don't know if it did.") "No, I don't think so."
On if he likes the grass field better than turf: "Anytime you have the real versus artificial, I think it benefits you. I understand in different climates, and I understand the maintenance and how much, financially, you have to keep it up. We voted on it last year on switching to the grass. They looked at all of the things. They made the decision. I really look at it, honestly, as an athlete, you can ask us what our opinion is, but at the end of the day, I see us as beggars. Beggars can't be choosers. We have the opportunity where we play and what the surface is, is the surface. You just hope that the surface is top-grade."
On if the Ravens' field is top-grade: "You keep asking me, so it probably sounds like Miami was complaining about it. You want to know what the players think on the Ravens? Since Miami got their ass whooped, of course they're going to complain about it, but it looked pretty good for us. *(laughter) *I've been to Miami. They shouldn't be barking when they just started putting grass on half of the field when they had the dirt and the baseball [surface]. Beggars, again, can't be choosey."
On how much confidence it gives the offense when QB Joe Flacco plays lights out like last Sunday:"Well, the wide receivers always have confidence. We're always open, even when we're covered, so it doesn't really matter. (laughter) When Joe is playing like that, it makes … A lot of times when you look at a quarterback, you say he's the 11th guy, but realistically, he can't go out for a route and all of that stuff. They just rush. When he's playing like that, he becomes two guys. You saw he scrambled a few times, but then he also has the ability to check things down. He can present a lot of problems for a defense when he's playing like that."
On how it felt to be rewarded with a 38-6 victory after seeing glimpses of what the offense can be up to this point:"Thirty-eight points? It was awesome. It really was."
Walter Payton Man of the Year Announcement
Director of Community Relations/ Executive Director of the Ravens Foundation Heather Darney Statement:"The NFL announced today, you may have seen the press release that came out, that each team made their nominations for their Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. For the second year in a row, we are honored to have Steve Smith Sr. be our recipient of the Man of the Year Award for all of the work that he does here in the community in Baltimore, including Holiday Helpers Monday night, all of the work he's doing in Charlotte, and all of the great things that his foundation has coming down the line, which we're really excited about – just proud. We're proud that you're a Raven and on this team. You are truly deserving of this award. Congratulations."
Steve Smith Sr. Statement:"It's always good to get recognized. You don't do it for the recognition, but it's always good to get recognized, because sometimes – I think a lot of times – you look at football and you see how much attention it gets. You see they have police blotters and police alerts when players get in trouble, but I don't think they have enough charity alerts when the guys are giving their time and effort, when they're sacrificing the extra hours they have outside of work to sometimes be a father to other people's kids and not even be, at times, a father to their own kids. I think we need to apply the same amount of energy and effort to report when a player is doing well compared to when a player is getting in trouble. I think that's one of the things, that's why, this means a lot, because there are a lot of guys. Thirty-two teams have 32 guys [honored], and it's probably … Only 32 guys get recognized, but there are a lot more guys that are doing an exceptional job."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On if he has the utmost respect for the Patriots, or if it's a lot of dislike, like with the Steelers:"No. How many Super Bowls do they have? They have like four or five, and they've played in like six or seven games. You can't do anything but respect that. Wins are wins, and championships are championships."
On what makes this defensive unit as good as Ravens' defenses of the past: "I think its accountability. We're all accountable for each other. We're all responsible for every area of defense. I think it's definitely accountability. We're having some success, but it's a good place. It motivates you every week. You want to play good defense."
On if beating the Patriots on the road is difficult because of QB Tom Brady or the atmosphere at Gillette Stadium:"I think that definitely has a lot to do with it, what you said last. Yeah, they're really good there. They're a really good team regardless, but all of that plays into it."
On QB Tom Brady becoming the winningest quarterback in NFL history:"That's pretty good. Like I said, wins are wins. Numbers are numbers, and numbers don't lie. That's pretty good."
On if he doesn't want to talk about QB Tom Brady:"I'm like Marshawn Lynch; y'all know why I'm here. It's a big game this week. We get to play on Monday night. We're playing a good team. They're ahead of their division. We're ahead of ours. So, we have another big game. It's going to be fun."
On if he doesn't want to say QB Tom Brady's name: "It's going to be fun. (laughter) We're going to have fun. It's going to be an interesting game, and we accept the challenge."
On how pleased he is with how he is playing, given everything he has been through up to this point: "I don't know. I want to win. All of that is good and dandy and all, but let's talk in the first week of January if we have a game that week."
On who is a bigger Ravens rival between the Patriots and Steelers:"That's pretty close. We've had some legendary games with both of them, but nothing is bigger than Ravens-Steelers."
On how instrumental defensive coordinator Dean Pees has been to this defense:"It's highly important. If you don't have a good defense in this league, you're going to get lit up every week, and you're not going to win many games. The simple fact that Dean Pees is also playing games at an all-time high, too, is pretty good. It's pretty good, especially for a 14-year vet."
PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
CONFERENCE CALL WITH BALTIMORE MEDIA
(TRANSCRIBED BY NEW ENGLAND PR)
Q: What is it that concerns you the most about playing the Baltimore Ravens?
BB: Well, the Ravens are a really good football team. They're playing really well in all three phases of the game. They have a lot of great players. They're very well-coached. They have a very disciplined team that's physically and mentally tough. They do a lot of things well. They're hard to beat. They've played really good football here over the last five or six weeks. It looks like they're pretty healthy. They've gotten a lot of players back in recent weeks compared to where they were a couple of months ago. It looks like they're playing their best football at this time of year at the right time.
Q: What stands out to you about their defense?
BB: Pretty much everything. Tough to run against, very good on third-down, don't give up a lot of points, turn the ball over. You just can't be sloppy around this defense. You have to take good care of the football and you've got to be physical with them. They've got some big, strong guys up front.
Q: Where do you think Joe Flacco has made the biggest improvement over the past few years?
BB: We've played him quite a bit. It seems like he always plays well against us, so I have a lot of respect for him. He's a good football player and he's been pretty good. Don't forget, he took them to the Super Bowl championship.
Q: How significant is it for you to have a stable and healthy offensive line?
BB: You want as many healthy players as you can on your team so every position is important. The healthier you are, the more depth you have the better. It's important on the offensive line. It's important at every position. Yeah, I mean look, it's important on the offensive line. It's important everywhere. There isn't a position on the team that you wouldn't be able to say the same thing about.
Q: Does it seem like Terrell Suggs is still playing at a really high level despite having returned from some significant injuries?
BB: He's been very affective. He rushes the passer well, plays the run well, very instinctive, seems to have a good anticipation of where the ball is going. He does some things just a split-second before the play that can be very disruptive to the play in terms of shooting the gap, or changes alignment, or that type of thing when he sees something right before the ball is snapped. He's got a lot of power, leverage. Again, very instinctive so I think he's playing very well.
Q: Do you see a lot of different things from them defensively on a game-to-game basis or when you play Baltimore do you pretty much know what you're going to get?
BB: I think defensively they do a good job of keeping you off-balance. They're not going to sit there in one thing all day. They've never done that. They're going to change up the looks on you. Their players are very good at that, especially the safeties. [Lardarius] Webb and [Eric] Weddle do a good job of disguising, showing one type of coverage or showing one look, playing something else. They move their front around. Dean [Pees] is going to change up the coverages. I don't think there's any question about that. They're not just going to sit in one thing. They haven't done that. I mean, you never see them doing that so I'd be shocked if they did it against us. I don't think we're going to see that.
Q: How many Johns Hopkins lacrosse games do you plan on being on the sidelines for this season?
BB: Well, you've got the NCAA Championships up here so you're talking regular season, probably a couple and then hopefully a couple more in the postseason. I'd love to get to five.
Q: Coach Harbaugh seems to be getting into lacrosse now with his daughter playing. It seems you may have started a trend amongst NFL head coaches.
BB: Yeah, you know, John [Harbaugh] and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a Hopkins [Johns Hopkins University] vs. Maryland game. Yeah, I think John is seeing the light. It's a great sport. Obviously such a great part of Baltimore and Maryland tradition. Crabs and lacrosse, that's part of what that area is, a big part of the culture there and it transcends the new people that move into the new area. They pick up on it pretty quickly and enjoy it and embrace it and see the way the game is spreading throughout this country and internationally really. But it's now become much more of a national sport, especially with Denver winning and the World Championships a couple of years ago out in Colorado. I mean, I was fortunate to grow up in that area and have been able to enjoy so much of lacrosse and all that goes with it, what a great spring sport and tradition it is in that area, and I'm glad that my family have been able to – to have them share some of the same experiences and of course they all love the sport, played it. My daughter, [Amanda], coaching it and still coaching it at Holy Cross. It's been a big part of our family and a big part of my life. I know at the end of football season that means we're coming up pretty close to the start of lacrosse season. I know it's right around the corner. I always look forward to getting down there and seeing Hopkins play, seeing Coach [Dave] Pietramala and the great program that they run, being around, meeting those kids. We have Mike Pellegrino up here with us. He's done a great job for us on the staff. I feel very closely connected to that program and to Coach Pietramala and what he's done for Hopkins and what he's done for college lacrosse.
Q: Did you have to consider Coach Harbaugh that it's a legitimate and worthy sport?
BB: No, like I said, I think he's seen the light. I don't think there's any doubt about that. Tonight is Paul Rabil's big event in New York. I know Paul does a great job with his foundation and supporting lacrosse and some of the underprivileged programs that need support in lacrosse. I wish that I could be there to support Paul in that event but I can't do it here tonight. I know that's a big one in New York. A lot of those benefits will go back to that area and what Paul's done in the Baltimore area.
Q: What's your opinion on where the supposed rivalry between the Ravens and the Patriots ranks?
BB: I don't know. I mean, it's a great, competitive situation. Both teams have a solid tradition. We've played very competitive games against each other. We've played some big games against each other. We've won some, they've won some. It's gone back and forth a little bit, but we have great respect for the Ravens, as I said, starting with Steve [Bisciotti] and what he has brought to the ownership and to the organization. Ozzie [Newsome] does a tremendous job with personnel and just his overall management of the organization. John [Harbaugh, Dean [Pees], Marty [Mornhinweg] and the whole staff, their players, very competitive group, physically and mentally tough. I think we have a lot of the same characteristics in our organization and we have some great, competitive games against them, and as I said, we've won some, they've won some, but I have great respect for the people, for the organization, for Steve and for the competition that our two organizations have.
Q: Has it been tough to maintain the relationship you've had with John Harbaugh given all the drama, rivalry and intensity between the two teams?
BB: As you know, we get into a situation like we're in now where they have a good team, we have a good team. We're playing a big game on Monday night. Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That's what it is and that's what we all signed up for. We all know that's a part of it. When we're not going head to head, which isn't very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation. When I was at Cleveland, prior to going to Cleveland, Coach [Bill] Cowher and I were, I'd say pretty close. He was at Kansas City when I was at the Giants and we had a pretty close relationship. When I was at Cleveland and he was at Pittsburgh, it's hard when you're in the same division and you're competing against somebody like that. It's not personal but it's competitive. Then after Bill retired after they won the Super Bowl and for the last decade really, he's not at Pittsburgh, I'm – not being in Cleveland that definitely helped because it wasn't twice a year, but the fact that we're not competing with each other on a regular basis, we've been able to kind of resume a relationship similar to what we had prior to Cleveland. There was never anything personal or adversarial about it. It was just competitive. It's like when Coach [Nick] Saban was at Miami. I mean, Nick and I – Nick is one of my closest friends in coaching and one of my closest friends out of coaching, and nobody has more respect for Nick Saban than I do, and his family, Terry [Saban], and vice versa, but when we were playing him twice a year in Miami, it's hard because it's competitive. He's at Alabama, I'm at New England, we can have a great relationship and I'm sure it's that way with [Ravens general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and Nick as well. It's a lot easier when you don't have to compete against them. The competition is the competition, we all understand that, and look, Ozzie and I go back to 1991 when I came to Cleveland. That was his first year in coaching after he retired. I've been very close to Ozzie for the last 25 years and I have great respect for Ozzie and his family, Michael [Newsome], everybody, and vice versa. We talk a lot about our family and our kids and things like that, but at the same time it's competitive and we both want to do well Monday night. On that end, there is a friendship that will always be there, and again, a long, strong friendship with Ozzie, but not Monday night. We all understand that. It is what it is.
Q: One of the instances when you compete with guys like Ozzie Newsome is in free agency. What was going through your head when guys like Mike Wallace and Steve Smith Sr. ended up becoming Ravens?
BB: Well I mean free agency is free agency; it's the National Football League. Players change teams. They talk to multiple teams. We've signed guys. We've had guys leave just like every other team in league has. That's free agency in the NFL. I don't think we should act like it's never happened before. That's the way it is.
Q: Do you think things might have been different if Art Modell followed through when he established the Ravens franchise and you had become the team's first coach?
BB: I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it, no. I try to think ahead and make the best of the situation that I'm in, which is what I tried to do when I was in Cleveland. I took a team that wasn't very good in 1991, prior to free agency and all of that, had a real good team in 1994. The team moved in 1995. We made a trade that provided two first-round picks that Ozzie [Newsome] did a great job with. Ozzie and Ray Lewis were two of the cornerstones of that eventual championship team. I have a lot of confidence in my ability, I had a lot of confidence in the coaching staff and the players that we had at that time – 1995 wasn't obviously a great year for us. I don't think we need to talk about that, we all know what happened. But yeah, I think we would have been competitive if I had been the head coach there. I think we would have been competitive. We had a good team, we had a good staff, and we had a lot of good players. They made that – Ozzie did a good job with that team and made it better, and they won a championship five years later; some of the same players that we started with. But you know, it wasn't my choice, Ted [Marchibroda] came in there and was going to transition that for what they needed at that point in time. But I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it, no.
Q: Given that your first coaching job was with the Baltimore Colts in 1975 and you later became the Browns coach, since Cleveland kept their history, do you have any feelings on the Colts retaining their history from Cleveland and Johnny Unitas maybe not being in the same record book as Peyton Manning?
BB: Where I grew up, the Colts were my team. In Annapolis we were fortunate because from a football standpoint, I mean at that time, there weren't many games on TV but we got the Colts and the Redskins. But it was kind of all Colts for me. Those great Colt teams of the 50s, late 50s and 60s, I could give you a starting lineup on both sides of the ball, all of those guys. I got to meet many of them through the years, Johnny Unitas, and Alex Sandusky working my dad's football camp and things like that, meeting the coaches up there. So that was really a dream for me to be able to just wear the horseshoe helmet on my shirt when I worked for the Colts. That was a great source of pride and I learned an incredible amount that year working with Coach [Ted] Marchibroda and the Colts organization. It's always a little – when you're from that area and you're that connected to the team and you see the team playing somewhere else and the way it all happened and came down, it's a little bit of that childhood nostalgia that it's just not the same anymore. The Ravens – I mean the look is about as different from the Browns, but it really was the Browns. But that's – again, that's the world we live in. I didn't have any control over any of those situations so I'm not going to worry about them, but you think back to the way things were in the 60s when I grew up and you had Coach [Don] Shula and the Colts and Unitas and [Raymond] Berry and all those guys. [Jimmy] Orr's corner and the great defense, [Gino Marchetti] and [Gene] Lipscomb, [Art] Donovan, [Don] Shinnick, [Bill] Pellington, Bobby Boyd, I mean all of those guys, Lenny Moore. I mean, what great teams, great stadium, great environment. Baltimore loved the Colts. I mean, they just loved the Colts. From a Baltimore standpoint, I know they love the Ravens and it's great that they have a team there that they can love because they're great sports fans. They're great football fans, they're great baseball fans and they're great lacrosse fans. They support their teams in a phenomenal way, and I was one of them. So it's a great area; love Baltimore, love Annapolis. I hope we do well against the Ravens Monday night and then I'll get back to loving them some more for the holidays.