Ravens vs. Chiefs Final Transcript

(opening statement) "First of all, I want to congratulate the Kansas City Chiefs on a really, really well-played game. That's a young, up-and-coming football team. Todd Haley has done a great job, [as well as] Scott Pioli. You can see what they are building there. [I want to congratulate] our team on a hard-fought victory. The Chiefs, in that game, took advantage of every opportunity, especially in the first half; and made the most of it. They scored 7 points each time they had the opportunity to do it. We didn't take advantage of every opportunity we had early in the game. I think that was the story early in the game. But as the game went on, the story was us answering. They went ahead, we answered. They tied the game, we answered. They tied the game again, but we answered, and then we answered again to put it away. Our defense got the stop in the end. That's what we're most proud of. But obviously we have so many things to work on in all three phases, special teams, offense and defense. That's what we'll go to work through tomorrow."

(on what this says about the Ravens) "Well, I think it says that we're pretty good on offense, and we're able to [score points]. It also says we have some poise about us. There were a couple times out there – and that's what happens in an NFL game when you try to bait a guy into making mistakes - and they tried to bait Michael Oher a little bit into doing something foolish, and he kept his poise and didn't do it. That's the kind of team we want to be. We want to be composed, and we want to be able to finish football games the way we did in this game. That is something we did, and we are happy with it."

(on how well Mark Clayton and Todd Heap played) "No doubt, Mark played really well. You wouldn't have known he had a hamstring injury. I think it's a credit to Mark and the training staff and obviously how hard he's working through it to get it back because it was a severe hamstring [injury]. Todd came up with some huge catches, the touchdown and a couple of third down conversions. Just big, big plays. I think our offensive line needs to be commended. There were times when we had to run the ball, and we decided to run the ball. They were getting some chunks and that's a credit to the offensive line, and of course, the guys running hard. Joe made some throws. Defensively upfront, we controlled the line of scrimmage for the most part of the game. I think they had one, one-and-a-half really solid drives. They covered tight. They made a nice play on the sideline with Fabian [Washington]. But Fabian had them covered. [Mark] Bradley made a really nice play."

(on the ups and downs of special teams) "Well, that's how special teams is. The coverage was tremendous. [Steve] Hauschka hit that field goal really true and the wind pushed it out to the side. I think he'll learn how to keep that ball tracking a little bit better in a crosswind like that. That's kind of a tough kick for a young kicker in this league. Obviously, with the blocked punt, I think we had a bust in there and they got us. The veteran player, 47, [Jon] McGraw is a really good player and got us. That can happen early in the season. So we're disappointed with that. A couple of penalties were close; I'm not sure about those penalties. But we don't want any penalties, not those kind of penalties. So those are things we have to work on. But there were a lot of good things too, especially the coverage part of it. I thought we blocked pretty decent on those returns and hopefully we'll get some returns going. But coverage was really good."

(on if the Ravens played a more aggressive offense by coming out throwing) "Well, the question really is not right because throwing and running doesn't mean aggressive. We were aggressive last year in so many ways, the way we attacked people aggressive. [Is your question] does that mean we're going to throw more? We're going to throw more if it's going to help us win a game. At the end of the game running the ball is probably the key. But we also made some great throws. Whether we end up throwing more when it's all said and done, there is no way to predict that. We just don't know where we're going. I think that we'll be capable of throwing the ball probably in more ways this year than we were last year. That's been a goal of ours, and maybe that's what you are talking about. Maybe that's what you saw – figuring out more ways to attack people in the passing game. We're going to try to keep expanding on that."

(on the decision to go for a touchdown on the fourth down at the end of the game) "That's a great question. I've seen it before, when you go for that field goal there, more things can happen on a kicking play than any other kind of play. So if we're on a fourth and five, fourth and six, you're going to weigh it out and probably kick a field goal. Because you have a better chance of making that field goal than you do of scoring in that situation. We're fourth and six inches – I think we have a better chance of making the touchdown than we do of something bad happening on the field goal. They could actually block the kick and score a touchdown, worst case scenario. So you weigh all that stuff out and you decide, you know that's the lowest risk possibility to give us the best chance to win the game. If for some reason they stop us, they have to go 99 and two thirds yards to score a touchdown."

(on how the Ravens used different weapons today) "It's a great point. Everyone talks about how we don't have weapons. I think we have weapons, if you want to use that term. We have really good players who can make plays, and those guys made plays. Next week will be a different week against a different team and a different scenario. We're going to do everything we can to put those guys in positions to make plays. But to say we don't have players that can make plays, that's not something we're too interested in hearing about."

(on LB Tavares Gooden's injury) "It looks like its going to be okay, we won't know for sure until tomorrow. It looks like a sprain, we'll see tomorrow."

(on having his dad on the sideline) "My dad was on the sideline and I had the chance to confer with him a few times. He called me down one time, he's got a good big picture of the game and a good feel for the game. Sometimes you get involved in play-calling and things like that, but he had a good feel for the game. I think it's a good thing to take that perspective if it's down there."

(on did his dad call any plays) "He would have wanted to run the dive option. That was his thing man. The weave and three technique."

(on Al Saunders' relationship with the team) "Al is in a consulting kind of role, he's not involved with the dialogue up there. But he is dialoguing with the coaches who are on the phone. He has become a valuable part of what we're doing. You've got to give the coaches credit. Cam (Cameron) called a great game and he's frustrated that we weren't better. Greg Mattison, in his first outing as the defensive coordinator, I think did a great job. He was really poised and calm and called the defenses. Of course he got help from Chuck Pagano, Chuck does a great job, especially with the back ends. John Matsko, who coached in Kansas City, that was a big game for John and their offensive line played well. I don't want to leave players out or coaches out, but it was pretty special for those guys."

(on the turning points in the game and the importance of each play) "You've got to remember it's a regular season game – I don't think we relaxed at any point in time - any one play makes a difference in a game like that. We can learn from every game and every team we play. We can learn from the Kansas City Chiefs, they maximized their opportunities today and that's something we can learn from to become a better football team ourselves."

(on what he thought about Kansas City's lineman running at him during Clayton's touchdown) "We kind of called the play for that. So what they did there, we expected them to do it. Mark [Clayton] did a great job at the top of his route. The o-line did a great job of protecting the gaps and giving me just enough time to get the ball off."

(on if Kansas City came ready to play) "Early in the game I thought we were moving the ball, but we just couldn't put the ball in the end zone. We let them hang around. They came in here ready to play just like we thought they would. They're pretty much a new team, and they had something to prove. They played really well and hung around until the very end. We had to make sure we were on top of our game. Stayed calm, stayed poised. We did a good job of doing that, and that's why I think we pulled it out in the end."

(on the game plan to throw the ball as much as he did) "We wanted to put the ball in the air, at least early on in the game. See what we could do from there. That was pretty much the game plan. For the most part I think we did a pretty good job today."

(on the franchise record for total offense) "We had a great game. We have to continue to get better. We didn't really convert some of our drives into touchdowns early on in the game. If we had done that, it would have been a much better game for us. As long as we continue to get better, we look at what we can correct tomorrow, we go in there and look at the film and just start working towards San Diego."

(on if the game was fun for him to air it out) "It's awesome. It's so much fun. As a quarterback, that's what you want to do. You want to sit back there, let your o-line take care of you, and give the ball to your receivers. It was a lot of fun for me, and it was a lot of fun for our backs too. They had a great game both Willis [McGahee], Ray [Rice] and Le'Ron [McClain]. So I think it was a good all-around team game."

(on what the o-line meant to him today) "They were awesome. Today they did it either way – pass protection, run blocking - they did a great job. You have rookie right tackle and a new center, and you've got a bunch of other young guys. They did a great job last year, and they did a great job this first game. It's especially good to see when we got those two new guys Matt [Birk] and Mike [Oher]."

(on if this is proof that the offense can do more than run) "We're going to take it game by game and see what we can do. We'll see how teams try to play us. We're just going to go out there, and we're going to try to stick to our game plan and see what works best for us."

(on if he's encouraged to get TE Todd Heap back) "How about Todd Heap today? He had a great game, made some big time catches, and it's awesome to have a tight end who can make some plays for you like that."

(on the offensive line's big game) "It was a big game for our team in general. We won our home opener and it wasn't pretty but it was us. We just came out there and finished the game. For three quarters, it was tight. We faced adversity. If you face stuff like this early, you go home and you correct it, you start moving forward. You always want to come out of the home opener with a win."

(on this game serving as a character builder) "Definitely. With our team, I think we established a home character. We play like Ravens, we never quit. Nothing phases us. We could've easily cracked when they went ahead - as an offense - but I know when I got out there, there wasn't a doubt that we were going to move the ball. Kansas City played great. You've got to give them credit. They took advantage of the opportunities we gave them."

(on if it was good thing to have to fight to win) "Definitely. This is what we expected coming out for the first game. Emotions are running high, each team is playing hard. This is what you want to face early, so when it comes later in the year, this is stuff that we've already been through. This is one we can already put in the bank. We played through it, and we fought through it, and we persevered as a team."

(on his 100-yard game) "A hundred yards doesn't come easy. In everything we do I'm appreciative. Our offensive line, [C] Matt Birk and the guys, I couldn't give them enough credit. We were getting five or six yards at a time, and then those five or six yard runs started turning into 15-yard runs and 10-yard runs and 20-yard runs. That's what good running teams do. On top of all the good passing today, you can look at our running game and say we did pretty good."

(on his first NFL game) "It was a great feeling, and there were a lot of great players out there. Got the win, but there's a lot of room for improvement out there."

(on the offensive line being physical) "That's what we're tying to build here – a physical offense. A grind-it-out kind of offense. I think we're doing a pretty great job, we've just got to keep on fighting."

(on the three-headed RB system) "The thing about the offensive line is, we have to block the same for all of them. Whoever is back there, it's like a three-headed monster. They are some great backs. We just have to do the same thing, no matter what."

(on fourth quarter go-ahead TD drive) "It was good, we've got a great defense. They helped us out a lot, and we had to put it away. Joe did a great job of staying poised and leading us to a victory."

(on 501 total yards of offense) "That's amazing. But, even with 501 yards, we still have a lot to improve on. We can get a lot better. We've just got to keep working."

(on the close game in the second half) "This is the NFL. It looks like we're doing well, but they're still close. We just kept on playing. We did a great job of making the corrections and coming out in the second half and balling. [The Chiefs] kind of backed us up in the fourth quarter, and it was great that [the Ravens' offense] could score. Then we got the energy back up and stopped them."

(on stopping the Chiefs' running game) "That was really important. For our defense, that's the number one goal. Then we can get to the passer. It was great that we could keep Larry Johnson and [Jamaal Charles] contained and make them a one-dimensional offense."

(on the offense racking up 501 yards of total offense) "That's awesome. It's great that our offense is able to do that. Cam [Cameron] does a great job with those offensive guys. He lets his playmakers make plays. It's great that he recognizes that and allows our offense to score touchdowns."

(on today's game) "Coming out of training camp, you want everybody to be successful, but you know you're going to have mistakes. And, there's going to be some changes that you're going to have to go through. Guys stepped up today."

(on the Ravens' offense) "The offense was definitely good, but there's a lot that we have to improve on. There were a lot of plays that we left out there and a lot of points that we left out there. Our defense likes it when they can put together solid drives, and we can get a rest."

(on not playing your best game but still winning) "First game, there's always going to be a little bit of jitters and playing against a [team with a new system], there are going to be some wrinkles. To get that first win under your belt, it's huge."

(on returning the punt in the second quarter) "That was defensive stay. Anytime there is a quick exchange between defense and punt return, it's called defensive stay. If Chris [Carr] was on the field, he would've returned the punt."

(on the Chiefs' long second-half TD drive) "We thought we were playing good, doing some good things on defense, but when you go on the field, quick, quick, quick, eventually, they're going to get something. It's bend, but don't break."

(On did he think the game would be this close) "Well, I don't think we were underestimating them, everybody was expecting the game to go one way. I think in our heads we thought the game would go one way as well, but you can never overlook any team. I think you have to give the Kansas City Chiefs some credit. They came in ready to play, and they played us tough."

(On his touchdown) "Well, Joe [Flacco] was being pressured, and it was quick thinking by him to get the ball out of his hands. I kind of had a little move over the middle on the guy and ended having to go get the ball and attack it. And it was just a point in the game where we were behind, and [when] you get down there you don't want to let those go. We knew we were down by four points [and] to get down there, you want to punch it in. You want to get momentum on your side, and I think that was just answering the call at that time."

(On does he think the offense has the ability to strike quick when they're down) "I think we have the playmakers. You know, I definitely think we've got the guys capable of doing that. Every time there was a challenge placed in front of us, every time we had to go make something happen we did. And that was kind of the story of the game. We kept fighting, kept driving the ball down, and we got points when we needed them. We sealed it in the end."

(On the offense getting 500 yards) "It was fun. We haven't done that too many times around here, ever. I've been here for nine years, so that's fun to be able to move the ball around the field. And it was just a lot of guys making plays, you go from the running backs to the receivers, just everybody all across the board. Everybody's making plays today. We got off to a quick start, you know we didn't play as well as we wanted to in the red zone, but I think we'll be able to learn a lot from that. But, we did when it counted, we did score when it counted. That's the important thing. I think that's something we can really build off of.

(On Joe Flacco's big game) "Well, I think there's going to be many more of those to come. I think everybody saw Joe Flacco play today, we just saw the emergence, we just saw the beginning of what he's capable of. We've been seeing it all off-season, we saw it all last year, and I'm glad to see it starting to come to fruition for him.

(On is he back to form from where he was two years ago) "I feel great, I mean this is the best I've felt in a while. And I think it showed up there on the field, but we'll just keep pounding. I think overall, with my health and how I played, I feel pretty good about it. I feel pretty good about where I am. It's a good start to the season."

(on his hamstring injury) "Yeah, I'm just like, 'praise Jesus for a quick recovery.' They told [me] it may be like six weeks, I don't think you're going to make it to the first game, and I was like nah, God's got better plans then that.

(on his touchdown) "Just had a post on and coach made a great call, and he always says we make him look good. But that was the perfect call, man. Caught the defense in the perfect coverage, and we were able to execute the throw and catch."

(on the play calling) "Cam is very smart, and at that moment he told us it was coming and it was going to happen. And when he called it, sure enough, there was the defense, there was the middle wide open, there was the ball and there was the touchdown."

(on Flacco spreading the ball) "A lot of depth, going into it we were just like, man, we have a lot of talent, a lot of guys that can do a variety of things. You know, Cam does a great job of getting guys in positions to do what they do well. And it was just a showing or a testament to the way we worked in the off-season. And for us to come out and put that together, we had a lot of mistakes, we left a lot on the field but to put that together and most importantly to get the win, you can't ask for too much more than that."

(on the new offensive attack) "This is a new year, a new offense, a new mentality, everything starts over. And we are kind of reformed or remaking ourselves and to be able to throw the ball down the field, it's fun, one, and its puts points on the board, two. The last time I checked, the team with the most points wins. That's our goal is to score every time."

(on how it feels to catch a game-winner) "It's cool, I like it. I caught one my freshman year in college, it was a post, too, and I celebrated, and I get more excited about the guys getting happy. Everything I do is for my guys. When they're happy, and the fans are cheering and everything, that makes me feel good."

(on his first NFL game) "It felt great to be out there. That was an exciting game. Our team played well out there. I don't think we did everything we wanted out there today, especially on special teams, but we got it done at the end of the day for the win."

(on making his first kick) "It definitely wasn't an easy one, but I'm glad I made that first one. The second one, I wish I hit it a little more confidently into the wind there. The wind just sort of took it left. But I'll learn from it. You can't baby the ball out there. You've got to hit it confidently."

(on getting back after missing last year) "It's good to be back. I was down and out. But these guys, they always talked to me last year and kept me going and boy, I"ll tell you, it's just good to get to be back and get a win with these guys."

(on playing hard with this defensive line) "Just go lights out, and hopefully, good things will happen. First day, a little sloppy, but we got it done. You get a break. You roll in. We've got a good rotation, and everybody on our D-line can play, there's no ones or twos, you know, everyone just rolls, and that's the way we do it. We're going to be fresh. We've got 15 more of these, and that's what we're looking forward to, hopefully more."

(on coming into the game feeling good physically) "They took care of me at training camp. I'm glad they did that. With me and Ray [Rice] rotating in and out, it keeps them off-balance, we're unstoppable."

(on the Chiefs staying close) "They did a great job. Their defense picked up on opportunities where we were slacking off. They scored and made plays. But the offense came out there and kept their poise and did what they had to do."

(on the last TD) "That felt great. The O-line did a great job blocking on the goal line. What more can you ask for? I'm happy."

(on the Chiefs) "What they did is they showed that they are ready to turn the corner. They are a rebuilding team, and they really showed up to play some football today. They competed with their hearts. I don't know how soon, but they're going to become a really good team."

(on getting hurt momentarily early in the game) "Me and Ed Reed hit each other in the head, you know, playing Ravens football. It's liable to happen like that, but I got right back in there. No biggie. I was a little woozy. I was just really dazed, but…I just shrugged it off, just a little dazed then and there. I'm good."

(on Jarret Johnson and sacks) "He got a couple. I was trying to get a couple. Jarret had an awesome game today. It was a great team win."

(on the offense's performance) "I haven't seen nothing like that ever. It was a team game. First, it took the offense a minute to get going, and the defense was rolling. Then [the Chiefs] made a few plays and the momentum switched. They made some plays on offense against our defense, and then our offense got rolling, so we're a complete team, and that's what we've been trying to work on, just finishing (and) finishing the game hard."

(on next week's game with the Chargers being a battle) " Every week is a battle. This is the National Football League."

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