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Ravens vs. Redskins Final Transcript

Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) "Thanks for coming. It was a good start and obviously we have a whole lot of work to do. Our guys realize that. "

(on defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's first game in the new role) "A couple things stand out. And first of all, you didn't see it, but Ray Lewis, at the end, gave Greg Mattison the game ball. And that's a heck of a thing. Greg, I don't know how he's going to do it, but he's going to divide it up for every single one of the 80 guys on the team. All the players on defense, all the offensive guys, and all the special teams guys."

(on the Ravens penalties throughout the game) "I was a little disappointed with the penalties. Too many penalties. That's something we have to find a way to work out. We have to find a way to work it out. All types of penalties. And that's probably the most disappointing thing. It was physical. The defense obviously played very well. The young offensive linemen did a nice job."

(on rookie K Graham Gano's missed field goal kick at the end of the game) "We found out we have to do better at knocking it through the uprights when we get a high snap. It's on the snapper, but it's on the kicker to find a way to knock it through. But they made some kicks too and that was good to see. And that's the first time in a game situation. So they did well."

(on WR Justin Harper's touchdown catch at the end of the first half) "Well the comeback thing. I give Troy a lot of credit for that. That's what a leader does. He had two drops on him and he came back in a critical situation. Eleven seconds left in the half, went right back to him and obviously Justin got it done and that just shows you the mental toughness and confidence. That was good.

(on the competition between RB McGahee and Rice) "I thought they ran hard. You know they got the ball north and south. It's good to see the checkdowns. You know it's dumping the ball underneath. Joe and Troy both did that, and giving those guys a chance to make plays."

(on the competition at running back) "I don't know. We try to have as many good players as we can. And think we have maybe three, maybe four, maybe five, maybe six good backs. [Cedric] Peerman looked good tonight. [Jalen] Parmele looked good, [Matt] Lawrence looked good. So those guys are all competing."

(Harbaugh's comment to Derrick Mason) "Well I told him about the second play when he came off the field, 'hey, if I forgot to mention to you Mase, glad to have you back'. So that was good."

(on SS Haruki Nakamura injury) "He had a real good stinger. A real serious stinger. So he's ok."

(on QB Joe Flacco's progress) "I thought Joe was sharp. He was crisp. Got the ball out quick, and seeing him check it down to the backs so it's a completion or it's a check down type of a mindset was pretty good."

(on TE L.J. Smith's addition to the team) "Yes, I know that our quarterbacks are excited to have L.J. And Todd too. Todd looked good running around out there too. So that was good to see. It's good to see L.J. get off to a good start."

(on QB John Beck leaving the game) "Yeah, he had something. I'm not sure what it was. I haven't got the report yet, but something injury-wise brought him out. I don't think it's anything serious."

(on WR Marcus Smith leaving the game ) "Marcus Smith is going to get checked out. It looks serious. It looks like he has a serious knee. So I'm not sure what it is right now, but it could be an ACL. We'll have to let you know on that."

(on how the offense played tonight) "That's the type of offense we are. We're a no-huddle offense. So, I'm not going to say that's a walk in the park, but we're pretty much used to that. We practice that type of tempo and that type of atmosphere almost every day in practice. The guys did a tremendous job up front making certain calls. The Redskins' defense is a tremendous defense. They did some things that shook us up, that rattled us up, but we stayed the course, and those guys made crucial catches down the line."

(on WR Justin Harper's touchdown) "Harper did an incredible job looping around that guy. I thought that was a pretty tough coverage. It was a key catch he made. Harper can catch anything that he puts his mind to. But a game without those guys in front holding those guys off us so I can make a good throw downfield, none of that happens. Harper made an incredible play. All the respect in the world goes to those guys up front."

(on spreading the ball to many different receivers) "It's been drilled into both of our heads to spread the ball around, to not have tunnel vision. It's a key thing that Cam [Cameron] likes to say day in and day out. And obviously Hue Jackson did a tremendous job with helping broaden our horizon as far as this passing game goes. The sky's the limit for both of us. I continue to learn from Joe [Flacco] on a day-in and day-out basis. He's an incredible leader for our team, and I'm going to do nothing but follow right now."

(on QB Joe Flacco) "He's grown so much in the course of a year and a half. When you see a quarterback maturing as fast as he's matured, there's only promise for him. This team is going to go as far as Joe Flacco will take us. We have to help him along the way, but if he picks up where he left off, which I know he will, it's going to be a very special season."

(on the Ravens' running back depth) "We've got three starters. That's what we call them. When you have three guys that can run the ball the way they run it, it makes your offense that much better. Now other teams have to bring that safety down in the box, and it leaves things open for the guys outside. We've proven that we can make plays on the outside when we're given an opportunity. Once we get this offense rolling like we had it at the end of last year, we're going to be a deadly team to go against each week."

(on coming back out of retirement) "I thought I would be behind the camera as opposed to in front of it, but things change. You sit back, you weigh your options, and you see what's best for you and your family, and you move forward. Me coming back was a good thing. I want to finish out the year, and hopefully finish this thing out like Jerome Bettis did."

(on the reception from the fans) "It meant a whole bunch. It was more than a warm reception by the fans. It was much needed. I think that they welcomed me back. They could have held it against me, that I did retire, but I think they understand and appreciate what I do. They were very happy that I was back, and I think they enjoyed seeing me come out of the tunnel."

(on the game) "I started off with some drops, but they gave me a chance, they came back to me. I made some plays. I'm still a little inconsistent, but we're still in training camp. So, I've still got to keep making plays. I came back and bounced back, but at the same time, I've still got to come back and make some plays."

(on whether the touchdown felt good) "Oh yes, it's got to. I mean, the first one. But, like I've been doing this whole camp, it's behind me. We're already looking forward to practice on Saturday. We'll get this day off, and now it's uphill from here."

(on how he feels about fellow VA Tech Hokie Michael Vick being back in the league) "Hey, I'm looking right into the camera, 'Congratulations. I'm a young Hokie, you're back, and I wish you the best. I know you're going to do your thing.' I mean, that's us Hokies, and that's football family. So I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do. For me, being a youngster coming in at Virginia Tech, I played with his brother, so I know it's a tight-knit family, and I know he's going to bounce back from this. I'm a fan. I can't wait to get that black seven jersey just to even put it on my wall."

(on having a couple of drops and then scoring a TD) "It was huge. I mean, the fact that Troy [Smith] still wanted to come back to me, and he still had faith in me. I still had some drops after that, but again, he still came to me. So that's the best part, I'm still growing up. I still have a lot more growing up to do, and like I said, it's the best part, I'm still in training camp. So, I'm still growing up from here."

(on the offense having a lot of weapons) "Well, this is our second year together. We're pretty comfortable with each other, and the main thing that's going to have to happen is for us to execute plays, and that's what we did tonight."

(on how much the RBs push each other) "We're constantly pushing, we try to stay fresh and keep the defense off-balance. Each one of us brings different things to the table. Ray [Rice] is a slasher, Le'Ron [McClain] is a bruiser, and I try to do both [laughing]. You saw tonight, I tried to show my cutting skills. Basically, we're just trying to get something going, get the chemistry going on."

(on not seeing him cut in training camp) "No, in training camp, you have to run straight ahead. You have to run and play the way they want you to run it. In the games, you just have to go out there and be yourself."

(on whether they took a shot at his knees) "They did? I thought I made them miss."

(on how he feels) "Oh yeah, I feel pretty good. I just had to be on the football field, just get through the game healthy."

(on how important it is to have the running backs in the passing game) "Oh, it's very important. Because when the quarterback has no one else to go to, we're their last option. So, we've got to be there when they need us."

(on whether he's excited to be on an NFL field) "Yeah, definitely. I just give all the glory to God for allowing me to be out there. It's just fun being out there and being a Raven."

(on his mentality on kickoffs) "You know, I'm just trying to get there as fast as I can, just using that speed God gave me and just trying to make a play. Getting in on the play somehow, any way I can."

(on his first NFL reception) "I just leaped out a little bit. The quarterback did a good job of finding the open man, and I just tried to get as many yards as I could. Unfortunately, I didn't get the first down."

(on whether or not he was high-stepping into the end zone) "Yeah, I always try to give God the glory first, but I just got so excited. I was really thankful. Sometimes you get caught up in yourself a little bit. That's just that human fault that we have, but I always point the glory back to God for anything that happens, I'm just thankful for that."

LB Paul Kruger![](/team/roster/paul-kruger/d6013bc5-bbca-4db7-b10e-fcc177f1c83f/ "Paul Kruger")

(on if Terrell Suggs called him onto the sideline after the sack) "He would just give me some pointers on, after he knows what I'm going to do – some counter moves. After you beat a guy, just how to react to that. How to beat him again basically."

(on if it was a little extravagant for Suggs to call him over) "He's an extravagant guy. He kind of does what he wants. You just go with it."

(on if Suggs gave him advice earlier in the game) "He's definitely one of the guys that helps coach me. I look up to him a lot, so he helps me develop."

(on his first sack) "I think there was a lot of pressure from all ends of the line. A sack is usually accredited to a lot of different people. So, I think all the defensive linemen just got some pressure. I bull rushed the guy, came through clean, and there he was. It was the best feeling in the world."

(on why he didn't do a dance after the sack) "No dance. I'm not a dancer."

(on the difference in his performance during the game "It's just how it goes. It kind of goes in streaks. You know, you feel like a couple come your way, or you can go a series with nothing coming on your side or getting no opportunities. You have to hustle around the ball, fly around the field, and do what you can."

(on the first action this season) "It feels good. It shows you what kind of depth we have on both sides of the ball, the kind of team that we have. We just played hard, kept it pretty basic, fooled around and had fun."

(on his first fumble and sack) "You try not to pay attention to it, just keep playing. As long as you're in there trying to make as many plays as you can."

(on what the team has to improve on next week) "Everything. Build on the good things, and fix the things that we messed up or didn't do so well. As much as you go out and play hard, it doesn't make you 1-0. It's just a preseason win. Keep building, getting ready for Sept. 13 – keep playing these games, and keep playing the way we're playing."

(on the good defensive performance) "Offense, too. When they're driving the ball, running on a team and wearing them down, it does a lot to their psyche and gets us off the field, able to rest."

(on facing former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan on Aug. 24) "We have to watch film first. See what we messed up on, see what we need to get better on. It's just another team, a preseason game. I loved it when Rex was here, but we have to play him, and we'll do what we have to do. They're wearing a different color than us."

(on the shutout) "A shutout's always good. I think you see the type of depth that we have. Everyone can play, all the way down to the fourth quarter, flying around, making plays, gave up some yards, but never let them in the end zone."

(on what they did) "We pretty much kept it basic and just played fast. Played physical and played fast.

(on where to go from here) "It's only the first game of the preseason and a long, long, long way to go. But it's something to start at, it's a starting point, something to build on. It's way too early to be complacent after one pre-season game."

(On the shutout) "Anytime you get a shutout, you give a tribute to everybody playing with you on the defense and the defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison. A lot of guys were questioning him. I think he came to the show and [did well]."

(On where to go from here) "You can always get better, technical things. There's always mistakes in games, just correct those mistakes and start building a team chemistry and knowing each other and feeling each other because we have a lot of new guys out there…basically getting to know each other, having fun because it's a long season and enjoying each other and enjoying these wins as they come."

(On the bottom line from tonight) "We might give up an inch, but we don't give up the mile. We nip things in the bud. I think that's the best part that we had tonight, just the turnovers that we had."

(on his interception) "I was at safety, and I was coming down to a tight end and I was able to just jump his route. We were in a good coverage for us, and [Mattison] put us in [the] situation for me to come down and cover the tight end and I was able to jump the route…and couldn't score. The big lineman got me, but I got the running back and got a good move on him."

(on the defense) "I think it was brilliant. Mattison was calling great calls. We've been working so hard in camp, we were just happy to come out there and unleash it on somebody else. We're going to get ready for next week and practice hard this week."

(on the shutout) "We've just got to build on the shutout. It's hard to build on no points, but there's things we need to work on, penalties and things of that sort that we can fix up, and we're going to be better."

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