Ravens Wednesday Transcripts: Week 6 vs. Cowboys

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Good to see everybody.  Thanks for coming.  What've you got?  We have no major injuries, so I can clear that up right now."

**Is DeMarcus Ware a player you need to account for in your game plan? *(Ryan Mink) *"Yes, DeMarcus Ware, without question, is a guy you have to know where he is at all times.  He's a game-wrecker.  He's a tremendous pass rusher.  He's very physical against the run.  He is one of the premier players in the National Football League.  The whole defense is very, very talented.  They've got two excellent corners.  They've got the young corner from LSU, [Morris] Claiborne [and Brandon] Carr, who they brought in from Kansas City.  Those guys complement each other very well.  [They are] physical safeties.  [They have] a very physical front seven.  All across the board, you name every one of those guys, they play [well].  They are big, strong, long-armed guys – do a great job getting off blocks.  It's one of the top-ranked defenses in the league right now for good reason."

**Is it Ware's quick first step that sets him apart? *(Ryan Mink) *"I don't know if it's that.  I think it's everything.  He just does everything well.  He's got a great first step, but he finishes really well, too.  So there's really nothing that he can't do well."

**Joe [Flacco] has been sacked four times the last four games.  Is that something you're going to have to accept based on the new, up-tempo offense? *(Glenn Clark) *"No, we're not going to accept that.  We're going to try to make it no sacks.  That's the goal.  And there's a lot that goes into that, whether it's protection or the timing of the routes or guys getting open, or whatever it might be.  We're not looking to accept any number of sacks, except for zero; that's the number we're shooting for."

**You look at the Cowboys' record of 2-2, looking at this team offensively and defensively, how much of challenge does this team provide? *(Matt Zenitz) *"Dallas is just a very talented, well-coached football team. They've got playmakers on offense. Obviously, Tony Romo is a guy that can get hot at any time. He's done it so many times. I've been on the field with him and seen him make some uncanny plays.  [Jason] Witten is back to playing probably at his level now that we're accustomed to – coming off the spleen injury.  [They have] a big, physical offensive line, obviously, two speed backs, two guys who can really run. Dez Bryant is a very talented guy; you know about him. But, Miles Austin, this guy has been making plays for the last four years.  He's just been making plays all over the field, and Ogletree is coming on.  They've just got a lot of good players."

**How well do you feel the Cowboys' secondary played so far this season? *(Matt Zenitz) *"They've played great. They can play pretty much any coverage.  They start with a Cover 1 base; that's their idea.  They get up in your face when they play 'quarters.'  They get up in your face when they play 'halves.'  And when they play [Cover] 3, they're in your face.  It's just the style they play."

**Do the Cowboys run a lot of stunts up front? *(Mike Preston) *"They run a lot of stunts up front.  They run a lot of stunts, they run a lot of pressures.  They mix the pressures.  You really don't get the same pressures from one week to the next.  And they mix the coverages behind the pressures.  It's a package that we're familiar with; we've seen it."

**Do they run the typical Ryan family defense? *(Mike Preston) *"Yes, yes, they run the Bear defense. The Ryan family package is in full bloom."

**Justin Tucker has been described by some of his teammates as a "live wire," "weird" and even "goofy."  How would you describe him?  *(Jenn Williams) *"I would describe him as a good kicker, first of all.  That's probably the No. 1 criteria, and that's why he fits in the locker room. The guys appreciate his talent; that's where it starts. But, it depends what perspective you're coming from. The guy sings Italian opera in front of our players.  So, if you're an Italian opera person, that's probably pretty normal.  For a lot of our guys, that seems a little different, in the football culture. But, we love him. He's ours."

**Did you know that Matt Birk will play his 200th career game this weekend? *(J. Michael) *"Matt kept that a secret. That's not something that we were aware of.  This is his 200th game, this week? Well, we're just going to have to have a little party.  We'll have to have a celebration.  Obviously, Matt didn't want us drawing attention to that.  So, since that's the case, we'll make sure we give it our full attention."

**What were some of the positive things you saw in last Sunday's game that you can apply to this week? *(Kris Jones) *"The biggest thing was probably the way we handled the situation in terms of finding a way to win the game.  [It was] on the road, against a team that was desperate to get the win – the things we talked about throughout the week.  I thought we grew in that way as a football team.  And, there are a lot of football things that we did well.  For instance, our zone drops underneath were better than they've been in some previous weeks. We were more disciplined with our coverage stuff; that was a plus.  So, things like that we'll build on, and the things we need to improve on, we'll try to improve on.  But, do that every week – win or lose.  That's how you improve throughout the course of the season.  If you don't get better from one week to the next, you have no chance at the end of the year to be successful.  So, we've got to find a way to get better every week."

**How is Bryant McKinnie attacking his new role this season as a backup?  Do you feel he is ready to play?  *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"Bryant is ready to play right now.  Circumstances dictate a lot of things sometimes.  I had a conversation with Bobbie Williams about that this morning, and with Bryant, it was more in passing.  It was just a fun conversation that we had, but the point was still there.  Those guys have got to be ready to go, and they are practicing like they are going to play this week – both of them.  They've both done a great job with their conditioning. They are practicing at a high level, and there's nothing that says we couldn't put those guys in there, if we felt it was best for our team or if we needed to because of an injury."

**How has Bobbie Williams adjusted to being in a backup role this season? *(Ryan Mink) *"Bobbie has done great with that.  Bobbie is just an outgoing guy.  He's got a great outlook on life, and I'd put Bryant in the same category.  They've both been good that way."

Were you part of the group of guys who went to the Orioles' game the other night*(Brett Hyman) *"I would have loved to have been part of that group, but coaches, we don't get the evenings off during the season. I was able to provide [some tickets] through Mr. Bisciotti; we had a little contest.  Am I allowed to mention that?  Steve provided his four tickets behind the Orioles' dugout – for whoever.  So, we decided to have a little contest in the team meeting room.  We had a trivia question contest, which devolved into a paper-scissors-rock contest with our guys.  And, Jameel McClain won the tickets.  So, we did have fun with that."

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**Who did he take to the game? *(Jerry Coleman) *"I don't know. You'll have to ask him."

QB Joe Flacco

On if he can compare the situation of him and Cowboys QB Tony Romo being criticized as quarterbacks:"It is what it is. You just have to deal with it and move on. Not really, I don't really have too much insight on that."

On what challenges the wide receivers might have when defenses use press coverage and how it disrupts the offense: "We have good guys out there, so it's just a matter of them running crisp routes and getting the ball out. I think if we run, like I said, I think if we get out there and run crisp routes and get the ball out of my hands and protect, that's how you beat it. If you get a little sloppy here and there and you aren't as precise with the ball, that's when you can let some of that tight underneath coverage get to you."

On what he has seen from CB Brandon Carr and CB Morris Claiborne: "I think they do a pretty good job. Like we were talking about right there, when they're underneath … When they decide to play 'man' and man-up everyone underneath and put the safeties back, they play pretty good. We're going to have to be on our game underneath in order to get the job done and play well. Just the things I talked about: run precise routes, hit them on the front shoulder with the ball and allow them to grab the ball, and it might be a catch and tackle here and there. As long as we continue to do that, then I think we will move the ball a little bit and continue to move the chains. If we aren't as precise as we need to be, then a catch and tackle might turn into a batted pass. We will be sitting there in a situation that won't be quite as advantageous to us as it would have been the other way."

On if having a struggling offense the previous week one week makes him study more, practice more intense or change his routine at all for the next week: "No. It is what it is. I think if that was the case, then it would be kind of a knock on how you went about your business that week – the week before. I don't think it's really possible for us to change our routine. We are people that have to come in here, especially at the quarterback position, you have to come in and prepare the same every day no matter what happened the last week, even if you lost the game, or even if you lost five-straight games. You have to come in that next week just as you would if it were the first game of the season – with the same excitement, with the same level of focus. We might not have had a great week last week, but there have been times when we've had that kind of week and haven't won that week. We were fortunate to win the game. We have to look at what we could have done better to limit some of those problems from happening and just move on. I think we do a good job of doing that. I think there are times when we could do a better job, but so far, I think we are coming in here and we've been approaching it pretty well, and we just have to get back at it."

On if he looks at the Cowboys as one of the premier pass defenses: "It's only Week 6. I think we've played some pretty good defenses, and these guys are just another one. It seems like every week we are playing a Top 5 defense sometimes. These guys are good. Part of what makes them a good pass defense team is they have a good pass rush and can disrupt the pocket a little bit here and there. We have to make sure we handle all of those things, and if we do that, we should be able to go in there and feel confident about what we are doing, like we always do. It's just a matter of playing sound football and being patient and not trying to do too much and all those kinds of things."

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On his thoughts on how the Orioles are doing: "It's good. I was at the game the other night. It was awesome. It was a great atmosphere, and it was good to see them get a win."

On if he will be watching them the rest of the way: "Yes, definitely. Hopefully, they can win the series and come back here, so we can all go hang out at another game."

LB Ray Lewis

On the Cowboys' offense:"I just think when you look at their roster the way we looked at their roster, they have a lot of talent everywhere: No. 88 [Dez Bryant], No. 19 [Miles Austin] in the slot, No. 82 [Jason Witten], No. 85 [Kevin Ogletree] is playing great football, No. 29 [DeMarco Murray] is playing great football. You see pieces everywhere, and when you watch the games, you see whatever they may be going through. In the Chicago game, you see the turnovers, and you understand that, but of course, having a bye week, they are definitely going to work on that. That's definitely something that they're going to pay attention to. When we look at them, we are looking at stars lined up all the way across the board."

On where the Cowboys' talent stacks up with the other teams the Ravens will face over the course of the season:"Who knows? Who do you compare them to? We don't play the Cowboys often, but we realize it's still a big game. It's a huge game. For them, definitely trying to bounce back and get their thing back going … But I think more importantly for us, we are at home, we're off to a heck of a start, and we're just going to try to keep this thing rolling. I think comparing how they stack up against whoever, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter because we have to play the Cowboys."

On how OLB Paul Kruger played on Sunday at Kansas City:"When you go back and watch that film and see, particularly the second half, the way … That's one thing I think I've found out about our team that I am loving the most is that when things count, we have guys that their mentalities change, and Paul Kruger is one of those guys. He is just one of those guys that, last week in that second half, took the tight end and just did whatever he wanted to do with him. Paul has that type of talent. Paul has those type of skills. That's the kind of thing we were speaking about earlier. How do you replace a [Terrell] Suggs? You can't replace a Suggs. But, you can get a lot of experience so when Suggs does finally get himself back, you have that experience in a Paul Kruger, in a [Courtney] Upshaw. So, I just take my hat off to those guys, because I think they are doing a great job."

On what he thinks of Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware:"We're probably closer friends than anything else. As a man, I've got real love for him as a man. The way he plays the game is the way the game should be played. That's one thing that when you sit down and you watch him, you respect every next step for him because you know he is going to give you everything he has. You always appreciate seeing guys like that play the game, so I've always been a fan of D-Ware for a long time."

On when he and Ware forged their relationship:"I think we kind of bumped into each other a couple of Pro Bowls back. From the first time we had a conversation, the language that we had, it just took off from there. Conversations, calling each other, texting each other, whatever it's going to be, we've always found a way to keep in touch with each other."

On his previous comments on retirement and watching his kids play football and people in Baltimore getting nervous about his pending retirement:"That's why I'm not going to keep speaking about it. There's no need. I'm playing the game. [I'm going to] play the game, and let's let everything take care of itself."

On how he thinks his season has gone so far:"I look for one thing at the end of the day for me – and you guys know – I don't know the last time I've actually talked about me individually and how I play, because I just go out there and do what I do. I think for us to be where we are right now as a team, it's probably more important than anything individually. You look around the league and you always hear these personal stats by guys, and their teams are 1-4 or their teams are 1-3. So, I throw things out the window. The blessing is there is not an accolade or record I don't have. None of that impresses me. What impresses me is having my team ready to play every week to come out and get a 'W.' For us to be where we are right now, I am really excited, because we're just fine-tuning where we're going. Nobody is talking about the schedule that we had to go through the first five weeks. But that schedule, I don't know too many teams that pull that off. But for us to pull that off, and then come out of that with a 4-1 record, I think is just awesome with how much better we can get. I think that's the biggest thing that I worry about when you talk about personal play."

On how hard it is to maintain his standard of play at his age:"I think it's easy to do that when you learn how to take care of your body a certain way. Even when you see younger guys, I think the thing that they don't understand is something that I am still trying to preach a lot, is for people to understand who you are, understand what your body is. If you are going to a doctor and a doctor is explaining to you your blood type, then you're losing because there are certain things you are not supposed to eat. I think you should educate yourself. With me, I've educated myself years ago with some help from [former Ravens players] Shannon [Sharpe] and Rod [Woodson]. So, I had some good advice early, and I took it. I took that advice. Now, I wake up probably better than I ever woke up when I was younger. When I was waking up younger, I didn't know how to figure it out or how put it back together. There are things that you have to do to make sure that you don't go through those things. That's why I think my body feels awesome at this age right now."

On Cowboys QB Tony Romo's dynamic play:"He is just one of those guys … He reminds me a lot of [Steelers QB] Ben [Roethlisberger]. Ben is definitely bigger and definitely much harder [to tackle], but Romo will twist out of the pocket, he'll spin out of the pocket, he'll throw it downfield. He made one play against Seattle that was almost a 60-yard play. I think the thing that when you do see him do that is the accuracy that he does have on the ball. That's kind of the things that we talked about and not letting him get out of the pocket and create those big plays downfield."

On what he does to motivate the guys on defense after allowing a lot of yards early this season:"I've been in dogfights like that. We went up to the [New York] Giants [in 2008] and got 200 [rushing] yards put on us, too. So, no one game defines who you are. You keep hearing it. Everybody is just talking about the yardage. Nobody is talking about the second half. He [Jamaal Charles] had 20 yards in the second half. What defense comes out and does that. No defense does that. If you look at the things that have excited me about this defense and this team, whether you take the Cincinnati game, whether you take the New England game, whether you take the Philly game, Cleveland and then last week, when we get ready to make plays in the second half, people get off the field. That's the key to defense. That's the key to great defense. When we gave up 200 yards against the Giants. [People said] 'Oh, this big run broke, that big game broke.' Last week against Kansas City, [people said], 'Oh, he got out here, he got out there.' OK, correct it, tweak it, now let's come see if he can do the same thing in the second half. Because at the end of the day, I guarantee you [Jamaal Charles] will trade in those yards for a win. But for us to not give up a touchdown, and whatever performance he had, I'll take it. I'll take it all day long because correcting it is the easiest thing for us to do. I think the hardest thing for us to do is get somebody to run the ball like that and lose. That's the thing that we were really pissed off with a couple of years ago against the Giants because we gave up some big runs, and that's something that we're just not used to giving up. But, look at last week. You give up some big runs, but you come in the second half and the advantage is that's a 60-minute ball club. That's somebody who prepares themselves to not worry about all that, to worry about winning the game."

On what wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month means to him:"I think it's everything. I think it's one of the issues that we pay very close attention to. When you talk about breast cancer, you are talking about a mother, you are talking about a sister, you are talking about a grandmother, and you are talking about people that have created each one of us that are standing here. So, to represent that and to try to bring more awareness and more awareness, I think we should do more. I know we go monthly and we do our things, but this is an all-around process. It's a yearly thing. Every day, some woman is dealing with this. I think it needs to be widened and people need to pay a lot more attention to it. I have folks, personally, that are dealing with it. It's just not a good thing because that's the personal side that you see. Yeah, you represent pink, but you will never understand the pains that they are really going through. I'm glad we can honor them the way we honor them, going out there and playing the game that we play and putting on pink."

On if he likes wearing pink:"I just said that about putting on pink. We all know pink is a woman's color. It's a good color. I think it blends with our colors pretty well, the purple and pink and black. So, we'll make it work." (laughter)

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DT Haloti Ngata

On what he sees from Cowboys QB Tony Romo:"He's actually a really dangerous quarterback. He can move around really well in the pocket, and when he escapes, he makes plays. So, he's kind of like Ben Roethlisberger in that way, where he tries to extend plays and look down the field and throw it, and he does a really good job at it. But, if we try to keep him in the pocket, it's going to make it harder for him."

On what type of confidence he has in rookie K Justin Tucker:"He's huge. He's a guy that he has confidence all over him. You can see it, and he doesn't let anything faze him, and it's pretty comforting just to see that out of a rookie kicker. He's been doing really well for us this year."

On whether he views Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware as one of the league's best defensive players:"He probably is one of the best out there. He's just dangerous in both run and pass. He's a great pass rusher, and I think our O-line will probably have a big test this week to try to practice for him, and then hopefully, the defensive scout [players] can do a good job at trying to emulate him."

On if he expects to see more of RB DeMarco Murray this week after Romo struggled a bit last game:"No, I just think they've had a bye week and they've probably been practicing on some things. I'm pretty sure Romo is going to be just looking at himself and trying to improve in himself, and they'll probably just have more Romo still out there."

On what he's seen in the progression of Dallas' offensive line:"They've played a lot of teams that are a 4-3 front, and they've been doing that a lot of games. We'll see if we can try to do the same things and pressuring them that way, and we've just got to make sure when we have that open lane to hit that we get [Romo] down. Because like I said before, he's real dangerous at moving around and extending the play and getting an open receiver." On whether he takes pride in how well the Ravens have played at home:"It's huge. If you win all your games at home, it helps you to improve your record and get a playoff push. But we take a lot of pride in winning at home, and I think for us as a defense, getting the crowd into it, and getting the place rocking, it helps us a lot more and makes it harder for offenses to communicate."

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