Head coach John Harbaugh
Opening Statement: "I appreciate you guys being here. You saw a heck of a football game. The Bears played a really, really good football game. It's a really good team, so hats off to them, as well.
"Make a little shout out to Nurit Wilkins and to Drew Wilkins, because before the game, we couldn't find Drew. Drew was in the shower, then he was outside where he got better reception, and Nurit is pregnant. She's not due for a couple of weeks. And she all of a sudden, she felt something, so she went in to get it checked out, next thing you know 20 minutes later she had her baby. Drew was coaching her through it. It was getting kind of loud back there. We were like, what's going on back there? Drew was doing his best coaching, at least that's what he claims. Congratulations to Drew and Nurit, and they had a little baby.
"As far as the game goes, obviously, it's just a spectacular win. The kind of win that takes faith and takes guts. We had talked -- well, there's some things going on with our team that we talked about at the beginning of the season that have really been eye opening and awesome. I remember I know [executive vice president/general manager] Eric [DeCosta] came up to me after the game, he said, it was dark, it was dark there for a couple moments. But then we saw the light, I said. And that's the kind of game it was.
"I think it kind of goes to the fact that it goes to our guys, their ability to handle a sequence of events, their ability to deal with circumstances that are challenging in the game, but also all week that they were dealing with, all week that were coming up. And not flinching the next guy is stepping up. Guys like Ar'Darius Washington stepping up and being ready to play. Guys having a bad play, you look at Chris Westry but coming back and having a good play and playing a good game.
"And leaders like this guy right here, Tyus Bowser who has been playing as good a football as any outside linebacker in the National Football League all season long. I think he had a couple sacks today, right? Getting those sacks. But everything he does he does well and leading our team the way he does it and all of our guys who lead. That's the kind of game it was. I'm proud of these guys as could be.
"Justin Tucker on the field goals, just to mention that, in case it doesn't get asked. It's hard to understand how hard those field goals were. The wind was howling down there and the field was sand. And he was able to plant and kick those balls through, even the extra points. That was it.
"And then shoutout to the quarterback, huh? How about the quarterback? To play the way he did, to fight the way he did, to keep his poise the way he did. Heck, there's pressure, there's plays being made. He's running around. He handled the zero blitzes, right, two of them, nailed them. [He] ran around the left side one time for a big run, and hit Mark [Andrews] on a crossing route, got away from the pressure and threw a great shot to Mark both in the first half. For him to come in, and Tyler play the way he did, Tyler Huntley to play quarterback the way he did and to find a way to win that game at the end to take the team down in two-minute drive and win that game, it's a good launching for his career, would you say? That's just the kind of guy he is, and all of our guys had confidence in him, and he came through.
"What questions do you have?"
Talk a little bit about the process of getting ready to play a game. This is a unique week. You always have two quarterbacks ready but this week was a little different. "I don't know if I can remember one like this, you're right. Tyler practiced both Wednesday – Tuesday with the walk-through, Wednesday and Thursday, so that was good. He got the practice. But then it looked like Lamar was going to be good, and Lamar practiced on Friday. I think – you have to ask Tyler this, but for him to bounce back on Saturday when Lamar got sick again and to mentally process that would be interesting to see what he says about that because it had to be challenging and he did it, and he came out and played a great football game."
Each of these games in separate circumstance against a separate opponent, is there something about now having come back in the fourth quarter multiple times that makes you better suited to do it again, as you have continued to do? "It probably does. I mean, the thing that I just think you don't – you can't take credit for things like that. Those things are sometimes beyond our control. I've said this, I've texted this, it's funny, I get like 160 some, 170 texts when we win. I've got a lot of friends when we win. I get about, I don't know, 20, maybe 10, maybe five sometimes when we don't win because they say, 'I don't want to bother you.' I appreciate that, too, to be honest. What I texted back was something my brother texted me, enjoy the incredible, and only God does things like this. I'm not afraid to stand up here and say that. We keep fighting. We keep persevering. We keep responding. Your responsibility is the response. Keep responding to whatever turmoil you face, and this is just football, but it's kind of a metaphor. And you keep responding, and then you let God do the rest. I really believe He's got your back. He's there for you. People can take that – whatever belief system you have, what other way can you look at it? You do your best. You do your best and see what happens."
What happened with Lamar because we talked to him on Friday, he seemed in very good spirits. What happened between Friday and now really? "The only way I can describe it, and Lamar can describe it better, but he just got sick again. He kind of went right back to where he was on Tuesday and Wednesday with all the symptoms that he had that were there, and it's just – you've all been sick before. All the congestion and all the other stuff that goes with it. He had it and he had it yesterday. He had it on the plane. He had it – he didn't go to the meetings at night. We thought he'd wake up this morning maybe feeling better, but he didn't, he felt worse.
So, [it] seems like he's better now. Just saw him in the locker room and we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
Are you worried about this being a long-term thing? "Well, it's nothing. They tested. There's no influenza, there's no COVID, so I don't know – I'm sure if he doesn't clear up, they'll keep testing, but I've got to think it's going to clear up. We'll pray for that."
Was he pushing you to play today, or did he know there was no way physically he could? Was Lamar pushing you to play today? "There was no way he could play. He knew it. There was just no way he was going to be able to play."
Ever since last summer you guys talked about how much you like Tyler and how you think he fits your offense, his personality fits your team. His ability where the moment is not big for him, is that one of the things you really liked and one of the things you saw there in the final minutes when he led that drive? "I think you hit it right on the head. That's something that you saw from him, right from Day One when he came in as an undrafted free agent, and it was not too big for him then. It was never too big in practice, never too big in a preseason game, and he came out here on the big stage, and it wasn't too big for him here, either.
Kind of an oddly specific memory, but I remember the low point, if there was one, for Tyler back in training camp was he had a couple plays where he had three picks, and after that it seemed like he really turned it around. When he's faced with adversity what kind of guy is he? "I think he's a really even guy. I feel like you'll smile about this, Tyler, but I feel like he just kind of smiles. You smile, right? That's kind of what he does. Kind of like he makes you feel like, he's OK. It's going to be all right. He just doesn't get carried away with it. Yeah, he gets frustrated, he gets mad at himself, but he never lets it capture him. He just kind of has a lot of confidence, and he believes in himself and keeps fighting. Just proud of him for that."
Do you feel like at any point today that Lamar had a chance of playing at all? "No, not from the get-go. I got a text from [quarterbacks coach] James [Urban] early on that it wasn't good and it didn't look good. I was hopeful up until we got here, but yep."
We heard different things pregame. What was the biggest symptom holding him back? Was it congestion, dehydration? "I couldn't rank them. Maybe [chief medical officer] Dr. [Andy] Tucker could give you that. He had them all. He wasn't in shape to play and compete in an NFL game."
If you can say, he's going to fly back with everyone else or is it kind of -- "Is he flying back with us? Yeah, I think he's flying back with us. Nobody is going to get too close to him would be my guess.
"Anything on the strategy of the game, the way it played out, the timeouts? No? OK, great. Talk to the guys that won the game."
QB Tyler Huntley
That play to WR Sammy Watkins, can you take us through what you were seeing, whether he was the kind of guy you were looking for on that play and what you wanted to do?"They came at me, man, so I was just going through my reads, and they just happened to drop him, and he was wide open. I was happy that I saw him. I wish I would have gave him the ball quicker and the game would have probably been in our hands a little quicker, but it all played out how it played out."
First NFL start and you're put in a situation where about a minute where -- under two minutes left and you're trailing. What's coming through your head? Are you feeling the pressure? What's it feel like?"I think if I was feeling the pressure, we probably wouldn't even have won this game. You've just got to go with the flow about winning the game. We knew we had to go down there and score, so we practiced that every day in practice, two-minute drill, so that's all it came down to."
When did you know you were playing, this morning?"It's crazy, I was walking towards the bus, and Lamar [Jackson] texted me, he said, 'Go do your thing today. I'm going to be watching.' And I was like, 'All right, let's go.'"
Was it on the bus ride here?"Yeah, to the stadium. I was walking to the bus and that's how it came about."
Did you think that you probably were going to start? Or were you like, nah, QB Lamar Jackson is definitely going to play?"Every week I feel like you've got to be one play away -- Lamar [Jackson], he's a tough soldier, so you know what I'm saying, I'm thinking he's going to play regardless. He could be breaking out in a sweat and I feel like he's going to play. But today it just was different circumstances that I happened to play."
As the guy who's behind QB Lamar Jackson, how much repetition do you get with the receivers? On game day like today, how comfortable are you guys together? Is there still some catching up because you're not the No. 1?"It's a little catching up, but this is our job, so we've got to go out there and do our thing. I had great reps this week with those receivers, and they felt comfortable in me and catching the ball, and we made plays."
Head coach John Harbaugh talked about how after a game like this there's an outpouring of support, messages. Have you had a chance to look at your phone, is there anything that stands out from people who reached out to you or same kind of sentiment in general that you felt?"It's crazy. When I was walking to my locker, my brother was calling me on FaceTime, and I answered it. He had his jersey on and stuff, and I felt like that was crazy. Then right when I hung up, my mama called me. I feel like that's all your family, that's what gives you that joy."
Was your brother in a No. 2 jersey?"Yeah."
What happened to your eyes? Was that during the game?"I think it was like the first drive, my helmet just did something crazy. I was walking to the sideline, and they were like, 'We've got to patch you up.' I'm like, 'Dang, I didn't even know I was bleeding or nothing.' They just kept putting whatever on my eye. That's how that went about."
You had a lot of success this preseason. This is kind of an obvious question, but how good does it feel to win an NFL football game at a point in time where you guys are battling and trying to stay first in this division?"It felt great that Coach Harbaugh gave me a chance. I was an undrafted free agent, and [for] me to be here, to play a game for him and for this team, I feel like that's the best part of it. Me getting a win, [and] me working towards the win, that's what put icing on the cake. I think it's amazing that they have so much trust in me going back to last year."
No one wants to disrespect QB Lamar Jackson, but as a team, is there a benefit to be able to win without QB Lamar Jackson? There's so much that goes around and there's so much talk with QB Lamar Jackson. Is there any benefit for this team to actually win without QB Lamar Jackson?"Yeah, it's a benefit. He's human, too, so he needs his rest. It's a benefit that we came out with a win today. Any time he's not feeling too well, that's what we hope on."
Take us through the game-winning touchdown. Was that always the play call? Did you have a read? Or was that always going to be a handoff for RB Devonta Freeman?"That was always going to be a handoff."
You had gotten close, driven in their territory quite a few times. What's going through your head when you're in the huddle and they scored the touchdown on 4th and 11 and you had a way to go to get down the field?"We've got to go get a touchdown. We've got to go get a touchdown to win. That's the only thing. We've got to get a touchdown to win this game, that's the only way because they were up -- that put them up how many points? They were up four [points]. 'Tuck' [Justin Tucker] wouldn't be able to do it this week, so we had to go down there and get us a touchdown. That's all we knew."
Did QB Lamar Jackson talk to you at postgame?" Yeah, Lamar [Jackson] was the first one when I was walking in the locker room to congratulate me. That's my boy."
I assume you got a game ball. What are you going to do with it?"Oh yeah, it's getting framed with the jersey."
How surreal is this day for you?"It's just a blessing for real, because me sitting back where I was waiting on the call for the draft and whatnot, it just felt like I would never get to this point, and I'm here. So, I'm blessed."
OLB Tyus Bowser
(opening statement) "Before I start, I just want to reach out to Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears organization. You know it's never my intention to hurt anybody. I'm a big fan of Justin, so just to see him go out, that kind of hurt me. [I'm] just letting him know, it was never my intent to hurt the guy. I enjoy seeing him play on the field, and I hope you get better soon."
(on how it felt to have a multi-sack game) "It was great, man. I had my second one, and it got taken away [after the penalty]. I know those don't come around too easily, especially when it comes to Baltimore Ravens, those are the hardest ones to get. So, the guys were just telling me, 'Just stay on point, man. Keep going. That next one is going to come around.' What a great time for that second one to come, putting the icing on the cake. So, today, just being able to go out there, finish the game and come out with the win here in Chicago, it was awesome."
(on what he was thinking when the Bears scored the go-ahead touchdown) "It was tough. We were one play away from finishing the game, but we had some time on the clock, and our guys on offense were able to make it happen. Tyler [Huntley] and the whole offense, those guys never gave up. They were locked in. They were ready to go, and they were making plays that we needed to. To come around and score, that's exactly what we needed. Just for us to go back on defense and finish it off, man, that was awesome. Just being able to be resilient as a team, despite big plays going on, this and that, we were able to find a way to win. That's the great part about this team is that we're resilient, we never give up, and we always have each other's back regardless of the situation. The main purpose is to win, and we came out with a win – that's all that matters."
(on what the last 24 hours was like with the uncertainty of QB Lamar Jackson's game status) "In situations like that, a guy gets sick … That's our main guy. Adjustments have to be made, but you know, we always say, 'This is all we've got, and this is all we need. Whoever is next up, those guys are going to come in and play and help us out.' Tyler [Huntley] did that, and as a defense, we can't control that. All we can do is control on the other side of the ball stopping them and giving [the offense] the ball to help those guys score. So, that was just our main focus, just doing our job, just playing together, being on one accord, communicating, tackling the ball, and whatever happens, happens. As long as we do our job, everything else will take care of itself."
(on if it means more to be 7-3 after winning multiple close games) "Absolutely. Like I said, it's all about resiliency. This is a tough league to win games, man. Every win is a great win, regardless of how you get it. Whether it's a 66-yarder, or a touchdown with 30 seconds left on the clock … What was it? Like nine … I forgot what the score was, but not a high-scoring game or whatever, but any type of way you can get a win, that's all that matters. Like I said, these guys are resilient. They're going to come out here and play hard. That's all that matters to us – just winning [and] coming out of the week 1-0."
(on how QB Tyler Huntley is similar to QB Lamar Jackson) "I think the most important thing is just their character off the field – the type of guys they are. Humble. Those guys work hard, [and] they are always in tune with the guys. [Both have] great personalities. I feel like being a quarterback, that's the most important thing, being able to have that connection with your team, for that team to trust you, for that team to enjoy having you around [and] to see that you care about them, because you have to think that we're in the NFL, but you're playing with Lamar Jackson. For Lamar to come up to you, or Tyler [Huntley] and say, 'Hey, what's up man? How's it going?' Or just laugh and joke with you, that just develops the chemistry with that guy. You want to go out there and go to war with them. Any situation, anything that happens, you want to have that man's back. So, just to have those guys be great people, that's the most important thing that I feel, as a teammate, that you should have for your team."
(on what it means to hear head coach John Harbaugh say he's playing like one of the best OLBs in the league right now) "It means a lot, man. [Head coach John Harbaugh] 'Harbs' is a great guy. I respect him a ton. Just to see that come out of his mouth, that meant everything to me. That's definitely motivating. That's going to help me move forward, continue to lock in and continue to strive to be the man that he believes [and] this team believes that I can be. I'm just going to take that and move forward with it. I'm just going to continue to keep my head down, keep working, and when those plays come around, just try to take advantage of it any way to help this team win."
RB Devonta Freeman
(on QB Tyler Huntley in the huddle during the game-winning drive) "I think he was phenomenal. I think he stepped up and played a tremendous role and did his job when his number was called on. He executed at a high level. The offensive line … All of us – just great communication. [Huntley's] communication was good – getting in and out of the huddle, plays and stuff. Everything was clicking on all cylinders, and I think he did a hell of a job."
(on his fourth-quarter touchdown run) "It was a play Coach [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] called. We've been 'repping' it in practice. We just executed – all guys executed, all 11 guys on the offense, and we had success. Whatever Coach [Roman] called, we just executed at a high level and tried to be efficient and had as much success as we could. And that's what we did tonight."
(on having a plan on offense) "I think we've always got a plan. You've always got a plan going into a game – first down, second down, all the way to fourth down. It's just a decision whatever Coach [Roman] wants to do, and our job is to execute whatever he calls. So, that's the job."
(on when he realized QB Tyler Huntley was starting at quarterback today) "I think during pre-game. But like I said, we were just clicking on all cylinders. Tyler [Huntley] did a hell of a job. His composure was great all throughout the game, all four quarters. He fought through it, and he battled, and he had tremendous success. That's always great."
(on what this win says about this team with all the players who were ruled out) "I just think, as a whole group, we played together – everybody. In the NFL, everybody is good in the NFL. It's not … It's about the team, us playing together, us fighting for each other, us executing. When one of our brothers goes down and can't be out there to fight with us, we do it for them and play as a whole and just try to win."
CB Marlon Humphrey
(on what this win says about this team despite the amount of injuries) "I think it means a lot. I think going into the game, we put … There's a lot of not knowing what's going to happen. Kind of last minute, you have two corners go down. All week you don't have Lamar [Jackson], and then he comes back Friday, and you're like, 'We're good, we're good.' And then you see him on the plane curled up in a ball. And I'm like – I look over – and I'm like, 'I don't think this guy is going to be able to play.' (laughter) So, yes, it was just crazy. You're optimistic that this guy [Jackson] can play. It was a lot of game-time decisions. But I think it just says a lot. A lot of times when you think about the Ravens, you think about Lamar Jackson, because he's done so much for us. He's such a great player, such a great guy. But it was special to see 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley] step up, a couple guys on defense step up. Just all around, it seems like we didn't really flinch. You just look at even the speech 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] gives last night. It was short and sweet, but the things he said – he said, 'Let's get a punt block tomorrow, we got to get a punt block. Let's do this, we got this.' And it was just an all-around effort, from the coaches to the players. Everybody just stepped up. We didn't know who was going to be out there, but I think we all just stepped up."
(on the offense going down and scoring on the last drive) "It was surreal. We definitely didn't want to give up that touchdown. We definitely wanted to end it on defense. But to watch 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley] kind of march down the field, it was special. The offense really did their thing today. The last drive was crazy. I always see those stats on primetime games, 'This guys had this many game-winning drives.' And it's pretty special for 'Snoop' [Huntley] to get one in his first game starting."
(on the gameplan when opposing teams switch quarterbacks mid-game) "We've got a lot of history with Andy Dalton. It's crazy you say that – I was kind of thinking the same thing. I was like, 'This is the second game in a row that we're killing a team [defensively], and then they put in this guy, and it really changes the game a little bit. So, for us, it doesn't matter who's back there, we can't really change what we're doing. I think this will be a pretty good lesson, because I'm not sure how many yards they had in the first half, or when Justin Fields was in, it definitely changed a little bit there. We definitely got on our heels that one drive or two. So, you've just got to continue to lock in, no matter who's the quarterback, no matter who's the running back, wide receiver, and just play Ravens defense. I think that's the biggest thing. It's definitely something we'll look at more for everybody to be like, 'It doesn't matter who's there, let's just play ball.'"
(on if this week was challenging for him mentally, from a preparation standpoint) "It actually … I hate to say it … There's been so many crazy things happening this year, nothing is really too crazy. But this week was actually strange. One of the guys who got hurt [in practice last week], I was standing right next to him, and he just got hurt. Literally, it just seemed like out of nowhere. One guy, and you didn't know if he was going to play or not. He couldn't really practice. And then, of course, I already told you about Lamar [Jackson]. He was … The plane lands, [and] he doesn't even know if the plane landed. He was still sick at the time. And then all these game-time decisions ended up not going in our favor. So, it was definitely weird. It was very tough. But I think once we got to pre-game, everybody kind of knew, hey, this is who we've got, this is all we need, and we went from there."
TE Mark Andrews
(on the performance of QB Tyler Huntley, especially late in the game) "Just an incredible win. For him to step up … I know everyone around our facility, this organization knows how good that he is. And when he gets his opportunity – which he did today – that he was going to perform and shine. But it's awesome for the world to see. It's a coming-out party for him, and I can't be more excited about it."
(on the resiliency this team was shown week after week) "Just belief … Belief, no matter the circumstances. There was a lot thrown at us this game. It was a very up-and-down game. But there were a lot of great plays made, and some plays that we need to work on. But that belief of keep on fighting until the very end, and then not giving up hope, I think that we kind of embody that."
(on having TE Nick Boyle back out on the field today) "It was awesome. It was like old times' sake. For him in this offense, it brings a physicality and leadership … Just everything that he does. He's an awesome player, and I'm excited to have him back."
TE Nick Boyle
(on how it felt to be back on the field after suffering a season-ending injury last year) "It felt really, really good. The whole game atmosphere, the whole gameday, to be back walking in the locker room, from preparation to warmups to everything [else], it felt really good. Being out there on the field felt really good. Winning felt really good, but I still feel like there are some plays and things that I need to clean up that still kind of irks me, and I want to get better at, because I know we have really high expectations. But overall, to go out there, like I said, it just felt really, really good."
(on the resilience of the team) "These games are kind of a shocker, I think, to the league, but to us, I think we're used to them and accustomed to them in a good and bad way. But we're never down for the count; we're always playing to win the game, like you saw today. There are so many close games in the NFL, and those are the games you really need to win."
C Bradley Bozeman
(on the resilience of this team) "This team has a lot of guts, just continuous fight, never giving up and having each other's back. When something bad happens on one end, the other end picks it up. So, it's just a continuous fight, a continuous effort, and like I said, there's no quit in this team."
(on QB Tyler Huntley's performance) "'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley] stepped up big time. He just continued to play, continued to do his thing. He's been preparing every week since he got here, really. So, the last two years, he's been working, studying and getting ready for this opportunity. He got the opportunity and really showed what he can do. The guy is really special. I'm so glad to have him in our locker room, along with 'L.J.' [Lamar Jackson] and Trace [McSorley] and all the guys that we have. So, the guy really stepped up to the plate today and did it when it mattered."
(on how the team adjusted to the Bears' defense) "They're a really strong defense. They continue to fight. They're strong. They're physical. They're active. They're probably one of the best fronts we've seen this year. We just kept fighting, kept adjusting and kept trying to make things right. Finally, by the end, we got it all right. We limited the sacks in the second half and just continued to fight and continued to do our thing. [I'm] just happy about this O-line, the way they're fighting, the way this team is fighting and the way everyone is fighting together, making sure that we're getting the win."
DE Calais Campbell
(on the resilience of the team) "It's a special group of guys, man. No matter what happens in a game, we just keep believing, [and] we keep fighting. We take it one play at a time and try to find a way to win the ball game. We get the guys, and we don't let them get the big plays in the big moments. Everybody … We've been dealing with so many injuries and different things, and the young guys keep stepping up and making plays. A lot of guys are playing through stuff. To see the effort and the sacrifices that this team has made over the last 10 weeks, it's just been inspiring. It's something that we can definitely use as momentum going forward."
(on how the defense's approach changed when QB Andy Dalton came in after QB Justin Fields left with a rib injury) "Nothing really changed. I think sometimes, it's just that a new player comes in, and it gives them a spark. It just happens sometimes. You bring a new guy in, and you get a little spark going. They had a sprint, at one point, the touchdown. We have to get that one guy down. We can't let them score on that. It was a good ball, though, and a great play by the receiver, No. 11, Darnell Mooney. He's a great player. He's been a heck of a player, went and got in the end zone and gave them the lead. You have to give him his respect, but at the same time, we have to find a way to make that play. Once we settled down and started playing football after that … At the very end, we gave up the touchdown, another big play, but that was one of those things where it was like we die by our sword, by who we are. We sent the whole house and had one-on-one, and with the wind factor, we figured that would be enough, but they just made a play. That's what happens sometimes. Statistically, you want to put yourself in the best position to win. But I think we didn't really change anything. We were really prepared for whatever happened; they just made a couple plays."
(on the emotions he felt on the offense's final drive and QB Tyler Huntley's performance) "I was excited. I see it in practice all the time, 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley] is a phenomenal player. He has a lot of heart, and he plays the game with passion. He loves it. He throws the ball really well. But getting into a live-action game and having to lead the team, especially on the game-winning drive, it's hard to do, but he has that toughness, that confidence and that poise. It was fun to watch. He kept making plays. He put the ball where it needed to be. I was really happy for him and very excited. To get a win as a starting quarterback in this league, that's huge. Hopefully, it leads to a better future for him. He showed to everybody today that he can win as a starting quarterback in this league, and he can lead the game-winning drive in this league – that's huge."