Transcripts: 2021 Week 12 Cleveland Browns at Ravens


Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) "OK, I appreciate everybody being here. I really, really appreciate our players and the way they fight and the way they don't flinch. They don't blink. No matter what happens, they keep coming back and playing the next play, this play, this play, this play, this play, one play after another. I'm very proud of them for that, and I respect them greatly for the way they approached the game. Defense was just off the charts. I mean, that's one of the best defensive performances that we've seen out here in a long time. To hold that offense down the way they did, to hold that rushing attack down the way they did, the play-action passing game that they have, the boots, the hard play-actions, the chunk passes, they had a few, but I thought our guys played tremendously well across the board on defense. Our edges were especially good. Of course, we talked about Tyus [Bowser], but Odafe [Oweh], mention him, too, and the other guys as well. How about Justin Houston? We don't talk too much about him. I joke with him, [I said], 'It's kind of like you run silent, you run deep, but you're playing great football.' And he is. I just am proud of the guys. Offensively, we had the turnovers, but they didn't blink either. They came back and kept fighting. This guy right here [Mark Andrews] made a bunch of plays, and the other guy sitting right there [Lamar Jackson]. I'm talking about Mark [Andrews] and Lamar [Jackson]; they came back, and they made plays when they had to make them. How about the [Cover] Zero touchdown and all-out blitz that they put out in the red zone? Lamar backs up, backs up, backs up and finds Mark, [and] Mark finds his way open. To make that throw like that, and to make that catch and get open, that's the kind of stuff that wins you football games. So, I'm just proud of these guys across the board."

(on what ILB Patrick Queen powering through a rib injury says about him as a player) "That's a great point; it's who he is. He was in major pain. That's a rib [injury], and that's the kind of thing that … Have you had a broken rib before? I have; it sticks with you, too. Those things hurt a lot. So, it's just the kind of person he is. He really wants to be great. He really wants to be a great linebacker. He sees Ray Lewis up there in the [suite] on the big screen, right? That's kind of the bar here, sort of, in a way, and I know he takes that very seriously."

(on if ILB Patrick Queen broke a rib) "I don't know if it's broken or not, but I know it was his ribs. … See, you're tricky. You tried to trick me." (laughter)

(on if ILB Patrick Queen shooting the gap on the first drive reminded him of LB Ray Lewis jumping RB Eddie George back in the 2000 season) "That was before I got here, wasn't it? I can't comment on that. … I remember one in San Diego, the fourth-and-2 in San Diego, we'll go with that one. [The] Darren Sproles [play], right? Ray Lewis. … How about Marshal Yanda today? Shoutout to Marshal. Marshal spoke to the team last night. [He's] going into the ... Is Marshal going into the Ring of Honor?" (SVP of Communications Chad Steele: "Yes, next year.")"Next year. What are we waiting for?" (laughter) (SVP of Communications Chad Steele: "Haloti [Ngata] was this year. Marshal will be next year.")"Oh, OK. … We digress."

(on how he felt the defensive line stood up to the Browns' running game) "They were great. Justin Ellis. Justin Ellis has been doing it all year, and nobody ever mentions Justin Ellis. I need to mention him more; he's been playing great football. Broderick Washington went in there and played excellent football. I'm just proud of those guys."

(on if tackling was emphasized this game to shut down the run) "Well, you have to. You have to square people up, and you have to get a big chunk of the ball carrier. Our guys are doing a much better job of that. I think we're reacting quicker, top-down in the passing game, as well. We're getting more people to the ball. It was a good tackling game."

(on if there was an explanation on the ruling to stop the Ravens' fake punt attempt and if that was handled correctly) "I think it was, after we got the explanation. It was disappointing. I'm surprised they blew it in play so late, but that's the rule. You have to wait until they blow it in play, and we'll have to be more aware of that in the future."

(on how it felt to be in control of the game in the final minutes, running time off the clock for the defense to close it out) "That's such a great point. For our offense to come out there like that and just have that resolve, to run the ball the way we did, for Lamar [Jackson] to make the plays that he made, to take the time off the clock, we were really one call away from being able to finish the game with our offense, which would've been great. But then to get it back in field goal range ... We were out of field goal range; Lamar and the offense get us back in field goal range. Of course, you have 'Tuck' [Justin Tucker], and he makes a huge kick for those guys. Then the defense is out there, and it's a four-down situation. They have an opportunity with, really, plenty of time, because they're going to go for it on every fourth down, and that's a tough situation for a defense to be in sometimes. But to get them off right there, four-and-out, it's a great accomplishment, and I'm proud of those."

(on how OLB Tyus Bowser has grown in the last two seasons) "He's really become a dominant rusher, and he's not ... We have good pass rushers. We have really good edge rushers, and we have good inside rushers, too. [Justin] Madubuike does a nice job. But I just think the whole group is doing a great job, and Tyus [Bowser] is probably leading the way a little bit. But all of them; Odafe [Oweh], Justin [Houston], they're just doing tremendously well. I mean, we were rushing the passer. We didn't have a lot of sacks. How many sacks did we have?" (Reporter: "Three.") "Three. So, that's good, but there were a lot more that could have been sacks. You know, there's a lot more … Do you know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying? We weren't exactly being blocked, either." (Reporter: "He broke up the pass on third down and made the tackle on fourth down.")"Yes, well, that's Tyus. He got the game ball in there for that; the guy was all over the field. And that's what he does – he just does everything. He covers receivers. He does everything. I'm proud of him. You love him. You love him. I'm proud of all of these guys."

(on what it says about the team to overcome the turnovers and still win the game) "That's what I was trying to say. It starts with them; it's just a really challenging circumstance. Nobody gets flustered. It starts with Lamar [Jackson]. Lamar is a guy who makes so many plays for us, and of course, he's quarterback. The interceptions … One of them was tipped, whatever, but he wants those plays back. He's mad about them. He's a massive competitor, yet he doesn't let it take control of him. Alright? He's able to push it aside, and he's able to play the next series and give you great football. It's really a rare trait. To me, that's one of the things that makes him the quarterback that he is. That's why I'm so excited that he's on our team, one of the reasons."

TE Mark Andrews

(on what was said in the locker room during halftime) "Just keep on going. [The score] it was 6-3 at that point. Everything was out there. We were in control. Just keep on going, keep on making plays, and keep on believing – nothing crazy [was said]."

(on his mentality on the third-quarter touchdown drive) "I knew in the first half I left some things out there. I wanted to come out strong, make some plays. Obviously, Lamar [Jackson] trusted me to throw me the ball. I'm just trying to help this team."

(on his 13-yard touchdown catch from QB Lamar Jackson) "I just remember seeing him scramble out right and he was deep, and I felt like I was wide open. And he saw me, threw the ball, and it was an easy catch, easy touchdown. He threw a great ball there."

(on how upset he was when the officials first called his one-handed catch incomplete) "Well, I knew it was a catch. So, I was like, 'They better give me that dang catch, man.' (laughter) Yes, it was a good one."

(on if he noticed the Cleveland players celebrating the third interception with their fans) "No, I was just trying to fight for the ball. The first time, I tried to fight for the ball. The second time, I think you could see it. He didn't catch that ball. The ball came up, and I'm trying to fight for it, and they're coming over there trying to act like I'm trying to be excessive. But I'm just trying to get the ball, trying to play football. They wanted the ball, they wanted to go celebrate, but this is our field – [and] we got the 'dub' [win]."

(on having the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC) "We've just got to keep coming. We're in control of our own destiny, which is a beautiful thing, but we've got to get better. We've got to get better in every aspect, but we've got a bunch of fighters on this team. Like I said, we believe, we trust each other, and we're going to come each and every day to work, to get better, just trying to be the best team we can be. I think if we do that throughout these weeks – especially these divisional games – we're going to reap the benefits of that."

(on if he takes it upon himself to be a tone-setter) "Yes, I think everybody on this offense and this team is trying to set the tone. We're just trying to make plays. Obviously, it all leads to [No.] 8 [Lamar Jackson]. [No.] 8 does everything. He's the head honcho, and we're all just trying to play off him."

(on what QB Lamar Jackson says on the sideline when he's having a bad game) "Calm, cool and collected – that's who he is at all times. He's someone that's never going to get too down or high, or whatever it is. He's someone that you can look to, look at in the huddle, and it's like, 'Let's go, let's ride. We're about to go drive this ball.'"

(on if things have felt more difficult these past few weeks in terms of execution) "You see some of the drives we had today. I think we had a 17-play drive, and ended up getting three points. But we're driving the ball really well. I think this game was … I think there were some really, really good drives that we worked off of. It looked better than previous weeks. But, like I said, we had some real good drives on a lot of plays. But when we get down in there, we need to score."

CB Marlon Humphrey

(on the defense tonight) "It was good. 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh] said it best in the team meeting. He said, 'We're not perfect, but the good thing is, we're winning.' Today, [on] defense, we played really good ball. We kind of had a rough first half, but we've got to build on what we just did today. Shout out to the D-line and linebackers. We do these goals of the week, and my goal was to keep them under 80 yards rushing, and as soon as I said it, I was like, 'That might be pretty hard,' but we were able to do that against, I think, the best running back duo in the league and probably one of the best O-lines. So, [we were] really special up front, and the guys on the back end, we did our thing, as well."

(on how satisfying it was for the defense to come up with big stops) "Yes, it felt great. It's crazy, me and 'Co-Cap' [Anthony Levine Sr.] talk sometimes, and we're like, 'We're kind of spoiled sometimes having Lamar [Jackson] as our quarterback.' But our defense, we want to take pride in whether they can score at the end. When we [are on defense], all we've got to do is stop the team four times, [and] we want to take pride in being able to deliver. I remember C.J. [Mosley] got that pick back there against the Browns [Week 17 of 2018). And it's so special when you end the game on defense. Taking a knee is the best play in the game, but getting a fourth-down stop is right there next to it."

(on if the defense made stopping the run a point of emphasis) "The key was definitely to stop the run and kind of have our chances with Baker [Mayfield] and his weapons. We felt everything goes through their run game. Once they get their run game going, the play action comes. So, we felt if we could make them one dimensional, our best chance of winning would be that way."

(on if he was surprised that the Browns came out throwing) "I was a little surprised they came out throwing. I saw when they had [Rashard] Higgins and [Anthony] Schwartz inactive – I didn't expect that – so thought it would be much more [of a] running game. But yes, they came out throwing, and they had a couple open passes, so there are, of course, some things to clean up. But like I said, the run defense, the pass defense, we held up when we needed to hold up."

(on if it means something for the defense to step up when QB Lamar Jackson isn't playing his best) "Yes, for sure. I think it's pretty obvious that he's done some special things [and] won us a lot of games, sometimes, almost by himself. But the best quarterbacks … If you look at the Top 5 quarterbacks in the league, no one has a great game every time. So, for us to pick him up, it was just special – and to end the game on defense. We put up enough points anyway, with 'Tuck' [Justin Tucker]. 'Wink' [defensive coordinator Don Martindale] talks about, 'Protect each other,' and I felt like that's kind of what we did today."

(on OLB Tyus Bowser) "Man, it's been great to get drafted with him [in 2017], and it seems like these past two years he just all of a sudden went kind of crazy – kind of turned into that household name that we all kind of wanted to be when you first get drafted, and you want to stay with a certain team forever. Tyus [Bowser] has been doing great things. He was covering Jarvis Landry like a safety, so I was like … He's kind of one of those guys that's showing he can do it all, so wherever 'Wink' [defensive coordinator Don Martindale] puts him, wherever we decide to put him, I know he'll execute."

(on OLB Odafe Oweh's progression) "He's progressed well. I think early on, I didn't know about him, because he didn't talk that much, and then … It's so cool to see how guys are every day, and then when they get on the field, they turn into just a monster. So, for him, it's been crazy to kind of see him [click] that switch, which I think all the greats do. He had a forced fumble today. I hope he makes a couple more plays, and he's able to win Defensive Rookie of the Year."

QB Lamar Jackson

(on what the film study process will be like to correct the interceptions he threw) "Just watch film and critique myself like I always do. I'm hot, though. I threw four interceptions, three in the first half. I feel like those drives, when the interceptions came, we could've done something on those drives. We could've put points on the board. I just told my team, 'That's me. I owe y'all.'"

(on what it says about the team to win in a close game) "I mean, everybody would like to win in a blowout in the league. But we've been doing it all season; we've been having close games all season. Like Mark [Andrews] said, we control our own destiny. We just have to keep building, keep stacking [wins]. I feel like we're almost there. But like I said, I had those turnovers, too, so that slowed us down."

(on if there's a common denominator on the interceptions) "I mean, it's one game that it happened. They just made great plays on those interceptions. It wasn't like I was throwing it right to them; they were making diving interceptions. One of them I underthrew Mark [Andrews] - that could have been a better ball, for sure. They just made great plays."

(on how he shakes off the frustration from throwing interceptions) "Just move on. It'll still be on my mind, because I'll still be talking about it, but you have to move on – move on to the next job. When you get another opportunity, just go out there and try to be right there."

(on if there was miscommunication with TE Mark Andrews on his third interception) "Yes, that's me. That's me. I should've thrown it right to him."

(on the touchdown pass to TE Mark Andrews) "They went [Cover] Zero in the red zone. I dropped back. I was going to go to 'Duv' [Devin Duvernay], but [Denzel] Ward stopped back there, so I couldn't throw it to Duvernay. I got back, and I saw Mark [Andrews] like right in the middle. I was going to try to drive it to him, but Myles Garrett was right there in my face when I was throwing the ball. So, I couldn't really finish it. [Myles Garrett] hit my arm, but Mark made a great play coming back to the ball and then catching it in the end zone for a touchdown."

(on if that touchdown pass to TE Mark Andrews was the longest 13-yard pass he's ever thrown) "Probably, I don't know."

(on what it says about the team to overcome the turnovers and still win the game) "We're determined. We're determined. We know we want to win. We want to keep stacking [wins]. It's a hard division. We're in one of the tougher divisions, but we fight adversity. We do it all. There's been a lot going on throughout this whole season, and tonight was another part of it. We just have to keep on doing what we're doing, and we're going to click."

(on what DE Myles Garrett said to him after the touchdown pass to TE Mark Andrews) "He didn't really say nothing, he just shook his head. He was like, (shakes his head). He was just giving me props on the play, that's all."

(on if it means anything to have the best record in the AFC with six games left) "It's pretty cool, but we have to move on to the Steelers. There are six games left in the season; we have to keep winning. We have to keep playing, playing Ravens football."

(on how valuable it was for the defense to keep the offense in the game) "It was huge. That's a great offense led by a great quarterback. They have great receivers [and] running backs. Our defense just played lights out today. I hoped I could have put more points on the board for them instead of putting them out there with three interceptions and no points at all. I'm ticked off, but I told all those guys, 'Man, way to have my back. Way to have my back, because y'all deserved that. You played lights out.'"

(on how he felt after taking a few hits tonight) "I'm good. It was like a 'Welcome back,' for real. (laughter) I needed that, because I haven't been in action in a week. I really needed that, so I'm good."

ILB Patrick Queen

(on how he's feeling) "I'm good."

(on what happened on the play in which he got injured, but later returned) "I just tried to hit somebody that was a little bit bigger than me. (laughter)I took the effects of it, but that's football – it comes with it. So, I'm just happy that I'm still healthy. Thank God for that."

(on the defense's performance) "We just knew that it was a physical game, and it was going to come down to who wanted it more. So, that's what we preached the whole week, [and] that's what we preached before the game. We just came out, executed our plays, and everybody just did their job, one play at a time."

(on how it felt for the defense to deliver the finishing blow) "There have been weeks where it's one or two plays [when] we just couldn't capitalize on those, but this week, we did our job. We got the stops. We got the ball back to our offense, and they did their thing with it. So, it was just a team effort."

(on his performance tonight) "Just like I said, it was going to come down to who wanted it more. I wanted it. I wanted it bad. It's been weeks of stacking and stacking and just praying and grinding, just trying to be a better player – trying to be a better player for my teammates, so they can rely on me and count on me."

(on if the game has slowed down for him and if he's doing less thinking in recent weeks) "Yes, I'm just playing football at this point. I know the defense down pat. We get scouting reports, [and] we know what the offense likes to do, so we're just playing football at this point. See ball, get ball."

(on if he was close to not returning after his injury and how important he felt it was to get back out there) "No, I was going to return regardless. I was hurting, but my teammates, I felt like they needed me, and I wanted to be out there for them. If it would have taken my all, then that's what it was going to take."

(on if he feels more confident out there the last few weeks) "Yes, of course. Like I said, I'm just being me, playing football, seeing ball, getting ball."

(on how the defense approached this game without DE Calais Campbell) "Calais [Campbell] is a key piece to our defense, and we missed him out there, but we've got guys to step up and ball. Like you see on the rest of our team, if somebody goes down, somebody steps up. That's what we know; that's how we move. Just like I said all week, we preached it: Who wants it more?"

(on what it means to protect each other – the message CB Marlon Humphrey said defensive coordinator Don Martindale has preached) "Just being able to rely on somebody. Like, early in the season, me missing tackles, my teammates couldn't rely on me at that point, and I had to clean up my act. I wasn't protecting my teammates at that point, so I had to clean up my act. And now, it just comes with everything – just having your brother's back, no matter what it is. If he's on the ground, pick him up. If he's slacking, pick him up, talk to him, encourage him. Just every little, small thing about it [that's worth] picking somebody up about – that's what we preach."

OLB Tyus Bowser

(on having more success recently in getting to the quarterback) "I'm feeling good. I've just really been honing in on film study and being confident in myself a lot more than I used to. I'm just taking advantage of my reps. Whenever those reps come, and I'm driving, or I'm rushing, whatever it may be, I'm just trying to take advantage of it. I just go out there and try to make a play for the team, honestly. Overall, I feel like I've been playing well, but I've got to keep it going."

(on the pass rush group as a whole having some more success) "It's been great, man, especially with Justin [Houston] here and him being a veteran. That's a 100-sack-plus guy, and you've got to pay homage to a guy like that. With him just being the type of player he is, it's great for him to help us out, to try to help us be better as pass rushers. When we go out there, we're talking out on the practice fields, we're working on different things, talking about the gameplan or just looking over rushes with the tackles. Overall, it all just helps us go out there and play hard and fast. We talk amongst each other and just encourage one another to go out there and make a play and that we have each other's back."

(on this stretch of AFC North contests) "The most important thing is just taking advantage of these division games. We're always going to be put into crazy situations regardless, but we have the guys for it, we have the coaches for it, and we're confident in our team. We're just going to take it one week at a time, take advantage of the moment, do our jobs, and then whatever happens, happens. Overall, we're just ready."

RB Devonta Freeman

(on the Ravens' rushing offense) "It was a great opportunity for us to execute and show what we can do when we want to run the ball. We did it well at the end of the game when our number got called upon, we just executed."

(on the resilience heart and character of the team) "We've got a bunch of guys that just come out to work every single day, battling, fighting for each other and being consistent. At the end of the year, everybody is banged up, everybody is hurting, but we're all going out there fighting for each other every day."

(on the Ravens' defense stopping the Browns' top-ranked rushing attack) "Those guys on defense, they fight tough. We fight for each other as a whole group – offense, defense, special teams. To see them go out and do that versus that dominant run offense, it just speaks volumes about our defense."

OLB Odafe Oweh

(on how well the Ravens' defense played today) "We're just starting to get to come together. The crazy part is that's not even the best we can play. We're still missing people. We're still cleaning up the little things, but once we get that figured out, it's going to be light's out. I'm so proud of the defense. I'm so proud of how we played. I can't wait for the future."

(on his sack/forced fumble of WR Jarvis Landry) "Once I saw that they were doing that weird Wildcat formation, I knew I had to get off on the ball. So, I quickly tried to beat my man. Jarvis kind of flowed my way, but once he saw me, he scurried the other way, and that's when I chased him down, saw the ball and stripped it out."

DT Brandon Williams

(on returning to the field after missing the past few games) "It felt amazing to be back out there with the family. It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally back out here, and we got the win, so that makes it even better."

(on how the defensive unit stepped up tonight) "We're accountable for each other. We're a family. We make sure everybody is on the same page, and at the same time, make sure everybody is executing the right plays. This week was definitely about execution, about stopping the run, and definitely for me, it was about getting back out there with family. It was important to get back out with my team and prove that we can still go. I mean, allowing 40 yards rushing, it can't get any better than that."

(on if stopping the run was a point of emphasis this week) "Oh, definitely. Nick Chubb is a star running back and one of the best running backs in the league. We know that if he gets going, it could be a problem, so we definitely had to make sure we didn't let him get started."

(on the importance of this three-game stretch, beginning today, against AFC North opponents) "It's a three-headed monster. We've got one down, two to go, and we're onto Pittsburgh right now. Right now, we just need to be focused on our preparation for Pittsburgh."

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