Opening statement:"I do have a couple of announcements to make that you'll need to know going forward: Chris Canty update – Chris Canty had an infection in his wrist through his thumb that swelled up on him last week. They didn't know what it was. They took about three days. They thought it might be the gout, [but] it turned out to be an infection. We found out on Friday. He had to have a surgery on it, and he's in the hospital through the weekend. He's out maybe today, but he's going to be a couple weeks with that. That takes a while, so that's Chris' update. Asa Jackson has a very severely sprained toe that is going to be a number of weeks, so he's in a walking boot. He will probably go on [the Injured Reserve] Designated to Return List. [Ravens general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] will decide that. I'm pretty sure that will happen, but again, until it happens – something might change – that's where we're at with that right now. We're looking at our corner options there. 'K.O.' [Kelechi Osemele] is OK. He had a bruise. It turned out to be a bruise from hyperextension a little bit, but he played the rest of the game. He's sore, but he looks OK. And Matt Elam had a contusion on his shoulder. He's a tough guy that played the rest of the way. He should be OK.
"As far as the game goes, the way we fought throughout the game was good. We never really got into a rhythm or a flow, but we fought through it. And we had a chance to win the game at the end like we do a lot of times. You have to appreciate the way our guys fight and compete. I'm proud of them – coaches and players. I love the way we fight. We can play not as well as we can play and still be in a game like that in a hostile environment against a very good football team that is playing well, and still have a chance to win the game at the end by making a play or two. In the end, we didn't make enough plays on either side of the ball, and especially offensively. We're capable of making a lot more plays than we did, and we need to make more plays to win those games. Defensively we did a really good job. We didn't give up anything over the top. Our safeties really improved [and the] corners really improved [by] keeping the ball in front [and] inside. When they did complete passes, we tackled them. We had a chance for some interceptions. Those are the things you want to start seeing now. Let's catch the ball back there when they throw it up like that, and we can do that. I was pleased with that part of it. [Our] red zone [defense] was really good, except still, the two plays they got – we can defend those two plays. They kind of grabbed [Elvis] Dumervil when he ran by them there, which was disappointing, but you can't let a quarterback run into the end zone. And then he had a little crossing route, pick route on us there, which we've defended many times before. But the turnover at the end of the game by Matt Elam was really something that needs to be addressed. They did a great job of driving the ball down the field. They made a couple plays – one was pretty lucky, as far as the one third-down conversion there on the seven-route when they had the two guys standing next to each other, but that's what good offenses do. They made some other really good plays, and we made some good plays, too. And then we came up with the turnover at the end, which gave us a chance to win it. The last point is if you look at the National Football League and you look at the week-to-week nature of what we do, it's been documented a lot, whether it was other teams … You lose a game, and all of the sudden everybody is asking all kinds of lifetime questions about the season. Where do we stand? Well, we stand at 3-2. We stand with an opportunity to go down to Tampa Bay and play a very good team that is up-and-coming in the last two weeks, and it's going to be a big challenge for us down there. We have to figure out how to go play those guys. We have to turn the heat up in our indoor building. We have to acclimate ourselves. We have to go down there and play in the heat, and we have to get ready for a 4-3 attacking, penetrating defense, and a powerful run game – a traditional, come-at-you-type offense with a good, young quarterback. That's where we're at – it's week-to-week. We need to bounce back and be at our best next week."
**To continue with S Matt Elam, first of all, when you say he had been pressing before Indy, would you say Indy was one of his better efforts of the season? *(Joe Platania) *"First part, I really don't know. [Matt Elam] wants to be good. He didn't play as well as he could; that's kind of what you're saying. And I think he does press to be as best he can be. Matt has a lot of pride. Matt wants to be a great player. Matt feels a lot of pressure to do that, which is a good thing. He played very well in this game. He played very well against Pittsburgh, too, though, if you think about it. Those are the kinds of things, [where] you get more and more good performances, and pretty soon, you stack a little bit of a history, and you become a good player. And that's where Matt is headed."
**After looking at the game tape, you always have a chance with hindsight. The fourth down call in the second quarter, the decision to go for it, not kick the field goal … Still comfortable with that decision-making? *(Jerry Coleman) *"I am. Heck, I want to convert those, and I'm not real happy with where we're at with our third-and fourth-down short-conversion rate. We have to get better at that. That's the biggest thing; it's the execution more than anything. [The media has] asked me the question before. You go back and say, 'Well, if we had lost the game by three,' … You, I say, anybody … I would have been doing the same thing. [You say], 'Well, if you had kicked the field goal there, you would have tied the game.' Well, it turned out we needed a touchdown. So, maybe in hindsight that was the right decision to go for it, because I felt like it was going to be somewhat of a high-scoring game, but it didn't turn out to be as high scoring, maybe, as we thought, because we kept them out of the end zone. But it wasn't the wrong thing to go for it. The wrong thing is not getting it, and we need to convert those. But in the future, we don't know we'll always go for it in the future. We may kick it in the future. Certainly not making it starts to make me think we ought to kick a few more of them. I have to be honest about that. So, you earn the right to go for those, and our offense is determined to make those. And we need to earn the right to go for more of those."
John, how would you assess the play of the offensive line – brilliant against Carolina, did give up four sacks [Sunday]. Was it Indy, or was it some lapses on the O-line? (David Ginsburg) "There were no lapses. We had, I think we had one, or two … We had one where we got overwhelmed a little bit technique-wise. We had another one where we had back footwork up front. We had another one where we had a miscommunication on check-with-me where some of the guys were on a different play. And then we had the one on the goal line, which was a corner blitz where we really weren't able to account for that with that play we had called. So, I don't think it's like the sky is falling by any stretch of the imagination; it was just the way it went. We have to do better."
John, early on I think, especially [on] first down, I think [the] first three drives you came out throwing the ball. Was that part of the game plan, or maybe in hindsight do you think, maybe, looking back you could have run the ball a little bit more? (Jamison Hensley) "You can't run the ball too much when you don't get many plays. That's what it really boils down to. So, we came out, and we threw [the ball] the first three times, I think, down the script. Now we might have had some third downs in there where we threw it, or it may end up [being] four or five times, but that was the plan, to get [the Colts' defense] running, get them moving, keep them off balance. We had some misdirection, we had boots, we had screens. You get a defense like that running a little bit, and you try to tire them out, and then you run at them. They're a big, physical defense, so you can come out and pound it in there early, and we do that. But we wanted to stretch them out, and get them moving a little bit laterally, get them chasing us a little bit, and then run at them. So, [it] couldn't have worked out any worse for us in the first two plays, but then we come back, and we convert. But the biggest problem we had is not the number of runs, or anything like that – it's not converting. When you go 1-for-11 on third down, and you turn the ball over – which is what we did in the first half – that combination of not converting on third down and turning the ball over means you don't get very many plays. We turned the ball over the first play of the drive, and then we hand them a dropped punt, so it takes away a series there. So, it's kind of hard to get a lot of runs under your belt when you don't have very many plays under your belt. So, that's what we need to do. And we knew we needed to keep that defense on the field. The bottom line is we let [the Colts] play the way they want to play and the way they have played. They've kept the ball on the field offensively, and they've gotten off the field defensively, and they did it again in our game, and that was the one thing we didn't want to have happen. And we weren't good enough to make it happen our way."
With the running game, with RB Bernard Pierce back, how does that change things in the backfield, and do you like the [running back] with the hot hand or going with the backfield by committee – do you like riding that hot hand, or is that a spot where you want one guy to step up and be the guy? (Garrett Downing) "I don't really care. It doesn't matter. I just want to get yards. I want us to be averaging right around 5 yards, or close to 4.5 to 5 yards a carry. Five yards a carry would pretty much lead the league. Let's be between 4 and 5 yards a carry – closer to 5 if we can, because we're running it that well. To do that, we have to rip off some long runs, and let's be good with three different guys. That's what we need to do. So, we'll roll those guys in there. I'd like to see Bernard [Pierce] get a few more snaps. I'd like to see Lorenzo [Taliaferro] get a few more snaps. It would sure help if we got a few more snaps. If we get more snaps, then everybody is going to get more chances, and that's what we have to do. Again, you earn the right to run more plays on offense, and we need to earn that right by executing."
John, talk a little bit about LB C.J. Mosley, who had another phenomenal game yesterday, and how he has progressed since he has become a Raven in the NFL? (Bill West) "C.J. [Mosley] played well. He had 18 tackles. He had three screens out there where he made the tackles pretty much single-handedly. The posse was coming, but he was the guy there and weaved through blockers and made tackles. He tipped passes. He had [QB hits]. C.J. is playing really, really well, and there [are] still many things he can improve on. It's week-to-week. Again, you can play really well one week and come back the next week and not play so well. But the thing I love about C.J. Mosley is he understands that. He's not a guy that's going to sit there and say, 'OK, I had a couple good games, and I've arrived.' He's going to want to stack that success and build a body of work up behind him. And that's probably why he's as good as he is right now. That's how he looks at it."
John, have you seen progress from S Terrence Brooks? I think that's the most he has played, and it seemed like he was around the ball more? (Aaron Wilson) "Terrence [Brooks] is really coming on. You're right, he's really getting around the ball. He's playing deep, and he's playing short really well – equally well. [It is] what we envisioned when we drafted him. So, you play well, you earn more time, and he's doing that."
*With the safety position, S Will Hill has seven more days on his suspension. How much can Will possibly give you a boost with the kind of player he is? (Aaron Wilson) *"We're looking forward to getting Will [Hill] back. And then we'll have to eyeball him and see how he looks. That's part of the opportunity there for a week to determine how a player looks coming off suspension. He has been in every meeting. He's very sharp – a football guy. He's very determined to make good, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he takes advantage of this opportunity. He's a good player, and I think he can help us."
John, WR Torrey Smith has been pretty hard on himself not making as many plays as he had hoped. How much of a focus is [it] to get him going and how concerned are you about him seemingly being a little off? He has drawn a lot of penalties. (Jeff Zrebiec) "[There is] no harsher critic of Torrey [Smith] than Torrey, and that's maybe too much. He's very conscientious, very hard worker, really wants to do well. And we need him to do well, and we want him to do well, too. So, it is a focus to get Torrey going, and we're going to be working to do that. I'm very confident we can get that done. [If] we get Torrey going, that's going to be a big plus for us. But you're right, he's drawing a lot of penalties, drew another one. [He] had a couple plays in this game, and had a couple more I'm sure he wants to make."
John, you touched upon it at the beginning about the secondary not getting interceptions. Is there anything you guys can do as coaches to help that along? And when you're watching film, how close are the defensive backs to getting those interceptions? (Jamison Hensley) "There were three in this game, and you know the ones I'm talking about. Those were opportunities right there that maybe if someone just sees the ball [or] it falls the right way for us, [it would result in more interceptions]. I'm really confident that it's going to happen. It's progress, maybe a little bit. You start playing a little better [and] a little more confident. You're not chasing routes as much. We're getting there. That's really the measuring stick in the end. It's not just about playing solid football. That's expected in this league. It's about playing solid football and being able to make plays through your technique and through your responsibility. You don't run out of your [area of] responsibility to make plays, unless you're Ed Reed and you really know what you're doing. At some point, maybe a guy like that gets that leeway. He was probably the greatest ever at doing that. [You have to] play through your responsibility and make plays when they present themselves. That's what separates players, and that's what gives them a chance to play more and make a career for themselves. We're looking for guys to do that."
John, having a chance to see the tape, how did you think CB/RS Lardarius Webb played? [Was it] encouraging to see him play over 40 snaps, especially now with CB/RS Asa Jackson's injury? (Luke Jones) "[It's] very encouraging. It was good. We've been pushing it hard. We talked about it last week, and I didn't know exactly how it was going to go. He looked better in practice, went out there and played pretty darn well. It's only going to get better. He's only going to improve physically. He knows how to play. He's not there – he's not 100 percent – but he's on his way. I was happy with it."
John, with the injury news you said earlier in this, are you OK with the defensive line depth, [or is] cornerback depth more of the thing that you guys are looking at right now? Are you happy with how the guys have filled in on the defensive line for DE Chris Canty? (Jeff Zrebiec) "We have numbers on the defensive line right now. We had a couple good pickups here it looks like. Both of those two young guys – [Christo] Bilukidi and [Lawrence] Guy – [are numbers] 67 and 68 in your programs – guys that our fans are getting to know played well. They did, they played well. They fit our system really well. [They are] physical guys, they play hard, they use their hands [and] they get off blocks, and with [Ravens defensive line coach] Clarence Brooks teaching them, they're only going to get better. That's very promising. We're going to be OK up front. I know we are."
Hey John, when it comes to Tampa, I don't know how much of a factor the crowd noise will be compared to the heat maybe, as opposed to yesterday when the heat wasn't a factor and the crowd noise may have been? Is that the way you see it? (Jerry Coleman) "I haven't thought about that. [I would say] the heat, definitely, as a comparison. Crowd noise is going to be a factor anywhere, but when you play in a dome, especially when they close the roof in the second half … I didn't know you could do that, but they did it. Did it rain after they closed the roof?"
They said a report of rain was coming in. (Aaron Wilson) "Oh."
Can you file a protest? (Jerry Coleman) "Nahhh, we don't care. [It] didn't matter. (laughter) It was warmer in there after that. It was kind of chilly before they closed it. Every stadium is different. Every stadium presents a different challenge to you. And we've been down to [Tampa Bay]. We went down there in the preseason last year, so we know our way around there a little bit. We're looking forward to it. It's a tough place to play. The cannons are loud – very loud. (laughter) It's our job to keep them from shooting it."
Former NFL referee Mike Carey said that he thought you guys should've won that challenge. Have you guys had a chance to look at [other] angles of that [play]? (Aaron Wilson) "We have."
Any thoughts on the … (Aaron Wilson) "Mike Carey is very, very adroit, and I would agree with Mike Carey. Mike Carey is really good at what he does. I thought so. To me, it was clear. That's why we challenged it."
John, were you happy with the pressure you got on Colts QB Andrew Luck? And generally speaking, [regarding] your pass rush, are you pleased with, week-in and week-out, the pressure you're getting on quarterbacks? (Clifton Brown) "Yes, we are. I want more sacks. We want more sacks. Andrew Luck is a tough guy to sack, mostly because of Andrew Luck. We knocked him down 15 times, so that's good. But he makes plays a lot of the time when you knock him down, so give him a lot of credit. The quarterback rating was probably his lowest, so we feel good about that. Yet he made some plays on us that we wish he hadn't made or we would've liked to have defended a little bit better. Our guys are rushing the passer hard and we got to him quite a bit. But we're looking for more ways to do that – more pressures we can bring [and] the more things we can do to get him to hold the ball. Those are things that we can do. Pressuring Andrew Luck, statistically, is not really the smartest thing in the world. To bring pressure on him every snap … If you look at the numbers, he has a lot of success against pressure. We tried to pick our spots in this game. We were [at approximately] 20 percent in this game. And the ones that we did use, it got some pressure, but we also got pressure with a four-man rush. I felt good about hitting him 15 times, but [it was] not good enough. We didn't get the sacks that we would've liked to have gotten."
On the other side, how do you think QB Joe Flacco handled pressure? (Todd Karpovich) "Joe handled the pressure really well. There are always some hot throws in there that can be made, but it really depends on the route sometimes that's called – how easy or difficult that is to get the ball to where it's going to go. We're a hot team in a lot of ways. We mix protections and we do some great stuff like that, and we just didn't burn them enough. We didn't hurt them enough. They didn't pressure us much. They didn't pressure us much at all until the eight-minute mark in the fourth quarter, as far as blitzes. They were not blitzing us – hardly at all. They were playing their standard base defense for the most part. They had a few third-down pressures in the first half, and that's about it. They brought some pressure early in the second half. They hit us with a heavy pressure off of our right side that hurt us. That was just a great call by them – they guessed right. But Joe made some great scramble plays, too, where he got away from the pressure and got the ball downfield once or twice. One almost won the game or tied the game right at the end there with an incredible play he made when they brought an all-out blitz. He had nowhere to go, and he just beat the pressure and got out and created a play. Joe being able to do that is a really big asset for us. He's way more mobile than people want to give him credit for. He's way more able to extend plays than people want to think. He's going to make tons of plays this year out of the pocket moving around. He just is. I like it when people pressure us, but we also have to beat man coverage. We have to make plays against that stuff. Until you do that regularly, you're going to invite pressure."
John, [on] the muff with WR/RS Jacoby Jones, [it] looked like he was trying to get away from it, but just did not decisively do that early enough. (Aaron Wilson) "Exactly. He got a late start on it. That was really the ball we were looking for on that call. If we go catch that ball, it might score. That's the thing that Jacoby just is kicking himself about. He must not have seen it come off [Pat McAfee's] foot, because he just got a late start. And then he got in that no-man's land and tried to do the smart thing and the safe thing to get away from it, and he was just too close to it."