Transcripts: POST-GAME NOTES and QUOTES - Chargers at Ravens 10/17/21

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Head Coach John Harbaugh 

(opening statement) "OK, I appreciate everybody being here. Just piggybacking off of what [the players] said, I think what Josh [Bynes] said was right; it was a team effort [and] team win. Complementary football was a great way to say it. Special teams with the big returns, defense just played lights out in every way, and offense moved the ball and put the points up. Really, still, all three phases feel like there are things that can be better at. So, I'm just proud of everybody. It's a great win for us against a really good football team, and we'll be looking forward to the next game here against Cincinnati. OK, what questions do you have?" 

(on if this game felt nicer after having multiple stressful games) "I wish I could say it was, but even seven minutes left, I was thinking, 'This thing is not put away yet.' I know you laugh about that and everything, but everyone on the sideline feels the same way. Maybe that's a good thing, because I don't think any of us felt like it was over until it was actually over. Well, [at] 2:08, it felt like it was over."  

(on what beating another first place team by 28 points says about this team) "I don't think it says anything long term. It just says that we had a really good day today, and we played the way we needed to play in this game today. Defensively, we wanted to do the best we could to put them in third-and-long, and we did a pretty good job of that. We knew it was going to be a four-down game, and we felt like if we could put them in a situation where it was a little bit tougher on fourth down than a fourth-and-one, then we have a chance to get a stop. If we got a stop, that would count as a turnover. So, we count those three stops as turnovers. That was our goal, really on defense, and our guys did a great job of it. [They] stopped the run, stopped the screen and stopped the controlled passing game as much as possible. Like you mentioned, tackling is a big part of that, and our team tackled really well. Just one last point, what Josh [Bynes] is talking about, there's not too many things in football that are fatal flaws. There's not too much that's terminal, but there are always going to be things cropping up that you have to address and deal with, and tackling has been one of the things on defense. It's not just tackling; it's things that lead into being not in a great position or whatever it might be, and you just keep working on them. You get them fixed, and you go on to the next thing that's going to come up. Our guys are patient that way, and they did a good job of it." 

(on how key it is to make teams one dimensional by stopping the run) "It's critical. Third-and-long is a lot better than third-and-medium and a lot better than third-and-short. So, if you can get them in third-and-medium or third-and-long, that's the goal, and you have to stop the run to do that." 

(on the team's decision to honor Mervo WR Elijah Gorham who passed away last week) "I'm not really up to speed on that as much as I should be right now. If you could ask me that question tomorrow, I haven't thought about that enough to give it justice, and I'd like to do that." 

(on if he believes today's performance raised some eyebrows around the league) "Yes, probably. That's OK with me; we like raising eyebrows in a good way. So, we're happy about that." 

(on what S DeShon Elliott brings to the defense) "He does bring a lot of energy. He's a veteran guy, and he does notch things up a little bit from an intensity standpoint. I feel like whenever you put a player in a position where he does well, it doesn't just add … He doesn't just add what he does. He puts everybody else kind of on a slot where they do better, too. That's what … I think great players make everybody else better. So, it kind of raised everybody else's game, too. It raised … Brandon [Stephens] played really well last week, but he played even better this game with DeShon [Elliott] in there, and the same thing for Chuck [Clark]. So, it's a great point." 

(on how happy he is for RB Devonta Freeman, RB Latavius Murray and RB Le'Veon Bell that they all had a touchdown and what they've brought to the team) "I'm very happy, and they've brought a lot. Those guys, they're veteran guys. And Ty'Son [Williams], I'll put in that category too, because he's not done yet by any stretch. He's developing, and he's learning from these guys, too. For these guys to come in, all of them in a place where they felt like they had something to prove, and they were sort of cast away [from other teams], just a little bit. For this opportunity to come up the way it did, God works in mysterious ways, and He brought them here. To see them do what they did today and what they're going to do for the rest of the season is a pretty cool story. I'm waiting … I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out." 

(on WR Rashod Bateman's performance in his NFL debut) "Really good, except for the last one. That's the one he'll probably learn the most from, but he was good. He made some key first-down catches. I liked that he caught it, put it away and got straight up field. It's a simple thing, but in the NFL, it's not an easy thing to learn, and he did a great job of that." 

(on what the Ravens' ability to dominate in the run game today and pass game on Monday against the Colts says about this team) "Well, I do feel like we can attack people different ways, for sure. That wasn't any different last week or the week before. It wasn't like we were questioning our ability to run the ball; it was more of an [if there was an] opportunity to do it. This game presented more of an opportunity to do it. We want to be able to attack people different ways. Believe me, there are plenty of things we can work on in all three phases, offensively included. So, we have to keep working on all of those things." 

(on if C Bradley Bozeman or RB Latavius Murray suffered serious injuries today) "I don't know how serious they are. I don't think they're overly serious, but I don't know to what degree." 

(on how significant it was for QB Lamar Jackson to set the record for most wins by a quarterback under the age of 25, surpassing Dan Marino) "Oh, that's the biggest one. Have people heard of that one? I know they say they haven't heard about all these records, but they have heard about that one, right?" (Reporter: "Right.") "Yes, that's the biggest one. That's the one that we're most... Probably, that's the one Lamar [Jackson] is the most proud of, and that's the one we're the most proud of, absolutely." 

(on how the Ravens' offense combatted the different looks from the Chargers' defense) "We understand they're a package defense. With their personnel packages, they run certain defenses. So, we just wanted to see what they put out there with our different groups. We had different plays that we wanted to run against them that we thought [worked] better against what they did. It's not like everybody else who came out and changed it up. They came out with a personnel group to start the game that they had never been in before, and they ran a couple movements that they hadn't run before like everybody else does. I give [offensive line coach] Joe D'Alessandris and the offensive coaches a great pat on the back, because they got on the sideline, we got a feel for what they were doing, they got the blocking schemes organized and just did a great job with it." 

QB Lamar Jackson 

(on what it says about the team beating the Chargers by four touchdowns) "We were locked in; we were focused. We were just hungry. We wanted it, and we came out with a victory." 

(on breaking QB Dan Marino's record of most wins by a quarterback under the age of 25) "It's pretty cool. I don't know what to say after that. It's cool." 

(on taking what the defense gave them) "There were a couple of plays I wish I could have back. But yes, I would say this is a game where we did some great things out there. But I wouldn't say this is the game … If anything, last week was the game we were taking what the defense gave us. But, I wouldn't say this was the game." 

(on his first interception to WR Rashod Bateman) "(sigh)I didn't even see the linebacker [Chargers Kyzir White]. I didn't see him. If I had seen him, you know I wasn't throwing that. I threw it right to him. It was a great pass to him. (laughter) I'm like, 'Dang!' It happens, it happens." 

(on WR Rashod Bateman's performance) "He looked pretty good for his first game back – his first NFL game. He was making tough catches, getting north, getting up field. He did great." 

(on having a subdued attitude after a big win like this) "It's a lot of season left. We just want to keep winning. Just keep it a game at a time. That's all." 

(on the performance of the running backs group) "All three got a touchdown. That was dope. They were hitting the holes hard. [The] offensive line gave them great holes to hit. And all three of them got a touchdown. That was dope. That was pretty cool." 

(on how the team's chemistry has grown) "Those guys have been doing a good job out there themselves. They want to get in … They don't want to get out there and be messing up plays or missing assignments, and stuff like that. Those guys [are] ready. They come to me and ask me questions. They be out there telling me certain stuff that I didn't know they knew. Those guys want to win, too. And you guys can see that out there." 

(on the last time he played against the Chargers) "I remember it, I remember that. (Reporter: Do you think about head coach John Harbaugh keeping you in that game?) "I appreciate coach [John Harbaugh] for that." (Reporter: Do you think it's made a difference in who you are?) "No, I'm always going to be me, regardless. I appreciate coach [John Harbaugh] for that – for sticking with me. My rookie debut, playoff game. Like [John Harbaugh] said, [we] started off slow, and [we] ran out of time. And they got a strip-sack to end that game. So, I definitely remember that." 

(on how exciting it was to see the defense perform the way they did) "I see them every day doing what they're doing – flying around and stuff like that. It was tremendous to watch those guys do what they do – what we all know they can do. We've just got to keep building – offense and defense and special teams." 

(on if breaking records matter to him) "We're on the road for something else. If it happens, it happens. If we break a record, it happens. But we want something else." 

(on if this felt like a vintage Ravens game) "You can say that, yes. It was pretty dope to have those guys running the ball, [to] have those guys hitting the holes [and] scoring touchdowns for us, [and] making our jobs a lot easier. But we can do it all – I feel like our offense can do it all, not just run the ball. It's not a one-dimensional offense. We can do it all right now." 

(on if the coaches ever tell you to pull back on tackling if you happen to turn the ball over) "Well, I did – you saw I missed [the tackle]. (laughter)I didn't know what he was going to do. I couldn't let him stiff-arm me. I missed the tackle. I was like, 'I have to play it safe.' We've got a lot of game left to play. But I don't like that though. We're not going to make that a habit though, because I need to make those tackles so we can stop them. We don't want to have them getting extra yards and stuff. But Coach [Harbaugh] didn't tell me nothing – just be safe." 

(on if a win like this says the Ravens are the best team in the AFC) "We don't want that name. We're good with where we're at. We don't need all that extra stuff coming with us. We're fine. You know how people have been saying about us? Keep the same view – because we know what we've got going on over here in this organization." 

(on if the defense was taking away the deep ball) "The guys were playing deep, and I didn't want to force nothing. I just threw a pick. I didn't force that [interception]. I feel like the coverage they were playing, everybody was just zoned out, and guys underneath were open. So, just take what they defense gives us." (Reporter: "So, you could tell they were definitely trying to take away the deep ball?") "They definitely did." 

S DeShon Elliott 

(on the pass defense today) "Great communication. We were playing as a team, playing together – as brothers. I love these guys in the locker room – offense and defense. I think we just went out there and played Ravens football, played the way we know we can play – every down, one play at a time, one series at a time – and handle the series of events." 

(on how he battled back from his quad injury) "God, [head certified athletic trainer] Ron [Medlin] and my PT [physical therapy] dude (laughter). It's a blessing, but without my guys [on defense] up front, I wouldn't be able to play the way I play – and my DBs and Chuck [Clark]. So, we're going to keep going, keep working, every week." 

(on how good it felt to get his first-career interception) (pulls down mask to show grin, laughter) "It felt great, man. [It's] a long time coming, long time coming. I was dealing with a lot of adversity last year – the last couple of years – so it's a blessing to finally get my first one. Hopefully, God blesses me with a lot more." 

(on how excited he was to get back on the field today) "After that concussion [vs. KC], I was like, 'Damn, I always do that.' After the concussion, I was trying to go out there and play, and then I went out there and strained my quad. You can only do what you can do. That's God's timing. Whenever you're ready to go, he's going to let you go, and I think he was finally like, 'All right DeShon, it's time to go out there and play.' So, he let me go out there and do what I can do, and I'm just happy to be back – back playing with my teammates."   

(on what he thinks today's victory says about this team) "We have a great team – offensively and defensively. When we play together, when we play as a band of brothers, we can be a very great team. Because that team over there is a great team – a great offense, great defense. I just feel like on this day, it's 'Any Given Sunday,' and we were the better team today." 

(on what he thinks the resonance of this victory around the league will be) "Shoot, I don't care what they say around the league. We're going to take this one game at a time, and whoever lines up against us, they're going to get all of it. They're going to get everything we bring to the table." 

(on the communications and what ILB Josh Bynes brings in that regard) "Josh [Bynes] is an 'OG.' We love all the guys we have on our team, but Josh came in and did what he had to do. I just feel like we prepared differently – we prepared a lot better – and we're just going to keep that work [ethic and] keep that going." 

(on if he felt they had QB Justin Herbert out of sorts after making a few early stops) "Shoot, I hope so. (laughter)But he's a great quarterback. He's young, but he's growing. I think he's going to be one of the perennial quarterbacks in this NFL for a great, long time. He has a great arm. He really is a prototypical quarterback. He's 6'7'' – dang near – and can launch the ball anywhere on the field. Once he keeps [it] going, he's going to be one of the best in the league." 

(on how much he enjoys blitzing and doing a lot of different things) "I actually love it. I love Coach 'Wink' [defensive coordinator Don Martindale] and his scheme. We do a lot of blitzing. Sometimes we'll be like, 'Dang, we're always blitzing,' but shoot, it worked. All of the guys, we love making plays, we love Coach 'Wink,' and we respect everything he does, and no matter what he calls, we're going to play it." 

(on how the defense was able to stop the Chargers on third and fourth down) "We knew we were going to be playing four downs. It wasn't going to be three-and-out and off the field; it was going to be four-and-out. And we were like, 'We need to create more turnovers [and] get them off the field.' [When] we get off the field, we can give Lamar [Jackson] and our offense a better chance, and so, that gives us a better chance to win the game."  

ILB Josh Bynes 

(on the keys to slowing down the Chargers' offense) "Just us taking it one play and one snap at a time. They're a great team, a really great organization. They've got great things going on. But for us, it's just definitely making sure we stop the run first, and then go from there and just take care of the things we need to take care of each and every play, and we did that today." 

(on what it's like to come back to Baltimore for his third stint with the Ravens) "I was here. I appreciate 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh] and the organization [for] bringing me back for the third time or whatever now. (laughter)And I appreciate it so much. I love this place. My heart is through-and-through purple. And no matter where I was at, I always tried to take things I learned here and take it to every place I've been, because the core values, and the things that this organization brings to the table are unmatched everywhere. You try to take those things everywhere, and sometimes it works – not sometimes; it really doesn't work out. But at least for me, myself, and how I take this game, and how I play this game, it's based on, literally, how I started here. I take this game, each and every day when I practice … Like I said, you can look back, even to my rookie year, I've treated this game [like] I was a starter, and I never looked at myself any different. Even when my name is not called, [or] when my name is ready to go, I'm always ready to go, because I took this game as serious as anybody else. I love this place, and I'm always glad to be back here." 

(on what's different about this year's Ravens) "I can go on and on about it, but just as far as the work ethic, what it takes to really buy in with each other. When you're out there on the field, and you're battle-tested and really know how to stick side by side. As you've seen throughout the first six games, we've been battle-tested, we've been down, but this team knows how to stay together. Even the year we won the Super Bowl (2012), we started off 9-2, and we had a tough time, [losing] four-of-five. The last four out of five games, I think we [lost] that year, and of course, people were talking about us then. Even two years ago (2019) when I came back, we were 2-2, but I felt like we were 0-4 – the way everybody else made it seem – and I said it then – I was like, 'This team is different.' We were going to pull through when we needed to pull through, and then we went from 2-2 to win 12 straight games. So, this team is just built differently, entirely, from top down; from the owner, GM, head coach, all the way down to the equipment manager – you name it – everybody in the organization. And everybody has been here: [senior vice president of communications] Chad [Steele] – name everybody – [vice president of security] Craig [Singleterry], 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh]. Everybody that's been here since 2011, since I came in as a rookie, is still here. And that's because it's been built the right way, and they believed the right way, and that's why I love this organization." 

(on what he's learned in Baltimore that he's tried to bring to other places) "This year's team … Every year is going to be a different team – that's just the game of football. Every year, it's a different team. You have to find the things to put it together, to make it work, and then hit your stride and keep going, and that's just what it is. Every team, no matter what team I've been on, has just always been different." 

(on if this felt like a "vintage" Ravens win, where the team dominated on defense and special teams and was able to set the tone with the run game) "Yes, I think this was probably one of the … This is definitely the first game this season where we played complementary football [in] all three phases – special teams, offense, defense – where everybody did their job. We put up points, and we kept them out of it, and it's a great thing to see. Those things happen in this league, and we definitely appreciate these kinds of games, especially [with] what we've been through these last several weeks. So, it's good to get a win like this, where everybody does their job and does what they're supposed to do – make plays. And even afterwards, we've still got to find ways to continue to get better." 

(on if he thought the team tackled well today) "I think everybody made the tackles they needed to make. And like I said, it's a long season. There's going to be something about each and every [game] – that's what makes them so special. At the end of the day, like I told the guys, 'One play and one series at a time.' Does that mean nobody is going to miss a tackle? I've been playing for 11 years; I'm pretty sure [in] every game there is a missed tackle – at least one. If there's not, I don't know who is keeping the stats. But at the same time, don't let those [missed tackles] get in the way of the next play."  

(on if he knew he was going to have a bigger role today) "We talked about some things during the week, and it just led to what it led to today. And me being out there with 'PQ' [Patrick Queen], it was just great. I love this game, and I love being a guy being accounted for out there on the field for my guys. I'm just happy to be out there with my teammates." 

RB Devonta Freeman 

(on how meaningful this game was to him) "Every game is the most important game. The next game is always the most important game for me. [I'm] always excited and happy to be out there and get the chance to compete. When we get a chance to win as a whole, that's the most important thing, because that's the main goal - just try to get a win." 

(on what it's like to be in the running back room with RB Le'Veon Bell and RB Latavius Murray) "I think it's a good thing. It's a lot of information. You learn. I learn from all of the guys and stuff, even our younger guys. For me, I'm a sponge. So, I get to learn from another two great running backs, Pro Bowlers. So, for me, I just take that, roll with it, see what I can learn from them and try to get better every week." 

(on what he's seeing from QB Lamar Jackson) "Just attention to the details, Lamar [Jackson's] 'want-to.' [He] wants to be great every single day, every play, [and] his competitive nature, just all of that is there. So, the sky is the limit for him. It's just … The sky is the limit for him." 

(on how different the Ravens' culture is compared to other teams he has been on) "Yes, there's definitely a huge team chemistry here. All the guys bond with each other, [and] everybody knows each other. Around the locker room, all the guys bond and are playing around and communicating. The teams that I've been on that took it all the way, from college to high school and the Super Bowl when I went, we were really tight and really close. That's what we're going to need to win every game in this league and to get to that next level – just all being for each other and fighting for each other."  

(on if he felt like he had something to prove to the rest of the league) "I don't feel like I want to prove nothing to nobody. I'm just trying to work and get better and take my game to the next level. Just continue to push myself and see what heights I can reach. I'm just going for that every single day. I'm still able to do what I do. I play football. That's a dream come true, always, especially in the NFL. So, for me, I'm just excited to be out there. I'm just writing the book." 

(on how the offense set the tone of the game with their first drive) "For me, just understanding how the NFL works, it's important to start fast. We really started fast, and it starts with the offensive linemen. Those guys do a tremendous job every single day, and it starts with them. So, when they're clicking on all cylinders, we're able to do our jobs. So, that's what makes it a lot easier for us." 

(on if it's meaningful that the team has won games in different ways) "When you're in the NFL, it's hard to get a win, period. I've been on both sides, where I've had winning seasons, and I've had losing seasons. I'm at a point in my life, in my career, where every win is a win, and I'm accepting of all of them. It's a beautiful thing to get a win. It doesn't matter how they come – easy, hard, [by] one point [or] overtime – it doesn't even matter. I'm just happy to get a win and come out with a win. We're successful as a team, so that's all that matters." 

(on if he has a read on how good this team is) "We have a long way to go, and I feel like that's the scary part about this team. We're still reaching super, super heights that haven't been reached on this team yet. We have a bunch of guys coming in that are just coming in to work every single day. We all know there's room for improvement, so we're going for that every single day. We're going to put this win behind us and move onto Cincinnati and try to get into the details, make some corrections, get better and be better than we were today." 

(on if the running back room is getting more familiar with the system, and if they can take it to another level as the season progresses) "Oh, yes. You can … We, as a whole, in the running back room, can take it to another level. We've been doing a whole bunch of learning and stuff, and sometimes, when you're unfamiliar with different offenses and terminology, it causes you to play a little slower. But we're in the NFL, and it's a fast business, so, they're expecting us to know it. We have to come in and execute whenever our number is called. We're growing in the offense, and we're learning. We have a lot more to go and a lot more to learn. I'm looking forward to that every day." 

TE Mark Andrews

(on today's effort offensively) "It was just a great team win. I think you saw the versatility being able to throw the ball, and then our offensive line being real gritty guys and the running backs making plays. To be a balanced team, that can be hard to stop." 

(on Baltimore's newest running backs – Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman and Le'Veon Bell – each scoring touchdowns and what they mean to this offense) "They're grinding, man. They're working hard, and the way they play, they play with passion and heart. Those are the types of running backs you want on your team."

(on playing a divisional opponent in Cincinnati next week) "The division games are always big, always tough. We know this is going to be a big game for us heading into the Bye Week – just one more game [before the Bye], so we've got to lock it in. It's going to be a big game. We're excited to be back at 'The Bank' again; the fans have been electric, and they've been showing up. The Flock is second to none." 

CB Marlon Humphrey

(on the defensive effort today) "I think it was really good. In the defensive room, we've been trying to play four full quarters. There have been many games where we flashed for a quarter, flashed for two quarters, but not four full quarters. So, it's always been those one or two quarters where we played the way we wanted, but today we just put it all together, and we played as a team. This week, we talked on bringing more energy, playing together as one – not one guy making a tackle, two guys making a tackle, angles. It was just the fundamental basics, and I feel like we were getting back to Ravens' defense that the Ravens are known for."

(on if it was important for the defensive unit to have a strong showing) "That's always the emphasis, but we weren't making that the main focus. The main focus was playing together, because a lot of the tackles we were missing was because everybody was thinking, 'I've got to make this tackle.' As opposed to, 'I'm going to try to make this tackle, and I know I've got somebody there with me.' So, a lot of tackles are made knowing your angle and knowing where your help is. We just tried to focus on where our help was, playing the defense and playing together."

(on the first AFC North division matchup against Cincinnati next week) "Really big. The Bengals, they're looking pretty good, so we're excited to get those division games going. You can only get so far unless you win the division, so it's a really big game. We'll enjoy this one, but we'll get focused on the next one pretty quickly." 

WR Rashod Bateman

(on playing in his first NFL game) "It was an incredible, fun experience. The Ravens Flock made the atmosphere special, but I think my teammates made it more special. They've always had my back through it all, and because of them, I was comfortable and was able to go out and perform. It was fun."

(on the offensive effort today) "I just think we showed ourselves and the rest of the world what we're capable of. We've just got to continue to go to work every day and continue to get the job done." 

(on playing in his first game with QB Lamar Jackson and how it felt different than practicing with him) "I don't even know how to put that into words to be honest, because I've looked up to him even before I got to college, and while he was in college. It was definitely an honor going out there and playing alongside him, and I'm looking forward to it for some time to come."

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