HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH (Transcribed by ASAP Sports)
"Great to see everybody. Really, really big victory for us in September. You know, these September victories, like I told the guys, they count in December, and a win like this is a big win, and very much valued against a very good football team, a well-coached football team on the road. So we're very proud of this one. I thought our guys kind of ground it out. That was the kind of game it was against a very physical, tough football team. Nine different players caught passes. Third down battle was tough. We were 5-of-13. They were 3-of-9. That was big. Probably one of the big differences was 14 points off turnovers, no question about it. We finished the game strong, but both teams were holding on to the ball in the second half. How many possessions were there. It wasn't very many. I thought our guys holding on to the ball was a big part of the game, too. And lastly, just a disappointing thing for a guy that we love, we care about and he's been through so much already, and we know he'll tackle this challenge as well, is Tavon Young, who I think he's got a season-ending knee injury the way it looks right now. So we're very disappointed about that, but we love him and we'll be there with him all the way through the next challenge that he's going to have to face. OK, what questions do you have?"
How impressed have you been especially with this defense not only holding teams to 21 points or less for a long stretch but creating those turnovers as well?
"Right. That's the thing. We've got a bunch of guys that they call themselves dogs, I think, and I'd probably have to agree with them. These guys love to play. They can't wait to get back to work. They know who's next, and they can't wait to go to work and just prepare, and they feel that week about every opponent. They love ball. They love playing a certain style of football that they believe in. I think it defines them and us and I'm proud of those guys."
Coach, could you take us through the fourth-and-1 play with RB Mark Ingram II and the surprise there maybe for you and how that developed?
"Right. That's something that we've been practicing for many weeks now, something that the offensive coaches led by Greg Roman came up with. We've gotten a lot of reps on it, and of course Mark executed it really well as far as setting up the scheme itself in terms of his angles. And then the offensive line and tight ends just blocked it great. It's a critical play. It's something we had been preparing for that kind of situation. I give Greg and the offensive coaches and the players, the guys who executed it, all the credit. They're the ones that made it happen, and that was big. It was a big play in the game. It was the turning point in the game. Gave us a little breathing space and I'm proud of them for that."
Did you feel like this victory was sort of a testament to the fact that your team can win in a lot of different ways?
"You know, I haven't thought about it so much in terms of – we're just trying to win. We're trying to figure out every way we can to win and whatever tools are at your disposal, some things were working that we thought might and there was a lot of things that weren't working in this game because they took them away. I thought Anthony Weaver did a really nice job defensively with their game plan. He had a really creative plan and some different things for us and their guys were playing very disciplined, tackling well. Those were challenges that we were faced with. Ultimately overcame them but, it was not easy by any stretch."
How satisfying, especially this early in the season when we talk a lot about conditioning and physicality, to see you guys kind of grind out -- I think you had the ball for like nine something minutes in the fourth quarter and just to kind of close the game like you closed so many games last year?
"That was really big. That's something that we think is really important, our style of football. It's something that you need to work on. You need to build into that, and we've been doing that. So if you look at the second half, really your point is such a valid point for the whole second half. We came out, had a long drive. I think it ended up in a field goal. They came back with a long drive that ended up in a field goal. I think we got a stop and then we had a chance to have our long drive. That was that kind of game. Those are the kind of situations that call for that. I think our guys did a nice job with that early in the season, as you said."
When you look at your team, I guess the goal is to get better every week and you guys ran the ball much better, had four sacks, three turnovers. Are you happy with the progress from Week 1 to Week 2?
"Yes. Our guys, we talked a lot about that, the week one to week two progress probably this year was going to be more important than any season because we didn't have the preseason. And our guys, man, they believe and they understand fundamental football, situational football. So now we've got to get better between Week 2 and Week 3 for the next challenge."
I know you called a fourth down direct snap but the next drive when you had the sneak, what went into that thought process? Was that a math thing or a gut thing or what was that?
"That was, what, maybe three- or four-inch thing. It was that close and we just felt like we could get it with that short. They were lined up in there to stop the sneak. They knew what was coming. I don't think it was tricking anybody. It was just our offensive line getting the push, Lamar being determined to get it. I think that was all just grit and guts to get that one."
In a league where defending the pass is so important, can you talk about having the two corners like CB Marlon Humphrey and CB Marcus Peters, not only guys who can cover but make turnovers to create plays like they did today?
"Right. L.J. (Fort) and Marlon making that play was really the momentum turner in the game in so many ways. It kind of got us going, jump started us. Then Marcus Peters coming back with just really, Marcus Peters-type of interception. I mean, it's the kind of interception that really only he can make. You can't coach that what he saw there and how he handled that play. So he broke us. The first two guys got a game ball and Marcus broke the huddle in the locker room for those plays. That was pretty remarkable, pretty amazing and made a big difference in the game."
What can you say about your run game today? 230 yards and you really spread the wealth there with really everybody getting involved.
"Yeah. That's right. We did the game balls. We gave it to the running backs. And the offensive line I thought really kind of built into it as the game went along but the running backs were grinding out yards. They were getting extra yards on most every carry. They were breaking tackles. How about the J.K. (Dobbins) at the end to break that tackle. The J.K. to break the tackle on the third down earlier on the pass catch. They deserve a lot of credit for that, you're right."
DE CALAIS CAMPBELL (Transcribed by ASAP Sports)
I know you're kind of new to the Ravens defense this year, but in just even when you're practicing with the team, do you get a sense of how focused they are as far as setting tempo and creating turnovers?
"Most definitely. We practice it every day. We have a lot of guys, as coach says we call ourselves dogs. A lot of dogs that love to play football, love to hunt. Love to go out there and compete. It's fun to be part of it. It's a special room, special team and we've just got to keep it going. One day at a time."
What does it do for you as a defensive player when you're watching your offense take the ball already with a ten-point lead and drive it almost nine minutes to start the third quarter?
"I love it. I love to see that kind of stuff. I mean, our team, we haven't played our best ball yet. We have a lot of room for improvement but we go out there and find a way to grind out and make things happen and as a defensive player watching the offense take a nine minute drive and add to the lead, you can't ask for anything better than that. That's ideal. It's just fun playing with this team."
When you were standing there on the sideline for that direct snap, did you know what's happening? What's it like to see QB Lamar Jackson lined up all the way at wide receiver?
"I've been a competitor against a lot of teams that have done something similar to that wildcat type of feel. Honestly you have to guard him because he's a special talent, but I love the play call. I love the vision Mark (Ingram II) had. He made the cut and just got downhill. Love seeing that we go for it on fourth-and-1. Fourth-and-1 is such an underrated down and distance. When you get a stop, you change momentum or when you get the first down it really changes momentum. We had a big stop on fourth down early in the game, which gave us some momentum going forward. And our offense, man, two big ones that came up real huge for us to win this game."
Your thoughts on the Texans going for it on fourth-and-1 early in the game. You guys got the stop deep in their territory. How big of a boost do you feel like that gave you guys?
"It was a huge boost. I didn't really expect that to happen, but it makes sense. We did the same thing late in the game, fourth-and-1, your mentality is let's go out and tackle, be aggressive and let's find a way to win the ballgame. And on defense we love that challenge. When somebody goes for it on fourth-and-1 they're pretty much tell you we think we're better than you in this situation so we definitely want to go out there and win those matchups. That's the first one we got. I'm sure we'll get a lot more going forward in this season."
Could you feel you guys were sucking the life out of QB Deshaun Watson. He looked so dejected on the sideline.
"He's a true competitor. He went out there and competed, play in and play out, made a lot of plays to give his team a chance to win. But we have a lot of guys who are true competitors, too, and we just kept coming, found a way to keep them at the end zone and hold them when they made big plays, and that really showed up big at the end of the game. But he's a true competitor. I love playing against him. I respect his game so much, and he really gave his team a chance to win. But we just kept humming. Coach Wink (Don Martindale) putting the blitz in there and just getting after them. I respect him so much because he kept getting up and kept making big plays and making guys miss, but we finally started getting there and we finished the game."
You guys got some star players on that defense, and one guy who probably doesn't get mentioned a lot is ILB L.J. Fort. That play that he made and obviously CB Marlon Humphrey got it started with the punch-out. Your thoughts on that game-changing play right there.
"It was huge. He had a little bit of running back skills. He got the ball in there and he knew what to do with it. You could tell he played running back in high school. Big play by Marlon as well. But we practice that every day. The way we practice, it shows up in the game. It feels good to see practice carry over to game day. We pick up every ball on the ground and we try to score on defense. That's the mentality that we've established, and we've got to keep it going one play at a time."
QB LAMAR JACKSON (Transcribed by ASAP Sports)
Could you take us through your decoy move on the RB Mark Ingram II play and also what it was like to play without any noise whatsoever?
"It's kind of play wise just lineup outside and listen to direction after Mark. Offensive line did a great job. Get a defensive line push and Mark just made a great run."
After a game like today when you see the passes you make or don't make working on your own game and seeing how many times you read well. In a game like this how many mistakes do you feel like you made when you go back and watch a film?
"I don't know. Probably the touchdown pass to Pat (Patrick Ricard) was a bad throw, but he just made a heck of a catch, and the corner pass to Marquise (Brown), I wish I could have that back. Bring the ball down a little more. That's probably it, though."
Over the past two games do you think teams are sort of spying you more and how are you going to adjust to that?
"Teams were spying on me last year, but we're just going to have to watch film and see how it goes."
Lamar, the run game today as a team, 230 yards, but you guys really spread it around. You spread the wealth. Can you talk about the run game?
"Man, like I said, offensive line was doing a great job getting that push, getting the defensive line on their toes and our backs are just explosive and they're good. That's why we got them here. They just did their job, and that's what we needed today to have success, besides the defense doing their job."
After a big win like this, how quickly do you shift your kind of focus to the Kansas City Chiefs?
"Tomorrow I'll be right on it."
What does it mean for your offense when you can close out a game with I think it was 17 straight run plays and basically control the game the entire fourth quarter? What does that mean for an offense when you are having that kind of success late in the game?
"Keep running hard in practice. Keep working hard. Our offensive line just keep doing the great job that they're doing. Running backs just keep doing their job, and we know the sky's the limit."
Early in the game we didn't see the ball in the backs' hands a whole lot, and there wasn't a whole lot of running. Was it a focus to get that running game going on that first drive of the third quarter because that seemingly was when you guys sort of took over the game and wore them out?
"Just trying to see what the defense was going to give us and then take advantage of that. Once we seen what they were doing, we just executed it."
You talked about taking what the defense gives you. Do you kind of feel like at this point that no matter what is required in a given game moment, that you guys basically have the answer?
"I wouldn't say that. There's still room for improvement for us. We've just got to get in practice, get in the film room and just see what the defense is going to give us next week and so on."
Was that a surprise for you to not hear any crowd noise? An advantage for you? Could you hear what the defense was saying at all?
"No. It was no noise last week, too. So it really didn't bother me. We had to focus on what we had to do on our side of the ball. The defense was adjusting to us. So no, I wasn't listening to the defensive calls."
I think you're up over 77 percent accuracy for this year. How good do you feel when you're back there throwing it around? It seems like you've taken your accuracy to another level.
"I feel good. But, you know, there's still some passes that I want back. But that's what I'm going to get at when I get out there on the practice field, that's when the mechanics and throws that I want or didn't have in the game, that's when that takes over. It starts in practice."
Anything today that you felt like you really missed out on?
"The corner to Marquise (Brown), and the touchdown pass to Pat (Patrick Ricard) could have been better. But that's about it."
S DeShon Elliott
(on what it took to get the victory) "We just kept doing what we practice all week, every day – playing Ravens football. [When] it comes down to it, that was a great team over there. Deshaun [Watson] is a fantastic quarterback. He's one of the top quarterbacks in this league, and shoot, he kept moving the ball, but we kept fighting. As long as you don't give up … Our mindset [is], as long as you don't give up, give great effort and 'Play Like a Raven,' we'll be fine. And that's what we did. We have a great offense that helped us, so we came out with the 'dub.'"
(on if it's too soon to start thinking about next week's matchup against the Chiefs) "We're going to get back to work. Tonight is all we're going to have, but tomorrow, we'll worry about 'KC' [Kansas City]. It's one game at a time, so we had to get through Houston first. We got that 'dub,' so now we're going to enjoy this win, but tomorrow, it's time to get back to working – time to get back to 'KC.' They have a … Obviously, you all know, he's a fantastic quarterback. Patrick [Mahomes]; that's one of my good friends, so I'm ready to play him – ready to go against him. It's going to be a great game, so everybody tune in to that. It's going to be a fantastic game."
(on losing CB Tavon Young to injury) "I love Tavon [Young]; that's my brother. I'll do anything for him. I'm praying for him. God bless, he'll be OK, [and] his mental will be fine. Trying to replace Tavon, it's next man up. Tavon is a great player. Obviously, we all know, that's 'Touchdown Tay.' But we have a lot of great DBs [defensive backs] on this team, of course, so we'll get through it. We'll be fine."
(on his teammates boosting his confidence and what it means to him) "They give me more confidence than I already have, honestly. They just tell me every day, 'Bro, just take it slow. We know you know what you're doing. Just do your job, and you'll be fine.' And I love them for that. I'll do anything for [those] boys. When I tell you, 'blood brothers,' those are my brothers, man. I love [those] people so much; you don't understand."
(on stopping the Texans on fourth down) "I'm just doing my job, man. I'm just doing my job. It's fourth down; we know it's going to be QB driven because it's Deshaun Watson. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Everybody played their assignments, and we just gave our max effort. I just did my job and ended up making a play."
RB Mark Ingram II
(on what the key is when he gets a direct snap in the Wildcat formation) "The key for me is just to catch the snap and go through my reads. The O-line did a tremendous job; I was able to press. [They] set up their blocks and they just created a big seam for me to run through, and I was able to finish the run in the end zone. So, all credit goes to the nine guys that block for me. 'L.J.' [Lamar Jackson] had one guy covering him, so all credit goes to those guys. I was able to see the hole, hit the hole and finish the run. I'm thankful for my O-line. Coach is calling a great scheme; I just had to catch the snap and follow my reads."
(on the mindset of the team after halftime) "The mindset coming out was we had to finish – 30 minutes. We knew we had the ball coming out of the half, and we wanted to go down and get a touchdown. We wanted to go down and put pressure on them, get a big lead, put our defense on the field with a big lead so they could go hunt. That was just our mentality. We knew that we left some stuff out there and we just needed to capitalize on our opportunities, execute our job, go out there and have a great drive. So, we didn't run the ball as much in the first half, but I just told the 'backs, 'Let's just stay on point. Let's stay focused. Let's stay ready, and when our opportunity comes, let's capitalize on it.' I feel like we did a great job on that, and the offensive live did a tremendous job of creating seams and holes for us to finish the game off."
(on his karate kick touchdown celebration and if it was planned) "No, I just kind of did it. (laughter) I punched, I think, the Chiefs logo last year. We didn't win, but I punched it. I was like, 'Let me just go ahead and put a roundhouse kick.' Fun fact – I was a first-degree black belt growing up. I don't have all my skills that I had back then, but I can still do a reverse kick. I didn't connect it, but it was still sweet." (laughter)
(on how quickly the focus turns to next Monday night's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs) "Immediately. We're going to get on the plane – I think everybody has their iPads – and we're going to study our film. We'll enjoy this on our plane ride home, and then we'll be focused on the Chiefs. They're the defending champs, and we know we're going to have to play our best football [and] put our best foot forward in order to get a 'W.' So, we'll be focused in. Like I said, we'll enjoy the plane ride home, we'll watch our film, make the corrections, and we'll just get ready to work on the gameplan [for] next week [and] get ready for the defending champs."
(on if the play calling of today's game reminded him of last year) "It's a new year. We're just trying to create a new identity for ourselves. This year, we're the 2020 Ravens. We always try to create an identity for ourselves. It's a new team [and] a new season; we're just trying to show our identity. We were able to run the ball efficiently. [We were] able to get some big runs, thanks to the offensive line creating holes and seams for us. And we feel like we have the best backfield in the league. We feel like with our opportunities, given the chances, that we can execute and run with the best of them. So, we just want to run hard and have the league put respect on our names. Our room is just great with J.K. [Dobbins], Gus [Edwards] and even Justice [Hill]. We feel like we have one of the best rooms in the league and we just try to prove that week-in and week-out."
(on ILB L.J. Fort's fumble return and his running ability) "That was sweet. 'Marlo' [Marlon Humphrey] had a great punchout, L.J. [Fort] with the flawless scoop, set up his blocks, gave a lineman a stiff-arm, dove for the pylon – great ball security to get in there and hit the pylon for a score. So, I think he might have some running back skills in him, but we're happy for that touchdown, definitely. Any time you can get a defensive touchdown in that fashion with L.J. making some moves, setting up some blocks, diving [and] hitting the pylon for the score, that turns the whole team up. So, that was a big play for 'Marlo,' and L.J. finishing it off."
WR Miles Boykin
(on what this road victory says about the team) "I think it says a lot about this team. We're full of veterans; we're full of experience. And it really doesn't matter what the score is; we go out there and just play hard. I think it's evident throughout the game that – it doesn't matter if it's the end of the game or the beginning of the game – we're playing our hearts out, and we leave it all out there."
(on blocking for his teammates) "We understand as receivers that it all starts with the run game. All of our catches, all of our big plays come off of running the ball first. So, we understand that if we can't run the ball, we're not going to be able to pass the ball. Just in terms of playing in this offense; you can't be greedy. And I love to see my teammates get the ball, and I love to see my teammates make plays. So, anything it takes, I would do for my teammates. If it's blocking, it's easy."
RB Gus Edwards
(on what the run game says about the team's commitment to closing teams out in a physical way) "I think it means we have tremendous focus. The run game wasn't going too well in the first half. We've got to stay focused. We've got to stay locked into the gameplan. We just kept getting better as the game went on."
(on how he felt breaking the long runs needed to extend drives in the second half) "It's always a great feeling when you can convert during those tough situations. It just gives the offense more momentum. Big shout out to the O-line coming out in the second half and they just dominated."
OLB Tyus Bowser
(on what it was like to come back to Houston) "It was awesome, man. Anytime I can be back in Houston, I'm just excited. I just wanted to come out here and play the best that I can, help this team win, and we did. That's the most important part, but it was definitely exciting to be back in Houston."
(on how his sack unfolded) "Deshaun [Watson] is a great player. He's probably one of the hardest guys to even get down. He's always going to fight. He's always going to help that team make a play in any type of way. I think it was 'Baby' [Brandon Williams], he tried to get him and [Deshaun] broke the tackle. I was right there, and I just tried to grab and hold onto him as much as I could until the ref blew the whistle. So, that was pretty much the play there."