Transcripts: Postgame Press Conferences

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening Statement:

"Good to see everybody. Appreciate everyone being here with us, virtually. Really a great team win. The word that was used in the locker room – Eric DeCosta gave it to me – was fortitude. I'm going to look that up shortly here. Nah, I kind of know what it means, but I think that expresses it because it was a tough, tough football game, and it took a lot courage and mental toughness to win that game. Some really good, solid football in the second half overcoming a lot of adversity. There's a lot to it, you know, there's a lot – just a lot of heart and mind that go into winning a NFL football game, and I'm very, very proud of our players for finding way to win this football game. Then just congratulations to the Colts, that's a really, really good team led by their captain Philip Rivers, who's a great quarterback, does just a tremendous job of working the defense with his study and his execution and then their defense is very good as well, so to Coach Reich, those guys did a good job."

I know Lamar Jackson has taken a lot of criticism especially over this past week. We just found out that he is now 25-5 as a starter. That ties Dan Marino for the best start ever in the Super Bowl era. What's the significance? I know a lot of people analyze this game, but do you think it really comes down for Lamar Jackson, a lot of times is wins? And what's the significance of this record you think?

"Well, you're asking me a question I didn't even know it was something until you just said it so it's hard for me to really put into perspective other than just to say I think that's really something, you know, wow. Lamar (Jackson) will tell you it's a team it's a team effort, and I think the team will tell you, you couldn't win those games without Lamar. Lamar, he's our guy, we're with him, we're with him all the way, 100 percent. We've got his back, we believe in him, love him. He's just that kind of a person, so he gives you everything he has every single week. You're going to have critics in this league, you're going to have critics in life. That's part of it. He understands that he's really good about that, all of our guys are so that part of it kind of doesn't really matter but that accomplishment, yeah, you're right that accomplishment is pretty amazing and shout out to Dan Marino. He's a good guy. Love Dan Marino. There you go. OK, so congratulations to you and Lamar."

If you had to explain what changed at half time, especially on offense where your execution was just so much better in the second half, what was it?

"Well, I think it was our execution. That's something I'm looking forward to getting in front of the tape and seeing the details of it, but we convert – I thought Lamar (Jackson) had us in, you know, he did it with his arm and with his legs. That pass rush is pretty good. It's really good and their coverage is really good and there were times that he had to step up out of the pocket and he ran and get you four, five, six yards and get you to second-and-medium instead of second-and-10. That's a big difference and he did that today both throws and by running. So, I think that was a big part of our offensive line. Give them a lot of credit. We're back there blocking. There are no holding penalties. They were moving their feet and when someone did get free, Lamar was able to get away. But I'm proud of the O-line with the injuries that we had, those guys stepping up and changing positions and things like that, I thought they did a good job. The second half like you said, what was the difference? I think our guys are just tough. They stuck with it and they didn't get down, didn't finger point and kept fighting."

Mark Andrews seemed to block really hard on that touchdown with Lamar Jackson in the end zone. That's different. He's more of a pass catcher. Your thoughts on his blocking lately?

"Well, I'll tell you that is a great point. I think that's a really, really good observation because Mark (Andrews) is – you're known as a tight end for you pass catching, but you're respected for your blocking and Mark takes it very seriously. He always told us, when we were talking to him in the draft, he said he was a blocker and he could do it and they just didn't do it as much at Oklahoma with the tight ends. We believed him, but that block he had for Lamar (Jackson) on the touchdown run was something that – it was a good as you're ever going to see."

Could you take us through the thought process on the Marcus Peters challenge? I think when most of us first saw that we were wondering how that was going to go. What was the difference between challenging that play for you?

"Well, when you look at it, I just felt like he had the ball for quite a while, we talked to our guys upstairs, then we saw it on the screen, on the replay screen in the stadium, you could see that he had it for two steps and even a full third step, it looked like. If not a full third step, it was close, so it was definitely a football act, so he had full possession of it. There was no ball movement, no bobbling of it, so by rule, it was a catch. I just congratulate the official, Adrian Hill, the crew and New York if they were involved. I don't know, but I thought they thought they made the right call by rule. He deserved that interception and they did a good job of overturning it."

Can you just talk about the defensive effort today, considering all that they went through throughout the week, you lose Calais Campbell on the first drive, you don't have Marlon Humphrey for the whole game and then to step up especially to put the hammer down in the second half, just what you thought of that performance?

"Just exactly right. I mean, that's it, you just said it, but then you pull guys out. I mean, Terrell Bonds, look at the game he played and they went after him early and got a couple completions, but he didn't flinch. He just kept fighting and Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith to do the job they did on the outside all game. I thought Chuck (Clark) and DeShon's (Elliott) communication and Chuck to have the obviously the touchdown. He was one of the game ball recipients. DeShon on the couple deep balls on the shots they tried to take, you know, and then up front, guys like Justin Ellis stepping up and playing a heck of a game when Calais (Campbell) went out and Derek Wolfe. Derek played outstanding. Our edge guys, I thought set edges very well, but Patrick Queen and those guys not practicing, Malik (Harrison), there are just a lot of things, a lot of checkmarks there that deserve a lot of credit." 

Do you have any update on Calais Campbell?

"Yeah, it's a calf strain of some kind, it's not serious. We'll just have to see how long it is. What else do we have? We had Khalil Dorsey had a shoulder. We'll have to see how that goes. They'll be looking at that. I think that's all we really had that would be something to talk about. We'll see if anything comes up overnight. The other thing I want to mention is the coaches. I thought Don Martindale called one of his very best games. The game plan was excellent by the whole staff, but 'Wink' really called a good game. He was kind of going at it with Coach (Frank) Reich and their offense over there and Philip Rivers, so he called a heck of a game maybe one of his best ever and 'G-Ro' (Greg Roman), too. I mean to kind of work through the challenges that you guys are talking about as a play caller, that's the toughest thing. The offensive play caller is probably the most scrutinized guy in the program and thought G. Ro did a great job of finding a way to get us into a winning situation."

I wanted to ask about the fourth-and-three run J.K. Dobbins had. What was the thought process and also, it seemed like the sidelines but was pretty excited when he got across the line there? What did that mean to the team?

"Well, it's just what you said. It was obviously huge. That's not an easy one. That's a tough one to pull the trigger on and say you're going to go for it on fourth-and-3 there, and that 40-yard line area because you're going to present them with some good field position, and it calls for execution of a play, and I thought 'G-Ro' called a good play. We've been working on that situation for a while, and the O-line did a great job of blocking it. I felt Mark (Andrews) did a great job of blocking it out there on the edge and others I'm sure I'll see you on tape. Of course, Lamar (Jackson) had a great read on it and then J.K. (Dobbins) went and got it. [I'm] really proud of that one. That's one that could go either way. That's not an easy one to go for, and I'm proud of the guys for getting it."

Going back to the running game, Colts on defense was stellar the first half, didn't get much room for J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, but you guys seemed towear them down. Can you talk about your commitment to the run game and the way those guys kept attacking?

"Well, they did. Our offensive line likes to run the ball for sure, and that was a really tough front to run against because they're really good, and they move all the time. They have some really good players out there, and even when you try to get outside of them, they can really run laterally, so it wasn't going to be easy going, we knew that, but I thought our guys just stayed after, and I give our offensive line, tight ends a lot of credit for the job that they did."

I saw that you were going back and forth between the mask and the shield. What was that about? Was there a comfort level with one over the other?

"No, I just had this on the whole time, this double gaiter here. This is what I wore. I didn't have a shield."

Not at all? Okay, I thought I'd seen the shield on.

"Alright, must've been my – what do they call the other person in the universe that looks like you? A doppelganger."

You mentioned that word fortitude. When you were with the players in the locker room after the game, did it feel like a big moment for them? Did it feel like they kind of felt that they had found some kind of inner strength or something like that? Did it feel like a big moment for the team?

"I think they understood the gravity of the win. I think they understood how tough that win was, and know they feel good about it. They're going to be proud of that one. We're going to be proud of that win because of the team that we beat, the environment and the circumstances of the game and where our team is at. But you know what, we'll get home, and then we go to work on the New England Patriots. We have to go there and play a Sunday night game. That's a huge challenge. We've been there many times before, and we know what that's about, so our focus will really quickly go to that next game."

You were asked specifically about the adjustments at halftime offensively. What about picking up the pace? It seemed like you guys in that first drive, even though it ended in fumble were at the line of scrimmage much quicker and Lamar Jackson kind of found a rhythm there. What went into that decision and picked up the pace?

"We did, yes. That was just something that we talk about a lot and something we talked about at halftime. To me, that's something that we have in in our – it's always in our gameplan, and I'm glad we did it. I thought it was a good move, and our guys executed those plays really well. We practice them often, so that made a big difference in the game."

QB Lamar Jackson

What was said at halftime? You guys had a pretty rough first half not being able to move the ball, what was the mood and what was the conversation like at halftime to come out the way you guys did in the third quarter?

"Their defense did a pretty good job. Coach was calling plays, the guys weren't open on those plays, and they just did a great job on those. Second half, we just dialed it up, called the plays, found the guys in the right position, and we drove the ball down the field, and we scored touchdowns."

This is obviously, coming back and rallying, this is obviously a different kind of win that you've had and this team has had in quite some time. How much of a spark can this provide going forward the way you guys, as a team, won this game?

"I feel a great spark, but it starts in practice. Have a great week of practice, and our guys will be good. Coach dialed it up the second half, and if we just keep doing it the same way, we will be fine throughout our games."

Did you feel like the up-tempo at the start of the second half kind of helped you get into a little bit of a groove?

"Yes, it did. It caught the defense off guard. Our offensive line was doing a pretty good job, keeping the D-line away from me. Our guys were getting open, catching the ball and getting up field. Tight ends got involved with the game. It was just going our way."

You're now 25-5 as a starter. You tied Dan Marino for the best record for a quarterback in his first 30 starts in history. Does that mean anything? Going 25-5 and having that record, does that mean anything to you?

"It's pretty cool that I'm up there with a Hall of Famer, but [we've] still got to win each and every game, so it's alright."

How impressed are you with J.K. Dobbins? I know he only had 30 yards today, but just the stability he has to stay on his feet and convert on fourth-and-3?

"He has great vision. He bounces off tackles and makes guys miss. When they're wide open to make the tackle on him, he does a great job making the guy miss. Not just him, Gus (Edwards) as well. He's great at running back as well. We've just got to keep giving the guys the ball and keep letting them do their thing."

Take us through the third-and-1 where you called your own number on the run and what you were seeing on that play. Did you think they were all going to crash inside, and you'd have that whole open side?

"When I saw 37 (Khari Willis) down to that side. I was hoping he would crash. They were doing it the whole game. Coach called the play, and I just finished it off."

You completed all 10 of your passes in the second half. You hear basketball players say that a hoop looks like an ocean or whatever. Do you feel like you're in a groove like that? How would you describe that when you're throwing the ball well?

"Just keep it going. We want to score points – that's our job. Everyone gets paid to do that so just keep moving the ball down the field, trying to hit my receivers in their numbers and letting guys do their thing."

The television broadcast indicated that Matt Skura had a cut on his hand and that led to a couple of his snaps that were troublesome. Did you discuss that with him during the game and how challenging was that to field some of those snaps when he's got a bother on his hand?

"Well at first I didn't know that. He came up to me and told me. I told him to just keep his poise because we weren't moving the ball at first, when [he] snapped it, it didn't even get up to me. He told me he was bleeding and stuff like that, so I had to bear with him, that's my center. He did a pretty good job after that just snapping the ball to me. He got over it, and he just did his thing."

I don't know if you were aware that that was the first time you guys came back after trailing at halftime. Does that feel good to get that off your back?

"I mean, we always hear about it in the press and stuff how we never came back and stuff like that, so it's good, I guess. We want to win every game. We don't want to be behind during the game, but it is what it is, and we came out with the victory. It's pretty good. It shows what our team is made of."

John Harbaugh was really praising Mark Andrews' work as a blocker. On the other hand, he has not seen the ball as a receiver a ton over the last three weeks. Why do you think his role has been a little different in recent weeks then we were used to?

"For one, he's a great tight end. Defenses like to double him. Like I said, he's a great tight end, but sometimes it's just meant for him to block and let our running backs do their thing. It's on the coach, really."

Just big picture, this was obviously a challenging week. You had guys on the COVID list, Calais Campbell went down early in the game, Marlon Humphrey missed the game, Mark Ingram II was out. What does it mean for all of that stuff to be going on, but you guys still went on the road and beat a good team today?

"It just shows a lot. We've got laser focus. I will just say the devil was busy this week for us, and we just overcame it."

CB Marcus Peters

(on if he said anything to the coaches to convince them to challenge the incomplete ruling and if he knew initially that it was an interception) "I think I made a play with the ball. I was going backwards for multiple steps, [and] I had control over it. So, I think it was an interception. I kind of went over and asked Philip Rivers if he thought it was a pick. He didn't think so, but that was a [heck] of a job by Coach Harbaugh. [The coaches] upstairs, they got that called down, and they went with it. So, I appreciate it, and the team does, too."

(on how challenging it was to prepare for this game with a number of players out this week on the COVID-19 list and then losing DE Calais Campbell three plays into the game) "I think the biggest thing is that we all took it as, 'Somebody just has to step up.' We can't complain. We understand the situation that we're dealt with right now. We know that things are going to be up and down throughout this whole year. So, we just have to find a way to adapt and overcome these types of situations. We saw when the guys went down during the game … Like I said, guys just stepped up, and that's what we need over here; next man up and keep playing Raven football, and we'll be alright."

 
(on if a quarterback has ever said that he thought it was a pick and if he felt he had to make some plays with CB Marlon Humphrey out) "Yes, Lamar Jackson told me when I got back that it was a pick. (laughter) I think everybody just felt that we just needed a sense of urgency on defense. If you just look back at our last two games, we started fast, but we didn't finish as fast as we started. So, that was just our biggest thing; it was just come out here and just try to finish this game the best that we could, and we'll be alright. With Marlon [Humphrey] being out, it's just, like I said, we're just dealt that card this year with COVID-19 and things like that. We don't know what's going on. So, [shoot]; we just have to handle things as they come. But 'TB' [Terrell Bonds] went out there and played an amazing game. 'PQ' [Patrick Queen] came out there and played a [heck] of a game. DeShon [Elliott], with them being out … Tyus [Bowser], everybody who missed this week of practice. I think they took the preparation at its best, and they focused in on the film. So, it allowed for them to come out there and play fast without having them out there in practice. They got to get their bodies back, too. So, that's a plus for us."

(on defensive coordinator Don Martindale's play-calling) "I think these types of offenses get us prepared for the stress we're going [into]. We're getting [further] into November and going into December. So, that's when football really gets started, because everything that happens in these last two months carries over. So, [defensive coordinator Don] 'Wink' [Martindale], like you said, wants us to create turnovers, and he wants us to just keep playing fast. I think we've been playing good defense all year. We just needed to create some more turnovers and just harping in on the little things – that's when it'll ultimately help us get better."

(on if he felt like the Colts were trying to target him in the first half) "I played against Philip Rivers a few times coming from the AFC West over there [when I was] with [Kansas City]. So, Philip is going to run his offense, man. He's kind of the offensive coordinator out there. He's going to be a Hall of Famer. When you're playing against a quarterback like that, you have to be on all your toes. He saw that there were some things that he wanted to hit on, and he hit on them. But shoot, as a defense, we attacked it well. Everybody flew to the ball, and we just played fast."

(on if CB Marlon Humphrey's ability to force fumbles rubs off on him) "Just check my stats, man. It shows."

(on QB Philip Rivers' attempt to tackle S Chuck Clark on his fumble recovery return) "I just was hoping that when Chuck [Clark] jumped over him that Philip [Rivers] didn't grab his leg or nothing like that happen. I think we got the team picture of the week right there. Hopefully somebody snapped that picture, and that can be the team picture of the week [for the facility's victories display wall]. But Chuck finished it the way that we're supposed to. We wanted to score. One of his goals this week was to score, and he got in the [end] zone. Like I said, we just were playing fast and physical defense out there. Salute to all the guys, man."

S Chuck Clark

(on what he was thinking during his fumble recovery and his thoughts on QB Philip Rivers' attempt to tackle him on the return) "Whenever I get the ball in my hands on defense, I'm thinking about scoring. So, when I looked up, I saw grass, and I saw [Philip Rivers]. I saw the move that I wanted to do, but then I saw him fall. So, I was like, 'Alright. I'm just going to jump over him and keep going.'" 

(on what the mood was in the locker room after the game) "The mood for us after the game, everybody was happy, of course, because we won. But our main goal was just to finish the game, because we haven't been finishing lately a little bit. So, everybody was happy that we got the 'W.'" 

 
(on when he made the decision to jump over QB Philip Rivers on the scoop and score) "I was about to cut back to the right, but then [Philip Rivers] just fell, and it happened naturally." 

(on if the Ravens are the best in the NFL in terms of forcing fumbles) "We work on that every day, just trying to get turnovers and do it in practice. But we say our goals before the game, and we say them in front of each other just so we know how we feel coming into the game. [We want to be] a defense that can get the ball back and then score and give it back to our offense – then we're cooking for real." 

(on how challenging it was to prepare for this game with a number of players out and what adjustments were made after the Colts strung together an early drive) "I still stand on that I don't think it was challenging. It just, like I said during the week, we just didn't have some players out there at practice, but we got them back on Saturday for the walk-through. Everything just clicked naturally. And then just out there getting through the first couple of drives, getting the wind right, but I don't think it was challenging, honestly."  

(on defensive coordinator Don Martindale's gameplan) "We just trust the gameplan that Coach [Martindale] draws up based on the team that we're going to be facing that week. When he gives us the call, we just trust it. We have a few checks out there that we can make, but we just trust the play that he calls and then go execute." 

(on if there's something satisfying about earning a comeback win) "Yes, just to be able to finish. I mean, we never got down too far, honestly. We just kept it close. They probably went up, was it … How much they go up by? About three [points] or something? But just finishing, honestly." 

(on what was the difference with QB Lamar Jackson's performance from the first half to the second) "We just trust him. A lot is put on his shoulders to make plays, and [there's] outside criticism. But, like I said, we trust him, and we stick with him regardless of what happens. Our defense does their part; offense does their part, and we click and just go to get the 'W' at the end of the day." 

(on what OLB Matthew Judon's hustle on the last play of the game says about this defense) "We know that teams are definitely going to [try to use] screen [plays against] us and try to make us run to the ball, just [because of] how we play with our effort. That's the last play of the game, about two seconds left, and they throw a screen. You have a defensive lineman running downfield, 20 yards downfield to make a tackle, that says everything about this defense." 

T Orlando Brown Jr.

(on what he thought was the difference for QB Lamar Jackson in the second half) "Man, it's really hard to say, especially as an offensive lineman, without seeing the film on certain things like that – whether guys were getting open differently, whether the play calling was a little bit different. That's a hard question for me to answer. I'm just kind of doing my job in those situations, and I'm trusting all of my teammates, not just 'QB1' – the receiver to do his job, left guard, center, me to do my job. So, to be honest with you, it's kind of hard for me to answer that one."

(on coaches sticking with RB Gus Edwards following his fumble) "These coaches do a really good job of, basically, understanding football. Nobody's going to play perfect, and everyone's going to make mistakes. That's just a part of it. That's just human nature. Man, I have a ton of respect for Gus [Edwards] – coming in with him [in 2018] and seeing how hard he's worked to get to this point as an undrafted free agent. I have a lot of trust in him. He's not somebody that fumbles all the time, and like I said, nobody's perfect. But I'm just glad that the coaches trust us and trust in him to give him another opportunity to get into the end zone."

(on the importance of the win) "Yes, this was an important win, and that's a really, really, really, really good team and defense. And man, they have a ton of talent across the board, they play really hard, and all 11 get to the ball. I'm fortunate we were able to score that touchdown on defense, and that kind of really opened things up for us. And the important thing for us going forward as a team is really just playing complementary football. [If] the defense gets a stop, we go down and score. And doing a better job that, that's something that's a big difference. When the defense is getting a turnover, it's our responsibility to get points off of that if they don't."

(on how the team gained momentum after a slow start) "Yes, we definitely got off to a slow start – just based off the feeling out there; I haven't necessarily seen the film yet. In the second half, we came out ready to go. And the mentality and approach that we came out with, [and the] play calling in those situations definitely was able to make the difference."

(on if momentum carries over or resets from game to game) "I think every game kind of differs, man. It's all kind of gameplan-based. And obviously, as a team, we want to get rolling. We do a pretty good job of staying in shape, practicing and making sure that we're consistently getting our timing and rhythm together. So, as far as next week, how we come out and play; I hope it's on fire."

(on the morale of the offense after the first half) "Yes, we were definitely trying to stay as positive as we can, and we always do in those situations. We understand that we have a bunch of men here that love to fight, and that's just the way that this team is built, [and] that's just the way that this offense is built. We have a lot of men with the mentality that they're going to finish, and if they get knocked out, they're going out swinging. At the end of the day, we were able to play well enough to get a win, and in a lot of situations – like last week – it's hard to do. So, we did enough to get the win, and it sucks that we came out in the first half playing like that. We'll get better, but I'm happy we won."

(on if the challenges the Ravens faced this past week caused him any concern) "No, we have a lot of depth. My concern going into a game is … I'm never concerned with the one-on-one matchups of my teammates. I have full faith in them and their ability. Every man on this team, they're here for a reason. It's never a worry for me about who's playing and who's up at practice. I know they're going to go out there, compete and give it everything they've got on gameday."

(on his ability to play both right tackle and left tackle) "I've always felt this way; I'm a left tackle that's playing right tackle in this league. I played left tackle from middle school, to high school, to college – where I was a unanimous All-American. It's my natural position. And my parents – my dad especially – it's something that he groomed me [in] from Day One. And playing the left tackle position is important to a team and to an offense, and regardless of where I'm at, I'm going to give it everything I've got. I'm just thankful for the opportunity. Obviously, I wish Ronnie [Stanley] was out there with us today and so on and so forth, but it's just kind of a part of the game. But [left tackle is] my natural position."

RB Gus Edwards

(on fumbling inside the red zone and coming back with a touchdown run later in the game) "I was happy to be able to do that for the team. When the [fumble] happened, my teammates had my back, my coaches had my back, and props to them for keeping me in there and trusting in me."

(on what the second-half performance says about the resiliency of this team) "We showed that we're battle-tested. Each game is just as important; this was a tough one on the road, and it's the first win [ever in Indianapolis]. It was a big win for us."

RB J.K. Dobbins

(on battling back in the second half and how good it feels to win today) "It feels really good to get this victory. That's what matters the most. In the beginning, we started a little slow, but this team never gave up. So, coming out with the win, that's all that matters."

(on a big Sunday night matchup in New England next weekend) "We're going to try to do what we know we can do; we're going to try to make plays. That's what we want to do, and that's what we pride ourselves on in the running back room. So, that's what we're going to try to do – we're going to try to make plays."

WR Dez Bryant

(on his emotions being back on the football field today) "It's surreal – just being back in the locker room, just being on the sideline, just being here with these guys, it's exciting. Seeing the game up close versus just watching it on TV; I felt my competitive spirit come back alive. I'm just excited. I appreciate Coach Harbaugh for giving me the opportunity, I appreciate [executive vice president and general manager] Eric [DeCosta] giving me the opportunity, [and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] giving me the opportunity. I'm very grateful, I'm very thankful, and I'm just going to keep on working. I'm going to keep on grinding and just do whatever these guys need me to do to keep getting wins."

(on how he would describe this team) "Relentless. These guys are absolutely amazing. It really doesn't have anything to do with the physical ability – it's the people. These are great guys. When I got here, they embraced me. It was all love. I'm very appreciative, and I think that's why I've been able to practice so well, just because of the guys. I felt comfortable, and in order to have a great team, it starts with the guys first. I can see why these guys come out here and perform the way that they do; they're great people."

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