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Transcripts: Press Conference (1/16)


Opening Statement:"OK. [It's] good to see everybody. [I] sure appreciate you being here. [It was] a good practice. Spirits are high. We're all appreciative of the opportunity to play the game, to get up today and be involved in something this exciting – something that guys have worked so hard for. By the grace of God, we're able to do that, and we're looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity that's in front of us. What questions do you have?"

With all the experience that QB Lamar Jackson has had now, in his sixth season now, do you think he's more prepared for this postseason than ever before?*(Jamison Hensley)*"Everybody is really prepared and excited to play. Lamar [Jackson] is ready to go. The guys are ready to go. They've worked hard for this opportunity, to get to this point and compete in such a big game against such a worthy opponent. [We're] playing a very good football team, and we've got our hands full. We're hoping to put our best foot forward."

The elements certainly won't be like a couple of the games we saw this past weekend, but it is expected to be pretty cold. How do you prepare for that? Are you planning on practicing outside anytime this week or tomorrow? How do you prepare for that?*(Shawn Stepner)* "We'll practice in [the cold]. We practiced in it the last couple of weeks. It was pretty cold the last couple of weeks [with] a lot of wind, so that's been good for us. I kind of feel good about that. We will get out there tomorrow. I really believe we will be able to get out there tomorrow. The field was frozen today, so we weren't able to get out there today, but tomorrow, [it] looks like we should."

What stands out to you about this Houston Texans team that is so different than what you saw in Week One?* (Jeff Zrebiec)* "They are just 17 weeks better. They do a good job. Obviously, they've steadily improved every single week. I thought they were a very good football team [in] Week One. If you go back and check your records, you'll find that. They haven't surprised me, or they haven't surprised us. They've done pretty much what I thought they were going to do. They are a very good football team. They are very talented. They play very hard. They execute at a high level. C.J. [Stroud] is just doing a phenomenal job. Nico Collins, [a] Michigan guy, man, he's a go-to guy for them. [They have] a lot of skill players [and a] good offensive line playing very physical. [Their] defense is all over the field, as you'd expect, obviously. [They are] just a really good football team."

We saw TE Mark Andrews make a nice grab out there in individual drills. What have you seen from him physically since he's been back practicing, and is here a hope he might be able to play this weekend?*(Brian Wacker)*"Today was [Mark Andrews'] best showing so far [since the injury]. He really took a big step. Just what you saw today, we saw as well, so that's encouraging. We'll just have to see how it goes."

What do you remember about being a rookie head coach with a rookie quarterback in the playoffs? What have you seen from Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans and QB C.J. Stroud in their first year? Do you remember the challenges of being a rookie head coach?*(Kyle Phoenix)* "That's a way-back machine there. I remember that [playoff] run. It was exciting. Who did we beat in the first game?" (Reporter: "I believe the Dolphins.") "Dolphins. Oh, yes. I remember. I remember now. We went down to Miami. Didn't [Terrell] Suggs have an interception, or was it Ed Reed?" (Reporter: "Reed.") "Reed. See? I remember it so well. You're just not thinking that way right now. You're thinking about what's in front of you, but then we went to Tennessee and beat Tennessee. Then, we went to Pittsburgh and didn't win. I remember that."

What does change this week? Obviously with the playoffs, the win or go home element is thrown in there. For you, to prepare your team, does anything drastically change from the regular season to now?*(Morgan Adsit)* "It's just the excitement of being in the playoffs. You understand it's a ... It's true. We talk about being 1-0, and it comes into sharp focus in the playoffs, but our guys understand that. It's not something that we need to talk about. We just understand that the teams that are playing right now ... There are eight teams left, and it's the best eight teams, and so you're playing high-level [games]. We've been playing those kinds of games pretty much for the last couple of weeks, and our preparation remains the same. We were great today – on point – and I'm excited about that."

You did have the hardest schedule coming out of your late Bye Week. You had the hardest schedule of that five-week run. How much does that help as you prepare for the playoffs?* (Gerry Sandusky)* "It definitely helps. It sharpens you. It forges you [and] makes you stronger."

The plan when you guys signed WR Odell Beckham Jr. was to have him ramp up with the way that he has. I know you weren't there at that workout in Arizona, or whatever it was, but to see him come along physically after missing a year of football and now being a guy who hitting the kind of speed his is, what has impressed you or stood out to you about the way he's ramped up?*(Jonas Shaffer)* "[I] definitely appreciate that question. [Odell Beckham Jr.]'s been through a lot. Odell has been through so much, and he's worked so hard, and it hasn't been easy. There is a lot of pain involved there over the course of the last two years, and even throughout the course of the season, in terms of working through the different challenges. He's at his best right now. You see him out there; he looks really good, he's moving around excellent, [he's] fast, he's catching the ball [and] he's running great routes, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he does here."

Did DB Damarion "Pepe" Williams tweak something, or he just wasn't all the way back where he could play at the level you need him?*(Jeff Zrebiec)*"[I won't get into] the medical details of it, but it wasn't there. It just wasn't there, as far as being ready to get out there and be safe and play at that level. So, we looked at it [and] tried to get it there. It just wasn't getting there. [Damarion Williams] did everything he could do, and he'll be back next year, but it just wasn't there right now."


On how many players have leaned on him for advice on the path to the Super Bowl since he has experience in the game:"Like I've been saying the whole year, I feel like everybody knows what's at stake just being down that road and remembering all the feelings of how things went and how the games go. It's just about dialing in to all the things that Coach 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] talks about – [the] small fundamentals of football [and] everybody doing their assignment. There's no teams that are here by mistake or accident. Every team here is the best of the best in the business. We approach it like that, and whatever I can do to help, that's what I'm here to do."

On what changes during a practice week heading into a postseason game and how he would describe the intensity and mindset: "I can't say. Personally for myself, I don't know if it's any different. [I've] been looking forward to it since the win against [the] Miami [Dolphins] in Week 17. It's been a long time that we've had off. I'm always intense when it comes to this. I'm always thinking about it, so I don't know if there's anything different for me personally. I think everybody has a sense of urgency. We're all anxious to take it a day at a time. Everybody's excited about the opportunity that we have."

On if everything has been building for this playoff run after his long road to get to this point: "Yes. It's been a long road since November 10 or 11, 2020 when it first started with [my] ACL [tear]. Then, you train for 14 months. Unfortunately, everybody knows how the Super Bowl ended [for me]. You train another 19 months. It's been a long two and a half years, so it all boils down to this. We only have four or five days guaranteed left. Everything else, you earn after that. Everything else after that, you've earned. I don't think anybody in this building takes it lightly. [It's] such a long journey, and you're getting towards the end. It's like you might as well reap the benefits of all the hard work you put in. We're all fighting for the opportunity to earn the opportunity to be able to practice again for another week, and it starts with beating a very good team in the Houston Texans. They have everything rolling and clicking. It's not going to be an easy task, but I think this team is up for the challenge."

On the energy of the team heading into the playoffs:"It's electric. You have guys at every single position – special teams, offense, defense, quarterback, linebackers, DBs, receivers ... It's one of those teams that's very hard to beat. When you have such a tight-knit group [with] everybody playing for each other – your brothers – it makes things a lot more fun when you come out victorious. Like I said, everybody knows the task that's at hand. We just have to take it a day at a time."

On if he's noticed anything different with QB Lamar Jackson:"[Lamar Jackson's been the] same since the minute we stepped in here. His eyes are on that prize. His approach ... if anything he looks even more focused and locked in than ever. So, it's been an exciting season for all of us. It's been a historical season for himself. I don't know if he won the MVP already, I didn't see the news. But he's the leader, the heart and soul of this team, and we're just trying to find a way to scratch off another victory."

On his compliment to Head Coach John Harbaugh earlier in the season and what he would say his experience is like playing with him now for a full season: "I changed my mind about all of it. [It was] terrible – everything about it."* (laughter) *"Like I've told you all, the way [John Harbaugh] runs this place ... You know when people care for you. It's not politics or you're just ... like this is your job to act this way – this is a genuine act that he has. I feel like it kind of reflects throughout this building and definitely reflects on values and things that I stand for, love, all of those things. He's been absolutely tremendous. He's been everything that I can ask for. He goes on my Mount Rushmore of coaches that I've had for sure."

On how he's seen WR Zay Flowers mature and become a better player:"Experience is always the best teacher. There's really nothing better than that, you being able to see those things. Just the maturity when you're able to withstand the storm and the whole idea of the rookie wall and all of those things. [Zay Flowers] kind of hit the ground running full speed and kind of just kept going. I can see that he's gearing up, and I just try and have conversations with him to instill confidence, conversations if there's anything needed. [I ask him], 'Hey, what did you work on today? What did you get better at? What is it that you want to do better? How's your body?' [I] just kind of try stay there for him. I told him, 'This is where you start your legacy. That was all fun and cool – rookie year, we'll put it behind us. But this is where you cement yourself in stone, and this is where your legacy truly begins.' So, I know that he's excited for it. I know that everybody in here is excited for it and it's just an amazing opportunity we have."


On if he is feeling loose heading into the playoffs:"Absolutely, we had some time off to regroup [and] lock back in. I'm hype. [I'm] antsy."

On if his mindset changed once he learned he would be facing the Texans:"No, I just went right to film to the first time we played them. I just watched film throughout the season of who the Texans have played. I just went right to it – film study."

On how different the Texans are from the Week 1 matchup:"I believe they are more in sync as a team. I believe [in Week 1] they had new guys getting used to the [new head] coach. They are playing lights out ball right now."

On if WR Odell Beckham Jr. is at his best and how of a target will he will be in the playoffs: "I believe he has been getting better each and every week throughout the offseason to returning to the player he once was. Like I said, all year he has been. But, as the playoffs start rolling, he will definitely be one of the guys."

On if the team leans on WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s Super Bowl experience: "We really don't lean on anyone's experience because those were different teams. We just try pick their brain [to learn] what they did to prepare for the game. We pretty much just go as one unit."

On if he watched the Super Wild Card Weekend games and what he thinks of rookie QB C.J. Stroud's performance:"I didn't watch the game live. From my experience, he played better than I did from my rookie playoff game, I would say that. He was throwing the ball all over the field, making things happen. He did great. He did great."

On how the Ravens have changed since Week One:"We have changed a lot as well, just getting better and better, with our scheme and just being one unit. We added a bunch of new pieces as well on offense. We are definitely getting in sync now."

On what most impresses him about QB C.J. Stroud:"I don't really watch the games, but when I do catch glimpses of other quarterbacks, [I've noticed] he has been getting nonstop attention on TV. That's a guy you are going to see day in and day out. [No.] 7 – he is throwing the ball all over the field. Even when one of his star receivers, Tank Dell, went down, he has still been making things happen with the guys he has."

On if he feels more prepared entering this postseason as compared to previous years:"Yes, I believe so. I believe so."

On how meaningful it would be to make the AFC Championship Game:"It would be great. It would be great. But we are just going to handle everything one day at time." 

On if the Ravens were playing their best football at the end of the regular season:"Yes, I believe we were, especially against the opponents we had – [they were] playoff opponents. That was the thing about that bye week. I thought, 'Dang, we have a bye week. We were getting into a groove.' We were getting more and more dialed in. But it is what it is. Coach [John] Harbaugh still made us practice as if we were preparing for a game. I believe we will still be ready."

On if the stadium practice allowed him to visualize what the upcoming playoff game would be like:"No. I pretty much let last week be last week and this week be a different week. We are actually playing this week. We aren't practicing against each other. It was different for me."

On staying in a groove despite the bye week:"Just prepare in practice [and] treating practices like we are preparing for a game. That is pretty much what we did last week and followed it over this week. Actually, we have the game on Saturday, so it helps us out." 

On if he is ready for the anticipated cold weather for the game:"I am ready for whatever right now."

On if he can make the comparison of not playing in the regular season finale and the bye week to not playing in the preseason:"I believe I can make it. I don't have another choice. I sat out for the bye week, and now we are here."

On how dangerous WR Rashod Bateman can be in the playoffs:"I believe very dangerous. But we have so many guys – great receivers and great tight ends and great running backs. Everyone can't shine at once. Everyone is going to shine all together. He can't get all the flowers he deserves, but to us, he definitely gets his flowers because he is one of the [key contributors]."

On how WR Zay Flowers needs to improve for the playoffs:"I don't really think he needs to improve. He just has to keep doing what he is doing – just being himself. Whatever mode he is in before the game, stay in that mood, because he will go out there and ball out." 

On how WR Zay Flowers has improved since Week 1:"He has been playing the same. Just keep doing it. Level up a little bit more, if anything."

On what it is like seeing TE Mark Andrews practice:"It is great to see. One of our guys is back. One of our main guys is back. We just need him to keep preparing, keep getting better one day at a time, but we are waiting on him."

On his confidence in this year's offense and the unit's ability to put up the points the team needs to win in the playoffs:"[I'm] very confident. Very, very confident. Extremely confident."

On if his championship-focused mindset has prepared him for where he is now:"Just keeping my mind focused on the assignment. Not letting anything enter into my mind that would mess up my thoughts for the game. It's great. It's been great."


On if the mentality changes as the team heads into the postseason:"We just have the same type of mentality we [showed] for the season; that's why our records show what we've done. But I feel like there is definitely ... Guys are tightening up a little bit more than what it usually is, just because it's win or go home. So, a little bit, but it's still the same course."

On the team tightening things up in preparation for the postseason:"[Tightening up], in terms of focus, consistency, discipline and stuff like that – tightening up like that."

On how big it is for him to be back on the practice field:"Really big. I wasn't going to miss the Divisional [playoff game] for anything, especially an ankle, but I thank God that I was able to come back. [It was] a speedy recovery, and I'm going to keep on working on it for the rest of the week, so [that] I can be 100% for the game."

On if it helps that the team faced the Ravens during the regular season, albeit Week One:"You would think, but not really. I feel like [the Texans] are a whole different team, [and] C.J. [Stroud] is a whole different QB. I feel like we woke them up, and we matured them, and he's been balling ever since. I've got a lot of respect for him and everything, but I feel like everyone on that team is a little different. In the playoffs, obviously, people play harder, so we've got to come with a different energy as well."

On what he remembers about his Week One performance against the Texans:"[It was the] first game of the season, and I was trying to get out there and show who I was and everything – who I am. I was just running, trying to hit C.J. [Stroud] as much as I could. Obviously, I was going against – in my opinion – one of the best tackles in the league [in Laremy Tunsil]. So, that's the same type of energy I'm trying to come with this weekend."

On how helpful the bye week was for him:"Very, very. I needed it. I needed it. That's all I'm going to say; I needed it." (laughter)

On what stands out to him about QB C.J. Stroud:"I would say [that C.J. Stroud] is just really accurate [and] really poised in that pocket, even [when] there is some pressure in there; I'll say that he's done a better job [at] that. And I feel like, [in] the first game we played them, he would sense me or sense a rusher and get rattled and try to throw it out, [instead of] sitting in there and looking at his reads. I'll say he's more calm and poised, which is ... It was [his] first game as a rookie, so I wasn't expecting ..."

On what he remembers thinking about QB C.J. Stroud following the Week One matchup:"Yes, yes. I might have talked to him after; I was just like, 'Keep going. You're going to be good, man. You're straight. We're the Ravens, so you can't base everything off this one game.'"* (laughter)* "But I feel like he's a good player – confident, too. He's doing big things in Houston."

On how the Ravens re-gain their momentum:"It could be tough, but I feel like, if you know who you are and you know what the mission is – what we're trying to attack – this is what you should ... You shouldn't have to get ready; you should continue to already have it. And the Texans are coming in here – to 'The Bank' – and we're the rested team, [and] we're getting guys back. OK, they played a little bit, but we got the bye for a reason. We're guys, too, so that shouldn't be something you should worry about."

On if there was any worry that he would miss playoff games due to injury:"No, no. I was going to play."

On if he felt good today:"Yes, yes – pretty good."


On how he describes the mentality of the team heading into the playoffs:"It's the next game on the schedule. We know what's at stake – it's go home or keep going. We know our mission, and we know how we feel about each other. We know it's not going to end this week, so we're going to do everything in our power and play our style. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself."

On what the Saturday practice was like and how he is feeling ahead of his first playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium:"I thought we got a lot out of it. It's funny you asked that, because the head of security Craig [Singleterry] asked me, 'Ro, when you came in you didn't really speak much. You just had this straight face like it was a real game.' He was trying to tell me to relax in a sense. I was just in that mindset. When I get to the stadium, I'm thinking, 'It's time to go to war.' It was definitely good, and then it was also good from the standpoint of our guys with families being able to hang out [with] their kids being able to enjoy the stadium, enjoy food and just break bread amongst each other. It was pretty sweet."

On how much more intense he gets before a playoff game: "I think you'll be there Saturday at 4:30, and then we'll see. How about that?" (Reporter: Do you take it up a notch?) "I think it's always up a notch, but your life depends on it every single game throughout the season and then playoffs. I don't think personally you try to. I think [it's] just instincts that raise that standard. At the end of the day, I'll see you there Saturday, and we'll see."

On what stands out about where Texans QB C.J. Stroud and his team have come since they played the Ravens in Week One:"I think they're definitely improved, but so are we when you look at it. Yes, they do a lot of good things. [No.] 26 [Devin Singletary] is running the ball well. [No.] 7 [C.J. Stroud] is very accurate, and then [No.] 12 [Nico Collins], the receiver, is definitely coming on. The offense is definitely clicking, but we wouldn't want it any other way. We're prepared for it, and we're ready to go to war regardless of who it's against, and they're the team that's coming in here. Business is is business handled."

On what is it like playing for head coach John Harbaugh:"[John Harbaugh's] a really good coach. [He] listens to his players. [He's] going to demand the most out of you and wants you to maximize yourself day in and day out. If you do that, you feel like you get rewarded, and I'm a witness of it. I love playing for him, and I'm grateful to be here. We definitely have to get it for ourselves as well as him."

On how much confidence it has brought to having successful gameplans against some of the NFL's best teams helps in his ability to execute these gameplans in an AFC Divisional game where they have had so much time to prepare:"Honestly, what happened in the regular season happened in the regular season. We're past that. We're onto the postseason. We don't need any extra confidence at all. We know exactly who we are. We're a bunch of 'dawgs' at the end of the day, in a nicer way of saying it. We're guys that would do anything for each other and try to knock off anybody that's trying to stop that coming in between us. We don't need confidence by any means. We know exactly who we are, so we just have to come out and show that to the world who'll be watching versus a really good team in [the] Houston [Texans]."

On if the defense feels pressure or responsibility to continue their high level of play into the postseason: "Pressure? I don't feel pressure at all, but some [people] do say pressure bursts pipes and makes diamonds. I know a lot of guys in [the locker room] like diamonds, so I would say we're in a diamond-making business. At the end of the day, we just have to come out there and be who we are. That's going to start from the first play to the last play. [We want to] send a message of exactly who we are and who we've been all year. This is a new year right here. Everybody is 0-0 going into each and every game. It's about winning the game at hand, and that's our focus. I know if we do everything to the standard that we know, everything else will work out for us."

On if there is a different edge to the defense given the time off:"I think there's an edge any time you go out there and put everything on the line with your guys regardless of who the opponent is. It can be a Pop Warner team. It can be ... Maybe your parents want to come out there and play against your guys. They have to get it, so I don't think it's anything extra regardless of the time off. I definitely know we are ready to go to war. Whoever's on that battlefield versus us has to get dealt with accordingly."


On if he has to make any adjustments to the cold temperatures:"Not at all. This is what we do. We're not new to the cold. We have to go out there [and] strap up and play ball."

On how the defense has changed since Week One:"Our mindset is just proving who we are. That's what we've been doing all year, and it starts again. We have an opportunity this week to prove what this defense is about and just let the whole league see it once again." 

On what his impressions are of QB C.J. Stroud: "[C.J. Stroud] is a pretty good quarterback [and] can make all the throws. [He] definitely has a better sense of his offense, but it goes without saying, we just have to do our job, [and] make it difficult on him [by] making the reads difficult for him and just make it tough for the offense in general."

On how much he took from the Week One game versus the Texans: "You take pieces from every game throughout the season. Obviously, we had them the first week and won, but they're a better team than they were [in] Week One. So, we just have to continue to prepare and do what we have to do to go out and win."

On how the team gets back to the groove they were in before the playoff bye week: "I think we're still in our groove. Last week we had a pretty good schedule just continuing to do what we've been doing – staying on top of our communication or whatnot. But the game is around the corner, so we have no choice but to be in our groove."

On if he's a patient person or if he's eager to play on Saturday: "Honestly, I've been watching these games getting butterflies like I'm ready to go play. But Saturday can't get here much quicker. I'm itching to go out there."

On how he would describe the mentality of the team after having the weekend off watching games and coming back in here to get to work:"I think we're just all hungry. Everybody was just ready to get back and just know who we were going to play and just start preparing. I think everybody's just been looking forward to preparing for a team and just going about our normal game week."


On QB Lamar Jackson:"I know since [Lamar Jackson] got drafted, he said he always wanted to bring a Super Bowl here, so I think that's what he's been trying to do his whole career. All the accomplishments he's had individually, he likes it [and] everything like that, but he always preaches how he wants a Super Bowl."

On how the Houston Texans have evolved since their Week One matchup: "They're a whole different team. I feel like C.J. Stroud has come into his own throughout the year. He showed it throughout the whole year, and guys like Nico Collins are starting to step up a lot. [Devin] Singletary came along, too, from the beginning of the year, so I think that whole group is playing together as a collective group, and they have their confidence, and they have a great coach over there in DeMeco [Ryans]. I think they're just all playing behind each other right now and playing really well."

On what pops up when watching QB C.J. Stroud on film:"I think it's everything. [C.J. Stroud] can make any throw from any part of the field. He has that big arm, and he's playing smart with the ball. He's not putting the ball in jeopardy, so he's making plays for his guys and being smart with the ball. That's my biggest takeaway from [watching] him."

On what the home crowd atmosphere will mean to this team in the playoffs: "It's going to be great. It's going to be my first home game in the playoffs, so I'm ready for that. I feel like 'The Bank' is going to be rocking; it always is in big games. This is going to be a great environment for us and a chance for us to go prove what we want to do this year."

On what was the process of the stadium walk-through practice and how it helped them visualize what the game will be like:"I feel like it was a great opportunity just for us to be on the field, be out there together, be able to talk and things like that. We really couldn't simulate the [loud game] environment, but at the end of the day, we know what type of environment it's going to be. It's going to be a rocking environment. The fans are going to be into it – the whole crowd. We're just going to do our part, feed off them and do what we have to do to win this game."

On how much playoff intensity there is and if the intensity is taken up a notch because it's a game week: "Yes, definitely. It's definitely going to [be taken] up a notch, but I feel like at the end of the day, we've prepared the same way since the beginning of the season. I feel like we have a goal that's in mind, and it's been set back in [the] spring. It's just taking it up another notch since it's the playoffs, but at the end of the day, we know what we want to do, and everyone is coming in with the same attitude each and every day, even since last week. We know what we've got to do to go where we want to be."


On how he imparts his postseason experience on his teammates and what changes in the postseason:"Well, I mean, right away, it's win or go home. I'm here if guys need me and if they need to lean on me, but at the end of the day, I just don't think playoff experience matters. Every year is new – new challenges, new team, new teammates – wherever you are. If you've been somewhere for 10 years, 20 years or a year, everything is different. So, I just think it comes down to the simple fundamentals of football – catching, running, tackling, hiking the ball [and] simple stuff like that – [and] being on point every single play and doing it for 60 minutes."

On how ready this group is for the postseason:(laughter) "I'm not one to sit here and say we're ready or not ready. I just think, at the end of the day, as a group, we know the task at hand, and we're going to play Saturday night at 4:30 [p.m.]."

On the Texans offense, QB C.J. Stroud and his weapons:"Yes, I think something that not many people have talked about is their O-line play and how well they have performed. [My] former teammate over there, Shaq Mason, is playing really, really good football, as well as [Laremy] Tunsil and [Michael] Deiter, their center. They are just doing a really good job, as a group, playing. And then, obviously, you've got to ... If you haven't watched or you [don't] know anything about the Texans, C.J. Stroud has played tremendous for them. Nico Collins has done a really good job, and then [Devin] Singletary running the ball. So, I think, collectively, C.J. Stroud has kind of overshadowed some of the guys that have been playing really, really well. But they've been a really complete offense, and they've done a really good job of attacking downfield and running the ball. So, we're excited for the challenge; we've just got to play Ravens football."

On what he remembers doing during the NFL's Week One, before he was signed and when the Ravens faced the Texans:"I do. I was watching everybody in the league, thinking, 'I can still play football.' So, it's exciting. I won't forget it, and I keep that chip on my shoulder – that I wasn't wanted by a lot of teams – and I'm grateful for the Ravens reaching out and believing in me and then throwing me in. It only took a couple days for them to be like, 'Oh, this dude is ready to play.' And then I've been hitting the ground running, and it's awesome, and I just appreciate the guys embracing me here, and I'm excited to play in another playoff environment. This will be my 10th season, and I've gone to the playoffs eight out of my 10 seasons. So, I'm really excited about that [and for getting] another opportunity to showcase my skills, as well as play with this team. I'm very excited [about] this team we've had and the type of dudes that are here. We really like each other, and we hope each other performs at a high level on Saturday night."

On if he has a sense for how big a playoff breakthrough could be for QB Lamar Jackson:"I think it's meaningful for everybody, but I think, for [Lamar Jackson], he's said it all year, and I think you know the three words that he's said – 'I'm locked in' – and he means it."

On if he believes that the intensity ramps up for a playoff game:"Yes, to sit here and blow that off and say [that] the intensity doesn't ramp up, I think they're full of you know what, and it does [ramp up]. It means a lot more, because it's win or go home. It's either, you move to the next round, and you're one of four teams, or you're getting a trash bag and clearing out your locker room. And so, it means a lot, so the intensity and urgency needs to be up there, but at the same time, we're going to continue to do what we do best, which is have fun, play our keys, read our keys and play football."

On how his patience has been tested, given the bye last week and all the unknown:"I don't think it's necessarily testing patience, because we earned the right to have that week. We were the No. 1 seed, and so, it wasn't about patience, but it was just [about] coming in with the right mindset each and every day to get better, and I think we did, [as] a group. I think we got well rested, as a group, and I'm excited to get on the field, [and] I'm sure you guys are excited to report [on] a game. So, we're all excited, as a group. How about that?" (laughter)

On if he sees any similarities in former Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, in terms of their defensive approach and how they see the game:"Yes, they are very intentional and detail oriented. They come up with great gameplans, and they do a really good job. I don't ever want to compare two people, because they're their own people; [defensive coordinator] Mike [Macdonald] is completely different than [former Patriots head coach] Bill [Belichick], and Bill is completely different than Mike. So, Mike has done a really good job with the group we have. I mean, we've had – in the regular season – career years at numerous spots, as well as defensively, the No. 1 turnovers and all the other stuff that doesn't matter anymore, because the postseason starts, and it's a new chapter. Mike is going to have us ready to go, and we're excited to execute his plan."

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