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Transcripts: Press Conferences (12/6)


Opening Statement: "Thank you guys for being here. We had a good practice. The guys were in high spirits. We're excited about a big challenge with the Rams coming in on Sunday afternoon. We know what an important game it is, and our guys are preparing accordingly. So, what questions do you have? 

You've faced DT Aaron Donald a few times and done pretty well against him. What's the key when going against a dominant interior guy like that?*_(Jamison Hensley) _*"Well, [Aaron Donald]'s No.99, right? You have to know where's he's at, at all times, and try to get as many people blocking him as you can for as long as you can, which is a tall order. He's probably the greatest to ever play at that position. So, he's definitely that, but it's not just him, they have just quite a few really good players on defense. They play really hard; They're flying around [and have] a very disruptive front. So, we have our work cut out for us."

Is it different at some point to come back from the momentum and deal with the late bye week?*_(David Andrade) _*"No. It's been good for us. Our guys are in good spirits. The time off will be good for us physically and mentally as well. But it's part of the National Football League. We have a big challenge in front of us Sunday, and that's what everybody is focusing on."

The Rams are an offense that like to thrive on some big plays. You guys have done really good at limiting big plays, especially in the pass game. What do you think of the challenge of trying to keep a lid on them?*_(Cordell Woodland)_* "That's a big challenge. It's the No. 1 priority. You have to keep these guys from the chunk pass plays, whether it's play action, drop-back pass … Their drop back pass rate right now is among the highest in the league, if not the highest in terms of pretty much every situation. [The Rams] have a quarterback that knows how to do it [and] knows how to handle protection. But also the boots, the misdirection passes with the run game. So, it all kind of all ties together in their system. Matt Stafford knows how to do it as well as anybody as far as running that system. [He's] a great play-caller, so all of those things come into play."

After watching tape, do you find yourself wondering why WR Puka Nacua fell as far as he did in the draft? Do you remember doing any homework on him?*_(Jeff Zrebiec)_* "Oh yes, I liked him. [Puka Nacua] was one of my highest-rated guys. You can ask anybody here. Ask the wide receivers coach, Greg Lewis [and] ask the scouts. He was way up on my board. He's playing exactly how I thought he would, just for the record." (laughter) "The challenge, to your point, again, they have a really good receiving corps. They have guys all across the board. Cooper Kupp is not too bad either. [Tyler] Higbee is a really good tight end. Demarcus [Robinson] is playing really well, as well. [Tutu] Atwell is a speed guy, you have to keep an eye on him downfield at all times. So, it's a good group." 

You mentioned a couple weeks ago that S Marcus Williams would gain really gain steam and be closer to the player that he has been for you guys as the season went along. In that last game against the Chargers, he had a couple breakups. How close is he to the healthy player at his best, and do you think this bye week really something that a guy like him is really going to benefit from?*_ (Kyle Goon)_* "Yes to the last part, I would say. Yes, to the first part. You can see it kind of really start to come together in the last game. I mentioned to [Marcus Williams] Monday at practice, I just feel like he's kind of ready to step out and go make some big plays for us. He's getting around the ball now. He kind of showed up downfield in front of the ball a couple of times. He made a couple hard-hitting tackles, and he looks good. He's a guy you don't want to forget about. He's a great football player. Marcus is a great football player, and having him back there is a big plus for us."

The weather gets cold, and the run game gets amped up, how great is it to have three running backs and QB Lamar Jackson that can run the ball in that part of the game in this part of the season?*_(Todd Karpovich)_* "A big part of it. [It's] December football [and] January football, the run the game is important. Stopping the run is massive. Stopping the run against this team is critically important. Running the ball against this defense is very important. It's going to be that way. We're going to be saying that every week all the way in December here, so [it's] a big part."

WR Odell Beckham is going against the Rams, he won a Super Bowl with them. Now we're 12 games into the season, how would you think about the impact of Odell with this team?*_(Jamison Hensley)_* "Odell [Beckham Jr.] will be a captain for us, one of our captains in this game, and he'll go out there and do the coin toss, and he'll be out there playing. He's a heck of a football player. He draws a lot of attention. He's making plays, and he's really coming into his own health-wise right now and getting strong and faster. It's a big road back from where he had to come from. You see it every single week. You guys watch the game, there's an explosive element to what he's doing. He can really go. I know he's going to make a bunch of big plays down in the stretch here."

You addressed the weather question, but specifically this Sunday, it looks like high winds possibly and possibly a lot of rain. Does that factor into preparation in terms of how you would adjust?*_(Mark Viviano)_* "Absolutely. Winds are a big factor in the passing game and the kicking game. So, we have to take that into account. Just catching it, whether it's catching a punt [or] a kickoff or catching a pass. Ball handling is going to be a big part of it. We're a ball handling offense, so we have to handle the ball in wet weather. That's going to be important to us. We'll be keeping that in mind, and it'll be big for them, too. They have to do the same thing. They [will have to] play in the same weather that we do, so if we can take advantage of any mistakes they might make … You have to win the game in every type of circumstance, and the elements are a big part of it."

You've had a handful of less-heralded players, guys like LB Malik Harrison, DE Brent Urban and a few guys come to mind that have made notable contributions and plays throughout the course of the season. How important is it to have those guys who can contribute and make those sorts of plays throughout the course of the season for a successful team?*_(Brian Wacker)_* "It's massively important for everybody to be a part of what you're doing. Football is the consummate team game, it always has been, and it's not a one-man show. It's not a two-man show. It's not a star system, it's a team system. It always has been. I think teams that recognize that – and I think teams do recognize that more so than anybody, probably, when you're in the middle of it. You know that every single guy is important in the course of a game or a season. Somebody's going to make a play. Somebody has to make the play. If you're on that field, you have an opportunity to make a play. [As a] matter of fact, you're going to be required to make the plays that come your way, and you either do it, or you don't. It's kind of the ultimate meritocracy – you're out there, [and] you have an opportunity, and you either do it or you don't do it. So, our guys have stepped up. So many guys have stepped up, to your point, which is a great point. That's why we're at where we're at right now. So, we have to keep building on that, and we have to do it down the stretch."

We didn't see WR Rashod Bateman out there. Is everything OK?*_(Cordell Woodland)_* "Yes. He had kind of an illness, sickness-type deal. So, hopefully he'll be back tomorrow with that."

Is CB Ar'Darius Washington done for the season, or is the door still open for him to return?*_(Jeff Zrebiec)_* "I'll have to get back to you on that one. I don't know for sure. I'm not really planning on [Ar'Darius Washington] being back in all honesty, but let me check again. It's been a while since I've heard anything."

S Geno Stone leads all safeties in AFC Pro Bowl voting who originally started as a backup on the roster. What have you thought of S Geno Stone's performance this season?*_(Kyle Phoenix)_* "I think it goes back to [reporter] Brian [Wacker]'s point. That's exactly right. Guys have done that. Geno [Stone] would know more than anybody. He leads the [AFC] in interceptions. He always knew he could do it. We were always pretty sure he could do it." (laughter) "We knew he could do it, and guys get a chance, and they do it. I'm proud of him, but I guarantee you one thing – what Geno's thinking about is he's not looking back. He's looking forward to this next game and the next games in December."


On what it will be like going up against his former team, the Los Angeles Rams, with whom he won the Super Bowl:"It's not going to feel like anything." (laughter) "It's a special bond that I have with those guys over there – 'Coop' [Cooper Kupp], [Matthew] Stafford. I still hit a little group chat [with them]. [I've] talked a little trash with them this week. It's just all love and respect. [Sean] McVay's been … He kind if was the person who ... the whole situation and organization brought me back to loving and having joy for football and understanding true professionalism and being prepared. It was just a great experience for me, alongside winning a Super Bowl. Overall, it was one of the best things that's happened in my life."

On how the Los Angeles Rams helped him and how his experiences with them have carried over to his time with the Ravens: "Starting with there, it just was something that … There's been other situations where I didn't feel prepared the way that I felt prepared over there from the way that they come in for meetings, in the way that they look at the film and dissect each player, team, [saying] 'These plays are going to work.' I just felt prepared going into ... I think [Sean] McVay does an incredible job. I remember even [in] the month of November, they lost. I don't know what to say, 'we' or 'they.' I'm over here now, but we, at the time, had lost three games in a row, and I watched him never waver. I've seen some coaches lose, and you see a completely different person, so that's always been my biggest compliment about him. He knows, for sure. Publicly, I've spoken about him. I have nothing but the utmost love and respect for him and that place over there and those people."

On why head coach Sean McVay's offense is so wide receiver friendly: "He's just a guru. He was around the Shanahans and the [Mike] McDaniels. He's one in his own. He just knows what he's doing. It's hard to explain. It's a very tough offense. It covers a lot of motions, a lot of receivers [and] deceptive things that go on. I know our defense has a tough task in front of them, but I think this is the right defense for the job."

On if this team has a special opportunity in front of itself:"I think when we can sit here today at this point, and we're 9-3, and this team's playing the way that they're playing … It's a lot easier to say it now, but I feel like before, when I was looking at where to go and who to sign with and who's going to have an opportunity to be here, this was what I envisioned not knowing that 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] runs this place the right way. I just know [that when] I always played against the Ravens, it was always tough. It was always difficult. It was a team that was just relentless [and played] tough football. Sitting here now at 9-3, [we] definitely know that there's an opportunity. It comes with the same thing that we've been doing for the first 12 games. It's just finding ways to win football games, finding ways to be elite, score points and not allow the other team to score points. It's definitely a good opportunity we have."

On how impactful the bye week was physically for him and if the team is in a good position during this final stretch of the regular season to make his impact felt:"I think it's more you just have an opportunity. Yes, your body gets to rest, but is too much rest good? I think it's more of a mental break. You get to just reset. To me, when I was thinking about or looking at the schedule and seeing that the bye week came at this time, and the way that the season went, it couldn't have come at a better time. Now, you're going into a real season [with] five games left that are setting you up to be in the real, real season. So, the bye week was great. I don't think it could've come at a better time, and it just allowed you to have some time to breathe and reset."

On if this game against his former team feels like another one of his milestones: "I don't know how to explain it. It's weird. We're wearing the all-purple uniforms. I don't know if they're wearing the all-bone uniforms. Two years ago, I was over there, and I scored a touchdown to win the game [against the Ravens]. Now, I'm over here. Hopefully, I can do the same thing and return the favor to them. Sometimes, I have these Deja vu moments that go on mid game after you played for so long, [and] you've seen so many things. It's just a team that I have a lot of love and respect for. Obviously, I won a Super Bowl with them, so it does feel good to go against them [and] to be able to see these guys. I have a special bond with them. The goal is obviously to win now on this side."

On if winning a Super Bowl changed how he views the progression of a season and if it gets him more impatient to get to the playoffs:"Just like everything in life, you can't speed up the process to get anywhere. Life's going to take 24 hours to get to tomorrow, and you just have to stay in it [and] be where your feet are at. I remember my first playoff experience just being [crappy]. It was just bad. I wasn't ready for the moment, and I was itching and just dying to get back to having an opportunity. When I had the opportunity in 'LA' [Los Angeles], I was more than ready for it. Like I was saying [with] the real, real season, it's coming. It's going to be on the way after five weeks [and] after handling our business one week at a time. [We're] trying to go 1-0, [which is] the same mentality that we've had all year. I just think that's the approach. It's not going to get here any faster [even] if I want it to."

On what the preparation style has been like with the Ravens: "[We're] definitely prepared. 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] harps on the keys to winning football. These are the little things that if they're talked about in the wrong manner, it's seems negative like we're always stressing this [and] stressing that, but he talks about them in such a positive way that you see it come up in a game, and we're prepared for that. We know that, 'OK, we need to get down here. We need to clock it. We need to do all the little things.' I definitely feel prepared here. Great preparation leads to us being able to do what we're doing."

On why he chose the Black Women's Health Imperative for his My Cause My Cleats cleats that he will wear on Sunday: "I don't know. It was very hard to pick a cause, but it's just something that's dear to my heart. I'm still working on the [design of the] cleats. [There's a] different situation with my cleats that I used to be with and now I'm trying to make it all up. Hopefully, I can put together something good for the [Black Women's Health Imperative] cause. I want to try and get them auctioned off for something for a good price or something like that this year."

On if he is accustomed to being around celebrities and having people also see him as the star:"To me, it's hard. I think that might be one of my bigger flaws, I would say. Sometimes, I don't see myself as what the world could portray me. At certain moments, I see myself as Odell, and I know at moments I could be 'OBJ' or whatever you want to call it. It's just how I've always been – how I was raised, probably. I remember a little bit when I was younger. After 'the catch' [against the Dallas Cowboys in 2014], I'll never forget LeBron [James] was in New York, and I ended up going to Carbone with him. This is like my idol, idol. This is the person who ... I think I'm a little slue-footed because of him. I really tried to emulate and watch everything that he did. I definitely know what it's like, but I just feel like now I've been around it so much that I've just had to be accustomed to it or used to it."

On if QB Lamar Jackson talks about winning the Super Bowl with teammates:"Yes, but he [Lamar Jackson] brings it up in a sense of when we're talking about a specific route or a detail. It's like, 'Oh, we need to do this, that and a third. We need to do that. That way, it's going to work out.' He's like, 'Yes,' and then he always ends it with, 'I'm trying to win a [Super] Bowl.' That's just the way of harping on the small details, because they're going to be important, and that's what's going to help us, obviously, try and achieve that goal. We know that it's a big task. It's a lot of small details that go into that, but I think we're up for it."


On what stands out about Rams WRs Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp, and what makes them challenging to defend: "They have some playmakers, for sure. I knew what [Cooper] Kupp could do. [Puka] Nacua kind of came in [as] a surprise. I think he has 1,000 yards already. They just find really good ways to get open. They can beat man coverage. They're really good in zone [coverage]. Those two guys together are kind of hard. Which one do you want to try to stop [or] try to limit? We'll definitely have our hands full this Sunday."

On how he's feeling health-wise: "I feel good. [I'm] ready to rock."

On what he thinks about RB Kyren Williams in the run game and receiving game:"We were talking about it: To be a guy that's not too heavy, [Kyren Williams] breaks a lot of tackles. We've been messing with Kyle [Hamilton] all week. I guess that was his roommate [at Notre Dame], so we're trying to make sure Kyle is not taking it easy on his roommate. Kyle has given us a couple of pointers, but he said he runs hard, does everything he's supposed to do, and then in the pass game, as well, he's a guy that quietly has made a lot of noise over there. So, we kind of have to handle him, as well. He's one of the public enemies, for sure."

On the opportunity this team has down the stretch as the current No. 1 seed in the AFC:"We're kind of just echoing what 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh] has been preaching. It's great to be in a position where you can control your own destiny. All that takes is just practicing good, taking [it] one day at a time and winning on Sunday. 'Harbs' had a pretty fiery message to start the week. This isn't a time to relax. This isn't a time to do anything other than to win the game in front of you, and that starts meeting after meeting, rep after rep [and] practice after practice. Then, you go into the game, and you're ready to go. So, we're kind of just looking forward to Sunday, winning that game, and just continuing to control what we can control."

On what sticks out about S Kyle Hamilton's confidence and the way he goes about pursuing new things: "I think probably the most interesting thing about Kyle [Hamilton] is how he walks around here is not who he is on Sunday. He's a really cool guy [and] cool to hang out with. You wouldn't think he plays the way he acts. That's a really cool thing – to see him turn that switch on and off every Sunday and just become, like … He's like a bully out there with the stuff he does, so it's been really good to see him emerge. I think everybody always saw it. Even 'EDC' [executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta] from the day he was … It seemed like he was just so excited, not thinking he was going to be able to draft him, and then Draft day came, and he was able to get him. So, I don't think anyone is too surprised. The guy is 6-4 [and] can play literally any position on defense, it seems like. Nobody is too surprised, but it's really good to see him flourishing."

On how rain and wind could affect his game on Sundays, and if he embraces a weather game as a defender: "[For] me personally, I want to play in a game where it's 10 inches of snow, because then they don't have to throw, and I just get to tackle." (laughter) "So, the worse the weather, the more fun for me. It's a lot more fun to defend the run instead of trying to defend the pass. I don't really know the weather, but if it's raining [or] snowing, it doesn't really affect me too much. If anything, it enhances me. Hopefully, the ball will be on the ground for their team and not our team, and we get the job done."

On Alabama getting another SEC Championship and making the College Football Playoff:"I hate it for FSU [Florida State University]. It's tough. It's tough, but it's not the most deserving. It's the teams that are the best four teams. It's that simple. I think the [Selection] Committee got it perfect. I think they got it perfect. So, sorry to FSU. Sorry to Georgia [and] Ohio State. But the Tide is going to roll. That's kind of what we do, so [I'm] really excited for the College Football Playoff. Roll Tide."


On meeting Snoop Dog:"It was pretty dope. It was pretty cool, man. It's Snoop Dog. I was hype, kind of starstruck, but I was hype for the most part."

On if it was his first time meeting Snoop Dog:"Yes. In person, it was [my first time meeting him]. It was cool."

On how often he steps back and realizes how crazy it is when he meets some celebrities:"Sometimes I do. I pretty much do it right in front of them. I'm hype. I'm like a little kid. Sometimes, I think about it, but like I said, it's right in front of them. I don't think about it when I walk away from them. I'll do it right in front of them. [I was like], 'It's Snoop Dog!'"

On coming back from the late Bye Week knowing you control your own destiny to the playoffs:"It feels great, but I felt like going into the Bye Week, we already knew that. We just have to focus on what we can control, and that's [to] keep winning games, going out there and putting on a better performance than we did before the Bye Week on offense. Just keep fighting each and every game, because it's any given Sunday."

On if it feels like the playoffs are starting early because of the difficult stretch of games ahead:"To be honest, I feel like every week for us has been a playoff game throughout the season, because people didn't think the Texans were that good, and I believe they are pretty good. The Colts are pretty good. [They are] a pretty solid team. The Steelers, they've been putting up fights … and Cleveland. Every week has been a playoff game for us. We just have to keep staying locked in, and that's only what we can control."

On what it's like to see AFC teams getting hit with injuries to their quarterbacks:"We don't want to see any injuries happen in the league. We want everybody to go out there and give their all. When we play against teams, we want them to have their best, but we know it's part of the game. I went down last year [and] the year before, but it happens in football. We just have to keep focus on what we can control."

On if he's assessed where the offense is after the Bye Week: "I stepped back. I just kind of took a break from focusing on football with us. When I got back, today [and] yesterday, I believe our team is just locked in because we know what's ahead of us, we know what got us here, [and] we know what this team wants, I believe we know what we're chasing."

On if there are things he can do during the week to prepare for bad weather on gameday:"[We do a] wet ball drill. I can't do anything about the wind. We had a wet ball drill [where] we put the ball in the garbage can, fill it up with water, put the ball in, and go from there. I just throw the ball, but the wind, we can't do anything about that."

On if it matters who his neighbors are in the locker room: "No. We're all brothers. Just don't be nasty. Just don't have clothes around. That's about it, then we're good."

On how he blocks out the weather and focuses on the game: "I just go out there and play football. I can't do [anything] about the rain or the wind. [I] just get prepared. Mind over matter."

On if WR Odell Beckham Jr. ever references his Super Bowl run with the Rams when he talks to players in the locker room:"He [doesn't]."

On what WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s leadership has meant to the team: "A lot. [Odell Beckham Jr.] pretty much just leads by example. He's cool with the guys. He talks with every one of us and stuff like that. We all do, but he doesn't just try to charge us up or stuff like that. He doesn't get in my face to pump me up. He pretty much just leads by example, goes out there and works hard, be Odell, and that's all we need him to do."

On if he feels like he has built a lot of trust with WR Odell Beckham Jr. in clutch moments, third downs and red zone situations: "Absolutely. That's all of our guys. We're brothers here. We all want to win. We all know what we're chasing, like I said earlier, and that's all [there is] to it. If [Odell Beckham Jr.'s] number is called, he'll make it happen. Whoever's number is called, they'll make it happen. That's why we just communicate."

On if he feels like there is a singular focus for this team:"[It's] not a singular focus. I believe some older guys who have been in the league a long time are feeling the same way. I'm pretty much one of the younger veteran guys, and I just see it, just from being in the league [and] what we had in 2019. We just fell short. Right now, I'm preaching it. I feel like I'm preaching to the choir, but it's like we have to take advantage of what we have, because we might not see it again for a few years. We might. I'm not going to say that. We might, but you never know."

On what it's like when people are starstruck about meeting him and how he handles that:"That's a good question. I don't know. I'm pretty down to Earth. I'm pretty much cool with it. Tight hugs, long hugs, crying hugs. I'm cool with whatever. I love the fans. I love the fans."

On what FB Patrick Ricard and other role players mean to him:"I don't look at guys like Pat [Ricard] as a role player. Just like you said, he's blocking his tail off. We need him to catch a pass – he's doing that. He's part of our 53-man roster, but our 11-guy personnel on the field, so he helps us throughout the game, no matter what the situation is, him and whoever else who may be be called a role player, who I feel is an ultimate team guy."


On if he even needs a scouting report on QB Matthew Stafford:"No, I definitely know of Matthew [Stafford] and know he's been playing the game for a very long time. I've got a lot of respect for him, as well, being a [Georgia Bulldog] and whatnot. And yes, he's definitely a gunslinger, so I'm excited for the matchup. I've played against him over the years many times, so [I'm] definitely looking forward to it."

On what it means to be the Ravens' Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee:"Thank you. And honestly, man, it means a lot to [me]. When I think about it, like I told a lot of the guys, [I'm] a kid from a very small town in Southwest Georgia – like I told them [with] a population of 1,000 people – no stoplights [or] anything like that. And I just know the impact that it has on a community, [where] as kids, there is not a lot that you look forward to besides just playing and then meeting superstars or [whoever] influential people that give back to the community. [I] just [know] the impact that it has, and that's just something that I'll always cherish, personally. And I think about it from the perspective of, if I'm only known as a really good football player, and that's it, I sold myself short and everyone else that has done so much for me in my life. So, I'm just grateful to be in [this] position, and I'm just grateful to be able to give back. And I don't give back for awards [or] anything like that – a lot of stuff I don't even really care to talk about – it's more so out of the goodness of my heart, because I truly enjoy just making kids, families or those in need [happy and] putting a smile on their face. Being a good person – that's something that I cherish, and it's just something I'll always want to do with this one life that I have."

On what the name Walter Payton means to him, given his time with the Bears organization:"I have a great deal of respect for Walter Payton and everything he has done and did, regardless [of] if I'm in Chicago or whether I'm here. The impact that he had on the community there in Chicago [and] actually seeing his name every day I came to work in the Walter Payton Center – I used to go over there for practice – up at Halas Hall … [I] would see him running out on Lake Michigan with kids, gifting kids school shoes, back-to-school [supplies] and things like that, and that just showed what type of person he is and what he cared about and how selfless he was, and his family, [too]. I definitely have a great deal of respect for them and just all the great things he had done throughout his life. I'm just grateful to be even mentioned by his name, nomination or whatever the case may be, so I definitely take a great deal of respect in it."

On why veterans who came in late, like DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney, CB Ronald Darby and OLB Kyle Van Noy, have fit in as well as they have:"I just think that credits the coaching staff here, the style that we are here, and I think it just goes to good leadership and just making everyone feel welcomed – welcomed to be themselves and not try to be anything that they're not. And I feel like, if you express that to individuals, players, especially – when they come in here, making sure that they know that they don't have to try to act or be anything they don't [want to be] – I think guys just [are] being themselves, and it makes them play [like] the best version of themselves. I think it's also a credit to the coaches for putting us in the right situation, right positions and getting us our one-on-ones and getting us favorable matchups."

On if he feels like this team has the unique opportunity to achieve the ultimate goal:"I definitely think this is a very unique situation and a very unique team [with] a lot of veteran leadership, and [we've] got a lot of younger guys, as well, that are very hungry. Truth be told, going into each and every year, there [are] truly only probably eight [or] nine teams that actually have a chance to compete for a Super Bowl, and that's on the higher side. [We just know] that we actually have an opportunity to [compete for a Super Bowl], but we just can't get to the bigger picture. We have to take it one game at a time, and we express that to each other day in and day out. It's just about going 1-0 for the week, and if we feel as [though] we do that, and play to the best of our ability, the sky is the limit. But, we can't get ahead of ourselves. We've got a great matchup with [the] L.A. [Rams] this week – take care of that – and then we just go on from there, but the big focus right now is just this week."

On the impact of the Ravens' less heralded defenders, such as OLB Tavius Robinson, DE Brent Urban or LB Malik Harrison:"Honestly, it just goes back to each and every guy being selfless and every guy knowing their role and not trying to be anything that they're not and not trying to get salty or upset at what someone else is doing. [Instead, everyone is] just also [happier] for the betterment of the team, and I think that's the mindset of the guys. Like, whoever gets the success, we all get the success at the end of the day, because once you do get a ring, we all get one; once you do win a title, a conference or whatever, everyone gets recognition – not just one player. I think everyone knows that, and we're just all about the betterment of the team, and that's basically it."

On if he gets a sense that people were questioning how much DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney has left in the tank has been a driving force behind Clowney's strong year:"Honestly, I don't think [Jadeveon Clowney] thinks about that. Like, he thinks about lining up and kicking the man's butt across from him, in a sense. He's been great this year, and I'm grateful to have him as a teammate. I think he has many years left in the tank [with] the way he goes out. I've seen some things that he does; people may say he's lost things in there, but I see it week in and week out. This guy is dangerous out there, and he could help any team in this league be better. He's definitely helping us, so I think it's a great addition, and I'm just grateful that he's on my team."

On if he was watching the College Football Playoff seeding and his reaction to Georgia being left out of competing for a three-peat:"Honestly, man, I wasn't watching it live. I actually probably found out … Somebody texted me, I think, and was like, 'Dang, it's crazy how they did the [Bulldogs].' But at the end of the day, I think about it – just like [Georgia head coach] Kirby [Smart] said – 'If you say Georgia is not one of the best four teams, then you're lying to yourself, and I don't know what you're on – blue dust [or] whatever the case may be.' But, it is what it is. So, I definitely think the 'Dogs' are definitely one of the four best teams in the land – without a question – and if anyone else disagrees with that, it just goes back to opinions. But [when] you look at it from top to bottom, for sure … But [there are] opinions with that, so hats off to those guys – the [Selection] Committee. I guess, that's what they do; that's their job. [It's] not my job, so I'm not too focused on it, but I definitely think the 'Dogs' should have been in there, in my words."

On the challenge of getting to QB Matthew Stafford, who hasn't taken many sacks recently:"It's a challenge every week you go out there – playing in the NFL – because everyone is good. The parody in this league is very small, so any team can beat you any given week. And I think that just credits [the Rams'] offensive line – being able to protect [Matthew Stafford]. Knowing that Stafford is protected, he can do a lot of great things with his arm. [We've] definitely got to get after him, though. That's our plan, and we're going to do everything in our power, and we're just going to make sure we come out [and] play our style of defense. We feel [that] if we do that, everything else will take care of itself."

On what it's been like to work with head coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the coaching staff:"Honestly, man, I've enjoyed being here so much. [It's a] great place to work. 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh is] a great leader from [the] top. Then, [working] more so with [defensive coordinator] Mike [Macdonald] – dealing with him every day – I think he's one of the most cerebral, brilliant minds in the game – just  [with] the way he creates matchups, the way he does things day in and day out and [the way he] creates similar pictures [to] be something different or be the same thing. So, I think it's great, man. He just knows how to attack, and I'm just grateful that I'm in it and playing for such a brilliant mind on the defensive side. Also, just having 'Z.O.' [inside linebackers coach Zach Orr] in the room – former player [and] All-Pro player, as well, and all the great things he's done throughout the league – just having that constant reminder, as well, I think is great. And then, [I'm also] playing with another ball, man, in 'P.Q' [Patrick Queen], so it makes everything a lot better. And then, I've got a lot of really good guys around me, from the defensive line to the secondary, as well as the scout team that's giving us looks day in and day out. So, I'm just grateful to be a part of it."

On how much the weather conditions and elements can impact a game:"I definitely feel like it can impact the game from an offensive perspective, but from a defensive perspective, like I say all the time: You can roll it out wherever – pavement, trampoline – you want to get out there and play. [If] you want to do it in the lake [like] water polo, hey, we're all about it. We'll go anywhere, any time. We've done it, and we don't mind doing it again. So, whatever the case may be, we'll be ready; I can promise you that."

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