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Transcripts: Ravens Media Availability 12/31

Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg

Coach, you pinned [the Steelers] down a lot last week. With Cincinnati, they have a lot of high-speed guys. You really pinned Pittsburgh back and kept them to some long drives. (Jim Forner) "Our average field position for our punts last week was the 50-yard line, so that had a lot to do with it. Sam's [Koch] numbers reflected that. It was a game where our offense is moving the ball, [and] we have good field position when we were punting. The objective then was to try to keep them as far back as we possibly could. The game kind of dictates how you play that whole situation. We like punting in the midfield area for field position purposes. That's kind of what John [Harbaugh] speaks about all the time to our team about playing complementary football. A punt is a good play as long as you're not punting from your own 10-yard line. If you're punting from … If you get a couple first downs and you get to mid-field area, then you have an opportunity to do what you say – pin somebody back – and hopefully play defense and get your punt return team out there. That's the way that particular game played out. We liked to have as much green grass to our back as we possibly can. We're punting to these two returners who we're playing against [in Cincinnati]; they're very aggressive. They've return it from inside their own 10-yard line. We have to be mindful of that even having a pooch area."

What stands out with WR/RS Kaelin Clay? You have now seen him for a few weeks. What stands out most about him – as a returner – that you really like?* (Jamison Hensley)*"I've spoken to this before, but I really like the way he's catching the ball. He's square on the ball. He tracks the ball easily. If you notice him tracking punts, he's not nervous under the ball. You don't see a lot of movement, which means he's able to put himself in a good position to be square to the ball and make a good catch. The other thing I see is – since he has been here, because it's important to us – he has been practicing good ball security. You may remember early on he got himself in a couple twisted situations, and it hasn't happened lately. I see him improving. I think that's the thing I really like about Kaelin is he's a diligent student. He has learned how we return, where we want the ball run, how we want the ball run. He seems to be improving every day. I see him making plays out here as a receiver as well, so that's a really important to us, also."

Jerry, I know you're not the general manager, but have you tried not to think about the possibility of this being K Justin Tucker's last game with Baltimore? (Luke Jones) "It never even crossed my mind. I never even considered that was a possibility."

**So, you're on the "for re-signing" K Justin Tucker side? *(Jon Meoli) *"If we have to cast a ballot – cast a vote – at the box, I'm voting, 'Yes, keep him.' Absolutely."

K Justin Tucker hit a 50-yarder [against Pittsburgh]. That's one area that he probably has not … You probably wanted to improve on that this year a little bit. Throughout the past couple weeks, is it something – as far as the long-distance kicks – that you tinkered with, or is it something that is kicking mechanics? (Jamison Hensley)"No, I don't think there's necessarily a change that needed to happen. That kick that he made on Sunday, not only was it a crucial kick in the game, [but] that was a hard kick. That was one of the toughest kicks he has had all year long, and it made it that much more satisfying that he hit it so well. The winds were really hard. They were unpredictable, and he picked a very tight spot – tight window – and he hit it right exactly there. It really helped. It helped. You saw how excited he was that he made it. It was a big kick, and it was a hard kick. You make those kinds of kicks, it gives you confidence. As far as working on more of those and having any different technique, no, we haven't done that. His technique is sound. Some kicks he has kicked well, and they haven't gone in. Some kicks he hasn't kicked so well. That one on Sunday – he nailed that one."

Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees


The improvement in the pass defense, especially since the bye week, is it just eliminating the big plays, or has there been something more involved in that? (Jamison Hensley)"It really is eliminating the big plays. We've done a couple things, coverage-wise, within a coverage that was already in, not a new coverage, maybe something [with] the way we were playing an old coverage, that maybe we had guys who couldn't do it that way. So, we may have tweaked it a little bit, but it really has been [eliminating big plays]. The biggest part of it is just the emphasis on big plays, and you guys can see the difference in the stats, from 25th to 10th. I told you back then, we weren't that bad. We just gave up big plays, and statistically, it looked terrible. And now we're not. In the last game, though, we didn't do a good job, especially early on, playing against the run. The first series, they ran the ball pretty effectively on us, and we got that kind of fixed quickly. And part of it was making sure they weren't throwing the ball, too, a little bit. But it really is big plays."

Simple question, probably complex answer, but how do you stop WR A.J. Green? (Garrett Downing)"Make him inactive. *(laughter) *That's the best way I know. He's just going to make [plays]. Here's the thing about it is – what you've got to do is – just don't let him make the big play. He's going to make plays. He's going to make catches. He's going to catch the ball over top of everybody. He's a great athlete, and there are those guys that can just do that. The biggest key is just don't let him get the big one. That's the thing that we've got to do. In the last game, when we played them, we had a big turnover that kind of changed the game a little bit. [We] scored on defense, then turned right around and gave up an 80-yarder, or something like that. Those are the things that just kill you, and that's what we've got to prevent. I don't know that you ever really stop him. It's just, you've got to kind of corral him and just not give up the big play."

Both John Harbaugh and ILB C.J. Mosley himself have said he has been a different player in the second half than the first half. Do you kind of agree with that assessment, and how do you feel like he has developed overall this year? (Jon Meoli)"Yes, I think so. I didn't think he [C.J. Mosley] played all that bad in the first half of the season, especially against the run. I think he has concentrated more on the pass defense, and like I said, we've done a few things different, a little bit, in pass defense, which maybe helped him, too, along with the secondary guys. But that's kind of C.J.'s assessment of himself. I don't really think he has played poorly at all during the whole year, to be honest with you."

I guess staying with the Alabama theme, OLB Courtney Upshaw has been an unsung part of this defense for four years. This could be his last game in a Ravens uniform. What does it mean ... (Jon Meoli)"Don't say that. *(laughter) (Reporter: "What does he mean to the defense overall?") *"The thing about Courtney [Upshaw], he's not only ... When we bring in guys like that on the outside – just like Jarret Johnson, like 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs], like all those guys – No. 1, we want them to set the edge in the running game. We want them to be able to rush the passer. Then third, we ask them to do some coverage, and the thing of it is, that's what Courtney has done. The other thing that Courtney does, just like the Jarret Johnson and those guys, he beings an attitude to the defense. He's a tough, tough guy, and I don't know if Courtney has missed a practice all year. If he has, it's maybe one, and I don't know if there's any; and you know he's hurting. He's beat up. You don't play that position and not get beat up. So to me, that's what he brings to it, is just a sense of toughness – which is what you're always looking for on defense – and a leader. He's not a vocal guy, but he shows it on the field. And he's a tough, tough, hardnosed player, and he's a very smart player."

Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman

Opening statement: "I think I'll start where I started last week by saying how proud I was of our players and how they come to work every week after the last game, how hard they work, their focus. You wouldn't know whether we won or lost. I was really proud of our guys last week and the way they worked in – what I would call – the collaborative process of getting Ryan [Mallett] ready to play, which was very much player-oriented [with] the quarterbacks. Jimmy [Clausen] and Matt [Schaub] did an unbelievable job of working with him. Our [offensive] line played at a very high level – credit to [offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo] and [assistant offensive line coach] Todd [Washington] for the work they've done with the guys they've had to work through. We've had a unified front for the last three or four weeks, which has certainly helped us up front, and that showed up in this game and in Ryan going out and executing and the job [quarterbacks coach] Marty [Mornhinweg] did – and our coaches did – to get our guys ready to play. We left a lot out there. We're certainly appreciative of the win, but we felt we could've done better and done more, but we're proud of the fact that we took care of the football. We were able to convert on some third downs. When we got in the red zone, we got in a couple of times. We feel we've scratched the surface. We have a ways to go, but it was a good team win, certainly, and a good job of complementary football."

Marc, you've had a few weeks now to see G/T Kelechi Osemele play left tackle. [What is] your overall assessment of how he has fared? And understating there's a business side, and you're not the guy making that decision, do you view him – with what you've seen – as a long-term viable left tackle? (Luke Jones) "I don't have that much experience here to answer the last part of the question." (Reporter: "I meant just his ability based in what you've seen.") "I think he has done a very good job over the last few weeks playing the position that he hasn't played for a while. He looks like a guy who can play that position, and he has played well over the last few weeks, certainly. You can see him as only in a place where he can get better."

Marc, I know it was suspected for a while, but is it nice to hear WR Steve Smith Sr. say he was coming back, especially with how much he has meant to this team? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I'm excited about that. I really enjoy coaching Steve. I've enjoyed the whole process of getting to know him as a person, getting to know his family and the type of person that he is – the type of competitor that he is and the communicator that he is and the teammate that he is here in our locker room. I couldn't be more excited about it."

Marc, QB Ryan Mallett, obviously, played really well last week. Did you have to reduce much of the playbook, and does another week give you more options with him going into this game or not? (Cliff Brown)"We're not going to get carried away. He has only been here about 200 hours, but he did a nice job, and we all worked together to put a menu of things together that he could operate under. He's very smart. He's very quick-minded. He understands football. As I said, I think it all starts with our room. As important a room as [there] is in this building is the quarterback meeting room, and that went on as smooth as it could possibly be amidst two other guys who have played for us and done a more than sufficient job. But they all worked together, and that was the best part of the week – the fact that they all worked together. We're not going to go get ahead of ourselves this week and do too much more. We want to do what we did better, and we feel we can. It'll be challenging, because we're playing against – as we all know – one of the best defenses in the National Football League."

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