Transcripts: Ravens Post- Game Quotes

Head Coach John Harbaugh: Thanks for being here. Obviously this was a very special win in a great stadium in front of a very worthy opponent who we have tremendous respect for. They played a great football game. This is a very special victory for us, not just because it's a playoff win and we get the chance to advance, which is the most important part, but also because of who it comes against, which is our most respected rival. There are a couple things to note: five sacks. Five sacks against the number-two offense in the league. Our pass rush did a great job. Even Ben got out and still made some plays especially in the first half. That's how tough he is to keep in there. Our guys kept him in there for the most part and got him down for the most part. I thought Dean Pees did a great job of putting together the game plan against this offense. Pressures, coverages, and then Steve Spagnuolo as far as executing the offensive coaching our defensive backs. Our defensive backs played tremendously well, Webb and Rashaan playing corner against these wide receivers. Our safeties in the back end keeping things in front and on top with the exception of one big play, which is a tremendous catch by Antonio Brown. So I thought those guys did a great job. Joe Flacco, what can you say? I think he had a perfect quarterback rating in the third quarter. That's playoff football. That's Joe Flacco. He's the best quarterback in football. We'll take him any day of the week, twice on Sunday or Saturday night if that be the case. Fourth-and-one Joe getting the first down was big. Then the last thing, despite the time of possession in the first half, the fact that we had the lead was big. I thought our guys did a great job of taking advantage of their opportunities.

Re: Offensive line play, specifically Kelechi Osemele:

He must have played really well because you're bringing it up. I don't have a very good vantage point, but I did see one time where James Harrison happened to get beat inside and Osemele came over there and just clocked the guy, that kind of helping each other out. Juan Castillo did a great job. Those guys played really well. We had a tough matchup inside. Jeremy Zuttah is going against a heck of a nose guard there. He made a couple plays that knocked us back early, but Jeremy evened that thing out towards the end. I thought Gary Kubiak called a great game. He kept them off balance. He did a great job with pass protections of neutralizing some of their pressures. We picked up a lot of the middle dog crosses, the middle backer stuff and the loaded pressures throughout the course of the game. We did get them all but we got a lot of them. I thought Gary did a great job keeping them off balance.

What do you see in Flacco that changes in January?

I think Joe is a great quarterback every month. I really do. I believe that. This is a tough football game. Joe is resilient. Joe does not get rattled easily. Joe can have a bad series like they all do and come off and gather himself and come out and play the next series well. That's probably his greatest trait. He can throw the ball too really well. It helps.

Re: Flacco extending plays:

That's a great point. The thing that's tough to defend against the offense we're playing against is extended plays. Joe has really developed over the last couple of years. We talked about it earlier in the year as well. He made extended plays today on the touchdown pass to Torrey Smith, obviously being the biggest one. That was a great play.

What did you think of Terrell Suggs' catch with his knees?

It was the greatest catch in football. You'll never see a greater catch. We just gave him the game ball for the greatest catch in the history of football. I toss it to him. What happened do you think? He dropped it. He caught the one that mattered. Clutch.

Re: Maintaining aggressiveness:

That was kind of the game plan. We wanted to come here and go after the game. We didn't want to play scared so to speak. The call to throw in the endzone was Gary's call. It was a great call. We were a hair's breath away from putting the game away right there. He did a great job with that and the quarterback sneak. Joe's done a really good job. Our center and guards have done a great job with the quarterback sneak.

Re: Winning on the road:

We've been on the road a lot in the playoffs. Maybe that's it. To win on the road in the playoffs, you have to be on the road. We've had plenty of opportunities. I'm proud of our guys. We gave our guys a t-shirt this week that said faith and guts (and) you can probably throw fortitude in there. But faith in one another, faith in themselves, and faith in the Lord above. You have each other's back and keep fighting for one another. You don't let adversity get you down. When things go the wrong way, you stick together and come out and keep fighting. Our guys have done that all year. You know over time that pays off.

Re: Holding the Steelers to field goals early, Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs:

We played a lot of split safety coverage, so those guys did a really good job of stopping the run. They bled us in there a few times. We get frustrated when they run for an inch on us. They had some five, six, and seven yard runs in there that we weren't happy about but that's because we were playing with two safeties. Our front seven and front six had to play the run. Those guys did a really good job of it. We said if they don't score touchdowns, they aren't going to win. We felt like we moved the ball and scored touchdowns. Our guys did a good job of that with the exception of one trip down.

Re: Your and Flacco's success in the playoffs:

If we said something like that, we'd be taking credit for it. There's really no credit to be taken. It's just guys that come out and play well. We played our best football game of the year right here and I think it's because of what we've been through all year (and) the way we've stuck together all year. We had each other's backs and maintained our faith. That's what has made the difference for us.

Re: Beating the Steelers being a special victory:

It makes it special because of who they are and how much respect we have for them (and) how much we like them. We like them all, professionally and personally we like them. We appreciate playing against them. It was a great one for that reason.

Re: Fans traveling well:

It does. It's a tough stadium to get a ticket into, I know that for our fans. They did a good job of finding a way in here. To see them ringing the bottom part of the stadium and like you said the "Oh" during the National Anthem, it was very meaningful to us.

Re: Responding after big plays:

We've talked a lot about that. It's football. When they make a play you have to respond and make a play. You can't let them stack the momentum on you. When you score you need to get a stop and go score and extend the lead. Those are things we talk about a lot. It's common sense but it's important and our guys have done a good job of that.

Re: Guys that made big plays tonight:

There are so many guys. It's hard to mention. Owen Daniels made some huge plays for us, a couple big third down catches and runs for us. He's been doing that all year. At this stage of his career, for him to have the year that he's had is just phenomenal.

Re: The character of this team:

I appreciate that but really our guys stand on a rock solid foundation of character. We really do. We have a lot of good people. They love one another. They believe in one another. They're just very determined that when things go the wrong way, it's an opportunity to step up and do the right thing.

Re: On the Steelers/Ravens rivalry:

It's like you see on television (with) all of the terrible towels and stuff. As a kid you grow up wanting to play in an atmosphere like this.

Re: On the atmosphere of a playoff game:

With a 16 game season there's always room for adjustments, and now we're in the playoffs where one missed assignment or missed opportunity and your season can be over. I think that really motivates guys.

Re: On his long catch down the sideline in the third quarter:

I think it was good. I was really just trying to make something happen for his team. I appreciate Joe (Flacco) giving me an opportunity and Gary (Kubiak) called the play. I was trying to make the play in between two guys and Joe did a real good job of giving me an opportunity.

Re: On what was different about the offense today compared to the last couple of games:

Guys just really understanding what we wanted to do. That's just the facts. How we played here last time and understanding what they did to us and how they did it, we had something to prove and show ourselves. I think that was great motivation for us.

What do you see in New England's Darrelle Revis/Brandon Browner for next weekend's game:

I have to watch the film and get prepared. They're two great corners and do a great job. I have to watch the film this week and prepare.

Re: On the excitement level to play New England in the next round:

I'm excited to play anywhere. It doesn't matter because it's the playoffs (and) you get your best shot from every guy. I was going across the middle (of the field) and they're going to try and hit me and I anticipate the same.

How did it feel to get the interception?

It was good. Ed Reed said there's going to be a time when they throw me the ball and make sure you make me proud and catch it (laughs). I knew that Ben (Roethlisberger) had been coming from behind against us for years. I knew when the play was called to just be patient because he's going to try to make a play. I saw the running back, I saw him ready to dump it and I just wanted to make a play on the running back and the ball popped up. It was one of those plays that could change the game and I just knew I had to catch it. Grab the ball, get down and catch it. Had I dropped it, ain't no telling what Ben would've done. It was just being in the right place at the right time.

What do you see different in Joe Flacco's play in the postseason?

Nothing. He's just Cool Joe. The situation may change, but we don't. Joe didn't change, that's his game. He's going to make plays and he did a good job. The offensive line did a great job today. When you're playing against a very talented defense like the Steelers and they only get one sack and for us to get five that shows that the offensive line did a really good job. You have to tip your hat to them. We came in to a hostile environment and we executed.

Did your defensive game plan change knowing that Le'Veon Bell wasn't going to play?

Yeah, we had to convince them to get out of their run game without 26. He's a fantastic player and him not playing definitely worked to our benefit. I'm just going to be honest. Had they had him that is a whole other weapon between him and 84 and the players they have. It always benefits the defense when they don't have an explosive player.

What do you prefer more, the interception today or getting a sack on Ben?

Sacks. I'm being totally honest with you, I told C.J. (Mosley) that I would rather it had been a sack and a forced fumble, but I'll take the pick. Definitely wanted a sack, but they've done a good job with their protection to make sure that I don't get to 7 too much, but come next year I'm going to have to have confrontations with him a little bit.

Knowing what this rivalry means, how does it feel to beat the Steelers in the playoffs?

It's a great achievement. Whenever my time is done on the field, they could say I never beat the Steelers in the playoffs. They can't say that now. It was a great achievement, but it's short lived. We're going to enjoy the plane ride home. But we all know who we're dealing with next.

TE Crockett Gilmore

What is it about this team in the playoffs?

We focus on that all year. That's what we talk about. A lot of teams talk about if they can do it. Coach Harbaugh does a good job instilling that attitude from the first day we were here. That's what we talk about, championships. That is what we are here to do.

Did you guys feel like you were in a good position the whole time?

I don't think there was ever a doubt. As soon as the game plan was put in on Monday and Tuesday we were ready. We knew what we could do and we came here to do it.

Re: Season has seen a lot of injuries with that in mind you are in the second round of the playoffs:

Same thing. Coach Harbaugh brings us in. We are not here to sit out a year. We are here to play. If you can't contribute to the team you're not going to be a Raven. That is the mindset that we come in with.

T James Hurst

Re: Matchup on Harrison:

He's a great rusher. He gave me trouble early, and I felt like I settled in after the first couple series and got the job done.

What is it like with this franchise come playoff time?

I'm a rookie so I'm still figuring it out. It's great to learn from the guys that we have. A guy like Marshal Yanda, he does everything the right way. John Urschel and myself learning from him, it is a great experience. This is going to be a great win in my career and I'm excited to say I got it.

What is it like for a rookie on the road in the playoffs in Pittsburgh?

It was real nerve racking. A rivalry, a playoff game everything is a first for me. There were certainly a lot of nerves for me before the game. You just have to get into a groove and realize you are playing football. All the hard work that you put in preseason and the whole season and trust the stuff you know.

RB Justin Forsett

Re: Talk about the slow start to the game:

We had some up and downs. We faced some adversity. Fumbled the ball which you can't do. Thank god for my teammates backing me. You have to have a short term memory and come out to play. I'm glad for this win. It was a team effort.

Re: Talk about how your teammates held your back after the fumble:

It says a lot about my teammates. A resilient bunch, who kept fighting we have been through a lot this year, that little bit of adversity was nothing we were about to come back and seize the moment.

Re: Mentality going into the game after the way things went last time here:

Just execution. We didn't execute like we wanted to the last time we were here. We knew it was going to be a hostile environment and we wanted to make sure we converted on third downs. We were able to run the ball. The guys stepped up. We had some young offensive linemen in there and they played their hearts out.

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