Head Coach John Harbaugh
I appreciate you guys being here obviously. It's a great night, really impressive victory, team victory. I think every single guy in one way or another found a way to make a play and go all the way to [inaudible] making a tackle there at the end on the kickoff coverage. Some of the plays the guys made were the difference in the game. It goes to I think the fact that it wasn't so much about adjustments or anything, it was basically the idea that we were focused on what we were going to do and I think C.J. [Mosley] mentioned that. Let's just worry about us. Let's play our game. Let's play one play at a time. Let's play this play. Let's play as well as we can. Let's play this play again when that one's done. I thought our guys did a really good job at that, especially with the second half on defense and really across the board.
Re: If they have set themselves up tonight to have a great year:
I think it's one game at a time, just like it's one play at a time and thinking about it, it's great for the fans. The fans have a lot of fun with it. They enjoy that and I hope they feel that way, have a lot of confidence in us. But we have to go to Cleveland, and the Cleveland team is playing really well with a rookie quarterback that's playing out of his mind right now and we got to figure out a way to stop those guys and win. In Cleveland, I'm sure the place will be going crazy so, just like this place was going crazy. That'll be our focus, that'll be the way we'll look at it. Try to be a better football team next week then we were this week and the thing about these guys is that's the way they think. They're not going to get caught up in that. They didn't get caught up in the noise when everybody was saying how bad they were, and that they couldn't do this or that. They're not going to get caught up in the noise when people start talking about how they good they are. That's what I love about them. They have a lot of faith, they have a lot of faith in one another, a lot of trust in one another and that's what makes for a potentially special football team. We aren't there at this point, we got to get there.
Re: Giving the game ball and that moment:
Yeah, for Bobbi. As you all know we lost an angel a few weeks ago in Bobbi Engram. I think the Engram family has been incredible in the way they've handled this loss but this gain, if you look at it in a spiritual perspective. Our worldly loss is a heavenly gain, especially for Bobbi Engram. She got the game ball today. She wanted to be here. When Coach Engram showed me his phone – the coaches' kids all get a game, they get to travel to a game. My daughter, everybody's kid gets to travel to a game and it's been just a great experience for the coaches' families. Her list, her number one – she would have had it because she's one of the oldest kids – her number one game was at Pittsburgh. That's the one she wanted. She was with us today in our hearts and that's where the game ball went. Thanks for asking Jamison.
Re: What he thought of the defensive linebackers, particularly C.J [Mosley], Patrick [Onwuasor] and Kenny [Young]'s performances:
That's a great question. I just felt like they stepped up big time. C.J. played extremely well. It was good to have him back in the middle of the defense, but those two guys stepped up too. I thought they took it to another level. They had done that last week too, when they were playing together from the first game in Cincinnati when C.J. got hurt. But man, those guys played well. The whole defense played well. It's hard to single anybody out, but I felt those guys played, both played at a starter level for sure, a high-quality starter level.
How difficult can it be to defend this team when you spread the ball out to over 11 different players?
It's a great point. I think it would be a great question for Joe [Flacco] in terms of what he was seeing and thinking but Joe Flacco played phenomenally well. I look at it like this, if we execute a little bit better I don't think we're getting stopped and we got to get to that point. We execute every single time with precision but to see the guys come up and make big plays in the second half that had to be made in critical situations on third down. Joe standing in there making those guys. Got guys like Willie Snead or Tim White, or Crab [Michael Crabtree] making catches, the tight ends, there were just some really phenomenal plays made out there by our guys so that's really what you look for. The fact that it was 11 guys, which I didn't even know about, man that is tough to defend. There is not one guy you can double I know that, you can't double everybody.
How do you think Marty Mornhinweg called this game today from a creativity and aggressive standpoint?
I would say both A+. I thought the whole staff. Marty is a leader of the staff and he has done a great job. He's a really good play caller and he keeps people off balance, but he is also a great listener. He's very inclusive. He includes Greg Roman, Thomas Hammock in the run game, Joe D. [D'Alessandris] run game pass pro, Bobby [Engram] in the pass game, Craig Ver Steeg in the passing game. There is a lot of communication going on out there and I think Joe [Flacco] you can speak this more than me maybe, but I feel like in a lot of areas we do a lot of different things. Sometimes it's like hey man where are we going with this stuff but that's what we want to be. We want to be creative, we want to keep people off balance but yet be physical with what we are doing.
Does this game have any more meaning based on the games in the last two years?
Yes. Yes, it does. We were here two years ago. We played our hearts out on Christmas day and we played a very good football game and we got beat by six inches in the end. Came up here last year played our hearts out again, put 38 points up, and left our hearts out there again on that field and it's final, two wins, and who loses the game so in some ways this can be the end but it's also the beginning in terms of where we are going from here so yea it's a pretty special win.
Re: Third down defense can't get off the field much better than that
What were the numbers?
Re: 2 for 12 on third downs against the Steelers
Zero for 12 would be better but that's pretty darn good. The game ball went to the defense. Coach Martindale accepted it for the guys. I feel like you give up 47 yards in the second half, and a shut out to the Pittsburgh Steelers, that is noteworthy to say the least so very proud of those guys.
It looked like you used Lamar Jackson significantly more today than last week why was that?
Well he was getting yards. I saw him in the one we ran a little off tackle play. We ran it three or four times but on that third down he lowered the shoulder and tried to get it. He came up just a little short. I think we got it the next play didn't we Joe [Flacco]. He was going for it, you don't even remember.
QB Joe Flacco
How angry are you that you didn't score more points?
Yeah, I'm frustrated, I really am. I feel like we left stuff out there today for sure. Especially the way we started. We came out of the gate swinging, obviously had some fortunate stuff happen with our defense, getting a turnover. Tony (Jefferson) made a hell of a play there in the flat to grab that ball from the guy. You know we got down to the goal line, didn't score, and I thought there were a couple drives at the end of the half there, where we kind of shot ourselves in the foot. And went into halftime, you know it wasn't a big deal, we were still basically at zero-zero, but I really just felt we could have 28, 30, 35 points up out there at halftime. With these guys, and the way these games have been, throughout the course of my time here, especially the last couple of years, you don't want to leave points out there, just because you know what they're capable of.
How much do you appreciate the creativity? A play that really stood out in the second half: Maxx Williams lines up looking like he's a guard in a really big spot, and converts and you get the ball down the end of the field?
We've practiced that play for two years and I don't think there's been one time where he's actually gotten through the line of scrimmage clean enough to ever get into the progression. It's really been to the running back and then hopefully he's open, and all of a sudden, we get into a game, we call it, and he gets through there clean as can be, and he's right in my window to see. It was great. I really do think Marty [Mornhinweg] called a great game, I think he's been calling great games all year, I think against these guys the last three times we've been here, he's called unbelievable games, and we put a lot of pressure on him. And I feel great, don't get my frustration confused with not feeling awesome and coming in here and getting a win for sure.
You often talk about getting chunk plays, you talk about how big it was to get those plays to John [Brown], and his ability to get open with those kinds of plays?
Yeah, they do a lot for you as an offense, they give you confidence, they get you going, they take out the aspect of going long and hard and having to get a lot of third downs in order to score touchdowns. When you get chunks like that, you can get first downs on first and second down, it makes your offense a lot more efficient and it does a lot. It does a lot of things you don't even see; it keeps guys healthy, it goes a long way.
Re: There are many weapons. There are many human beings that come in different packages and different ways.
We don't even have all of our tight ends healthy, but we have a lot of versatility at that position, we have a lot of versatility at our wide receiver group. I think our running backs do a great job of rotating in there, and they all do their things that they do really well. It is exciting that we have that. And our job is to go out there and continue to execute the way we've been executing. I think Marty [Mornhinweg] has been utilizing everybody, and guys have been executing pretty damn good. I think the line, those guys are really the key. They are the solid five guys that are out there every single play, and they have to play a physical game every single week, keeping those guys healthy is a big deal because those guys are playing awesome right now.
How are you able to accept when you make a big throw, and then all of a sudden Lamar [Jackson] comes in in the wildcat, and you're a decoy on the outside. How do you deal with that?
They just want us to get yards in those situations, so that when I'm back on it in the next play, we're in a good position to move the ball and get a first down. Tonight when we did those things, we either got first down on third down or we move the ball four to five, six, seven, eight yards, and set ourselves up for good plays in the next down. And that's the most important thing. I think he's doing a good job. He probably did his best job tonight of doing those things and he was a help for our offense for sure.
I know you would have liked to punch in for six, but how was important was that drive when you took over close to your own end zone with ten minutes left and you cued up on the…?
At that point, I'll take the field goal. Obviously, you want to put the ball into the end zone, but we had our chances to do that at throughout the course of the game. At that point, to extend the lead that much more I think was a big deal, and a field goal /touchdown didn't really much matter at that point. It was awesome the way we did that. I think we started at least, down somewhere around our 10-yard line, probably inside our 10 there on that drive and guys did a great job. A lot of credit to how physical they played on that drive and were able to move that ball on the ground.
Was there any part of you that said, "Oh Crap", after as you said, you missed some of those early opportunities and they come back and tie the game? Or did you always feel that you were in a strong position overall?
I don't think we ever lost being in a good position. I don't know if "oh crap" is the word that I said or what not. I wasn't happy that we just weren't taking over the game and we were letting them hang around just because I know what they're capable of. But I still never felt bad about where we were, I mean we were still in a good position to go out there and take care of our business. I just thought we could have been better.
Do you feel like you've been throwing the ball better than in recent years?
I'm not throwing the ball any different. We're a better offense. We are. I'm playing better for sure, but throwing the ball and all of that stuff, but offensive football takes all eleven guys. On defense, everyone can mess up and one guy can make the play. On offense, that rarely happens. Everyone has to play the same football. When I'm out there throwing for a lot of yards today, it's not like today was one of the toughest Pittsburgh Steelers games I've ever played. I've played really tough games against these guys and probably have thrown for like 150 [yards]. But. I take a lot of pride in some of those games, because we played our heart out there. I think our guys got open
Re: The defense shutting out Pittsburgh in the 2*nd* half.
Yeah, you don't expect that. Those guys did a great job. You know every time that Ben [Roethlisberger] drops back, with the weapons they have out there, the people they have who make plays to make the game come out in their favor. The fact that they were able to rally at halftime and play like they did in the second half was why we won the game for sure. John [Harbaugh] was saying that we can't have only field goals and win the game. Well, that's the funny thing, they [Pittsburgh] didn't have anything. They were huge tonight in the second half.
Re: Clutch third-and-eight conversion to Tim White.
I started on my left side, and I didn't really see what I wanted. I stepped out of the pocket, and somebody kind of flashed at me. I saw Tim break all the way across on an inside slant. So, I just put it on him. I think he did a great job of going up for the ball, open up his chest, and getting to that ball strong at the high point.
S Eric Weddle
What did I say last week? This isn't the same Ravens gosh dang it. What a freaking win, wow. We talk about all the time, you can't become a true Raven until you win in Pittsburgh, so I've officially become a Raven. What a great team win, from the offense controlling the clock, to making big plays, Smokey [John Brown], our defense shutting them out in the second half. Wow. It was a complete team effort, we talk about resilience from our head coach down, this group was a tough group. A tough minded, resilient group and shut them out the second half, Wink [Don Martindale] was a step ahead the entire second half. He just got a grip on the game ball, well deserved. He was in rhythm, unbelievable, unbelievable job all the way around.
What were some of the adjustments made in the second half to do what you guys did?
I think we were, each of us, were a step ahead and quite honestly mixed in our fronts. We brought out some things that we haven't shown at all this season with different looks with different pressure packages, and then the sky zoom. And we just talked about focusing in on that play, each play, and doing your job and I kid you not, Wink called a great game. All the credit gives to him and the guys executing each play.
People talk about how teams are supposed to score 30 points all the time. Does this show that some defenses can shut down those games?
Well a lot of things go into playing great on defense, our offense obviously helped us out, those tries in the second half really…Wink when we had the win on defense then their offense gets down to get a field goal and it's huge for our defense, we can rest, we can come back and figure out what we want to do next possession, talk about what are our different calls. The most balanced teams in this league usually have more successful and have a chance to win late in the season, so that's where we're trying to be. Sure, this game right here was big, with Cincinnati winning, we had to come in here and continue winning.
Were you guys down at all going into the half?
Not at all honestly, it could've easily been 21-3 and we were outplaying them. They made a great play on the end in the red zone, stripping that ball and then they got down and got a field goal, and then Marlon [Humphrey] had great coverage on the initial route and then he just turns it up on the broken play. AB [Antonio Brown] is one of the best wide receivers in the game, you tip your hat to him. We didn't get down, we were playing great ball and we made him work for everything, but they couldn't run the ball for anything so, making it seem one-dimensional it's tough to beat.
LB Terrell Suggs
How did it feel to get the win?
Anytime you win is good – division rival on the road. The AFC North, we have the most competitive division in the whole League. It's a good win, but it's the first quarter of the season. We will enjoy it, but we all have been around this game for a long time. Your season can change. We did pretty good.
What was the key to shutting out the Steelers in the second half?
Our defensive coordinator, Don [Martindale], called a really great game. Our offense – when your offense sustains drives. That's pretty good. I think our offense played sensationally tonight. That team [Pittsburgh}, they're a tough team. They have tremendous fight. You almost have to play perfect. You have to play mistake-free football and then some to have some success.
Re: Staying aggressive with the lead:
I've been in this division for 16 years now, so I am very emotionally tied to this game – to this team. So I try not to really pay attention, and just play 'D' when it's our turn. But, both coordinators did a really good job. We got our third win of the season, first quarter of the season down, and we played a good game. It's still a long season. We've started hot the last two years, and then we end up missing the playoffs. It's one game. It's a good division game against a rival. We know that we are going to see that team again, and we just have to continue to play winning football.