Head Coach John Harbaugh
RE: Game Summary
OK, first of all congratulations to Carolina. They played an excellent game- tremendous game plan, executed very, very well. And on our part we just didn’t have it. We weren’t there in terms of what we needed to do – coaching, playing, it starts with me. It’s on my shoulders completely. I’ll take responsibility for it. It’s one that we’ve got to put behind us and move forward to the next game.
RE: Did you have a good week of practice?
Yes. Yeah, we did feel like we had a good week of practice.
RE: Were you surprised at today’s play
Yeah, I didn’t expect that. We just didn’t click in anything. We weren’t good in any area. There was nothing we did well and that starts with me – the coach. I mean that’s where it belongs, so put it on me and then move forward and get ready for Pittsburgh.
RE: Message to team at 4-4 record
Just that. We’re a 4-4 team in a .500 league. We need to get rolling. We need to get running and get wins and the good thing is we have an opportunity next week in a very important game.
RE: Were you surprised by Panthers offensive play?
No. It’s nothing we hadn’t seen. It was all part of their offense. I thought Norv Turner did a great job scheming us up, keeping us off balance. He forced us to put certain personnel groups out there and then he had counters for it. He did a tremendous job.
RE: Thought on Panthers success in the seam down the middle of the field
They hit a couple of seams passes against cover three when we weren’t carrying seams by that particular scheme. That’s why. The one I remember was coming off the goal line. I don’t remember any out in the middle of the field, but I remember the one coming off the goal line specifically. That was not a good defense for that offensive play.
RE: Did team look fatigued defensively?
I don’t know. That’s probably a good question from birds-eye view more than from where I was standing. That’s a fair question. We can’t be fatigued. We have to finish out here and get wins.
RE: Thoughts on three turnovers
Yeah, it’s huge. You turn it over. We turned it over more in the second half, right? Was it three in the second half? One and two? So yeah, that’s huge. It was a killer. You try to fight your way back into the game. You certainly can’t turn the ball over.
RE: Was your team playing prevent defense of the Hail Mary in the first half?
Yeah, we should have been in something to take that away. That was not the call we wanted to be in right there. We’ve got a better call for that situation.
RE: Changes to offensive line today
It’s very difficult. We’re not going to make excuses. It’s just not valuable to make excuses. I think those guys went in there and fought. I don’t know how they played. We didn’t have a lot of continuity and more pressure than we’re probably used to having – it’s a good pass rush team. They blitzed us more than they usually do – played more man than they normally do, so that’s all stuff we have to look at.
Quarterback Joe Flacco
RE: How concerned are you with these last couple of games?
I don’t know if concern is the word, we are disappointed and this is obviously going to be a really tough test for us. We are going to have to see what we are made of here, see how we rally and come together as a team. It is disappointing. We got our butts kicked today, it’s tough to take for sure.
RE: The first drive, it seemed like everything was working, what happened after that first drive?
Even that drive, it was tough. I think they made everything tough today and they made us go the long hard way. Everything they play you can see what they are going to play but they definitely came up and played us man-to-man. Even though we were completing a lot of passes early and moving the chains, we just weren’t able to get very many chunks. We only took a couple of little shots here and there, weren’t able to really get any real chunk yardage out of anything. So everything that we had to do we had to play for it hard. We ended up turning the ball over a little bit but I really just think those turnovers kind of made it an easy excuse for why we ended up not playing well. I think even without those we were having a tough time going out there and moving the ball the way we wanted to today.
RE: How tough is it to get in a rhythm with the offensive line shuffling?
Well it’s always tough that that’s the way it has to be, but that’s NFL football. Everybody would love it if the 11 guys-plus a couple that rotate in at receiver, running back, and tight end- if everybody stayed completely healthy all year and you never had to deal with anything like that; but that’s not the name of this game and we all know that. We know we are going to have to make these little adjustments here and there with who is playing where and what. You can talk about that all day, but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that we see that W or that L on the schedule at the end of the day.
RE: Did you guys get a chance to figure out what went wrong on the play where Alex Collins fumbled?
I think so, I think you guys can see, I don’t know. I might have an idea of exactly what but that topic is usually for our film room and for our guys. To the untrained eye, a guy busted through there and it was a bang, bang play.
RE: How surprised are you by what happened out there today?
I don’t think you have time to really sit back and think about it, you’re just out there going through your thing and before you know it you are hit over the head with a team that’s playing more physical than you and beating you in every way. You are trying to fight to get back in the game and just can’t get it done. It’s obviously not a good feeling, it feels like you are climbing uphill. I don’t know if surprise is the word, it’s just one of those things where you look at your guys and you try to keep fighting until the end. It was obviously one of those days where they were playing well and making it more tough on us than we were on them.
RE: Do you think you have put yourself at the point now where the Week 9 game is almost a must-win for you?
I think we are going to feel like that at every single game out. There is always a lot of pressure in this league to win football games and I think there is a lot of teams, no matter what their record is, there is going to be pressure to win down the stretch this last half of the season, there always is. It doesn’t matter if you are 6-4 at this point, 7-3, you have to be able to make sure that you hold serve and continue to win football games. We are obviously not in the most ideal situation possible but we still have eight games left. I feel like we have the opportunity to play really good football. We just have to make sure to keep the focus on that. I think there is obviously a bigger threat now to let this stuff affect you mentally, let it affect the team and how we are gelling together. So we just have to combat that just by being ourselves and being as tough as we possibly can and go out there and take each game one game at a time and play football like we know how to.
RE: Finishing games
Listen we are not perfect; we are obviously not there. The tight losses, I’ve said it, really good football teams, there is something about knowing how to win football games. I don’t know if any of us can put our finger on it, what it exactly is whether it is a mistake here or there we obviously had a couple of chances to win some of those games. When you look back at a 16-game season, you are probably going to have your game like this here or there. Not that you are ok with that happening in any way and just taking it in stride, but that is just the nature of it. When you get those close chances, you have to make the most of them. They are the ones that make a difference at the end of the day; if they turn you into an 11-win team versus an eight or nine-win team. The goal was to go out there and win more football games and also to probably put ourselves in more games that are going to be those close decisions. I think we are going to still have those chances; we just have to make sure that we come out on the better side of it the next few times it happens.
RE: Are you shocked that you are 4-4?
Knowing the talent that we have in there, really the way that we have been playing overall, I am a little bit. I think just situationally, game-by-game, I think overall when you look at us, you would think that we are pretty good. But when you look at each individual game for what it is and each individual situation and the reasons why we lost some of those games then it is what it is. There is no lying in this league, you are what your record says you are and that’s the bottom line.
Tight End Mark Andrews
RE: What were the Panthers doing different on defense that you didn’t see on tape?
They played a little bit more man than in previous games. It wasn’t really a problem. We have guys that can beat man all over the field. They did play a little bit more man, but I didn’t think we had a problem with it.
RE: Tough road loss, ready for the home stand?
I am. Super upset about this, but we have a big tough road ahead of us. Pittsburgh next week which is going to be a great game. It’s going to be awesome to show our character and to fight back and bounce back. I’m excited for these next home games.
RE: The Steelers game, must win?
It’s going to be fun. This game is always a fight, so we’re going to go in there and do just that.
Safety Eric Weddle
RE: The loss to Carolina.
No, no. Wasn’t good, wasn’t good out there.
RE: What he learns from this
You know, you don’t play well as a team, you’re not going to win or have a chance, yet alone being in the game. You know, we had some chances early. For us defensively, they present a lot of misdirection and formations, different plays and was tough to get in a rhythm with them and Cam played an outstanding game. Hit some big throws, extending some plays and I’m sure, as a team you can’t turn the ball over, those types of things to get back in the game. That’s a really good team and we didn’t play well, mainly because of the way they played and us not executing as good as we can.
RE: A few big division games coming up
You know, we are 4-4. We’re an average team. We just lost. Got blown out, so we’re, wouldn’t say rock bottom but we have to look at ourselves and get back to work. Obviously the last couple weeks we have not played well enough to win so each individual, coach included, player got to come back to work and work even harder than what we have done and to give us a chance to win this next week. It’s a huge game. Obviously a divisional game leading into the bye. The way our division is shaping up, this is a big game for us. Look at yourself, don’t get emotional, don’t get sensitive. This is part of the National Football League, so get coached up, look at the things you didn’t do well and move on. Don’t let this loss linger in any way. Just continue to get better. That’s all we can do.
Tight End Hayden Hurst
RE: Walk us through your first career TD reception
They played man coverage. Kind of just vacated the area and kind of just let me run my route. No one was there. Lamar saw it earlier in the drive and just found me again and I went into the end zone.
RE: The first of many for you?
I hope so. It kind of takes it away because it’s in a loss, but hopefully I can help the team in the future.
RE: How special is it, even in a loss, but to play in Carolina?
It was cool. I’ve been in here twice. My freshman year we played North Carolina here and then last year we got to play North Carolina State, so I’m familiar with the locker room, familiar with the stadium. It was weird being on the other side of Carolina fans for once, but it was pretty special to come back here.
RE: How is it getting caught up to speed?
I feel a lot better. I feel a lot more confident. I feel like today I kind of cut it loose. Our first couple drives we had I was in there with blocking and all sorts of stuff … I feel a lot better. A lot more confident. Hopefully I can continue to play fast and just continue to have good practices … When I practice good I feel confident in the game plan and I can come out on game day and cut it loose.
RE: How competitive is the tight end room?
It’s a great group. Without a doubt it’s one of the top in the NFL. We’ve got four solid guys that play anywhere and do anything. I’m happy to be a part of it … It’s really fun to be a part of. Like I said, I just want to help the team win.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson
RE: On the transition to the NFL
It’s been pretty cool. I feel appreciated to help out a lot. I’m watching Joe [Flacco] a lot out there and seeing how he performs and seeing how he transitions from practice to a game situation has been really awesome.
RE: Are you getting more comfortable?
Yeah, definitely. I am trying to progress each and every week and better myself. It started off rocky with that pass. I was mad about that … I feel like we were moving the ball well and then third down comes and they are relying on me and I do that and it’s unacceptable in my mind.
RE: What happened on that throw?
I got too excited. He was wide open and I’m like we are going to have the game in the books early and if I complete that pass we are rolling and I didn’t complete it.
Wide Receiver John Brown
RE: What he thought about the Carolina Panthers
The Panthers always play great. We just didn’t come ready to play as a team and dealing with a team like that, you have to come ready to play no matter the time or situation.
RE: His match up with Cornerback, Donte Jackson
You know, he’s pretty good. I tip my hat off to him and I give credit when credit due. He’s a good dude and will be great in the future and I just told him to continue to make plays and, you know he made a few today and I just give him credit.
RE: If what they saw on film about Donte Jackson was accurate
Oh yeah, that’s what I expected. Just watching film, I see that he always match up with the speed guy and he do a great job with it so I knew it was going to be a challenge and that dude, he’s not going to lay down and I wasn’t going to lay down and we just out there competing.
RE: Was he trash talking
Nah. He wasn’t talking at all. He was just like, lets compete, and I was like, lets compete and that was it. You know, there wasn’t no trash talking or nothing like that. He just a great ball player, you know, watched him at LSU and I give him credit.
Linebacker Terrell Suggs
RE: Disappointing performance by the defense after playing so well to start the season
It’s extremely disappointing. They just did a better job of executing their game plan than we did. Eight games in, we’re five-hundred [4-4], it’s not what you want to be, but it’s not terrible. We have eight more, and with all these home games we got left, we are definitely going to have to take care of business at home starting next week. With eight games left, in this conference, we are probably going to need seven of them to get in [the playoffs] for sure. It’s a disappointing loss, they’re a good team, they put some points on the board, they executed. We have to get the mistakes corrected and execute better.
RE: Staying even-keel despite a disappointing loss
We are not going to get too low, the attention to detail increases now. We have to play better in the red zone, and we have to play better situational football. Therefore, the game doesn’t get so on top of us. We are extremely disappointed, but we have enough veterans on this team and we understand the task at hand. Especially with all these home games we got coming, so if we handle our business at home, we will be alright.
RE: What the Panthers offense did today to find success
They executed, they made plays, they played better situational football than us and they executed. That’s it, you guys have been around the game a long time. They were able to sustain drives, make plays here and there, they executed. They were more resilient in their game plan than we were in ours.
Wide Receiver Willie Snead IV
RE: Starting out strong with a scoring drive, then slowing down offensively
Yes, things just weren’t going our way. We have to be better and we have to adjust better. I think we will look at this game, learn from our mistakes and come out stronger next week.
RE: The offensive pass inference calls
Those are ticky-tacky calls. Those are things I do on the regular, it’s just I created so much separation it looked like a hell of a push off. I’m just playing my game, I’ve always been doing that, I’m not going to change it.
RE: Upcoming matchup against Steelers being a must-win for the team
Absolutely, I think this is a must-win game whether we won or lost [today]. I think we will come out this coming week ready to go, and we’ll take care of business on Sunday.