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Transcripts: Ravens Postgame Quotes (9/17)


(opening statement) "We appreciate you guys being here. What a fantastic, Raven, team win – [a] rough, tough, physical, smart win, and a win with playmakers making plays that had to make plays. [I] just couldn't be more proud of those guys in this environment [on] opening day. The crowd was crazy, and the team we're playing – the [Cincinnati] Bengals – are outstanding. That's an awesome team win. I'm just proud of every single guy on the team – resiliency, tenacity, long drives, plays made when they had to be made, stops when they had to be made. [It was] just an outstanding effort and a great way to come in here to open up the AFC North trek that we're about to go on."

(on what it says about the Ravens when they still won the game despite missing five primary starters) "It says a lot. It says a lot about the guys that played. It says that those guys are starting-caliber players that played winning football against a great football team in their house. That's what it says. They deserve it. Geno Stone just got a game ball, and he played great football. Pat Mekari had a great football game. Look at the way the offensive line played. [The] offensive line played a great football game. Pass protection was outstanding. Run blocking was outstanding – just all across the board. Pat was a great part of that, and Sam Mustipher stepped in, and he just played tremendously well. Of course, the corners. We pressed them. We got up there, and we pressed them, and we played well. They weren't hitting any fade [routes] on us. Our guys played fantastic out there on the edges. [I'm] just really proud of those guys – really proud of them."

(on QB Lamar Jackson's performance) "I thought Lamar played great football. Lamar played winning football. When he got on rhythm early, he hit some passes and made some huge plays throwing the ball down the field. The play to Zay [Flowers] that started off the second half was as good as it gets, and Zay made a great catch. He gave his guy a chance and he made the play. He trusted his guy. Then of course what he did with his legs was a difference maker in the game. He does it. He just wants to win. Lamar wants to win. That's what Lamar's all about. He wants to win, and then he wants to help his teammates win. [I'm] just so impressed with his competitiveness and how he played today."

(on how fitting it was to end the game with RB Gus Edwards picking up the much-needed yards on 3rd down and 1 after the team rushed for 180 yards on the day) "Yes, very fitting. That's Ravens football right there I would say. I think Ravens fans appreciate that play, and so does an old coach up in Ann Arbor, Michigan [John Harbaugh's father] Jack Harbaugh – power [run] to the right, power to the left, power to the right, power to the left. That's Jack Harbaugh football, and that's why we said in there, 'Who's got it better than us?' Well, what's the answer to, 'Who's got it better than us?' Nobody! It was just awesome. It was great. We love the power play."

(on QB Lamar Jackson's trust with WR Nelson Agholor in space on their touchdown connection early in the fourth quarter) "I think that's a great observation. To me, that's exactly what it is. He's been practicing that. He was hitting it in practice. Those guys run great routes. Lamar put that thing right where it had to be, and 'Nelly' [Nelson Agholor] made a great catch. It's not the end of that. It's a big part of what we need to do – and they get up and get in your face and press you, we have to make them pay for it, and Lamar and Nelson did that."

(on any injury updates with WR Odell Beckham Jr. and OLB Odafe Oweh) "I don't think it's serious injuries for either person. We'll learn more tomorrow, but I don't believe either one of those will be serious, as it looks right now."


(on his touchdown catch) "'L' [Lamar Jackson] threw a great ball, 'Monk' [Todd Monken] called a great play. [It's] as easy as that."

(on how big it was for him having his first touchdown as a Raven) "I'm grateful. [It was] a great play, and we practiced that. We've hit it in practice, and it comes to life."

(on what it shows of this team that it can be different guys stepping up each week) "It shows that we have a great group of guys; We're all talented, but also guys that are well prepared to seize the moment."

(on if he felt the offense was getting a rhythm during practice this week) "Yes. I really thought that our level of focus and the effort in which we practiced with was going to result into a quality game."

(on how much of a difference-maker QB Lamar Jackson is) "Oh, he's different. Like, he's different. I've always watched him extend plays, move around, but also, I've watched him survey the field, and he does a great job. I don't know many quarterbacks that can literally go through almost a full progression as quick as he does. So, I'm happy to be on his team."

(on if he got a sense in the week if this was a game that meant a lot to this team) "I've been in this league for a long time. I know what division games are about, so it meant a lot to me. They stand in the way of something truly special, so it's important that we prepare for that."


(on what he thinks clicked for the offense this week) "We were sharp. We were efficient. We were doing our job. At the end of the day, we all just have to do our job, and we'll be the best that we can be. So, I thought the guys came out here focused, ready to go, and a lot of big plays [were] made from everybody. There are things we have to clean up, and that's the exciting part. [We] just [have to] keep a level head, being better each and every day, that's the main goal."

(on how much of a difference QB Lamar Jackson was this week) "He looked incredible. I always think that, but seeing some of his ball placement – like to 'Nelly' [Nelson Agholor], Zay Flowers – those are two big-time throws, big-time catches, and [if] guys step up and make plays like that, we're going to win some games."

(on what it means to him that QB Lamar Jackson leaned on him for critical situations and his touchdown) "[I'm] just trying to be there for him. He's on the money. That's money Lamar [Jackson], and I'm just thankful to be able to play with him. He makes my job easy, so I'm just trying to make plays. And there's things I need to clean up and get better at, but that's the exciting thing moving forward. It's my first one [this season], and I'm excited to play these next couple games."

(on what it meant to him to get back and make a touchdown in his first game) "A lot. I've worked hard to try to get back here. This was actually ... The last game I played was [in Cincinnati] in the playoffs, so [it's] just kind of like riding a bike, but it's good to be back here. [It's] good to play here again, and I thought the team fought hard. I'm very proud of these guys, and I'm proud to call these guys my brothers."

(on what this win means long-term) "At the end of the day, it's not getting too high or too low. It's being a team that keeps their head down, stays focused, moves in a straight line and just gets better each and every day. We'll take our wins. They're hard to come by in the NFL, but we know that any given Sunday, anything can happen. So, if we keep our head down, we keep working, keep trying to get better, keep working on details, we're going to be a good team. So, I just encourage my guys to keep a level head, and let's get this thing rolling."

(on if there was a chip on the team's shoulder coming into this game) "It's a division game. Obviously, we've had kind of a rough past and history last year and the year before, but like I said, I'm proud of the way the guys fought. There was definitely some energy. It's a good divisional win."

(on did he take in the fact from last year's game, they had the Bengals on the ropes with a bunch of guys missing) "No, I didn't really think about that. Obviously, you go into a game, and you trust your guys, trust your brothers, and just [be] thankful you guys came out here today and made some big-time plays, we spread the ball around. O-Line did their thing, running backs did their thing. It's an exciting thing to see."

(on if today's game showed what the team can do offensively and can approach teams in different ways) "Yes. Great offenses are able to do a lot of different things, and maybe it's tempo, maybe it's four-minute [offense] and just different things and that requires everybody to be on the same page and focusing on the details. That was something that was good to see today. Obviously, there was that one drive we kind of started off, and we had the five-yard penalty, but it's just little things to clean up like that. We're going to continue to be a better team just being efficient, not making mistakes. Those are hard teams to beat."

(on the advantages OC Todd Monken is giving this offense) "Situationally, he talks about being a coordinator, and what that means and that's being coordinated."(Laughter) "So, when he talks about that, it hits home because that's what we need to be. We need to be coordinated. We need to be on the same page, and if that means go faster, if that means slow it down, whatever it means, we have to be on the same page, like I said before and just do our job, and guys did a good job of that today."


(on closing the game out with rushing first downs) "We were running the four-minute offense, [and] we needed to get first downs. Everybody had that mindset that it was [just get] first downs."

(on if he thinks the offense as a whole is coming into its own) "Yes. It shows a lot of potential, every now and then, we show a lot of potential. Like I said, a lot of guys catching the ball and making plays. We're loaded. We just have to keep building off of that and just keep getting better."

(on what practice was like for this game and what offensive coordinator Todd Monken said to the offense during the preparation) "[He was] fired up. He's a real grinder. He likes to spread the ball around. We played good, but he keeps it real 100% of the time."

(on his fiery speech to the team during pregame) "There were a lot of different guys. Mark [Andrews] said something – a lot of different guys said something. Everybody knew what type of game it was going to be. It was exciting."

(on what it means for him to be stepping into a leading role with RB J.K. Dobbins out for the season) "It means a lot. You want the ball in your hands. You want to make plays and contribute to the team. I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I just have to keep making the best of it."


(on what stuck out during a fiery pregame speech delivered by QB Lamar Jackson and ILB Roquan Smith) "Those are obviously two of the better players on our team and leaders on both sides of the ball. I think when they talk, guys really listen. The gist of it I think is we just need to go out there and earn our respect every single week. I think we took big steps towards that today, but it's only Week 2. We have a long way to go. [We're] making our way there, we're on a good path, but [we] still have to grind it out."

(on how ILB Roquan Smith sets the tone on defense) "He's loud. You probably hear him if you're in the 100s [sections] around the stadium. His energy is infectious. You don't want to be the guy that isn't matching his energy when you're out there. We go as he goes, and that's a credit to him the way that he plays and the way that he's always been. That's why he's so great, and I think without him out there, we're a totally different defense – just top to bottom mentally, physically. He gets it going."

(on him playing side by side with S Geno Stone) "Shoutout to my boy Geno [Stone] on his first regular season pick today. That was awesome. We saw that play in practice throughout the week. We were talking pre-snap before it happened, and I'm glad he got the pick. He needs to cut that back though and take it to the crib. He had some blockers. That's when I was going to hit the 'Bobby Boucher' [and block] down the sideline for him. He played great. I think he led us in tackles, too. I think he's just getting started as well."

(on his trust with CB Brandon Stephens) "It's just knowing what to do but playing instinctual at the same time. You don't want to let your brain slow your feet down. We know that they wanted him on the fade [route] in the boundary, [in the] red zone, I'm sure. Everyone in the league knows that. They've done it a lot in the past. Shoutout to 'B. Steve' [Brandon Stephens] for keeping his leverage and taking that away and then Geno [Stone] for holding the backside down. It was really just a perfect play all around in the back end."

(on if the defense learned anything from beating the Cincinnati Bengals early during last season and how much stock he puts into a win like this) "These wins matter. At the end of it all, just because we're in Week 2 doesn't mean that it's not going to have any implications come Week 17, 16. At the same time, we won all our division games the first go around last year and then lost all of them in the second [and third] game [against them]. We still have a long season to go. They're still a really good team. We're going to see them again."


(on what it says about this team beating the defending AFC North champions) "[It's] like I've been saying since camp – the sky is the limit for this team. All phases, I believe, we fought today how we're supposed to in tough game [against] the former division champs. [They're] a great team by the way, all phases as well. We just did what were supposed to do."

(on the touchdown throw to WR Nelson Agholor) "I saw that it was mad coverage [and] 'Nelly' [Nelson Agholor] won [and] did a great job. [He] did a great route, kept his head down and dug for a few more yards and made a great catch."

(on if during the week he felt more comfortable with the offense) "Yes, just from experience, just playing that first game … Our first game was like a preseason game for us, especially the starters because we haven't played in a while together, but I feel like today, we stepped it up."

(on how rewarding it was for them to close the game out without having to bring the defense back out) "Yes, I feel like it was great because previous years, we've been finishing with our defense on the field, and we really haven't been doing a good job at finishing the last drive for our defense and our special teams. And today, we did."

(on what this early season win means for the team in this division) "To me, it doesn't mean anything yet. That's just two wins in a 17-game season. So, we have to stay focused and get ready for our next opponents. We can do well today on this victory, but other than that, we have to stay locked in because it's not a championship game."

(on if he paid attention at all to the preseason hype of Bengals being AFC North favorites this season) "No, I was pretty much focused on us and getting focused with this offense, this new offense, and just getting back with my guys and focusing on what we have to focus on."

(on how much more comfortable he felt this week compared to last week) "Absolutely. Our offensive line blocked their tails off. [The] guys were getting open, so it made my decision making way faster. I just have to put the ball where it needs to be and let those guys do what they do."

(on WR Zay Flowers seizing the moment when given the chance) "We saw it together. They went Cover Zero when he was open on a post [route], and I had to get the ball out of my hands, but the [offensive] line did a great job. Just watching film knowing what they were going to do, we had to cross the route and I saw the safety driving on that cross route and Zay [Flowers], he's going to get away from corners. They have explosive guys, fast guys, I just had to give him a chance, and he made a heck of a catch."

(on if a game like this shows that you need everyone on this team and not just the starters) "Yes, absolutely. We're going to need everyone. We showed that today. Everyone touching the ball, getting yards after the catch, [and] keeping the chains moving. We're going to need everyone. [I'm] praying that everyone stays healthy, and we just stay locked in."

(on if his wrist is OK) "That little run? I'm good. I have like a little stinger in my arm, my hand, but I'm good."


(on what he saw on his interception of QB Joe Burrow) "We were just in quarters, and I was just hoping to read Joe [Burrow]. I tried to hold him off the X [wide receiver] on the back side. I saw him just staring across every time I was pushed over, and I went to the backline and [got the interception]."

(on if he could have scored on the interception if he cut it back) "I've got to watch the film. Everyone keeps saying that, [so] yes, I probably should have cut it back. But all the time, when they talk about return, they say, hit the sideline. So, I hit the sideline, but it wasn't open for me."

(on if he was just trusting his instincts to go towards the middle on his interception) "Yes, I just saw him take an outside release, and then after that, I just went to put my eyes back in the middle. I saw Joe [Burrow], and he wasn't even looking at Ja'Marr [Chase] on that progression, so I just pushed more inside."

(on CB Marlon Humphrey calling his shot) "Yes, I think I told everyone today [that] I was going to get one. Just with the type of week I was having, I feel like I just needed to do something … I didn't need to do something, but I felt like something was going to happen. So, I'm just happy it did."

(on if he had been making interceptions in practice this week) "No, it was a slow week for me. That's why I was like … I was due. I was due, and something was going to happen today."

(on what it means for him to step up in this game) "It means a lot to me. It means a lot that these coaches trust me and put me in the position to be where I am right now. I've got a lot of trust in my guys, and my guys have got a lot of trust in me. So, I'm just happy I was out there and able to make the plays I could for this team and help them win."

(on limiting the Bengals' big plays) "Yes, just eliminate the big plays. We wanted to get hands on them early and then make sure we had great coverage in the back end. They were a team that was getting beat up after the catch, so as long as we eliminated the running catches and stuff like that – all the explosive plays … Those 50/50 balls are going to happen – it's the NFL – so as long as you eliminate all the right plays …"

(on what this win says about the team and where it stands in the AFC North) "We're a team that's going to fight no matter who is out there. We've got that 'Next Man Up' mentality, [and] everyone is on this team for a reason. So, whoever is out there knows that you've got a chance to win with these guys, and I feel like it showed today."