Transcripts: Ravens Postgame Quotes (Sept. 18)

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh:

Opening statement:

"I couldn't be more proud of these players and coaches. The play-callers were exceptionally good and they got help from their staffs too. Both of them stuck to the game plan and didn't over react. That takes a lot when you have that kind of first quarter. The Browns deserve a lot of credit for this game. This is a good, young football team. This is a team that's really well-coached. This is a team that is going to be a force to be reckoned with because they're playing a bunch of rookies and they're playing well. It was fight for three quarters. We did make the plays that needed to be made to win the game and we didn't make the mistakes that would end up costing us. I have a lot of respect for them, I think they deserve a lot of credit and they're going to win a lot of football games this year with Hue Jackson."

On what winning this game says about the resilience of the team:

"It says a lot about the resilience. A lot of that has been forged through the last 9 years here with (QB) Joe (Flacco), (RG) Marshal (Yanda), and (P) Sam (Koch), but last year was a lot of understanding the foundation. A lot of guys made plays, but nobody cracked, nobody panicked, or pointed the finger. Guys got mad, but we started playing football. Fundamentally, we were not a good football team in the first quarter, especially on defense. The 'good' started with the blocked extra point. To get a hand out, to not give up, not quit - that play right there is really a hard play. It's the toughest two seconds in football. Then a rookie, (CB) Tavon (Young), to be exactly where he's supposed to be, in the exact right spot he's supposed to be in in case it gets blocked, he's right there to scoop and score. That's the kind of thing I think as a coach you feel really good about."

On what changed from the beginning to the end of the game:

"I have to look at the tape and figure that out. I think (Browns NT) Danny Shelton was a big factor in there as far as keeping us from running the ball between the tackles.  That's when we started to go outside and two linebackers were just running through and making plays. We just have to get better. We just have to look at the tape and figure out exactly what we have to do to get the run game going earlier. We do need to get it going earlier."

On TE Dennis Pitta's performance:

"He's a playmaker. Having a tight end that can be a third down playmaker is really important and valuable. You can't coach that. Hopefully that is just going to get better. Not just him though, we saw some guys make plays down the field on the ball. There are things that need to get better, whether it's back shoulders or deep throws. Those are all things we have to keep working on."

On the influence of Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks' passing:

"We dedicated the game to CB (Clarence Brooks) obviously. Of course, last night in our team meeting when we talked about CB we had to talk about Tray Walker as well. These are the things of life, we all have to deal with and this is what life is. It's the same in football as it is in life, whatever job you have or whatever your family situation is. We're kind of like a family, we're together every day and these things impact all of us. They just let CB into heaven and they had to give him a time out. He was just going off, but then they got him calmed down, we started playing better defense, hitting the quarterback and CB was doing a little better today. That was for Clarence Brooks. I think that what the players did out there in his name says it all."

On WR Steve Smith Sr.'s performance and QB Joe Flacco speaking with him at halftime:

"We know Steve and Steve knows us. We're a lot alike. When Steve came over to me a couple times in the preseason, he grabbed me and said 'calm down coach, calm down. Everything's going to be alright.' Sometimes you don't say anything. Steve was into it and I don't even know what he (Flacco) said and it really doesn't matter, but it motivated him. He came back and got it done and that's who Steve Smith is."

Ravens QB Joe Flacco:

On turning the game around:

"The first key is that blocked extra point. The fact that you can get two points on it now, that forced them to have to get into the end zone at the end. There was room out there to make plays, get the ball downfield, get the ball in our guys' hands and score some points. I think we're working on something good. We just have to turn it into points. We'll have big chunks here and there, but then we'll turn the ball over or get a penalty or something. I think we're still working on something good and we just need to find a way to turn that into points."

On the team overcoming a large deficit:

"I just told those guys that I couldn't be more proud. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't great. Do you want to play that kind of game in September? Not necessarily, but every single game in January and come February, where we hope to be, is going to be like that. There's going to be tough situations. Over the years, these games have just taken us to that next level and really made us mentally tough so when we get into those games, we don't blink. We've already been through it four, five, six times in September, October and November. That's why we can be so good late in the year. I think this was one of those games that helps some of our young guys out with confidence and toughness, to help you win late in the year."

On his thoughts after starting the game with a large deficit:

"The same thing that's going through your (Baltimore fans) head. If you guys are true Ravens fans, you're sitting there cussing on the couch. We're doing the same thing on the bench. I'm sure after I threw that pick, the defensive guys are getting pretty upset about it. It happened very quickly. Our defense did not allow another point the entire game. We should have scored more and we didn't. We had them on the ropes at the end of the second quarter, and at the start of the third quarter. Then in the third quarter, we may have let up a little bit."

On if he felt he had to make bigger plays after the deficit:

"I told (Offensive Coordinator) Marc (Trestman), 'We're going fast, we're moving. I feel like we're getting two yards, three yards, six yards, two yards and everything is still taking too long. Let's get into a groove of trying to get some chunks. Let's call some plays, they don't have to be perfect, but I think we can have our players make some plays and get some good opportunities.' That's what happened with the two-minute drive. I hit (TE) Dennis (Pitta) on a little out route and that's what kind of had us going."

On TE Dennis Pitta and his performance:

"If he was coming back, I knew he would be productive. Last year when he came back for a couple weeks of practice and they decided to not have him play, he looked good. He looked like himself. I think he's going to get more and more comfortable as the year goes on. We just have to keep him healthy."

On utilizing TE Dennis Pitta on third-down situations:

"He knows what they're trying to do to him and they played their man coverage on him a couple of times. Those last third and shorts, I hit him crossing to the left and I hit him crossing to the right. If he doesn't win there, who knows what happens. I'd have to scramble around and try to make the play or wait until somebody else is open. He was really the man on those plays. If he doesn't win, then we're probably in a bit of trouble."

On the running game:

"We're not getting a ton of yards right now. We're doing some different stuff and it probably isn't giving our lineman the best chance to be super physical. I think it's keeping defenses off balance and eventually it's going to pop. On that last drive, we were able to pick up a handful of first downs running the football. I think that's where we're trying to go with this thing. We want to get up 20-0 and we want to run teams over late in the game. It's just not going that way yet but we just have to stay consistent and eventually it will turn."

ILB C.J. Mosley

On the defense sealing the victory with the interception:

"They scored 20 points in the first quarter so you put the whole team in that situation. It was a good way end it with the defense making the last play. That's not the way you want to start. Especially with the 84-yard run, RB Isaiah Crowell) always found the running lane. We always have to stop the running game so that really got to us in the first quarter. We did a great job and (Head) Coach (John Harbaugh) did a good job with the play calling. He didn't give up. He didn't let up. We stayed with the same game-plan and then we shut them out."

On defensive coordinator Dean Pees coming to the field to talk to the team:

"He wasn't very fired up. He told us to stay calm and let the game come to us.  When we get down like that, you feel like you have to go and make the extra play. On one play we were in a zone drop and we bit on a check down and he got behind us. That's all he said. He said to just stay calm and play our game. Once we got the momentum going, the rest was history."

On the overall performance of the team:

"I was happy to pull it out. It was a great team effort. Like I said, we put ourselves in that situation, we put the team in that situation. We definitely didn't want to start the game like that with that big run. Kudos to the team, the offense stayed consistent. They kept pounding on the door. They were making plays. They were getting touchdowns. Special teams did a great job. It was a great team effort and we found our way through it. That's the difference between us last year and this year. We can finish those last games at the end."

On winning for senior defensive assistant Clarence Brooks:

"Yeah we definitely wanted to win this game for him. I know he is resting in peace, but I'm sure he's not happy with us too. Going through the week, he was around the defense and scouting things out. I know he's mad, but he's probably happy we won too. We did a good job after that first quarter. They (Browns) did a good job making those plays. They said they were going to run the ball and be physical. Some plays they ran in the spot at the right time. For some reason, it's always like that with the Cleveland Browns but it was a great team effort."


TE Dennis Pitta

On the game:

"Early on, it wasn't looking too good. We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole, but this team is resilient. We've had a lot of hard fought games. We all looked at each other and knew the game wasn't going the way we wanted, but we knew we could move the ball offensively and our defense was going to get some stops. That's exactly what happened. The defense posted a shutout the last three quarters, and offensively, we started moving the ball and making big plays. This is a great team win, one that will serve us well down the road."

On returning to the site of his injury and playing well:

"Last time I was here, I didn't get to go home with everybody. Fortunately, this time I do, and it's going to be a lot more fun this time around. I wasn't thinking about my hip going into this game. I would be doing myself a disservice to be thinking about it. I feel fortunate to come out of the game healthy. I took some shots in the game. My body held up and I'm feeling good." 

On his ability to get off the line of scrimmage:

"A lot of teams will try and jam us at the line, try to knock our timing off of our routes. Fortunately, we had some pretty clean releases today, which makes our job a little easier, to be honest. I like it when that happens.

On his catch to set up the go ahead field goal:

"It was a play-action fake, (QB) Joe (Flacco) and the running back did a nice job of getting the linebackers to jump up and play run. I was able to slip behind them. It was a really well designed play. We executed it well, and it turned out to be a big play for us down the stretch."


WR Steve Smith Sr.

On coming back from a 20 point deficit:

"The first half was pretty horrendous. We didn't do a very good job as a team and we didn't show up. In the second half we came out, made some plays and adjustments. We actually called some plays in the second half and did a better job."

On what the Ravens did differently in the second half:

"The Browns did some things differently than we thought they would. We watched film from last week and thought they were going to play a lot of press-man coverage. They came out and did some different things. They surprised us."

On the play of the defense:

"The second half, our defense showed up. They really carried us. They saved us when we would stall on offense. Without our defense showing up and playing as well as they did, what we did as a team would have been impossible."


LB Terrell Suggs

On the Cleveland Browns performance:

"You know Cleveland, they're a brawler team. We anticipated it but we just executed. We had good defense but they just had a better offense. At the end of the day you have to get back to playing football and that's what we did. We stuck to the game plan and that's what we did."

On addressing the team before the game about former coach Clarence Brooks:

"We said something before the game, about what he would want for us.  He didn't let what he was going through affect the team. He still showed up to the building, cussed us out and he was still a great coach. He wanted us to go out there and win. We got it done for him."

On his health and injuries:

"I'm going to continue to work. I'm getting closer and closer, but the most important thing is we are 2-0.  It's the first time since 2009. We are going to keep chopping wood. We have 14 games to go. I feel great. I feel lighter, so we are going to continue to chop wood."

RB Terrance West

On coming back to Cleveland:

"It was an OK day. My main key is trying to help this team win. Winning is first on my list and anything else, my personal goals, will come with it."

On overcoming adversity throughout career:

"It just made me a better person. God sent me to Cleveland, He sent me to Tennessee and brought me back home to cherish these moments even more. If I would have been drafted here, who knows what would have happened. I'm just happy for the opportunity. It's a blessing come true."

On the Division win and 2-0 record:

"It's a division game. That counts as two wins, so it's always good. Starting off 2-0 is great. We have a great team. We started off slow today, but like Joe (QB Joe Flacco) said in the huddle, in the locker room, when it comes December there are going to be games like this and we have to get wins."

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