Transcripts: Ravens Postgame Quotes Week 8

Head Coach John Harbaugh

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(opening statement) "OK, obviously, this is fun to stand up here now. We've had a lot of other ones, and to have our guys come through the way that they did, that's just a wonderful thing. I think it's a testament to faith and guts. That's kind of the thing we talked about this week. Rick Wagner gave a little talk, and he talked about courage. Courage takes faith, and faith takes courage. I thought our guys displayed that, and they have throughout the course of the whole season. Last night, we told them they had passed the test. They had a testimony. Now, let's go and see if we can win a football game. And that's what they did. I'm very proud of our football team and what they accomplished. On to Steve Smith [Sr.] Steve did tear his Achilles tendon. He will be out for the rest of the season. He's pretty shook up about it. Shook up is not the right word; he's hurting. I have a feeling Steve Smith [Sr.] will be back. I love him, respect him, admire him. I told him that. That's the kind of man he is, and he'll be back. OK, any questions?"

(on the challenge of losing Steve Smith Sr. for the rest of the season) "I don't think you rank challenges, Pete [Gilbert]. We'll step up and overcome it, and he'll still be with us. He'll still be a part of us going forward. And our guys will step up and fill in, just like we always do."

(on the importance of Sam Koch's big punts today) "That's so true. We gave the game ball to the special teams, as a unit. It was a consummate team win, there's no question about it. There's a lot to talk about in all three phases, but the special teams were the difference in the game. Field goals, of course, flipping the field position with our punt team – Sam was amazing. [We] punt the ball down to the 1-yard line, keep them down there, almost had a safety it looked like a couple times, and then to score was huge for us. Offensively, we made some clutch plays in critical situations. The fourth-down conversion early in the game, that led to Crockett [Gillmore]'s touchdown was just such a big play. I thought we had some good plays down the field, some nine routes where guys went up and made plays and really forced the pass interference in the end, too, because we executed that nine route so well. The run game was there. The offensive line. But then, go to Joe Flacco. Joe Flacco made plays under duress. He always plays that way, but he stepped up today and made some plays that were phenomenal football plays that great players make. And then the defense. Philip Rivers, give him credit. You saw him, you know how good he is. And he has weapons all over the place, and they use them very well. It's a chess game out there a lot of times because he gets them in really good plays, as you saw for the defense, when he recognized it. The throw he made in the corner of the end zone was about as good of a throw as you're ever going to make. So, give our defense a lot of credit for the way they came in there and played. Our defensive backs, our linebackers played with tremendous discipline, except for one play. The rest of the time, their eyes were on their coverage, they were in great position, they were contesting throws, and we don't want to give up any plays like that. But, all in all, I think they played with tremendous discipline and played very well."

(on the wide receivers that stepped up) "It's hard for me to pull it all together as far as who made plays, but guys made plays. Kamar [Aiken] made a number of plays down the stretch, on the slant route. Chris [Givens] made the back-shoulder play, made a down-field play at some point. I think it may have been before even Steve [Smith Sr.] was out. I thought our guys did a great job. The receivers did a great job."

(on what he means by Steve Smith Sr. will be back) "I can't make any announcements for Steve." (Reporter: "I thought you may have talked, that's all") "No, I can't make any announcements for Steve. I guess I'm commenting more on who he is, what he's all about. When he first came here, a year and a half ago, he and I had a conversation at my house and we talked about … He had brought this up, but it was my thought. I said it to him that, 'You're going to write the final chapters of your career in a way that nobody expects. Nobody's going to write these final chapters for you.' So, I'm just looking forward to seeing how this story ends."

(on whether he has talked to Steve Smith Sr. after his injury) "Yes." *(Reporter: "What went on in that conversation?") *"I just told him, like I said … I said, 'Hey, we'll be back at work tomorrow. We'll see you tomorrow. There are more chapters to be written in this story.' I told him I loved him, respected him and admired him. That's how I feel."

(on if watching Steve Smith Sr.'s play has been one of the brighter spots this season) "I think anytime you watch Steve Smith [Sr.], it's bright. He's a shining star. It has been a total honor to be able to serve as a coach to Steve Smith [Sr.] this season, a head coach and to be a part of what he does every single day."

(on the emotions of being able to win late in the fourth quarter after talk of not being able to do so) "We don't concern ourselves with talk, that's the main thing. It's one of the things that I think makes our guys so strong. We concern ourselves with one another and the task at hand. Like I said before, I think there's a tremendous amount of faith in that locker room, in a lot of things – in one another, and I'll say God, the God that our guys look to in their own ways, and in perseverance and not backing up. We still have eight games to play. We're going to have a real tough game here in two weeks from Sunday, against Jacksonville, in this place [against] a football team that's playing great. The story is still to be written this season, but what you saw today, I think is very similar to what you saw in every one of the last seven games before this. Except we found a way to win the football game. We grew in that sense. And, that's a really good football team that we beat; that's the story."

(on what happened defensively that allowed Philip Rivers' 70-yard touchdown pass) "We didn't play the coverage correctly. Bottom line, we didn't play the coverage correctly. It's a route that we knew they were going to run against that coverage. We had worked on that really hard. It was the one route we didn't want to give up against that style of coverage, and we gave it up. It's the one Philip Rivers looks for. The guy has probably thrown 100 touchdown passes with that route, against that type of coverage in the past. It was frustrating in the sense that we gave it up, but again, I think what defines the secondary is performance for the whole game, was the way they played coverage. We played man-to-man a lot. We mixed a little bit of zone in. Jimmy [Smith] is standing right here, we played man the whole game pretty much. I don't know 60 to 70 percent of the game." (Jimmy Smith: "75 [percent]") "75 percent, and they did a great job with that."

(on Justin Tucker saying this team can go 8-0 to finish the season) "He wasn't joking. That's the objective – to win the next game. And our objective is going to be to win the next game. Are we going to define ourselves and say we can't win every game going forward? There's absolutely no way we'll say that. Everybody else can say it. We'll let them say it. But, like I think he said really well, for whatever challenges are in front of us, we're just the men for the job."

(on John Urschel stepping in for Jeremy Zuttah at center at the end of the game) "John did a really good job of blocking, and we got under center, obviously that was a smart decision at the end there. He was struggling with the snap – we need to work on him with snaps, a lot, because we have to be in the [shot]gun, but I thought he blocked really well, as far as I could tell. We'll see when we see the tape. He did a good job of stepping up for Jeremy overall."

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QB Joe Flacco

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(on how it feels to win on a last-minute drive after struggling on them before) "It feels good. You know the game's going to come down to that. You just know it. We don't make it easy. I had a high-snap sack just  to make it even more dramatic and a pass interference call. It's just what it is, and it's just where we are right now as a football team. We're going to have to win games late like this, and [we've] just got to be proud of how we've stayed together throughout this whole process. And, the fact that we keep going out there and fighting till the end and giving ourselves the chance to do that."

(on the emotional effect of the injury to WR Steve Smith Sr.) "As a player, it's tough to get caught up in that in the moment. But at this point, you want to see your brother in there, in the locker room and all that. It's going to be an emotional thing just to lose players like that at any point. I'm not afraid to say when you have a guy like that, what he means to this team, this organization, myself. What he's done and just the kind of competitor he is, like I said, it's probably a little bit tougher when you lose a guy like that, that you know loves the game of football and wants to be out there with all of us."

(on the other receivers, like Kamar Aiken and Chris Givens) "Those guys don't blink. They don't blink. They're calling for it the whole game, and they want the opportunity to go in there and get the job done. You've got to be proud of the way they go up there. They're not afraid. They want the ball, and they want it to be on them. That's all you can ask for."

(on if he said anything in the huddle after Smith Sr. went out) "No, I'm not much of a talker. Just go out there and perform for me, and I'll perform for you, and that's all we need."

(on if he talked with C John Urschel about his snaps) "Snaps are great, man. Snaps are great. That is one thing – you're not used to taking a ton of snaps with him. I would be lying if I didn't tell you I was a little nervous about being under center and being in the gun. I know, at least in the gun, I have time to react and make a catch and stuff like that. I'd be lying if I wasn't a little bit nervous. As far as it goes with him, everything's perfect. He's doing a great job."

(on what was going through his mind on the final drive and if this would be the Ravens' time) "I wish I could be thinking about all that in that situation but I'm thinking get the ball and throw the slant. Get the ball and complete it this way. I got one-on-one out here, let's get [WR] Chris [Givens] a shot. I got one-on-out out here, let's give [WR] Kamar [Aiken] a shot. At the end of the day, it's about everybody collectively making the play. When you're on the sideline, you might have some kind of thoughts like that, but when you're out on the field, you're just playing and letting everything else take over."

(on how big a relief this win is) "We all talk how fun this game is, and how we have to have fun, and at the end of the day, this is a brutal game. It's a brutal game in every way, and it's a lot of fun when you're in that locker room, and you've won a football game. But up until that point, it's just a tough, physical hard-nosed game, and you're fighting your [butt] off to win it. But when you get in there with your brothers, and you're putting your arms around everybody, and you can just feel that sense of pride that everybody has, then it's pretty fun."

(on how the final drive went compared to Monday's loss) "It was really good. Everything was great. I thought it made it easy, the fact that we kind of had some [clock stoppages] and completed a ball. We got it moving from an early point. We had time left on the clock, too. It wasn't like we had to be in a huge rush. We only needed a field goal. The circumstances were a lot different, but I thought that we handled it very well and were very composed throughout the whole thing."

(on the difficulty of the offense moving forward without Smith Sr.) "Well, obviously it makes it a little bit tougher than we'd like, but we've played a game this year without him, and I think our guys did a great job stepping up. We were able to put some offense up, put some points on the board. The next guy steps up. It's not like we're just going to be playing with a ghost out there. We're going to have a guy that's perfectly capable of making a ton of plays, and we're going to have to rely on him to do so."

(on going into the bye week with a win) "I don't know if having the bye adds to any of the confidence or anything, but it definitely makes the bye week a lot more enjoyable."

WR Steve Smith Sr.

(On his season-ending Achilles injury) "What hurts the most is that I can't be out there with my guys. We had a great team win today, and that's really all that counts."

DT Brandon Williams

(on the win) "It's amazing. That's what we practice for, that's what we grind for every day, for that emotional victory, and what better place to do it than at home in front of our fans. We are down right now, but this win breathes some life into us. Now we have a chance to build on that from here on."

(on the defense's ability to close the game in the fourth quarter) "Its big, you know. Finish games, finish plays, finish third downs. We did that today, and that's the biggest thing. We grinded it out, and we won."

(on Steve Smith Sr. going down) "The biggest thing for me is to make sure he's OK; that God has his hands over him, and he'll be all right."

WR Marlon Brown

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(on how the offense continued to play without Steve Smith Sr.) "We were just trying to win the game. That happened, and we were just trying to focus on the game."

(on whether it takes a while to move on after a teammate is injured) "As players, the only thing you're probably thinking about is the next play and the task at hand. Obviously, it's tough, but at the end of the day, you have a job to do, and you have to go and do it regardless."

(on the emotions in the locker room with Steve Smith Sr. injury) "It's heartbreaking. Like I said, it's just really heartbreaking."

WR Kamar Aiken

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(on winning in the fourth quarter) "It just shows what this team is all about. This team deserves it. We always grind it out, and today we found a way to win."

(on the pass interference penalty) "The guy, he grabbed me from the jump. I knew I was either going to make the play, or it was going to be a flag. I was pretty confident the referee would throw it."

(on Steve Smith Sr.) "He's always told us to keep pushing. That's what he's embedded in our heads. Even though he wasn't around us at the end [of the game], we feel like he was with us. A little bit of him is in every one of us."

(on if the receivers felt more pressure without him) "Pressure? I don't want to say pressure. But we did feel a sense of urgency. We tried to step up a little more and to stay on point. Our job is to stay strong and get ready for anything that comes our way."

(on if Steve said anything before he left) "We were actually encouraging him. He's in a low place right now, so we just wanted to rally around him and show him love."

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TE Crockett Gillmore

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(on the last drive) "We knew what we needed to have. Go down and kick a field goal at a minimum. So, we went out and made some plays. Kamar [Aiken] stepped up huge, made some catches. Joe [Flacco] did what he does, moved us down the field, and the offensive line was great blowing guys off the ball."

(on the snaps to Joe Flacco) "To be honest, I had no idea there was an issue. When Jeremy [Zuttah] went out, we had a lot of confidence in John [Urschel], what he does. So, I really didn't know anything about that."

(on his touchdown catch) "Yes, it was my job to bust that zone. Luckily, the defender kind of got tripped up, and he lost me. It was a walk-in touchdown, especially when I ran by Steve [Smith Sr.] in the flat, I could tell by his demeanor it was going to be a walk-in."

(on losing Steve Smith Sr.) "It's like losing a brother for me. I've played with him for a long time now, and he's such a great guy to be around. It's really tough to see him go down, especially like that. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family."

(on building off this win going in to the bye) "We're going to take a win any way we can get it. We'll take care of the rest down the road."

ILB Daryl Smith

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(on what it means to lose WR Steve Smith Sr.) "It's one of those things that you hate to see. We know what he means to this team. And it was, 'OK, hopefully it's not serious. Right now he's down, and we need to go out here and stand up and let's get this win.'"

(on what the locker room was like after the game) "We're all excited to get a win. Maybe you guys heard something, but I haven't heard anything about what's wrong with [Steve Smith Sr.]. Hopefully it's not serious. But we'll see."

(on how satisfying it was to hold the San Diego Chargers to a field goal on the last drive) "It was huge. It was something that we had to do. Hopefully it's a good starting point that we can build on, and hopefully we get to a point where we don't let them down there in the first place. To come up and get the stop and hold them to a field goal was huge."

(on the team not quitting despite adversity) "No, that's not in our make-up. We're going to come out and work hard every day. We're turning this thing around. [We've] got to."

DT Timmy Jernigan

(on the season going forward) "We're trying to make history and just win all of the rest of our games."

(on Steve Smith being injured) "It was definitely a blow. We know what Steve stood for. Steve is the toughest person I know. He's the toughest person I've ever seen in my life. The dude's tough as nails. I just pray everything works out for him. We're definitely going to keep fighting for him until he gets back."

(on if he thought it would come down to which team had the ball last)  "I didn't think it would quite come down to that – whoever would have the ball last. It was just about who's going to fight it out and finish. Who's going to do everything right just to get the job done. I'm glad it was us today."

(on the defense) "It was us – it was the Ravens. It was all three of us together. Our special teams played lights out today. Our offense did their thing today. Our defense did what we had to do. It was the Ravens that won the football game today, not either side."

(on getting a victory going into the bye) "It was definitely big. We'll have a couple days to enjoy it, but after that, it's time to get back to work. There's a lot of work to be done. Of course we're going to get our rest, but whenever it's time to walk back in and get ready for the next game, we'll be ready to do that."

K Justin Tucker

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(on the last drive) "I'll tell you what, I don't think I've been as proud as I am right now to be associated with a group of guys. [We're] talking about a group that's in a fight and definitely not against each other. You look around all of these sports leagues, and you hear about teams that have dissention within the locker room once they start struggling on game day. But we have none of that. We have had a bunch of guys that love coming to work. We're just having a great time and to be able to celebrate like we are right now, especially with a bye week coming up, it does make it a little more enjoyable. We can enjoy this win for a couple of extra days. As soon as we're done enjoying it, we've got to give ourselves the best opportunity to go 8-0 the last half of the season. I think we've got just the men for the job."

(on winning the game without Steve Smith Sr.) "It's definitely tough when you lose one of your brothers out there, and that's how we really feel. It feels like we lost a brother out there. But at the exact same time, you've got to have that next-man-up mentality. So, the rest of the group being able to step up and finish the game, winning the game, that's really, truly, the Raven way."

(on making five field goals) "Thanks for bringing that up. I appreciate that. When you're out there playing, you are just thinking about the action and not the consequence. I sound like a broken record, because I think I've said that to you 100 times over the last couple of years. When you've got guys like Morgan [Cox] who is able to throw the ball back the way that he does, Sam [Koch] – he punted great today, too. When you've got those guys in this field goal operation, the ball almost kicks itself at that point. So, I'm just happy to be working with those guys. I'm happy to be able to come through for my team, because every single one of us knows at some point during a football season you're going to have to be that guy to make the play. It just so happened, on a couple of wins that we have, we've won the field goals. That's not indicative of the team effort that goes into just getting down the field, so we can get those three points when we need them."

(on the play before the field goal) "I told [kicking consultant] Randy Brown to relay to the rest of the coaching staff to just get it close, and we'll just knock it through, because we were dealing with a little bit of wind swirling around. And it always does in this stadium. It's a lot of fun. I kind of enjoy it. We're just trying to win the game, so just get it as close as we can. We'll just knock it down when we get the opportunity. That's about it."

(on his dance at the end of the game) "That's a little shoutout to Drake. I probably didn't do as good of a job, but it's pretty popular right now. I'll just leave it at that." (Reporter: "Was that the first time you tried that?") "Did it look the first time I tried that? Next question please. (smiling)"

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CB Jimmy Smith

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(on the defense allowing big plays and not forcing turnovers entering the game) "Just for us coming out, we had a few mistakes still, but everything with the wind is a lot better. Going forward, we're going to be in this position a lot, pretty much every single game. So, we've got eight more games to prove what our defense can do. We're up for the challenge."

(on the defensive mentality entering the game) "Our defensive coordinator [Dean Pees] came down at halftime and was basically like, 'We have got nothing to lose. So, I'm going to go out there and call it, and you guys play it.' We rallied around each other defensively on the sideline, and we knew we had to make plays. We knew it would come down to a two-minute possession, which it did. We had to make plays and play tight coverage and ended up forcing a turnover."

(on how big of a relief the win is) "It's huge. It's huge. With a win, everything is great, but we've still got to go back and work on some things. We gave up a huge play too easily, and that could change a game against a team on another night. So, those are kind of the things I'm looking at right now. But like I said, we won, we're happy. We've got work to do."

(on how much man-to-man coverage they played today in comparison to other games) "Yes, we did. We played a lot [of man-to-man coverage] in the Cincinnati game, something similar. Like I said, we felt comfortable playing a lot of press against them. They run a lot of short routes and things like that, so we were comfortable with what we were going to do."

(on if he saw a difference in Dean Pees during halftime) "I wouldn't say he was different. He just came down with a lot of energy and basically [put] everything out on the table. Basically, like I said, he said, 'We're going to go out [and play like] we've got nothing to lose and put pressure on them.' And that's what we did in the second half."

(on Dean Pees' challenge to the defense) "He challenges us every week, but this time he came down yelling."

(on how tough it is to hear the news of Steve Smith Sr.'s injury) "I just heard about it standing in the corner. It's very disheartening to be honest with you. He's a big-time leader on our team – just the way he competes, and plays. His presence alone is huge for us. To see him go down, one of our top warriors, it's a big deal, but we haven't caught any breaks all year. This is another one, so we have got to rally. The guys that are in [the game] have got to make plays."

(on if this win can create momentum) "Every win you want to roll into momentum. We've got a bye week, so we get some rest, but going forward, definitely we need to build off of this. Then we've got another home game against a good team. We need to get another win."

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RB Justin Forsett

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(on the win) "It feels good. We've been working to get this win number two, so it feels good. We need to build some momentum around it."

(on the running game in the second half) "We stuck at it in the second half running the ball, that's what we do here. In the second half, that's when we do most of our work in the running game, being able to cut them down and wear them out. We really did that today."

(on John Urschel filling in at center) "He's a smart player, he's a savvy player, and when he comes in he's physical and he's tough. I would expect nothing less from him."

(on trying to get on a roll) "If anybody can do it, these guys in this locker room can do it. We all believe it, we just have to go out and do it."

(on the bye) "It's going to be good to recover, and hopefully we can get some guys back from injury. Come out in the second half of the season blazing."

(on the first half of the season) "It was tough, but I think I've been 0-7 before. It definitely wasn't as bad as that. It was a lot of travelling, but that's what the business calls for. Right now we just have to focus on what's ahead of us, and we have to beat Jacksonville."

(on the game-winning drive) "The mindset was finish. We've been in close games every week, and we haven't been finishing for the most part. We knew someone just had to make a play and step up. Steve [Smith] went down, other guys had to step up. Kamar [Aiken], Chris [Given], stepped up and made some plays. We stepped up in the run game. We just wanted to finish, and today we got it done."

(on WR Steve Smith's injury) "I don't know what happened to him, but I know Steve Smith [Sr.] It's going to take a lot to keep him out. He's a tough guy, and so our prayers go out to him."

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OLB Elvis Dumervil

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(on the win) "It's important. It's really been tough for us here, and I think we're becoming more seasoned as a team. It was great to get a win in front of the home crowd. We're excited, we're going to try to get our bodies recovered, and we need to get ready for a good Jacksonville team."

(on the team staying together) "There's no tanking here, it starts with the top, Steve [Bisciotti], Ozzie [Newsome], to Coach [John] Harbaugh, and obviously the leaders of this team. We are going to come out and compete every week, so you can bet that."

(on the Chargers offense) "A great quarterback [Philip Rivers] man, the things he can do with the ball. The offensive line did a good job. We tried to pressure as much as we can, and we did a few things, but it's obvious we can get better."

(on Jimmy Smith commenting about DC Dean Pees getting on the defense at halftime) "He always gets on us at halftime, maybe Jimmy [Smith] was just paying attention this time. Dean, he's a guy that's pretty emotional, he was just fired up like he's been every week. Today we were able to make one more play than they did to get the win, so that was important."

(on the Ravens winning on the last play) "We're well seasoned in that situation, and it felt great in front of our home crowd. Our defense gave our offense the chance to go out and close the game, and our special teams did a great job today. So, it's good to see our team seasoned up to go out and get a win."

(on Steve Smith) "Great guy, great teammate. It's tough, but in the NFL it happens. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We just have to keep going.

(on the emotion of losing Steve Smith) "As a team, we felt like we dealt with that with Terrell [Suggs]. This time around it kind of feels like we have to play harder, dig deep, and try to do it for Steve [Smith]. We all know how bad he likes to be out there, so I think guys will rally up as a team."

(on how big a relief the win is) "We have a lot of games left, but it was great to know that we're headed in the right direction. It gives us an opportunity to go in the bye week and get guys healthy. We'll get ready for another home game that we're excited about."

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G/C John Urschel

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(on his shotgun snap) "My snaps weren't very good. Any more than that, I'll have to look at the film and really break that down."

(on scrapping the shotgun) "I don't make the play calls, so I'm not involved in that process."

(on [Joe] Flacco's performance) "He played really well, he took care of me. I'm very thankful for that, and I'm glad we got the win. I have great teammates that calmed me down all the way through."

(on Joe Flacco commenting on his snaps) "He was very complimentary, that's just the type of guy Joe [Flacco] is. Shotgun snaps are something I have to work on. It's always nice to get the win, and be able to smile. I'm very grateful to my teammates that they got me through that, and they kept me calm through the game."

(on preparation for playing center) "I work all three different positions, both guards and center throughout the week. Work through situations depending on who's healthy and who's not. How I work varies week-to-week. I'm an interior lineman, and I back up all three."

(on the challenge of playing all three positions) "That's just the deal as a backup offensive lineman. I did play right guard earlier in the game. Someone else goes down, you just go right in, and try to do the best you can."

(on getting the win) "Wins are hard. This was a great team win, just the way everyone stepped up, especially the older guys, the offensive lineman. Keeping me calm, taking care of me out there. Guys like Marshal Yanda taking care of me, and Kelechi Osemele taking care of me.  I'm very grateful for the veterans that we have.

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