Head Coach John Harbaugh
(opening statement) "Good to see everybody here. We appreciate it. That puts an explanation point on an excellent season. I'm very, very proud of these players and these coaches. We're about to move into the next part of the season, the most important part, obviously. But with this part behind us, it's worth to take a minute and look at it. This is one of the best teams – it's thebest team in football in the regular season this year. There's no doubt about that. That's done. That's an explanation point. But that doesn't count for anything in the next season. In the next season, we have to, obviously, go to work this week and become a better football team and get ready for whoever our opponent is in that Divisional game here. So, that's what we'll do next. But just taking a minute to look back tonight, I couldn't be more proud of these players. I couldn't be more proud of these coaches. What a joy and a pleasure it's been. We were 2-2, and the statement was made in the locker room that, 'We'll find out what we're made of.' And boy, did we ever find out what we're made of – 12 straight wins later. And it speaks to the guys in the locker room, coaches and players. It also speaks to the scouts. The scouts, led by Eric DeCosta, just did an outstanding job of adding to the roster mid-season. When you add five, six, seven players like we did – I don't even know the number – but whatever it is, it was all those guys that you know about who are contributing and playing great for us. That's just a great job by the scouts. So, that's where we stand. [That was a] great football game. The Steelers played very hard. It was befitting of a rivalry game. It was a very physical football game. It was very hard sledding out there. But to be able to run the ball the way we did against that front speaks to the offensive line, the guys who were playing. Special teams touchdown, our special teams played their best game of the year, by far. And then our defensive line and our linebackers – really, the whole defense. [Defensive line coach] Joe Cullen, who got a game ball for the D-line said, 'Stopping the run is an 11-man job,' and all 11 guys did a great job of stopping their run and forcing them to throw the ball. That was the key to stopping them on defense."
(You talked about a revolution five months ago. Now, at 14-2, what are your thoughts about that, and was this your vision of what this could be and what it would look like? I know you don't like to get retrospective too much, but it seems like a good time to talk about it. What you saw then, was it envisioned this way?) "Yes. I really feel like it goes back to the players. It goes back to the guys that we had, and we felt like we could build something was different than what was currently, is being, run, most of the time, in the National Football League. So, I start to see the plays being run, and it's not like completely new. We didn't make up new plays, but the way the plays are packaged and organized and called, starts with [offensive coordinator] Greg Roman. And the defensive coaches do a great job creatively. A lot of these plays were run in San Francisco, back when [Greg] was there with my brother [Jim Harbaugh]. And a lot of them weren't. A lot of them are different and new. But the players are the ones that put the personality and the flavor to it. Lamar Jackson, obviously, is what we're talking about, because he was going to be our quarterback, and you build around him. You saw 'RG3' [Robert Griffin III] run the offense today really well. So, that's something to talk about. It's something that people will be talking about for a long time. But we won't be. We'll be talking about getting ready for the next game."
(You had some guys sit out for rest and not play at the cost of injuries. What does it say about the depth of your team and the character of this team to go out and give a performance like that? Everyone who played, they played hard.) "They did. I appreciate you saying that. We only sat seven guys out, so it's not like you're sitting out half your team. It's seven guys, and the rest of the guys played. Jimmy [Smith] didn't take a lot of snaps because he had a little groin issue, so we didn't want to play him. That's really the only guy that didn't. Marcus [Peters] played the whole game. All of the guys – [Matthew] Judon played the whole game. We had to play. It speaks to our offensive line, big time. It speaks to our running backs – really, the whole team, to go out there and play against a team that really had everything to fight for and play and win for. To play as hard as we did and as well as we did, it speaks volumes."
(Did you know that your guys would want to win as badly as they did today, or did they show you something yet again today?) "I would say both. They definitely showed us something yet again today, but I also knew they would. When you're around them every day, and you know what they're made of, you know what they're about, what they stand for, who they are. We fully expected to go out there and play really hard."
(You mentioned QB Robert Griffin III a little bit before. Based on what you needed him to accomplish today, for just this one game, how do you assess how he played in the quarterback position?) "He played really well. Standing on the sideline and watching the game, these were tough circumstances. It was muddy. It was rainy. It wasn't an easy game to throw the ball. He made some clutch throws. He made some big runs for us, operated the offense – there are a lot of complications to our offense in terms of calls and things like that – against a defense that's really creative and was doing a lot of different things out there to stop us. So, he just played the position excellent."
(What about the hits after? QB Robert Griffin III took a lot of extracurricular stuff from the Steelers. Did you talk to the officials about any of that?) "We did. We did. Sometimes, they didn't think it was late enough. Other times, they said they missed it. So, that happens. Sometimes they do miss it. But when you give yourself up, you know you're protected."
(With the career that QB Robert Griffin III has gone through, to have this game and have this win – it's his first win as a starting quarterback since 2016 – how much does this win mean to him as you get ready to play?) "You're going to get a chance to ask him that because he's going to be coming up here next, but I know it means a lot. He's a family man, and he's done a great job as a team member first. And here's a player that's been at the pinnacle. And to come in here and contribute to the team the way he does, it just speaks to his character. It also speaks to his ability as a player to play that well."
(I know you always want to look forward, but I also know how much you like running the ball. How does it feel to have the team that has gained the most yards rushing in any single season?) "That's like Joe DiMaggio's record. (laughter) That's the record that would never be broken, and it just got broken by the 2019 Baltimore Ravens. It feels real good. And [we are] the first team ever to average 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in a season, right? Is that right?"(Executive vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne: "Yes.")"There are probably a couple more, and that's nothing to take lightly. That's something that these guys are going to have, and we're all going to carry with us for a long time, coaches and players. But what it's not, it's not a Super Bowl victory either. That's what they remember you for, so we'll be trying to get that done one day at a time for the next month or so."
(Is there any significance to the [football]? You usually don't bring a football [to the podium].) "Yes, one of the footballs was given to me. So, I'm going to keep this one tight. I'll be sleeping with this one under my pillow tonight. (laughter)It's very meaningful, thank you."
(It seems like you got through this one healthy. With the bye week, how pleased were you with where the team is from a physical standpoint?) "Very pleased. I tell you what, I want to give our trainers, [head certified athletic trainer] Ron Medlin and [head strength & conditioning coach] Steve Saunders, our conditioning coach, and our docs, Andy Tucker, a shout, because this is the most healthy we've been, probably, ever since I've been here. Our players work really hard in the weight room and really work hard on taking care of themselves. So, hopefully we can carry that forward and have a great week of practice. One other thing: speaking of that, Darren Sanders, our [vice president] of security, underwent a brain surgery on Friday for a tumor, a brain tumor. Prayers were answered, they got it all, and it's benign. So, he's going to be fine, and he was texting us and sending us pictures. He seemed proud of his scar. So, that was great news."
(For future reference, in case you get a rainy day in the playoffs, on the play where RB Justice Hill slid for the first down and was untouched, what explanation did you get, if any, on that?) "They ruled that he was giving himself up. So, at that point, it's really not challengeable. If they had ruled that he slid or whatever, my understanding was I couldn't challenge that whether he gave himself up or not. So, that's why we kept the flag in our pocket. It took a minute, and we ended up taking a delay of game, unfortunately."
(RB Gus Edwards obviously ran the ball really well today. How comforting, for lack of a better word, is that, when you don't have a guy like RB Mark Ingram II, but have Gus and maybe even move forward to the playoffs with him?) "Gus [Edwards], to me, is a starting running back in this league. He continues to prove it. He proved it last year in the last six games, and to see him in there carrying the load like that is not surprising. Nobody thought for one second that it would look any different. He's going to be mad at himself, for the one play. And Justice [Hill] did a great job, too. So, seeing those guys carry the load was really good to see."
(OLB Matthew Judon obviously had the big play, but when you look at the totality of what he's done this season, what has he meant to the defense?) "Matt Judon is just … Yes, he's probably, as much as anybody, our anchor, or certainly one of the big anchors in our defense. He's proven who he is as a football player. He's established himself as one of the top outside linebacker, pass-rusher, edge-setters in the National Football League right now, which was his goal to do. And he's done it, and I'm proud of him. He comes from Grand Valley State. All of us saw him on tape and decided we liked him and thought he could do this. He's done it. He's overcome so much to get to where he's at. He works hard. He's a leader. It's what it's all about."
(We didn't get a chance to talk to you yesterday, but how pleased were you to get CB Marcus Peters locked up with the contract extension?) "Very pleased. (laughter)Matter of fact, so pleased that when I got to the team meeting last night just after it had been announced, I gave him a big hug, and the whole team cheered. (laughter) So, everybody was happy. But that's just the beginning. That will be something that Eric [DeCosta] and Ozzie [Newsome] continue to work on, and there will be more guys we sign, too. We want our players, and our players want to be here. The business side of it has to be taken care of, and that's just one of a couple first steps we've already taken."
(Did you have to call off a Gatorade shower from CB Jimmy Smith?) "Marcus Peters called it off, I came to find out. Yes, Marcus called it off. He said, 'This is not the time for that. We have more to do.' I kind of appreciated that. I'm dry for that reason, so, it was nice. I don't think I've ever gotten a Gatorade shower." (Reporter: "You will now." (laughter)"We have to keep winning. We have to keep winning. I'm all for it if we win."
QB Robert Griffin III
(on what the win says about this team) "To go out there against a fully-equipped Steelers' team, with guys that they've been playing with most of the year, and a defense that's that good, speaks volumes about our locker room. We played without a lot of guys today that are keys to us winning, and the offensive line stepped up big, running backs stepped up big, wide-outs stepped up big, and it was awesome to just to be a part of that."
(on what it was like to get a chance to play) "I wish it wasn't raining. I told the guys in the huddle before the game when we broke that every time you put the shoulder pads on, it's an opportunity. So, when people say there's no pressure, there's pressure for a lot of guys out there that hadn't played. I ain't started a game in three years, and other guys that played and had to play a lot more than they normally do, there was pressure on them to perform. I can't be happier for those guys that they went out, and we shut down the Steelers' offense and were able to dominate the Steelers' defense, especially in the trenches. That was awesome. It was awesome to watch. I was a fan. I was Mic'd up today; I can't wait to hear what I was saying. I don't even remember but it was a lot of fun."
(on the Steelers appearing to take some shots at him at times) "I don't want to say any of that. I was talking to the official quite frequently. What I would say is we're built for that. We work really hard, and we have that shirt that says, 'Nobody Cares, Work Harder,' and that's what we do. So, when they're basically trying to go out there and punk me, hit every place, [to see if] I can't take that ... Teams tried to do that to me earlier in my career. I'll probably be sore tomorrow. Today, I knew that was probably going to be their plan, just for me. I think I showed them I'm built for that. I can take any hit, anything they're going to try to do, clean, dirty, whatever. I think I got their respect after the game."
(on what it meant to him personally to win this game) "Everything. Everything. All week I talked about it's not about me, and it's not about me. But we were able to, I believe, finish the season with the best record in Ravens' history at 14-2. That means everything. To keep our winning streak going, that means everything. To play like that in those conditions means everything. We wanted to play winning football, and I heard [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] talk about it earlier in the week – protect the ball, run the ball and score points. And that's what we did. So, it was awesome. I want to savor this moment because I don't know when I'll get an opportunity to start again, and that's [why] I wanted to have fun. I've never really been a first-down signal guy, but I was today. I can't wait to go back home and celebrate with my wife."
(on savoring all of this) "I just wanted to make sure we enjoyed it. I talked to the guys; with a team like the Steelers, they're a physical group. I said earlier in the week, they're a 'that dude' defense, and 'those dudes' showed up. We just had to match that. My intensity on those plays was to try to just give the team some energy, and our defense was doing a great job giving us energy. That turnover before the half that allowed us to go in and score some points, get seven, was big. It was all part of it. I know, in these types of games, with the way the weather was, you have to try to make every play that you can. Sometimes, it's a simple under-throw to [wide receiver] Willie [Snead IV). Sometimes, it's the hand-off to [running back] Justice [Hill] there on the goal line, where he goes and scores. But all those plays are important."
(on when he had an idea that this offense could really be special this season) "I mean, you'd have to check the quotes, but I'm pretty sure it was pretty early in the offseason. They asked me, 'What can this offense do?' And I said, 'Sky's the limit, it's very multiple and a game like today shows you that.' When the guys were down, we just said next man up, and guys went out and executed at a high level. The revolution is here. It's not coming any more. It's here. I'm excited to be a part of that with this group, with those guys. It's a special team."
(on if RB Gus Edwards is one of the hardest runners he's played with) "I mean, I had Alfred Morris and some other guys, but Gus, he's built different. He's a big back. I was a fan out there today, to be honest with you, just handing the ball off, watching him run, watching him and Justice [Hill]. I mean, Justice just shook [everything] off of one guy. Just to see all those guys out there playing their heart out in a game that many people, many believed we didn't need to play hard. A guy like Orlando Brown – who's a starter – he's playing right tackle and left tackle in the game, and he played every single snap. That meant the world to me, but Gus, phenomenal running back. I think he's a starting back. I think we all thought that last year also. But to have him and Mark [Ingram II] and Justice is truly a treat."
(on the pose he gave after completing a pass to TE Hayden Hurst) "I don't know what that pose was. I was kind of mad at myself, because I had missed a couple throws early in the game, and just positive self-talk and knowing what I can do and my ability, I wanted to show it. On that play, it happened. Hayden ran a great route, caught the ball, got vertical. I don't know. I just struck a pose. It happens from time to time in practice, and guys say, 'Hey, we want to see that in the game.' I'm like, 'I don't know when I'm going to do that.' It just happens. It's just about having fun, and I'm glad that I was able to bring that out today."
(on if anything surprised him or jogged his memory after not starting for three years) "Not at all, not really. I'm seven years in now, I think, and people ask me, 'Are you in shape? Are you going to be able to do the whole game and do all that?' I just thought the guys in the building – the weight staff, the training staff, the support staff – they've been helping me stay ready because I've always been one play away. So, this week comes up, and I'm starting and it's like, 'Oh, my God. I've got to do all this new stuff." No, I really don't. Those guys help. My teammates help every single week, and I'm glad we were able to reward that with a victory. It's truly special."
(on his thoughts on teams trying to take shots at him and QB Lamar Jackson) "Yeah, I mean teams are going to try their own tactics. The Steelers did this to me in '12, '13 and '14 when I was in Washington. A lot of teams from the AFC North did it. Going after the knees and just trying to … Charge the quarterback and hit him are two different things. I honestly don't know what the rule is; I thought it had changed. It's a quarterback-driven league. I thought they had changed the rule that you can't just unload on the quarterback after he hands the ball off, but I don't know. I don't know what teams are going to try to do. Look at what we did today. We ran the ball very, very effectively, very efficiently, so if they want to charge at the quarterback and try to take the quarterback out, it didn't work today, and we ran for over 200 yards. It kind of just goes on a pendulum. They're going to try this, and they're going to try this, and they're going to try this, and our job is to make sure they can't stop it. If they do that, we'll just try to protect ourselves, like I started turning my back a little bit to take the blunt off a couple of those hits and just move forward."
S Chuck Clark
(on winning in the rain and ending the season at 14-2) "That's huge for us as a team. We were just talking about it as we came in. With our turnaround, we were 2-2, and last time, in that situation, we were going to play the Steelers. We got them today but, I mean, just to finish off the regular season at 14-2, that's crazy."
(on this game not meaning much, but how hard the Ravens played) "I wouldn't say that we didn't have anything to play for. I mean, we were trying to knock them out of the playoffs. Any time you strap on the pads, and you go out there and take the field, you've got to approach it with everything you've got. It wasn't that we weren't going out there with nothing to play for; we definitely were trying to knock them out of the playoffs."
(on how much the rivalry factored in) "We're playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, it's a rivalry between us. You look at the history of the game. We ain't taking them lightly at all. That was definitely the mentality today going into it."
(on what changes might be coming in terms of mentality or feel for the next game) "Now, you've got to win one game at a time. Any game could be the game that advances you or sends you home. So, all we can do is focus on that next game, that one game that we got."
(on if there's any pressure on being the No. 1 seed and having a 12-game winning streak) "I feel, as a team, our mindset, like I just said, we know where we're at, and you put that in the back of your head. And all you can do the next week is go out there and play hard to get one win. That's all we ask for every week is one out of each other."
T Orlando Brown Jr.
(on how it feels to be part of the single-season team rushing record for the NFL) "Just to be a part of this organization, and everything we've been through for the year, everything we've been able to do this year – it's just so special. It's a credit to [executive vice president] Ozzie Newsome and [general manager and executive vice president] Eric DeCosta for everything that they've done for this team, coach [John] Harbaugh, and it trickles down to us, with everyone buying in. Sixteen games, 16 weeks … We've rolled with the punches, and it has been great."
(on rushing for another 200 yards today) "It's crazy, being able to go out there and do what we do, week-in and week-out. Just a credit to [offensive coordinator] Greg Roman. What he and his team does, in terms in the offensive coaches, just putting us in the right positions to succeed every week."
(on how he would evaluate the offensive line's play today) "I really have to see the film to be honest with you, but I know we rushed for over 200 yards, so that's a good thing. I'm very proud of the way that Parker [Ehinger] and Ben Powers stepped up. I think they did a great job. And of course, James Hurst is James Hurst."
(on what it says that the team rushed for 200 yards in a game that didn't change the standings) "I'm not going to say we approached this game like it didn't matter, because to us, at the end of the day, it's a divisional game, and we wanted to do what we needed to do this week to win – we treated it just like any other week, and it was the Steelers."
(on if the Ravens are the best team in the league) "In the regular season, we were, and I think our record speaks for itself. We played a lot of tough teams, went through a gauntlet. But at the end of the day, for those teams that are still standing, everybody is 0-0. We understand the circumstances and the task at hand."
(on being part of the first team to average 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing per game in NFL history) "It really is special. Just the way that we run the ball, week-in and week-out is really great for me as an offensive lineman. I mean, don't get me wrong, we drop back and do what we need to do when the time is right, but being on an offense when we have as many rushing attempts as we do, is great for me. I love it. I'm sure all the offensive linemen would say the same thing."
(on the muddy conditions and if the team is built for them) "Oh, hell yeah. No doubt. This team is built for that. Backup quarterback in for us, so we knew what to expect. It was a great day for an offensive lineman."
(on the team's mindset coming into a game that would not affect the playoff picture) "All week, coach Harbaugh instilled in us the importance of winning – the fact that this game wouldn't impact the standings didn't affect our preparation during the week. Young guys were getting the opportunity to step up and play, [and] unfamiliar faces stepped in and played for us. They may have been inactive for a while, but we had prepared to play, and it was important to us, just as if it were our last game to play."
RB Gus Edwards
(on his performance) "I think I left a couple plays out on the field, and I wish I could get them back. But, overall, I feel like we did a great job up front, guys came with the right mindset to the game. It was a rivalry game, and we had a lot to play for. We accomplished a couple of goals today. We broke the record for most rushing yards in a season, and most importantly, we got the 'W.'"
(on setting the rushing record) "Actually, I was kind of trying not to think about it too much. I just wanted to let it happen. It was in the back of everyone's mind – I'm just proud we were able to do that. It's something that we'll be able to look back on and have forever. I'm really happy about that."
(on establishing the ground game on the first drive) "Ball-handling was the key. I think 'RG3' [Robert Griffin III] did a great job back there. The offensive line had a great game, and I think it was very important to start fast and to show Pittsburgh."
(on today's conditions) "I like to think that we can perform and run the ball in any type of weather, but today was especially rewarding because of the weather we had and the team we have. We had a lot of fun today, and the rain made it even more fun."
(on if he found pleasure in ending the Steelers' season) "I was just thinking that I grew up watching the Ravens-Steelers games, and it always meant something. It's just great, always a blessing, the opportunity to play in a game like this. I'm happy with the result."
(on how much the bye will help) "Coach [Harbaugh] emphasized to us that we need to use the bye week to get better. We used this week to rest some guys, but at the same time, we practiced to get better, and we'll do that next week coming up as well."
RB Justice Hill
(on his role in today's rushing attack) "Whenever my number is called, I just want to run as hard as I can. We did a great job today – the offensive line – moving the ball. When I think about all the people that are running the ball … Lamar [Jackson], Mark [Ingram II], Gus [Edwards], and the ball just keeps rolling on. Everybody has been taking it to heart, been passionate about it, and the final result turns out to be what we got today. The No. 1 rushing team ever."
(on how he feels to be a part of the best rushing team in the league) "It feels great. That record might not be broken for a long time. I'm so blessed to be a part of it. It's crazy when you think about it, the way the league is today, but we do what we do."
(on his role, personally, in the rushing attack over the last few weeks) "Whatever the coaches need me to do, I'm going to do. Whenever my name is called, I'm going to try to execute. Every time I'm out there, I try to make a play."
(on the playoffs) "Hey, look, we're just trying to get to the Super Bowl. Everything that we do from here to the end, and all the way back from the first game to the end, is coming through for us. All we need to do is execute."
(on if he could have imagined this season when he was drafted) "Actually, I did. I didn't know if it was going to be with Lamar [Jackson] at quarterback, but once I got here, and saw what we had going on, I knew it was going to be a special year. I'm really not surprised about the result at all."
OLB Matthew Judon
(on how he feels about being 14-2) "Good, man. We are 0-0 now, though. It starts over. It doesn't matter what we did before this. But it feels good. We are going to enjoy it for a little bit, but it starts over, we are 0-0."
(on if this game is an exclamation point to an excellent season) "Go ahead and write it. It's going to be in the history books that we went down 14-2, but we're not finished. We're not going to just stand on that. I feel like this locker room is greedy and hungry, and we want more, and more is obviously the Super Bowl. We have to play towards that for the rest of the postseason."
(on not having any more plane rides for a while) "Yes, I don't even like planes for real. (laughter)"
(on what it says about this team to play this way when playoff positioning was already locked up) "We are who we are. You know the effort; you know the physicality that's going to come out of this locker room. So, when we have to play, we strap them on, and then we go out there and play. We had some good players not playing today, but that doesn't matter to us. Whoever's strapped up, we had to get it done."
(on his season this year and what he proved) "I didn't prove anything, man. I just did what I was supposed to do. It's all about this defense. We have a special group and 'Wink' [Martindale] was calling the calls, and we just go out there and make plays. I feel like everybody from the safeties down to the nose guard – we just make plays, and we just are who we are supposed to be. So, kudos to 'Wink,' and kudos to the defensive staff – they got us rolling."
(on the significance of going 14-2) "It is, man. You always want to leave your mark wherever you go. But this organization, they've had some great teams, some awesome teams, some amazing teams, and we're just one of those. We can't let that get to our head."
(on if it's a different mentality moving on to January football) "It's the same. We have to take the same mentality to work. We get a week off. Everybody gets a week off, this week, and we can't relax because if we want to be the best team in the NFL, we have to win the Super Bowl. That's how you become the best team in the NFL. It's doesn't matter what you do in the regular season, it only gets you to the postseason. We got there, so we're halfway there. We have to finish it out."
(on what message it sends the locker room that the Ravens have signed eight free agents before the end of their contracts over the past year) "Upstairs, that's upstairs. I just have to play, and when it's my time, it's my time. I'm happy that the Ravens secured Marcus [Peters]. He fits the mold, and he's a special player. He's a special player, and he deserves every dime that he got. I'm very happy for Marcus."
(on if he wants to be one of those guys who signs here) "We have to finish the season. I love this organization, it's the only organization I've played for. I'm comfortable here; I have family here; I already know the house I'm going to get if I sign [laughter], but that's up to upstairs. I'm just so grateful that they gave me an opportunity to play here these last four years, and now we have an opportunity to play for something bigger. I'm just going to ride the wave and ride Lamar's [Jackson] coattails to the Super Bowl."
(on if he wanted to play the entire game today) "I wanted to play, man. I'm a baller. Some of those older guys that didn't play, they're kind of older. Nothing against them, but that time they might have needed it. They get two weeks off, and it wasn't a positional game. We weren't going up or down in position. We have the bye, so they took the time off, and they needed it, and we got the win. That's really all that matters."
WR/RS Willie Snead IV
(on the importance of this game even though it had no effect on the Ravens' playoff position) "It was very important. I think this rivalry itself is very important to the city. I just think we needed to end the season the right way and make a statement going into the playoffs, and that's what we did."
(on how challenging it will be to go back to 0-0 and lock in for the playoffs) "We definitely have to lock in. It's great getting the bye week, have some time to watch the Wild Card [games]. We have to make sure we focus back in. We have a lot of vets, we'll do that; we'll set the tone."
(on what it was like to see Robert Griffin III and others get their moment today) "It was a great moment. I know 'RG3' appreciated it. A lot of the young guys appreciated their opportunity to make plays. We just wanted to win it for 'RG.' He's been through so much. He's a great dude in the locker room, a hard worker, and he deserves it. Getting this victory for him and for everybody, it means a lot."
(on how he personally will handle the bye week) "I'm going to let it come to me. It's exciting to be in this position. I'm going to enjoy a great weekend of football, take this week to recover and get my body right and get ready for that next week."
CB Brandon Carr
(on the Ravens' 14-2 record) "You know, it has been a journey. We started in a not so good spot. Especially on the defensive side of the ball. There were a lot of doubters. A lot of people trying to figure out what was wrong with the Ravens. Within these walls we fought, and we tried to figure it out. We have been grinding for a very long time. We knew we had a great football team, we just had to put it together on the field. Each week, we've been getting better and better. Each week, we've improved on something, and each week we have gone out there and faught to win the game."
(on the win today) "The mentality of this team is truly next man up. The next man is waiting for his opportunity to go out there. We have a lot of guys that were itching to get out there. They had a lot of excitement and a lot of energy. We don't look around and see who is not there. We look around and see how many playmakers we have. We go out there and make plays."
(on the evolution of the secondary) "You have to tip your hat to the front office for making moves, bringing in the right players, and right chemistry guys. They brought in [Marcus] Peters, and in the offseason signed Earl [Thomas]. They even brought in the D-linemen to stop the run. We just love playing football. We are young, we are vibrant, we are competitive, and we have a little bit of cockiness to us. We go out there and just try to make plays. The city is beautiful, and they are behind us. You can feel the energy. It is easy to go out there and play for these guys."
(on the excitement for the playoffs) "This is what we grind for. Because we believe in ourselves and fought all 17 weeks to try and dominate, and now we are here. You wipe the slate clean, 0-0, now it is more-so trying to win each day and trying to get better. What wouldn't you do to try and win the Super Bowl? That is where we are right now. All hands on-deck. Into yourself every single day, and let's try to get there."
(on his streak for 192-consecutive starts) "I mean, the time is so short, you know? Whether 12 years, or it is one game. It comes, and it goes, and you have to take advantage of it. In this role, it motivates me every single day. I love coming to work. I love putting on these pads. I love sitting in the meetings. There is nothing about this team that I don't like. It is easy for me to go out and play for these guys."
DT Domata Peko Sr.
(on the 14-2 season) "It is amazing man. You know, 14-2, this is going to be my 14th year and I have never had that type of success, especially in the regular season. Me and some of the other guys were talking about it. You just say, 'Hey man, you have to take advantage of this, because it doesn't happen often.' In 14 seasons, I have never been 14-2. It doesn't happen often; you just have to make the most of it. Enjoy the moment, live in the moment, and just try and get better. Let's try to get to 15, and 16, and keep it going one at a time."
(on his transition to the Ravens) "It is sort of a blessing. Seven weeks ago, I signed on the dotted line and came into the locker room and into the building, and I just felt at home here, man. I feel like everyone just welcomed me with open arms. I'm the type of dude that likes to play the run, you know what I mean? That's what they needed help with. I came in, and I just want to do my part. To help out the run defense and help out the team as a whole. It's been seamless coming in here and connecting with my teammates. Everyone has been showing me love. They like how I play, and I just want to continue to do my part for this team to win."
(on the defensive line stopping the run) "You saw it last year in the Super Bowl. When New England was in there, they were running the hell out of the ball. You definitely have to have a stout defensive line and people that can stop the run. When you look at Mike [Pierce], you look at 'Big Baby' [Brandon Williams], myself, 'Jelly' [Justin Ellis] and 'Big Worm' [Chris Wormley], we are all big, we are all 300 [pounds] plus. You know it is hard to run inside on us and run it period. We just have to keep on getting better and keep on keeping our eyes on the prize just like we have been doing."
(on how excited he is for the playoffs) "It is a blessing man. In my 14 years, I have never been past the first round, so I am in the second round already. Thank God for that, give him all the praise. We have a nice bye week. We are a healthy team. We get to rest the bodies a little bit and get ready and sharpen up our tools for the second round. That is exactly what we are going to do. We are just going to keep on getting better, keep on pushing each other. Like we said earlier, and like coach is saying; we are just getting started."
DB Jordan Richards
(on his touchdown) "We were rushing the punt, and I think the punter probably bobbled the ball back there. I didn't quite see. The rest of the guys just swarmed the ball carrier. He fumbled it, and I was lucky enough to be the one to see it fumbled and hop on top of it."
(on his chance to play an extended amount of time today) "Anytime that you go out on the field, you want to put good tape out there. All that is part of respecting your teammates, time and time again, and consistency is the name of the game. Especially when you are headed to the playoffs, you have to be consistent."
(on the excitement of the playoffs) "You work your tail off to have an opportunity, and we've got a ticket to the dance now. Now it is up to us to make it happen. We have that opportunity; we have to make the most of it."
Head Coach Mike Tomlin
(opening statement) "Obviously not the way we wanted to perform today. Such is life. We take responsibility for that. Just disappointing, but there's been a lot of disappointments this season. We're not painting with a broad brush. We're focused on what happened today, and where we are today. There will be other opportunities to talk, more broader things when I visit with you guys next week. Today, just know that we're disappointed, we didn't play as well as we would like to play. We take responsibility for that. We congratulate the Ravens; they did what they needed to do."
(on where he feels this one got away) "You can point to several spaces. That turnover at the end of the first half; that they were able to turn into seven [points], right before the break. It was significant, no doubt."
(on the mood of the players) "I'll let them speak for themselves. You guys will get an opportunity to visit with them in a second."
(on what was special about the Ravens running the ball) "We didn't tackle well. They possessed the ball, we didn't. There's a lot of reasons for that."
(on what he thought of RB Benny Snell Jr.) "I liked his efforts."
(on the struggles of pass protection, the last few weeks) "It's all of us. We've got to protect better. We've got to get open. We must make quick decisions; we've got to put [Devlin Hodges] in better schematic opportunities. We're not looking to assign blame. Like I mentioned, we take responsibility for the play. When I say we, I mean all of us, starting with myself."
(on his message to the players post game) "That I appreciated their efforts today. But not only today, all season. We're not going to assess it too much to make too many broad statements. We will have time for that tomorrow and the days that follow. We play on Sundays, we'll evaluate, and things of that nature on Mondays. That's always our philosophical approach. We don't take any different approach just because today is the final game."
(on if it was difficult to focus when he needed help) "It's not. I've been in those circumstances before. You better play the game that you're playing in."
QB Devlin Hodges
(on what went wrong for the offense the last three weeks of the season) "Execution. [We've] got to be better. Execution. Turning the ball over. Just little things, little things in the game that will cost you."
(on if opposing defensive coordinators figured out anything about his style of play) "No, I don't think so. If you ask them, they may say differently. We had stuff there. Just can't turn the ball over and got to execute."
(on the strip sack) "Just have to hold onto the ball. You have to have pocket awareness, two hands on the ball. The guy made a great play. I still have to be better at taking care of the football."
(on how much impact the rain had on the gameplan) "I don't think it changed our gameplan any. We still threw the ball around and stuff. I mean, shoot, when it rains that hard, sometimes you just drop balls, and you may not throw the most accurate balls, the balls that you want to. That's just part of it. They had to play in the same weather. It definitely sucks."
(on what the journey of the season has been like for him) "Yeah, it is tough, but at the same time, I really enjoyed the experience. Shoot, I am 23, if you had asked a lot of people if I would be in this position, they would have said no way. I am blessed. I've got a lot to learn from and build on. Playing with this team, and this group of guys, it is amazing. I haven't really had time to sit back and reflect. I played with the Pittsburgh Steelers this year, one of the most historic franchises in the NFL, and it is so cool and amazing, and I am very blessed."
(on the frustration level missing the playoffs after going 8-5 in the first part of the season) "It definitely sucks. I heard Ramon [Foster] saying earlier, going home in January is not fun. This is my first year, so I am sure it hits the older guys who experience this a lot different. Anytime you have to end the season, it always sucks, even if you go all the way. This is our job; this is what we enjoy. The last game, it definitely sucks."
(on what his offseason looks like) "Oh man, I don't know. I am just going to go home tonight, go to meetings tomorrow and then worry about the offseason when the offseason gets here. This is my first offseason. I wasn't planning on anything. I was focused on the season. [I] will worry about the offseason in the next couple days or next couple weeks or two."
(on Coach Tomlin's message in the locker room post game) "He appreciated the efforts all season and tonight. We obviously could have played better at times. He is just proud of us and proud of the way we fought."
LB Bud Dupree
(on being in control of their own destiny and then losing it) "Teams figured it out. They're NFL teams, too. They're NFL coaches. When you're seeing the cycles, you're able to pick up on things."
(on his future) "I'm just waiting, talking to my agents. I don't know. This is my first time. You always want to finish where you start. That lets you know you've had a good career. At the end of the day, the NFL is a business. There's a lot of stuff going on with our team. A lot of people are free agents this year. There's a lot of stuff that can happen, and there's a lot of holes we can fill."
G David DeCastro
(on the season) "The end wasn't pretty, that's for sure. A lot of ups and downs, but that's football."
(on whether there was anything they could do) "I'm not too big on making excuses. We play the game, and that's what happened."
(on whether it means anything that the Tennessee Titans won and claimed the sixth playoff spot) "We feel a little better. It's a tough game to play when you're watching the scoreboard. It was a sloppy game overall and a tough way to end it."
(on ending the season with a few losses) "We had a lot of problems on [the offense] side of the ball. It wasn't the defense. That's how it goes. We made turnovers. We didn't score points when we should have in the red zone. Things like that hurt you."
CB Joe Haden
(on the defense during the season) "Our defense was a strong point. We had to create turnovers. We needed to score more points. We were trying to help the offense out."
(on whether the defense was pressing) "Now, I just think that, sometimes, like today, they just came down there and did a really good job running the ball. We couldn't find a way to stop them. They never really got behind the sticks. They just stayed on schedule. [QB Robert Griffin III] did a good job of running that read option and not hurting them, using his legs to get first downs. So, we just needed to stop him and contain him. We know what kind of defense we have, but we can't be giving up stuff like that if we want to win. That's good for him."
WR Diontae Johnson
(on the future) "I'm looking forward to Ben [Roethlisberger] hopefully coming back healthy. So, it can get back to the way it used to be and whatnot."
(on whether he feels that he broke through this year) "Yeah. Coming in, I didn't expect to play as early as I did. Opportunities come around, and I took advantage of it, made the best of it, and progressed each and every week. I'm just going to go into this offseason and relax a little bit, and then get back to it, come in next year even better, and try to top off what I did this year."
DT Cameron Heyward
(on the loss) "The season hasn't been the outcome we wanted. This game wasn't the outcome we wanted. I'm appreciative of the fans for supporting us. We just didn't get it done. In terms of the game, it was an avalanche. We didn't stop the run. Some of that was by me. I didn't tackle well. The rushing got out of hand and I don't think we really got anything on offense."
(on the team failing to capitalize on LB T.J Watt's sack and forced fumble) "T.J. [Watt] put us back in the game again. He got another turnover and gave us good field position, but we didn't do ourselves any favors. We kept digging ourselves into a hole."
(on losing three-straight games to end the season) "It's tough. Three weeks ago, I thought we had a real shot. It hurts. The hourglass is getting smaller and smaller for a lot of guys. This team won't be the same. This season is over with. Guys leave. It's never going to be the same team. It sucks, because I have a lot of great teammates. That's the nature of the business. I grew with a lot of guys this year. It hurts to close the book on this season."
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
(on final impressions of the season) "It was my first year experiencing injuries and stuff like that … Also with teammates' [injuries]. It was really tough. We've got to get back healthy with the guys that we have, so we can have all our pieces."
(on the effect of the weather) "It was crazy. When we got the ball, it started pouring [really] hard. Within the two minutes that they scored back-to-back, it was pouring harder on our edge. At times when they got the ball, it seemed to slow up and they could run the ball and do what they needed to do. It's just crazy. Definitely tough conditions."
(on possible contract extension in the offseason) "No, I haven't talked about that at all. I'm just doing what I'm told and trying to get healthy for next season. I want the guys to get healthy next year so we can try to win it."
(on whether he kept an eye on the Tennessee Titans' score during the game) "No, it was kind of one of those things where a guy said to me, 'The Titans are up,' and I replied, 'We have to focus on our game and take care of business here.' We could only control what we could here."
(on finishing the season on a three-game losing streak) "For us to have the opportunity to be in the playoffs, and not be in the same position we were in last year, was kind of tough. It sucks, but it happened. For us, we were missing some key players out there, but at the end of the day, we hurt ourselves."
S Minkah Fitzpatrick
(on finishing the season with a loss) "We didn't finish the way we wanted to finish. Baltimore is a really good team. They're going to be really successful in the playoffs. We're not going to make any excuses. We're going to have to look back at what we could have done better. There were a lot of things we could have done better. We had a tough hand dealt to us, but we fought hard all throughout the season. We made a lot of changes. I was brought in along with a couple other guys. We need to do our jobs this offseason and improve so we're stronger for next year."
(on roster changes in the offseason) "That's the nature of the business. It even changed the first two months we were together. It's sad because this is a great team. We had a lot of fun on the field and in the locker room. It's bittersweet that some guys will not be here next year."
(on whether the defense felt more pressure to perform) "Like I said earlier, we had a tough hand dealt to us. We tried to do whatever we could to win games. If that meant that the defense had to score touchdowns and put up points, then that's what we had to do. For the most part, we did our jobs. Sometimes, it doesn't turn out the way you want it to. A lot of us weren't even here for camp, so this offseason we'll all be together and maybe bring in some new pieces to replace whoever we lose, and we'll work to keep getting better."
RB Benny Snell Jr.
(on whether the offense made strides during the year) "Most definitely. I am proud of this offense. I'm very happy with who we have and what we've done."
(on whether his touchdown drive felt like a momentum-builder) "Definitely. The touchdown credit goes to the O-line. They made the push. I made the touchdown."
(on his thoughts about the season) "I'll move forward. I'm going to train harder and prepare myself more during the offseason."
(on the biggest lesson he learned about the league) "I'm trying to get a little bit stronger, gain a little more weight. I'll try to maintain and keep doing what I've been doing. There's always room for improvement. I'll really just work on everything. It's been a long season. It didn't end the way we wanted it to."
(on what was missing the last few weeks) "We weren't connecting on those third downs that we need and making those big splash plays. We just have to come back ready next year."