THURSDAY MEDIA AVAILABILITY: WILD CARD PLAYOFF
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody – appreciate you guys being here. [We] had a good week of practice, and we're zeroing in on the challenge that's in front of us."
You guys worked inside this week. Is it because of the cold? Your thoughts about that? (Aaron Wilson) "The fields are frozen."
Knowing that the weather could be a factor, does weather ever change the game plan during the week? How much do you pay attention to that? (Brent Harris) "Not during the week so much. I think we have the contingencies built in, and we'll just have to see how the game plays out. It's no different in terms of [if] they come out and they do something different schematically [and] you have to adjust a little bit. But I like to think that our schemes are weatherproof. We can handle whatever weather we get."
John, in your experience over the years, does heavy rain advantage an offense or a defense, or is there a feel for that? (Peter Schmuck) "You can go back and forth on that. Some days you feel like it's an advantage to the defense, because maybe they can't throw it quite as well. Other times you think it's an advantage to the offense, because they know where they're cutting and braking and things like that. I think both these quarterbacks are good bad-weather quarterbacks. That's why they're both successful in the AFC North. So, both these quarterbacks can play in bad weather."
In terms of the two rookies T James Hurst and G/C John Urschel, what have you seen from them as they've progressed all year? (Aaron Wilson) "[James] Hurst and [John] Urschel have improved throughout the course of the season really well. They're guys who pay attention to detail. They work really hard. They're smart guys, so they pick things up quickly, and they've done a really good job."
WR Torrey Smith
On being a part of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry:"This is bigger than Ravens-Steelers. This is about us and trying to make it to the next level. Obviously, playing them in the playoffs, this is my first time, but there's a little bit of history there. It's a big game for both of us, and it's almost fitting that we're both playing with something on the line. It should be a fiery battle."
On his confidence in QB Joe Flacco being a strong postseason performer:"You have all kinds of confidence in Joe. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and anytime he steps on the field, we believe in him, and it's on us to make it that way, as a unit and a receiving corps, tight ends and offensive line. If we go out there and do our job, Joe will go out there and do his thing."
On how much it helps knowing what type of environment to expect in Pittsburgh:"It's going to be crazy. I heard the weather is going to be a little suspect, too, so that's all fine and dandy. It's going to be fun, man. It's going to be a hostile environment as always, and at the end of the day, it's just going to be a football game, and whoever executes the best is going to win."
On the Ravens' history of success in road playoff games:"That's the best thing about it. Literally everything that happened before now doesn't matter. The tough games we lost, the games we won, the plays we didn't make, the plays we made – none of that really matters, because we're where we want to be. We have to go out there and take advantage of this game and be the best team on Sunday."
On what he expects the Heinz Field turf to be like in bad weather conditions:"It's terrible, man. They need to go ahead and put some [synthetic] turf up there or something. (laughter) But, you know that's the case. Apparently the field gets a lot of use, so that's good for them, but it's terrible for us playing this late. I'm sure they'll do a great job prepping it, but if we use our fundamentals, the field shouldn't matter."
On if wide receivers have an advantage on poor playing surfaces by already knowing where they're going:"Yes, we have the advantage, but you have to have great fundamentals and just be sound."
On if he ever looks back on QB Joe Flacco's performances from the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII championship run:"No, not really. It was fun to know that we won it. We were talking about it a little earlier how crazy it was that we almost lost it."
On how the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII championship run plays on the team's confidence in QB Joe Flacco:"We're confident in him, and it doesn't matter where we are. If he's playing bad, we're still confident in him. He's a winner, he's a proven winner, and no one can take that away from him."
LB C.J. Mosley
On how he's seen this season's playoff berth impact ILB Daryl Smith:"[Head] coach [John Harbaugh] always talks about trying to be one to do this for certain players, but in the inside linebackers' room, [Ravens inside linebackers] coach 'Wink' [Don Martindale] is always saying that 'Buck' [Smith] has been in the league a long time, so it's a grind for him. We always said at the beginning of the season we wanted to try and get him in the playoffs, and I asked him after the game how many times it's been, and he told me twice. You could kind of see after the game it was a little emotional for him. It's a big thing for a lot of people, you know? People play their whole career and don't get to the playoffs. We're just trying to do what we have to do and go one game at a time."
On looking forward to pulling out a playoff victory against a division rival:"We just have to take it one play at a time. There's a lot of stuff that can happen, but we can only control what we can control. We're going to come in, try to execute the best we can and come out with a win."
On if he will be watching the Alabama-Ohio State game tonight:"Definitely. Roll Tide!"