RAVENS WEDNESDAY QUOTES: WEEK 4 VS. JETS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Good to see everybody. We've got a nice crowd here. Thanks for coming out. [We are] getting ready for [the Jets]. Obviously, Wednesday, our focus is on today's practice. I just talked to the guys about that. That's the focus on having a great Wednesday's practice and getting after it a little bit. A couple of roster moves: We put Domonique Foxworth on IR. With his knee, that was a conversation we've been having for about a week now. It really heated up on Monday. I think between the doctors and Domonique and how he feels about it and the fact that we're not really moving in the right direction… There's a chance he could be able to play at some point in time and help us. We were holding out hope that was the case, but it was moving in the other direction, for whatever reason. So, we just didn't feel like we could afford to do that right now, especially needing a linebacker. So, we're bringing Prescott [Burgess] in. He's been here, he knows our system, and he gives us another inside backer with Dannell Ellerbe's hamstring situation."
When you go through the process of putting a player on Injured Reserve, how much do you talk with the player about it or is it more of a management decision and you tell the player here's what we've decided? (Pete Gilbert)
"It can be different for different guys, but in this case, we talked to Domonique a lot about it. We really value his opinion, because so much of it is, 'How does it feel [and] what kind of progress are we making?' It's really hard to know. We're not inside his head or his knee. So, that had a lot to do with it. He was a big part of it and he was disappointed. His thing is, and I think he'd tell you, he wants to do everything he can to try and help the team, and he just didn't feel like he could do that on the field right now and he wasn't sure that he'd be able to do that throughout the course of the season."
What is the outlook for next year for Foxworth to play with the Ravens? (Aaron Wilson)
"I'd say it's all up in the air for everybody. I hope he'll be here next year, too."
When it comes to the Jets, they are not a divisional opponent, they're a conference opponent, but this game has meaning in a lot of different fashions. Does the media build more into this because there are so many ex-Ravens facing their former team and your relationship with Rex, etc.? (Jerry Coleman)
"No. All that stuff is really legit. It's all real. We're excited to play them. We were excited to play them last year in the opener. We were excited to play them two years ago in the preseason game here. Yeah, that's all valuable stuff. But, it is a conference game; it is a conference home game. It's against a team that's going to be in the playoffs. This game is going to matter at the end; it's going to mean a lot. So, it means a lot, probably on every level."
*The Jets normally stop the run and shut it down. Do you think their last game was an aberration or do you see some things when you watch film? *(Aaron Wilson)
"I look at it as an aberration. Give credit to the Raiders and what Hue Jackson is doing there. Their offense is lighting it up right now – running and throwing. He's done a great job with their quarterback. But, I'd say it's an aberration. The Jets' defense, we recognize what they've done for the last three years, and that's how we look at it."
With the bye week looming, do you look at guys like [WR Lee] Evans and [G Ben] Grubbs and not push their return as much because they will be able to get an extra week of rest? (Glenn Clark)
"It's probably a factor. If you feel like they can't be 100 percent in this game and if you have another answer in there, that's a consideration. It will just depend, as the week goes on, again, how close they are to being 100 percent. But, I think the extra week of rest after this week is a factor."
*When Derrick Mason was here, he loved to have ongoing conversations with opposing head coaches, such as Tony Sparano and Bill Belichick. Do you think he will have anything to say to you, and what will you say in return? (Kevin Van Valkenburg)*
"I'm sure he'll be very nice and gracious. Derrick and I have a great relationship, and if there's some talk going on, that's probably just how it goes out there between the lines."
*Will it be a little surreal to see [WR Derrick] Mason as a Jet? *(Kevin Van Valkenburg)
"It's already kind of different looking at him in that uniform. You recognize the way he moves around, the way he catches the ball, and how hard he plays. And to see him in a different uniform is a different thing."
Rex Ryan said this morning in an interview if Torrey Smith does what he did last week, Rex may as well just stay in Baltimore. How important is that Torrey was able to do that and you are probably going to have to rely on him again, as well, what are the odds of him replicating those numbers as far as him being that kind of an impact player? (Pete Gilbert)
"What are the odds, OK? What are the odds of that? He's going to have an impact because of that. Obviously, he's proven that he can do it. It's something we had seen in practice. It's exactly what we saw at Maryland. That's why we drafted him, because we knew he could go get a deep ball. He can go up and get a ball and he can go chase a ball downfield. He proved that. And to see him do it in practice and to see him do it in a game – nobody would have expected three in the first quarter – but teams are going to have to defend that. And that's real. And, if they don't defend it, then we'll complete it over their heads. So, it's going to be a factor as long as he's playing out there."
*What did you think of Andre Gurode, the five-time Pro Bowl center, who played right guard, stepping in at left guard and playing well? *(Rob Carlin)
"It was really impressive. He did a really nice job. Stepping in as left guard, I don't think he played that, that I'm aware of, on the left side. Maybe he did a little bit. But, to make the progress he did in two weeks – he only had two weeks of practice there – is pretty impressive. And it shows you the kind of player he is. [He is] very smart, a very physical guy."
Does the fact that he is a center and that he sees things thinking as a center help him in making the switch? (Rob Carlin)
"Yes. He understands the game so much. He knew what to do. Then it was a matter of just getting the reps on the angles and the targets and the footwork, because that's a lot different. I think he needed time. He still needs time; he still's got a lot of work to do. He'd tell you that."
*What sets Darrelle Revis apart from other corners? And how tough is [Antonio] Cromartie as well? (Aaron Wilson)*
"Darrelle's got all the skills. He is the total package as a corner. He's physical, he's fast, he's got good feet, he plays with his hands in press and he's got ball skills. And, he's smart and he can tackle. Have I left anything out? It's all there. And, Cromartie's the same way. Cromartie's a little different because he's really fast, he's really long, he's really fluid and he has really good ball skills. Those guys, that's what makes it really hard. They're gifted."
Can you talk about how Darrelle Revis affects an offense and how he affects the quarterback? (Ken Murray)**
"He affects the offense in the sense that he affects what they can do on defense. They play so much Cover 1. They can play Zero Pressure, too, with those two guys out there. So, their ability to do that, put extra guys in the box, bring extra guys, [allows them] to be a little more creative with what they do because they're confident those guys will cover the quick game and all that. That's what a great corner does for you."
The Jets are traditionally a run-oriented offense, but it looks like they have shifted a little more toward the pass this year. Do you see them giving [Mark] Sanchez a little more leeway to throw and have more of his stake on that offense? (Dan Kolko)
"I don't really know, to make that kind of a statement, that would be for them to say. But, they're throwing it a little more. Sanchez has grown; he looks good. He is very talented, he can really throw it, so that's what they're doing right now."
With Domonique Foxworth on IR and Jimmy Smith still out, are you comfortable with your numbers at cornerback or is it something you have to address? (Jeff Zrebiec)
"Well, we'd probably like to have at least one more corner that is healthy, but we don't have that luxury right now. It's definitely [something] we could address, just depending on what's available out there. But, I'm comfortable with the guys we have. You talk about the guys we just brought in, Danny Gorrer… He's an up-and-coming guy, and Chykie Brown's a very talented young corner who grows every day. So, those guys are good players."
Do you think after the fourth game of the season we will be away from the phase of every team being a work in progress and we will start seeing some teams taking a quantum leap? (Stan Saunders)
"Well, I hope so in our case. That would be the idea. In four weeks and then the bye week, we're going to get a couple of practices in the bye week, probably, the younger guys especially. So, that's what we would shoot for. But, you know what? Really, what we're shooting for and thinking about, is Sunday? That's the main thing."
Do you have any more, results-wise, with Haruki Nakamura's injury? (Glenn Clark)
"Nothing new. Just still optimistic. He's got a chance in a few weeks. Nothing major."
QB Joe Flacco
On what rookie WR Torrey Smith making plays down the field does for the underneath passing game:"I think it helps us out immensely. It helps everybody out getting open underneath, just because they have to make sure that they maybe roll the coverage over him or keep that safety back far enough so we can't get over their head, and he can work the sidelines. That was big for us on Sunday. I am not too sure they were expecting too much of that. Teams are going to probably account for that a little bit more now, and we'll have to do some things to try to still get those shots."
On if there are similarities between the Jets' defense and the Ravens' defense:"There are some similarities, yeah. They are a little bit different. I remember when Rex Ryan was here my rookie year. You kind of got used to going against those looks. We have changed, I think, a little bit from the time that he left, but there are some similarities in some of the fronts they run and things like that."
On if he anticipates the offense to be opening up more from now on:"I think so, yeah. I think we are going to do whatever we do best. When we go in there, we want to be aggressive and we want to have some checks and do some things and take some shots down the field and get everybody involved in the game plan. I think that is really the main goal – getting everybody involved. I think on Sunday we did that. We did a great job of making sure everybody was able to go out there and give everybody an opportunity to make plays with the football. I think if we can continue to do that, get our playmakers, get those guys in one-on-one matchups, I think that is the key – getting all those guys one-on-one matchups and letting them make plays."
On his level of respect for CB Darrelle Revis:"I mean, he's pretty good. They've got a really good defense. They've got a good secondary. Obviously, they've got another good corner over there in [Antonio] Cromartie. So, they've got two guys out there on the outside that play pretty well. And, with Revis over there, it allows them to roll their coverage certain ways and leave him on an island. They trust that he's going to be able to man up whoever they put out there on him. So, we'll do something to try to switch that up and get one-on-one matchups the way we like them. But, those guys are very good at what they do, and we'll have to account for that."
On what WR Derrick Mason meant to his development as a player: "Derrick was great. He was, obviously, here my first three years, and I loved him as a receiver. Obviously, he was pretty big for me as a young quarterback. To have a guy like that, who's able to get open on a regular basis the way he was able to get open and kind of help me out, [that would] help this whole team out."
On whether it has been easier to take a leadership role now that Mason is gone:"I don't think it's due to the fact that he's not here. I think it's more due to the fact that we have a lot of young guys. Whenever you have a lot of young guys, you have to guide them along a little bit more – make sure that they know what they're doing and are really confident and set to go into the game. When you have older guys like Derrick and Anquan [Boldin] and T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] and that's all you have, those guys are pretty confident with what they can do, and you don't really have to say too much to them."
On whether he has noticed a difference in WR Torrey Smith after his big game on Sunday:"No, not really. I'm sure he was probably sitting over on the bench after the first quarter saying, 'Oh my gosh, I can probably get seven touchdowns today.' It all happened so quickly. He's a great kid. I hope his confidence is up. I'm sure it is, but I can't notice anything too different with him."
On what kind of an impact having a deep threat like Smith has on a player like WR Anquan Boldin:"I think it's going to be big. Whenever you have someone who can stretch the field like that – when we get Lee [Evans] healthy, I think we'll have a couple guys – it helps the guys out underneath big time because it lets them work one-on-one. It doesn't allow teams to double them as much. We're confident in those matchups."
LB Ray Lewis
Opening statement: "'Sizzle' [Terrell Suggs] always has his own segment every week on what Sizzle wants to do. Sizzle always has his own thing. I just think we have a great opportunity. We are back at home. We are playing another AFC rival. I know the hype is all behind Rex [Ryan] and the Jets coming back, but it is what it is. It is what it is. It's next game up for us, and I think we are ready."
On what an opponent's lack of run game does for the defense:"Anytime that you can stop the run, kind of the way we play, the run will make you one-dimensional. Anytime we make you one-dimensional, then we can pretty much get after your quarterback the way that we dictate and get after your quarterback. That's kind of the thing that we have had around here for many years – priding ourselves on stopping the run and making sure that nobody comes in there to create that mentality. Once you start letting that build up, then everything comes. Then the play-action comes open, then all those different things. If you take that one aspect away, you can really get after people's quarterback."
On what Jets WR Derrick Mason means to him:"There is one thing about this game: The game will fade one day, but friendships and relationships and brotherhoods will never fade. Every Raven that has ever left here to go on to do something else… We understand the business. The business side is one thing, but the friendship side is another thing. 'Mase' [Derrick Mason] is one of the true warriors in this game – one of the most consistent people that you probably have ever seen play the position. But, he is on the other side now. It's like going against your brother. You know how it is. You can't let your brother win. It'll be one of those games."
On playing against ex-Ravens:"Yeah, every week I see somebody different. It is what it is at the end of the day. Once they leave here, everybody knows the rule. Everybody knows the rule. You are no longer a Raven. You can start here, but once you leave here, you have made a decision to go on and do other things."
On the comparisons between defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano's defense and Jets head coach Rex Ryan's defense:"How do you compare Chuck and Rex? I think [they are] very similar in how fiery they are. Both of them are very fiery, and I think [there are] a lot of similarities because both of them are player-coaches. They really relate to their players and things like that. I don't really know a difference because both Rex and Chuck are very outgoing. Both of them are very outgoing. I think Chuck is more settled when it comes to [addressing] the outside world, but to us, Chuck is Chuck. That's what we appreciate the most, and that's why we're doing the things we are doing because of the flexibility he gives us. But Rex was [utilizing] the same flexibility. I think both of those guys are very similar."
On his thoughts about the relentless offense in the fourth quarter at St. Louis:"I don't know any other way to play the game. You want to run the ball or whatever, but if they are stopping the run, throw it if you're getting first downs throwing the ball. If you want to kill the clock, kill the clock. One way to protect your defense and not get them back on the field is keep making first downs. However you have to do that, get it done. I don't look at it as being a bad thing at all."
On if he thinks the Jets are overhyped and overconfident:"I never got into the overhype. I am just saying, you listen to all these different things that people were saying. Until you say all that, you have to really go do something first. You have to win one before you say all of that. But, that was last year. Hopefully, they don't say anything this year, and we can play a good, clean game."
On Ryan saying that the Ravens have yet to meet the Jets in the AFC Championship game:"Wow. The only response I can ever have for that is he was sitting in the same place I was sitting watching the Super Bowl. He had to be, because he wasn't in it. That's the only thing you can ever talk about. I don't care how far you go. The ultimate goal is to feel that confetti drop. You can ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. They wouldn't be proud to go back to a Super Bowl. The bottom line is you have to win the Super Bowl when you get there. Going to AFC Championships, going to the playoffs – I have done all of that. At the end of the day, the only thing that I remember the most is when I touched that confetti in 2000. That's what I am still in the game for. Whether it's them in the way or whoever is in the way, here we go again."
On when RB Ray Rice runs the football (from Ray Rice, who is standing nearby):"I just like to see Raymond (Raymell is Rice's first name) run. When Raymond runs, boy, special things happen. Good God almighty."
On if the Jets are trying to duplicate the Ravens' defense:"I know we speak about Rex [Ryan] a lot, but we have to remember that [Cincinnati Bengals head coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator] Marvin Lewis was the first one that actually installed this defense 10 or 11 years ago. This model has been around since we have created it, and there has only been a certain few that has ever been able to keep up with our numbers. When you see defenses try to model the blitz schemes and all of these different things… Hey, everybody has their own way of doing it. But, we have been doing it for a long, long time. If you do try to duplicate anybody, it has to be us."
RB Ray Rice
On whether the Jets and Ravens dislike each other or they have a mutual respect:"I think it's a mutual respect. I don't think you're in the game of football to actually say how much you like somebody; it's a vicious sport. But, I think, at the end of the day it's mutual respect. I'll be the first to say I support the 'Can't Wait' campaign. You know, it's for a good cause. No, seriously, it's for Eric LeGrand, a guy… I didn't get a chance to play with him at Rutgers, but all the proceeds go to him. Bart [Scott] really did a great job for the cause. I have a shirt; I think 'Sizzle' [Terrell Suggs] and Haloti [Ngata] have a shirt. It's, obviously, for a great… Eric played for Rutgers and he was paralyzed. I left a year before he got there. But, you hear the story. It touched all of us in a way."
On who sent the "Can't Wait" shirts:"Bart [Scott] sent us the shirts. He made the purple ones. I actually got mine hand delivered from Bart. He was in Baltimore, and I got it from him – took a picture with it to support it. I know he had some green ones made and he had a few… A lot of different colors, but the purple ones were for us. I don't know if it meant 'can't wait' to play us, but, it ended up being for a good cause, so it's all right."
On where this rivalry stacks up against the Steelers rivalry:"It's very different. It's different than the Steelers rivalry. [It's has the] same kind of atmosphere, but different. The Steelers are the Steelers. But, these guys were Ravens at one point – sort of like, like you said, fighting your brother. It's like fighting your brother, you know. Right now, since they've been there, I mean, if you want to count the preseason, we're like 2-0. It's like fighting your brother, but at the same time they've been to the AFC championship. They've done pretty successful for themselves. It's different than Pittsburgh; we've got to see them twice a year. But, we only have to see these guys… Well, maybe twice a year, but in a different atmosphere."
On whether the Jets are their biggest outside-the-division rivalry:"It is, just because of everything that goes along with it. These are guys that were here and built relationships here. I mean, it's part of the NFL; they go to other places. You know, these are some of the guys I was on offense… Like [Derrick] Mason… Me and Mason became very good friends. I don't have to tackle him or anything, but I have to see him in another color. So, it's always different to see another guy that you've been with on the other side. But at the same time, we're chasing something here. We can't stop now."
On how they are approaching the game after seeing the Jets' game last week:"I think we always take an approach with a workman like mentality. We're going to try to establish the run game. Last week, we took a different approach. I think going in at different teams… The Rams expected us to go out there – because of what they were ranked – that we were going to pound the ball. Just because the Jets are what they are, we know Rex [Ryan] and we know what they're preaching up there. Their first priority coming in here is going to be to stop the run. You've got to stop the bleeding where it starts. When you watch the film of Darren McFadden, his runs he ran hard. It was just a lot of tempo things that got… I think the runs that they had were very tempoed. So, when he got out to the edge, he made a couple guys miss. That's where you get big plays at when you've got a nice tempo. Same thing, Hue Jackson was here, so we know what kind of game that was. Obviously, you take from it, you see what they did. As a running back, you sort of lick your chops when a guy goes for 170 yards. But at the same time, we're playing the Jets, so we know they're going to come in here amped up ready to play."
On what rookie WR Torrey Smith's deep plays contribute to the offense:"Man, it makes the game so much different when you have that deep threat and guys catching the ball. I think I possess a duel threat as well, out of the backfield. So, when you've got a guy going deep, and then you single me on a back or one-on-one, you know there's a lot of great things opening up because you have the cloud coverage to one side and you've got Anquan Boldin. It's just great to see young guys make play, because young guys don't necessarily get the respect they deserve until they make a few plays. Then you have to continue to make them and make them and make them for a team to say, 'OK, this guy has arrived. He's got it now.' It took me almost two years. My rookie year, I was in and out, and my Pro Bowl year… I didn't start to get respected until my third season. So when they start making plays, it helps out the whole offense."
On what has allowed him to make some big runs this year opposed to last year:"I think the offseason study. The guys had a chance to look at the run game and look where we struggled. It was really a lot of fundamentals and details; it was a guy here and a guy there. We don't make excuses, but at the same time, these guys are getting the job done. My runs, when you see the long ones and I break, it was blocked perfectly. Anytime I get to the safeties, that's my job [to make them miss]. It was just little details here and there – just fine-tuning those details. Coach Harbaugh made an emphasis on it, and we grinded it in training camp. It didn't show up against Tennessee, but that's what the weekly adjustments are about. You come in and get it corrected. And all right, there are going to be times where we're going to get stopped and the run game is going to seem like it's going slow, but then you come in and correct it. But when the run game doesn't go as well, that's when you get other things going and you get a win."
On whether he feels like he has a target on his back:"I feel like if I go into a game and the team doesn't respect me, then that's on them. I feel like I'm a playmaker. I know if I get out in space I can make a few guys miss. At the same time, I know I can't get the run game started without my offensive line and the guys up front. I do feel like I have a little target on my back, but at the same time, it could be the opposite. You could be like a loner out there. It just shows the respect. I think as much as when they've got guys we've got to target as well. You've got to know where Santonio Holmes is at all times. You've got to respect Plaxico [Burress] for what he's done. Just names alone, once you get to the name guys, because of what they did, and then you respect them. Yeah, the target maybe isn't such a bad thing. It helps out my younger guys – lets them get a chance to shine."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On his "Can't Wait" shirt:"We all know what it means. [I'm] personally sending a message to my brother, my former mentor, that I also can't wait."
On if the increased offense around the League has put extra pressure on the Ravens' defense:"No. This is what the NFL wants. You can tell by the rules, and the protection of certain quarterbacks, this is what they want. They want to see touchdowns, they want to see a whole lot of yards. It's not a bad thing. We're going to do what we are going to do best, and that's play defense. We plan on coming to work that day, and we'll have our hardhats and lunch pails."
On if Jets LB Bart Scott patented the "Can't Wait" phrase:"Yeah, he did. He did. *(Reporter: "Is he going to sue you?") *Probably. *(laughter) *You never know with the 'Mad Backer,' but it's his brand, his shirt. It's for a good cause. We can't wait either."
On if this rivalry is different than the one with Pittsburgh:"It's a little of the same thing. No, it's not as friendly as you think, because come Sunday night, Rex [Ryan] is going to try to beat us. Bart [Scott] is going to try to get after us. It's going to be the same. It's a little different because it's a little personal, because they once were here. It's a little background and everything, so we have tremendous respect for them and love, but we have a job to do. They are in the way of where we're trying to get. They see us as being in their way. They are going to do whatever it takes, and so are we – by any means necessary."
On the mentorship that Scott and Jets head coach Rex Ryan provided:"Bart was more… On a personal level, he was like a brother to me – we spent a lot of time together when we were younger. We can't put that on TV. Rex, he kind of put that aggressiveness into my game. I was a different player from when I was in college to when I got under Rex. Him, [Jets defensive coordinator] Mike Pettine and Bart Scott, they all have a lot to do with that. That was the past, this is now."
On if he saw a difference in the offense this past week vs. St. Louis:"I can't really get into the offense because I don't understand it. I am a football player – I am a defensive football player, so I only understand defense. What I do know is that [offensive coordinator] Cam [Cameron] is working me in on offense, getting some fullback – a little something to just try to get the ball in my hands. Like 'King James' [LeBron James], you get the ball in my hands, good things happen – with the exception of the [NBA] Finals. (laughter) It's cool. We're working on something. No, they looked good. They looked real good. We just hope that we can compound and build on that."
On the offense's success at St. Louis:"Like I said, it was great win, but it was also Week 3. It's a long season. We can't just say, 'We're going to be great by what we did in Week 3.' What really counts are wins and losses and if you are playing in January or not. Like I said, it was a good win. We just have to build. We have to be consistent. We have to compound these wins."
On if he, individually, is in a groove or is still getting into a groove on the field:"I don't know. I will let you know on Sunday."
On if it will be surreal seeing former Ravens WR Derrick Mason with the Jets:"No, not surreal. We all understand that this is a business. We all have our day coming. I personally hope that I will retire wearing the black and purple, but if not, someday 'Sizz' is going to be wearing another color jersey, and when that day comes, we'll all regret it. It'll be what it is. We love Derrick. We appreciate everything he has done for us. He was a great locker room guy; he was a great leader. But, he doesn't wear these colors anymore. Now, he is just one of the enemies. Back to what you said: It's not the No. 1 thing on my mind. The No.1 thing on my mind, the biggest thing, is being 3-1. It's an AFC game. I want as many AFC wins as I can get possible. I think all those things will come if you're taking care of the other stuff. That's home-field advantage, winning the division, things like that. I think if we get in a groove as a team, individuals will get into a groove with their performance. Once we really get our momentum rolling, snowballing, then we will get into a groove."
On if the Jets' struggling run offense plays into the Ravens' game:"I think they are definitely going to try to get that going this week. We know them. They know us. This is definitely a macho man… The toughest man will win, so to say. Everybody kind of remembers the hit Ray [Lewis] had on [Jets TE] Dustin Keller, kind of solidifying that game. You know what I mean? It was like, 'Boom,' and game over. They are definitely going to come back, and they want a rematch. It's going to be a prize fight, but like I said before, we can't wait."