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What Patriots Say About Facing Ravens


Head Coach Bill Belichick

(on why the Ravens, particularly Joe Flacco, have had playoff success against New England)"I think all those games in the past really don't mean too much this week. We played them various times throughout the years and each game had its own characteristics. Right now this game is all about this week and how these two teams match up, not any other teams. So that's all we're really focused on."

(on his thoughts about Flacco)
"Great, really good. He's a great player. I think he's been a really solid performer all the way around. He does a really good job on all passes. He's good on play action. He's obviously good on the deep ball. He's as good a deep-ball passer as there is on football. He does a good job of using his outlet receivers, his tight ends, his backs. Good mobility. Good feet. Does a good job of keeping plays alive. Not so much scramble to run, although he can do that, but definitely scramble to buy more time and give his receivers a chance to uncover and make plays down the field. Smart guy, takes good care of the ball. Just a complete game. He's a good player."

(on his impressions drawing the Ravens and his thoughts on the Pittsburgh game)
"I think the Ravens are one of the most complete, well-rounded teams in the league. They've won a lot of games. John's done a great job as he always does. They're good on offense, they can run the ball, they're good in the passing game, they make big plays. They're good on defense, they stop the run, they hit the quarterback, they're really good in the red area, they're a good third-down team. They're excellent on special teams, lead the league on kickoff, returns, punting. They're strong in every area."

(on why the Ravens have given New England a hard time)
"We played them last year, we've played them in previous years. They've won some, we've won some. There have been some great games, close games. We compete hard against each other. We'll see what happens this week. I don't think any of those games really matter."

(on Steve Smith Sr. and his interest in signing him as a free agent)
"Steve's had a real good career. I think he's a good player on all three levels: short, intermediate and deep. He's got good run-after-catch skills. He can take a short pass a long way. Good route-runner and he's made some good plays on the deep ball with his speed, skills and downfield judgment. But obviously he's got a quarterback that can throw it real well down there. He's a dangerous guy."

(on the schematic chess match with the Ravens coaches)
"I have a lot of respect for John [Harbaugh] and his staff, Jerry [Rosburg], Dean [Pees], Gary [Kubiak] and the rest of his staff. They've got a lot of good players and it's a big challenge for us, but that's the way it is every week. Every team has good coaches and good players. You have to look at the individual matchups and what that team does and how you think they'll play you and how you think you can neutralize their strengths."

(on the Ravens' defensive evolution without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed)
"We played against them last year so we've already played a team without those guys. [Reporter: I was referring to in a playoff situation.] I see this year as being different from any other year. The most similar to any other year would be last year. But I don't think last year has much to do with it either because there are a lot of things that have changed. We have different players, they have different players. They have a new offensive coordinator. I think there are a lot of things that are different. I think it's about a matchup between these two teams this week, not something that happened five years ago or two years ago or one year ago. I don't see what that has to do with this game."

(on Justin Forsett's season and stopping the run)
"I've really been impressed with Forsett. I think he's really shown the ability to be productive consistently. They hit on a lot of levels. He reads blocking schemes very well, sets up blocks well, has got good vision and he makes a lot of yards on his own. He breaks tackles, he's got good quickness, he can elude people and make plays in space in the open field. He also does a good job running through tackles and getting extra yards. … He's been a really productive player who had ground out some tough yards, but has also made a lot of tough plays and critical plays for them."* *

(on the Ravens' pass rush and importance of keeping Tom Brady upright)
"I think the Ravens have a good pass rush. They do a good job of pressuring a quarterback. They've got a lot of good rushers: good edge rushers, good inside rushers and they use a lot of good scheme pass-rush ideas in passing situations. They play [Pernell] McPhee inside and move him around. They have different combinations. … They can push the pocket inside, they can rush the edge outside. They run games and stunts and those kinds of things well, too. It's a real good pass-rush group – as good as we've seen."

QB Tom Brady (on WEEI 93.7)

(on Baltimore's defense)
"This team makes you work for everything you get. They're a very tough, hard-nosed team. And that's why they're a great matchup for us."

(on the Ravens' playoff success in New England)
"Everything is different at this point. We can never change anything that's happened in the past, nor can they. You can't bring players out of retirement, and they can't either. It's the guys we got versus the guys they got, which it's an entirely new team we have and an entirely new team they have."

"It's going to be the Patriots 2014 version versus the Ravens 2014 version and we go from there. It will be determined by what happens on the field Saturday night and not what's happened in the past."

(on the Ravens' pass rush)
"They've got a good front. We've faced quite a few teams that have good fronts this year. [Elvis] Dumervil has had a phenomenal year. He's been a great player since he's been in the league, that's why Baltimore signed him. [Terrell] Suggs is as good as it gets. [Haloti] Ngata is as good as it gets. [Pernell] McPhee has had a great year. And they rotate some other guys in there, like Brandon Williams is a really good player. They've got a good front, they've got good linebackers, they've probably got the Defensive Rookie of the Year at linebacker [C.J. Mosley]. They have Lardarius Webb in the secondary. They've had a few injuries in the secondary, but they've been pretty settled there for a little while. It's a hard-hitting secondary. It's a hard-hitting defense. We have to go in there and earn it."

(on why the Ravens are more equipped to win in Foxborough than other teams)"I think every team is capable. That's why people watch these games. Any team is capable at any time. If you catch a team at the wrong time or you play sloppy football, your season is over. That's what happens this time of year. We've got to play well. Baltimore's got to play well if they want to win."

(on whether Ravens Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees has an advantage)
"Obviously with him being here, he knows us very well. But we've already played against them multiple times now. Last year I think we played them in the Week 16 game. That's the most recent time we played them. We got a pretty good idea how they want to play us."

(on the matchup overall)
"They know how to win. That's why it makes for a great matchup. That's why I'm excited about it. We wouldn't want it handed to you. We've worked hard to get where we're at this year, now we've got to earn it going forward."

(on whether Suggs has bad breath)
"I've never been that close to him. I'll go to him after the game and check it out."

(on whether he's disappointed Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh could help his brother)
"At this point, they can use whatever they want. I'm glad we got him. He's a great coach. I'm glad he's at Michigan now."

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