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Bengals-Ravens Postgame Quotes

Posted Sep 10, 2012


VS.


POSTGAME QUOTES
SEPTEMBER 10, 2012



BENGALS COACH MARVIN LEWIS

On the game:
“Certainly wasn’t what we expected to have out here today. We got outplayed and we got outcoached. We did things that were positive, but all in all, I don’t think we played well enough to win in any phase. And that’s my job, to get us right. We didn’t come out of the gate, and we didn’t handle a lot of the things that we expected to see, and frankly, we didn’t react to them very well, so we have a lot to learn from this football game. I thought some of the strides that we made offensively were good. We’ve been talking about being able to run the football and I thought we did some positive things there. We have to continue to build off of that offensively and allow the other things to continue to come. Defensively, I don’t think we played the run or the pass especially well. Special teams, we held our own, but we didn’t make any plays on special teams, and that didn’t affect the football game. We had some hands on balls defensively, but we didn’t come down with any of them, and that kind of proved to be the difference. We allowed the explosive play twice, early in the game, and that ended up keeping us reeling. We didn’t get to where we really slowed them down and made any positive plays on defense. So with that, we have to go to work.”

On whether the Ravens no-huddle confused them:
“The no-huddle did not bother us at all. I wish I could say it was the no-huddle. We play against no huddle all the time, in fact, we’re one of the better teams against the no huddle in the National Football League over the last eight or nine years. I think it’s an effective thing for them, and it’s something they’ll continue to do, but I don’t think it really bothered us.”

On the positives of RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis:
“All in all, I think our ability, schematically, in running the football, was good. But again, when you sit there and get your butt kicked like that, there aren’t a lot of positives to take out of it.”

On the worst thing about the performance:
“We just didn’t make any plays. We would get them in second and long and they would run the draw up in there for nine or ten [yards]. We get them in second and long and they run the naked and then we miss the crosser. We had a big play thrown over the top, plays that it’s not like new math or anything, those were things we expected to see and so forth, but we have to react to them and play them better. We get a ball down the seam and we get a penalty. So all of this stuff, we have to improve and play better. I can take my pick, unfortunately.”

On whether giving up the touchdown at 17-13 was a back-breaker:
“No, I don’t think that. I thought we still had life. But then we lobbed one up, and that’s something that you can’t do. You can’t give them a reason to get a turnover. We’re going to make some plays, we just have to stay after it.”

On whether he wanted to play the ground-control game:
“No. We thought we could be effective throwing and you have to get them out of coverage. But you have to do things to run the football. We’re going to get squats to A.J. [Green] and the other guys did a good job tonight, too, we just have to keep coming. And then we have to come down with all of our catches. That’ll be the thing on offense. There were plenty of balls in our hands that we didn’t come down with today.”

On having to settle for the field goal at 17-13:
“Yes, we had a chance to get it in there, and had we been inside a little tighter on that fourth-down play, we probably would have gone for it instead of for a field goal, but hindsight is always 20-20, right?”

On whether the short prep week affects them now:
“No, it doesn’t. It’s probably a good thing for us to have that, actually. We can’t get this taste corrected until we get out there Sunday at 1:00. There are guys in that room that have enough ability, enough resolve and enough leadership to get it done. So we have to get it worked on, we have to get it done.”




ANDY DALTON

On how important the opening drive of the third quarter was:
“It was close going into halftime. We felt like we had our chances. The first drive was big but it kind of got out of hand after a while. We can’t turn the ball over. I’ve got to be better.”

On S Ed Reed’s interception:
“I had it perfectly. I saw exactly what they were doing. We had the right protection call and everything. I just had a guy right at my feet. I felt like I couldn’t step into it. The ball sailed and it got picked.”

On whether it would have been a different game had they scored a touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter:
“You can always speculate what could have happened, but you have to find ways to be better. We’ve got to do better in all phases of the game.”

On the resiliency of the Bengals:
“The biggest thing is we can’t let them beat us twice. First we have to come in and watch the film, learn from our mistakes and move on. It’s a long season. It’s just one game. I think we’ll be alright.”

On RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis on third downs:
“I thought we did a good job of that--third and short, picking up first downs, doing things like that. We had a lot of long drives there. I felt like we were in the game.” (on whether the game changed after S Ed Reed’s interception:
“I think it was part of it. I’ve got to make a better throw. Turnovers decide the game.”




JERMAINE GRESHAM

On the positives and being able to score points:
“We knew coming into halftime, we saw something. For the most part, we were doing pretty good, until we stopped ourselves. It’s just plays that you have to make against teams like that. It’s something that we have to learn from.”

On the Ravens defense:
“All credit to their defense. They are a great defense. Great players – future Hall of Famers. I give credit to them, they’re a good defense. It was just that we weren’t making the plays that we usually do. And we just have to go back to the drawing board and fix it.”




TAYLOR MAYS

On QB Joe Flacco’s performance:
“He’s a premier quarterback and I think he showed it. He was poised and made all the big-time throws that a big-time quarterback makes.”

On if the Ravens offense caught them off-guard:
“I don’t think so at all. I think, especially early in the game, everything we saw we had practiced. There were some different things, but for the most part, it was all that we saw in practice. We just didn’t execute.”

On the opening play:
“They made some big passes on us in that first quarter. We played well sometimes, but the difference was some of the big plays. They were just being consistent and playing well, and we knew that coming into the game that we needed to stop the big plays.”




REY MAUALUGA

General statement:
“Plain and simple, we got beat in all phases of the game. I felt as if we started off slow, we came back, we fought back and did some good things, and then we just took our eyes off the prize. There’s no way else to put it. We just flat out got beat and they took advantage of our mistakes, our turnovers, penalties. It’s just something that we have to learn from.”

On the Ravens offense:
“I think they did a good job with their misdirection, play-action. We just didn’t get there in time. And yards after the catch, they did a good job with that too. We just didn’t come out and play like we were supposed to.”

On whether some guys not playing together in the preseason affected the game:
“No, I don’t think so. Everyone was in tune and in the right state of mind as far as coming together and trying to execute the calls that were being called. But overall, the penalties and whatnot, not being in the right place, not covering your guy, it’s the NFL and teams take advantage of that and you get beat.”

On whether there were conditioning issues with the Ravens no-huddle:
“Not really. I felt fine, I felt good. All I had to do was make sure everyone had the call, and relay it to my teammates, line up, and play football.”

On QB Joe Flacco:
“He was on fire. Us, as a defensive unit, we have to look at our mistakes and figure out what we have to work on. Less than a week away, we have another game. We’ll check this video out on our iPads, at home on our off-day tomorrow, and we’ll come back Wednesday, ready to go.”




DOMATA PEKO

On the defense:
“I think we just got outplayed today. We’ve got to start faster than that. They kind of came out kind of quick and got the momentum going from the beginning of the game. We’ve got things to clean up. It’s a long road. This is game one out of 16. We’ve still got a long road ahead of us. We’ve got some good leaders on our team. We’ll go back and look at the tape and then clean this up and get ready for Cleveland next week.”

On the Ravens:
“They just outplayed us. It’s simple. They just beat us today and we’ve got to get better. We made too many mistakes overall. As a group, as a team, on all aspects of the game, offense, defense, and special teams, we’ve got some tough guys on this team and we’ll bounce back from this next week.”

On QB Joe Flacco:
“He’s getting better and better. I’ve been playing against him for awhile now. Each year he seems to improve and get better and now he’s got a few more weapons to help him out – 82 [WR Torrey Smith] and [TE Dennis] Pitta had a good game. We’ve just got to clean some stuff up and get after it next week.”




A.J. GREEN

On the offense:
“We had some good parts to the game, but we were not consistent as a whole, so we have to go back next week and learn from the tape and move on.”

On the Ravens second-half defense:
“They crowded my side a little more so I couldn’t go deep as much, but that’s going to happen, so we just have to go back to the drawing board and see what they did and learn from it.”

On the start of the third quarter and the third-down play near the end zone:
“That was a big play. We had all the momentum on our side. That’s another thing we’ve got to get better at – punching it in when we’ve got the momentum on our side.”

On the upcoming short week:
“Let’s get this out of the way and just get back to working.”

On the start of the season:
“I don’t think of it like a thud. It wasn’t consistent enough on offense and that’s the biggest thing when you’re playing a veteran team like the Ravens. We’ve got to be more consistent. The good thing about a short week is that we’ve got 15 more games.”




LEON HALL

On his injury:
“Physically, I’m fine. I was able to make it all the way through. My Achilles heel felt fine. It didn’t drop off at the end of the game or anything of that nature, so that was a positive.”

On the Ravens no-huddle pass attack:
“They did it in the preseason – no-huddle, up-tempo kind of stuff. We got some good work against it. I think for the most part, we did OK as far as getting the calls relayed and playing the right calls as a defense. They executed better than we did. There were no busted coverages or anything like that that I can remember. We just got outplayed.”

On the near-miss interceptions:
“Whoever it is, you have to come up with those plays, especially when the ball is tipped or when it’s in the air. We’ve got to do whatever we can, obviously, to come down with the ball.”




BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS

On the way the game got out of hand in the second half:
“It was no question we left some plays out there. We went into halftime with some momentum and made a couple of nice fourth down conversions. We did some good things but it just wasn’t enough. Hats off to the Ravens. They came out and played really well. They were ready to play and we need to play better. “

On how his injured foot felt:
“It’s fine. It was not an issue tonight. I should have done better and played better. I missed some things out there. We need to learn from this and improve."

On whether there were any positives that came from tonight’s game:
“Right now, it’s very hard to think of any. We’ll look at the film and we’ll probably see some things. It’s just very disappointing right now. It was opening night, we were on national TV and we laid an egg.”




ANDRE SMITH

On how the game went:
“We executed well at times, especially in the first half. But we need to execute more consistently and finish more drives.”

On the Ravens margin of victory:
“It doesn’t mean much. They beat us in all three phases of the game and they played well. We need to think about how we can get better. We need to go back to Cincinnati, get to work and improve. We have our first home game against Cleveland next week and we are all looking forward to that.”




ANDREW WHITWORTH

On how the game went:
“This was just one of those games for us. At the same time, they played a tremendous game. The Ravens are a good team and we knew we’d have to play well to win here. We need to just give them credit and move on. “

On the young offensive line:
“With the group we had to throw together on the line, I’m very proud. We did a great job against a great team and we did it in a very tough place to play. We just didn’t get to finish some drives and that hurt us. We needed to get touchdowns instead of field goals. We had a chance to play well on the big stage tonight and it’s disappointing because we couldn’t do that.”




RAVENS COACH JOHN HARBAUGH

Opening statement:
“Thank you for coming out and sticking around. It’s good seeing everybody. It was a good night. Congratulations to Ed Reed, who was just up here, for setting an all-time NFL record for [interception] return yards. He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, without question. [His interception] probably didn’t seal the game, but put it out of reach – that was big. Where do you start? I thought we were resilient. I thought we kept the pressure on. It was a tight ball game. It was a hard-fought game. It was 17 to 10, and it was looking like they were driving down the field, and we came up with a stop to keep the lead there on the one-yard line – that was big. And then, to get the next three-and-out, go back and score again, I think is a testament to our offense. Before I start answering too many questions, I just want to give credit, not just to the offense, Joe [Flacco], all the guys that executed, because the players are the ones who win games. But, credit to the offensive coaches. I thought our staff did a great job. Every assistant coach has done a great job, and [offensive coordinator] Cam [Cameron] has done a great job. Cam will be the first one to take the blame and last one to take credit, so I’ll be standing up here and giving Cam a little credit tonight. I thought he did a great job with the play-calling. And, really, it’s a collaboration right now between Cam and Joe with the play-calling. I thought they worked really well together all night, obviously, and that’s probably what was the difference.”

On how the offensive line performed:
“Well, it looks like they performed well by the result. I think we didn’t have too much pressure. I thought we ran the ball pretty well. I look forward to seeing the tape. But, we probably have eight really good offensive linemen, and Jah Reid is the ninth when he gets healthy. So, we have to find a way to play all of our linemen. We want to find a way to get those guys out there, so that’s a good problem to have.”

On how “scary” good QB Joe Flacco can be:
“Scary good. That’s probably the word right there. I’ll go with that. We’ve always stood up here and we’ve always, all of our coaches, the organization, we know what we’ve got in this guy. He has won a lot of football games, and it’s easy for the pundits and prognosticators, as my dad will say. He is standing in the corner right next to Joe. That’s what you do. You try to figure out and you write the stories or whatever. Joe Flacco is going to be a great player. Joe Flacco is a great player. Joe Flacco has been a great player.”

On if Flacco is an elite quarterback:
“Sure he is. Sure he is. Of course he is. He is a winner. He is one of the toughest quarterbacks I have ever been around. He is the best quarterback I’ve been around. What does that say? Probably not much, I haven’t been around a lot of quarterbacks. I am a special teams coach. (laughter) But, I will say what we’ve always said: He is our quarterback. And, that’s good enough for us.”

On if Flacco’s price tag has gone up:
“Pay him whatever he asks for. (laughter) Pay the man.”

On the difference defensively between the first and second half:
“I think once the game got out of hand, it made them a little more one-dimensional. We’ve got to stop the run better on first down, without question. We did not do a good job with that. There were a lot of second-and-threes, third-and-ones and that’s going to be tough to defend no matter what you do, so I think it starts with that. That’s a good offense. That game got out of hand for whatever reason, but the score is not indicative of the game that was played, it’s not indicative of what’s going to happen over the course of the season. That’s a very good football team. They ran the ball on us really well. They’ve got great talent outside. I thought we did a nice job getting pressure on Andy [Dalton]. I don’t know how many sacks we got, but we sure had pressure on him and made it a little bit tougher for him. Even when he got the ball quick, there was pressure in his face. That’s a credit to our defensive front.”

On the play of TEs Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson:
“They played really well. You don’t necessarily expect them [having] missed all those reps. Some of these players will be telling me now, ‘Why do we need training camp if those guys can play that well?’ But, those guys study. They stayed with it. They worked really hard and they had a body of work underneath with Joe, underneath themselves built up over the course of the offseason, so that’s probably why they overdo it.”

On what he saw in T Ramon Harewood that earned him the start:
“We really thought highly of Ramon. He hadn’t had many practice reps, but he did have the whole offseason, he did have most of training camp, and we just thought he looked like a player. You look at Bobbie [Williams], and you look at Bryant [McKinnie], they both had really good training camps as well, so we’ve got a bunch of guys right now that we think we can play on our offensive line. So, it goes from a perceived weakness to what we always thought was going to be a strength, and we just got to build on that. It’s the first game. There were so many things that were not good. When we watch that tape, there are going to be a lot of thing we’re not going to like. We have to build on the things that we didn’t do well, and we have to build on the things we did do well. We are not the same team a week from now, four weeks from now, 16 weeks from now. We just have to make sure we’re getting better every way.”

On what he attributes big back-to-back season-opening wins over divisional opponents:
“I don’t really attribute it to anything other than the fact that two-straight years we’ve gone to the second game, and we’ve lost. That’s happened two years in a row. So, that’s probably a stat we’ll concern ourselves with right now. We have a short week, we’re going to play an explosive team in five-and-a-half days, I guess it is. It’s right around the corner, so that’s what we’ll turn our attention to.”

On the decision to waive RB Bobby Rainey and sign RB Anthony Allen to the active roster:
“That’s a good question. Bobby Rainey is a big part of our plans. I texted Bobby before the game. He is, rightly so, kind of upset about it. Bobby is a guy that I cherish. We just did it for special teams reasons, pure and simple. Anthony Allen has done a great job on special teams, and we made a strategic roster move we hope works out for us.”

On what the late Art Modell would say after a game like this:
“Get up here, kid. Can I get you a drink? That would be the first thing, can I get you a drink?”




JOE FLACCO

On the no-huddle:
“Yeah, I think it worked out really well for us, and like John [Harbaugh] said, we are going to look at the film and say there are a lot of things that we can correct, and there were things that we can communicate better and things like that, but overall, I think going at that tempo really helped us out, because those guys can really get out to the passer and really create a lot of pressure. And I think the fact that we were able to go up-tempo and kind of keep those guys on the field definitely took its toll on them.”

On how much fun it was to play tonight:
“Yeah, it was a lot of fun, you can’t lie about that. We didn’t get that many drives, really, but we were efficient enough that we put points on the board, and sometimes that’s what you need to do. And then, I think we gave up the ball with seven minutes left in the second quarter, and we didn’t get it back until nine in the third quarter, and then we false-started, and then the completion at the end was big. It got us going; it got us not really thinking about anything anymore. We went down there, put points on the board, and I think when you do that it puts a lot of pressure on the other team’s offense. And I think that’s when our defense is at their best. And they came up with that huge play by Ed [Reed], and from then on, it was our game.”

On doing what you said you were going to do for the game:
“I think it says that we have talent out there and that we have a good team. We have some things to work on, but it’s obviously what we’re good at. I think it creates match-ups that are really good. We have a lot of speed out there on the outside. We have linemen that are really good especially when you can wear out the defensive front. There were big creases in there for Ray [Rice], there were big chunks down the field for us, so obviously everything went pretty well for us tonight. But, we need to get back in there and communicate better, make sure we get a lot of hard work in, and this Philadelphia team, they came off a big win, a tight game. It was a pretty crazy game, and they’re going to be at their home opener, and they’re going to be ready to go, and it should be a lot of fun.”

On what coach Harbaugh said about being an elite quarterback:
“That’s what I said, I was standing over there and I said, ‘You all heard that. You heard that.’ (laughing) I don’t concern myself with that stuff. I feel like I always go out there, and we go out on the field, and we play pretty [darn] good every week. The stats might not always say 299 yards or 300 yards or 450 yards, whatever it is, but the bottom line is I go out there, and I play hard. I play tough, and we win a lot of football games around here. So, all that stuff will take care of itself.”

On thoughts about playing in Philadelphia:
“Yeah, it should be a lot of fun. I’m from New Jersey, but five miles from Philadelphia, if that. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I grew up around all Eagles fans, and they’re a pretty passionate group, and who knows who my buddies will be routing for – hopefully they’ll have a little compassion for myself. But, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve been back there when I was … When I went to the University of Pittsburgh, I played Temple there a couple times, but I didn’t get to play. We went there in the preseason last year, but this is a real game. It should be a lot of fun.”

On if this is his year:
“I think it’s always our year. We have 15 games left to play in the regular season. Oh mine? Hey, like I said, I don’t concern myself about that. That’s for you guys to talk about. I think I play good every year; I think I play good every game. Obviously, we all have things to work on and improve on. I’m doing that just as much as everyone else is. Like I said, I’ll leave that to you guys. You guys usually, two weeks after the game, you guys twist that game into whatever you want it to say it was anyways. (laughing) If you guys decide to start twisting it good in my favor, than I’m all for it.”




RAY RICE

On the Ravens no-huddle offense:
“One thing that was great about it, everybody got involved. Coming into this year, it was Joe Flacco’s offense, he did a great job today. It starts with him, and we just follow his lead. We try to go out there and execute, and that’s what we did against a great defense.”

On getting his touches:
“I know it’s a long season so I’m never going to be the guy that says ‘I want this.’ When we ran it, we were effective, and that’s what you want to have. I like to get in there and get my carries but scoring points puts all that aside.”

On the emotion of the night:
“You want to do everything right on Monday Night Football. Obviously, you want to make plays having a heavy heart for the Modell family. That really put an extra motivation with him bringing his team to Baltimore. A guy like Ray Lewis and him are pioneers for the Ravens. Ray really played with a lot of emotion, and we had no choice but to feed off of it.”

On his offensive line:
“I didn’t see any timing issues tonight. The scoreboard told that. What you saw was guys that worked hard during camp and mini-camp and OTAs, and the guys I’m referring to are Ramon Harewood and Kelechi Osemele. You saw those guys’ hard work pay off. It’s great to see those young guys in there. Those guys were making plays for us tonight. Bobbie Williams and Bryant McKinnie are guys we know we have. It was nice to see young guys go out and make plays.”

On the weapons the Ravens have on offense:
“It’s really fun for me – I barely got hit tonight. You always want to come out in the first one and come out fast. We did that tonight. One thing you see with our offense, we’re explosive. I think this is the fastest group we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m talking all over the board – tight ends, wide receivers and backs. Our offensive line is very athletic.”

On winning for Art Modell:
“Of course, we wanted to win this one for Art [Modell]. That didn’t have to be said in one of our meetings. Ray Lewis had already spoken about what we wanted to do. That’s a great group over there [the Bengals]. They’re going to beat a lot of teams this year. We just happened to play some good football tonight.”

On the no-huddle limiting his touches:
“I got smart touches tonight. I’m feeling good, I’m feeling fresh – that’s what tonight was, smart touches. Joe [Flacco] did a great job of reading the defense. All I wanted was my timing back with my teammates, and I got that tonight. I was there in protection, and when we needed to run it, we ran it. It was great to see our young boys get some work at the end.”

On being a balanced offense:
“It’s great to see this offense evolving with the changes that are happening in the NFL. This is a pass-friendly league now, but we still do have some running backs in the league, including myself. We can evolve with the change, which means that’s catching the ball, running the ball and pass protection. That’s what the running back position is now. The faster you can evolve with the change, the longer you’re going to last in the NFL.”




RAY LEWIS

On the Ravens offense tonight:
“It’s the same thing I told [head] coach [John Harbaugh], when you watch the small things that we kind of had to go through as the game progressed and things like that, but just the way that we bounced back. Joe [Flacco] kind of got into a rhythm and always kept our defense on the sideline. But, we practiced against this offense all offseason, so to see it now, when everything is real, I think you have to take your hats off to how we worked as a team.”

On if he feels faster and lighter this year:
“I think anybody does if you shed however much weight. It just naturally came off through the rigors of training and cautiously eating and things like that. You kind of just feel better, you feel totally better. For me, the game is kind of changing, so why not change with the game? There is no more 45 times running the ball. Everyone wants to throw the ball, so now you adjust with the game, and everything is sideline-to-sideline running. So, I just kind of adapted to it a little bit. I didn’t change much because what I really do, I do it for a lifestyle. I just eat a certain way because I want to be healthy and things. But, it helps because my job is this. So, absolutely.”

On if the Ravens offense forced the Bengals to play from behind:
“I think anytime that someone has to play from behind against us, and the history that we’ve had around here, it’s hard. It’s hard because there will be some plays – and we didn’t play perfect tonight as a defense – there are things that we have to correct ourselves. But, anytime someone has to play with a lead, and definitely at home here, that’s going to be rough, it’s going to be really rough for people. It’s kind of always been that way.”

On if the rest of the league is ready for the Ravens no-huddle offense:
“We’ll see. You don’t jump ahead at anything. We have one victory, and like I always tell the guys, ‘You have a 24-hour rule.’ We can celebrate this one for 24 hours, and then it’s back to work. But, I think they do have to deal with it, one way or another, when you have that many weapons and a quarterback – and trust me, I am pro-Joe because he has proved himself year-in and year-out. Joe has gone to the playoffs every year that he’s been here. That’s an accomplishment within itself because no one has ever done that. So, to get it from that standpoint, I am definitely excited to see it.”

On if this is the offense that he’s been waiting on all these years for:
“I’ve been here a long time. (laughter) You can finish that off for me.”

On what he says to the people that doubt the defense:
“I think it’s simple. We do respect that there are people that have jobs and what to talk about whatever, but when we step on the football field, we are a totally different breed, and everyone knows that. Can you replace Terrell Suggs? Absolutely not, you don’t even look to replace a Terrell Suggs. But, can you get a young Paul Kruger and can you get a younger [Courtney] Upshaw to start picking up his level of play? Absolutely, and that’s what we did tonight. So, for us to keep adding those pieces, adding those pieces. Me and Ed [Reed], I think one of the greatest things I’ve had the pleasure to do is play with two of the greatest safeties and defensive backs that I’ve ever seen play, and that’s Rod Woodson and Ed Reed. People talk about Ed aging, and people talk about my age, but our numbers speak for themselves when we talk about where we will be when this game is over individually and as a defense.”

On how he can reconcile losing last year’s AFC Championship game:
“You just come back to practice and get ready for work. That’s it. It’s the same thing we just did when we were out there standing, me and [head] coach [John Harbaugh] when I was just walking up to him. You go through your ups and downs, whatever they may be. But, you have a totally different ball club right now. We’re a totally different team than we were last year, the year before that, and I think we’ve got the guys who understand that. We know what we’re trying to get done, and we also know how crucial it is for every game to be that next game. That’s why we’re just going one at a time. So, definitely, we’ll be ready to play next week.”

On if the defense tightened up on RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the second half:
“Like I said, we didn’t play perfectly as a defense, and there are people in different places, but we are working our kinks out just like everyone else is working their kinks out. But, when it got to where we needed to make plays, we made the plays we were supposed to make, and that’s a credit to us making adjustments, [defensive coordinator] Dean [Pees] coming in at halftime. So, you just make the plays and don’t get pushed out of the way.”

On if he is surprised S Ed Reed passed Rod Woodson’s interception return yards record:
“No. Like I said, for me personally, because I’m close friends with both of those guys, I’ve witnessed it on both sides. To see Rod Woodson pick them off and run, and now I’m running behind Ed when he picks him off, I just think it’s poetry. It’s poetry to see those guys do what they do.”




ED REED

On setting the NFL record for yards on interceptions:
“It felt good. That’s really hands down to the D-linemen, who got some pressure on Dalton there, who’s a very good quarterback, going to be good in this league. But when pressure’s in your face, and I kind of know the call, know how aggressive we are, it gives you a chance to make plays. I got my hands on one before that, actually two, you know, and it’s like you’re talking to yourself. It’s like ‘It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming, just be patient.’ That’s what we kept telling each other as a secondary. It feels good.”

On his touchdown and if he knew he’d score:
“Yeah, I wasn’t going to let the O-linemen catch me (laughs). That’s why I just dove. You know, it strained my hamstring trying to dive. You know, I’m 34 in two hours. Father Time does catch up with you.”

On the hamstring and how it feels:
“It’s good. It’s good. It’s minor. Once the offense scored with that penalty on Torrey Smith, coach was like ‘you’re down, don’t worry about it.’ If there was a [reason], I could have played, will play this week. I’ve been in this situation before. It’s just about managing and knowing it. I think I ran about four miles today because my job was simple. Just play sound football, be the safety, what my job calls me to do, really.”

On the performance of QB Joe Flacco:
“When [QB ] coach [Jim] Caldwell came in, a guy who coached a Hall of Famer in Peyton Manning, you’ve got to know Joe’s going to get even better than where he was already heading. Joe has gotten better every year. This is what we’ve seen all camp with Joe, just throwing the ball to those guys, putting it right in their chest, putting it right in their hands. You see that. Those guys trust him and want to make plays for him. Like I’ve been saying the whole time since Joe’s been here, he’s been our guy. He’s been making plays and making throws that everybody else across the league is making.”

On how this game shows he can still make big plays:
“I felt like I could make those plays within the team’s scheme and system because we have a bunch of great players around us. You get a chance, and those opportunities come your way. Like Ray said, before we started this game, last night actually, take advantage of your opportunity. Like I said, there was two that came to me before that, and you go to talking to yourself and go to praying and everything, but it’s about making those plays, and like you said, I’ve been doing it pretty much my whole career. It’s just a blessing for the D-line to make that play and kind of make it happen for me.”

On if the no-huddle offense changes the defense’s preparation:
“No, we’ve been preparing for that for a long time. It’s just a matter of everybody clicking at the same time. We understand that it’s going to come. The biggest thing with that is communication, and that’s something we know we have to work on, we have to build on. This is the first team, honestly, that we went against the whole time, the first game of the season. I’m sure Cincinnati will say the same thing, that they had some communication issues. Even offensively, Joe was talking – we have some communication things. It’s the first game, we’re just getting started on this journey. So, we know what we need to get better on. It’s good to get the first one under your belt, and the first win, without it costing with those big communication matters.”

On his wearing a T-shirt as a tribute to Art Modell and the emotion of playing right after his death:
“We all talked about it—me, Ray [Lewis], Terrell [Suggs] and Haloti [Suggs], right after we saw Mr. Modell, the day he passed, that we wanted to do something just to honor him as players because Mr. Modell was always around us. He was always the owner that you see in the pictures, you see on the TV, he was always with his players. He was always hugging his players, and his players talking back with him. So right after we saw him, we knew we wanted to do something because we always have these T-shirts in Baltimore, to motivate us or just to remind us why we’re here, the opportunity that we have in life right now. This is an opportunity that was definitely given to me and all those guys in there. If Mr. Modell [didn’t] bring the team to Baltimore, it doesn’t happen for us. This city here loves football, too, and Mr. Modell saw that in this city, and he made us all Ravens. We’re all grateful just to be here.”




HALOTI NGATA

On playing for Art Modell:
“I think we all wanted to feel Art [Modell] here with us. I think he was up there with us. We felt we had to play a little bit more for him and his family. A lot of us would not be here without him. We were happy we were able to win this game, especially for the Modell family.”

On his sacks tonight:
“I think people think we’re going to have a tougher time without Terrell Suggs, but we’ve been working hard all training camp to create pressure and to get to the quarterback. We did a great job up the middle to pressure him inside, so it was a bit easier for our guys outside to get to the quarterback.”

On the Ravens no-huddle offense making it easier on the defense:
“What we did was basically got a lead in the third quarter and that let us basically get out there and hunt after Andy Dalton, and that’s what we did. Our offense did a great job of scoring points, and we just made some more plays. In the fourth quarter, we were basically able to put the pressure on him [Andy Dalton]. We put that pressure on him once we got that lead, kept it on him, and then we were able to get to [Andy] Dalton with a pick.”

On how the Bengals philosophy changed once they got behind:
“I think in the beginning of the game, they did a great job of getting rid of the ball quick. I think they understood with an inexperienced guard and new center, they had to get rid of the ball quick. Once we got ahead, they had to go with longer passes and try to get down the field more. That allowed us to pin our ears back and get to the quarterback.”

On the defensive philosophy tonight:
“As a defense, we were trying to stop the run first. Then when we got ahead, we were able to get to the quarterback. Once we know they have to pass the ball just to catch up, it makes it a lot easier. We definitely worked on that throughout OTAs and training camp. Hopefully we can build on that next week.”

On clearing the way for Ray Lewis:
“Ray Lewis is the best linebacker out there. He did a great job tonight. We know if we get double-teamed, he has to make that play. It’s just a great feeling to know that if you’re getting double-teamed, Ray [Lewis] is going to make the play. It’s a credit to all those guys and the hard work they do.”

On opposing offenses keeping up with the Ravens offense:
“Our offense is doing a phenomenal job. They did a great job tonight against a great defense. We were able to put points up continuously throughout the whole game. That’s why we were able to pin our ears back at the end of the game and just get to the quarterback. We did a great job tonight of keeping them out of the end zone. If we can do that, our offense is playing lights-out. That’s great to see here. Usually we’re in tight games where 13 points is huge, but our offense is on a different level now which is going to mean a lot of good things.”




TORREY SMITH

On the offense’s success:
“We just came out tonight and played like we practice. I think it showed we have a lot of work to do in terms of communication and a few mental errors, but we’re headed in the right direction.”

On his 52-yard reception to start the game:
“I had no clue. I just came out and he called the play. I said ‘OK, I better get on my horse.’ I saw the coverage, and I knew we had a shot at it, and we completed it.”

On how big that play was in the game:
“I think it was huge. It was big for us to go out there and hit a play like that early. We got the crowd into the game and they got us going in the right direction. We were able to finish that drive with some points on the board.”

On playing for Art Modell:
“It means a lot to everyone in this organization. Even though I wasn’t there to be under [Art Modell], I have a great appreciation for him because of his presence and understanding the history, the way he was, the ambassador of the game that he was. It’s amazing the things that he has done. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be standing here in Baltimore. We definitely went out there, and we played our hearts out. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

On how much fun tonight’s win was:
“It’s always fun anytime you’re winning and putting that many points on the board. Joe [Flacco] did a great job; he played his tail off. Tonight, you saw the results of hard work.”



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