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12 October 2014

BALTIMORE RAVENS POSTGAME QUOTES SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014

HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
 
(Opening statement)
“It was a great start. It’s about the fastest start you're going to get. [For] the offense to do what they did early on for Joe [Flacco] and the wide receivers and the offensive line is just historic. I’m just really proud of what they did. A lot of hard work pays off, and it paid off in the execution of our passes today. We have two rookie offensive lineman starting at left guard [John Urschel] and left tackle [James Hurt] and to play the way they did against a really good front says so
much. So hats off to our offensive coaches, to [offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo], to the players, and to our veteran guys who helped those guys get ready. So, that, where our defense played — how we got after the quarterback — we stuffed the run early. The field position was huge. The interception by Jimmy [Smith] early to get the 14 was big. I thought our guys did a really good job of covering the two excellent receivers, two outside guys and two really good tight ends.”
 
(On if the 52-yard run on the first drive of the game set the pace)
“It did set the pace. It was a statement - no question - about the running game because I know it was important for them to stop the run. Justin [Forsett] reads so well. He reads the scheme really well. He’s got great vision, is very elusive and hard to tackle. Nobody works harder. He’s one heck of a football player.”
 
(On getting wide receiver Torrey Smith involved early)
“It meant a lot in terms of confidence. I just think that the understanding of perseverance pays off. You can't get down on yourself. You can’t mope around. You've got to go for it. You just have to find a way to turn it around and come out the other end. Eventually it’s going to happen if you keep your faith. He’s too good a player not to be making plays like that. We knew it was just a matter of time.”
 
(On his post-game speech in the locker room after today’s victory)
“I really didn't have much to say, you know. We did our prayer, we thank our Father after every game, win or lose. We try to give honor and glory where it belongs. We try to stay humble that way. That’s where it begins and then just how proud you are. The fact that they came down here in this kind of heat against a team that’s really been coming on the last couple weeks and is a very good football team — you’re going to find out [Tampa Bay is] a really good
football team — and to play the way we did in a game that’s kind of a business game that we need to win, it speaks a lot to who we are as a football team.”
 
(On quarterback Joe Flacco’s game today)
“The timing was really good. He got the ball off and was very accurate. The receivers were
running really precise routs and it showed in the fact that the guys were getting open. Our
offensive coaches — starting with  [offensive coordinator] Gary Kubiak — did an excellent job of game planning. Gary told me early on during the week we need to run the ball if we can. He said we’re really not going to be able to throw the ball well int his game. He felt very strongly that we were going to be able to do that. So I give Gary all the credit in the world for devising that game plan with the passing. It was really well thought out and executed.”
 
(On the team’s gameplan and balancing the run and the pass)
“It was pretty much a 50/50 game plan. I felt like we had some shots thrown up to the seams and stuff like that. It was just well executed. We got some chunks and the red zone strikes were
really the difference. I mean that’s where you have a chance to separate and you can score from the 15-or 20-yard line red zone.”
 
(On guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele being inactive)
“I mean we worked both of those guys out during the pregame - it came down to a game-time decision, and we just couldn't do it. So we tried.”
 
(On the week of practice leading up to today’s game)
“I’m going to be straightforward with you — it was a really good week of practice. Friday was about as precise of Friday as we’ve had. We ran right through our Saturday stuff without a single glitch. The guys were locked in. It’s not going to be like that all the time, obviously, but you chase perfection. We’re going to find plenty of things we’re not as good at as we want to be, and we have to keep chasing those things. It’s a process, and you do it every week. It’s nice to see a reward like this for the guys, but now the attention goes to Atlanta.”
 
(On if he is surprised by the team’s performance)
“I don’t know if I can say if I’m surprised or not — I’m sure happy with it. But we understand it’s never as bad as you think, and it’s never as good as you think. We’re going to watch that tape and there’s going to be plenty of things that we’re disappointed in and we’re going to have to work on them. That’s the process. If we focus on that, than we have a chance to get better.”
 
(On offensive line development and guard/center John Urschel)
“I think his footwork is really good—he’s smart. Same thing goes for [tackle] James [Hurst]. They’re both very smart and both good athletes. To a degree, they’re strong. They’re still really young, but they’re going to get stronger. When you’ve got players that are smart and you’ve got a coach coaching your group who’s as good a trainer of techniques that you’re ever going to see in football, you’re in a unique position. So those guys are coachable, they understand what he’s teaching them, and they take it one practice to the next. I couldn't be more proud of our coaches and our players.”
 
(On wide receiver Michael Campanaro’s first touchdown catch)
“You know you have that for the rest of your career. That never goes away. He’s one for one. He’s another guy who's been practicing very well.”
 
(On the Baltimore fanbase)
“Driving in, I saw a lot of purple jerseys. The tell-tale sign for us is an ‘ohhh’ during the national anthem because that’s a Baltimore tradition. It was about as loud as I’ve ever heard it. So, you know it was great to see them down here. I saw some faces in the crowd that I see around town. That’s just Baltimore. It’s that kind of a town. I really believe we have the best fans in the world. What else can you say.”
 
(On Tampa Bay's defense compared to Atlanta’s)
No comparison on that. I think our timing just got them a little bit. They stepped up during the third quarter. This is not indicative of what you're going to see from the Bucs this season.
 
QUARTERBACK JOE FLACCO
 
(On throwing four touchdown passes in the first quarter)
“It was definitely a fun day. You don’t get those too often in this league. Definitely very enjoyable. It was pretty crazy. We had a great first drive going down there and putting points on the board. Defense got us the ball back. They did a really good job throughout the whole first half getting us the ball back. We were able to convert into touchdowns for the most part. It happened so quickly.”
 
(On the last time he threw four touchdowns in a quarter)
“I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown five touchdown passes in a game, to be honest with you. I think that is a first for me. Definitely have never thrown four touchdown passes in the first quarter and added a fifth in the second quarter. It was fun; all good stuff. We played really well, when we got opportunities we really capitalized.”
 
(On how he read the defense on his touchdown passes)
“First one was just a slant. Depending on the coverage, that is the guy I am looking to hit. The one to Kamar [Aiken] we had seen that you can kind of get up and over the top of their Mike linebacker; we snapped the ball pretty quickly and he ran right by him, it doesn’t get any easier than that. The one to Steve [Smith] we called a little stutter and go we called it take off. I came out and see the safety came downhill come get Owen [Daniels] on his crossing route, so I went out to Steve on his double-move. The corner did a good job; he just backed up and played it. So I came back inside - it was kind of a broken play/extended play at this point. Where can I get the ball and there was nowhere really open. So I just said, all right, let me throw one up and see what happens. I guess today was the kind of day it can end up in the right guy’s hands for a touchdown.”
 
(On if he thought he should have been taken out of the game sooner)
“No, not really, this is the NFL. I think coaches like to see what we have and want us to go out there and keep our heads in it, really see if we can go finish off the game and do it the right way.”
 
(On what this game means to him historically)
“I know we played well; it was nice to bounce back after a tough game. All that stuff really doesn’t matter. Anything we did after the first three touchdowns didn’t really mean too much at the end of the day, it’s all just statistics. That stuff feels good and looks good and it’s great and all that but it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about winning the football game.”
 
(On if there was a change in game plan with two rookies starting on the offensive line)
“That’s up to [Offensive Coordinator Gary] Kubiak to think about that stuff. He thinks about that stuff and he can formation certain ways to get certain guys overtop of those guards. At the end of the day, the defense can adjust to that and do what they want. As far as me, I do not do any adjusting, I go out there and play the game. Go through my reads, hand the ball off, if I get hit, I get hit it is the nature of the game. I think those guys obviously played really well, we’ll look at the tape and really see how good everyone played. As a unit we played really well and I got to feel good about how those guys did. We have two guys who are backups and played in the game and we were able to operate well still, it’s nice to see that.”
 
(On if it is surprising to perform so well under a new offensive system)
“I don’t think so. We’ve all been in offenses no matter what it is. You have to go out and prep throughout the week and do your best to get down the game plan and go out there and execute it. It’s not like any of us are out there thinking about the fact that we are in a new offense. I think it’s coming naturally to us for the most part. We are getting better and better each week and more and more comfortable with it. We are just trying to going out there and execute the plays and beating the guys across from us. The last thing that is in our head the fact that we have never been in this offense.”
 
(On his feelings after the win)
“I feel really good. I think we’ve done a good job of dictating the plays for the most part. We’ve been in a couple tough games that didn’t go our way. I think we got a bunch of strong-willed guys and a bunch of guys that know how to handle the situation. I think all this will serve us well later in the season.”
 
(On if he wanted to continue to throw the ball after the second quarter)
“I don’t know if I wanted to keep throwing it all over them, but, yeah, there is a little bit of you that wants to get down to the 20-yard line and throw a go route to Torrey [Smith], throw something to Steve [Smith], and get a couple more there is no doubt about it, especially early in the game. Come late in the third quarter we did the right thing, we ran the ball, and tried to keep our offense on the field and keep our defense off the field, that is the right thing to do. I mean yeah in the second quarter I would have loved to have gotten a couple more.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER MICHAEL CAMPANARO
 
(On his first NFL touchdown)
“It was great. Coming out and being able to contribute to the team and we had things rolling at the time so it was good. It felt good to get the first catch and it be a touchdown.”
 
(More on his touchdown)
“I was running the seam. We had single high coverage and Joe put it right where it needed to be and I made a play.”
 
(On what he liked about the team)
“I think we just came out hungry. Last week we were a little disappointed with our effort and we just focused all week and we came out as a team. The offense and the defense came out firing on all cylinders.”
 
(On the message from Head Coach John Harbaugh)
“He was proud of us. He was excited for next week but told us to enjoy this one tonight.”
 
RUNNING BACK JUSTIN FORSETT
 
(On playing in front of his family from Lakeland, Fla.)
“I had a lot of family members here, so it was good to be able to put on a show. I was able to get off the plane and go down to visit my grandma. She’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and I wanted to dedicate this game to her. I’m keeping her in my mind and in my heart.”
 
(On his 52-yard run to begin the game)
“The offensive line did a heck of a job. We knew they were a fast defense, so we got them over-pursuing and were able to crease them up the middle and get a big run.”
 
(On his first 100-yard game since 2009)
“We’ve been chomping at the bit to get to that mark this season and it’s just a blessing. I thank God for the opportunity to just come out here play and actually run the ball. The offensive line did a heck of a job, and we got it today.”
 
(On the team’s fast start on offense)
“I think the offensive line did a great job to get some plays off. Joe [Flacco] connected with a pass early, and then the next play we were able to crease them with the outside-zone. All the guys up front just stepped up early, we wanted to start fast and we were able to get that done.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER TORREY SMITH
 
(On scoring the first two touchdowns of the game)
“It was huge. It was important for us to start fast and that was a big part of it.”
 
(On being targeted early in the game)
“That’s just how it goes sometimes, and I just had to make the plays when we needed it. It was important for us to start fast.”
 
(On getting back on track for the season)
“I expect to play that way every week, it just doesn’t happen. It’s important to build some positive momentum for myself to get going for our team because the better I play, the better situations our team can be put in. I understand that I have a major role on this team, which I love and embrace. It’s important for me to play at a high level all the time.”
 
(On wide receivers Kamar Aiken and Michael Campanaro scoring their first career touchdowns)
“That was huge and I was hyped for them, especially those two. They work harder than anyone else on the team, besides the offensive linemen. Kamar [Aiken] has been with a couple different teams, and he’s had an opportunity to make some plays here. I’m happy for him. Every time I looked at Camp[anaro], I told him, ‘You scored for your local team, the team you grew up with.’ It’s special to be a part of.”
 
(On what Head Coach John Harbaugh told him this week in practice)
“It was always, ‘This is your week. Keep working, keep pressing forward.’ Coach Harbaugh is a man of strong faith, and I’m definitely growing and working in that aspect as well, so I think everything happens for a reason. Everything’s been a test for me, and I’m trying to respond the best way I can.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER STEVE SMITH
 
(On 56-yard touchdown reception)
“They had been doing some very creative things, coach just told us to stay with it and keep doing our jobs and that’s what I tried to do.”
 
(On getting the win in Tampa)
“It’s hot and with a game like this in these weather conditions, it’s always nice to get a good win early because I just think body-wise it’s hard to come in this weather in November and December and it’s 90 degrees, that does play a role on you.”
 
(On Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco’s performance)
“Joe threw some excellent passes, he threw some darts in there to Torrey [Smith] and I was happy for Torrey. I was just sitting there and watching it going, ‘Wow.’ He was throwing some heatseekers in there and they were right on target.”
 
LINEBACKER TERRELL SUGGS
 
(On Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco’s performance)
“He’s been the same guy. He’s been the same guy since he showed up and he’s gotten a lot better. I don’t think he prepared different or something, he just got into a zone today.”
 
(On how important it is get the offense the ball back when they’re playing that good)
“That’s very important, we didn’t think about it like that. We just wanted to have some success on defense. We knew they had a strong defense and we just wanted to play well. We were doing that and [Joe] was hot like you said and he was slinging it and he was playing really well.”
 
(On if he feels this was a breakthrough game for him)
“Definitely. I feel like I should’ve had more [sacks], but sometimes it better to be lucky than good and we’ll just take it and start from there.”
 
GUARD JOHN URSCHEL
 
(On the beginning of the game)
“It was an honor to be able to start today. First start in the NFL. It means a lot that the coaches have that faith in me and just the fact that the other offensive linemen, the other guys on the team took care of me and that we were able to get things going quickly. It was a good start.”
 
(On his performance)
“I feel like I did well. I feel like I had a solid performance.  There are obviously things that I need to improve upon. Biggest thing is just go back and look at the film, see what I did well, keep doing that well, see what I didn’t do so well and work to improve on that.”
 
(On what he didn’t do well)
“Just off the top of my head, [be] more consistent with my thoughts. I’d say better fundamentals in certain things. Once you get on the field its very fast paced, high tempo. You just need to have that as muscle memory. I’m not 100 percent sure on what went wrong and what didn’t; it’s just my first guess.”
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