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Quotes: Texans at Ravens

Posted Oct 16, 2011

The Texans and Ravens spoke to the media following their Week 6 game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

*Watch Texans head coach Gary Kubiak's weekly press conference live on Monday at 3:30 p.m. CT on Texans TV.

The Texans lost to the Raiders in Week 6 at M&T Bank Stadium. Afterward, coaches and players from both sides answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.


Houston Texans

Head coach Gary Kubiak
CB Jason Allen
LB Brian Cushing
RB Arian Foster
DE Tim Jamison
WR Jacoby Jones
CB Johnathan Joseph
WR Derrick Mason
QB Matt Schaub
DE Antonio Smith
WR Kevin Walter

Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on CB Jason Allen playing in the game) “I don’t know how many plays he played. I don’t know, I’ll have to go back and look at the tape.”

(on the running game the past two weeks) “We haven’t run the ball well the past two weeks, you are right. Twenty five carries for 90-something yards, I think. This team is a tough team to run on, but you’ve just got to keep pounding at them, and we did. I think we kept battling, had ourselves some good [field] position as a team. A 19-14 football game early in the fourth quarter, we’re down there on the 40-yard line, third-and-8, make a play, we knew it was going to be that kind of play, we didn’t make it, and they started making theirs, but you are right, we’re not running the ball well right now.”

(on how difficult passing third downs were) “We had it under control, I thought, for the most part, until we got down to where we had to start throwing the ball. I thought we did a good job with our third downs in the first half, mixing it up in what we were doing, making it manageable, and we were able to protect Matt [Schaub]. But you’re right, you get down more than a touchdown to this football team, and they know you have to throw, you’re going to have a hard time holding up.”

(on not making plays) “I don’t have the plays in front of me. I know we dropped some balls that could have been first downs. Like I said, we were right there in the game where we wanted to be at 19-14, on the road, against this team. I mean, that’s a pretty good position to be in. We didn’t make the plays, and they did, we dropped the ball on offense and didn’t make the plays, and they come up, make big plays and move down the field. We all had our part in it, and we had our opportunities as a football team.”

(on going for it on fourth-and-1 early) “Really, to me, we just have to line up and make a yard. The way we’ve been running the ball, last week and then this week, I’m disappointed in it, and you’re not going to go very far in this league if you can’t line up and make a yard. I don’t care how many people they have on the line of scrimmage. We will stay aggressive, I expect us to stay on the field right there, line up and be able to move the chains, and we didn’t do it, so give them credit.”

(on the Ravens’ ability to run the ball late in the game) “They made some big plays, and they made a couple big plays on the boot. That kind of put the game away. We had wasted some timeouts with some issues. That hurt us that we didn’t have those timeouts at the end.  [Ray Rice] ended up running for 100 yards, but a lot of the damage was done late, when they were putting us away there.”

(on timeout issues) “We had a personnel issue one time and a formation issue. There’s no excuses, you can’t waste timeouts on stuff like that.”

(on being aggressive late in the second quarter) “We were going, but we got sacked. We had third-and-13, I think, and we sure as heck don’t want to give them the ball. The fact that they did not use their timeout there, I’m going to use all the clock, hopefully get out of there, where we were because of the situation we had, and we did. We got the ball back with the turnover, and we got back to midfield, doing what I thought was smart there.”

(on the two big Ravens pass plays in the third quarter) “Yeah, they really did. They made some great throws. They went up and got a couple of deep balls on us. The deep balls, especially in the second half, I think [Joe Flacco] threw for over 300 yards. We gave up some big plays. We were able to hold them to some field goals. That was the positive thing, but we did give up some big plays.”

(on replacing the big plays of WR Andre Johnson) “This team right here, you have to be able to battle them and go toe to toe. You’re not going to sit back there and hold the ball and let people get 30, 40, or 50 yards down the field. You’ve got to understand what you’re going against. I like the way we approached it. I liked the way we were staying on schedule. I liked the type of game we were in. But I’ll just go back to the fact that when it counted most, with about 10 minutes left in the game, with a 19-14 game, we quit making plays, and they started making plays. Unless I see the film and see something different, that’s the way I see it as of right now.”

(on what the lack of big plays means) “I don’t know. It means we have to make them. I’ve got to make calls, coaches have to do a better job, players have got to make the plays.

We’ve got a good football team, but they don’t give you a damn thing in this league. You’ve got to line up and make big plays to win. When crunch time came in, they made them, we didn’t.”

(on WR Jacoby Jones responding this week) “I told you all last week, I didn’t think he played bad last week. I don’t know where that comes from. He ran some good routes, we just didn’t get him the ball last week. You never know where the ball is going in this league. You throw according to coverage, you don’t just throw to people. He played the way I thought he would.”

(on the pass rush without Mario Williams) “I’ll have to go back and look at it. I thought we got some pressure on [Joe Flacco] but the kid made some great plays, golly. The one play he made going down. I’m really impressed how far he’s come as a player, so you’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He threw a lot of big balls on his back foot, with us in his face. I thought he played really well in the game.”

(on what he thought of DE Tim Jamison) “Our team has kind of been that way, you know. A lot of guys are getting opportunities through some of the nicks, and guys are stepping up. Timmy had a good camp. He’s continued to play well, so it doesn’t surprise me.”

(on DE Antonio Smith’s two personal fouls in the first half) “I don’t know, we have to go see. But you have to keep your poise right there. I think we had them stopped if you don’t do that. But you’ve got to keep your poise, and he knows that.”

(on SS Dominique Barber’s injury) “I don’t really know, I didn’t have a chance to talk to the trainers about it.”

CB Jason Allen
(on if the coach said anything to him about not playing) “He didn’t say anything. I don’t make those decisions. I just come out ready to play each Sunday.”

(on If he was happy with the situation) “Of course not. But again, I don’t make those decisions. I just come out to play. I don’t make those decisions.”

(on his thoughts about the game) “When you play in the NFL, every week is going to be tough. You have to go in, limit mistakes and play sound football. But exactly what happened at times, I’d have to look at the film and find out. But we definitely have room for improvement. We’ll come in on Monday, watch the tape and get better.”

(on his thoughts about the team compared with previous years) “This is a different team, and we’re not drawing on the past. We have a different group of guys here that work hard, and the past is the past. We just have to continue to work hard and things will change for us. I feel confident in the group of guys we have here.”

LB Brian Cushing
(on the Ravens last touchdown) “They really just drove down the field. Basically, ran the ball for the most part and they got a touchdown to make it a two score game. It’s tough. It’s one of those things that’s really frustrating. We, obviously, have to go back and look at why that happened and correct our mistakes.”

(on whether fatigue was a factor) “I don’t think so. I think, for the most part, we feel pretty good. 19-14, we knew we had to stop them, and we weren’t able to get it done.”

(on being three-and-three) “I feel good, it’s still early. Looking at it from a confidence standpoint we have a big one coming up next week. We can really control it, take the lead like we’re supposed to. We’ve got Tennessee at home, and it’s going to be a good game.”

(on former Texans playing for the Ravens and former Ravens playing for the Texans) “Sure, those guys were playing pretty hard. We were too. It was a physical game. Tempers flared a little bit. For the most part, guys were going out there trying to compete.”

(on the offense’s inability to score) “It’s a team game. We had to hold them, and we weren’t able to do it. That’s really just the bottom line. We felt we should have been able to, in crunch time like that, but we weren’t able to get the ball back for the offense.”

RB Arian Foster
(on the game) “I think the offense could have done a better job. There were yards, out there on the field, that we left.”

(on the frustrations of this game) “I played terrible. I didn’t play a good game, it was obvious. That will never happen again. I played a bad game. It doesn’t matter what the variables are; I played a bad game. As a football player, I didn’t bring my A-game.”

DE Tim Jamison
(on the game)  “I think we made a few mistakes, but I think we rebounded from them a lot quicker than where we would have last year. We’re making progress, and we try and go out there and play hard, make tackles and just try to set the tone and try to make sure we’re doing everything right.”

(on having the defense together)  “I think that’s the big thing, with pre-season, it’s always good to have that game-like situation, and to have a game atmosphere the way it would be like during the regular season.”

(on if he thinks he’ll be getting more playing time) “I’m not really sure how long we’ll play next game. Coach just told us to keep working because we’re not where we need to be, keep working because there’s a sense of urgency that needs to be going on with the team, so that’s what we’re going to work on this week and try to get better as a team.”

WR Jacoby Jones
(on what happened during the game) “We didn’t make enough plays to win. They made those plays. Now we have to go back to work and make corrections. It’s very frustrating because we can do better.”

(on his touchdown catch) “The offensive line did a great job blocking that play. Matt Schaub threw a great ball. It worked just like in practice. I’m just happy to step up when my number is called.”

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on the Ravens offense) “We had our chances. Unfortunately, in the game of football it’s all about making plays. We had our chances to make plays. Obviously, we didn’t make the plays and that was the outcome of the game.”

(on the Ravens’ big plays) “We both had a chance, I had a chance, You can never let explosive plays go through a football game because that’s what will get you beat; today kind of showed that. Although we gave up three points, you still can’t let that happen.”  

(on Ravens WR Anquan Boldin) “You know, he’s been a productive receiver in this league. It’s all about making plays.”

(on the defense being tired) “It’s kind of hard to say. I remember a few times in that fourth quarter we made some stops, some three and outs, I’ll have to go back and look at that. From my knowledge, I didn’t really see it as that.”

(on the pressure on Ravens QB Joe Flacco in the second half) “I think we got pressure the whole game; all throughout the game. Our job is to cover in the backend and their job in the front end is to rush. We had our chance to make plays today. Ultimately, we didn’t make them, and we lost.”

WR Derrick Mason
(on how it felt to play in Baltimore the second time in three weeks) “Today was very different from two weeks ago. I’m in a much happier place and on a team that wants me to play. It was great today, I talked to some of the guys and everything was very heartfelt. You never want to lose, but today was enjoyable. I am so far removed from my previous situation. I’m with a good group of guys now. I am glad to be with the Texans and excited to be here.”

(on the trade) “On Tuesday my agent called me and told me there was a high chance I would be traded to the Texans, and he wanted to know how I felt. I was very happy because one, this is an offense that throws the ball a lot and two, this team has a very good quarterback and a very good quarterback is a wide receivers best friend. This is the best situation. This is a team that wanted me.”

(on learning about the offense) “I am a very bright young man (laughs). I started studying as soon as I got here. I picked up a lot of plays in three days. I played four or five games with that other team and I felt great being here today.”

(on what they’re saying in New York) “As soon as they traded me, I moved on. I have no ill-will towards the other team – that only hurts me. They can say what they want, I know I was truthful, and I walked out of there with my head held high. I played for two other teams - I played in Tennessee and Baltimore, that’s all I care about. Those organizations respected me as a player and as a person.”

(on what he thinks about the rest of the season) “Our goals are to win the division and go to the playoffs. My role is to come in and do what I can and provide an example for our younger players. I like this team. They have a great bunch of guys. This team quietly goes about its business. Talking to other players around the league, they all respect the Houston Texans.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on having the ball in the fourth quarter) “Yeah, we were right there and the ballgame on the road, and in a tough place to play against a good football team. Down five in the fourth quarter. Had the ball just across midfield and a convertible third down, and we didn’t make the play. We had a couple drives that we were going and we had a rhythm and we stay on the field there with a fresh set of downs. We might go down and score and it’s a whole new ballgame. We didn’t make the plays and they came back and made a couple big plays themselves, on offense. We didn’t make the plays in the fourth quarter.”

(on starting out two and zero and now being three-and-three) “We just keep moving forward. We find a way to go in and evaluate it and go right back to that line. Next week against Tennessee, against a good football team, as a group we just look ourselves in the mirror and look at each other and say we’re going to pick up the pieces and we’re going to go and play and find a way to get our next win.”

(on taking the lead 14-13) “Yeah, we had some good plays designed and some good thoughts coming out of halftime and they go down and score and we came right back. Guys made some plays. Jacoby [Jones] made a huge play down there in the end zone.”

(on the injuries) “That’s part of football. You just have to look to the next guy. You just have to find a way to put things back together and get ready to play the next game. That’s just part of the game and you just deal with it and move on. The next guy has got to be ready to make a play.”

(on the running game) “We’ve been able to be successful on first and second down running the football. It puts us in more manageable third down situations to convert and we’re able to do so. It helped us out when we ran our play-action game.”

(on the loss) “A loss is a loss. At the end of the day if you don’t get it done, no matter how it happens, it doesn’t matter. You have to find a way to make those plays to help you win in the fourth quarter. Or, you’ve got to find a way not to make the mistakes that cause you to lose in the fourth quarter. That’s the game of football.”

DE Antonio Smith
(on being alarmed about the season) “[Others] might be alarmed for us with stuff that we need to tighten up. I wouldn’t say alarmed as far as the season. I think that, with losses like this, and a win for them, you have to find a way to see what’s in the game and take it and make adjustments to be a better team. It hurts. Think that when your back is against the wall, you have to fight, that’s when we’re at our best.”

(on his back-to-back personal fouls) “What happened with that is that I just have to find the player that I am and harness it and control it. I feel like he tried to finish me off with a foul. The play was over; the running back was down. Even if just falling to the ground is all right, he tried to finish it off a little bit, and I just flipped him off. Then it got out of hand after that. The second play was a double team. He knocked me off the ball, and with that added on from the play before, he started walking up to me, bouncing his head, and by the time he got close to me bouncing, it, I kind of head-butted him – like ‘get away from me, back up off me.’ It wasn’t a punch or anything. But as a captain, you have to conquer and master the things that bring weaknesses and bring back things to the team. I think one of those downs that we stopped them was a third down, so I think a field goal would have been key, and that’s unacceptable for me to lose it like that.”

(on how do you control ‘bad Antonio’) “It’s hard and it’s been something I’ve fought through my whole life. How I control it is, I have to keep my composure at all times. It’s hard to do that because the same thing that makes me go is the same thing that, in a right, is a wrong. The only thing that I can do is just work and be a better man.”

WR Kevin Walter
(on playing the Ravens) “I feel like we left a lot of plays out there. We just didn’t get it done. Baltimore is one of those teams that is in the playoffs every year. We beat Pittsburgh this year because we played better, but we didn’t play as well today. If we want to win, we have to learn how to go into a tough environment and play well.”

(on the schedule getting easier from here) “We can’t think about that. This is the NFL, every game is tough, it doesn’t matter who you are playing. It’s very hard to earn a win every week.”

(on playing against Bernard Pollard) “He made some plays, and we made some plays against him. We knew he’d be out there flying around – bringing the wood. He’s a good player, he’s always going to play hard, and now he’s part of a very good defense.”

(on Jacoby Jones) “He really played a great game, and he really stepped up, but none of us are surprised. We knew he’d play well.”

Baltimore Ravens

Head coach John Harbaugh
WR Anquan Boldin
QB Joe Flacco
OLB Jarret Johnson
RB Vonta Leach
LB Ray Lewis
DT Haloti Ngata
S Bernard Pollard
S Ed Reed
RB Ray Rice
RB Ricky Williams

Head coach John Harbaugh
(opening statement) “It was just one of those kind of games. It was just emotional from beginning to end. It was against a really good opponent. I hope everyone realized what a good win that is, and what a good team that is. I think you saw it, by the way they played, and how tough they made it for us to do things throughout the game. I don’t think they scored in the first quarter. That was the first time that that’s happened. We talked about that all week. The way we played in the first quarter [with the] time of possession, it really comes down to the one drive that we had. The 97-yard drive, where we marched down the field. That started the game for us. It took them out of the first quarter, basically, with our offense. I think, in that sense, it was a team victory throughout the game.”

“The defense was pretty dominant throughout. [The Texans] had the one drive where they hit two chunk plays on us. They did a great job scheming those two plays against what we had. But, other than that, I thought our defense played phenomenally well, especially against the run, but also against the chunk shots. On offense, we were fighting like crazy to get it done in the running game. They’re good, and they were knocking us back for a while. We made a little bit of an adjustment and went to a couple different runs. I thought our coaches and players did a great job of working that out on the sideline, which led us to that last drive, which was just huge in the game. To run the ball like we did…to all of a sudden come out and start running it like we were able to do, was big. I think there were two great throws that Joe [Flacco] made. I thought Joe, from a standpoint of just poise and nerve, holding the ball sometimes trying to get a guy open and getting a little bit of pressure, he made a couple of plays. But, then, to make the plays at the end of the game, and the throws he made at the end, were big. And, then when you win with the minus two [take-aways]. That’s hard to do in this league, so I think that’s a testament to everybody.”

(on finding the balance between Joe Flacco holding the ball for an open receiver or taking a hit) “I think that’s the dilemma. No, I don’t want him to hold and get hit. I want him to hold it and find a guy to throw it to, or get rid of it. He had the one great [play] when he got rid of the one early in the game, where he found someone to dump that thing off. That was a really amazing play. But, no, you want him to protect the ball in the pocket. I think that’s something he continues to work on, because where is that line between protecting the ball in the pocket and making plays, certainly err on the side of protecting the ball in the pocket. He works on that all the time.”

(on the team’s ability to respond after they fell behind) “Yes, I think it was really encouraging to see the way we responded in a tight game in the fourth quarter. To have to come out and really win the fourth quarter in that kind of fashion, is a huge statement. You have to do it on both sides, to be able to do that. I don’t think they got too many first downs in the fourth quarter that I can remember. Our offense got first downs. What was the time of possession in the fourth quarter? It seemed like we had the ball most of the fourth quarter, so that’s how you do that.”

(on containing Arian Foster) “It was tough. The biggest thing is that we didn’t get cut off a lot. A couple of times when he had his run, we got cut out on the back side, which is what they do. That’s what their whole scheme is predicated on. We held edges, for the most part. I think, except for one run, we held all the edges. Then, we got knocked back most of the game. That’s the top running team in the league last year, so I think that’s a big thing.”

(on making adjustments to the offensive line) “Well, we didn’t really make any changes. I think we kind of just cleaned up a couple of things. The one pressure we had backed up down there [happened] because we misidentified the front. We didn’t identify the linebacker the right way, the proper way. It really shouldn’t have been that complicated. It was a simple mistake, but we made it. Joe expected to be picked up when he wasn’t. That’s what happened there.”

(on if Anquan Boldin was targeted more in this game) “I don’t know if we targeted him more. Were the targets more than previously? That’s a good question. I think we hit him more. The big play that I remember…I don’t remember all the numbers. I remember a couple of screens and a couple of controlled five-routes, a couple inside curls, that we hit against man coverage. That was part of the plan, now that I’m thinking with you. So, we had man coverage a couple of times, and we had Anquan running the 10- or 12-tight out route. We call it quick-5. That was good against man coverage. So, that’s what you’re talking about right there. Then, the big play against their defense, that was huge.”

(on the Ravens’ ability to run at the end of the game) “I think it’s a testament to the physicality, probably. Conditioning is an okay word for the offensive line. What you want to do is to wear people out early, and then you want to run them over late. That’s kind of the philosophy that we have. It’s easier said than done, but that’s why it’s hard to come out just running the ball down people’s throat early in the game because they’re fresh and the defense is fly around. You get them a little more tired, and it is a little tougher to defend the run at the end of the game. That’s why it’s good to have a lead at the end. We were able to do that.”

(on if it shows signs of a maturing team that the Ravens were able to work out their early problems) “You like for it to be standard. It is probably part more of a maturing team. I think our players are doing a much better job. You talk about guys like Ray [Rice], Joe [Flacco], Vonta [Leach] in the mix, the offensive linemen, Michael [Oher], Marshal [Yanda], even the other two guys- Bryant [McKinnie] and Andre [Gurode]- they’re veteran guys, but they are kind of learning the offense, they just know more football. They have a better understanding of what’s going on out there and can help with the coaches and communicate that even better. I thought our staff did a great job. Wilbert [Montgomery] did a great job with Cam [Cameron] finding some runs, along with Andy [Moeller] that worked for us late.”

(on if the first offensive drive showed Joe Flacco’s development) “I hope so. That was perfect, right? No incompletions. We’ll take that. It was a controlled passing game. I think there were some intermediate routes in there too. We mix those in with the shots [downfield]. Later in the game, we had two huge chunk plays that led to the field goals. It’s hard to march the ball down the field. That 97-yard drive was great to have, but you don’t see that often in this league. Usually, you have to have a big play in there or a penalty or two to get a drive like that. You keep working for perfection, but you want to have big plays mixed up.”

(on what he saw from Joe Flacco standing in the pocket) “I saw nerves. I think that’s an old-fashioned word for poised. I saw nerves of steel. When you have a team that knows how to win, and I think our team knows how to win, they find a way to win a really tough game against a good team. At home, that helps, too. The crowd was great, by the way. The crowd was outstanding.”

(on why he said this game was emotional) “I think [I said that] because it was just a tough game. It was emotional because we were fighting like crazy in there against a really good team. They really keep you off-balance with scheme on defense. I thought we did a great job throughout the game. Chuck Pagano and the defensive coaches- Dean [Pees], Ted [Monachino], all the guys on defense, [Teryl Austin] with the passing game, [Clarence Brooks]. I thought they did a great job of staying with their scheme. The [Texans] got us on the one drive with a couple of calls against a couple of things, and we made quick adjustments there and got that straightened out. It was a fight.”

(on if he heard about Jim Harbaugh’s handshake at the end of the Lions-49ers game) “Jim won [the game], right? (repeating the reporter) Someone went after Jim? Let’s put it this way, I’ve been in fights with Jim before, too. I won some early, when we were in our childhood career. Then, it got slanted the other way for a while. We’ve got one coming up on Thanksgiving night, don’t we?”

(on what it would mean to him to have a home playoff game) “First thing you want to do is make the playoffs. Then, you want to win your division. That’s all down-the-road stuff. Then, you want to win the conference. Then, you want to win a championship. That’s kind of the order of things. So, that would help a lot. I think it would be great for the fans. We love playing here, and we have a good history here. But, it doesn’t guarantee us one thing. You have to go win a football game against a really good football team like this. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. We have a long way to go before that comes up.”

(on if it’s fair to say that Torrey Smith does not look like a rookie) “Yes, it’s fair to say I think he’s not playing like a rookie. He’s making some really good catches. The knock on him… everyone wanted to talk about the knock. It sure hasn’t shown up in games that he’s played in. I think he’s a great kid. He’s a hard worker. He’s just a really conscientious guy. Plus, he’s talented.”

(on K Billy Cundiff’s performance) “We always say, in the red zone we want to get seven. But, we want to make sure we get at least three. I thought our offense did a real nice job- Joe [Flacco] and the whole offense- making sure we got three, and then Billy converting. And then the kickoffs… Billy kicked a few of those touchbacks going from left to right in front of our bench, into the wind. It was kind of a little corner cross wind coming at us. Those were amazing kicks. The guy has just been phenomenal.”

WR Anquan Boldin
(on his deep reception where he grabbed the ball over CB Johnathan Joseph) “Yeah, for me, I was just trying to pretty much box him out. I saw the ball the entire time and kind of knew where it was going to fall, so I kind of bodied him, and he jumped early like you said and misjudged it.”

(on whether he and QB Joe Flacco saw something in the defense that allowed him to have so many receptions and yards today) “Just something the defense was giving us. They played man coverage a lot, which is what [defensive coordinator] Wade Phillips does. So, we were able to connect today, but I thought, more importantly, we were able to get the win. We came out with a 97-yard drive [and] looked good that first drive, stalled two drives after that, came back with a field goal. So, we had bright spots, and then we had spots where we had miscues, so I was glad that we were able to come out with the victory.”

(on what overcoming the adversity says about this offense) “I mean, you have a defense that we’re playing with, you know, they give you an opportunity to find out exactly what defenses are trying to do to you. The defense played great, even with us having two turnovers. We still came out on top, so it says a lot about them.”

(on whether he feels more pressure to step up with WR Lee Evans still out) “For me, I don’t feel pressure at all. I play football [and] I’ve been doing it all my life, so I don’t feel any pressure at all.”

(on whether it was nice for him to have a big receiving day) “I think for me, I’m past that. My whole career has been built around that. I’m just to the point now where I just want to win the championship. Whatever that takes, I’m going to do it.”

QB Joe Flacco
(on the offense today)  “I think we did a good job of moving the ball today especially early on. We started out with that 97-yard drive and then we did a good job of fighting through that period in the second quarter when we weren’t making any plays, and then we made some really big plays and got the run game going a little bit, and we were hitting some big plays in passing game and were able to go over the top. Makes everything easier and when we got to the red zone, we were able to make some plays.”

(on the play of the offensive line) “They did a good job. The offensive line fought and fought all game. Houston has some good interior pass rushers on that football team. They’ve got some good inside rushers, and I was throwing the ball a lot today as I was getting hit and doing things like that. That’s the name of the game sometimes. Our offensive line hung in there, fighting, Like I said, they’ve got some good inside rushers.”

(on the win) “It’s huge. It’s a conference win against a team that’s been playing well. For us, to come into our home building, just like we always do, and win, it’s going to be huge for us going on. We’re going to enter a Monday night game 4-1 against the Jacksonville team that has a pretty good defense. It should be an exciting week, and we’ve got to get after it.”

(on Anquan Boldin) “It was nice. Anquan was able to do some things in the slot early on and create just enough separation for me to get him the ball. He made some big catches, especially on that long one. I mean, that’s a pretty good job by him, bodying the guy out and making a nice catch.”

(on his chemistry with Boldin and Torrey Smith) “When those guys are out there doing the right thing, it’s not hard to have chemistry with them. I think we can be sloppy at times, and we’re not as consistent as we want to be throughout the game. But when those guys are out there running those routes full speed, it’s pretty easy to be on the same page with them. When they’re running by their guys, you just put it out there for them, and they go get it.”

(on the offense’s ability to make big plays in the 4th quarter) “That’s what you have to do against a team like this. You can’t shut them down and try to hang on and win a game. Those guys are a good team. They have the ability to score. They have the ability to make some plays on defense. So you have to keep it going, you have to mix it up and really be aggressive. We were able to keep our aggression and really convert on some of those plays with big runs and big passes. We were able to move the chains, and getting the ball in the end zone there at the end was huge.”

OLB Jarret Johnson
(on getting off the field in the second half) “Their caliber of offense can come in and make you look very bad. Our goal every week, and especially with a team like that, is getting them to third and long. They’re so good on first and second down, that’s tough to do. Early on, we were doing that and they were converting. It was a little frustrating, but nobody said things—we just kept grinding and slowly the plays on third downs started coming. Chuck [Pagano] is always good at halftime. In my opinion, the quality of a good coordinator is his halftime adjustments. Chuck came in and we narrowed it down. They were doing a lot of quicks, so the blitzes we called weren’t getting there. So Chuck did a good job with our second-half adjustments, and it paid off.”

(on his sack of Matt Schaub) “They have a tendency with their tight-ends. Number 81 [Owen Daniels] is a great receiver but when he was on the line, he was coming out, so I knew 85 [Joel Dreessen] was staying in protection. I gave him an inside move and the quarterback held onto the ball, which helped me out.”

(on losing the turnover battle) “It’s rare to lose the turnover battle and win the game. It’s just a testament of weathering the storm. We gave up a touchdown after the fumble. I wish we would have held them to a field goal, but all-in-all it was a good day.”

(on stopping the Texans’ run game) “They had some good tendencies, and we did a good job preparing for their tendencies. Guys did a good job of staying on their feet. They popped a couple of runs on us, but you know what? An offense like that you can take 92 yards and be happy because they can get 200 in a hurry.”

(on the Texans not having WR Andre Johnson) “The scheme doesn’t change. They have a lot of good players. Is Andre Johnson special? Heck, yeah. He’s unbelievable. But their scheme’s not going to change and what they do is not going to change. They have great weapons. They have [WR] Kevin Walter and [WR] Jacoby Jones. Those guys are good, man.”

RB Vonta Leach
(on how it felt to play his old team) “Well, no matter who we were playing, I wanted to win. They were just another team that we had to play against. A lot of my friends are over there. They’re a good football team, but we’re just a little better.”

(on the Ravens’ commitment to the power game) “I’m happy to be here. I’m glad I was on the winning side today.”

(on if he was playing with a chip on his shoulder) “Not necessarily. I played there for five years, and the guys know what I can do. If I would have played any less, then they would have been dissatisfied.”

(on the goal-line sequence in the first quarter) “We were just trying to run the ball in there. We just kept running it and running it. I was happy we were able to push it in there. I’m just happy we got things together. It wasn’t always pretty, but we came out on the winning side today.”

LB Ray Lewis
(on whether there is something about being out with the defense with a chance to end the game as they did today) “Yeah, that’s kind of those moments that you love as a defense. And Chuck [Pagano] came to me on the sideline, and to be considered a great defense, those moments, you’ve got to close out. You’ve got to go back on the field; you know that offense is going to keep coming. You’ve got to take your hats off to those guys. They’re going to play for 60 minutes, and we understood that. So, for us to go out there and end it the way we did, that’s kind of a staple for who we are.”

(on turning RB Arian Foster into pretty much a one-dimensional running back today) “Yeah, we knew what we had to do. Last year, playing them down there, they really came back and did some things in the second half that it really didn’t sit well with us. You know, sitting in the meeting rooms, that was kind of one film we didn’t watch. We watched every other game, but we didn’t watch them, because it was just a lot of things that we didn’t like seeing on film ourselves. So, we took it personal coming out this week. We knew the challenge was going to be huge. That’s one of the best backs in football right now, you know, leading rusher in the NFL last year. And then dealing with that offensive line, we knew running that zone scheme, it was going to be a very hard scheme to deal with. But I think overall, our defensive line played very well. They stayed on their feet and things… They made a couple plays here and there, but I just think the adjustments we made at halftime all really went in our favor.”

(on whether Chuck Pagano tightened the defense up at halftime) “I don’t think it’s more of Chuck on that one. Chuck was making the calls, and I think it’s more on each individual person. You know, whether it’s a receiver outside that’s just running and hits you, and you’ve got to put your hands on him. Whether it’s [Bernard] Pollard coming out and making the big play on [Arian] Foster to knock the ball out. So, players made plays, and that’s the situation that Chuck put us in. So, everybody wins in that situation, with Chuck coming down and doing the things. Chuck is aggressive. Chuck is who he is, and we love it. And I just think when we finally settled in, they are who they are. They really showed their hand to us, and we played very well.”

(on what is better about the run defense this year that helps them to lead the League) “I don’t know, outside of when you come in the film room, one thing you do see [and] something that we speak very high on; beat your man. That’s it. Sometimes there is no blueprint outside of that. We have a very good tackling team. We don’t let one person just make the tackle; we like seeing people get to the football. And coaches don’t have to coach that. And I think that’s the beauty of our team; coaches don’t have to coach any of that. If we see somebody isn’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, if you’re out of shape, we’re going to get you extra conditioning during practice and things like that. I think you really have to tip your hat off to our defense, that we’re really just playing very aggressive run defense.”

DT Haloti Ngata
(on stopping the Houston offense) “We said what [needed] was to stop the run. I think we did well throughout the game. We were careful not to let them get the big runs and be able to stop them, and I think that’s what helped us a lot today.”

(on getting pressure on QB Matt Schaub)  “I think we just had different looks. We blitzed sometimes and we were able to, as a front four, run some games to get the linemen like, kind of communicating too much, and I think we were able to confuse him a little bit.”

(on being in tight game in the fourth quarter for the first time)  “I’m just happy we came out with a win. I mean, we definitely didn’t want to have the same thing happen that we did last year—like they come back, tie it up and [go overtime}. It was great throughout the whole game.”

(on the win itself and what it means)  “It’s huge. I mean, they’re a great offense, great defense, and they showed it throughout the game, and to beat a [team] like that, it’s a great feeling, and I hope we can take that into next week and get another win.”

S Bernard Pollard
(on the win) “Coming off the bye week we did a good job. We made some little mistakes but as long as you play fast, it always makes up for those little mistakes.”

(on playing against his former team) “We all need to be playing every week for a reason. A guy didn’t get drafted as high as he thought he would, or a guy was just on that team, or whatever. It doesn’t matter. With this team, we all take it personally every week. The one thing Ray [Lewis] always says is, ‘Beat the guy across from you.’ If you beat the guy across from you, nothing but good things can happen. And that’s what happened today.”

(on being team captain) “I was team captain last year. But that seed doesn’t mean anything. Coach [John] Harbaugh took the time to pick me this week. I’m grateful, but at the end of the day it’s about us playing. It’s about 11 guys going out there and playing. Now we have to be ready to strap it back up for next week.”

(on his pass breakup in the fourth quarter) “It’s just about playing ball. You play fast and good things happen. We all did that. It wasn’t pretty at all times. I don’t think you guys saw the mistakes. We all made mistakes, but at the end of the day, if you play fast, it makes up for them. We know what we need to fix. We have a lot to do but we have a long week before we go to Jacksonville next Monday night.”

(on whether he got hurt today) “Every play is a car crash. But it’s about us stepping up and knowing that if we do get dinged up we have to take our time. This is a veteran team. We know and understand that we have to get our bodies right every week. We have to get our bodies right to play a high level of football. It doesn’t matter about the injuries because if I get beat, it doesn’t matter if my knee is hurt. It’s just he got beat for a touchdown.”

(on stopping Houston on third down in the second half) “It’s about us going out there and playing. And we know we’ve got to get off the field on third down. You have to take your hats off to them in the first half. They game-planned us. They schemed us. They knew what to do. We just didn’t make plays. Guys are supposed to make tackles. I missed a tackle and I’m [upset] about that. I take pride in what I do. At the end of the day, we still continued to play football and we came out with a W.”

S Ed Reed
(on the win) “Those guys always play us tough. [Heck] of an offense and a defense. Heck of a team. What we know about them is that they weren’t going to quit. I mean, great players over there and hats off to them.”

(on not making an interception) “It was bad judgment. Me and [Lardarius] Webb talked about it. We knew the play was coming. I couldn’t believe he [Matt Schaub] threw it, but it was just bad judgment on my part.”

(on what the difference was between third downs in first and second halves) “They didn’t get much. They moved the ball the first couple series. We just buckled down. We knew what we had to do. It was all about execution. Like I said, those guys have an awesome offense. Even without [WR] Andre Johnson they were making plays. You put Andre in there and they’re awesome. It came down to execution and we made plays.”

(on how nice it was to see [WR] Anquan Boldin and [WR] Torrey Smith make big plays) “It’s nice to see the whole offense making big plays because there are so many weapons. You have to spread the ball around. Six or seven guys have to touch the ball. You’ve got tight ends. You’ve got [Dennis] Pitta, [WR] Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson. You’ve got [RB] Ray [Rice] in the backfield and [RB] Ricky [Williams] coming in. You’ve got [FB] Vonta [Leach] running the ball. You’ve got [WR] LaQuan [Williams]. You’ve got [WR Tandon] Doss on the sideline. You’ve got many guys that can touch that ball. Even with [Kris] Wilson at tight end, we’ve got a lot of threats we can use.”

(on Ray Lewis being first NFL player to reach 40 career sacks and 30 career interceptions) “Ray Lewis. We’re talking about Ray Lewis. Ray is an awesome player. One of the best football players of all time because he loves this game. Me and him were talking before the game, and it’s something we were born to do. You do other things off the field, business-wise, but football is what we were born to do.”

(on lining up on the line of scrimmage and feeling better this year) “The defense hasn’t changed much. It’s just a matter of, like you said, how you feel. Just moving around, giving disguises, understand that they are looking at me constantly, and I’ve got to be in places sometimes where I’m not going to be. Just giving different looks. Understanding that a little deception at the beginning of the play for the offense goes a long way.”

RB Ray Rice
(on the fourth quarter blown lead last year and being more aggressive today) “Coach hit it on the nail, we are a poised team, and there were times where we could have blinked; we could have blinked. First off, you have to give Houston credit. They are a great football team. Not a good football team, a great football team. They play though but we are poised, and the difference is you have guys growing up. We said it. Torrey Smith, he may be a rookie in the book, but he is not a rookie on the field any more. You have guys making plays. Our biggest asset today was sticking with the run. We didn’t get down on ourselves.  We made, I would say, one minor adjustment – outside zone [blocking] to a tighter trap, the inside zone which, it was a minor adjustment because they see the outside zone every day in practice from their own guys. So, I wasn’t doubting that they would defend that well, but getting Vonta [Leach] downhill and getting me downhill kind of had the linebackers going over the top, a little bit. We were getting the back-door cut; it was just poise. The greatest feeling for me today was to see Ricky Williams get a touchdown. I learned so much from Ricky that I could have easily kept myself in, but that guy is here for a reason, and I wanted to see him get his motor going. We know what the running is going to do later in the year, and we are going to need Ricky Williams.”

(on the adjustments made during the game) “I went to my running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery, and the greatest part of having a running backs coach that played in the NFL is that his eyes are my eyes. We see the same thing, so it actually happened after my five-yard loss down there [in the red zone]. I went to Wilbert and said, ‘We have to get the inside zone.’ We went to Cam [Cameron], made the adjustment, came back out, and we got the ball rolling. It’s great because these adjustments happen on the fly. These adjustments didn’t happen at halftime, we were still driving. They scored, they got up on us in the second half, and as soon as the five-yard loss happened, we were lobbying to not go away from the run. Let’s get it going with the tighter trap inside. I would like to thank the coaches for not blinking. Coach [Harbaugh] said nerve, but I say poise.”

(on Joe Flacco making big throws when he had to) “You know what, my speech at halftime was simple. I don’t care whether we run it or pass it, we need to execute. Today was the day that it didn’t look pretty at first, but in the second half, we got it all together. Joe Flacco, making the throws that he made, even under pressure, proved that he’s an elite quarterback. We’re going to go through ups and downs. There are going to be days when teams might have our number. That’s the NFL. But today with an aggressive Houston defense who, if I’m not mistaken, were ranked pretty high coming in. For us to put up 400-plus yards of total offense on the defense, that was second behind us, I think, in points allowed and stuff like that. It just says a lot about where our team is going. We go into the game plan versus Houston, but we can only be as good as we want to be; and that goes with execution.”

(on if the first half was frustrating and how the team turned it around in the second half) “As much as I can say frustrating, it was a lack of execution on our end. I actually had a guy who has been down this road before in Vonta Leach coming in and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to get it together.’ You just come out, and we want to run the ball, we want to establish the tempo. But like I said, at halftime I just…. I spoke at halftime and said, ‘No matter what the play call is; if it’s pass, let’s complete a pass. If it’s a three-yard completion, let’s complete it. If it’s a three-yard run, let’s run it for three yards. But, if it’s going to be a big play let’s make it happen. As much as I want to say frustrating, I didn’t get frustrated because I knew there was a whole second half to play, and we were up. So, I told them we can’t play like we’re down when we’re winning. There was a different feeling. This is the kind of game that we needed. We needed to be in a fight against a good team. The Jets were a good team, but offensively this team can pose some problems. They can put up some points. This is the kind of game we needed at home, because I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this team later in the year. I think they’ve got a lot going for them.”

(on if the uncalled facemask penalty against him was motivation for him) “I was hot. Once my neck turned, I felt like I’m in a vulnerable spot. Whether it was his arm or... It was a close call. It got me fired up. I played the game with a lot of intensity. If I think something is out there where a guy could get hurt…I try to play the game within all the rules. Don’t cheap shot a guy. [Antonio Smith] coming free like that and me trying to make a move and my neck turned. I felt like I had a facemask penalty. I let it go, but I was definitely hot. I probably said some things I shouldn’t have said, but it happens.”    

RB Ricky Williams
(on how it feels to score his first Baltimore TD) “It’s nice with a new team to get into the end zone. It’s special, especially to do it in front of the home crowd.”

(on the TD run) “It was just kind of an off-tackle play, a play that we were running all day long. The guys in front of me did a good job.”

(on if it’s hard for him to come off the bench) “It’s an adjustment, but I think it makes me a better player. When I got in towards the fourth quarter, I hadn’t touched the ball at all today, but I just tried to keep my head in the game, and it all worked out.”


Houston Texans

Head coach Gary Kubiak
CB Jason Allen
LB Brian Cushing
RB Arian Foster
DE Tim Jamison
WR Jacoby Jones
CB Johnathan Joseph
WR Derrick Mason
QB Matt Schaub
DE Antonio Smith
WR Kevin Walter

Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on CB Jason Allen playing in the game) “I don’t know how many plays he played. I don’t know, I’ll have to go back and look at the tape.”

(on the running game the past two weeks) “We haven’t run the ball well the past two weeks, you are right. Twenty five carries for 90-something yards, I think. This team is a tough team to run on, but you’ve just got to keep pounding at them, and we did. I think we kept battling, had ourselves some good [field] position as a team. A 19-14 football game early in the fourth quarter, we’re down there on the 40-yard line, third-and-8, make a play, we knew it was going to be that kind of play, we didn’t make it, and they started making theirs, but you are right, we’re not running the ball well right now.”

(on how difficult passing third downs were) “We had it under control, I thought, for the most part, until we got down to where we had to start throwing the ball. I thought we did a good job with our third downs in the first half, mixing it up in what we were doing, making it manageable, and we were able to protect Matt [Schaub]. But you’re right, you get down more than a touchdown to this football team, and they know you have to throw, you’re going to have a hard time holding up.”

(on not making plays) “I don’t have the plays in front of me. I know we dropped some balls that could have been first downs. Like I said, we were right there in the game where we wanted to be at 19-14, on the road, against this team. I mean, that’s a pretty good position to be in. We didn’t make the plays, and they did, we dropped the ball on offense and didn’t make the plays, and they come up, make big plays and move down the field. We all had our part in it, and we had our opportunities as a football team.”

(on going for it on fourth-and-1 early) “Really, to me, we just have to line up and make a yard. The way we’ve been running the ball, last week and then this week, I’m disappointed in it, and you’re not going to go very far in this league if you can’t line up and make a yard. I don’t care how many people they have on the line of scrimmage. We will stay aggressive, I expect us to stay on the field right there, line up and be able to move the chains, and we didn’t do it, so give them credit.”

(on the Ravens’ ability to run the ball late in the game) “They made some big plays, and they made a couple big plays on the boot. That kind of put the game away. We had wasted some timeouts with some issues. That hurt us that we didn’t have those timeouts at the end.  [Ray Rice] ended up running for 100 yards, but a lot of the damage was done late, when they were putting us away there.”

(on timeout issues) “We had a personnel issue one time and a formation issue. There’s no excuses, you can’t waste timeouts on stuff like that.”

(on being aggressive late in the second quarter) “We were going, but we got sacked. We had third-and-13, I think, and we sure as heck don’t want to give them the ball. The fact that they did not use their timeout there, I’m going to use all the clock, hopefully get out of there, where we were because of the situation we had, and we did. We got the ball back with the turnover, and we got back to midfield, doing what I thought was smart there.”

(on the two big Ravens pass plays in the third quarter) “Yeah, they really did. They made some great throws. They went up and got a couple of deep balls on us. The deep balls, especially in the second half, I think [Joe Flacco] threw for over 300 yards. We gave up some big plays. We were able to hold them to some field goals. That was the positive thing, but we did give up some big plays.”

(on replacing the big plays of WR Andre Johnson) “This team right here, you have to be able to battle them and go toe to toe. You’re not going to sit back there and hold the ball and let people get 30, 40, or 50 yards down the field. You’ve got to understand what you’re going against. I like the way we approached it. I liked the way we were staying on schedule. I liked the type of game we were in. But I’ll just go back to the fact that when it counted most, with about 10 minutes left in the game, with a 19-14 game, we quit making plays, and they started making plays. Unless I see the film and see something different, that’s the way I see it as of right now.”

(on what the lack of big plays means) “I don’t know. It means we have to make them. I’ve got to make calls, coaches have to do a better job, players have got to make the plays.

We’ve got a good football team, but they don’t give you a damn thing in this league. You’ve got to line up and make big plays to win. When crunch time came in, they made them, we didn’t.”

(on WR Jacoby Jones responding this week) “I told you all last week, I didn’t think he played bad last week. I don’t know where that comes from. He ran some good routes, we just didn’t get him the ball last week. You never know where the ball is going in this league. You throw according to coverage, you don’t just throw to people. He played the way I thought he would.”

(on the pass rush without Mario Williams) “I’ll have to go back and look at it. I thought we got some pressure on [Joe Flacco] but the kid made some great plays, golly. The one play he made going down. I’m really impressed how far he’s come as a player, so you’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He threw a lot of big balls on his back foot, with us in his face. I thought he played really well in the game.”

(on what he thought of DE Tim Jamison) “Our team has kind of been that way, you know. A lot of guys are getting opportunities through some of the nicks, and guys are stepping up. Timmy had a good camp. He’s continued to play well, so it doesn’t surprise me.”

(on DE Antonio Smith’s two personal fouls in the first half) “I don’t know, we have to go see. But you have to keep your poise right there. I think we had them stopped if you don’t do that. But you’ve got to keep your poise, and he knows that.”

(on SS Dominique Barber’s injury) “I don’t really know, I didn’t have a chance to talk to the trainers about it.”

CB Jason Allen
(on if the coach said anything to him about not playing) “He didn’t say anything. I don’t make those decisions. I just come out ready to play each Sunday.”

(on If he was happy with the situation) “Of course not. But again, I don’t make those decisions. I just come out to play. I don’t make those decisions.”

(on his thoughts about the game) “When you play in the NFL, every week is going to be tough. You have to go in, limit mistakes and play sound football. But exactly what happened at times, I’d have to look at the film and find out. But we definitely have room for improvement. We’ll come in on Monday, watch the tape and get better.”

(on his thoughts about the team compared with previous years) “This is a different team, and we’re not drawing on the past. We have a different group of guys here that work hard, and the past is the past. We just have to continue to work hard and things will change for us. I feel confident in the group of guys we have here.”

LB Brian Cushing
(on the Ravens last touchdown) “They really just drove down the field. Basically, ran the ball for the most part and they got a touchdown to make it a two score game. It’s tough. It’s one of those things that’s really frustrating. We, obviously, have to go back and look at why that happened and correct our mistakes.”

(on whether fatigue was a factor) “I don’t think so. I think, for the most part, we feel pretty good. 19-14, we knew we had to stop them, and we weren’t able to get it done.”

(on being three-and-three) “I feel good, it’s still early. Looking at it from a confidence standpoint we have a big one coming up next week. We can really control it, take the lead like we’re supposed to. We’ve got Tennessee at home, and it’s going to be a good game.”

(on former Texans playing for the Ravens and former Ravens playing for the Texans) “Sure, those guys were playing pretty hard. We were too. It was a physical game. Tempers flared a little bit. For the most part, guys were going out there trying to compete.”

(on the offense’s inability to score) “It’s a team game. We had to hold them, and we weren’t able to do it. That’s really just the bottom line. We felt we should have been able to, in crunch time like that, but we weren’t able to get the ball back for the offense.”

RB Arian Foster
(on the game) “I think the offense could have done a better job. There were yards, out there on the field, that we left.”

(on the frustrations of this game) “I played terrible. I didn’t play a good game, it was obvious. That will never happen again. I played a bad game. It doesn’t matter what the variables are; I played a bad game. As a football player, I didn’t bring my A-game.”

DE Tim Jamison
(on the game)  “I think we made a few mistakes, but I think we rebounded from them a lot quicker than where we would have last year. We’re making progress, and we try and go out there and play hard, make tackles and just try to set the tone and try to make sure we’re doing everything right.”

(on having the defense together)  “I think that’s the big thing, with pre-season, it’s always good to have that game-like situation, and to have a game atmosphere the way it would be like during the regular season.”

(on if he thinks he’ll be getting more playing time) “I’m not really sure how long we’ll play next game. Coach just told us to keep working because we’re not where we need to be, keep working because there’s a sense of urgency that needs to be going on with the team, so that’s what we’re going to work on this week and try to get better as a team.”

WR Jacoby Jones
(on what happened during the game) “We didn’t make enough plays to win. They made those plays. Now we have to go back to work and make corrections. It’s very frustrating because we can do better.”

(on his touchdown catch) “The offensive line did a great job blocking that play. Matt Schaub threw a great ball. It worked just like in practice. I’m just happy to step up when my number is called.”

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on the Ravens offense) “We had our chances. Unfortunately, in the game of football it’s all about making plays. We had our chances to make plays. Obviously, we didn’t make the plays and that was the outcome of the game.”

(on the Ravens’ big plays) “We both had a chance, I had a chance, You can never let explosive plays go through a football game because that’s what will get you beat; today kind of showed that. Although we gave up three points, you still can’t let that happen.”   

(on Ravens WR Anquan Boldin) “You know, he’s been a productive receiver in this league. It’s all about making plays.”

(on the defense being tired) “It’s kind of hard to say. I remember a few times in that fourth quarter we made some stops, some three and outs, I’ll have to go back and look at that. From my knowledge, I didn’t really see it as that.”

(on the pressure on Ravens QB Joe Flacco in the second half) “I think we got pressure the whole game; all throughout the game. Our job is to cover in the backend and their job in the front end is to rush. We had our chance to make plays today. Ultimately, we didn’t make them, and we lost.”

WR Derrick Mason
(on how it felt to play in Baltimore the second time in three weeks) “Today was very different from two weeks ago. I’m in a much happier place and on a team that wants me to play. It was great today, I talked to some of the guys and everything was very heartfelt. You never want to lose, but today was enjoyable. I am so far removed from my previous situation. I’m with a good group of guys now. I am glad to be with the Texans and excited to be here.”

(on the trade) “On Tuesday my agent called me and told me there was a high chance I would be traded to the Texans, and he wanted to know how I felt. I was very happy because one, this is an offense that throws the ball a lot and two, this team has a very good quarterback and a very good quarterback is a wide receivers best friend. This is the best situation. This is a team that wanted me.”

(on learning about the offense) “I am a very bright young man (laughs). I started studying as soon as I got here. I picked up a lot of plays in three days. I played four or five games with that other team and I felt great being here today.”

(on what they’re saying in New York) “As soon as they traded me, I moved on. I have no ill-will towards the other team – that only hurts me. They can say what they want, I know I was truthful, and I walked out of there with my head held high. I played for two other teams - I played in Tennessee and Baltimore, that’s all I care about. Those organizations respected me as a player and as a person.”

(on what he thinks about the rest of the season) “Our goals are to win the division and go to the playoffs. My role is to come in and do what I can and provide an example for our younger players. I like this team. They have a great bunch of guys. This team quietly goes about its business. Talking to other players around the league, they all respect the Houston Texans.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on having the ball in the fourth quarter) “Yeah, we were right there and the ballgame on the road, and in a tough place to play against a good football team. Down five in the fourth quarter. Had the ball just across midfield and a convertible third down, and we didn’t make the play. We had a couple drives that we were going and we had a rhythm and we stay on the field there with a fresh set of downs. We might go down and score and it’s a whole new ballgame. We didn’t make the plays and they came back and made a couple big plays themselves, on offense. We didn’t make the plays in the fourth quarter.”

(on starting out two and zero and now being three-and-three) “We just keep moving forward. We find a way to go in and evaluate it and go right back to that line. Next week against Tennessee, against a good football team, as a group we just look ourselves in the mirror and look at each other and say we’re going to pick up the pieces and we’re going to go and play and find a way to get our next win.”

(on taking the lead 14-13) “Yeah, we had some good plays designed and some good thoughts coming out of halftime and they go down and score and we came right back. Guys made some plays. Jacoby [Jones] made a huge play down there in the end zone.”

(on the injuries) “That’s part of football. You just have to look to the next guy. You just have to find a way to put things back together and get ready to play the next game. That’s just part of the game and you just deal with it and move on. The next guy has got to be ready to make a play.”

(on the running game) “We’ve been able to be successful on first and second down running the football. It puts us in more manageable third down situations to convert and we’re able to do so. It helped us out when we ran our play-action game.”

(on the loss) “A loss is a loss. At the end of the day if you don’t get it done, no matter how it happens, it doesn’t matter. You have to find a way to make those plays to help you win in the fourth quarter. Or, you’ve got to find a way not to make the mistakes that cause you to lose in the fourth quarter. That’s the game of football.”

DE Antonio Smith
(on being alarmed about the season) “[Others] might be alarmed for us with stuff that we need to tighten up. I wouldn’t say alarmed as far as the season. I think that, with losses like this, and a win for them, you have to find a way to see what’s in the game and take it and make adjustments to be a better team. It hurts. Think that when your back is against the wall, you have to fight, that’s when we’re at our best.”

(on his back-to-back personal fouls) “What happened with that is that I just have to find the player that I am and harness it and control it. I feel like he tried to finish me off with a foul. The play was over; the running back was down. Even if just falling to the ground is all right, he tried to finish it off a little bit, and I just flipped him off. Then it got out of hand after that. The second play was a double team. He knocked me off the ball, and with that added on from the play before, he started walking up to me, bouncing his head, and by the time he got close to me bouncing, it, I kind of head-butted him – like ‘get away from me, back up off me.’ It wasn’t a punch or anything. But as a captain, you have to conquer and master the things that bring weaknesses and bring back things to the team. I think one of those downs that we stopped them was a third down, so I think a field goal would have been key, and that’s unacceptable for me to lose it like that.”

(on how do you control ‘bad Antonio’) “It’s hard and it’s been something I’ve fought through my whole life. How I control it is, I have to keep my composure at all times. It’s hard to do that because the same thing that makes me go is the same thing that, in a right, is a wrong. The only thing that I can do is just work and be a better man.”

WR Kevin Walter
(on playing the Ravens) “I feel like we left a lot of plays out there. We just didn’t get it done. Baltimore is one of those teams that is in the playoffs every year. We beat Pittsburgh this year because we played better, but we didn’t play as well today. If we want to win, we have to learn how to go into a tough environment and play well.”

(on the schedule getting easier from here) “We can’t think about that. This is the NFL, every game is tough, it doesn’t matter who you are playing. It’s very hard to earn a win every week.”

(on playing against Bernard Pollard) “He made some plays, and we made some plays against him. We knew he’d be out there flying around – bringing the wood. He’s a good player, he’s always going to play hard, and now he’s part of a very good defense.”

(on Jacoby Jones) “He really played a great game, and he really stepped up, but none of us are surprised. We knew he’d play well.”

Baltimore Ravens

Head coach John Harbaugh
WR Anquan Boldin
QB Joe Flacco
OLB Jarret Johnson
RB Vonta Leach
LB Ray Lewis
DT Haloti Ngata
S Bernard Pollard
S Ed Reed
RB Ray Rice
RB Ricky Williams

Head coach John Harbaugh
(opening statement) “It was just one of those kind of games. It was just emotional from beginning to end. It was against a really good opponent. I hope everyone realized what a good win that is, and what a good team that is. I think you saw it, by the way they played, and how tough they made it for us to do things throughout the game. I don’t think they scored in the first quarter. That was the first time that that’s happened. We talked about that all week. The way we played in the first quarter [with the] time of possession, it really comes down to the one drive that we had. The 97-yard drive, where we marched down the field. That started the game for us. It took them out of the first quarter, basically, with our offense. I think, in that sense, it was a team victory throughout the game.”

“The defense was pretty dominant throughout. [The Texans] had the one drive where they hit two chunk plays on us. They did a great job scheming those two plays against what we had. But, other than that, I thought our defense played phenomenally well, especially against the run, but also against the chunk shots. On offense, we were fighting like crazy to get it done in the running game. They’re good, and they were knocking us back for a while. We made a little bit of an adjustment and went to a couple different runs. I thought our coaches and players did a great job of working that out on the sideline, which led us to that last drive, which was just huge in the game. To run the ball like we did…to all of a sudden come out and start running it like we were able to do, was big. I think there were two great throws that Joe [Flacco] made. I thought Joe, from a standpoint of just poise and nerve, holding the ball sometimes trying to get a guy open and getting a little bit of pressure, he made a couple of plays. But, then, to make the plays at the end of the game, and the throws he made at the end, were big. And, then when you win with the minus two [take-aways]. That’s hard to do in this league, so I think that’s a testament to everybody.”

(on finding the balance between Joe Flacco holding the ball for an open receiver or taking a hit) “I think that’s the dilemma. No, I don’t want him to hold and get hit. I want him to hold it and find a guy to throw it to, or get rid of it. He had the one great [play] when he got rid of the one early in the game, where he found someone to dump that thing off. That was a really amazing play. But, no, you want him to protect the ball in the pocket. I think that’s something he continues to work on, because where is that line between protecting the ball in the pocket and making plays, certainly err on the side of protecting the ball in the pocket. He works on that all the time.”

(on the team’s ability to respond after they fell behind) “Yes, I think it was really encouraging to see the way we responded in a tight game in the fourth quarter. To have to come out and really win the fourth quarter in that kind of fashion, is a huge statement. You have to do it on both sides, to be able to do that. I don’t think they got too many first downs in the fourth quarter that I can remember. Our offense got first downs. What was the time of possession in the fourth quarter? It seemed like we had the ball most of the fourth quarter, so that’s how you do that.”

(on containing Arian Foster) “It was tough. The biggest thing is that we didn’t get cut off a lot. A couple of times when he had his run, we got cut out on the back side, which is what they do. That’s what their whole scheme is predicated on. We held edges, for the most part. I think, except for one run, we held all the edges. Then, we got knocked back most of the game. That’s the top running team in the league last year, so I think that’s a big thing.”

(on making adjustments to the offensive line) “Well, we didn’t really make any changes. I think we kind of just cleaned up a couple of things. The one pressure we had backed up down there [happened] because we misidentified the front. We didn’t identify the linebacker the right way, the proper way. It really shouldn’t have been that complicated. It was a simple mistake, but we made it. Joe expected to be picked up when he wasn’t. That’s what happened there.”

(on if Anquan Boldin was targeted more in this game) “I don’t know if we targeted him more. Were the targets more than previously? That’s a good question. I think we hit him more. The big play that I remember…I don’t remember all the numbers. I remember a couple of screens and a couple of controlled five-routes, a couple inside curls, that we hit against man coverage. That was part of the plan, now that I’m thinking with you. So, we had man coverage a couple of times, and we had Anquan running the 10- or 12-tight out route. We call it quick-5. That was good against man coverage. So, that’s what you’re talking about right there. Then, the big play against their defense, that was huge.”

(on the Ravens’ ability to run at the end of the game) “I think it’s a testament to the physicality, probably. Conditioning is an okay word for the offensive line. What you want to do is to wear people out early, and then you want to run them over late. That’s kind of the philosophy that we have. It’s easier said than done, but that’s why it’s hard to come out just running the ball down people’s throat early in the game because they’re fresh and the defense is fly around. You get them a little more tired, and it is a little tougher to defend the run at the end of the game. That’s why it’s good to have a lead at the end. We were able to do that.”

(on if it shows signs of a maturing team that the Ravens were able to work out their early problems) “You like for it to be standard. It is probably part more of a maturing team. I think our players are doing a much better job. You talk about guys like Ray [Rice], Joe [Flacco], Vonta [Leach] in the mix, the offensive linemen, Michael [Oher], Marshal [Yanda], even the other two guys- Bryant [McKinnie] and Andre [Gurode]- they’re veteran guys, but they are kind of learning the offense, they just know more football. They have a better understanding of what’s going on out there and can help with the coaches and communicate that even better. I thought our staff did a great job. Wilbert [Montgomery] did a great job with Cam [Cameron] finding some runs, along with Andy [Moeller] that worked for us late.”

(on if the first offensive drive showed Joe Flacco’s development) “I hope so. That was perfect, right? No incompletions. We’ll take that. It was a controlled passing game. I think there were some intermediate routes in there too. We mix those in with the shots [downfield]. Later in the game, we had two huge chunk plays that led to the field goals. It’s hard to march the ball down the field. That 97-yard drive was great to have, but you don’t see that often in this league. Usually, you have to have a big play in there or a penalty or two to get a drive like that. You keep working for perfection, but you want to have big plays mixed up.”

(on what he saw from Joe Flacco standing in the pocket) “I saw nerves. I think that’s an old-fashioned word for poised. I saw nerves of steel. When you have a team that knows how to win, and I think our team knows how to win, they find a way to win a really tough game against a good team. At home, that helps, too. The crowd was great, by the way. The crowd was outstanding.”

(on why he said this game was emotional) “I think [I said that] because it was just a tough game. It was emotional because we were fighting like crazy in there against a really good team. They really keep you off-balance with scheme on defense. I thought we did a great job throughout the game. Chuck Pagano and the defensive coaches- Dean [Pees], Ted [Monachino], all the guys on defense, [Teryl Austin] with the passing game, [Clarence Brooks]. I thought they did a great job of staying with their scheme. The [Texans] got us on the one drive with a couple of calls against a couple of things, and we made quick adjustments there and got that straightened out. It was a fight.”

(on if he heard about Jim Harbaugh’s handshake at the end of the Lions-49ers game) “Jim won [the game], right? (repeating the reporter) Someone went after Jim? Let’s put it this way, I’ve been in fights with Jim before, too. I won some early, when we were in our childhood career. Then, it got slanted the other way for a while. We’ve got one coming up on Thanksgiving night, don’t we?”

(on what it would mean to him to have a home playoff game) “First thing you want to do is make the playoffs. Then, you want to win your division. That’s all down-the-road stuff. Then, you want to win the conference. Then, you want to win a championship. That’s kind of the order of things. So, that would help a lot. I think it would be great for the fans. We love playing here, and we have a good history here. But, it doesn’t guarantee us one thing. You have to go win a football game against a really good football team like this. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. We have a long way to go before that comes up.”

(on if it’s fair to say that Torrey Smith does not look like a rookie) “Yes, it’s fair to say I think he’s not playing like a rookie. He’s making some really good catches. The knock on him… everyone wanted to talk about the knock. It sure hasn’t shown up in games that he’s played in. I think he’s a great kid. He’s a hard worker. He’s just a really conscientious guy. Plus, he’s talented.”

(on K Billy Cundiff’s performance) “We always say, in the red zone we want to get seven. But, we want to make sure we get at least three. I thought our offense did a real nice job- Joe [Flacco] and the whole offense- making sure we got three, and then Billy converting. And then the kickoffs… Billy kicked a few of those touchbacks going from left to right in front of our bench, into the wind. It was kind of a little corner cross wind coming at us. Those were amazing kicks. The guy has just been phenomenal.”

WR Anquan Boldin
(on his deep reception where he grabbed the ball over CB Johnathan Joseph) “Yeah, for me, I was just trying to pretty much box him out. I saw the ball the entire time and kind of knew where it was going to fall, so I kind of bodied him, and he jumped early like you said and misjudged it.”

(on whether he and QB Joe Flacco saw something in the defense that allowed him to have so many receptions and yards today) “Just something the defense was giving us. They played man coverage a lot, which is what [defensive coordinator] Wade Phillips does. So, we were able to connect today, but I thought, more importantly, we were able to get the win. We came out with a 97-yard drive [and] looked good that first drive, stalled two drives after that, came back with a field goal. So, we had bright spots, and then we had spots where we had miscues, so I was glad that we were able to come out with the victory.”

(on what overcoming the adversity says about this offense) “I mean, you have a defense that we’re playing with, you know, they give you an opportunity to find out exactly what defenses are trying to do to you. The defense played great, even with us having two turnovers. We still came out on top, so it says a lot about them.”

(on whether he feels more pressure to step up with WR Lee Evans still out) “For me, I don’t feel pressure at all. I play football [and] I’ve been doing it all my life, so I don’t feel any pressure at all.”

(on whether it was nice for him to have a big receiving day) “I think for me, I’m past that. My whole career has been built around that. I’m just to the point now where I just want to win the championship. Whatever that takes, I’m going to do it.”

QB Joe Flacco
(on the offense today)  “I think we did a good job of moving the ball today especially early on. We started out with that 97-yard drive and then we did a good job of fighting through that period in the second quarter when we weren’t making any plays, and then we made some really big plays and got the run game going a little bit, and we were hitting some big plays in passing game and were able to go over the top. Makes everything easier and when we got to the red zone, we were able to make some plays.”

(on the play of the offensive line) “They did a good job. The offensive line fought and fought all game. Houston has some good interior pass rushers on that football team. They’ve got some good inside rushers, and I was throwing the ball a lot today as I was getting hit and doing things like that. That’s the name of the game sometimes. Our offensive line hung in there, fighting, Like I said, they’ve got some good inside rushers.”

(on the win) “It’s huge. It’s a conference win against a team that’s been playing well. For us, to come into our home building, just like we always do, and win, it’s going to be huge for us going on. We’re going to enter a Monday night game 4-1 against the Jacksonville team that has a pretty good defense. It should be an exciting week, and we’ve got to get after it.”

(on Anquan Boldin) “It was nice. Anquan was able to do some things in the slot early on and create just enough separation for me to get him the ball. He made some big catches, especially on that long one. I mean, that’s a pretty good job by him, bodying the guy out and making a nice catch.”

(on his chemistry with Boldin and Torrey Smith) “When those guys are out there doing the right thing, it’s not hard to have chemistry with them. I think we can be sloppy at times, and we’re not as consistent as we want to be throughout the game. But when those guys are out there running those routes full speed, it’s pretty easy to be on the same page with them. When they’re running by their guys, you just put it out there for them, and they go get it.”

(on the offense’s ability to make big plays in the 4th quarter) “That’s what you have to do against a team like this. You can’t shut them down and try to hang on and win a game. Those guys are a good team. They have the ability to score. They have the ability to make some plays on defense. So you have to keep it going, you have to mix it up and really be aggressive. We were able to keep our aggression and really convert on some of those plays with big runs and big passes. We were able to move the chains, and getting the ball in the end zone there at the end was huge.”

OLB Jarret Johnson
(on getting off the field in the second half) “Their caliber of offense can come in and make you look very bad. Our goal every week, and especially with a team like that, is getting them to third and long. They’re so good on first and second down, that’s tough to do. Early on, we were doing that and they were converting. It was a little frustrating, but nobody said things—we just kept grinding and slowly the plays on third downs started coming. Chuck [Pagano] is always good at halftime. In my opinion, the quality of a good coordinator is his halftime adjustments. Chuck came in and we narrowed it down. They were doing a lot of quicks, so the blitzes we called weren’t getting there. So Chuck did a good job with our second-half adjustments, and it paid off.”

(on his sack of Matt Schaub) “They have a tendency with their tight-ends. Number 81 [Owen Daniels] is a great receiver but when he was on the line, he was coming out, so I knew 85 [Joel Dreessen] was staying in protection. I gave him an inside move and the quarterback held onto the ball, which helped me out.”

(on losing the turnover battle) “It’s rare to lose the turnover battle and win the game. It’s just a testament of weathering the storm. We gave up a touchdown after the fumble. I wish we would have held them to a field goal, but all-in-all it was a good day.”

(on stopping the Texans’ run game) “They had some good tendencies, and we did a good job preparing for their tendencies. Guys did a good job of staying on their feet. They popped a couple of runs on us, but you know what? An offense like that you can take 92 yards and be happy because they can get 200 in a hurry.”

(on the Texans not having WR Andre Johnson) “The scheme doesn’t change. They have a lot of good players. Is Andre Johnson special? Heck, yeah. He’s unbelievable. But their scheme’s not going to change and what they do is not going to change. They have great weapons. They have [WR] Kevin Walter and [WR] Jacoby Jones. Those guys are good, man.”

RB Vonta Leach
(on how it felt to play his old team) “Well, no matter who we were playing, I wanted to win. They were just another team that we had to play against. A lot of my friends are over there. They’re a good football team, but we’re just a little better.”

(on the Ravens’ commitment to the power game) “I’m happy to be here. I’m glad I was on the winning side today.”

(on if he was playing with a chip on his shoulder) “Not necessarily. I played there for five years, and the guys know what I can do. If I would have played any less, then they would have been dissatisfied.”

(on the goal-line sequence in the first quarter) “We were just trying to run the ball in there. We just kept running it and running it. I was happy we were able to push it in there. I’m just happy we got things together. It wasn’t always pretty, but we came out on the winning side today.”

LB Ray Lewis
(on whether there is something about being out with the defense with a chance to end the game as they did today) “Yeah, that’s kind of those moments that you love as a defense. And Chuck [Pagano] came to me on the sideline, and to be considered a great defense, those moments, you’ve got to close out. You’ve got to go back on the field; you know that offense is going to keep coming. You’ve got to take your hats off to those guys. They’re going to play for 60 minutes, and we understood that. So, for us to go out there and end it the way we did, that’s kind of a staple for who we are.”

(on turning RB Arian Foster into pretty much a one-dimensional running back today) “Yeah, we knew what we had to do. Last year, playing them down there, they really came back and did some things in the second half that it really didn’t sit well with us. You know, sitting in the meeting rooms, that was kind of one film we didn’t watch. We watched every other game, but we didn’t watch them, because it was just a lot of things that we didn’t like seeing on film ourselves. So, we took it personal coming out this week. We knew the challenge was going to be huge. That’s one of the best backs in football right now, you know, leading rusher in the NFL last year. And then dealing with that offensive line, we knew running that zone scheme, it was going to be a very hard scheme to deal with. But I think overall, our defensive line played very well. They stayed on their feet and things… They made a couple plays here and there, but I just think the adjustments we made at halftime all really went in our favor.”

(on whether Chuck Pagano tightened the defense up at halftime) “I don’t think it’s more of Chuck on that one. Chuck was making the calls, and I think it’s more on each individual person. You know, whether it’s a receiver outside that’s just running and hits you, and you’ve got to put your hands on him. Whether it’s [Bernard] Pollard coming out and making the big play on [Arian] Foster to knock the ball out. So, players made plays, and that’s the situation that Chuck put us in. So, everybody wins in that situation, with Chuck coming down and doing the things. Chuck is aggressive. Chuck is who he is, and we love it. And I just think when we finally settled in, they are who they are. They really showed their hand to us, and we played very well.”

(on what is better about the run defense this year that helps them to lead the League) “I don’t know, outside of when you come in the film room, one thing you do see [and] something that we speak very high on; beat your man. That’s it. Sometimes there is no blueprint outside of that. We have a very good tackling team. We don’t let one person just make the tackle; we like seeing people get to the football. And coaches don’t have to coach that. And I think that’s the beauty of our team; coaches don’t have to coach any of that. If we see somebody isn’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, if you’re out of shape, we’re going to get you extra conditioning during practice and things like that. I think you really have to tip your hat off to our defense, that we’re really just playing very aggressive run defense.”

DT Haloti Ngata
(on stopping the Houston offense) “We said what [needed] was to stop the run. I think we did well throughout the game. We were careful not to let them get the big runs and be able to stop them, and I think that’s what helped us a lot today.”

(on getting pressure on QB Matt Schaub)  “I think we just had different looks. We blitzed sometimes and we were able to, as a front four, run some games to get the linemen like, kind of communicating too much, and I think we were able to confuse him a little bit.”

(on being in tight game in the fourth quarter for the first time)  “I’m just happy we came out with a win. I mean, we definitely didn’t want to have the same thing happen that we did last year—like they come back, tie it up and [go overtime}. It was great throughout the whole game.”

(on the win itself and what it means)  “It’s huge. I mean, they’re a great offense, great defense, and they showed it throughout the game, and to beat a [team] like that, it’s a great feeling, and I hope we can take that into next week and get another win.”

S Bernard Pollard
(on the win) “Coming off the bye week we did a good job. We made some little mistakes but as long as you play fast, it always makes up for those little mistakes.”

(on playing against his former team) “We all need to be playing every week for a reason. A guy didn’t get drafted as high as he thought he would, or a guy was just on that team, or whatever. It doesn’t matter. With this team, we all take it personally every week. The one thing Ray [Lewis] always says is, ‘Beat the guy across from you.’ If you beat the guy across from you, nothing but good things can happen. And that’s what happened today.”

(on being team captain) “I was team captain last year. But that seed doesn’t mean anything. Coach [John] Harbaugh took the time to pick me this week. I’m grateful, but at the end of the day it’s about us playing. It’s about 11 guys going out there and playing. Now we have to be ready to strap it back up for next week.”

(on his pass breakup in the fourth quarter) “It’s just about playing ball. You play fast and good things happen. We all did that. It wasn’t pretty at all times. I don’t think you guys saw the mistakes. We all made mistakes, but at the end of the day, if you play fast, it makes up for them. We know what we need to fix. We have a lot to do but we have a long week before we go to Jacksonville next Monday night.”

(on whether he got hurt today) “Every play is a car crash. But it’s about us stepping up and knowing that if we do get dinged up we have to take our time. This is a veteran team. We know and understand that we have to get our bodies right every week. We have to get our bodies right to play a high level of football. It doesn’t matter about the injuries because if I get beat, it doesn’t matter if my knee is hurt. It’s just he got beat for a touchdown.”

(on stopping Houston on third down in the second half) “It’s about us going out there and playing. And we know we’ve got to get off the field on third down. You have to take your hats off to them in the first half. They game-planned us. They schemed us. They knew what to do. We just didn’t make plays. Guys are supposed to make tackles. I missed a tackle and I’m [upset] about that. I take pride in what I do. At the end of the day, we still continued to play football and we came out with a W.”

S Ed Reed
(on the win) “Those guys always play us tough. [Heck] of an offense and a defense. Heck of a team. What we know about them is that they weren’t going to quit. I mean, great players over there and hats off to them.”

(on not making an interception) “It was bad judgment. Me and [Lardarius] Webb talked about it. We knew the play was coming. I couldn’t believe he [Matt Schaub] threw it, but it was just bad judgment on my part.”

(on what the difference was between third downs in first and second halves) “They didn’t get much. They moved the ball the first couple series. We just buckled down. We knew what we had to do. It was all about execution. Like I said, those guys have an awesome offense. Even without [WR] Andre Johnson they were making plays. You put Andre in there and they’re awesome. It came down to execution and we made plays.”

(on how nice it was to see [WR] Anquan Boldin and [WR] Torrey Smith make big plays) “It’s nice to see the whole offense making big plays because there are so many weapons. You have to spread the ball around. Six or seven guys have to touch the ball. You’ve got tight ends. You’ve got [Dennis] Pitta, [WR] Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson. You’ve got [RB] Ray [Rice] in the backfield and [RB] Ricky [Williams] coming in. You’ve got [FB] Vonta [Leach] running the ball. You’ve got [WR] LaQuan [Williams]. You’ve got [WR Tandon] Doss on the sideline. You’ve got many guys that can touch that ball. Even with [Kris] Wilson at tight end, we’ve got a lot of threats we can use.”

(on Ray Lewis being first NFL player to reach 40 career sacks and 30 career interceptions) “Ray Lewis. We’re talking about Ray Lewis. Ray is an awesome player. One of the best football players of all time because he loves this game. Me and him were talking before the game, and it’s something we were born to do. You do other things off the field, business-wise, but football is what we were born to do.”

(on lining up on the line of scrimmage and feeling better this year) “The defense hasn’t changed much. It’s just a matter of, like you said, how you feel. Just moving around, giving disguises, understand that they are looking at me constantly, and I’ve got to be in places sometimes where I’m not going to be. Just giving different looks. Understanding that a little deception at the beginning of the play for the offense goes a long way.”

RB Ray Rice
(on the fourth quarter blown lead last year and being more aggressive today) “Coach hit it on the nail, we are a poised team, and there were times where we could have blinked; we could have blinked. First off, you have to give Houston credit. They are a great football team. Not a good football team, a great football team. They play though but we are poised, and the difference is you have guys growing up. We said it. Torrey Smith, he may be a rookie in the book, but he is not a rookie on the field any more. You have guys making plays. Our biggest asset today was sticking with the run. We didn’t get down on ourselves.  We made, I would say, one minor adjustment – outside zone [blocking] to a tighter trap, the inside zone which, it was a minor adjustment because they see the outside zone every day in practice from their own guys. So, I wasn’t doubting that they would defend that well, but getting Vonta [Leach] downhill and getting me downhill kind of had the linebackers going over the top, a little bit. We were getting the back-door cut; it was just poise. The greatest feeling for me today was to see Ricky Williams get a touchdown. I learned so much from Ricky that I could have easily kept myself in, but that guy is here for a reason, and I wanted to see him get his motor going. We know what the running is going to do later in the year, and we are going to need Ricky Williams.”

(on the adjustments made during the game) “I went to my running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery, and the greatest part of having a running backs coach that played in the NFL is that his eyes are my eyes. We see the same thing, so it actually happened after my five-yard loss down there [in the red zone]. I went to Wilbert and said, ‘We have to get the inside zone.’ We went to Cam [Cameron], made the adjustment, came back out, and we got the ball rolling. It’s great because these adjustments happen on the fly. These adjustments didn’t happen at halftime, we were still driving. They scored, they got up on us in the second half, and as soon as the five-yard loss happened, we were lobbying to not go away from the run. Let’s get it going with the tighter trap inside. I would like to thank the coaches for not blinking. Coach [Harbaugh] said nerve, but I say poise.”

(on Joe Flacco making big throws when he had to) “You know what, my speech at halftime was simple. I don’t care whether we run it or pass it, we need to execute. Today was the day that it didn’t look pretty at first, but in the second half, we got it all together. Joe Flacco, making the throws that he made, even under pressure, proved that he’s an elite quarterback. We’re going to go through ups and downs. There are going to be days when teams might have our number. That’s the NFL. But today with an aggressive Houston defense who, if I’m not mistaken, were ranked pretty high coming in. For us to put up 400-plus yards of total offense on the defense, that was second behind us, I think, in points allowed and stuff like that. It just says a lot about where our team is going. We go into the game plan versus Houston, but we can only be as good as we want to be; and that goes with execution.”

(on if the first half was frustrating and how the team turned it around in the second half) “As much as I can say frustrating, it was a lack of execution on our end. I actually had a guy who has been down this road before in Vonta Leach coming in and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to get it together.’ You just come out, and we want to run the ball, we want to establish the tempo. But like I said, at halftime I just…. I spoke at halftime and said, ‘No matter what the play call is; if it’s pass, let’s complete a pass. If it’s a three-yard completion, let’s complete it. If it’s a three-yard run, let’s run it for three yards. But, if it’s going to be a big play let’s make it happen. As much as I want to say frustrating, I didn’t get frustrated because I knew there was a whole second half to play, and we were up. So, I told them we can’t play like we’re down when we’re winning. There was a different feeling. This is the kind of game that we needed. We needed to be in a fight against a good team. The Jets were a good team, but offensively this team can pose some problems. They can put up some points. This is the kind of game we needed at home, because I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this team later in the year. I think they’ve got a lot going for them.”

(on if the uncalled facemask penalty against him was motivation for him) “I was hot. Once my neck turned, I felt like I’m in a vulnerable spot. Whether it was his arm or... It was a close call. It got me fired up. I played the game with a lot of intensity. If I think something is out there where a guy could get hurt…I try to play the game within all the rules. Don’t cheap shot a guy. [Antonio Smith] coming free like that and me trying to make a move and my neck turned. I felt like I had a facemask penalty. I let it go, but I was definitely hot. I probably said some things I shouldn’t have said, but it happens.”     

RB Ricky Williams
(on how it feels to score his first Baltimore TD) “It’s nice with a new team to get into the end zone. It’s special, especially to do it in front of the home crowd.”

(on the TD run) “It was just kind of an off-tackle play, a play that we were running all day long. The guys in front of me did a good job.”

(on if it’s hard for him to come off the bench) “It’s an adjustment, but I think it makes me a better player. When I got in towards the fourth quarter, I hadn’t touched the ball at all today, but I just tried to keep my head in the game, and it all worked out.”




Twitter.com/NickScurfield

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