John Harbaugh postgame quotes
Opening Statement: "Who did this game – CBS? Well, they got their money's worth. Great football game. Hats off to the Bengals. They played very well. There is no give up in that football team. I said to Marvin [Lewis], ‘With these two teams, something like this is always going to go to the end,' or something like that. He was very gracious as well, so we appreciate that. Team victory in so many ways. I think what it was all about in the end, and the thing I'm proud of as a coach is the heart of our guys. Ifeel like they showed the heart of champions today.Where this leads us, we will find out. We have to get better in a whole lot of areas. Individually and collectively, we have to improve as a football team. But these are the games you have to win in order to have a chance in this league, and we did it, and I'm proud of our guys. Defense got the game ball along with Justin Tucker, and they deserved it – one play notwithstanding, which was a great play by them. We didn't play it exactly right when you tip it up in the air … He's trying to knock it down, and he tips it up and gives them a chance to make a play. That was tough. James Ihedigbo – what can you say? I think he had a couple interceptions, and he and Corey Graham made an incredible tackle on Giovani Bernard, who has taken plays like that and put them in the end zone already this year. So to make that play was just a fabulous effort by our guys. I couldn't be more proud of our guys. Every phase of our football team, found a way to win the game. We often say, ‘By whatever means necessary,' and that certainly held true today."
(on his reaction to the Hail Mary) "How could I even remember that? It's disappointment, but you don't get disheartened. You still have a chance to win the game still. The game is not over. I'm proud of the fact that our guys looked at it that way; our team looked at it that way. It's not something you have to go walking up and down the bench to make the point of. The guys already know it. We've got leadership across the board, and they understood that. I'm proud of that. I really am."
(on loosening things up offensively) "Yes, you have to do that. It's not that we don't have those plays in for the most part. They're all plays we've practiced before and have been in game plans. You have to cause problems for a defense, and those plays got some yards for us, so it was good."
(on the fast start vs. slow second half) "We didn't put points on the board in the second half. It's two things: It's defense, yes. Give them credit. They played exceptionally well. We certainly didn't make the plays we needed to make. We didn't have any big chunk plays, which hurt us. Turnovers, absolutely – that will stop you every single time. We've got to run the ball better. We've got to get our passing game going, too. Those two things go hand-in-hand. There are plenty of things for us to look at, individually and collectively, and we're going to look at them hard, like we always do. We've got to find a way to move the ball better. We will. We have to."
(on James Ihedigbo's play) "I don't think I could talk more about his play. It kind of speaks for itself and the plays you talked about. He unwinds us back there as well, in terms of getting us in the right calls, the right checks and those things. He's a very cerebral player, as well. I think he's got tremendous character. He's a tremendous guy. He's a big, strong, athletic, gifted guy. He's been fighting his whole career for an opportunity like this, and he's making the most of it. When you talk to him, you're going to be impressed. It's just the kind of guy he is."
(on the wind being a factor today) "They were into the wind. We had the wind at our back, so that was a big factor in overtime. I think it was a factor throughout the game in the passing game as well. Joe [Flacco] could probably speak to that better than I could, but it affected the passing game as well. So, the wind was a major factor."
(on if he would have picked a side rather than receive in overtime because of the wind) "No, we wouldn't have done that if it had been the other way. It wasn't quite that dramatic."
(on Lardarius' Webb's play) "Thank you. Our secondary played tremendously well. Everybody is going to talk about the last play, which is a shame in some ways. Maybe you will talk about the whole game. I thought the pressure was very good, but our secondary covered a very talented and gifted receiving corps all day. Jimmy Smith, Lardarius [Webb], Matt [Elam], Corey [Graham] – all the guys. Chykie [Brown] went in there and did a nice job as well, so I'm really proud of our secondary. [Secondary coach] Teryl Austin has done a great job with those guys."
(on any injuries) "I don't think there is anything that's going to linger."
(on the pass rush) "I thought our defensive coaches did a great job of coaching the pass-rush lanes. You saw at the end that Andy [Dalton] got out for a couple plays. Andy Dalton can hurt you moving around in the pocket and going for yards and first downs, and he didn't do that as much today until right at the end, he got a couple. So, pass-rush lanes were very disciplined. Our one-on-one pass rushes were really excellent. And then the blitzes were just well timed. We got some good pressure from our nickel, from our linebackers and our free safeties. [Defensive coordinator] Dean [Pees] did a good job of mixing up all of the pressures. What makes that work is the coverage behind the pressures, so you can't get a quick throw out. Our guys did a real nice job of that."
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