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Baltimore Ravens: What they're saying

Posted Dec 20, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and several Ravens players discussed their upcoming game against the Patriots. Here are the highlights of what they had to say.

On the Patriots without Rob Gronkowski...
"I think that they’ve done a great job of replacing [him] and winning. He wasn’t in the lineup earlier in the year, and look at all the games they’ve won. I think they do a really tremendous job as a coaching staff of looking at players' strengths, determining how they can fit into their system, and developing guys that they see a role for down the road, that they see a strength that they can utilize and having that player ready to go in there and play that role. So they [are] probably better than any team in the league as far as sliding in directions they need to go to put their guys in a position to make plays. They’re definitely different. Obviously they’re not quite as tight end oriented as they would be with him in there, but they go to the other guys. They go to the wide receivers, they go to the backs, they go to the tight ends that will be playing, and they’ve got a quarterback that’s really able to pull that off in a spectacular way oftentimes. "
- Head Coach John Harbaugh

On playing the Patriots...
"I think it’s just we know them and they know us. It’s kind of one of those old deals where, there’s just no tricks to the game. It usually comes down to who wants it more and who execute better. That’s usually how it goes. "
- Running Back Ray Rice

"They have got the better of us, and we have got the better of them a few times. It’s a game that has been consistent and been pretty good over the last few years, and we definitely have a bit of a familiarity with them."
- Quarterback Joe Flacco

On Aqib Talib...
"[He's] a very talented guy. One of the things that you'll find is that they will match him up on your best receiver, regardless of where he plays. Oftentimes, you’ll find guys that just matchup on receivers when they're on the outside – corners in particular - and they leave the nickel backs on the inside. Some teams will take guys and place them inside, anticipating he may get that particular guy off of him – things of that nature. He will match him all over the field – no matter where he lines up – and he does a very good job of it." 
- Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell

On Shane Vereen...
"He is such a dynamic receiver out of the backfield. It is a little bit like last week in Detroit when you had [Reggie] Bush. The guy is a good runner – he is a very good runner – but they put him out in an empty formation and get a linebacker matched up on him. That is a bad deal. Coming out of the backfield, he is a good screen [player]. He is just a really good receiver, very fast, and he has been a weapon. He has been another guy, since they don’t have as many tight ends as they’ve had in the past, kind of use the running back in the same fashion – not necessarily the same routes, but along with [No.] 80 [Danny Amendola] and [No.] 11 [Julian Edelman] and [No.] 10 [Austin Collie] and all those other guys. He is another weapon for them. I think he is really having a good year, too."
- Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees