MP: Sure. Obviously it’s great to get another veteran player on the back end, someone that has some excellent experience in the NFL and can really fit in the younger group and kind of really just blend into the guys that we have and fit the pieces. He’s done a real good job, really coming in and adapting to our system, learning the defense as we run it and the different coverages that we play and overall just been an excellent teammate really, kind of a guy that the other guys fit in with and get along with and obviously then compete and play hard with. I think it’s just been a real addition for us from a teammate standpoint. Obviously as a player, he’s got a real good skill set for the position outside. He’s got some speed ability. He’s long. He can be physical and tackle and do some of the things that we’re asking him to do so it’s been a real good experience for us.
Q: With a rematch on tap with the Ravens for the AFC Championship game, what have you seen from them that put them in this position and how have you seen QB Joe Flacco blossom to get his team in this position?
MP: Obviously you’re talking about an excellent offense, certainly one that has the ability to pound the ball at you and run the ball downhill, be aggressive and be a tough, physical team and then an offense that has the ability to throw the ball deep downfield, get the vertical passing game going, excellent skill set of receivers along with the tight end position and then also has particular players on the team that do a good job in the controlled passing game, where the ball can come out quickly or possession-controlled passing game situations. I think their offensive line, obviously is working well together and improving every game as the season has gone on, so they’ve given him some confidence and some time back there to run the offense and have the ability to take a good look at the field and coverage and get the ball into the proper receivers’ hands. They do an excellent job and it’s just an offense that’s continually improving and the quarterback obviously is the one that drives that, being the guy that stands back there and makes all the right decisions. It’s going to be, obviously, a huge challenge for us.
Q: How impressed were you with his performance against the Broncos?
MP: I really thought he showed a lot mental toughness. I think the team in general are a very mentally tough team, very physically tough team, a team that went into Denver and took their shots, weren’t afraid, went right after them, played aggressive. The quarterback knew what he was looking for and found the open guys and got the ball downfield, which was very impressive for him. I just think it was a real good job by them, going out to Denver and playing their style of football, starting with the quarterback.
Q: The last game against the Ravens was so long ago. What do you take, if anything, heading into the game this week?
MP: Good question, it was a while ago but I think obviously you really have to analyze that game and take a good look at it to see where their team has evolved to from that point. What are some of the things that caused you some issues in the first game, some of those concepts that can repeat in the next game. You need to be alert and aware for, to make sure you have those handled. Some of the different things that you might see in the game that were some of their strong points, or obviously some weak points that game plan-wise you thought were good or bad that you might want to carry over or not carry over. I think along with this year’s [game], obviously take a look at some of the previous games they’ve played against these guys. There’s a good history of the two teams playing against each other, real competitive game. I think you’re going to try to analyze all that and take a look at it and see what you can come up with that will hopefully help put you in a successful situation for the weekend.
Q: Going back even further, does last year’s AFC Championship fall into that category at all?
MP: I think you do your due diligence with all those different games, scenarios and situations that come up, so I certainly think it would be advantageous of you to take a look at all of it.
Q: Where are you right now in terms of the process? Have you put the Houston game to bed and gone full-steam ahead on Baltimore at this point?
MP: We’re obviously kind of in both situations, obviously just wrapping up our game from yesterday here and getting everybody on board looking at Baltimore.