Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco addresses the media during his conference call on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.
Q: Could you start off by telling us about the preparations for the game, and what you've seen from the Patriots on film this week?
JF: I think they're a little different than last year. They've got some different personnel. They've got some younger guys out there, and a handful of fresh starters, I think that's the first thing you notice. They tend to play more two high safeties and their initial goes up and down on the cover three when they play deep high. Their cover structure is definitely a little different from last year, so just pay attention to that kind of thing.
Q: What have you seen from their corners? They've had Devin McCourty, who's a rookie, out there for a while, and a couple of younger guys at the other corner positions.
JF: Like I said they're playing some zone, again that'd be their top coverage, some zone coverages. I don't think they're putting a lot of man responsibility [on their corners]. Then when you get down on the goal line I think they're down there, they're pressed and you get some singles [coverage] down towards the end zone, but other than that I don't think they're playing a lot of single coverage. When we get our opportunity out there with singles we'll take advantage of it, but I think they're going to be guys that are ready to play. They're going to be good players, and they're young right now, but they have a lot of fire and they're going to be ready to play against us.
Q: How much of last year's playoff game have you watched preparing for this weekend?
JF: So far I've just concentrated on the games that they've played this year. I'll look at last year's playoff game and I'll look at the first time we played them [last year]. Last year's playoff game, that game was just such a different game and I don't know how much you're going to be able to get out of that just because the type of game it was and how quickly it developed in what we did, so the rest of the game was a little bit different than a normal game plan. We'll see how much we can get from that film, but the first time we played them there it was a pretty good match up and I'm sure we can grab some things from that tape.
Q: Do you have a sense right now if you're a passing first offense, a running first offense, or somewhere in between? Do you like your balance right now?
JF: Yeah, I think we're pretty good. That's obviously up to the offensive coordinator how we're going to do things, what our pass-run percentages are going to be, but I think we feel pretty good about where we are right now. I think we feel like we can beat you either way and we just got to go out there and play our game.
Q: How does it feel now to have so many offensive weapons at your disposal?
JF: I think we feel like we've had a pretty good offense for the last few years, and definitely an offense that can win games for us. Obviously we have our defense and their always going to be who they are, but I think we feel pretty confident that our offense and that's not just beginning this year, I think we always have. Obvioulsy we've added a couple new weapons, and that's helps any offense out. I think it helps our confidence out, and it helps us out come game day because we got more guys that the defense has to worry about. I think that's the biggest thing is I think we can put some stress on the defenses now because they have to worry about so many different weapons.
Q: Were you surprised to hear about the Randy Moss trade?
JF: Definitely. I cannot say I wasn't surprised by that. Randy's [Moss] is a pretty darn good receiver. I don't know what my reaction necessarily was to it, but I was pretty surprised.
Q: Can you talk about Ray Lewis and how he's been able to sustain such a high level of play for so long? And also, the leadership that he brings to your team.
JF: Ray's [Lewis] incredible. I can't really answer how he's been able to keep his level of play so high. It's incredible to play as long as he has at the position that he's played, just to take that beating week-in and week-out and just maintain his strength and quickness and all that. That's pretty incredible. From a leadership standpoint, I've never been around anyone like him. He's a pretty relaxed guy during the week, and to a guy that you respect in the locker room when he walks in you can tell. But then on Sunday's he definitely turns it on a little bit and gets everybody going.
Q: How much do you think it has helped your development that you practice with him, and you always have to know where he is on the field? Does it make things easier? Does it help you as you prepare for games?
JF: I don't know if it helps me from that standpoint, but it definitely helps having him around. He has a lot of influence around other players, and he has a lot of influence around this organization. To have his support is definitely something that helps you.
Q: Could you tell me about how Anquan Boldin has changed the offense and made your job easier?
JF: Like I said, I think when you add a receiver that puts a little bit more sting on the defense and they have to worry about more things, so it opens up certain things. He's not always going to be getting the ball, but the defense always has to worry about him at some level. Whether that's doubling him, and freeing up Derrick [Mason] and freeing up T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] I think that's the biggest thing so far.
Q: Could you also talk about the development and how having him in the running game has made your offense more dynamic?
JF: When Ray [Rice] gets some room it's tough to stop him. Last week we were able to get that against Denver. You saw what he can do, and then you get him going, you get Willis [McGahee] going, you get LeRon [McClain] involved a little bit, get him leading the guys through the hole. We've got a lot of guys in our backfield that can run the ball and can do a good job in pass protection and catching routes. Those guys do it all and that's the biggest thing about them, and that's the biggest thing that they bring to our offense. They're not just runners, they do it all.