Q:How disappointing is this loss?
VW:Very disappointing. When you work so hard to get to this point… somebody has to win and lose. Tonight we just didn't make enough plays. They made more plays than we made. I thought we had a good plan going into the game, but at the end of the day they just made a lot more plays than us. It's very disappointing, but we have a hell of a team. We know what it takes to win. We're going to fight our tails off in the offseason. We're going to get back to playing the way we want to play. We'll be back here.
Q:In your mind, what changed defensively in the second half?
VW:They came up kind of up-tempo a little bit with different personnel, and we struggled with it. That's basically what it was. It wasn't anything we didn't know they were going to do. Last week they did the same thing; they came out in their certain personnel and actually moved the ball very well and they did it again tonight. But we had opportunities. We had opportunities. We had second-and-longs, third-and-longs where they converted. But those conversions, we have to be able to get off the field. I don't think everything was bad. I think we played pretty well at times, but when we needed them we just didn't make enough pays. They're a good football team. It seems like every year, it's us and them always fighting at the end. You're looking at two good organizations, two good football teams, so I'm not going to downplay them one bit. They're a great football team. You know, the best team won tonight.
Q:What it's like to see a chance slip away when you get this close, knowing that you and players like Tom Brady know how precious these opportunities are?
VW:It's tough. It's very tough. But you win and you lose some. At this point, everybody wants to win – AFC Championship, playing to go to a Super Bowl, you know, you play to win. When you lose in this game, it's tough, because you put so much into it all year: the offseason, the practice, the conditioning, the weight lifting, everything, time away from your family, training camp where you don't see your family but a little bit of the time. So you put a lot into it, so for it to come to an end like this, it hurts. It does hurt, but it happens, you know? We can't do anything now but to get better from this. It's a tough pill to swallow.
Q:All players have a window and everyone retires at some time. As a veteran player, how much do you start to think, 'I have X number of years left. I have to get this championship?'
VW:I don't know. I mean, I love playing football. Taking a loss like this kind of [makes you] question how long you want to play. But it's just the moment; I'll get over it. It's tough, but I'll get over it after the Super Bowl and go through my little spells. My wife will get pissed off at me and throw things at me and I'll get over it and I'll be back to playing and wanting to play, can't wait for the season to start. I love football. I love my teammates. I love the organization, the coaches. I think we have what it takes to be a championship team. [When] I don't feel that way anymore, I'll call it quits. But I feel good about this team, so I'm looking forward to next year and getting this thing rolling again and starting from ground zero and moving forward and trying to get it done the right way.
Q:Was losing Aqib Talib and Kyle Love early in the game too much to overcome in retrospect?
VW:It was big. When you go into the game with three D-tackles and you lose one, that's kind of tough. And when you practice all week, a certain look and having a guy on a certain guy and doing different things, and when you lose that guy, it kind of changes the whole makeup of your defense. Those two losses were big losses for us, but all year guys have stepped in and done a great job. I think even tonight, we stepped in and we had to change a few things. Who [knows] if it would have been different if it wouldn't have happened? We don't know that. I just think the Ravens played better and they made mire plays than we did. That was the bottom line. But at the same time, losing those two guys was key for us; it was.
Q:You mentioned they went up-tempo in the second half. What was it about the up-tempo that you guys struggled with?