. . . because Baltimore has a lot to say even in defeat — and today, most of it was gracious.
On whether this was the toughest loss of his career:
?Absolutely not, been in this business way too long to be the toughest loss ever. Is it a tough loss? Absolutely. As a team, the way we came out and we fought, we fought, we fought and for the game to come down the way it was going to come down, we knew that because we?re built for 60 minutes. I take my hat off to my team because there?s so much else going on and the way we came in here and fought all year. Up and down, up and down. Injury here, injury there and the way we fought back to get back to this opportunity and then in the last seconds of the game, to come out and have an opportunity to tie that game up, to win the game, whatever it was, you can?t ask for anything else. God has never made a mistake, ever. Somebody is going to feel like this tomorrow. Somebody is going to feel like this in two weeks in the Super Bowl and whoever wins it, that?s their year and that?s a fact. It is nothing that nobody else can do about it and that?s the irony of sports. There?s a winner. There?s a loser and when you lose, you?ve got to suck it up like a man and say, ?You know what Father? If it?s your will, then so be it.? As a man, you?ve got to keep moving and as a team. We?ve got to keep moving, keep building, keep building and remember this taste no matter how many times you go through it because when you finally get it, you appreciate it more.”
On almost celebrating when Lee Evans had the ball in his hands at the end of the game:
?If you weren?t celebrating, you weren?t a Raven fan. When you saw the catch ? once again, that?s the irony of sports. It?s a game of inches. That?s just the way it comes down. Trust me, I?ve been a part of a lot of those same games to where the inches didn?t go somebody else?s way. I mean you could take last week, the Houston Texans, inches away from beating us. But guess what? It didn?t happen and now, it?s the next step. San Francisco and the Giants, somebody else is going to go through the same thing. And that?s the thing, you learn from it and move on.?
On falling short of the Super Bowl:
?You?re right, the opportunities are rare. But we made a lot of the opportunities. We hung in there; everybody on the team and everybody on the coaching staff. Obviously, it didn?t go our way. I couldn?t be more proud to be part of this team and the character we show week in and week out.?
On being surprised to see Vince Wilfork playing on the edge:
?No. That?s what the Patriots do. They have multiple fronts and multiple personnel groupings. That?s part of their scheme. They change it up and try to confuse you. For the most part, we didn?t get confused. We fought. Those guys are good and we certainly give them credit for beating us today.?
On their missed opportunities in the fourth quarter:
?We only live once. I have a life to live. These moments in the locker room come with the team. Like I said, I?m not the guy who points any fingers. They made plays, we made plays, they made more than we did and they?re going to the Super Bowl. Congratulations to the New England Patriots and their organization. I have tremendous respect for those guys. I?m going to do what I do every offseason; come back in shape and ready to play.?
On impressions of the Patriots defense:
?They?re a good defense. That?s why they are playing at this level. We knew, especially early on with their crows behind them that they would come out and play with a lot of emotion. We saw that early on. They got some stops early. We just had to be patient and the plays would come. We were able to move the ball throughout the game and we felt like we would be able to. We knew we would have to, of course, with the potent offense that the Patriots have. We felt good about things. We had a chance to win it but we didn?t get it done.?
On whether they were able to rush Tom Brady to make bad throws:
?Tom Brady did what it took for him to win that game. Got to take your hat off to him they won.?
On if he thought they had it with Lee Evans? catch:
?I think we all did, but it kind of happened that way in the Pittsburgh game, but once I saw we had the three, I was feeling really good. Hey, that?s the way the game goes, that?s a good team that won the football game.?