"Good evening. Let me start this way: I really just want to start with our fans. After the break, that first break, we came out, there was a lot of energy in our locker room, but there was also a lot of energy when we took the field. I think that really helped us get started in the second period (laughter), so to speak. After the delay, I thought that was huge."
"Second thing I want to mention is that we did hear after the win, there was some devastation and some damage in the city. I just want to represent our team by sending prayers to people in the area that had damage. Hopefully, there were no lives lost. We're thinking about them too, in this victory."
"Moving on, we always talk to our players about creating turnovers and not turning the ball over. We did a very good job of that today over the [course of the] game, plus the overtime. We had no turnovers, I thought that allowed us to stay in the game, be in the game, and generally it does. We had too many penalties. Too many pre-snap penalties today that really inhibited our ability to function as well as we would like. Our players, they continue to hang together. Our locker room when we had the break was just outstanding. Just to give you a little content there: It was really quiet, very business-like. And as we told them the times, our defense got together, our offense went through a walk-through in the locker room. The receivers got together went through plays. Mike Clark (Strength & Conditioning Coordinator) stretched them out, we had a stretch period to get them loose. The guys were very energized when they went out there, you would have thought we hadn't started the game yet. I was really proud of the guys the way they handled the change, the changes that took place today. It was really good to see our young guys, Cheta (Ozougwu) came up. We've had some fun with this "next man up" concept, but it's really true. Everybody that's on our roster is here because we think they can help us win. Cheta came up today and made a play. Bass, David Bass has been working terribly hard. He wasn't here in training camp, to my recollection, we brought him in, we've worked with him, credit to Mike Phair and Mel (Tucker) and the guys for working to develop him and he comes up a huge play, on a return for a touchdown. It was good to see Julius (Peppers) today. Julius played extremely hard today. Got a couple of sacks, was very physical, got some good push there. And we had to overcome the fact that Stephen Paea went out of the game early. The young guys, Landon (Cohen), moving people around inside, Christian (Tupou), did a good job, a sufficient job to make some good things happen there, make some stops. Overall, I just wish everybody could see the progression that goes into winning a game like this. From the time we left the locker room here last week, devastated in a divisional loss, to getting our equilibrium back, building our energy. Coming in Wednesday, being a bunch of pros, working hard, taking work home. The walk-throughs, the business-like attitude of our football team. And to then to see the energy, and sustain itself through a five and half hour game. Credit should go to the Ravens as well. They played so hard, and never let down the entire game. We were able to finally make the plays when the plays were needed to be made. We did that. We did it with a stop by our defense in the overtime and then certainly the plays that were made to move the football into scoring position. Robbie Gould, again, three kicks, critical kicks. I thought the kicking game, our punter and kicker did a very good job. The weather, the wind, was certainly a factor in play calling today in decision making relative to the big picture of the game and the outcome of the game. I hope that gets you started, I'll leave the rest open to questions.
On the impact of the wind in eliminating offensive plays
"At different times, different things. There was one point where we came back and the weather cleared and then came back, it had to be blowing; blowing sideline to sideline. We could not throw the ball, any ball. We were very concerned even about a flip, or even a screen pass. Even a screen pass because it was coming so hard. I can't really pin-point the times, but early in the game certainly for us, the way we started was more a reflection of our poor start. We had a pre-snap penalty, we didn't run the right play, we had some mental errors in our first 15, which was really disappointing. That really got us off to a slow start. We dropped a ball on third down, that put us back in a third and long. We would have had a first down that continued a drive. So we were really out of sync in the first. Not indicative of the way we've played in the first 15 or 20 plays, even if we've gone three and out, we've done pretty well scoring and moving the ball in our first 15 or 20 plays and that was poor today and that hurt us. But the wind factor in terms of up the field throws. Certainly, right to left you saw us going, overtime, was the best way. Credit to the Ravens, they were going into the wind, but then sometimes they were going with the wind (laughter), even though they started going into the wind. It was that kind of day, so it was play-by-play, series-by-series."
On McCown not turning it over given the weather conditions
"I thought, just a terrific job by Josh and our entire team. Our guys taking care of the football. We talked about it just before we went out; the team that took care of the football on a difficult day, the team that was able to create a turnover or two would be in it in the fourth quarter and have a chance to win. And we did."
On Martellus Bennett's big overtime catch
"The play was designed to throw a slant and go to Brandon (Marshall). We were fortunate, we caught them, I believe we caught them in a blitz. A single safety defense I saw them in single safety. That's what we wanted. A chance to move the safety and work down the seam or outside lane to Alshon.
On not calling a timeout during the Ravens last drive
"We were going to call time out on the next one and they called timeout, instead of us. We were going to use the clock there just to rest our team. We didn't see the value in calling a timeout."
On punting on fourth and inches
"Fourth and one, based on the way our defense had been playing we were up by three points, I thought we didn't want to lose field position, with them going again into the wind. They did a nice job moving the ball down the field. We had a penalty, we had the horse-collar penalty, which put them into position. I can't remember 87's name (Dallas Clark) but (Joe) Flacco made a terrific throw underneath route that hit 87 and they were able to continue the drive. Those were two huge plays on that drive so close to hitting Flacco and didn't it done."
On stopping the Ravens at the end of the fourth quarter
"That was huge. That was big. I think the fans really helped us out with the noise. They were in an audible situation. It was noisy there, we were able to flush him out of the pocket and put him a position to make a throw on the run. Tim (Jennings) was back there to make a play. I can't remember it all, but Flacco was on the rush, under duress and that enabled us to make the stop."
On McCown's overall play (aside from not turning the ball over)
"We went through so many phases during the course of the game. The number one thing is a quarterback's job is to take care of and protect the football. That's the number one thing you ask a quarterback to do. He has to be efficient, but even before he can be efficient he's got to take care of it. And that's really the number one reason we were able to hang in the game with all the penalties we had. Penalties really hurt us. They were penalties that we had control over as much as anything. The pre-snap penalties that continued drives and put us back on offense. Special teams penalties that forced a long field. So we were able to do that, so I can't say anything more than that. Not just Josh holding on to the football. I thought our offensive line against a very good pass rush played very well today. I think Josh was sacked a couple of times, but they were running out of the pocket sacks. I don't think he took too many hits. I know we didn't throw the ball as much as we normally do, so I'm kind of segwaying into that, which is a big part of his play, was the fact that the offensive line took care of him today."
On what he did during the delay
"I sat in the locker room with the players. I walked around the room. Went over plays with them. Walked through the first 15 with them. Played a little catch with Brandon. I went over to the defensive side, talked a little bit. Sat with, sat down on the floor with Tim Jennings and talked with him. I just moved around kept busy. Met with the coaches, made sure, re-enforced what we were going to do, manage how we were going to get it done. Then the walk through. Then the work out, Mike Clark worked our guys out, got them warmed up in the locker room. How we were going to handle getting back out on the field. Kept busy along the way."
On whether he's been involved in a similar game
"No sir. We had one up north, up in Canada, where we had a storm that forced us to delay the start of the game for half an hour, but nothing like this. Ever."
On Julius Pepper's play
"He's such a quiet guy. He walked by me earlier in the day and said we were going to play well. We were going to do well. I just pointed out he had the two sacks, but he certainly had some juice to him today."
On Matt Forte's play
"I don't know what the overall stats were, the individual stats were. This was some hard running against a very, very good front. Matt is so important to our football team. When things are going well with Matt we're probably doing well with the perimeter people as well and throwing the football and doing the other things because it helps us neutralize the pass rush a little bit more with his ability to run the ball. So that was a good thing, and we stuck to it. The weather forced us to do it as well. It turned out to be a good thing."
On whether McCown outplayed Joe Flacco
"I can't comment on that directly. I don't think that's a question that's up to me to answer standing up on this podium. I'm just really proud of the way our football team rallied around Josh today. The way Josh handled the huddle, and took care of the football and did his job. That's what's important. I don't want to make it relative to other things. Their quarterback played very well today, made some plays and moved their football team, and our quarterback did as well. That's what we work every week to do, to get prepared at that position and go out there and take care of the football. We didn't do as well as we thought we could, today. We got stopped short in the redzone a couple of times, and that's not something were very comfortable about. We go to work and get better at that next time around."
On whether he has ever had a game delay like today
"Yes, my senior year at Sam Houston State, which seems like a long time ago, we were down at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, Louisiana. We were in the second or third quarter and we had a good one. It was a two-and-a-half or 3 hour delay – it was a long delay. We were able to come out after that and get the win. It kept raining and it was nasty – it was very similar to today. I was joking around because I thought about that today when we were in there. It was a crazy day."
On what he did during today's delay
"When we heard how long it was going to be, we laid down for a little while and just stretched. I closed my eyes and just tried to think about the game, visualize the game a little bit. I kind of assessed what happened the first two series and what we did wrong, why we didn't move the ball and what they were going to do to us. And then it was really cool, some of the coaches including Mike Groh (WR coach) grabbed some of the players and Brandon wanted to do it as well. We got a walk-through going, amongst the skill guys. Me, Brandon, Alshon (Jeffery) and Earl (Bennett) and maybe Matt, I can't remember who all was involved – we walked through some plays. The hiccups that we had in the first series were just stupid. I had one, Garza with the snap, Alshon had one – all stupid things. It was just, let's take a deep breath here. Let's go back through and not shoot ourselves in the foot and come out better in this second half."
On what happened during the big pass to Martellus Bennett
"You know, it was taking a shot with any of our three big guys. When the call came in, I can remember making eye contact with Jay (Cutler) on the sideline, and he was just smiling and I was kind of like – the wind was whipping and everything – but we got the coverage we wanted and it was a great call. We got the coverage we wanted and then Martellus made an awesome play. So we were able to move the safety towards Brandon and then get back to Martellus."
On the patience exhibited by Martellus Bennett (while surrounded by so many big playmakers)
"Yeah, it was cool. It's a credit to his character. It is hard, because you don't get your shots, so to speak. It's that deal where you don't get the shots all game, but then someone calls on you to hit the game-winner. That's what he did today. I'm not sure how many catches he had up till then – maybe one or two. It was a great catch by him and I'm proud of him. It was something for us to build off of and it was a reminder for all of us involved that you never know whose turn it is going to be and to stay ready."
On his mindset of not having interceptions or forcing the ball
"That's the main thing when you're in the wind. You know what type of ballgame it's going to be. You know what kind of defense you're playing. Baltimore is a very, very good defense. We talked about it this week with you guys – we were concerned because they were probably as good as we've faced. For me, add the elements to it – there was a heightened sense of ball security. Marc (Trestman) and I talked about that before the game – wanting to get out of this thing on the plus side of it on turnovers. We were able to do that and we were able to protect the ball. I'm proud of everyone involved for getting that done."
On the Bears still being in the mix due to Detroit's loss today
"My dad always says, ‘that thing is oblong and bounces funny'. So every time this happens, I always think about that. You never know from week to week in this league. It is what it is, where we are right now. We just have to get ready for St. Louis and take care of that – nothing beyond that. You don't know what is going to happen – all you can do is play the game in front of you. So the most important game for us in the world right now is St. Louis and that's the one we have to focus on."
On the linemen joking about his demeanor and message before the series in OT
"We just talked about the opportunity. You have opportunities in life – rare opportunities to do some special things. We were sitting in front of one of those today, a couple of times. And to be out there today and to have that in front of us today – it was a chance to be special. The cool part about it is that it is a chance to be special, not individually, but a chance to be special together. Do you know what I mean? To look at ten other guys in the huddle and say, ‘I've got your back and you've got mine and we're gonna go do something' – including the guys on the sideline that are cheering us on. So, we just talked about that a little bit. For me, it puts me at ease. So I don't know if I'm talking to them as much as I'm talking to myself, just saying ‘hey guys, we're gonna do this together'. It reminds me, ‘hey Josh, that's Brandon Marshall, that's Roberto Garza and that's Jermon Bushrod.' We've got guys – there is Martellus Bennett and then turn around and give it to Matt Forte. So, it's just a reminder to myself to keep everything calm and allow those guys to work and it was fun. It was a special drive."
On the screen play TD to Matt Forte
"It was a well-constructed play by our coaching staff, off some things we saw on tape. It was something we wanted to get to and, of course, a certain look. So we got what we wanted. It was funny, we laughed at the Bengals last week – Giovani Bernard cut a screen play in right about the same area last week. It was just so close to being a tackle, but he got a TD. So, we look at that and it kind of scares you away from running screens. But we thought with a certain look, it might be worth it. So it's a credit to Marc and the guys for making that call. Then we went out and executed it. It was a great individual effort by Matt getting the ball in the end zone. He fought hard to get that. It shows his heart."
On whether he changed the screen play TD to Matt at the line
"Yes. It was something we had packaged together, so it was something that we were alerted to. So it was nothing that I did that was anything special. It was something that we were prepared for – we saw the look and took advantage of it."
On whether he is starting to feel like the starter
"No. I have said this over and over again – I'm the backup quarterback on this team. The way that I serve my team is to play when the starter is not healthy. Jay is our starting quarterback, there is no doubt about that. So for me, I need to serve our team, in my role. Hopefully whenever Jay is healthy, we are still in a position to get everything we want to get accomplished and done when he takes back over. That's my mindset. That's what we want to do as an entire team. Jay is not the only one hurt – Lance Briggs is out, Charles Tillman is out. Zack Bowman is serving our team the way he plays. Jon Bostic is stepping up. These guys that are stepping up – it's not just me. So it's our mindset to just do your job, next man up."
On what he saw from Alshon Jeffrey today
"He continues to grow. From the first day, we got together and worked out when we picked him. We started teaching him the offense. His attitude and the way he works – I remember calling Jay and saying ‘this dude…we picked the right guy'. This guy has a big net now and he can catch anything. He's come in very humbly and has just worked his tail off. He is one of the hardest working guys in practice. He just never really has a down moment. If you're at practice, in between special teams, Mike Groh is throwing him tennis balls, or doing hand-fighting drills. He is just working at his craft. It's neat to see people put that time in and have it manifest itself on the field."
On whether he opens up more on the field versus the locker room
"Not much. He's kind of even-keeled and that's what makes him special, I think. He had a miss early in the game and he doesn't let it put him in the tank and bother him – he just keeps clicking. That's kind of how he is wired and that's why we love him."
On the defense's play today
"It was huge – a lot of heart by those guys. A lot of guys stepping up, as we already mentioned on that defense, making plays. They are far more injury-riddled than we are and they're finding a way to get it done. David Bass getting the big pick and the TD and then for them to make that stop at the end of the game – it was awesome. I'm just very proud of them – very proud of them. It is reflective of the type of team we are trying to build – we want to be good on offense, defense and special teams. We're all part of it. That's the neat part of this win today – we fought through some adversity. Everybody had a hand in it."
On whether there was a noticeable difference in Q2 after not passing in Q1
"Absolutely. Marc and I got together and talked about it and said let's be smart with how we approach this quarter. If we can find a way to pound the rock a little bit, get through this quarter and let things flip, maybe we can then take our shots and try to move the ball. It's a credit to the offensive linemen, Matt (Forte) and the receivers blocking outside, because everyone in the stadium probably feels like you're going to run the ball. To move the ball the way we did, even though it might not have ended in points every time, chew clock to get back to the other quarter, that was huge. It was a big part of the game. It was a good job. The wind and that stuff is part of it, but Marc always talks about embracing adversity. That was our adversity for today. For us, it's relative right now, considering what's happening across our state with some people and what the storm has done. For us, relative to a football game, it was adversity, but others are facing some real stuff right now."
On difficulty trusting that throws will get to his targets in the wind
"It messes with your mind. Jay and Jordan and Marc were very encouraging. Marc made a comment, ‘when it's breezy, swing easy' before the game. But it was funny because it's so true. If you just relax, and if you grip the ball harder and grit your teeth, it's gonna move. If you can just throw spirals and stay relaxed, you should be alright. You should be able to cut the wind, to a degree. That was something that was in my mind, even though I was always catching the ball and dropping back, I was trying to stay relaxed. It was definitely one of those days – you look across the field and see Joe Flacco and look on the sideline and Jay is over there – and I'm like, ‘can I borrow somebody's arm?' It was definitely one of those days where I wish I could spin it like those guys, but we were able to get it done."
On getting a pass deep to Martellus Bennett
"Yeah, I think the wind had died down quite a bit and Martellus made a good play. I don't know if the wind was blowing as much. I know when the call came in, I was still a bit concerned because I knew the ball was getting downfield. But, with those guys, it's just getting it in their circle and let them make a play."
On kicking despite the conditions
"The conditions are definitely tough. I thought everyone on the team handled it great. I thought Joe D. (DeCamillis) did a great job calling the game. ‘Pods' (Adam Podlesh) did a great job with his punts. When it comes time to manage those situations, that's what we play in every day. Those are the situations that help come Sunday."
On knowing he would have an opportunity to win the game
"We had a yard line picked out. If they got to that yard line, obviously you're going to get a chance to potentially kick, unless there is a penalty. You got to be ready in those situations. Marty (Martellus Bennett) did a great job catching the ball, but the guys on offense did an awesome job getting the ball into position. The defense did a heck of a job getting a stop and forcing a punt in overtime."
On the footing
"It's definitely tough. You go out there and you have to manage it. You shorten your steps down. Make sure you play it where you're supposed to play it. I tried to play off the right upright. The ball was probably moving about a half a goal post. That one, I think, moved two inches. That's why they give you the whole upright, I guess."
On the day's events
"First, I want to let the people out, especially in Peoria, know we're thinking about them. It's not all about football. What happened today, with the weather, you can't control, but we can't control what we do moving forward. They're in our thoughts. We're praying for them. We just pray it's not as bad as it looks."
On how tough it was to win today's game
"They're all tough. We have to win. The rain, all that stuff. When we focus on that, it's going to be tougher than it should be. We didn't focus on that. We actually embraced it, enjoyed it. It came out for a ‘W' for us."
On the one hour, 53 minute storm delay
"I needed it. I asked coach to do it. The first two drives, I felt a disconnect in our huddle from the quarterback, to the receivers and the offensive line. I started asking around how everybody else was feeling. Everybody else felt the same. For us to come in, we needed that. We benefitted from that. We got on the same page, improved in the second half."
On being tied with the Detroit Lions
"It's always a race. It's always a race in the National Football League. It's always going to come down to the last few weeks, the last few plays, the last few seconds. So, we know that. It's also good to win when the Lions lose."
On Martellus Bennett's reception in overtime
"That was huge. He needed that for himself, but obviously he won the game for us with that. It doesn't come down to one play, but that was huge for us."
On the play of Josh McCown
"Josh is a leader. He's one of our captains even though he doesn't have a ‘C' on his chest. He's awesome. He's been awesome for us. You can't ask for a better guy to lead the huddle."
On the game being exhausting
"It's not exhausting at all. It's one of those things, you embrace it. It doesn't matter if you have a bad play before, it doesn't matter the weather, that's what it's about. It's about adversity. It's about moving on. Our team has shown that from week one."
On the play he intercepted Joe Flacco
"It's tackle down. My initial read was to close. After that, I saw the fullback and the running back came. The fullback went to the flat and the running back came to cut. I didn't see the quarterback do a legitimate play action. I was told to beat the cut to the outside, so I can keep contain. When I saw him throw it, I just threw my hands up."
On how big the play was
"It's definitely a confidence booster. As a rookie, there's a lot of learning you've got to do. You know, focus on your fundamentals and techniques every day. I was just going out there and play my role, do my responsibility. When you make a play like that, that's huge. It allows you to relax and feel good about yourself."
On calling the Bears' pass coverage
"It's just been knowing the timing. It's so detail oriented. There's a lot of details that go along with everything. Making sure how the defense plays. How everything goes together."
On keeping the Ravens out of the end zone at the end of regulation
"Gotta keep them out. Gotta hold them to three. That was our game plan down there. Bend but don't break."
On being able to run the ball
"We want to be one of those teams, that, regardless of who we're playing, we can run the ball. I feel like today was another building block in that direction."
On the footing
"They have to deal with it as well. So, we're all slipping around. You noticed a lot of bodies on the ground. Obviously a lot of mud all over us. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully next week we'll get to – we're in St. Louis – so we'll have solid footing for sure."
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