McNair: "This is a Bitter Taste"

Following a hard-fought Divisional Playoff loss decided by field goals, Ravens quarterback Steve McNair reflected on the game and looked at what lies ahead for Baltimore in 2007. Here's the transcript of his postgame comments to the media...

(On making plays vs. not making plays)
"There are plays we knew that would work. We did all the right things right. On the squeeze play, Todd actually beat his man and once he went to the left, I just reacted and didn't see the guy on the backside. The backside guy made a hell of a play. We didn't make the play and that's something in the playoffs you cannot do regardless of them making good plays or not. You cannot turn the ball over as many times as we did in the playoffs today and expect to win, especially against a good, solid team like Indianapolis. You have to give them credit. They worked hard. They played hard. They did all the right things. They made all the right plays. We didn't make the right plays. We just had too many turnovers. We didn't make it as well as we thought we would because, who knows what? We have to look at the film and evaluate it and move on and don't make those mistakes anymore. It's going to be a long offseason. We felt like we were the better team. Today they were a better team. It's any given Sunday and you make those many mistakes you can't expect to win the ballgame."

(On offense not playing this poorly before)
"We just didn't execute. We make a big play, come back and throw an interception or we get a penalty, false start, and then we get a holding call, things like that. Just the little things like that stopped us from getting into that rhythm. On the offense, when we're at our best, we get into a rhythm. We kind of stopped ourselves when we got into a little rhythm by turning the ball over and making penalties. That's not going to work when you get to the playoffs. You have to be on your 'A' game and offensively today we weren't on our 'A' game. The defense played well, played tremendously, they played great. Just field goals for the Indianapolis offense, that's good. They gave us a lot of opportunities but offensively we didn't take advantage of those opportunities. And it starts with the quarterback. It starts with myself. You get in those positions where you have to go out and maintain the momentum that the defense gave you and we didn't do it offensively with the turnovers we had."

(On weighing the best of times vs. worst of times)
"That's very frustrating. It was a hell of a run for the first year I was here. I'm not knocking off this season just because we lost tonight. This team has a bright future, and that's what I'm looking forward to. But to end on a note shorter than the note you intended to-other than Miami-it's very heartbreaking. Do I feel badly? Of course I do. I feel badly at the loss. I feel badly at the way I played. I feel bad that we didn't execute offensively and didn't take advantage of what they gave us. That's part of this game and there can only be one champion. Unfortunately this year it's not our year."

(On how rare these opportunities are)
"It's very tough. When you're young, you have a lot more years to go. When you're in your 12th year and the next year is my 13th year, the window of opportunity is just closing and closing fast. I feel very confident about next year with this unit because of the experience we have, the young guys can only get better and I think it's going to be a great push this offseason, just to get away from it and come back eager and hungry again. We know what we're capable of doing. We just didn't show how good of a team we were tonight."

(On if the team this year was close)
"This team goes beyond what we do on the field. I think when you have an opportunity to go out and mingle with these guys off the field to go to some functions with their charities, that's the chemistry that you have to have. It becomes more than just playing football because once you're on the field you're just concentrating on your thing. But when you're out there you get to know these guys, you get to know each individual and the culture that we have, not just on the field, but off the field it was magnificent. You saw one, you saw 10 or 20. I think that's what this team is all about. It's about unity. It's about playing within ourselves and playing for each other."

(On how this experience will help going forward)
"It's going to help a lot because this is a bitter taste. You don't want this taste. You have to deal with this the whole offseason. I think we'll be even more hungry in July when training camp starts for the upcoming season. I think that's the most important thing. You have to take the good with the bad and you have to run with it."

(On what McNair said to team after game)
"This was a hard game. You can't explain some of the situations that happen during the course of the year. The thing about it is, we played hard. It was a great year, and we had a good run. We had a good run through the first year I was here, and we look for better things. We fought hard. We played with a lot of heart. We played with a lot of passion, and that's all we can expect."

(On whether Ravens held back offensively expecting defense to score)
"We're pushing to score offensively. Our defense has done a great job all year in scoring, and that's helped us. But we felt like the one drive we had, that we threw the interception, we got into a rhythm. I think that was the opportunity for us to score and get ahead. But like I said, we cannot permit turnovers down on the other side of the 50 yard line."

(On whether Colts surprised McNair defensively)
"No. Everything we saw on film they did exactly the same. We just didn't execute offensively."

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