John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Quotes from Baltimore Ravens' Haloti Ngata ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl between the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
QUOTES FROM BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA SESSION
DEFENSIVE TACKLE HALOTI NGATA
(on relationship with Ray Lewis) "Ever since I've been here, the communication level has been great. Now, we don't really need to say much to each other (on the field). We know where each other is going to be on the field, and we know what we need to get done. It comes with experience with each other and a lot of playing together. It'll be totally different without him here next year."
(on comfort level of having Ray Lewis playing behind him) "It's huge. His leadership definitely changes the game and changes the way you play. It's just great to play with someone like that. When he retires, it won't just be weird for our defense but for our whole team. He does a lot of things to help us. He's a great leader. It's definitely going to be different next year."
(on what it's like being in New Orleans) "I haven't really had a chance yet to check the place out. I'll walk around today, look around and check out some of the sights. It'll be pretty cool. I'm excited to walk around here."
(on what kind of defensive problems that 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick presents) "You kind of think of him as an RG III (Washington's Robert Griffin III) type of player. He can run the ball and he can pass it as well. We've definitely got to do a good job of trying to contain him. We need to get pressure on him. It's going to be a great task for our defense but we're definitely up for it. He can hurt you in so many ways passing and running the ball. When we rush him on passing downs, we can't just rush up the field because then he can find a lane and run. With him, you've just got to be careful with a lot of the things that you do."
(on strength of Ravens' defense) "I think it's definitely our coverage. Our coverage has done a great job doing what they need to do, and it's definitely helped us out as a defense."
(on if he considers 49ers offense to be unorthodox) "No, they just really have a multiple offense with a power running game and they also have the option pass. We kind of think about it as like the Redskins game. Of course, the 49ers' running backs are different and they have different type of athletes at wide receiver. We definitely have to just play our style of ball and not try to do too much."
(on his hit on Robert Griffin III in game against Washington) "I didn't think I even hit him that hard. His body just kind of fell underneath me. Again, I didn't think I hit him that hard, but when you see the replay, you can see that his leg kind of whipped around. It kind of blew my mind that he actually got up and started limping off the field. For him to actually come back in the game and play was unbelievable."
(on having all members of Ravens defense healthy again) "We hadn't really played much together all season, but now that we're all healthy with me and Ray (Lewis) and Terrell (Suggs), and we've been playing together through the playoffs, it's been great."
(on if he think this is going to be the Ravens' year) "I think that three-game losing streak we were on made us think about what we really wanted to do. We just had to turn it around from there and I think we were able to get back on track. I don't think we ever gave up, and we didn't lose sight of what we wanted to accomplish."
(on the qualities of a good NFL defensive tackle) "Strength and quickness definitely helps, especially being in the middle when there's so much going on."
(on how he and his teammates are responding to being at the Super Bowl) "A lot of us are taking pictures and trying to record the moment of us flying here. When our plane touched down, I think a lot of us realized we were here to do a lot of work and also to have some fun."
(on the most "high maintenance" member of Ravens) "I don't know about high maintenance but (Bernard) Pollard is kind of an OCD type of guy. He gets worried and kind of freaks out. You've got to make sure that you're doing the right things or he'll freak out on you."
(on the toughest guy on the Ravens) "You're probably looking at him (laughs). There's a lot of guys on our team who are really quiet so you have to be careful around them."
(on Coach John Harbaugh) "Coach Harbaugh has done so many things for this team by the way he wanted this team to be and the way he wanted to run it. The first year or two, we definitely had some disagreements with him, but he definitely listened to some things that the players wanted. He was able to put his feelings down and let some things happen. This year has been totally where we've been able to communicate with Coach, and Coach has been able to communicate with the players. He's done a phenomenal job this whole year of communicating with us, and I think that's been the biggest change."
(on Coach Harbaugh competing against his brother in the Super Bowl) "We've played against them (49ers) before but I definitely think it is kind of weird and different (to compete against your brother). But you've got to be proud of both guys for what they have accomplished. "
(on the food on New Orleans) "I'm looking forward to it. The Cajun food, the gumbo and all of that. It'll be pretty cool to try some of the food around here."