QUOTES FROM BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA DAY
TIGHT END DENNIS PITTA
(on thoughts on 49ers media bias) "You know, I don’t know. I haven’t really been paying attention to what people have been saying. I know we just came from Baltimore and where theres a whole lot of Ravens fans. It’s kind of what we’ve been surrounded with."
(on entering the Superdome) "I’ve played here before; I played here in college but never in the NFL. It’s an impressive stadium. It feels huge. You look up and you feel like it’s a mile high. It’s a great place to play and a great venue."
(on having so much security around) "It’s a lot of fun having our guys around. It’s kind of sweet to have this monstrosity of media over there (reference to Ray Lewis’ podium). I feel like a kind of side show compared to what’s going on over there."
(on John Harbaugh as a coach) "He’s a good football coach. He’s passionate about football, listens to his players on the team, and just knows the game well. He inspires his team and puts us in the best position to win, which is why he has been so successful."
(on Vernon Davis as an opposing TE) "He’s a great football player. I’m fortunate I don’t have to go against him. I get to watch him on the sideline."
(on team utilization of the TE position) "We utilize the tight end well. It’s a big part of our pass game. It’s something that we feel like we can create mismatches with the defense. I think we have tight ends that can run and get down field and catch a lot of footballs. That’s helped us."
(on relationship with fellow TE Ed Dickson) "Ed and I work well together. I think we both have important roles on this team. It’s fun to play with him and to have been here these last few years with him."
(on why the Ravens deserve to win) "You know, we’ve battled a lot this year. We’ve overcome a lot of adversity. We took a long road to the playoffs to get here. We took on some tough road games. We’re a battle tested team and we know what we’re capable of doing. We’re going to play our hardest and do what we can to win."
(on feelings about being in the Super Bowl) "This is impressive. It’s kind of a lot going on. It’s a lot of fun and a great experience. You know, the first time I’ve ever been to the Super Bowl, let alone play in it, so I am just trying to enjoy the week."
(on stepping onto the field Sunday) "Crazy, I don’t know what it’s going to be like. I have played in a lot of big football games and a couple of AFC Championship games but this is going to be probably a big step above that."
(on Ray Lewis) "I think he’s been great. He’s gone as long as he can this year to the final game and has been huge for our football team."
(on the changes by Jim Caldwell) "Jim is a great football coach, great leader for our offense. He’s done a tremendous job. I think a change was needed. I think we hit a plateau as an offense with Cam Cameron, for whatever reason. Cameron’s a great coach but I think we needed a change. It was a bold move to make the change in Week 13 like John did, but it ended up being a great decision for us. Jim has really got us to play some good football as of late."
(on getting Ray Rice more involved) "Ray is a dynamic player and you always want to get him as involved as possible. We’ve tried that all year. It’s not like we’ve neglected to give him the football but we’re doing it in more creative ways now. It’s not just lining up in a pro formation and just handing him the ball. It’s getting him more on the edge and getting him involved in the pass game has really helped."
(on mid-season offensive coordinator change) "It was shocking at the time. Because of the time when it happened, week 13, you don’t expect a change in offensive coordinators. You know, you are sitting with a playoff on the horizon. It was a bold move but it was certainly the right decision. Jim Caldwell is a tremendous football coach and has been great offensive coordinator for us."
(on Joe Flacco evolving with the offensive coordinator change) "The big part of Joe’s evolvement has been the play of our offensive line. They’ve been tremendous in giving him time. Anytime you can give a quarterback plenty of time to get comfortable and get in a rhythm that certainly helps. I think that has been huge for us in this last run."
(on Juan Castillo) "He is good football coach. He’s got a great reputation. He has only been with us for a short time so it’s hard to assess right now, but he’s got a great track record and we’re excited to have him on board."
(on advice from his father about playing) "He’s been an inspiration to me my whole life. He’s knowledgeable about football. He was a great athlete in his time and really helped me and supported me in my whole career. He’s always someone I could turn to for advice, support, and he’s been huge. It’s about effort, playing the game, never quitting, about heart, you know little things that he’s told me along my career that have helped out."
(on impressions on Colin Kaepernick) "He’s a great football player and great athlete. I watched him a little in Nevada and knew he could run and knew he was a good athlete. I’ve been impressed by how well he throws the football. He’s a tough player and we have our work cut out for us this week to stop him."
(on how to deal with distractions during the week) "We’ve only got a hand full of guys that have been through this experience before and they have given us a great deal of advice along with Coach Harbaugh. It’s about just staying focused and this is business trip. We’re here to win a football game. We have one game left and that’s got to be our focus. You have to be able to manage the distractions and do your best to focus on the football game. Obviously, that’s what we’ll try to do."
(on advice from Ray Lewis about being in the Super Bowl) "They’ve kind of echoed the same sentiments. You just have to focus on the game and be able to put everything aside. There’s a lot to do, a lot to do at night here. You’re going to be pulled in a lot of different directions but there’s plenty of time to do that and then party after you win. You have to kind of buckle down this week and just focus on the game."
(on safety concerns of the game and its future) "The nature of football is violent. I don’t think you will ever be able to eliminate some of those big hits. I understand the league is trying to limit some of those things, the big hits and concussions that are going on. Those are going to happen just by the nature of the sport. I don’t necessarily agree that the sport is going to be gone in 30 years. I think it’s too popular, too exciting for fans. I think they’ll find ways to revise it a little bit, make it a little safer, but as an offensive player, I am okay with that, as long as players aren’t launching at my head."
(on the road to the Super Bowl) "I think during a season to get to this point you have to be good and you have to be fortunate at times. We’ve been fortunate enough to take the mistakes by defenses, fortunate to make plays that were critical in critical situations. You have to have players that can perform in those situations. We’ve got a quarterback that can make throws in tough situations and players that can make plays. So that’s really driven this team up until this point. We’ve had a lot of adversity. We are a better football team now having gone through all that.
(on expectations coming to the Super Bowl) "It’s tough to know what to expect. I’ve never been to the Super Bowl as a spectator, let alone as a player. You just kind of have to take it all in and enjoy the experience, enjoy the ride, try and focus on the game."
(on how it would feel on playing against a brother in the Super Bowl) "I would have to play against my sister because I don’t have a brother. It would be incredible to play against a sibling like that, someone you grew up with your whole life and know so well. To be on opposite sides where the whole world is watching, I can’t imagine what that would be like."
(on involvement in the offense at onset of the year) "You know training camp, I did. I think I had some important games at the end of last season too that helped me contribute to the team a little more. So, going into this year I knew my role would be extensive. In training camp I broke my hand, so I missed all of training camp. I kind of had to start fresh again in Week 1. Obviously, as a team it’s been a great year.