Ngata preaching patience against zone-read attack

January 30, 2013 | WNST Staff



(on the Ravens’ 3-4 defense) “This year, we’re moving around a bunch and using two defensive ends quite a bit instead of just having the 3-4 with one big end and one small end.  It’s been more of a mix this year.  Right now, it’s probably the hot thing to do, but once the offenses figure it out, the defenses will probably move back to the 4-3.”


(on who he thinks is the best overall athlete on the Ravens) “I’d say it’s probably (punter) Sam Koch.  You watch him in practice doing all of the different things he can do and it’s pretty amazing.  He can throw the ball, he can kick it, throw it with ss dedication and passion to play the game is so great.  With our culture—we’re both Tongan—we don’t like it when people say no to us.  We like to prove people wrong and he’s definitely done that.  He’s fought against time because he’s definitely older now.  He’s been a great addition to our team and a great leader. He’s a great example for our younger linemen.”


(on the keys to winning Sunday’s game) “I think we have to stop the run.  (49ers RB) Frank Gore is definitely a dangerous running back.  We have to stop both him and Colin (Kaepernick) running the ball, but I think it all starts with stopping Gore.”


(on the defensive patience needed to play against the 49ers) “We definitely have to be patient.  We have to make sure that if you have a dive, you take the dive.  If you have the quarterback, you take the quarterback.  We’ve got to be careful and make sure that we communicate and get a stop.  Our guys up front have to beat their blocks because they do very well with double teams.  Once we get to the running back,we have to bring him down.”


(on the challenge of stopping the 49ers’ option offense) “It’s tough.  When we played Washington with RG III (Redskins QB Robert Griffin III), they hit us in the beginning of the game with a bunch of read option and pistol formation plays.  We had to adjust, and once we did, we did better. Hopefully, it doesn’t take us too long to adjust (on Sunday), and hopefully the things that we’ve been practicing will work.  We can’t hesitate, and they’ve been successful getting a lot of teams to hesitate and guess.  Communication is key.  You have to understand what you’re doing.”


(on the soul-searching team meeting following their three-game losing streak) “We had a little therapeutic session.  It was huge that our coach (John Harbaugh) was able to stand there and listen to some of our concerns.  That takes a lot of heart and humbleness to sit there and listen to that.  Once we got all of that out, we started communicating better.  We started talking more coach-to-player and player-to-coach.  It brought us closer and it definitely helped our team.”


(on why the players precipitated that meeting with the coaches) “I think part of it was the way some of our practices were going and how long we were meeting.  It wasn’t anything too serious.”


(on the camaraderie among the defensive linemen this season) “It’s been better this year than in other years.  We’ve done more things together as a unit like watching film, eating dinner and stuff like that.  It just feels a little closer.  I think our younger guys are growing up, and we also have Ma’ake (Kemoeatu) who’s an older guy.  We just jell.”


(on LB Terrell Suggs coming back from his injury) “Terrell’s passion and fire to come back was amazing.  I think it made (LB) Ray Lewis want to come back from his tricep injury.  I think it trickled down throughout the whole team.  I don’t know if people understood how significant Terrell is to our team, and him coming back definitely helped our defense.”

(on if having played this season against Robert Griffin III helps in preparing for Colin Kaepernick) “RG III (Griffin) is willing to cut a lot and make a lot of cutting plays.  Colin hits that edge, and once he gets there, he runs it really fast.  They’re different runners but their speed is very similar.  You definitely have to be careful with both guys.”


(on if yesterday’s Sports Illustrated report about Ray Lewis is a distraction) “We don’t pay any attention to it. Whatever the media wants to say about it is what they feel and think, but we’re just moving on and trying to practice to get ready for the game.”


(on if the team is motivated to win for Ray Lewis in his final season) “We’re definitely motivated to play for Ray to try to send him off as a Super Bowl champion.  But I think a lot of us are also playing for ourselves as well. If we can help Ray retire as a Super Bowl champion, that would be awesome and a blessing. I just feel so lucky to be on this team.”