Ravens Wide Receiver Steve Smith, Sr.
This Sunday the Oakland Raiders will take on a gritty Baltimore Ravens team at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are known for their brute force and physicality on both sides of the ball. The AFC North is known for its smash-mouth type of play and there shouldn't be a shortage of it when the two teams collide. Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr., has been known for his trash talk on the field and in-game antics.
Heading into the matchup, here's what the opponents are saying.
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Harbaugh discussed Raiders quarterback Derek Carr's progression and maturity as a player.
"What I see is a really good quarterback. I'm sure that they're very happy with him, we saw him last year in the second game. He played excellent football against us. Just watching him on tape now, he looks better, I mean, he's improved. But, it will be hard to look much better than he did in that game, so we just always had respect for him and I can see why they would consider him their leader."
He commended the Raiders' secondary for their play, in particular cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson.
"You know, Sean Smith has been around for a while with Kansas City. We played him a few times, so we know he's very talented and a good player. Of course, David Amerson, I think he's turned himself into one of the best corners, it looks like, in football right now. I think he's done that by improving his technique and eyes and things like that. He looks really good."
The Ravens Head Coach also shared his thoughts on Raiders' pass rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.
"He's [Khalil Mack] a devastating pass rusher and then to bring [Bruce] Irvin in there, I thought it was a great move and they complement each other as outside backers, they're kind of interchangeable even in their base package and certainly in the sub and pass rushes. That's a very formidable group."
Harbaugh spoke about what he thinks it will be like facing off against former Raven Kelechi Osemele.
"[I] just respect him. I told our media today, he's one of the guys I loved the best in the draft that year he came out and really wanted him on our team and [Ravens General Manager & Executive Vice President] Ozzie [Newsome] liked him too and found a way to make it happen. He did not disappoint ever, at any point in time in terms of what he contributed to our program.
Running Back Justin Forsett
**Forsett opened up about his time in Seattle with the Seahawks, specifically linebacker Malcolm Smith and defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
"Man, those guys are like family to me. I spent a lot of time with them, especially with Malcolm. He was a young guy coming in when I was in Seattle; smart kid, worked hard every day. I'm happy for his success. Coach Norton was one of those guys that keeps you motivated. He kept me motivated in Seattle. It'll be good seeing those guys again."
After playing with Osemele for three years, the Ravens running back talked about what he provides on the offensive line.
"He's just one of those nasty offensive linemen. He goes out, he tries to dominate every play. He's physical. You're going to see guys getting pancaked and he's standing over them. He's kind of that mouthpiece out there, that headhunter that you want on the offensive line."
Forsett added what a team's mentality is when playing against defensive end Khalil Mack.
"Definitely have to be aware of where he is on every play. He can wreak havoc on you, on your team. He's still a dominant player in this league. He's aggressive. He's athletic. He's physical and we definitely, like I said, have to keep our eyes on him."
Linebacker Elvis Dumervil
Dumervil talked about being teammates with Osemele and facing him on Sunday.
"I know as a teammate when he was here the way he approached the game. He was a professional. He's a tremendous athlete, so I'm sure he'll be ready and I know we'll be ready."
Linebacker Zachary Orr
Orr said that the Raiders present challenges on offense and noted how they'll have to play.
"We're going to have our hands full… The Raiders have a great offense starting with their quarterback, great offensive line, good headed trio at running back, and you know what they have outside at receiver. It's going to take us being disciplined, we're going to have to play fundamental football."
He stated it will be a good matchup with the second-ranked offense and second-ranked defense going toe-to-toe.
"You hear the numbers, there's no shying away from that. They're definitely top two, top three in the league offensively. It'll be a great challenge to see where we stack up, because statistically we're one of the top defenses in the league right now, and it'll be a great battle."