Throngs of media gathered at the Ravens facility on Monday due to the release of Pro-Bowl running back Ray Rice, and rightly so.
Head coach John Harbaugh addressed the media after practice on Monday alone. No front office brass was there alongside the Super Bowl winning coach. It was just him and the podium.
“I have nothing but hope and goodwill for Ray and Janay and we’ll do whatever we can going forward to help them as they go forward and try to make the best of it.”
“It’s something we saw for the first time today, you know, all of us, and it changed things of course, you know. It made things a little bit different.”
“I’ll always believe [what I’ve said about Ray Rice and Janay], and we’ll always stand by them as a couple. That’s not gonna change.”
Several other Ravens addressed the release of Rice and the incident following practice and here is what they had to say.
“Well, I think that [the organization] is looking at the best interest of our football team, and that decision was made. Whether I agree with it or not, we as professionals have a job to do. We have to move forward. We have a game on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we’re in a tough spot right now as a football team. We started out 0-1 in the division at home, so we really have to do all we can to come together and give ourselves the best chance to be successful on Thursday.”
“It’s definitely tough. You hate to see [Ray Rice] in that predicament. It’s definitely tough seeing that, watching that video, but hopefully … I know for a fact that – just being with him since the incident, working with him, [I knew] him for a lot of years now – that he’s definitely going to mature, and I’m not going to abandon him now. I’m going to be a friend and help him in his growth and development. But [it was] definitely a shame watching that.”
“It’s kind of the same way with any other player – with an Ed Reed or Ray Lewis. When those guys left, it’s tough from a friend aspect, but it’s [about the] next man up.”
“It’s definitely disappointing, but we’re in a limelight position: To whom much is given, much is required. A lot of things are given to us, and we have to be able to understand it.”
“We’re going to play ball. We knew we were going to be without him anyway for the first two games, so our focus is on the Steelers and nothing else. More so than anything is getting this stuff out of the way early, because at the end of the day, we’re focusing on our game plan and going out there to play ball. That’s just a product of it. We lost one of our best players here, and he was a great Raven, and it feels weird to even say that. That’s the punishment, and he has to deal with it. It’s way worse for him than it is for us. We just have to get ready for the next one.”
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