Opening statement: “I want to thank everybody for being here, and we appreciate you being here. We had a good practice coming off the tough game yesterday, and we’re going to work on our next game. Obviously, you’re here for more than just that. We had a chance – after seeing something this morning – after seeing the video this morning, we had a chance to get together with Steve [Bisciotti], Dick [Cass], Ozzie [Newsome] and myself, and we had a meeting. It was not a long meeting, and we came to the decision that we came to, to release Ray [Rice]. And that’s what we did. So, you know that. I had a chance to talk to Ray along with Ozzie this afternoon after we did it. [We 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.”
Translation: I wish no one was here to report on this awful event from our knuckleheaded running back. But since you all won’t go away, I have to stand here and say something. The leadership of the Ravens and I got together this morning after the Ray Rice video was released. After we all threw up from seeing this awful footage, we had a decision to make. Should we put a bounty out on TMZ producer, Harvey Levin or cut Ray Rice, or do both. While having Levin snuffed out would do the world a favor, he did shine a light on the barbaric behavior of one of our best players. We decided that hiring a hitman to off Levin would just get the Ravens in more hot water. So we have simply cut Ray Rice from the team. Ozzie Newsome and I spoke to Ray this afternoon and let him know he was fired. Of course we had some security to make sure nothing violent happened…again. We wish the best for Ray and Janay, his wife. And we will do whatever we can going forward to help them….that does not include paying him millions of dollars left on his contract. It was sort of an empty gesture on our part since he has screwed up so badly.
John, what was it like to see that video? “It’s something we saw for the first time today – all of us – and it changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”
Translation: A picture is worth a thousand words. An elevator video is worth an NFL contract. I am shocked at how violent, not to mention dumb, Ray Rice appeared on that night.
Coach, how come the team wasn’t able to see the video until today? “I have no answer for that.”
Translation: Damn! I knew I shouldn’t have called on you for a question. Hey I just coach the team man. The owner forced me to come out here and talk to you vultures. You should ask Steve Bisciotti. Here is his personal cell number. 555-555-555
You came into the league when Ray Rice came into the NFL as a head coach. You had a strong relationship with him. This has to be personally kind of devastating to you. “It’s always … When someone that you care about does wrong and is faced with the consequences of doing wrong – and rightfully so – it is tough, it is hurtful. My pain is for both of them as a couple and going forward. My hope is that they can make it work. From everything that I understand in talking to Ray up until his suspension – talking to him a lot – it seemed like they really were working hard and really doing well in that direction. I hope they can weather this part of it, too. And I’ll be praying for that. If I can help in any way, [if] my wife and I can help in any way, we will. That’s where it’s at.”
Translation: If me or my wife can help the couple in any way , we will. A bodyguard will be sent with my wife obviously though.
Can you share any of RB Ray Rice’s reaction to the news today? “I really would rather not. That’s more personal.”
Translation: Yes, he cried like a baby and did not seem near as tough as he thought he was in that casino elevator. Losing several million dollars will break a guy. No pun intended.
Coach, are you satisfied with the level of diligence that the organization took to see what occurred on that video? “Absolutely. Sure. I’m not following where you’re going with that.”
Translation: Yes, we diligently tried to avoid seeing it or having it become public. Any idiot would know that if there was video outside the elevator that got released, that there would be inside the elevator footage that came out. I am not sure why the NFL didn’t do a better job of covering all this up, to be honest.
Did you discuss it with the team as a whole today? “We did. The team responds the way everybody responds to these things. And again, you’re talking about somebody you know. It’s a little more challenging when you’re talking about someone that’s part of your family, so to speak. So our guys, they felt it. All the same emotions that everybody out there would feel, we all felt.”
Translation: The team seemed down and of course shocked. The only guys that seemed glad were the back up running backs.
Why did the video change the team’s reaction so drastically? What did you think happened in that elevator before you saw the video? “I don’t want to get into all of that. Talking about feelings and all that stuff … It’s pretty easy for everybody to understand. Anybody that has a heart would understand how that goes.”
Translation: I envisioned the couple having a tickle-fight of some sort that ultimately ended with Janay accidentally knocking herself out on the elevator handrail. I was pretty far off it seems.
How did Ray Rice relay the events of the evening to you guys? “I’m not going to get into all of that. Those are personal conversations, and that’s really where that belongs. I want to respect that.”
Translation: His explanation was pretty sketchy, involving phrases like, “drunk as hell”, “actin a fool”, and “I know better”. He left out the key phrase, “left hook”.
What do you think about the timing of this whole video and how that impacts the team in the midst of a short week with a game coming up? “The timing is the timing that it is. We have a football game to play Thursday night. We have no control over that. I don’t have any feelings about that at all. It will not impact us in any way, football-wise. You can’t allow that. This is professional football, and we’ll be ready to play Thursday night.”
Translation: We hope to win the game Thursday night and get asked some football questions. Those are much easier to answer with clichés.
This affects the organization on so many different levels, John. Which is the most difficult? “I wish I had an answer for that. That’s a pretty deep question. I haven’t given it that much thought to think of it in that many levels right now.”
Translation: Money son! $9 million cap hit for next year from cutting Rice.
Do you expect Ray Rice to play in the NFL again? “I don’t have any expectation for anything right now. My expectation right now really is to move with our team going forward and [being] the best football team we can be.”
Translation: No. If he manages to get another shot, which I doubt, he will be washed up as a player. Running backs have a short shelf life anyway. He better enroll in some kind of online college.
Who’s your starting running back Thursday? “Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett – they’ll both play a lot. Lorenzo Taliaferro will be a big part of it, too. Good question. Thanks.”
Translation: One of the hacks that usually rides the bench. It doesn’t matter who does it? We are screwed at tailback. If the backups were any count, they wouldn’t be backups would they?