Outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw form a key piece of the Baltimore Ravens' defensive puzzle. This season, the team has counted on the pair to contribute even more since fellow outside linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered a season-ending torn Achilles injury during Week One.
Now in his third season with the Ravens, Dumervil set a new team single-season sack record in 2014 with 17. Drafted by the Ravens with their first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (35th overall), Upshaw has seen action during every Ravens regular-season and postseason game since joining the team.
Morgan Adsit: How difficult was it to walk away from September without a win?
Elvis Dumervil: It's difficult. The effort was there. The crowd was awesome. We made plays, but they made one more play than we did. It's just heartbreaking, but ... we can't feel sorry for ourselves.
Courtney Upshaw: No excuses. No speech or any special words to use other than just go make it happen and go win the game.
MA: You've been a part of this, on the other end in December, as far as losing three straight. Does it matter what time of the year it is? Can you try to think about stacking wins, or is it really about the next one?
CU: We want to win them all, honestly, beginning of the year, middle, end of the year, especially at the end of the year. Let's be honest with ourselves. But at the end of the day ... we've just got to go make it happen.
MA: As a defense, we've said it now for a few weeks about getting off the field. What do you attribute that issue to so early on in the season with you guys?
CU: [We're] just not playing winning football, a couple plays here and there.
MA: The issue of not getting off the field, what can that be attributed to on defense?
ED: We've just got to make plays. Our players, and myself included, we've just got to get off the field.
MA: You did come up with your first sack [against the Cincinnati Bengals], and it, of course, led to C.J. Mosley taking it back for a touchdown. Is the takeaway that at least you've got that momentum going -- you guys did make plays on defense?
ED: Like I said, we made plays, and we played with great effort, but at the end of the game, we've got to put the onus on ourselves on defense and be able to close it out. ... We have to get better.
MA: I know it's on the other side of the ball, but he's your teammate. When Steve Smith Sr. literally puts the team on his back, when you see it on that side of the ball, do you kind of relish to have that happen on defense?
CU: Of course. When Steve makes a catch and he extends the ball, and he's doing his thing, it hypes us up. But at the same time, with that being said, we have to take that energy our leader, Steve, is putting out there, and we've got to put it on our back as well and go out there and bring that energy, too.
To listen to the complete interview with Morgan Adsit, click here.
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