Bengals-Rams Postgame Quotes

Posted Dec 18, 2011


DECEMBER 18, 2011


On the game:
“I think this was a good job and a good win. It was kind of an awkward finish there with the touchdown at the end of the game. Some of the guys were a little deflated about it and dejected a bit; they just wanted to finish it out. They held back a little bit on that and let us rush and put the ball in the air a little bit. We have to do a better job at that.”

“I thought overall for the football team there were two things, our penalties in the first half really put us behind a little bit. We had two procedures, we had a holding, we had a hands to the face, we had a face mask on the other side and that really made a big difference on the football team. Then our failure to convert on third and-1 and fourth and-1 right before the half. Then we came back out during the second half and threw the ball down the field got the touchdown and then the field goal. Then we cut back and scored two more touchdowns. We did a little better with our execution, but we still need to look hard at improving our red zone possessions offensively. We get close and then we don’t make the play. We keep getting down there and keep chopping wood at it and make those plays.”

On the importance of this win:
“The only thing we can control is us. That is all we have to keep worrying about now. It is good to win and it keeps us going and doing what we need to do, the other things will take care of themselves. We can’t control that. We can only control us and now we have to keep moving forward to the Arizona Cardinals.”

On WR A.J. Green as a deep threat:
“He continues to make plays. He makes big plays, vertical plays or underneath plays or whatever. He does a nice job and I thought (WR) Jerome Simpson came out and made some plays today. We just have to keep going. We didn’t get the ball to the tight end as much as we liked today. We were inconsistent in the running game overall, it is just something that we have to continually work at and look at. We didn’t run the ball as productively early on as I would have liked to. “

On the injury of A.J. Green:
“He should be OK, he looks sore.”

On the running game during the second half:
“We adjusted some of the things we do and we discussed the stats. We had to adjust some of the things we were doing to take away some of the things they were doing in a game with things we thought we could exploit. They adjust and then we would adjust. Overall, when it comes down to it I am sure our pads were lower and things worked out better that way. We just have to keep after it. You can’t get frustrated.”


On the importance of this victory to stay in the playoff hunt:
“It was big in that regard (the playoffs). We knew we had to come out and get a win. We started a little slow, but won in the end and that’s all that matters. It’s one step and we’ve just got to take care of our business.”

On the team’s overall performance:
“We still haven’t played to our potential. We’ve got to eliminate the penalties. We’ve got to get first downs on those third and shorts. Things like that, we’ve got to be able to put it all together. When we do that, we feel like we’ve got a chance to be pretty good.”

On Cincinnati punt return, did it provide a spark:
“It was big. It seemed like a lot of the time we were backed up inside the 15. So, that was a big play it gave us great field position and led to a score.”

On starting slow:
“It seems like everything comes down to the second half. Whatever it is, we’re finding a way to win at the end and we were able to do that again today.”

On wide receiver A.J. Green reaching 1,000 yards receiving:
“He’s a special player and I’m happy for him that he’s been able to do everything he’s done. It’s great for him to reach that mark.”


On having a tough game against the Rams:
“Definitely (it was tough). Everything’s not pretty, but we came out with the win.”

On being in the playoff hunt:
“We just have to win these last two games to get in there. We need a couple of teams to help, but all we can do is to win these last two games. We’ll be ready.”

On the lack of execution in the red zone, what’s the problem?
“I don’t know, were not executing to our ability and that’s one thing we have to work.”

On staying composed despite the lack of execution:
“You have to keep pushing. This is the NFL and things happen. You have to keep pushing because you don’t know when your time will come and you want to make the play.”

On his injury:
“It’s just an AC joint sprain, I’ve had it before and it’s nothing serious.”

On whether or not he’ll miss game time:
“I’m definitely not going to miss these last two games for nothing. You’ll have to break my leg or something. I’m just ready to get back out there and get in that playoff hunt.”

On his performance today:
“They gave me the ball early and got me involved to make some plays.”


On the play of the defense today:
“We just wanted to focus on consistently playing within the defense. I think that anytime we give up plays, it’s us being out of position. I think we did a great job of consistently being in the right position and taking care of our responsibilities.”

On how Rams QB Sam Bradford not playing affected their game plan:
“We prepared as if he would be playing, but if he didn’t we were still going to run our style of defense. I would probably say with a guy that hasn’t had as many reps the playbook might be a little limited to him, but other than that I don’t think we prepared any different. We still had our same calls we were going into the game with.”

On his sack:
“Coach dialed up the blitz and just ran it. Because of the protection, I ended up coming free. When your opportunity is knocking you have to take advantage of it.”

On if the Bengals win will affect teams that play later today and are competing with them for a playoff spot:
“I’m not really sure if they are focused on what we did today. I think we control our own destiny if we finish strong, I think we give ourselves a chance. We have two more games to go. We have Arizona this week. The guys are going to be focused on the opponent at hand, and when the season is over we will just see where we stand.”


On if the team had the mindset of winning out today:
“Yes we have that mindset. We know every game is important. For us to get to where we need to go, we have to win these games.“

On the offense’s red zone trouble:
“We are not making plays. We are getting down there quite often, but we are not finishing. We just have to make our plays, block our guys and get six points instead of three.“

On comparing the struggles of offense to a baseball slump:
“No it’s not that because it’s not baseball. When the ball is in the air we have to make the play, we have to block our assigned guys and don’t get beat more than anything. We haven’t been consistent with that we need to be more consistent.

On rookie QB Andy Dalton’s ability to stay calm:
“That’s why as a rookie he is that good. He’s so mature where he is at and he knows he has players who can make plays around him. He doesn’t need to press anything. We have a great defense and he knows he doesn’t have to do anything out of the norm.”


Opening statement:
“Obviously disappointed for the guys that we couldn’t come away with a win because for 60 minutes in the game, for 55 of those minutes I was very proud of the way they played and fought. Even in the end there we get that onside kick, who knows. Credit for that, disappointed for them not winning the football game. Injury-wise some guys kind of got bumped and bruised. (CB) Josh Gordy was fighting that oblique, (LB) Chris Chamberlain got poked in the eye. (S) Darian Stewart, his back was a little bit sore. (S) Craig Dahl had a thigh bruise and (LB) Josh Hull, he’s one that might be serious. I didn’t catch everything from (Head Athletic Trainer) Reggie (Scott) on that, but it was at the end of the game there. He’s got an ankle injury and we’re going to have to get it X-rayed to see what we’re dealing with. Other than that I’ll open it up. Again, there’s only two things I can say, I’m proud of them for a good chunk of the game. There was a period in there, I was a little disappointed with some of the undisciplined play and yet I don’t know if it was all them or some other issues. I’ll have to wait to see the film. But I did like the way they finished it out. With that I’ll open it up.”

On what OL Harvey Dahl said to the referee:
“I didn’t ask Harvey that. The only thing I … my education to Harvey was you don’t talk to the officials and he’s got to be careful with that. And then that’s all I said to him and sent him back out there. You’d have to ask the official why he …”

On if it is routine for referees to throw the flag on that kind of penalty:
“I think so. Pretty much. I agree with you 100 percent. Again, I’m not there. I don’t know what motivated the official to throw it. I don’t know that, I didn’t ask him. I probably should have. At that point, I don’t think he’s going to pick it up.”

On penalties on LB Chris Chamberlain and him being poked in the eye:
“I think it was all involved in there. But without me really knowing and seeing the whole thing I’m going to try not to officiate here. Obviously he has a sore eye and we had a penalty.”

On if there was a chance QB Sam Bradford was going to play:
“We got to the end of the week and he really didn’t take any reps and we said, ‘Ok look, we’re not going to take any chances with him.’ Really Sam and I had a long conversation yesterday or the day before, I don’t remember what day it was and I told him until that thing is, we feel really good about it, we’re going to be really careful. He understands that and yet he’s battling to get back because he wants to be back with his teammates. He really does.”

On QB Kellen Clemens:
“I’m glad you asked that. I tell you what, extremely impressed and I think all of us should be. Ten days, I think he’s been here. When I say a new playbook, it’s not a whole playbook obviously, it’s a game week game plan. But he goes in there manages the huddle, he’s making suggestions. He’s running the two-minute. I think he got one period of five plays in our two-minute drill and went out there and operated and did what he did. Extremely proud of Kellen, I’m really glad we have him.”

On not going for it on fourth and one in the third quarter:
“Yeah, I decided to punt it. Thought it was the right thing to do.”

On DE Chris Long:
“I appreciate you bringing that up though because Chris Long is a warrior and is emerging as one of our strongest leaders. That’s probably the two highest compliments I can pay to him. He is battling through an ankle injury. It’s one of those that’s not getting better every week and he wants to be out there practicing. He told me the other day, “Coach, I want to go out there with my guys.’ I said, ‘Well look we want to be smart, trusting the trainers and get you to the game.’ He’s been a bright spot for us.”

On if Clemens was equipped to make adjustments when he was blitzed:
“Oh yeah. I’m not sure exactly…in some of the things when we get blitzed there’s a route adjustment. There wasn’t anything that we limited. There wasn’t like we said, ‘Hey, if that happens lets pack it in and we can’t do anything.’ And there were a couple checks he made in there. One he checked us from a pass to run and I know we had a run play, he checked in to that. He was doing checking all day long. So we haven’t had to limit ourselves that way. Very sharp, sharp football player. He’s a pro.”

On third down conversion rate:
“Offensively? Yeah, hard to move the ball when you’re not converting on third down. And I don’t know what the distance on all of them were, but some of that can go back to not being effective on first and second down. And yet, I thought early in the game we were kind of moving the ball there pretty good there. (RB) Steven (Jackson) had some runs and then it just seems to be one play here or there that you kind of stub, and then the series is over. It’s hard. We haven’t been able to generate those explosive plays and that’s kind of been the story a lot. For whatever reason they’re taking away certain weapons and they defend a certain way. You’ve got to try to manufacture some points working our way down the field. It’s hard to be perfect for however number of plays, but one thing you’ve got to do is convert on third down.”

On if he is happy with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’s playcalling:
“Yeah, absolutely.”

On taking chances on fourth down:
“I don’t think you can operate a game, I talk to the team all the time. This is a football game. I think that would be not very smart to let decisions be made based on that. We’re trying to win a football game. If I’m not mistaken it was either 6-6 or 6-3, anybody remember? Six-six. Ball’s on the 50-yard line, our defense is playing pretty good defense and there’s two things that can happen. Now, we’ll never know what would’ve happened if we had gone for it. None of us in here know. If we had gone for it and got it, Amen, that’d be beautiful. If I had a crystal ball and knew that was going to happen, I definitely would’ve gone for it. But I still think it was the right thing to do.”

On if they had to use extra safeties because they only had two safeties:
“Oh yeah. Well if you look at the nickel, dime, whatever you want to call it defense, it’s four safeties and two corners. We never have…I don’t believe at all today that we went to a three corner sub defense and that’s difficult. You’re covering a slot receiver with a safety. Craig Dahl’s battling his butt off in there and sometimes Darian Stewart’s over there. Those safeties now, I tell you what, those four safeties, a bunch of tough guys that…and they have to learn a lot. There’s been a lot of education for guys playing nickel that haven’t played nickel and Will in the sub defense that haven’t played Will. And I think they’ve done a really good job.”

On the defense hanging in there when the margin of error is so slim:
“That’s a good way to put it because you’re 100 percent right on two accounts there, that the margin is, because it’s hard for us to manufacture points right now. And yet, I just think it says the character of the coaches, the players, that they take a lot of pride in playing defense. They function a certain way, the up-front guys to me are amazing the way (LB) James Laurinaitis operates the whole thing. They never stop battling. It doesn’t matter what the score is. The nature of defense, you’re up by three, you’re down by three, you play defense the exact the same way. Get the ball back to the offense, every single time. And I agree 100 percent that my hat goes off to the way the defensive guys and coaches have operated through a really difficult time.”

On punt coverage:
“I’m sure (P) Donnie’ll (Jones) tell you the same thing. We’re trying to kick it out, it kind of gets on the numbers there a little bit. But having said that, it is out there where we want it. We don’t want it down the middle. It’s hard to get it out every single time. But, and without looking at it again, I don’t know where the break down was but somehow, someway somebody’s got to stop the ball first. That’s what you do. I saw it from where I was standing there was a little crease there and you give that guy a crease, that’s what happens. Then you’ve just got to find a way to get him on the ground.”

On if he wants the balls to be punted out of bounds:
“They’re all designed to do that or at least in what we call the outside collar out there because then you can pin them in. So it’s not just Donnie’s job. He got one out there at the end and he’s trying to do that. Now, here’s the fine line. You try to do that too aggressively you get a 20-yard punt and we all know that. So we’re telling him get it out there as deep as you can and if not it’s got to be packed in there and then it is the responsibility of the other ten because he’s into the…he’s not down the middle and there’s only a quarter of the field that he’s using. Somebody’s got to find a way to get him on the ground.”

On if tomorrow is game plan day:
“Yeah it was a grind last week, the same thing and we kind of adjusted the schedule a little bit. I’d like to dig right into Pittsburgh to be quite honest with you once we put this to bed.”

On if he had any alternative motive other than to play situational football:
“I’m not thinking about the dam breaking. I will say this that the conversations are always, what about this? I’m going to be careful what I say, we’ve got two more games to play, but there’s a lot in there that is designed to do some other things. Yet, we’ve got to look are they there? They’re not there. So you don’t want to go up against a wall and then turn around and have it go the other way. I really thought the play, we pitched it back to Kellen, we practiced that all week. We thought that was going to be a big one for us. We got some other couple things that we were trying to generate some offense, generate some field position, and ultimately generate some points. We’re not trying to play anything close to the vest. Everything is tried to be called aggressive. Defensively, certainly we’re trying to get the ball back to the offense. Even special teams-wise. I’ll give you an example, we’ve gone for quite a few blocks and got the one today. So that’s in there. Sometimes what they put out there or present eliminates us from actually doing some things.”

On if this season is more disappointing than his first season because of expectations:
“The honest answer to that is probably yeah. Because it’s hard when the expectations are … but I do believe that there’s still a building here. I do. And the situation that we’re in right now has continued to build. That’s never going to stop, in my opinion. We know that the goals, objectives, that we set out for this year are no longer attainable, other than celebrate an NFL win in the locker room. We’ve got two more chances to do that and that still means a great deal to me and to the guys. Aside from that, the mindset will be in some ways to continue to build and do the right things to build. We owe that to the organization, I owe that to the organization. I owe it to the players. And I know they’re doing that and I appreciate the efforts. I tell you, again, so proud. I was in the middle of the game standing there in the third quarter saying, ‘I’m so proud of this football team.’ I probably shouldn’t have said that, I might have jinxed myself because then there was the five-minute swing there where I was a little bit disappointed. And I said that to the team, so I’m not telling you anything I haven’t expressed to them. And yet, there’s a never say die and a fight in this football team. God bless them for that.”

On the officiating:
“The only thing I can tell you is, because I was frustrated, and I’m being careful not to pass judgment now. However, I did ask the referee to please try to call it both ways. If it’s going to be called and we’re going to protect, let’s protect everybody. Let’s call it…and that’s all you can really ask of any officiating crew is to just be consistent. Now I’m not saying whether it was or wasn’t. I’m just saying that’s all I asked. That was the only thing I said, was if we could try to be very consistent.”

On if Harvey Dahl would have gotten flagged if the microphone wasn’t on:
“I don’t know that. What you guys are saying, and I might have missed this, that Harvey said something while the microphone was on? I don’t know that. You’d have to ask the referee. But I know this, and Harvey and I talked about it, it does no good anyway to voice your opinion to the official after the call has been made. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any player talk an official out of throwing a flag.”


Opening remarks:
“For those of you who I haven’t met, which is pretty much everybody, I’m Kellen. Nice to meet you.”

On the game:
“Unfortunately we are pretty much graded, it’s pass or fail in this business. When you’re on the wrong end of it like we were tonight, it’s not good enough. There are a lot of areas where we can improve, third down being one, penalties. I was very impressed by the way that this team finished that last drive going down there. Basically it was bleak, but to go down there and score a touchdown, and give us an opportunity to get an onside kick, and possibly tie it up, I was very impressed with the guys how they rallied. We just made too many mistakes. Our defense played great in the first half, gave us an interception, blocked a punt. We need to be able to do more with it offensively. We’ll go back to work and hopefully do better next week.”

On if he thought the operation went well today:
“Yeah, it did. There are a couple things where … we had just a couple communication quips, if you will, but for the most part it was a smooth operation. Between (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) and myself, and then myself and getting the play calls in the huddle, any audibles that we had, checks at the line of scrimmage, which there were actually quite a few. We were able to get those communicated and get us into a good place.”

On what he could have done better:
“When you don’t score as many points as the other team, then that falls on the quarterback. Explosive plays would have been nice. We had the one opportunity to Brandon Lloydon the deep throw there. The ball was real short, kind of hung up on me. That really could change or tide of the game, get six points there. Third-down obviously was an issue. I think we’re 15 or 17 percent there or something, very unacceptable. So I’ll start there, and stop. I won’t give you as long of a list as it could be. We’ll look at the film tomorrow and if you ask me again, I’ll probably have more for you.”

On if he knows his teammates yet:
“I was hoping you wouldn’t ask that. I know all the offensive guys, and it’s something you just have to spend time on. I literally have gone home at night and just looked at the roster and I try to familiarize myself with it because I think that’s important from a leadership position to know the guys you’re out there with. To be honest with you, some of the defensive guys I don’t know them yet. I’ve had the chance to meet quite a few of the guys, but my preparation this week has been focused on Cincinnati and the stuff that’s going to help us offensively, and that will be something I’ll continue to work on.”


On what he took from today’s game:
“Another tough loss. We get in scoring position and we’re unable to come out with touchdowns in a tight game. Once again, I think our defense played really stellar, especially in the first half. To hold them to 6-6 at half time, we’re pretty much in a game that’s even. They made plays and capitalized on opportunities and we didn’t.”

On the team’s issues on third down:
“I think their defense… they’re a good defense. We knew going in that it would be tough. They stopped us on third-and-short situations, which really changed the balance of things. I really think that actually gave them some momentum.”

On having backup offensive linemen playing and if it’s affecting the short yardage situations:
“It’s been that way for quite some time. You can’t use that as an excuse. The situation has been that we’ve been playing with some reserves for quite some time. It’s a tough situation, but that’s who we have to play with. That’s the situation we have to deal with, and we had a game that we were 6-6 despite who we were out there with and we could have won this game.”

On the penalty calls late in the game:
“We knew going into this game that this officiating crew were amongst some of the higher ones at throwing penalties out there. We just didn’t play smart. We weren’t heady about situations. Where the emotion of a football player comes in (1:57) you have to be able to control that. The Cincinnati Bengals did a better job than us when that happened.”

On what he thought of the former players that attended today’s game:
“It was great to see some of the former players. It’s quite an honor that Marshall (Faulk) is the first St. Louis Ram in the Hall of Fame, and for him to be the first of a class of I’m pretty sure that will be a long string of guys coming up in these next few years. I thought it was awesome for them to be in the house. We were hoping to get a win for them, but it was great to see everybody.”

On if his name may be on the Rams Ring of Honor one day:
“I’ve still got some years to play, so who knows? Make sure they just leave room, though. There’s a lot of guys that are going to be up there.”

On QB Kellen Clemens’s performance:
“I thought he did a good job. He’s actually only been in this offense for a week and a half, so for him to come in right away and have the responsibility of what goes on in this offense, it’s a lot, and for him to run the offense and command the huddle like he did, I thought he did a pretty fairly good job.”


On picking up his 13th sack of the season:
“It doesn’t mean anything to me without winning. It’s definitely a byproduct of my teammates were rushing the passer and we’re all just rushing the passer. God willing, I was able to hustle on one today and run him down. Eugene Sims had a great rush on that one. It works like that sometimes. The other guys are rushing and you get the sack, or you get the rush and then someone else gets the sack. We’re a team, a good team defensive line effort.”

On if he feels like the multitude of penalties is a result of frustration:
“I have no idea. I just saw a lot of flags flying late. I can’t speak to the nature of them, honestly, because I didn’t see them. There were a lot of penalties. I mean, that’s an obvious statement by me.”

On if the margin of error keeps getting slimmer for the defense:
“It is slim, but I know they’re battling a lot of adversity on the other side of the ball. I thought Kellen (Clemens) did a really good job today. They kept moving the ball. Jack (Steven Jackson) kept fighting as he always does. I don’t know if he got to 1,000 (yards) this game or not, but he’s probably pretty close, which is an unbelievable thing for him. They’ll keep fighting and we need to hold up our bargain for 60 minutes. Not 54 minutes, but 60 minutes, and that’s when we’ll get a result.”

On if playing well defensively for 60 minutes is a burden:
“I mean, it shouldn’t be because when you look around the league, you see teams winning games on defense. So we say, ‘Why can’t we be that defense?’ Why not? I mean, look around. We’ve got some good players. But there’s no margin of error with those defenses, because they put that standard on themselves, no matter what’s going on around them. So we’ve got to be able to be one of those defenses.”


On how he’s been able to create so much pressure on punts:
“It’s kind of like rushing the passer, with less responsibilities. Being a bigger lineman against some of the smaller guys out there, size takes over. Plus, Coach (McMahon) really schemes it up to make sure someone comes free. I guess I’m the one who gets to come free for those blocked punts.”

On if he enjoys a sack or a blocked punt more:
“A sack. There’s no better feeling than a sack.”

On if he feels pressure to make a play on each snap:
“As a rookie, I just try to stay disciplined and take it one play at a time. If the play comes your way, make it. If it’s not your play to make, don’t do something out of the ordinary to throw off the defense.”

On how chippy the game became in the fourth quarter:
“It’s a chippy game and a rough sport. It’s just showing the competitive nature of everybody out there.”

On if the personal fouls were a result of frustration boiling over:
“I’m sure there was frustration, but it’s a tough sport, it’s a rough game. I guess pushing and shoving is all a part of it.”

On how he bounces back from this game:
“You just have to take it one game at a time. Got to get back to practice, focus on the Steelers and just take it one game at a time.”


On his interception:
“Earlier in the game they hit us with the same route combination. We kind of had trouble covering it. We saw the same alignment coming again, and we kind of knew what was coming. The front seven got great pressure on that play, forced him to throw a bad ball. I just stepped in front and (received) it.”

On if he read the quarterback’s eyes on his interception:
“It was kind of route recognition. Playing the right technique puts you in the right place at the right time. When you see the ball, you become the receiver and catch it.”

On turnovers being important in this game:
“Yeah another turnover, that’s what we came in saying, to win the game we needed some turnovers. Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with the ‘W’ but that’s what we’re harping on every week, trying to get some turnovers on defense.”

On the large number of penalties called:
“Coming in they said in our team meeting last night, Head Coach (Steve Spagnuolo) said this was the highest (penalty) calling refs in the league. We kind of knew that coming in, and they threw a lot.”


On the penalties called on both teams during the game:
“Yeah, especially that one drive. If you would replay some of the stuff, I’m not the kind of guy that’ll tell on somebody, but it was going both ways. For some reason we were the ones getting picked on. It is what it is.”

On the play of the defense in the fourth quarter:
“It was a tough game. We were fighting the whole game. It just seemed like one big play, and then they scored, and then penalties set us back and that was it.”

On if the defense gets tired in the fourth quarter from being on the field a lot:
“We’re in good shape. The thing is, sometimes we need to get a turnover to get off the field. Sometimes we need to get a three-and-out, and obviously the offense has had some injuries and stuff, and they’re fighting through that stuff. They’re getting better, and we have to keep getting better. But a lot of that is on us and we’ve got to take it as a whole team approach. We’ve got to look at ourselves just as much.”

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