Bengals-Redskins Postgame Quotes

Posted Sep 23, 2012


SEPTEMBER 23, 2012


On his overall thoughts about the game:
“That’s what I told the team – that’s what NFL football is all about, and we are really taking some great steps as a football team. Obviously, [it was] a hard fought victory today, and we got off to a good start. We were allowed back in the game, kept playing, kept making plays when we had to, and that’s what you have to do when playing NFL football. We keep responding, and I think we’re growing a lot. We get a lot of young guys valuable snaps and so forth. It was a physical game today. We just need to keep making plays. It was a good lesson; just keep playing. We fought back into the game the fourth quarter, they tied it back up, and we got after it there at the end.”

On his team’s performance on third down:
“First half we did better, around third down we let a couple go there, and they converted. Obviously, the best thing for Robert Griffin III is having him sitting on the bench. He has a special, special ability in running the option and got us reeling a little bit with some of the option plays there in the end of the second quarter. Start of the third, in particular, we had to settle down, get back, and you’ve got to play really disciplined football. Everyone looks a little different and you have to understand who has this responsibility. Who has that? They came back out with the pitch guy, which they haven’t shown much of in previous games, so we had to adjust a little bit on the fly. I thought defensive players did a good job at setting up and understanding that. We were able to get them in some third down situations where we could win.”

On when offensive coordinator Jay Gruden first introduced today’s game plan:
“Well, I’m in there all the time with him, offense, defense, and special teams, so we talk throughout it where you know… We made a nice play. [Andy Dalton] was in the chamber and he had to make a play and he made it. A lot of times they get put in position and they got to make the play and that time he made the play and A.J. [Green] got a great release and a got a good ball by [Dalton] and went. That’s what we got to have.”

On if the game plan was unconventional:
“Probably. I think the most innovative, using all of our guys, you know we used all of the guys today and that was good. [Andrew] Hawkins had big plays. Big play by Armon [Binns]. [Brandon] Tate continues to do things and Jermaine [Gresham] had another big game and Orson Charles and I think all of our skills guys, BenJarvus [Green-Ellis], are doing a good job. Brian Leonard I think got into action today. He didn’t really get his motor running good enough though but that’s what we’ve got to have offensively. Defensively, we had a different lineup out there and [defensive coordinator] Mike [Zimmer] looks around and has got four new guys, so he’s not going to get much sleep but you’ve just got to hang in there with some of our guys and get in these spots.”

On receivers making big plays:
“Everyone was saying, ‘Who is your second receiver?’ And I keep telling you guys we have four of them and they’re all very good and they just keep doing their jobs and [finding] windows and they’ve got special abilities. And the coaches are doing a great job of fitting them in what they do best. They’re doing a nice job and got to keep it up.”

On the aggressive personality of the offense:
“Yes, it is the personality of many offenses. You can’t always dial them up that way. The quarterback has to take his reads and do what he’s supposed to do with the football. Sometimes those big things aren’t there anymore. You just have to have enough presence involved in his next progression and work from there.”

On preparing for next week:
“We have to grind. Until we get healthy and get some other guys ready to go, that’s where we are. I can’t tell you who is going to be in the middle of the fire each week, but be ready and up for it.”

On quarterback Andy Dalton’s performance:
“We know Andy is unflappable. He continues to show that week in and week out. He really settles and plays, and he may have a play that he wants back, but he lets it go. He moves on to the next one, and that’s it. He understands it’s one play at a time, and he has great personality and makeup that way.”

On the team’s progress up to this point:
“I’m pleased with the progress we are making. By any means, we are not a finished product, but that is the way it is going to be. We’ve got to keep making plays, and as I say, if you are the guy at the point of attack, let’s get it done. They are auditioning for more opportunities.”

On Dalton’s growth:
“He has confidence now. He knows he can do this. There is nothing that happens out there that he can’t handle. He’s a great leader. He did everything that was asked of him a year ago, and it’s good defense we just faced today as far as they can put up good numbers on people and good rushes. We took what they gave us; we didn’t run the ball, rip up and down the field today, so he had to throw it and did a nice job.”


On playing at wide receiver on the first play:
“I was telling Mo [Mohamed Sanu] that I was open, he should get me the ball. That was a great design. We felt like that was going to be the look we were getting. Mo made a heck of a throw and A.J. [Green] made a good catch. Big play to start the game.”

On the team’s creativity:
“We did a lot of things. With the guys that we have, we are so talented that we can do a lot of different things. We did that today and it helped us win the game.”

On the importance of having a bag of tricks:
“It’s big for us. The creativity that we’ve got here and talent that we have at wide receiver, the running back, the different things we are doing, it’s big. You try to find a way to get an advantage in the game and we found a couple today.”

On the performance of the wide receivers:
“We’ve got so many guys. Everybody knows what A.J. [Green] can do, but other guys are making big plays for us, big catches. It’s nice to be able to spread the ball around and get the ball to more than just one guy.”

On how the team is progressing after the game in Baltimore:
“We’ve gotten better each week. With the Baltimore game, we were in the game going into the second half and middle of the third quarter and things didn’t go our way. We know we have to keep fighting and keep going. It’s a long game. It’s a long season, so we just have to find ways to win.”

On how he bounced back after his first throw:
“I wasn’t worried. It was a freak thing. I had the light blitz called to our protection and stuff like that doesn’t happen very much. It was early in the game, and I had a lot of game left, so we couldn’t worry about that.”

On giving up the lead in third quarter:
“We knew we had to keep scoring. With the way they play their offense and the guys that they have, they can put the ball in the end zone quickly. For us, we knew we had to keep scoring. Once they tied it up, we went out there and put a good drive together. Someone told me it was 80 yards in five plays or something like that.”

On the keys to the first scoring drive in the fourth quarter:
“We were consistent and getting our guys the ball. A.J. [Green] made a big play and Orson [Charles] had a huge catch down the seam. It was perfect and exactly the look we wanted. We felt like we could back-shoulder him in that look and we got it. It is not one guy who is making plays but a bunch of them.”

On the team going for big plays:
“We are capable of doing it. The biggest thing for us is that once we get that chance, we have to hit them and we hit enough of them today.”

On the Redskins defense’s cover zero blitz:
“They had some different looks with it. We felt like we knew what they were doing going into it by the way they were playing. For us, it was just about taking advantage of it. We got the zero and it was definitely there.”

On the way the game ended:
“It’s crazy that the game has to finish that way. It seems like that is how it is always finishing for us but we had to win by one point. We did enough today to win.”

On the play of quarterback Robert Griffin III at the end of the game:
“You never know what is going to happen because of the way he can scramble around.”

On the coverage of Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green:
“A.J. definitely had one-on-one and they gave us the looks that we wanted. You can do so much because when you put two guys on him that leaves someone else open. A.J. came to play today.”

On lining up at wide receiver in the opening play of the game:
“I thought the first play, they were going to double me. I think that is why we knew we could have A.J. [open]. Mo [Mohamed Sanu] had a perfect passer rating and he could not have put it any better.”


On getting after quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“We tried to; we all just tried to get after him with the best of our abilities. It’s great having [Carlos] Dunlap and [Wallace] Gilberry so that we can all stay fresh. That’s a big part of it, us having everybody up, having a nice rotation so we can continue to roll. If you need a blow, you can blow. You can play every play as hard as you can; it makes things a lot easier on Sundays.”


On the defense’s success in first half:
“He had a good game plan for us against them. We did a pretty good job, but I think they made some adjustments in the second half and they were able to kind of expose us a little bit.”

On getting an early lead:
“That was big. That allowed our pass rushers to get after them. Like Michael Johnson who had three sacks, Carlos [Dunlap] who had one sack. We got after RG3 [quarterback Robert Griffin III]. ”


On his touchdown catch from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu on the Bengals’ first offensive play:
“We just practiced that play. They ran some different defense when they singled up against the Wildcat and we saw the middle of the field was wide open. We know that Sanu could throw the ball and he put it in the bread basket and I ran right under it. I was just praying, ‘Let me go get it’ because once I was by him I saw I was wide open. So I was like please let me get by him so I can make a play on the ball, and it was a perfect ball.”

On the passing game and the play of quarterback Andy Dalton:
“I’m telling you, once you get Andy going, he’s probably one of the best at it. He caught fire today and we’re just looking forward to next week and hope we can keep this thing going.”


On the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the game:
“They threw the flag on us. They called it unsportsmanlike conduct. At the end of the game, there were two officials on the sidelines who said the game was over. And you saw most of their coaches and players on the field. They thought there was a 10-second runoff. Two of the officials said the game was over on our sideline – or one of them. I heard one. I shouldn’t say two. Supposedly, the other person said that the game had expired. Obviously, when you kill the clock, which we did before that, it’s a five-yard penalty and there’s no loss of 10 seconds. They threw the flag at us and there was half of the football team on the field. I was disappointed in that.”

On giving up a lot of big plays in the passing game early in the game:
“It’s something we have to work on, obviously. We gave up a big one on a blitz – just missed a tackle right there. Sometimes you have to take some chances. Obviously, we wound up giving them a big play. I was pleased with some of the things we did – the way we fought back. It looked like we had momentum going and then obviously couldn’t finish it. They came back and did a good job moving the football. We’ve got some work to do on both sides of the football. It’s disappointing when you get back and you put yourself in position to win it and you don’t obviously win the football game.”

On punting on fourth-and-one:
“I was going to go for it. I thought they were really tired and when they did call the timeout, I just said, ‘Hey, our defense is playing good.’ I thought we had the fans behind us with the crowd noise. I said, ‘Hey, let’s put them back.’ [Punter] Sav [Rocca] has been so good at backing people up inside the 10-yard line. He almost had them one the one-yard line, or very close. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way. I just felt at that time I was going to go for it. Then, they called a timeout. I thought to put our team in the position to back them up and let them earn it. Let’s not give them the ball at midfield in case we didn’t make it.”

On adjustments to the offense in the second half:
“We just made a few adjustments. [We] kind of made our minds up to play a little bit harder, quit making some mistakes, make some third downs. Again, we made that first third down-and-five – that kind of kept the drive going. I don’t think we had another third down. We had a couple 80 – 85-yard drives. That’s what you have to do. One play there is the difference. We’ve got to get better on our third downs because we moved the heck out of the football – had a lot of first downs. You’ve got to convert those third downs to be one of the elite teams on offense. We’ll get better at it as time goes on.”

On challenging the play at the goal line:
“I probably saw what everybody else saw. When we went back and they showed it a little bit later on, I couldn’t tell that the ball did hit the line. It looked from my perspective looking at the screen, that it did not hit the line. I thought it was worth a challenge. Then obviously, when we went back – I don’t know if it was in HD – but you could clearly see that it was on the line. I thought it was worth the challenge at that time.”

On tackle Trent Williams:
“Trent Williams is having an MRI. We’ll get a chance to obviously find out where he is after the MRI. We had a couple hamstrings with [corner back] Cedric Griffin and [cornerback Crezdon] Butler.”

On the defense:
“It’s something we’re going to keep on working on. We have to get better at that area. Obviously, we gave up some big plays. It’s an area that we need to work on and we will.”

On hits taken by quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“That’s the nature of the quarterback position in the National Football League when you get behind. I thought he did an unbelievable job coming back in the second half. We didn’t move the ball very well in the first half. We got our backs against the wall and I thought he did a great job leading the 80-, 85-yard drive. He made some big plays at the end that a lot of people can’t make. He’s going to keep on getting better and better as time goes on. To see his competitiveness and getting knocked down and getting back up and competing, that’s what you want to see. That’s what the great ones do. I was really proud of the way he handled himself.”

On linebacker Rob Jackson playing in place of Brian Orakpo:
“That’s what the guy has to do. Everybody gets hurt in the National Football League. People have to step up to make plays. I thought that Rob took advantage of some opportunities out there and looked pretty good at times.”

On if he is going to cut down on Griffin III’s designed runs:
“I think we had 20 designed runs, relative to the option, over the first couple of games and I think he was contacted four times. Even though it’s a designed run, he doesn’t always get contacted. But it does present a big problem to the defense. Now, if he had those designed runs and he was getting hit quite a bit, obviously you couldn’t do that. I think designed runs really keep the defense off balance. I think he has a good feel of when to slide. The thing that you do every once in a while, you run a quarterback draw in third and long and sometimes you do it because of the red zone, sometimes you do it because of field position, but he has a good feel of when to slide and when to run out of bounds. Not many people can make the plays that he has made and still be able to drop back and focus down the field. He’s going to do what he can to win, especially when you’re behind by 14 points, like he did. It’s not a perfect scenario for a young guy to be behind by that much and put him in that situation, like we talked about before he got here. But we were in that today.”

On if he has ever had a quarterback that is as good in the red zone as Griffin III:
“There are a lot of different options you can do. You never want to put him in a situation where everybody is lined up ready to get you. We’ve got a game plan on when to run him and hopefully it’s a very safe situation. As you could see today, when we got in the red zone, he really took advantage of the defense and him being able to do a number of things, really gives us a leg up in that area. Hopefully we can keep getting better at that.”

On what wide receiver Brandon Banks is able to do for the option game:
“We’ve had him as a wide receiver/running back. He can do both. And he has the ability to make people miss when he gets the ball in the open field. He’s very good at that and that’s one of the reasons why we kept him. Not only as a punt returner, but we felt like he could help us at the wide receiver and running back position if somebody goes down.”

On three shootouts to open the year will prove to be a pattern all season:
“I hope not. Like I’ve told you from day one, in order to win, especially with a young quarterback, you have to have great defense and a great running game. That’s where it starts. There’s not been a team in National Football League’s history that has won without a great running game or great defense. So we are going to have to buckle up a little bit and we’ll come back. We will do everything in our power to play our best football game and I know our guys will do it. I believe in these guys, they are working extremely hard and hopefully we can eliminate a few mistakes to where we can win a game like that.”

On the hard hit to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
“I think he’s alright. I haven’t heard anything.”

On if he has any long-term concerns about giving up 31 points or more:
“It’s disappointing. I thought the defense was going to be the strength of our football team, and even though it doesn’t look that way to start off, we lost a number of guys and we are starting to regroup. We are getting some guys that are getting a chance to play that haven’t really played before; a couple of safeties, couple defensive linemen. We do have more depth than we have had in the past. There are no excuses for us not to get better. We just didn’t do it today.”


On not being able to finish with a win against the Bengals after a big comeback:
“It’s always frustrating. But the one thing that we’re not ever going to do is stop fighting so I think it showed a lot of heart in the team, but the bottom line is we’ve got to come away with those victories. We all know that but you’ve got to continue to do the things that we’re doing to try to be successful. We think we’re doing the right thing so what do you do when you come away with two L’s after you felt like you had two weeks of practice? You keep practicing hard. I know a lot of guys say we have 13 more games but I’m always focusing on the next one. So, we’ll try to get better and we’ll go on from there.”

On wide receiver Brandon Banks in the backfield:
“Banks is a playmaker. He’s a guy that gives you mismatches. It doesn’t matter whether they play him the right way or not. He can get you five yards. Coach will definitely put things in the game plan to help Banks get the ball. He did a good job stepping up for us in the game, going out there making some plays.”

On the change after halftime coming out of the locker room:
“When it comes to after halftime, all the guys came in; we had a good talk. We went over our scheme. It’s just a matter of everyone doing their job at the same time. You can’t have one guy that’s not doing what he’s supposed to do. If people are looking to point fingers, who does everybody point their fingers at but yourselves? We went out. We made sure that we were focused on what it was. It doesn’t matter what Coach calls. We’ve got to make it work. We did that almost two drives and it gave us the momentum.”

On the hits he took:
“As far as the hits go, it’s football. I got hit a lot. I don’t know how many times I got hit, but I did get hit a lot.”

On what wasn’t working in the early drives of the game:
“I can’t point out one thing. It’s tough with a game like that where it’s hard to figure out or point your finger at ‘Okay, this is a problem.’ We just want to get in rhythm. We got a really good rhythm in the second half and we made the most of that.”

On what gave the team confidence in the last few drives of the game:
“It was just the guys coming out with a different mindset. I think we had a good mindset going into the game, feeling confident going out there doing what we were supposed to do and it just didn’t work. So, like I said, what do you do when things aren’t working? You keep going after it. The guys kept going after it. I’ve never been one to quit and they showed it today that our team is never one that’s going to quit.”

On how many hits is too many:
“One is too many, to be honest. I’m not trying to be funny. As a quarterback, you’re a stationary target most of the time. Even when you’re a mobile QB, the teams are still going to come after you even more because they feel like if they get a sack on a mobile quarterback, it counts as more. That’s just their mindset when they go into the game. Like I said, one is too many, but the one thing I won’t do personally is quit or play scared. I’ve never played scared in my life so it doesn’t matter how many times I get hit. I’m going to continue to get back up. Even if they have to cart me off the field, I’m going to get off that cart and walk away.”

On what he personally learned from the game:
“For me, it was just that you’ve got to keep playing. I remember in college, losses are a lot more crucial in the pros. But to me, I never try to look at things that way. You never want to say, ‘Well, we’ve got 13 more. We can go out and win, get on a good winning streak and win a couple games.’ That’s true but if you have that mindset, you will never take those losses the way you’re supposed to take them… We’ll learn from it as a team. We’ll watch this one tomorrow and we’ll get better. That’s the one thing you can do to continue to go up.”

On his touchdown drive where he used two timeouts:
“It was just bad clock management on our part. We got a play out with 10 seconds left on the clock and we needed more than 10 seconds to run the play. We have to make sure that we hold onto those timeouts a little bit better. But the bottom line is we had to use them in those situations to avoid a penalty.”

On how he felt running out of the tunnel:
“It was a great atmosphere. The fans definitely showed up and showed out for us. Great vibe for us, but we need to give them a better showing. I know we scored 31 points but we didn’t win the game. The bottom line is, the fans showed up so we need to show up as well and get the W.”

On Cincinnati’s aggressive defensive ends:
“They were trying to run at me and get quarterback hits on me. Some teams think if you hit the quarterback enough that they will stop coming after you. I just want to let everybody know that that will never happen. But they were coming after me. In the second half, I was more aggressive than their ends were. On the first one, he was extremely aggressive and got to me, and I made sure that that did not happen again.”

On if the defensive ends were doing anything illegal:
“No, I am just saying that they were being aggressive and coming after the quarterback rather than going for the running back. On that long drive where we used Brandon Banks a bunch, we got them a bunch of times by switching it up. Whatever they were going to do, they were wrong and that’s the mindset that you have to have.”

On his toughness:
“It’s not a show. In college we say it all the time, ‘Tough guys have to be tough guys.’ You can’t just talk tough and then play soft. By no means do I have to be the toughest guy on the field. That’s what you have the offensive linemen for. They are supposed to be the guys that are the toughest on the field. But whenever those guys do get to you, and those are two big guys that deliver good hits, all you can do is get up from it. The one thing they did late in the game was Michael Johnson hit me and got a quarterback hit and he picked me up and told me to get up. I think you earn players’ respect. You don’t say anything and just get up from those hits.”

On the false start and unsportsmanlike conduct call:
“The false start was just a mental lapse on our part. We can’t have that. And then with the unsportsmanlike call, we didn’t know who that was on. We weren’t sure what was going on, if the game was over or whether it was just a penalty. It was a dead ball so there was no 10-second runoff on that. But we don’t know who it was on and it’s unfortunate and we can’t have those kinds of things in those situations.”

On how concerned he is about left tackle Trent Williams:
“That’s my guy. I’ve only been here for a little bit, but Trent is my guy and I don’t want any of my guys to get hurt. So it is very unfortunate and sad. He actually came back out on the field and played a little bit for us, which shows you how tough he is. We don’t know what the injury is. Hopefully it is nothing too serious. It’s the National Football League, there’s a lot of guys out there that can play, but you can’t replace Trent Williams, just like you can’t replace the Brian Orakpos or [Adam] Carrikers. You have to move on and continue to step forward and do the things to help you be successful.”

On playing in shootouts gets quarterbacks hit more frequently:
“It only gets that way when one team gets down by a little bit. But usually you can stick to your game plan and do things of that nature. In the first half we just couldn’t move the ball. Like I said, it’s not one guy’s fault. It’s all of us. We need to make sure we come out better than that. The one thing I continue to tell myself and the team is that God doesn’t put you through trials to see if you are going to fall, he sees how you are going to respond. And for us, it is about responding. We came out in the second half and we responded. We came out when we were down and we responded. So now what are we going to do when we have two straight losses? We are going to respond, and I promise that.”


On if it is frustrating giving up 30 points for the third straight week:
“Extremely frustrating. Defensively, we thought we’d be a better unit, and I know we will be. Right now, we haven’t performed to that level especially in the last two games. The offense has given us more than enough points to win those games.”

On why he thinks the defense is giving up so many points:
“Today it was big plays. You can’t give up big plays. One-play drive, you start the game off and give up a big touchdown… When you give up big plays like that, it’s going to be tough to win games.”

On what it will take to fix the defense:
“Just keep believing in what we’re doing. You just have to work at it ... you have to be prepared for each situation. Never take anything for granted. That’s the way you have to do it. Keep grinding. Every man looks himself in the mirror, everybody that’s involved, because we haven’t performed well enough.”

On the players who stepped in for linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker:
“I thought those guys would do a good job. Each one of them brings a little something different to the table. Rob [Jackson], obviously got the big interception for a touchdown to tie the game up. Chris Wilson ended up getting a sack. I thought Markus [White] did well. So all those guys had an integral part in today’s game and trying to help us play well.”

On if there is a need to change the defensive approach because of missing personnel:
“I don’t think the personnel that was missing was the reason we didn’t play well today. Those guys all had big plays in the game. With that being said, they all showed that they can play in the National Football League.”

On the play of quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“He’s a talented guy. He can make plays. You saw what he was able to do, running the ball, making plays in the passing game. Sometimes there would be a situation where everybody was covered and he was able to get some yards and get out of bounds. So, with him, he is only going to get better. For us as a team, we know we will always have a chance where we can keep the game closer. It’s not a situation where we want to have every ball game go down to the wire like that where we have to go out on defense and get a good stop and get the ball back for our offense. We had opportunities. When we battled back to tie the score 24-24, we had the momentum in our favor. We weren’t able to maintain that momentum and ended up getting the takeaway on defense. We didn’t get anything out of that. It’s just a lot of little things that happened or plays that happened throughout the course of the game that adds up to where you are in a battle in the end.”

On if he is frustrated about losing seven straight home games dating back to last season:
“Obviously we would love for it to be a home field advantage but we didn’t even go into the game—I wasn’t even aware about the whole seven games losing at home. It’s something we need to change to where we make it an unfriendly environment to the opposing teams that come and play here.”


On slipping on a Bengals touchdown:
“It was an all-out blitz. He ran a speed out. I stumbled a little bit. Tough luck.”

On if he gets frustrated knowing that the defense can play better:
“You’ve just got to make plays. It’s tough. They game plan too and we’ve got to be able to finish.”

On the Bengals coming out in a Wildcat look and throwing the ball over top:
“We have to be able to play pass and run. It was definitely an unfortunate situation. You’ve got to be able to be on your toes for trick plays as soon as they start the game.”


On the defense’s struggles:
“If we want to win in this league, we can’t continue to give up big plays. It is as simple as that. We gave up three or four big plays and resulted in a touchdown. If you want to be a top 10 defense and win games, we can’t do this. In the years past, if our offense gave us 24 points, that was almost like a win for us. Now they are giving us 31 and 32 points a game, so the defense really needs to tighten up and make some plays out there. I don’t know what it is but we need to go back to the drawing board and figure out what we do well, stick to that and really try to go out and dominate teams from here on out.”


On hurting his knee:
“I don’t know what it is as of now. I haven’t looked at the replay. I just felt it give out on me.”

On trying to play after injury and why he left the game again:
“I didn’t want to really risk giving up a big quarterback hit. [It was] just precautionary reasons.”


On how he thought the defense played without Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo:
“You saw guys like Rob Jackson. I mean, he had a pick-six and that’s awesome. He had multiple tackles for loss. He played an awesome game. I think guys really stepped up, but I think the bottom line is we didn’t eliminate the big plays and that was one of our focuses coming into the game.”

On how disappointing this home loss was:
“This one was disappointing because we knew coming into this one we needed to eliminate the big play as a defense and right off the bat they had a big play and then another long touchdown pass. You can’t have those happen. Those are killers.”

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