Bengals at Steelers Postgame Quotes

Posted Oct 22, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers postgame quotes

Head Coach Marvin Lewis

Opening Statement:

It was a game at halftime and we have opportunity with the ball starting out in the second half. We have the turnover. We don’t get an opportunity there as we go into the third quarter and don’t get ourselves back in the game. We have opportunity there. That’s the disappointing thing. We had some plays that weren’t as good as we needed them to be in the first half defensively, and that led to some other points. We just have to play better. We didn’t play good enough to win today.


What did you notice with the missed tackles today in the open field?

Those created a lot of issues. We had some issues in the first half. We created the big play to the running back. There might have been another one. I don’t remember. Tackling was something that I said at halftime we had to do better going into the second half. We had the chance even in the one-minute drive right before halftime to get them down inbounds, but I think they got out-of-bounds. That was important.


Was there something wrong with [Joe] Mixon when he didn’t get the ball after the touchdown drive?

He was in there in the third quarter. Whatever plays are called are called.


What were the Steelers doing so well on defense in the second half?

I think the total yards probably got effected by the sacks. We didn’t do a very good job of protecting our quarterback there. We had a couple runs right after that after the turnovers. We had the turnovers in both series. Then after that, they got the sack on first down that made it second-and-long.


Is Andy [Dalton] hurt?

He’s nursing his ankle. He fought back in there. He looked like he got twisted on it early again in the game.


Did you feel like you struggled once they figured out how to control A.J. [Green]?

I don’t know that they contained A.J. We’re not going to go in there and just throw the football to A.J. Everybody has to win. We miss the play right out of the first part of the third quarter. The ball has to go to the other side. We missed it, and we have to do those things right all the time. The best offense we’ve ever had is when you guys are asking me, “why isn’t A.J. getting the ball?” That’s important.


Did you think you were past the point of offense plays well for a half while defense plays well for the other half and vice versa?

No I’m not. I think every time you come out here, it’s a different thing. This is the National Football League. You just have to keep playing. Whatever happens, we just have to play through. I don’t know that there’s a point where you’re through something or other. We just have to play. We’re playing a good opponent. We have to play, play in and play out.


Do you think sometimes the history of this game gets to the players?

I thought we came into the game in the right frame of mind. We just have to stay true to it all the way through.


Was the offensive line responsible for Dalton getting sacked when you needed to pick up a third down?

I can’t tell you whether it was the offensive line or whose responsibility it was. I can’t sit here and elaborate any further on it right now.


When you went for it on fourth-and-1, what was your thinking there?

To score a touchdown. I mean why do you go for it on fourth-and-1 other than to score? It’s in the first half of the game.


Re: Rolling then shut down:

For us we could not get anything going. We couldn’t get any momentum. It took us a while to get a first down and that hurt us. They played well. They were stopping us. At the end of the day we were not executing well enough. We did not make that one big play and that hurt us.


Re: Running game success on the first few drives:

I thought those guys made plays and had some big gains that we needed. That’s what we expect from those guys and unfortunately for us we did not make those big plays.


When you get behind here and it gets noisy, are you thinking it’s going to be hard to go up against that rush?

Well I think it’s just trying to find completions and at that point like you said they did turn it up. We need to find ways to stop it and keep moving the ball.


What were they doing to A.J. as the game went on?
There were times when they were doubling him and different things. The way their coverages play sometimes it goes away from him. They just played what they played but a couple times they were doubling him.


How much does not being able to get A.J. going throw off the offense’s rhythm?

Obviously we want to get A.J. involved, but he’s not the only guy we have. Any chance that we can get him the ball we want to get it to him. We would like to get him the ball more but we would also like to get all our guys the ball more.


Does it hurt not having a lot of experience with this new core?

I think we just did not make enough plays. Experience helps but these are guys that we are going with, guys that we are playing with and trusting to make plays. I have to do a better job of giving them opportunities. I feel like as an offense we just need to make better plays.

What was the difference as the game went on?

They played well and we were not executing. That’s what it comes down to.


Did they just start blitzing once they had the lead?

I don’t know if it was blitzes or what it was. They were getting to me a little bit, and I tried to move around as much as I could. I’d just say we did not make enough plays.

Are you surprised that you decided to go away from the running game?

I think we are going to go back and look to see what we did better, whether it would be calling more runs or getting positive runs on early downs. We will look at the tape and see what we can do better. I just think you go with the flow of the game and do what we have to do.


Do you think that to take the next step to get to where you want to be you have to get over the Steelers?

The Steelers are just one team. They are in our division. They aren’t the only team that we play. Obviously we have had some tough games against them but they aren’t the only team that we go against. It is not about us against the Steelers. It’s about us playing well and beating whoever we are playing. Unfortunately today we didn’t do it. Our goal for next week is to beat the Colts.


How’s your ankle?

It’s good.


Was it injured on the flea flicker?

No, I’m fine.


What happened on the flea flicker?

They got pressure. I will watch it on film to see what happened. I’m going to watch this whole game on film to see what we can do better.


Don’t you think we are past playing half of games?

If you asked us a couple weeks ago I think we played complete games. This one we flipped on it. Like I said it is just one game and we are going to try to play better next week.


Re: Winning the division:

I think for us, all that matters is one game. I know it is so cliché saying to take it one game at a time. All we can worry about is who we are playing and what we are doing. The rest will happen the way that it is going to. We can only worry about us. We can’t worry about the rest of these teams and what they are doing.

DE Michael Johnson


Re: Le’Veon Bell’s play today

Le’Veon [Bell] is a patient runner. He did a good job of finding some seams, and taking advantage of poor tackling. We did not tackle well as a defense. We did not execute well enough today. They have a good football team. They have a great defense. We will be better moving forward. We will learn, and it will be better. It was just a hiccup. We will find out what we got.


Re: Holding the Steelers to five field goals:

No. A loss is a loss. A win is a win. We lost today. We have to learn from our errors today. We will get better. That is all you can do. The game is over, our play is done, watch it, and we will be better for it next time we step on the field.


Re: The Steelers use of the fullback today:

I think they decided what they would do, as the game went on. The game dictated what they did. They did a good job. Like I said, [Le’Veon] Bell is a very patient running back. He does a good job of waiting to make a play. He is so patient that he waits until he can find a crease. We have to do a better job of getting all 11 to the ball, and tackling, and executing as a defense.


WR A.J. Green


How frustrating is it, that the Steelers have been able to win seven of the last eight?

Our division is always tough. So, if we do not beat those guys, we have to change the way we play.


Re: Playing without Tyler Eifert:

We can’t make excuses. It would be great to have Tyler out here.


Re: Limiting A.J. Green’s production today:

We didn’t play up to where we needed to today .They did a great job taking me away.


CB William Jackson


What was it like playing against Antonio Brown today?

It was fun. It was actually fun, he is a great guy. He is a great competitor, and I wanted to show him that I could compete with the best of them, like I did.


Re: His overall play today:

I did OK. There is always room to get better, but we can go back to it and watch the film and see what I can do better. I made some good plays out there.


Re: First impressions of going up against Le’Veon Bell:

He is a good player. Everybody knows he is a patient runner. It is challenging to get him down to the ground and go for the big hit.



Head Coach Mike Tomlin

Opening Statement:

This was classic AFC North football. It was a touch-and-go there for an extended period of time. I give those guys credit. They were winning possession downs. We were close there going into the half. As the game wore on we made the necessary plays in all three phases, and so I tip the cap to the guys in the locker room. They understood the significance of a good performance today and they delivered it. Hopefully we grow from it. On the injury front, Vance McDonald had a knee injury. He’s being evaluated. The rest of the bumps and bruises associated with playing we’ll have an update for you on Tuesday. Largely, we respect and appreciate these opportunities to play AFC North football, be successful, and do it in front of our people. It was a big day for us.


You talked about Chris Boswell being more of a football player than a kicker. What has showed you up to this point that he is that?

I don’t know that I said that. He is a heck of a kicker.


Re: Defensive pressure in the second half:

It was a combination of rush and coverage and game circumstance. You need all of those things. You can have great rushes but if you’re behind you are not going to get an opportunity to rush. It was rush and coverage working together, coupled with game circumstances. That’s always the case.


Re: Le’Veon’s [Bell] run with the stiff arm:

That is what we come to expect from him. He’s rolling well but when he does it it’s the product of a lot of things. The guys up front obviously. I thought the wide out perimeter blocking was excellent today. It’s an 11-man job to run the football for us.


Re: Are you still looking for more from your offense?

We won and won definitively. I’m not combing through it in that way. I’m really not. We did what was necessary to win.


Re: The execution of the fake punt and throw by Robert Golden:

We are just not going to allow those guys to be over aggressive. The look was presented to us. We have a great deal of confidence in Rob Golden. He’s been playing that position for us for a number of years. That’s not the first time he’s executed that play. So, tip of the cap to Rob G. We have a significant amount of confidence in him.


How important was it to keep A.J. Green in check today?

It always is. I thought he was a catalyst for this two game or so run they were on. Present circumstances, you know notwithstanding. I think anytime you play Cincinnati, you better work to minimize him and particularly him in the vertical passing game. He set the tone I thought for them the other week against Buffalo. That’s always kind of been the case since 2011 since they drafted him. If he’s up the field on you, you have a problem. So we worked extremely hard to minimize that.


Is there any glaring weakness in this Bengals team compared to years past?

I hadn’t thought a lot about it to be honest with you. I have been focused on our weaknesses and just doing enough to win today. Forget what’s going on with the present football teams, them and us. When we come together it’s a different set of variables because of the history and the intensity associated with the matchup.


Andy Dalton seemed to shut down in the second half. What were the keys to the turnaround?

I just think it’s really simple. It’s really not about Dalton for us. It’s really about us because I do not coach Dalton. When we get people in longer third-and-distances, we have a better success rate. I thought in the first half they were in third-and-manageable. In the second half they were in third-and-long, and it’s really just that simple.


Were you surprised when Vontaze Burfict was not penalized when he kicked [Roosevelt] Nix?

I did not see that. So I don’t know what you are talking about.


Did you say anything to [Roosevelt Nix] Rosey throughout the game?

I talk to Rosey all the time during the course of games.


Re: Specific to his interaction with Burfict:

I did not.


QB Ben Roethlisberger

Did you like the rhythm you had in the first half on those first two drives?
Yeah, it was great. We felt really good throwing the ball. The receivers and I thought we were on a good page today. We felt like we could have thrown the ball all over the place, especially against a good defense. But you have to credit the line. [Chris] Hubbard, really stepping up and doing some good things against a really good pass rusher. And the rest of the guys, too. When you are in a groove, you feel like you can kind of do whatever you want throwing the ball, but Le’Veon comes on in the second half, especially. And even with the pass game too, checkdowns and the things he was doing. In the second half, we just started giving him the ball and only throwing it on third down. Things worked out.

You obviously want to score a touchdown, but does it give you confidence to know that you have a guy like Chris Boswell?
Yeah, we have the all the faith in the world in him. I told him tonight, after the game, I said, “Great job. We just gave you too many threes instead of ones.” But we will take them any way we can get them. [We have] a lot of confidence in him.

How important has the two tight end stuff been for you the last couple of games?
Very, whether it’s throwing the ball or running it. A lot times, the two tight ends brings Rosy [Roosevelt Nix] in the game as well. And I don’t think he gets nearly the credit that he deserves. It’s a thankless job that he’s doing and he is doing it very, very well.

What about [Robert] Golden’s pass?
[It was] horrible form. I told him it looked like he was casting like in deep sea fishing, but hey, it might have been the best pass of the night. So I told him good job.

DE Cameron Heyward

Re: Second-half play of defense
I think we got in a rhythm from there on. We got off [the field] quick in the second half a lot. The pressure picked up. We stopped the run. And they didn’t get any points in the second half. So that’s what we have to continue to do.

You usually find something to highlight that was maybe not as good as you wanted it. Is that a bit of a challenge coming out of this game?
No. I think you see how our offense started really fast. I think we can play better in the first half. Our mistakes in the first half – those were just mental errors on our part. The early run was my fault, but then we gave up two pass plays where they scored. And that’s something we can clean up. We still gave up 14 points.

With that being said, was this the most complete defensive performance?
I don’t know. I’ll have to look. I’m just glad we got the win tonight.

Did it feel like a feeding frenzy for you guys in the second half?
Yeah. I’m just glad I got in on it. I kind of stole that one for [Javon] Hargrave at the end. But when we stop the run early on and we force them to pass – I think they got some penalties, so they were behind the chains – we can really light our hair on fire.

LB TJ Watt

You seemed to rotate the outside linebackers enough to keep them off balance. Did that pay dividends?
Yeah, I think we knew that they had a three-man rotation at tackle coming into the week. And I think we just wanted to get a piece of everybody. Bud [Dupree] and I, we can rush from both sides. So we wanted to switch it up a bit to kind of break up the monotony of going against the same side every single time. I think it really helped and just kind of gave the guy the perspective of what’s on the other side. We definitely have pitches that we can throw on the left or right side.

You had the one sack, but it looked like you had a lot more effective pressure than maybe the line score indicated.
Yeah, that’s what I’ve been saying. We are going to be kicking ourselves tomorrow when we watch film because we were so close so many times. But, at the end of the day, we got the job done. We got to him enough.

Was the fact that you were able to stop the run the reason why you had so much success, especially in the second half?
Definitely. I think it always goes hand-in-hand. When you stop the run and you score points on offense, it’s going to pay dividends for us defensively because we are going to be able to pin our ears back, go get them and know our guys in the back end are going to cover.

Do you think this was the defense’s best overall performance of the season?
I don’t know. It’s hard to tell without looking at the film. But I think we definitely fixed a lot of things at halftime, as far as communication. Like I said earlier, it was loud out there and we just had to get little minute details fixed. We went out there in the second half and showed off what we can do. 

Re: Protecting yourself:

Yes, I mean that is part of the protection. Obviously, you just run it hard. You make sure to relax and not take any late so-called cheap shots. I just make sure I run the ball hard, get down on the ground and get up safe. I came out of the game healthy so I feel blessed.


Have you ever had a more effective stiff-arm?

That was one of my better stiff-arms of my life. I don’t know what happened or what came over me that play.


How would you describe how that play developed? What got you 42 yards?

From what I can remember, I remember going through the progression and timed it up with Ben Roethlisberger. He threw it to me. I had a guy over me. I just remember giving him a little move, and I heard him say ‘Oh my goodness’. So I said oh, he missed. After that I hit a little seam and broke a tackle. Then I tried to get what I could after that.


Were you aware that you left a wake of defenders in your path?

No, I had no idea. Like I said, I remember seeing a seam and I just hit it as hard as I could. I ended up breaking through and I didn’t know how many guys were around me. I kind of just had television at the time. I just hit the hole. I ended up breaking the tackle and got a big gain for the team.


You guys are 8-0 when you have 28 plus carries so with the wear and tear, how do you feel?

I feel great. Next week if they want to do it again, I’ll be ready.


Re: 42-yard run:

When you have a play like that, especially early in the game, it kind of gives you more confidence through the course of the game. I feel like I broke a big run, now I have to really wear these guys out. I have to make them not want to tackle anymore. Over the course of the game, I start feeling like that. Roosevelt Nix, our fullback, is the best fullback in the world. I was just watching him hit guys all day. Near the end of the third quarter, they weren’t feeling the holes, as aggressive as they were early in the first quarter and second quarter. That’s just the offensive line and Rosie [Nix], wearing those guys out over the course of the game. Those guys get a lot of the credit for us to be able to run the ball as much as we did today.


Re: Consistency:

For me, it is getting the coaches putting a lot of trust in me, making sure I take care of my body and being in shape to carry the ball as many times. Obviously, the offensive line was up front doing what they do. As long as we get effective runs, and we are in third-and-manageable every time, third and 1s, 2s, and 3s, that’s the formula for success. We didn’t have too many third-and-longs today. We moved the ball well. We kind of got stalled out a little bit, especially in the second half. We had to settle for a lot of field goals. We have a lot of things going, and I think it was a good step in the right direction today.

Re: Red zone struggles:

I’m not sure if there is an issue. I mean, I think we need to figure out how to make some plays. I remember we had a throw in the end zone that was dropped. I mean, we made that play. We aren’t talking about red zone struggles. I think we have to make the plays when plays present themselves. We have to make them every time because you don’t know if that play will come back. We got in the red zone near the end of the second quarter, going into halftime, so the time kind of played with us too.  So we didn’t really have a good enough time to run, throw, play the pass, hit a run inside, they stopped it. Opportunities, when they come we have to make the plays when we can.


Was that typically Bengals nastiness today?

Yeah, it is a rivalry game. You kind of expect that. It is what it is. I just don’t like when guys come and do dirty plays. It is okay to play tough and try to hit guys hard in the course of the play, that’s fine, but I don’t like unnecessary roughness or things that happen after the play. My fullback got kicked in the face. That’s just not football to me. I don’t think that’s a respectable play. For me, I just like to play respectable football. Whether you play tough or whatever it is, within the play, it is all fine. After the play, unnecessary things, trying to hurt people, I don’t like that.


Who came up with the celebration with you and JuJu Smith-Schuster?

The crazy part is me and Juju thought of it. I came to JuJu with it, literally about 10 minutes before the game. I said, “Hey JuJu if one of us scores, let’s play hide-and-seek.” He’s on it. We didn’t even practice it or anything. It kind of just happened. That was us just being dramatic, creative on what we were going to do. I know JuJu and he loves doing celebrations. I know he was going to be the guy to do it. I went right to JuJu for it and said, “If you score today, let’s play hide-and-seek.” He was all for it.


Re: Ben Roethlisberger:

Our first two possessions, period, I think Ben Roethlisberger was right on play putting us in the right plays. He was getting guys to jump off sides, using cadence as a weapon. He did all the right things today. The guys up front did a good job protecting him. When he feels has some time and feels confortable in the pocket, he’s the best in the world. He’s going to do what he does. Obviously, that helps us win games.


Le’Veon, how many times could you carry 35 times a game in a season?

How many more games do we have? No, for real how many more games do we have? Nine? At least nine.


Re: Division lead:

We are going to take it one game at a time. We are going to enjoy this game today. Tomorrow we will go back to work, watch the film and get ready for next week. So that is the biggest thing with us.


Re: Stiff-arm:

I just ended up making the play down-field. I saw him out of my peripheral. I didn’t look at him, I think he was kind of coming to me thinking I didn’t see him. I just hit him with a stiff-arm late. I have been doing a lot of boxing, so maybe that helped me today.


Did you see who kicked Roosevelt Nix in the face?

Yes. It was Vontaze Burfict.


Did anyone talk to him about it?

No. We got back in the huddle. We played football. Obviously Rosie [Nix] was upset about it. I had to keep him calm on the sideline. That is why Rosie was playing the way he was in between the whistles. Anytime he had the opportunity, he did what he did. He had a great game. That is why he is the best fullback in the world.


It happened right in front of an official didn’t it?

It did. I guess he said he didn’t see it. So, we had to continue playing football.


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