OCTOBER 27, 2013
“We played a complete football game today. We got off to a very good start offensively, moving the ball down the field and kept following up with good series on defense. When we got the turnover, we were able to hold for a field goal right away, which was key in the game. It was hard, and there are still improvements to be made, but it was a great effort by the offense. We got some bumps and bruises today, so we are going to have to lick our wounds and heal them quick. All in all I was pleased with the effort in all three phases today. There was good focus and a good start and finish.”
Was this your most complete game since you’ve been here?
“I don’t know about that ... it was the most complete game this season.”
What best explains the difference in
“Everybody around Andy is doing things. He has to continue to allow the play to work based on the defense. As long as he does that and doesn’t worry about how many catches 18 (
How hard is this team to defend?
“We have some good skilled players, and they continue to emerge.”
Put yourself as Marvin Lewis, circa 2000, as a defensive coordinator. Looking at this team, what would your thoughts be?
“You know you’ve got a wideout (A.J. Green) who is going to win versus single coverage, so you’ve got to find a way to double him and get people in his face as much as possible. It’s a very impressive group. We have some pieces that can keep developing and working, and we’ve got to keep doing it.”
“He’s just Marvin. Marvin has a lot of ability and great speed. He’s tough at the catch and he’s showing how tough he truly is.”
Is that what you like best about him?
“He takes some shots. The one ball he didn’t catch was against Chicago I think, and that’s unlike Marvin. He’s a tough kid, he played through some injury tonight, because he was sore. But he continues to come back.”
Most NFL games aren’t won or lost by 40 points, did you think this team had this type of game in it?
“We had two interceptions for touchdowns, you don’t get that very often. Offensively we went into the game knowing we would have to take some shots.”
You came in today on a three-game winning streak. What does it say to you as far as not backing down, but instead turning it up a notch?
“We’ve got a lot of football left and a lot of work to do, these guys understand that. When the schedule came out and before we started OTAs, they knew what this season was going to be about. We’re at a five-game stretch where four of them were on the road. We had to really buckle down and go at it. The guys have done a great job of staying focused. The more mature pros have done a good job of leading the younger guys in the right direction.”
There were some guys who got pretty banged up; any update on
“He met us at the door. He’ll be fine.”
Do any of those injured guys have a shot at playing on Thursday?
“I’ve not been told otherwise, so they all have a shot at playing. We were afforded the luxury of being able to pull in some other guys and not have to bring the hurt guys back out.”
Based on Thursday’s game, how important was it you were able to give those guys some rest and play some other people?
“I can’t really tell you that until we get through tomorrow and Tuesday and see where we are.”
If you had to give us one reason why you’ve been so good these last three games, what would it be?
“I’m playing with a lot of confidence. I’m seeing things out there. There’s a lot that’s put on me. I feel like I’ve gotten better as time has gone on. There’s a lot of work that I’ve put in to wanting to be able to play like I’ve been playing the last couple of weeks. And all of the work is paying off.”
Do you have more trust in guys other than A.J. Green? How important is that trust — that if A.J. is not open, you have a second option?
“That’s one thing about this team — that we’ve got so many guys that are really talented. I’ve said it before, you never know when opportunities are going to come and when there’s going to be a chance where they’re going to have a big game. It showed today. A.J. has had some big games, but today was a great chance for Marvin (Jones) to come out and have a big one. He rose to the occasion. He made some great catches — made some guys miss when he had the ball in his hands. It’s everything that we’ve seen in practice from him and from our guys. That’s what is so fun about this game, and fun about how the game went today — you see a guy that’s worked really hard. He puts in the time and puts in the effort. For him to come out and have a game like this, we needed it. It was a big win for us. It was great to see the team play the way it did — not just on offense, but on defense and on special teams. Playing a complete game.”
What is the biggest improvement you have seen from Marvin Jones?
“He’s really comfortable with what we’re doing. He understands running routes, and knowing that, “OK, if this guy is playing me this way, I’m going to run my route like this.’ That just comes with the time of playing and seeing different looks. He’s had the potential since he’s been here. I think he’s just comfortable with everything that we’re doing and everything that we’re asking him to do.”
The coaches said throughout the week that there were going to be some opportunities to take some deep shots. That seemed to be the case, right?
“Yeah, even though on the first drive we had a chance, but we just missed it. We had some good looks to throw the ball deep. We hit some big plays throwing the ball down the field. We’ve got to be consistent with that. We’ve got to keep making these plays. It’s really going to improve this offense and help us win these games.”
You targeted six different players on the first drive, and four different players had receptions. Does that show how many weapons you guys have?
“Yeah. The personnel that we have, and the different looks that we’re getting with formations, and the different things that we’re doing — a bunch of guys are going to get involved in this offense. That’s big for us. Everybody’s going to know where A.J. is, but these other guys have to step up and make plays, and that’s what they’ve done. It’s been a lot of fun for me, just to be able to spread the ball around and have trust and confidence in the guys that they’re going to be in the right spots. And once the ball is in their hands, they’re making big plays. That’s been huge. It’s been the difference in what we’ve been doing offensively — we’re making these plays. Not only with throws down the field, but with the run after catch and making guys miss. That’s kind of where this offense has gone. We’ve got to keep getting better and keep doing that.”
Is this the most confident you’ve felt since you’ve gotten into the league?
“Yeah. This is where I want to be and how I want to be playing. It’s tough to do, but you have to be consistent with it. There’s times where you can have a big game, but the great players in this league consistently do it. That’s what I’m striving to be. We’ve got to keep this thing going.”
How would you describe this Bengals offense now?
“I don’t know, but I feel like we’ve got so many things that we can do offensively. Changing plays or doing whatever we can. Even if there was a way to defend us, I wouldn’t be saying it (laughs), but I don’t know. We’re going to get a bunch of different looks, though.”
On the final TD pass to Jones, were you guys just trying to get him another score?
“It was a look where I could kick it to one of the sides, and that was the better side to throw it to. A lot of what Marvin did today was showing his talent and what he’s able to do. On a couple of them, he was in the right place at the right time. The plays were called and we got the looks that we wanted, and he made big plays. It was one of those things that consciously I wasn’t thinking, ‘Hey, let’s get Marvin a fourth one,’ but it was just the look they gave us and he made the play.”
On throwing five touchdown passes:
“We had a good plan going into today. The biggest thing we talked about with all these guys was to just go out and make plays. That’s what we did; we made big plays, big catches. Marv (Jones), obviously played unbelievable today. It was great to see all that happen.”
You’re playing like a point guard in basketball, distributing the ball all over the field:
“I think that’s the biggest thing with this team; we’ve got a lot of guys that can make plays. I’ve been saying it for a while, ‘You never know when you’re time is going to come.’ Marv did a great job today, stepped up, had a huge game. But we’ve got a lot of guys that can do a lot with it. Like you said, it’s kind of like a point guard out there; I’m just trying to get it to our guys.”
Both the offensive and defensive lines dominated the line of scrimmage today:
“Absolutely. Our offensive line has played great, shoot, this whole year, much less today. I feel like I didn’t even get hit out there. They’re a big part of it. They’re a big part of the success in the passing game and everything we were able to do. They did a really good job today.”
Do you feel like you’re in the zone right now running this offense?
“I’m really comfortable with what we’re doing with the guys that we have. We’ve just got to keep this thing rolling.”
In your last 16 regular season games, you’re 13-3. The franchise record for a full season is 12-4. Do you understand that you’re in the midst of doing something special here?
“Yeah, I think we’re in position where we want to be. We’ve just to keep playing complete games. That’s one thing you’ve seen these last several weeks. If it’s coming down to the fourth quarter, then we’re finding a way to win in the fourth. Or if it’s a game like this where we get up big, you just keep the lead. We’ve got to keep pushing, got to keep getting better. We’re in a good position right now.”
The league did you no favors in scheduling you guys on a Thursday night game, after a 4 o’clock kickoff:
It’s one of those things where you have to have a short memory. You have a short week, and we have to focus on the Dolphins and the execution in that game.”
It seemed like Jets CB Antonio Cromartie was covering A.J. Green most of the time. What were they doing defensively that allowed you to get open?
“They were playing man (man-to-man coverage). That’s what they do. They’re aggressive in the box. Sometimes they have eight players in the box and they throw a lot at you. So it’s pretty much man. It was big to go and capitalize on the opportunities — every opportunity that we had, we capitalized on them. We did a good job of doing that.”
What was this like for you?
“It was fun. It’s fun when the offense is clicking and you just go out there with your guys and just have fun and play the game. The opportunities were there. Andy (QB Andy Dalton) did a great job distributing the ball. And it was great play-calling. So it was fun out there.”
Did you sense that they were on their heels, those times that you went over the top with the deep ball?
“Yeah. That’s the thing: we’re well-balanced. We could go deep. Then, the short and intermediate routes. The opportunity was there. That’s the type of offense that we want to be. As receivers, we want to do everything. We want to go deep, then make then notice that and do the short to intermediate routes. It was just a good game plan going in. Coach (Jay) Gruden did a great job planning this game, and it showed.”
You’ve said recently that Andy Dalton has spent more time here around the stadium, and with the receivers. Can you expand on that?
“Definitely. That’s something I feel that is really big. Sometimes, on Thursdays, Saturdays and on Fridays we have extra meetings, just with us — the quarterbacks, receivers, running backs and tight ends. It’s just having that extra time to see the game through each other’s eyes and be really confident and comfortable in what the plan is and what we have to do. That’s big, and that’s something that Andy’s been doing a good job of, and getting us all in and all ready to go.”
Do you think he trusts you guys more collectively now? It seemed that before he might just tuck the ball and take off when A.J. wasn’t open:
“He definitely trusts us, and it shows in the distribution. We’ve got guys like Gio Bernard and
Did you show everybody today that there is more to this team than just A.J. Green?
“We have a lot of players that can do a great job, and it shows. When you have players with the potential that we all have, it just brings it out. I think people will see now that we have the players that can go do it and help a superstar like A.J. That’s the beauty of it. It’s just fun to be part of an organization like this.”
You were held out of practice twice this week. Were you worried that you wouldn’t be able to come out like this today?
“I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t worried. But we had a plan, and the trainers did a great job. I knew when it was getting closer, because it was getting better and better every day. I knew I’d have a chance to get out there. That’s all I ever wanted — go out there and play football with my guys. I’m glad it healed up to the point where I could do it.”
How did you feel on Friday?
“I felt all right. It was my first time moving around out there. I didn’t do that much, but it was good enough to have some reassurance that, ‘OK, I’m good for Sunday.’ I had a couple more days to rest it, and it felt pretty good.”
Green said that you play with a chip on your shoulder. Is that true? Why?
“I would say yes. I’m highly self-motivated. When I see people making plays, I want to make plays just as much. That’s been in me since I was a young kid. I just wanted to be great. I think a lot of that stems from that.”
You usually give you gloves away at the end of the game. What did you do with them today?
“I’m keeping those things. I’ll frame them or whatever. I usually dish them out, but not after this game.”
Have you ever had four TDs in a game?
“Oh, no, or at least not since I was a little kid. The most I’ve had in college was two.”
Since the Buffalo game, you guys have been playing very well. Can you explain this three-game run you guys are on?
“I’ve just been taking control of my opportunities, capitalizing on the opportunities that I get. Whether I’m in there 10 plays or 30 plays, just making sure I do what I can to do my best to get open and catch every ball. We have great game plans going into every game. That’s pretty much all it is.”
Can you explain the feeling of a team on a night like this?
“It’s a great feeling, stemming from that win out there in Buffalo. Even from that win here against the Patriots. We’re driving the train straight. That’s what Coach says a lot, and we’re putting these game together and playing for four quarters, and that’s everything that you can ask for. It’s exciting to be in those close games and games like this, where we can put the pedal to the metal, but at the same time sticking together through four quarters. I think that’s what we’ve done, and it’s great to see.”
On his four-touchdown, 100-yard receiving performance:
“It was just a great game. Just like Andy said, it was a great game plan. He always challenges us to win your one-on-one battles on the outside. He has a lot of trust in us, and we have a lot of trust in him to get it done. So it’s just a great day overall.”
Do you think the football can be thrown your way on any play?
“That’s what I think every time I step on the field. As a wide receiver, that’s what we think. We have to run every route like it’s our last, every route like we’re going to get the ball. That’s what receivers do. All we can do is capitalize on our opportunities. We’ll come out with the victory and come out with a great offense once again.”
You guys took a lot of shots deep down the football field. Was that the game plan going into today?
“Not necessarily. Coach (Gruden) had a great game plan. Whatever he called, whether it was deep or short to intermediate, we were just going to capitalize on our opportunities. That was the biggest thing that we talked about coming into this week. The plays were there. The shots were there. We made the best of it.”
Taking care of your body and resting up during a short week is key right now, isn’t it?
“Definitely. We have a short week. We have to put this in our short term memory. We have Miami coming and we just have to get ready for a physical game with them. We will do all the necessary steps to go in there fresh and fast.”
All three phases played well today, allowing you to put together a complete game:
“That’s what we want to do. The thing is, we know the potential of this team. We know that the different guys we have bring a lot of different attributes that make us successful. In order to win and be winners, we have to together a great game in all three phases of the game. I think we’ve been doing that, and it really shows.”
Is this the best top-to-bottom performance you’ve been a part of in Cincinnati?
“Yes, it’s one of them. I would say that, as long as we can keep getting these kind of days and keep winning. Winning is the main thing. As long as we’re winning and staking them up and separating ourselves from the division, it’s always a good day.”
How important was it that you did not let them back into the game after taking a big lead?
“It was really important. Coach (Lewis) stressed that at halftime — ‘Make sure we play for 60 minutes.’ We’ve had games where we didn’t come back out at the half and play up to our ability, but today we stepped it up. Everybody played well. This was a great team win. Teams — our special teams played really well today —defense, and offense ... team win. We finally played on all sides of the ball.”
It looked like you almost had another interception earlier in the game:
“I didn’t trust myself on the first one. I should’ve caught it with my body, probably. I’m just happy, man. I’m out making plays, helping the team win and doing it together, you know? It’s always good when you can get good wins like this, back to back. We’ve got a short week. We’ve got to get back in here and get to work. This game will be over with. We’re going to enjoy it for probably another two hours, then come tomorrow, we’ll worry about Miami.”
A number of guys went down today. Do you have a concern just about the number of guys?
“It’s always tough when you have guys that get hurt. Obviously, I don’t know anything about any of them, but you have young guys that can step up. When
Is this one of the better games this team has played since you have been here?
“Yes I think so. We have had times in the past where we have played this well. There are a handful of games over the past that I can think of. It feels good because it means we are going in the right direction. The Jets are a good team and have won some big games this year. So it feels good.”
Was this a statement win for you guys? Do you think you guys are one of the better teams in the NFL?
“I don’t want to say that this is a statement game because this is the NFL. Everybody in the league is really good. It is still really early in the season and there is still a whole lot in front of us. You have to keep building on your success all year so that by the time December comes around, you have set yourself up for the playoffs. A lot of teams get hot then cold, so we just have to keep progressing on.”
It’s nice to be 6-2 at the halfway point isn’t it?
“It is really nice. It takes you back to the 2009 season when we went in at 5-2 and won the division. As long as we can keep progressing with this team and keep pushing forward, we should be good.”
What did you think of Marvin Jones play today?
“It was awesome. It was also great for Andy Dalton too. I told him congratulations on the record too, because in a way, he had his hand in that also because he is the quarterback.”
A.J. Green gets a lot of attention around here, but I think Marvin Jones has shown that he can make these types of plays:
“Oh yeah he can. He does a lot of things that help us score points and keep touchdown drives alive. It’s great for him and it’s great for Andy because he is putting up some great balls for him to catch.”
Did you have an inkling the football was headed your way coming out of halftime?
“I just expect the ball to come my way. That was the thing that we talked about in the defensive locker room: ‘Just expect the ball to come our way. Don’t try to take a play off.’ I got a good read on the route and stretched my glove, and off I went.”
You made somebody very happy flinging the football into stands after scoring the touchdown:
“That’s the 12th man. They’ve been in it with us too. Hopefully a little kid caught it and he got a little memento so he can say, ‘This is the ball
There aren’t many games like this in the NFL are there?
“No, there aren’t. There aren’t many games like this. You don’t get a complete victory when you just smother the team. In all phases, we played very well. The thing that I’m most proud of is when we came out into the second half, we really put the pedal to the metal and we didn’t allow them to get back into the game. I’m not really worried about how fast we’re going to play at the start of the game. It’s about when we do get up, how we’re going to play, because that’s been the thorn in our butts this year.”
Was winning by 40 points a statement game for you guys?
“It is a statement. We just have to keep preparing week by week like we are, and not looking ahead. We have to focus on each and every game.”
You have six wins at the halfway point. Is this one of the best teams in the NFL?
“I think it’s still early. It’s not about how you start, but how you finish. We have to continue to focus and keep it going. If we stop now, it won’t work.”
You have won the last two games close, but you really finished this game:
“This is one of the first games we were able to finish because we jumped on them early. Some teams we have let off the gas, and we don’t want to do that. This was just a statement game.”
How about the day that Marvin Jones had today?
“It was unbelievable. I don’t think I have scored four touchdowns since high school. That guy is awesome. You see him go work every day and it always comes out on Sundays. He always plays with a chip on his shoulder and plays every play like it’s his last. It is unbelievable. He is continuing to get better each week.”
Did you see this game coming?
“No I didn’t see this coming. I felt like this was the first game that we were really clicking on all cylinders — offense, defense and special teams. It was a really good thing.”
A lot of people saw this game in the New York area. What do you think that most people who haven’t seen you play yet thought of this game?
“They saw a team that is getting better each week. Each week we are trying to improve on something.”
You have been very vocal in defending Andy Dalton. He has 11 touchdowns in three weeks. How good is he playing right now?
“He is playing unbelievable. We have had his back from Day 1, and we will continue to have his back. We are a family here. No matter what happens, we believe in him and he is one of our leaders.”
Was there some thought to get Marvin Jones his fourth touchdown?
“Well yeah. When you have somebody playing that well you have to find ways to get him the ball.”
“That was ugly, to say the least. We’re only fortunate that it only counts for one loss because you get your butt kicked like that, you know, we’re fortunate that that is all it is. Obviously, we have to play a hell of a lot better — file that in the obvious category or whatever (category) you want. We are a much better football team than showed up today and I believe that. We have to get a hell of a lot better. I say that after every game, win, lose or draw, but the real disappointing thing to me is we had a good week of preparation, I thought. But again, you’ve got to go out, execute — give all the credit in the world to Cincinnati. Marvin (Lewis) does a great job there. They did a great job today and the better team won today without question.”
Were you surprised by the way your defense played today?
“Yeah, I would say absolutely that surprised me. We got beat in every coverage known to man — five touchdown passes, I don’t know how many times that’s happened in my lifetime — not very often. Throwing into coverage ... Sometimes you’re in a man coverage and that’s going to be tough ... Sometimes when you call coverage and expect certain things played a certain way ... those were some disappointing things without question.”
What do you attribute the coverage breakdowns to?
“You’ve got to give them credit, obviously. It starts with protection. They did a great job protecting the quarterback, obviously, and then (Bengals QB Andy) Dalton was hot. That’s the thing about him — when he gets hot like that, we’ve seen over the last 3 weeks (he’s passed for) over 300 yards the past three weeks. He’s talented enough to do it and he’s got an outstanding group of receivers and skill position players. I think that contributes to it. Obviously, we have to do a much better job ... There are just some things we have to believe or something and do a better job playing to our leverage and obviously, we’ve got to improve a hell of a lot.”
Why did you bench starting cornerback Dee Milliner? Was it because of mental mistakes this time?
“No. I benched him because physically he wasn’t getting it done.”
What are your thoughts on Jets QB Geno Smith’s performance?
“Well, it was like the rest of the team. Obviously, it was a poor performance on everybody’s part.”
Would you assess a 4-4 record as being pretty good for this team as some people might have?
“ ... I don’t think so. Obviously, we have to get a hell of a lot better.”
The New Orleans Saints play you next week; coming off this performance with the pass defense, that has to be a bad combination:
“Well, if we don’t play better than we did today, than hell yeah, that guy (Saints QB Drew Brees) will break every record known to man against us. So I think we’ll play better.”
You mentioned the other day that there was one bad day of practice. Did you have any inkling that something like this was coming?
“No. I thought the preparation was better. After that, I thought we had some good practices and things. We knew it was going to be a challenge; we said that all week. They’ve got the two tight ends, they’ve got the wideouts and the quarterback got hot. It was disappointing. We couldn’t get pressure on the quarterback. We tried a zillion different ways — primarily rushing four and trying to play coverage — but you know, it started that way and obviously, (in) all phases, we never ... It wasn’t even close to how we have to play.”
Can you explain why you thought Milliner was ready to start given how much time he’s missed with injuries?
“Well, I’ve seen it on the practice field and everything else; this isn’t the first game he’s started. He’s started for a while now and that’s why.”
So why isn’t it translating from practice to the games?
“I mean, that’s a good question — but it wasn’t just him. We have a Pro Bowl corner (Antonio Cromartie) that didn’t have a good day, either. So (it’s) all of us. There isn’t one guy on that field that field in my opinion — now, we’ll see the tape and that may say otherwise — but I don’t know if there’s one guy that was out there on the sideline or on the field that had a good day.”
Can you try to explain the up-and-down nature of the team? Do you think that there are so many young guys that they just lack the necessary maturity to be consistent week after week?
“I don’t know what it is but part of it is you have to give the other team credit. There’s no easy game out there and certainly going against the Bengals, you have to give them their props. They’ve beaten a lot of good teams at home. They beat Pittsburgh, New England, Green Bay — but obviously, I thought we’d play a hell of a lot better than we did today.”
What was your message to the team after the game?
“I’ll keep my message private.”
Rex, will you open up that spot that Milliner is playing to a competition?
“Well, we’ll play who we think, who we feel is the best guy for us. There’s no question about that. We’ll decide that with every position.”
You touched on Cromartie earlier. A lot of times, he’s by himself out there and now he’s given up a lot of big plays this season. Do you think you have to adjust at all to get him a little help?
“Well, we gave everybody help today. It just didn’t look like it.”
What made you change to Matt Simms at quarterback in the game when you did today?
“I was going to play Geno one more series. That’s what I told (Jets offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) and then it ended on another pick-six. But that was planned. I wanted him to play one more series and then put him in a 2-minute mode and then bring Simms in.”
Is this as tough a loss as you’ve had as a head coach?
“No. Shoot no. The loss to New England, 45-3, felt worse. On a scale of 10, this one’s a 10 but that one to New England was like an 11. It’s brutal.”
Do you think some guys got too high on themselves after the big win against New England in overtime?
“No. No chance. That wasn’t it. Guys, we know we haven’t arrived. We know that. We’re a team that has to keep developing and get better. Obviously, we took a giant step back today. But part of that credit has to go to Cincinnati. They’re way ahead of us right now and it’s pretty obvious.”
Is this a step back for Geno at all?
“I mean, it wasn’t a good performance for sure.”
Did you feel that you had any sort of rhythm on offense?
“I feel like, as a group, we weren’t able to sustain drives. We weren’t able to put seven on the board. We didn’t play our best game today. Hats off to Cincinnati. They played a terrific game. We have to use this as motivation, as we always do, and get better from it.”
What happened on the Chris Crocker interception?
“The guy made a good play. It wasn’t my best pass, but he made a great play. I have to do a better job keeping the ball out of the defender’s reach so they can’t make those types of plays.”
What happened on the other pick-six?
“I made a late throw to the sideline. The guy made a good break on the ball and was able to grab it. I should have made the tackle, but I shouldn’t have forced it in the first place.”
As one of the young leaders of this team, do you plan to say anything to the team after a loss like this?
“I think it’s self explanatory after a loss like this. We’re a veteran-led team, and we know we need to give extra effort this week. No one wants to lose the game — especially like this. I think all the guys know what’s at stake. We just need to pick it up and get things rolling.”
Are you discouraged with the up and down play?
“No, it’s not discouraging. Mistakes are going to happen, no matter how many years I play in this league. It’s something to learn from.”
Why do you think this team has so many ups and downs?
“I don’t know what it is, but I know that’s how its been. I know every guy goes into every game with the intentions of executing the game-plan. Sometimes we have done it and sometimes we haven’t. That’s part of us developing consistency as a team and growing to get better.”
What was your reaction to being taken out of the game?
“I understand why the decision was made, but I always want to be in the game. I never want to be in a situation where we’re down and I have to be pulled from the game. It’s always upsetting, but I understand why the decision was made.”
Did the Bengals do anything that surprised you?
“I wouldn’t say they surprised us. They played their game. They got us behind early and their defensive line was able to get after us. They made it tough on us. We have to be able to step up to the plate and get it done on offense, no matter what the circumstance.”
Do you think the guys were too confident coming off a big win over the Patriots?
“No. I think we had a great week of preparation. Guys were extremely focused in practice. Guys were doing things extra, and watching extra film. We have to learn from it and get better from it and move on.”
You guys didn’t play your best game today:
“That’s putting it lightly. We came in with some high expectations after a big win last week. From start to finish, we just didn’t play well.”
How do you put this one behind you so quickly to get ready for the Saints?
“That’s a good question. We have to rely on the veteran leadership of the team. This team — all year long — has bounced back from loses. We have to continue to rely on that leadership, and move on from this. This is tough. Hopefully this won’t define us. Hopefully we can come together as a team this week and put a better product on the field next week.”
What happened today?
“We just came out flat. We didn’t come out firing. We have to learn — study the film, and move on.”
How do you make sure this doesn’t snowball?
“We just have to stay together. Bad things are going to happen. All you can do is worry about things that you can control. And things you can’t control, put them behind you. Obviously, this loss is over with. We’re going to study the film and put it in our rearview mirror. We’ll move forward from there.”
What can you say about his loss?
“They made plays and we didn’t. You have to come back tomorrow and make all the corrections and watch the film to see what we did wrong and get it corrected. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have another good team coming Sunday in the Saints. We got to get it turned around.”
You have to get it corrected quickly, don’t you?
“We have to start tomorrow — first thing. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have to stick together in this locker room. Each man has to do their part to do better. It’s a long season and there is a lot of football ahead of us. We have to come to work prepared.”
What were your feelings like when you got in a game for the first time this year?
“There were a lot of emotions going. I was very excited to go in, but obviously, not in those circumstances. It was still a good experience to get out there and see the field and the defense. I got hit for the first time since preseason, so it was a good experience. We just have to go back to work.”
What was the experience of the long run and how it ended when you went for it on fourth down?
“I am probably going to get a few messages from my father telling me to be a little smarter. I wanted to show everyone that I’m going to sacrifice and play hard. I’m going to play to the last play, no matter what the score is.”
It seemed like the defense couldn’t get a stop right from the start. How do you explain that?
“They didn’t do anything that we didn’t think they were going to do. We just didn’t come out focused. (When you come out that way), especially in somebody else’s home, you are going to get your ass handed to you, which is what we did. A loss is a loss. We have a tough game against the Saints coming up. We have to rebound and put it behind us and keep it moving. We’ve been through this a couple times before. It is what it is right now. It all looks negative right now, but we’ll look at the film and I’m sure there’s something that we can build on. That’s all you can do. You have to take the positive out of it.”
Last week you said that you have to win back-to-back games:
“That obviously didn’t happen today. Give Cincinnati all the credit. They beat us in every facet of the game. Their defense was better than our defense. Their offense was better than our offense. It is what it is. We lost. Again, it all looks bad right now, but when we get back tomorrow, I’m sure there is something we can build on. We have to move forward. That’s all we can do.”