NOVEMBER 25, 2012
“I think the best part of today was the ability to run the football; it paid dividends. The defense did a great job on third down. Those were the two areas that really stood out in my mind. Andy (Dalton) played very efficiently today; he got us in and out of the right things and handled the line of scrimmage very well. It was, again, a good win, in all three phases. We were backed up a little bit in the third quarter, and we didn’t get the ball down the field maybe as much as Kevin’s (Huber) been doing it lately. We were able to overcome our third quarter and then put the game away in the fourth. So that was good.”
Is Andy doing anything differently that’s allowed him to play at a high level recently?
“Andy’s had a good season throughout. I really think when we were able to look at us during the bye week, our team came out of that with a focus of what we need to do. We’ve wasted some opportunities. You want to play your best football in December. We weren’t very good in October. We’ve been a little better in November and we’re getting close to December. We’ve got to keep going.”
How much has the running game opened things up for the rest of the offense?
“It pays huge dividends. After the first part of the game, they decided they were not going to let 18 (
What was your view of the fourth-quarter scuffle?
“I think they, in my opinion, took a little bit of a cheap shot at the quarterback and Andrew (Whitworth) came to his rescue, plain and simple.”
Talk about the first quarter and the way you set the tone offensively and defensively:
“Those things we set to do; the ability to run it, we set up field position defensively, we made some big catches and runs, there even after the thrown passes that set up those scores. And the defense on third downs was marvelous in the first half of the game.”
When you self-scouted during the bye week, what did you see?
“We weren’t doing a good enough job when we were at the point of attack, making critical plays during critical moments in games. We had our opportunities but we weren’t getting it done; whether it be allowing a third-down completion on defense, or not converting a third down on offense or maybe it was a play earlier in the game where we beat a guy one-on-one and we don’t make the throw or don’t make the catch, or a guy calls off the right protection. One thing happens that sets you back a little bit. I really think as players and coaches, we’ve done a better job. Mo Sanu has been a great lift for us; getting him up and running full-time. He’s been a great asset opposite A.J. and that’s been big for us. Jermaine (Gresham) continues to play well and Bennie (Green-Ellis) is hitting his stride now, Ced Peerman has been a good lift for us on offense. Defensively, Chris (Crocker) has really settled things down in what we’re doing defensively. We’ve had to make adjustments personnel-wise, and those guys have responded and they’re doing a good job.”
You showed tremendous faith in K
“It was surprising when he missed the one before. I watch him make those kicks all the time. So, yeah, I have a lot of faith in Mike. He hit that one good. He hit that about as poorly as he hit the one before.”
Any thought of a Hail Mary play at the end of the first half?
“No. I felt like we had one timeout left. We were able to get the ball up and down and get the timeout called and then have an opportunity to get three points.”
How much of what your team has done in the last three weeks is simply having confidence?
“It’s a big part of it; a huge part of it. It’s what it is. You’ve got to do things confidently. You can’t get unnerved, whatever the word is. You’ve to know if I get my job done, the guy beside me is going to get it done. If we’re not quite perfect this play, we’ll get it the next play and just keep doing it, don’t press. I think that’s the thing. If it’s third-and-four, maybe we’re going to go for it on fourth down. Jay (Gruden) has gotten the opportunity to take those shots because we have some confidence in our guys executing and picking up those fourth-down plays. We just have to stay aggressive in what we’re doing. The players are really taking to things. Guys are seeing that no matter where you started a week ago, you might be the guy in the line of fire next week, so make sure you’re ready when you’re number gets called. Mo Sanu took full advantage of an opportunity. (Brandon) Tate’s taken advantage. So we’re getting guys doing that; Ced Peerman. That’s been the best thing I think has been the response; (Wallace) Gilberry on defense, who are taking advantage of opportunities to play.”
Was there any emotional feeling playing against Carson Palmer?
“Well I think our guys had some emotions. I think it’s over now. It’s done, it’s over, everybody can move on. We are where we are, Carson’s where he is. He’s a fine, fine football player, but we’re all in different spots now.”
What’s different now after winning three games in a row, compared to the first time you won three in a row earlier this year?
“I’ve got to keep pressing and make sure that it is different. We can’t have any backslides. We know a backslide makes it hard for us. Right now we can control our own destiny, per se. If we backslide, it’s up to other people.”
Defensively, how much momentum did it give you to get two sacks on the first Raiders drive?
“It kind of got them out of sequence; which was good because, correct me if I’m wrong, they made an eight-yard run on first down. So getting the sack on second down was huge to get them off sequence.”
What’s the difference between
“He’s still the same guy; we’re doing a little better job of blocking them and spreading them out. I’m still waiting for a running back that can block them up front and then carry the ball. One day maybe they’ll make one of those guys.”
Can you talk about the interior of your offensive line?
“Those young guys are really doing a great job. They’ve played four ballgames together. They’re enthusiastic. They’re doing a good job. They’re smart kids; they understand football. They make the right calls for the most part. They’re getting on people and they can move them.”
Talk about entering December with the playoff race coming back to your favor:
“That’s what you want to do. We had to overcome October. We had an okay November, so now let’s have a better December. That’s the key; we need to have a better December that we had in November. That’s our key right now. That’ll give us a chance for a great January.”
How big of a break was it for you during the play before the scuffle, when they had the inadvertent whistle?
“I didn’t see the play, so I don’t know what happened. All I saw the ball on the ground and them picking them up. So in my opinion it was a big break to get the opportunity to back at it again and them not either having the ball there or a touchdown, obviously. There were still I think seven minutes to go in the game, 7:22 maybe to be exact.”
Could Whitworth’s ejection be a rallying point?
“No; we don’t want to see guys ejected. We don’t want to get in that situation.”
If it wasn’t a two-score game, would you still have challenged BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s run?
“Well … I got some bad info, that’s all. The person who is supposed to give me the info, didn’t give me the info. That’s my fault; that’s my bad. I can only listen to one person, but it was a resounding, ‘Oh, he scored!’ Obviously, I live through that one, but I can’t do that, and that’s a mistake on my part. I only have one person that’s supposed to talk to me that way. Unless he feels clearly about it, I’m not going to challenge it, unless it’s in front of me and make my own judgment, which I’ve done before. But it was an error on my judgment.”
Let’s start with the fourth-quarter cheap shot you took and what ensued after that — what it meant to you to have Whitworth defend you:
“I did get hit on the penalty. It’s good to know that guys have my back. It means a lot that Whit’s going to do something like that. The crazy circumstances with everything that went on, especially with the (one play) — was it a fumble? wasn’t it a fumble? are we re-doing the play? — all that kind of stuff. It was a crazy sequence of things that happened, but it’s good to know guys have your back. I love Whit and love the way he plays. He showed that he’s a team player.”
Were you easing up thinking the play was over, or were you going like it was a free play?
“No, they were blowing the whistle. I think they called it a false start. The play was dead. I was just standing there and then got hit, and then everything took place.”
Did it light a fire after that? The offense had struggled to that point. What can something like that do to a team to light a fire underneath you?
“I think that’s what it did. We came out right after all that and hit a big play. It got things going. We drive down and scored a touchdown. I think it gave us a little spark. It worked.”
Is that the best thing to do — calm things down, and when the team is all frustrated like that, slap them in the face with a big play?
“Yeah, that’s what you want to do. When things aren’t going the right way, someone’s got to step up and someone’s got to make a play. Things weren’t going the way we wanted them to throughout the second half. It was a big drive. We made the big play, and it kept things going. We drove down and scored the touchdown.”
What were they doing coverage-wise? Because after a while, it looked like they were trying to double up to get A.J. Green out of the game. How did they start, and how did they make the change?
“They were doing the same thing the whole time with certain formations, certain things. We felt like we liked the matchups that we had. For most of the game, they tried to put two guys over A.J. and tried to take him out of it. It opened up the running game. We were able to drive down and make some big plays in the run game. That’s what we have to do in those situations.”
Speak to your balance offensively:
“Yeah, it’s what you need to do in games like this — especially when you get the lead early — you want to be able to run the ball. Early on for us, running the ball was getting us down the field. We were making big plays in the run game. We’ve got to keep this up. We’ve got to keep this going. The running game has done a great job the last two weeks. We’ve got to keep the balance.”
Twelve quarters and no turnovers by the offense. Keeping care of the football is big, isn’t it?
“It is. It’s huge. Turnover battles usually decide the game. We have to keep that up. We can’t give the other team any chances.”
When the schedule was released, was this a game you had circled, seeing how you’re the successor to Carson Palmer?
“It wasn’t one that I had circled. I knew that the atmosphere wasn’t going to be in his favor. It’s cool to get a chance to play him. This was the first time I ever talked to him. I guess that I can tell everyone that I talked to him, (even if it was just) for two seconds.”
What’s the difference in the red zone? You were struggling for a while, but now you’re creeping into the top 10. What’s been the change?
“The big thing is we’ve been able to score touchdowns on third down. When we’ve gone down there, if we do get stopped, we’re making big plays on third down. I think that’s the thing that’s changed. You can’t put your finger on one thing that’s making a change, except guys are making plays now.”
Do you feel better about being 6-5 right now than maybe when you won five straight games last year?
“It is (better). We’ve got to be good in November and December — that’s what it comes down to. We’ve done a good job in November, and now we’ve got to carry that over into December.”
Was there any thought when you got the ball in the red zone to trying to continue A.J. Green’s consecutive TD reception streak?
“I tried to get a good fake on it and it might have opened up, but it wasn’t the right look.”
Are you looking at all at where the team is with the playoffs?
“The next five games — we’ve got to come play, because it’s definitely still within reach for us. We never felt like we were out of it, even with the four-game losing streak, we never felt like we were out of the playoff race. Now we’ve just got to keep on playing like we’re playing, and everything will fall into place.”
This was quite a different day for you wasn’t it?
“I just tried to play my role and do my job today. I just wanted to make plays every time I got the opportunity.”
Tell me about that first touchdown catch:
“I just wanted to try and get hands on that one. I went as fast as I could to get to it and that just laid my hands out there.”
They even had you running the ball today. That was a little different wasn’t it?
“Coach Gruden wanted me to do that and he actually asked me to do that today. I just wanted to play my role and help the team win today.”
In the first half, it seemed like you guys were firing on all cylinders:
“We were executing very well in the first. We were all on the same page in the first half and were making plays all over the place.”
Do you feel like the offense is in a good tempo right now?
“I think we are. We are really coming in to our own.”
Overall, what is the biggest difference in your comfort level in the offense now compared to four weeks ago?
“I am simply trying to get better day in and day out. I work hard and am getting more opportunities to make plays on the field.”
How important is simply getting out on the field and getting reps?
“It is very important. The more reps you get the better feel you get for the game. It really helps your confidence a lot too.”
What happened on that play where you got ejected?
“Well, I mean it was one of those situations where the guy slammed Andy after about four whistles, and it’s an (offensive) lineman’s job. It’s my job — that’s my responsibility to keep (Bengals quarterback) Andy (Dalton) clean and stay protected. I saw it and just walked up to him and told him to not let it happen (again), and then he (Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston) head-butted me, and three of the other (defensive) lineman started swinging at me from behind. They were probably looking for a fight because they weren’t doing much on the field.”
They were pretty frustrated obviously, and the inadvertent whistle probably was more frustrating. What were the officials talking about on that play?
“I was just frustrated with the one guy on their sideline, and then their team gets to talk in that ref’s ear, and all the other refs had come to an agreement of what had happened and explained it and said, ‘We’re going to replay the down because I blew the whistle’, and he kept trying to convince them it should just be Oakland’s ball, even if there was a whistle. I didn’t understand why one guy could keep fighting, and he kept trying to bring it up when we were ready to move on. I was kind of like, ‘I don’t understand. How can one of the referees continue to fight for their side on a call when all the other guys came to an agreement? I just kept saying, ‘C’mon, let’s go — you already came to an agreement. Let’s play ball.’ They finally decided to do that.”
Bryant seems to be a cheap-shot artist:
“It is what it is. Like I said, I went up just to confront him, and the one guy head-butted me and we grabbed each other and I felt the other guy start swinging from behind. Like I said, teams like that, the last couple weeks they’ve had, I’m sure they’re frustrated and they were getting beat again … It’s my job to protect Andy first and foremost and I always will. I say that and I mean it and hopefully guys understand that.”
This team has a history of being undisciplined. Did you guys feel like, going into the game, if you got up on them early it could get chippy out there?
“Oh, yeah. We knew that was a possibility and with something like that, when the whistle is blown four times and the guy does something like that to Andy, it’s my job to step in there and I had to.”
Let’s talk about the game — you guys rushed the ball for over 200 yards:
“We’re starting to find the way we like to play and that style, that attitude is key and we've got to continue to do it. This isn’t enough. We feel like the streak we had in the middle of the season is purely and solely because we felt too good about ourselves and relaxed. I don’t think this team is like that right now. We’re ticked off and we have a chip on our shoulder and we’re out to prove who we are and what we set out this season to be . We’ll keep putting the throttle down, and practices will be better and more heated and we’ll have more successful for it.”
You’ve been blowing teams out over the last 3 weeks — that’s hard to do in the NFL:
“It is. Every week you have to go to work and to be honest with you, none of those matter anymore. This is a new week, we’ve got work to do, we’re ready to come in Wednesday and get after it, be prepared to fly out to San Diego and get the ‘W.’ ”
You guys suffocated Oakland in the first half on defense:
“Yeah man, we knew what we had to do. We’d been in practice with Carson for many years here. We knew we had to get pressure in his face and we were getting after it today. That was one of the keys to our game plan, to get pressure on him because we knew when he has people in his face, he tends to overthrow balls and what not. Big shout-out to the defense, all the coaches, and man, it was just a good team effort today — a great ‘W’ for us.”
Did Palmer have anything to say out there today?
“Not really, man. He was just focused on the game and we didn’t have much to say, either. The way we played talked for us. We really got after it today and we’re really excited for this ‘W’ because it puts us over .500 and that’s three (wins) in a row — we’re going to keep doing it one game at a time.”
The margin of victory keeps getting bigger in each victory — that’s tough to do in the NFL:
“It is, man. What’s really cool is that our offense is clicking now, man and our defense is clicking (too) and special teams has been playing great, so when you get us rolling on all cylinders, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”
A lot of guys got their hands on Carson today:
“It was wild out there. I really appreciate all the fans — you guys were loud as heck. Keep it up and we’re going to keep getting this ‘Ws’ one game at a time.”
It seemed like the defense’s game plan today was to get in there and make Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer as uncomfortable as possible:
“That’s how we wanted him to feel. Of course, we had a little grudge with the situation (given last season), so we wanted to get back there and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. Now we’re going on to San Diego and to go do the same thing to them.”
Does it feel like you’re back in college playing in the SEC?
“Oh, yeah. These games are tough games, man. The AFC is just like the SEC to me, man. Every game, week in, week out, you’re going to get a team’s best shot and they played hard today, even when we got up. (They) ran the ball, (were) physical; they didn’t give up, so give credit to them.”
Things got a little chippy out there today, no?
“Games like that, you’re so passionate about the game, and you’re losing, it’s taken out of your hands. It just frustrates them, and one of the guys just lost his edge I guess. Whit (
You had two receptions of over 40 yards, rushed the ball … Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is trying to find ways to get you the ball, no?
“Yeah. Definitely, man. That game plan was to try and stop me, and Jay was trying to get me some touches, definitely. I just made the play when the ball came to my side.”
You had balance in the offense today which is good:
“Like I said, this team is clicking at the right time. That’s the biggest thing, man.”
You’re putting yourself in position to finish well in December with three wins in a row with bigger margins of victory each week — that’s tough to do in the NFL:
“Yeah, it’s definitely tough. Our defense is playing lights out and our offense, we’re not turning the ball over and just playing our style of football right now.”
Georgia or Alabama? Georgia or Notre Dame for the national college football championship?
“Bulldogs, man — what are you talking about?! (laughs) Georgia — are you crazy?!”
What were you thinking before the 55-yard field goal attempt?
“I just wanted to put a good hit on it. I think that’s a distance that you don’t need to put more on it, though. I just wanted to hit a good solid ball and get it there.”
This team came out and wanted to protect its quarterback. What did you see during the fight?
“I think that is a question to best ask those guys. The play seemed to be a pretty rough play and it seemed like some things did happen. It’s tough for me to comment on since I wasn’t out there doing anything at the time.”
What does it say about the team that they stand-up like that for each other?
“I think it’s a good thing. This is a fantastic locker room and it really shows how close these guys really are. We want to protect our teammates and we will all take another step to protect our quarterback. That simply guys taking care of their teammates.”
You all have had three straight blowouts. How good can this team be?
“I think we can be very good. It is tough to look back and think about the games that you should have won, but this team does a good job of moving forward. We really focus on what we have to do today and how we can get better that day. I really think that win against the Giants will give us a nice spark for the rest of the season.”
It seemed like the defense set the tone for the game right off the bat:
“We really didn’t want to let them get a rhythm. We wanted to stay on Carson (Palmer) and not let their offense get rolling. They have a really good running game and we didn’t want to give them a chance to even get that going. We were able to go out there and make some really good plays early.”
They grabbed some momentum there in the second half. You were able to grab Carson and force the fumble and that ended up being huge:
“They did a really good job moving the ball in the second half. They really regrouped well and fixed some issues that they were having in the first half. We had to step up on defense to stop the momentum.”
On a play like that, are you going for the player or the ball?
“At that point in time I am going for the player. I just wanted to get his arm down and buy some time for our guys.”
It ended up working out for the best though. You all were able to get the turnover and get a field goal out of the next drive:
“Yeah that was sweet.”
Do you think the defense is now starting to hit some tempo from week to week?
“I do. I think we are starting to play together more and we are gelling really well. We’re now keeping the opponent from hitting big plays, which is always good.”
What was the difference between the first half of the game and team we saw in the third quarter? “Our guys were executing what they were being asked to execute. We didn’t tackle well in the first part of the game, and that was probably the biggest difference.”
How big of a punch to the gut was the inadvertent whistle ruling?
“It was a big play. We felt like we were going to get the ball. That was difficult for us to swallow.”
Was it a ruling that you have heard of before?
“I was unaware that a ruling of an inadvertent whistle would give them (Cincinnati) the opportunity to choose what they wanted to do. It was unfortunate.”
Why do you think Carson Palmer struggled getting the ball down the field today?
“I think it had a lot to do with the rush. He was under duress all game. We knew they had an exceptional four-man rush, and they were able to get after the quarterback using four men.”
Do you think anything factored in about him going up against his former team?
“I don’t think that was a big factor. I think their rush was the biggest factor. We obviously didn’t come out and start the game the right way. We came in after halftime and made a few adjustments, and I thought the guys played harder in the second half. They came out and competed.”
Did you get the sense that more pride kicked in during the third quarter?
“Our guys understand that we’ve got a standard to uphold, and we didn’t do that the first half. We came out and played better in the second half, and that’s the way we’ve got to play going forward.”
What do you say at halftime when that standard is not being upheld?
“The good news is I didn’t have to say a whole lot. The players took control of that, which was good, and I think they responded.”
Seeing the team get ticked off, was that a good thing or a bad thing?
“I definitely think it was a good thing. We’ve got to play that way more often.”
Do you think it was directly attributed to the fact that they lost the touchdown?
“I’m not sure what you’re referring to there ...”
The play of the fumble that was reversed:
“If that’s the ticked off that you’re talking about, I think it’s OK to play with anger, but we’ve got to play with poise and composure. We lost our poise a little bit a couple plays after that happened. Ticked off after halftime and the way the defense responded I thought was good.”
What did you see out of BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s big run?
“We didn’t fit the run the right way. That’s what happened on a couple of their runs. You can’t do that. You’ve got to do it exactly right every time, that’s the way of the National Football League. We can’t come out and spot a team 24 points and expect to come back. We’ve got to come out and start the game the right way and play that way for 60 minutes.”
Are you tired of having to preach that message?
“All of us have to be accountable. We’ve all got a job to do, and we haven’t done it as well as we need to.”
Are you able to give us an honest assessment of the non-fumble without getting in trouble with the league?
Not the kind of return you were hoping for:
“Not a lot went right, from start to finish. This wasn’t the game we expected to play. Hats off to Cincinnati. They were the better team today. We have to get better.”
Were you upset with what you were seeing?
“I was upset with myself. I expect more out of myself. I need to put us in better situations to win games.”
Were you proud of the way the team responded in the third quarter?
“Yeah. We definitely responded in the third, but didn’t sustain it. You have to play four quarters of good football. It starts with me. Being a veteran quarterback, I need to play better and make sure we’re playing to our ability for four quarters.”
Were you surprised by any of the wrinkles the defense showed you?
“They gave me a couple of different looks, but they’re so good up front, you don’t need to change much. You don’t fix what’s not broken. We knew we had our hands full with those guys. They’re really good pass rushers and really good in the run game too. They’ve done it all year and will continue to do it for the rest of the year.”
Did the boos effect you?
“No. You obviously hear it, but I had prepared myself for it and knew what I was coming into.”
Does the criticism bother you?
“No. Anytime you go into an opposing stadium, you’re going to get booed. That’s what home teams do. Obviously it was a little bit louder and a little bit longer, but that’s part of going on the road.”
What were your emotions back when you arrived at the stadium?
“I love playing in this stadium. It’s one of the coolest looking stadiums. It’s a great atmosphere, the crowds are always intense and the fans are always into the game. It’s a great place to play.”
What was it like as you watched the apparent fumble and realized that the Bengals were getting the ball back?
“Unfortunately, refs make mistakes too. We make them, coaches make them, and refs make them. It’s part of football. Things happen. You have to overcome them, and we weren’t able to.”
You had a great third quarter. What changed?
“I don’t know, but it’s not enough. You can’t play one good quarter of football. It has got to change.”
Did you have any conversations with former teammates?
“I saw a bunch of guys after the game. It was good to see them.”
How well understood are you in this town?
“Because I’m not going to talk about what went down.”
What was the message at halftime?
“Play better football. We knew we had to play a better second half to get back into the game and we didn’t.”
Most of your passes were to backs instead of wide receivers. Was that due to a quick pass rush?
“There’s not a whole lot of time to throw the ball against that front four. They’re as good of a front four as there is in the game. You don’t want to throw into coverage, and the guys that had one-on-one were the underneath guys.”
Now that everything is over, how do you feel?
“I want another one. I don’t feel much differently after any loss. Sometimes you’d like to change a handful of plays, or even just one play. In this case I’d change a lot of plays.”
Is there anything you want Cincinnati fans to know?
“Cincinnati fans are phenomenal. They were great to me while I was here. They love football, and you sense it when you’re the home team and when you’re the away team. They understand the game, they love the game, and they support their team ... die hard.”
What did you think about the controversial call?
“I at least thought it was going to be fourth down, because he didn’t get the first down.”
Have you ever seen them give the team the option?
“No. Never in my life. I thought it was a bad call. At least it’s fourth down. You don’t give a team another chance to get the first down. It’s tough to stop them with three downs — it’s tough to give them another chance.”
After the strip, you had to have thought that it was your chance to get back in it:
“Yeah. I felt that if we would have gotten that touchdown, then anything could happen. We would have been down; I think 10, and there was 10 minutes left. We had a chance, but things happen and you can’t control certain things in the game. The only thing you can control is how you play the game.”
The team started to play better in the second half. What were you able to do to play better?
“I felt like, in the second half, things started going our way. We were challenging a little better and we were starting to make plays. We had a bunch of three-and-outs (in the first half). The first half was tough. They made plays in the first half. You have to tip your hats to them. They made plays. I felt we came out in the second half with a different type of energy. I felt like the game was going our way until that bad call.”
You seemed surprised that you were thrown out:
“You know, it doesn’t matter. The game is over now. Give them credit, they played well today. They played well as a team. We’ll be back to work on Monday.”
Do you understand what happened on the play with the inadvertent whistle?
“I’m not sure what happened. To me, it looked like a fumble, but I guess the refs are saying that the Bengals had a choice of replaying the down. It is unfortunate and things happen, but you have to give credit to the Bengals, they are playing good football and they played a great game.”
Did Carson’s return factor in at all once the game started?
“Whenever one of your teammates is playing for something special, you want to pull together a good game. It was a big game for him and a big game for our team to get this thing turned around. We have to try our best and just try to compete.”
Did you see what happened in the fight?
“I don’t know. I just remember one of their guys attacking one of our guys and then our guys defended themselves. The next thing you know, we get two guys kicked out and they only get one guy kicked out. That is crazy.”
Was that a tough way to come home?
“Definitely. That was not the way I envisioned it. It definitely wasn’t the way I wanted, but it is what it is. I don’t try to control the things that I can’t control. You wish you could do more, but you can only do what you are allowed to do.”
What needs to change for the defense?
“We have to figure out how to play together and figure out how to do our jobs on each and every snap. If we can figure that out, we would be OK.”
Coach Dennis Allen said that he didn’t really have to say anything at half time because the players took care of that. Is that what happened?
“There’s nothing that he needs to say. You can only do so much talking. Carson brought us together and refocused us. Talking right now isn’t going to do anything. It’s time for guys to step up and start putting things into action. We are past talk right now.”
With Carson’s return, was this the type of performance that you guys expected?
“I wish we could have gotten a win for him and ourselves. Guys play hard, but you can play hard and still not play smart. Right now, we are not playing smart.”