ML: “In anticipation of going out to play Denver, obviously their game Monday night didn’t finish quite the way that they wanted. But with Kyle Orton, they have a guy who is an experienced quarterback, a guy that we know and played against three times now – two regular season times and the preseason game a year ago. For the most part, he makes really good decisions with the ball. He’s mobile enough to extend plays and extend drives, so we’ve got to be conscious of that and not allow him to run for first downs.
“We’ve got to do a good job of getting around him in the pocket. With the running game, they have quickness and cutting ability with the backs, so we have to do a good job at the line of scrimmage. Their offensive line is an athletic group, and we’ll have to do a nice job up front and try to make them a one-dimensional football team as much as we can. Brandon Lloyd is a good outside receiver, a guy that can be very effective.
“Defensively, I don’t know the status of (Elvis) Dumervil, but we know his ability to rush the passer. They are athletic on defense, very athletic. And Von Miller gives them another guy who is a great athlete with great speed. Their secondary is experienced, other than their rookie from UCLA (Rahim Moore). Their other three players have a lot of experience and have played a lot of football. Whether or not Champ (Bailey) is going to be able to play, we don’t know, but we know he is as fine a cover guy as there is in the National Football League. (S Brian) Dawkins is a great, great leader. He sets a tempo on defense and really gets them going. He plays very physical and very smart, and you have to be conscious of where he is and where he fits. They get him to the line of scrimmage quite a bit. They blitz him and do a lot of things with him.
“And their kicking game has been very strong. (Matt) Prater has been one of the strongest kickers in the National Football League. So it’s a (good) football team and we’ve got to be ready to play. We’ve got to execute well, we’ve got to really focus on doing our jobs. That’s the important part.”
John Fox is a coach that likes to stop the run, but they didn’t do a great job of it on Monday night against Oakland:
ML: “Yeah. As the game wore on, they were able to break some runs. I think if you looked at the game after three quarters, the rushing yards wasn’t where it was later, but (Oakland) continued to rush and they got the big run down to the one-yard line. Then they probably accumulated another 35 or 40 yards on that last drive keeping the ball away. But that’s going to be important, and that’s going to be a key for us.”
You said on Monday that your injured players were improving. Have they continued to improve through today?
ML: “They are improved again. We continue to be on the mend, and we’ll see (their progress) as we go through the week.”
Do you anticipate
ML: “He’ll be limited today. But we need to get Bruce (Gradkowski) some work. Andy will be limited, and we’ll watch and just be careful with him. I think the more we allow him to rest, the better he will be for Sunday.”
What does your new addition at TE,
ML: “He’s a guy who has been a complementary tight end. He comes here from the system in Green Bay – and with Philly this preseason – which is very similar to this camp. So he can, if need be, give us snaps right away. He’s made a lot of plays receiving. He understands protection. He understands his role. So he’s an experienced guy who can come in right away and really give us a threat we may have lost when we lost Bo (Scaife, who is on Reserve/Injured list).”
ML: “Thomas is very, very athletic. He’s really seized the moment, seized the opportunity, and from both the mental aspect of playing linebacker and understanding the opponent, he’s embraced it all. He’s been great. He’s been a great addition for his abilities, but also his mental makeup and what that adds to the team. I know we interviewed him at the Combine, but you don’t spend that much time around the guy. But getting to know him since the day we brought him to Georgetown, he’s quite an asset to us on the football team, both on the field and off the field.”
How would you assess
ML: “He just needs to continue to progress with things. He did some good things; he did some things we wish he could do better. But, this is another week and another challenge for him. He needs to have another good week of practice. For the most part he did OK, but we expect a lot out of him.”
How would you assess the play of your offensive and defensive lines last week against Cleveland?
ML: “We know that’s where our foundation of the team lies, and in Week 1, that played out on both sides of the ball. It’s got to continue to work that way. We have some depth. You add (Dennis) Roland into the mix with some offensive plays. We added the center, Mike (McGlynn), and as we go we’ll get an opportunity to do things and work in there at guard as well. And there’s
“And then we go to the defense – we had the eight (line) guys playing and they all contributed. We just have to keep going that way. We have to do a better job and be more defined in some of the things we’re doing up front. We’re going to keep pushing hard on that because we’re putting the hats on their head to keep getting better. As they go and motor, it becomes easier for the rest of the group in the back end. And same thing on the offensive front group.”
How does your wrist feel today?
AD: “It's getting better every day. That's all I can ask for. And we'll see going out there what I'm able to do. I'm hopeful.”
Have you tried to do anything with it yet?
AD: “Just a little bit. The big thing I've been trying to do is get the strength back and all that kind of stuff. I've been just getting a lot of treatment and making sure I'm doing all the things I can do to help myself out.”
Is the main problem holding on to the ball?
AD: “Yeah. I guess with the wrist injury, that's a big part of it. There is still a little bit of pain in there, but like I said, it's getting better every day.”
What have you seen on tape from the Denver defense?
AD: “There's a lot of athletic guys out there. They're physical and they run really well. They do some different things. They're not like Cleveland and just kind of line up and play. They're moving around a little bit. They're going to be a good test for us.”
Aside from what everyone else says and thinks, do you expect to play this Sunday?
AD: “I'm going to do everything I can to play. Like I said, we'll evaluate each day. I've been getting better every day, so we'll see.”
Did you know right away when Phil Taylor hit you that it was hurt?
AD: “Yeah, when I got up I felt like something was wrong. I've hit my wrist before and I felt like I could shake it off. But this one, I could tell that I didn't have the grip that I needed to have.”
Have you tried to grip a ball the last few days?
AD: “Yeah, I have. I sit at home and I try to mess with it to make sure I've still got it. We'll see once practice starts what I'm able to do.”
Did you watch Denver game on TV on Monday night?
AD: “I watched some of it. Obviously it was a late game. But I’ve seen the game film, though.”
Did you ever lose feeling in your hand or have numbness?
AD: “It wasn't necessarily numb. I just didn't have the strength and there was some pain in there. That's really all it was.”
Will you try to wear a wrap or brace during practice this week?
AD: “I'm sure we'll mess with a few different things. We'll see once we get out there and get going.”
Will you practice today?
AD: “I'm definitely going to be out there. I guess it's all part of the testing out and see what I'm able to do.”
How do you assess your performance in Cleveland?
AD: “I thought I played well. I thought as an offense, we played well. Just to start off and get the lead like we did. It helps when you have really good field position, too. In the first quarter, we feel like we were getting the ball on the plus-side of the 50 every time. So I think that we came out and had the right attitude going into the game, and I thought we executed well.”
You guys did a good job of getting set and handling the play clock. There were no pre-snap issues, and it seems like everyone's on the same page:
AD: “Yeah, for sure. That's one thing that we're trying to do – get the play in quick and getting it called quick so we have a lot of time to see what the defense is doing. So we were able to do that, and it gives you an advantage when you're up there.”
Sunday was the first time in club history that a Bengal offense has scored on its first three possessions in an opener. Not a bad way to start your career:
AD: “Not at all. That's what you try to do; every time you get the ball you try to get points. We were able to do that.”
How anxious were you at halftime when you were getting your wrist X-rayed?
AD: “I was really anxious. There wasn't a clock in there, and I didn't know if the team was still in the locker room or if we were already on the field. I ended up going out there and the third quarter had already started. I was telling them, ‘Just let me get on the sideline, just let me see if I can throw. Who cares what the injury is, just let me go out there and see if I can throw.’ ”
AD: “He's helped me out a lot, just with little things, even handling this (a news conference). Going out and talking through all the walk-through reps and doing all the little things like that. He's just kind of talking through things. I can come on the sideline and he can tell me what he saw compared to what I saw, and it’s the same thing I was trying to do when he's in the game. He'd come in and ask me what I saw on certain things and I'd just tell him little things I saw from the sideline. That's one area where we really help each other out.”
Did you get hit by Phil Taylor when following through?
AD: “I got hit at some point. I watched the replay on Monday I guess, and I didn't know it exactly when the hit happened. When I was on the ground getting up, that's when I felt it. I think it was when I got hit, I think I got the helmet just to the arm and wrist area on my way down. I guess that's when it happened. I'm not exactly sure when specifically it was.”
Did you watch the show about rookies on ESPN2 last night, the one where you were featured?
AD: “Yeah, I had a lot of people telling me it was on. I didn't know that it was going to be on. I had a couple of friends that said, ‘Thanks for getting us in the wedding picture’ and stuff like that. I missed the first 15 minutes of it because I wasn't home. It's cool to see that. It's cool to see the aspects of all the different guys.”
What do you see out of the Denver secondary? They have a lot of experience:
AD: “We were looking over their personnel today, and with three guys in the secondary added up they've got 39 years of experience, or something like that. I'm not used to that. I'm used to guys playing for four years and being gone (laughs). They've been in the league a long time. It shows because they're still playing really well and can do a lot of things. They're fast, physical guys and have been around it all.”