Wednesday transcripts

Posted Dec 15, 2010


Opening comments:
“Looking forward to the Browns, I’m looking forward to getting out and putting a whole game together. We’ve got to get a good start offensively, be able to sustain it, take care of the football. Defensively, we know we have to stop the running game and not allow any explosive plays. In the kicking game, when you’re playing against Josh Cribbs, he’s always very important. With the specialists, their job is allowing us the opportunity to cover the kicks, and then we’ve got to go down and tackle. On the other side, let’s get field position set up by doing a good job in the return game. That’s the focus of things and where we are.”

On the difference between Browns QBs Jake Delhomme and Colt McCoy:
“I think there’s a little difference. Colt McCoy is pretty active in and around the pocket, and that’s probably the difference right now. Delhomme is still dealing with the high ankle sprain for most of the season, so he’s a little limited with it. Obviously, Jake’s got a lot of experience, so it’s a trade-off.”

On Browns RB Peyton Hillis:
“We had a conversation with Denver regarding him (before Broncos traded him to Cleveland) . He’s a good player. He has good talent, good ability. He’s a hard-running guy, and I thought he was a good, young prospect.”

On how the first Browns game could have been different:
“Turnovers in the game were big. We had fumbles, which were a big part of it. We get the unfortunate penalty call, which (the league) later said they were probably wrong on, which set up a field goal before halftime, which played a big part in the game. And then our ability at the end to close it out, to score and win the game. As we have the final drive, I’m not even worried about the opportunity to kick a field goal. I’m thinking we’re going to score a touchdown to win the game. Our inability to make plays and their ability to make them was the difference that day. They made more plays, they played more physical, and they won the game. They were able to run the football out at the end of the game.”

On giving up closing scores at the end of the first half:
“I think it’s important (to prevent it), because we’ve had chances where we haven’t got those. That’s an important element to the game. In Cleveland’s case, it was an unsportsmanlike conduct, that was later said that it wasn’t, that set up that score. When you’ve got minimal time like that, you don’t want to give up the big play that gets you beat for a touchdown, so there are some things underneath that at times you may be willing to concede. In that case, that added to the problem. As of late, we haven’t done a good job of defending those plays. We’ve made no plays in that situation, whereas countless times in years past we’ve scored at the end of the half because the other team continued to be aggressive, and we tipped the ball and intercepted the ball and were able to set up our own scores. Right now, we haven’t done that.

“It all fits together -- understanding the situation, playing smart through the situation. Now, you’re looking at defensive backs 17, 18 and 19 in there now (laughs), so I think that’s a little different, too.”

On signing DBs Keiwan Ratliff and Marvin White:
“Keiwan just finished playing in the new league (UFL). Marvin has been working out all year and didn’t choose to go through that (UFL) experience. But they are both in shape as a result of what they’ve done, and they’re also familiar with our terminology. And we had Marvin in training camp late. S it gives us guys who can get up to speed quickly to be helpful.”

On if Ratliff and White are going to play this weekend:
“We signed them to play, so we’ll see what happens.”

On Terrell Owens’ comments -- critical of management, coaches and players -- on his TV show last night:
“Unfortunately for Terrell, he gets criticized a lot nationally (for various comments). The season hasn’t gone as we expected. Last year we won the division, and we’re not there this year. We really had one addition that was added very, very late, and that was him. It comes with some pressure, being where we are compared to last year. We all, like he said, need to do things better, and we all have a hand in winning football games. Again, we don’t look any further than that, but unfortunately he gets looked at that way. We haven’t done well enough. None of us.”

On dealing with situations like this:
“I think all the time, you make sure guys understand (that it creates a situation). . When guys choose to act out, pop off, whatever you want to term it, what I say is, ‘Look no farther than yourself first, and go from there.’ In this case, no one was willing to bring you aboard for a long time, and then we ended up doing it late, so don’t hurt yourself in that situation as you go forward. There’s a lesson there. Unfortunately once we say something, we don’t get the chance to take it back. We try but we don’t get to, and it’s too late sometimes.”

On if this team reflects Chad Ochocinco’s recent comment that he is ‘numb’ to losing:
“This group wasn’t numb to losing five weeks ago. (Regarding what Ochocinco said), you (media) ask a question, no matter what the context, and they’re going to shake their head and agree a little bit. But if you’re a true competitor, no one’s numb to losing. If we have someone who I feel is numb to losing, you can count that they will be sitting in the stands with you come Sunday.”

On Chad Ochocinco’s performance over time in avoiding explosive comments:
“I think he’s done a good job of managing it. I think I communicate and remind him a little bit, because I can, and because I want him to keep things in perspective. Chad has a great opportunity to finish the season and finish it strongly. He should take his body of work since the Indianapolis game and keep getting better and better and better. Make sure you get your guy blocked. We had a situation where he didn’t block a guy against Indianapolis, the guy makes a tackle for no gain, and we’re on the goal line. He says ‘I didn’t see him.’ Well, you saw him three plays earlier, because you blocked the same front, same defense, same way, same play.
“The attention to detail to stay on it is important, and he’s done a much better job. We have to keep going that way.”

More on keys for the Browns game:
“(At Pittsburgh), we didn’t play well offensively after the first drive. Second quarter, we did some things okay. We had a sack that set us back, and we didn’t do much after that. You can’t have dropped passes. We have to get our feet inbounds, we have to throw the ball to the right receiver, and we have to get the ball protected. We have to get it protected as a runner, we have to get the guys blocked at the line of scrimmage. Defensively, we have to get off the field on third down. We didn’t do a good job of that last week. Let’s go to this week. Let’s tackle (Peyton) Hillis, get pressure on their quarterback, and disrupt the passing game, and get after them on offense and do a great job on special teams. You go back to what our ailments are -- those are our ailments. The other stuff (controversy) gives you guys something to do, but it’s not my focus. My focus is what is ailing us here and taking care of it.

On whether the loss against Cleveland that started the losing streak affected the confidence of the team:
“It was a lost game, but we didn’t go into the Tampa Bay game (the next week) any less confident. I think it’s easy to go back, but I can go back to the Cleveland game here in ’06, and a lot of things changed then. You can always go back, but going backwards is not healthy for anyone. The best thing is to point forward. My direction is to push forward. People are in skids, it’s a lesson in life. I said from the start that we had a lot of work to do. People didn’t understand it, it’s been evident. People didn’t quite believe me, and unfortunately it has borne out too true.”


On if they’re going to Mason to practice indoors this week:
“I don't know. I haven't heard. We always get told at the last second that we're jumping on a bus for an hour. So we'll wait and see what happens.”

On if players pay any attention to the historical perspective of the current losing streak:
“I don't think so. I think going through 10 weeks of losing is enough to think about. I don't think there are too many guys worried about records or thinking about things like that. Just guys are worried about trying to win one game at a time.”

On what he remembers about the first game in Cleveland:
“I just remember how badly I wanted to get the ball back at the end of the game. We did a good job of moving the ball and were moving up and down the field on them, and I think there were three or four minutes left on the clock. I thought for sure we were going to make them punt, we'll get the ball back, and we’ll win. And they kept giving it to (Peyton) Hillis, and he just kept moving forward. He's one of the better backs in the league this year, and they just kept giving him the ball, and he kept finding ways to get first downs, and they ran the clock out on us.”

On the improvement of Browns CB Joe Haden:
“The whole defense is playing much, much better than the first time we played them. But Haden's in there a lot more now. The first time we played, he was kind of sparingly getting snaps here and there in different personnel groupings. Now he's on the field all the time. I think he was the third, fourth, fifth pick in the draft, something like that, and it shows why.”

On if there is any extra meaning to this game because of the hit by Browns safety T.J. Ward on Jordan Shipley:
“I mean, it was what it was. We've moved on. We want to win because it's a rivalry game, because it's a home game and because they're the team that started this whole slide. We went into that game as a confident team and they knocked us back a step. But our main incentive is, it's a rivalry game, the in-state battle.”

On how big of a role confidence plays:
“I think where we are as a team is, you've got to fight that battle mentally. As soon as you get down a score, fight that feeling of ‘uh-oh.’ You've got to try to block that out and try to stay focused on doing your job individually and moving the ball as an offense, stopping them on defense, and keeping (Josh) Cribbs under control on special teams. Just fight that uh-oh feeling, because that's pretty typical of a consecutive-loss season. We've got to fight that, continue to try to stay confident in each other, in the plays that are called,  in our own abilities, and try to find a way to get a win.”

On which of the two high-scoring games against the Browns (a 58-48 Bengals win in 2004 and 51-45 Browns win in 2007) stands out more:
“I don't think either one stands out more. I remember those games more than anything because they were so wild. Just kept going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And that's what you get in a rivalry game. Everybody in our locker room has a rivalry game in college and most guys (did) in high school, and you understand over time that these types of games are never over. You can never assume or expect anything. You can assume or expect that something different is going to happen, it's going to be a different style of game just because of that little extra incentive in the rivalry.”

On if he can imagine not being a Bengal in the future:
“Yeah. Anything's possible. This is a business and anything can happen in business, so yeah.”

On his memories of Chris Henry, and how he’s thought of in the locker room:
“Chris is thought of every day by guys that were around him for a while. There are a lot of fresh faces that maybe didn't know him at all or maybe knew him only for the last season he was with us, but I don't have one memory, one specific memory of Chris. I remember a number of different situations and plays and things that happened in practice with Chris, things that happened in OTAs. I mean, just different flashes go by all the time, different instances in the locker room. All great memories. Those of us that were lucky enough to be around him for a considerable amount of time -- myself, Chad (Ochocinco), Reggie Kelly, Bobbie (Williams), some of those guys who have been with Chris since the day he was drafted -- all have great memories of Chris.”

On how he reacts to Terrell Owens’ comments on his TV show last night:
“Not at all. This is that time of year, and it's better when it's happening across the league, when you're reading stuff on or different guys are saying different things, or things are happening in certain locker rooms. Unfortunately it happens here, but no reaction to it, and I don't think anybody will react to it.”

On his reaction to Chad Ochocinco’s recent comment that he has become ‘numb’ to losing:
“I personally can't say that I have. Each one hurts more, actually, for me. There have been a lot of losses around here for a long time. I know when I first got here, it definitely seemed like that, and then it seemed to change when Marvin (Lewis) took over. But right now, personally, I definitely can't say that.”

On New England being a perennial winner without a ton of stars:
“I don't know if I agree with that. I think they have a lot of really good football players, and that's what they do over time -- get really good football players in there, year-in, year-out. So I can see why they've been successful over time.”

On if he thinks the team is going to rebuild:
“I have no idea. Like I said a minute ago, in this business you can't be surprised by anything. It is a business, it's run business-first. I really try not to stay focused on what's going to happen with Cedric (Benson) and Johnathan Joseph and all these guys that are going to be free agents, because you can't do anything about it right now. It doesn't matter right now. It really actually doesn't matter right after the season, because there's so many things that need to unfold before the CBA, the coaching changes and all these different things that happen right after that last game of the season. It's really way too early to be thinking or speculating on what's going to happen.”

On how he would react to a rebuilding process:
“I have no idea. I've been trying to stay so focused on each individual game because you have to. In this league, you can win or lose any week. It doesn't matter who you're playing, who you're playing with. You can't focus on things outside of your control and things on the outside. You've got to focus on each game, and that's what I'm doing right now.”

On if the losses and speculation about the future are wearing on him:
“You can't let it wear on you. Like I just said, you have no control. There's nothing you can do about anything that happens outside of what you're trying to do to prepare for the upcoming team. So yes, it would easily wear on guys if guys were focused on that, but guys don't have time to focus on the Cleveland Browns and what they're doing on third down, what they're doing in the red zone, and then in addition try to focus on what's going to happen with the coaches, what's going to happen with contracts, what's going to happen with the CBA. You just don't have the mental capacity to focus on so many different things. You've just got to focus on the team that's coming into your stadium and then move onto the next one.”

On if he thinks it’s an issue if some players don’t have that focus:
“No, I don't. Just because guys feel the same way I do about it, not the way you guys feel about it. The way we feel about it is that we have so much to prepare for, we can't think about anything else other than the team we're playing. And if you had more time, maybe if you weren't in here as long and didn't have as much preparation to go through on a daily basis, you'd have more time to really sit back and think about and reflect on what could possibly happen. But we're not afforded that much time. We've got to really focus on this team that's coming in.”


On clarifying his critical comments from his TV show last night:
“We are 2-11, so that (the comments) probably is the only exciting thing to happen around here. Anything that comes out of my mouth is going to create headlines. I pointed out or mentioned that it started from the top down. That includes players, so, it’s not like I was singling anyone out. When I addressed it, Chad (Ochocinco) may have asked me, or said something about the coaching, and then I elaborated from there. That’s not the first time in my career where either I or anybody has said it starts from the top down, or that players have felt like our coaches have gotten outcoached. So, it’s just not here. I have said that elsewhere. Again, I guess I shouldn’t have said it. It was something we were talking about on the show. It was brought up. I gave my comments and my opinions on it, and that was that. Other than that, if that’s the only thing they can talk about, fine.”
On how far ‘to the top’ he believes criticism should go:
“I was basically making a general statement. With any organization where you are trying to build a championship team, that is where it starts at – from the top. Again, it wasn’t me singling anybody out. I’m just saying that here we are now. It’s an embarrassment. Obviously it’s disappointing because when I was brought here, I knew my role. I understood why I was being brought here.

“For myself, we have a show every week. I have to put on a face to do that. It has become embarrassing. Every week it has been at topic, why we are losing. It’s one of those things where I can’t be ashamed to address it. It is what it is. To be 2-11 at this time, how can you hide from it? I am not going to back down because somebody asked me anything about why we are 2-11.”
On if ownership is the problem:
“I already addressed it. It starts from the top down. I think (with) any organization, you try to win a championship. It starts there and works its way down. We as players are included in that as well.”
Question from Chad Ochocinco, on whether Owens thinks ‘it’s best to keep everybody around and have one more shot at it?’:
“Well, that’s not a department I can really elaborate on. That’s not something I can decide on, considering I am on a one-year contract.”
On if he thinks he’ll be here next year:
“I have no idea.”
On if he wants to be here next year:
“Of course. I think we definitely have the necessary pieces in this locker room to do it. Why that isn’t getting done, Chad (Ochocinco) said it best, he’s been around here for 10 years and he can’t put his finger on it. From the 15 years I have played in the league and the organizations I have been in, I understand things are different here in this locker room vs. elsewhere. Again, Chad may not say it and say he can’t put a finger on it. Me having been elsewhere, that’s why I said it starts from the top down. Every week we go out here, and you look at eight to 10 ballgames we have played, we have been in those games, and one phase or another has failed us. Where does the blame lie? We are all in this together.”
On if this year has been more frustrated than last year in Buffalo:
“Absolutely. This is not a knock on Buffalo, but you look at the talent on this team vs. the team I was on last year. Anybody can look on paper and see this team is much more talented than that team I was on last year. But we (Bills) didn’t lose eight, nine, 10 in a row. That didn’t happen. We finished the season 7-9, and we had a number of (tough) things that happened throughout the course of the year. That’s why I said what I said. It’s just frustrating.

“I am disappointed, because this is not why I came here. If that was the case, I could have gone elsewhere. I came here because I saw and thought there was an opportunity here to do some special things. I think people shouldn’t look or dig too deep into what I say, because by no means am I unappreciative. I know I am fortunate to be here with this organization with the opportunity they’ve given me to help them with the idea of getting to the playoffs. With the playoffs, anything can happen. So that is really where my frustration lies.”
On if he feels the organization is ‘numb’ to losing:
“Chad made that comment yesterday. That is not in my nature. I’m not used to losing. That’s just not how I prepare myself. I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll ever be numb to losing. If I was numb to losing, I wouldn’t come into my press conferences postgame. I would just walk out.”
On if he sees people that are numb to losing:
“I don’t know. This is my first year here. I don’t know what the feel is, has been, around here.”
On if he can pinpoint the difference between this organization and the ones he’s played for in the past:
“I probably could, but it would probably be taken the wrong way, so at this point I’d rather not say anything. Obviously, even with my own TV show, I can try to be open and honest with things. Obviously, it has created a storm to where I have to sit here and answer questions and try to kind of smooth over some things. At this point I’ll decline to say anything.”
Reflecting on the season:
“I came out in March and ultimately I was denied. They chose Antonio Bryant over me. There was disappointment. At the same time, I told guys, ‘I am here because of God.’ God has put me in the situation no matter what. That situation back in March didn’t happen, but look what happened some months later. I’m here. I was able to take advantage of the opportunity that was given to me. I think I have done a great job of that.
“For the most part, again, the personal goals really don’t even mount up when you don’t have team goals. There’s really not too much I can say good about what I have done. If we were 11-2, that would be a different story, but we are 2-11. So, like I said, I understand I can play the game, even though I was written off that I had lost a step and all this stuff. But to do what I have done. and on the other hand we are not even in the playoffs and have no chance, it’s disappointing.”
On his 81 Cares charity efforts:
“We have extended the deadline. I don’t know if a lot of people have been aware of what I am trying to do with the 81Cares fund, and the bowling event was to raise money for 81 families in this community. I am doing it with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Anybody that wants to be involved or feel like they should be one of those 81 families, submit your email to with a lot of pertinent information as to why you should be one of those families. This is something I have done the last four or five years with every team I have been on. I just want to do whatever I can, despite where we are from a record standpoint. It’s been a dismal year, but I just want to give back and show people that I do care about the city of Cincinnati.”

BROWNS HEAD COACH ERIC MANGINI (with Cincinnati media)

On the Browns season so far:

“I really think there are a whole group of steps that you go through as you’re building. Last year, it started with learning how to work, and then you learn how to compete, and then you learn how to win consistently. We’ve won some games, which is good, but learning to win consistently is an important step for us. We’ve been in every game, and I think we’ve fought hard in every game, but we’ve made some mistakes that ended up costing us. That’s part of the growth process that we’re trying to continue to improve on. I see some real positive things, and I’m looking forward to seeing some more positive things for the remainder of the season.”

On if he and (Browns president) Mike Holmgren have talked about his future:
“No. Mike has talked about looking at things at the end of the season. My approach is something that I learned a long time ago, which is just to focus on the task at hand. It would be a little hypocritical if I was looking at that, where everyday I’m asking the players to focus on day and that opponent. That’s really what I’m doing and what I’m looking for from the coaches as well. Just take care of what’s in front of us and do the best job with that, and the rest will take care of itself.”

On if he’s made a decision on his starting quarterback this week:
“Colt (McCoy) is going to get some more work this week, and I think I’ll have something more definitive later this week. He worked some last week and he’ll get some more work here today, and then we’ll be able to make a decision.”

On what he’s seen from McCoy:
“He had a pretty tough early part of his experience. It was a little bit of Murderer’s Row defensively with Pittsburgh, with New Orleans and the different things they do, New England and the things that they do, so it was a lot to deal with and I thought he handled it really well. (Then he faced) the Jets. And with each week, we could give him more, and he handled the additional responsibilities well. I thought he moved the offense well, I thought he protected the football well, and I really liked what I saw.”

On if he knew what he had in Peyton Hillis when the Browns traded for him:
“When I was in New York, we had played Denver that Thanksgiving week and he hurt us. He had been getting some opportunities prior to that, and I showed the guys him on tape, what a physical guy he was and his great hands out of the backfield. Even though we prepared for him, we weren’t ready for him, and he ended up having a big game against us. I tried to trade for him last year, and finally we were able to get it done this year.

“When I talked to him the first time after the trade, I told him, ‘You can come here and get 1000 yards. You don’t have to be pigeon-holed. This is very much a merit-based system, and so you’ll have opportunities, and now it’s up to you to take advantage of them.’ And he has. I’m really happy for him because he’s a great kid. He’s about as humble as you can get, a total team guy and also very talented.”

On what he’s seen out of Carson Palmer:
“I think that everybody goes through bad stretches, and it happens offensively and defensively. What you don’t want to do is have him break that bad stretch against you. He’s had a lot of really good stretches and he’s played at a really high level for a long time. It’s not always one person. Any offensive production is a function of everyone involved, whether it’s the line or the receivers or the running game, and I just know from playing him over time that he’s very good and can make any throw. He can hurt you with his feet, whether it’s scrambling out and extending plays or scrambling for a first down. I think he’s an outstanding quarterback and I also think it (football) is really important to him. He’ll continue to work to get back to the level that he’s been at. You see great throws every game.”

On if Palmer’s high interception total surprises him:
“It happens sometimes, and when you have a guy like him who analyzes things and, I’m sure, self-corrects, when he does, it’s going to look good.”

On the importance of rivalries:
“I think they’re great. There are so many passionate rivalries in college football, and I think it’s the same thing in pro football, where you have franchises that have fantastic traditions. There’s a feeling in the city, a feeling in the locker room, the emotion, all of those things. It’s a long season, and to have those rivalries built in throughout the season is like a little shot of caffeine.”

BROWNS RB PEYTON HILLIS (with Cincinnati media)

On if he’s surprised by his success this season:

“No. I guess you are, though (laughs).”

On how it feels to be in the Browns record books with Leroy Kelly and Jim Brown:
“That’s stupid, isn’t it (laughs)? Y’all must be on the same page. That’s good.”

On if he thinks coaches knew that he could be the player he is now:
“I think so. I know with Coach (Eric) Mangini, we talked a lot coming in, and he had a lot of faith in me. I really admire that. It’s good to have somebody believe in you when you come to an organization. Coach Mangini really accepted me with open arms and wanted me to do well.”

On if he had a motivation to become the focal point of the trade where he was dealt for Brady Quinn:
“You know, I did. I made a point when I came here that I was going to make myself the best part of that trade for myself and my teammates and for my coaching staff. I’ve been trying to do that all year. I’ve been working hard for it and with the good Lord in my life, it’s been looking up for me.”

On how the fans in Cleveland have taken to him:
“I’ve heard some really good things. The fans here are great. It’s a blue-collar town that loves its football. Everywhere you go, they accept you with open arms and they tell you that you’re doing good for them and that you make it fun watching Cleveland Browns football once again. Hearing stuff like that really makes me happy.”

On what the turning point was after an 0-3 start:
“It was a lot of things. I think our team is starting to find our identity. There are a lot of things we need to work on. Individually, there’s a lot for myself and as a team. I think we’re getting a lot of guys in the right spots. I think we’re really going to be a force to deal with in the future.”

On the team’s identity:
“I think the old Cleveland Browns used to be known as a hard-nosed, smash-mouth team. I think we’re starting to find that identity and starting to find a lot of players to fill some roles that this organization has been looking for. This is really an exciting time for us.”

On the impact of running out the last 4:41 against the Bengals in the first meeting:
“I think it showed that we could finish ball games. I think it showed our fans that we can finish, which is great. I think around here, and we hear it from a lot of people, that it’s been kind of down. They expect really bad things, but I think this team has shown them that we can stick in a lot of games and that we can finish a lot of games.”

On if he’s tired of being compared to other white running backs:
“Well, you know, I’m a human being and the good Lord made us all just alike. He made some different colors, He made some different genders. That’s just how it is, but comparisons really don’t mean a lot to me. I like to be my own man, my own person and when I’m on the field, I like to do what I do. I don’t really like to be compared to anybody. There are a lot of great backs out there that have done a lot of great things. A lot of them I couldn’t even touch. There is no doubt about that. I’m not near as good as half the guys you could name off, so there really is no need to be in a comparison. I just like to be my own man.”

On if he feels that the AFC North suits him:
“I think so, I really do. I love this division. I love the tough, competitive defenses that are in this division. The best defenses in the NFL are in this division, and they like to stop the run. That’s what I like to do best. When you step out on to the field you know it’s going to be competitive. I love to be competitive. I like to compete against some of the best defenses in the world.”

On if he still talks to former Arkansas teammates Darren McFadden and Felix Jones?
“You know, I haven’t talked to them in a while. But Darren is having a magnificent year and I’m proud of him. It looks like Felix has been up and down, but I know that they will get back on track. They’re the Cowboys; they always do, so we’re not too worried about them.”

On how much his performance against the Ravens in Week 3 was a catalyst for his season:
“I really don’t think it means anything. Like I said, they’re a great defense. I expect a lot out of myself and my team. If we put up great numbers, that’s awesome, even if it’s against a great defense or not known as a great defense. But if you have a poor game, then you have to take it within yourself to do better. Baltimore is a great defense. They prove that time and time again every year. That’s definitely an accomplishment.”

On Browns QB Colt McCoy:
“Colt’s a terrific young player. I’ve said this time and time again, but I think he’s the next Drew Brees. He can do a little bit of everything. He’s very confident. Even as a rookie, he wants to come in there and make stuff happen. He wants to win. That’s great to have in a young player.”

On if he sees any differences in the Bengals from the first meeting:
“There is. There are a couple of guys on the defensive line that are playing a lot better ball than they were at the beginning of the year. Cincinnati has been in a lot of tough ball games like we have and hasn’t pulled them out. They have a lot of great talent across the board. They have an all-star team over there; they just have to make it work. It’s definitely a team you have to worry about.”

On Browns G and former Bengal Eric Steinbach:
“He’s doing great. He’s one of the liveliest guys on the team. He makes you laugh and he’s a great guy. He’s one of those guys you love having on your team.”

On having Joe Thomas and Steinbach on the left side of the offensive line:
“Oh, it’s great. It’s great. You love running behind that.”

On C Alex Mack, a Cincinnati native:
“As I look at him, I think he’s one of the best centers in the league. He’s a real smart guy, a great guy to get along with. He calls out audibles real well. He’s just the type of center that you want. We’re really blessed and lucky to have him on our team.”


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