Andy Dalton News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
October 7, 2015
Are you surprised that Seattle doesn't have an interception yet this season?
"Yeah, they've been really good for a long time. They're a disruptive group. Surprised that they don't have an interception at this point just because of the way they've been playing throughout their career. It's just one of those things where things haven't fallen right into place. They've had opportunities to make certain plays, and it is what it is."
Do you have to prepare differently for a guy like (Richard) Sherman?
"Sherman is really instinctive. He's a smart player. He understands routes, he understands the way teams try to attack. So we've got to be sharp on what we do. We have to be precise in everything that's going on. That's how you go at him, because he is such a good player. He's got great ball skills, he's got great understanding. He makes plays."
Does he flip sides or stay on one side?
"For the most part, he stays on his side of the field."
How much better are they with Chancellor back?
"Kam is a guy who seems like a big part of that defense. He made the big play that helped them win the game (last week). That's what he does for that defense. He's got energy, he's got passion -- you see it in the way he plays. That's what they need in their defense, and that's what they thrive on."
Are their similarities between their defense and yours?
"The defense that we're going against is different schematically. The ability, the type of players, how fast and how hard our guys play, I think is real similar. The people that we have here play that way, a similar style, but from a purely schematic standpoint, it's different."
Is this your best offense?
"I think we're playing to our potential and there's still more out there that we can go grab. That's what's fun about this: We've done well up to this point, but we still haven't played our best. I think guys have really pushed themselves to be the best and expect the best out of themselves, and we've put ourselves in a good spot."
Why is their defense so good, is it playing so well together?
"They fly around to the ball, and when a guy catches it, there's not one guy making a tackle, they all rally to it. They feed off of it. I think that's why they've done so well defensively, how hard they go all the time. We're going to have to match their effort. That's what we've been preaching, it's what we've got to do, and we've got the right guys for that."
Would beating Seattle bring a sense of legitimacy to you as a team?
"We just want to win, regardless of who we're playing. What we've done so far has been good, but it's still early. We've only played four games, it's the first part of the season. We have to just have the same mentality, whatever it takes to win this game. We're facing a really good team, a team that's been in the Super Bowl the last couple of years and won it two years ago, so we know what we're going up against. But for us, whatever it takes to win this game, that's what we've got to do."
Have you followed Russell Wilson's career?
"Yeah, I've followed Russell. I follow all the quarterbacks in the league, just to see what they've done. He's a guy who can make a lot of plays outside the pocket; it's a big part of what they do. He can change things up just by the way he makes guys miss and then find plays down the field. It's not just he's all running around and running the ball, but guys are continuing to play with him when he's moving around in the pocket. He makes big chunk plays."
"You guys have done a better job of extending plays?"
"It's part of the game, because not everything's going to happen exactly how you want it to. We've hit some big plays and got some big yardage and touchdowns off of the out-of-pocket plays, and that's what you have to do in this league. It's not all going to be pretty and happen exactly how you want it to. So you have to have those types of plays."
How much emphasis was on that in OTAs and training camp?
"There has been a big emphasis on it, and it has paid off for us."
Earl Thomas does more than most safeties …
"Earl is really talented. He's got the speed, he can cover a lot of ground, he can do a lot of different things. Just his versatility allows them to do a lot. He's a really good player."
Does hitting a big play give you a different type of lift than scoring after a long drive?
"Yeah. It's a different kind of excitement because it didn't happen how you thought it was going to, but you still made the play and you scored. It shows that the work we put in for a chance like that to make a play and we hit it, it shows that we're paying off."
Is it even more important to do that against a defense like Seattle?
"Anytime you can hit a play like that, it's big regardless of who you're playing. There's times when you may not have chances to throw the ball down the field and when you get that chance, you've got to make that play."
You've worked with Tom House in offseason on throwing; have you done anything to work on the mental side?
"With Tom and Adam, I talk to them every week. So it's just one of those things that it's part of my process."
Have you bought steak dinners for the offensive line?
"I have. We've gone out a couple times. They deserve it."
Do you go out after games, or just whenever?
"I mean, we went last week, so it worked."
When did you first realize that as a quarterback, you were going to get more credit and blame than others?
"I've been playing quarterback for a while."
Does that go back to high school?
"Well, in high school I only lost one game."
So you learned about the success side of it?
"Yeah, that's right. I mean it's the nature of the game, the nature of the business."
You accept that it just comes with the position?
"Yeah. That's one thing I heard early on, the quarterback gets a lot of light when things are going well and he gets a lot of blame when things aren't going well."
Are perceptions of you as a QB are changing with your good start?
"We just have to keep winning. I think that's all that matters. Obviously, you want people talking good about you rather than talking bad about you, that's natural. But it doesn't matter right now. We're 4-0, things are good, let's have them be talking this way come December, January, and February."
Hue Jackson is clever and creative with formations, do you ever smile over what he comes up with?
"Yeah. I always ask: 'Who came up with this one? How'd this one come about?' That's just kind of part of what we do, though."
Boomer Esiason says that when Bruce Coslet and Sam Wyche were here, that he couldn't wait to see what they came up with each week? Is it similar for you?
"Yeah. We've got so many different things that we do. We come up with some good stuff. And you never know what it's going to be each week."
You've worked on the deep ball, do you notice that paying off, or is it just chemistry over time?
"I think it is just over time, guys are getting to the right spots and we're making the plays. I think that's just all part of it. We've worked for a long time with these guys and we're hitting them."
The game Sunday is sold out, does that contribute to a great atmosphere here Sunday?
"There's going to be a lot of excitement here, which is great. That's what we need to have. We need to have that home field advantage. Anytime you can get any kind of advantage when you're playing a team like this, it's big in our favor. So for us, the city's going to be here, it's going to be rocking and that's what we need to have."
So it's like a playoff caliber game?
"It is to an extent. It is just one game, but we're going to do whatever we can to win."