BENGALS HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS
"That was a good one for our football team. I thought all three phases did a good job today. They came in and marched through the plan. Offensively, we handled the line of scrimmage like we needed to and we did the same thing with our defense. We played well on third down with our defense. I'm proud of the way they came in today and executed the plays."
On the advantages the defense had against a rookie quarterback:
"Our guys did a nice job understanding that we have to contain him as much as anything. We have to keep conscious of him; we can't lose sight of him."
On the importance of the running game:
"In the end, the coaches did a great job planning and the players did a good job executing. It made a big difference. We got off to a good start in Cincinnati, and it just got away from them. Turnovers and things transpired against us, but today they stuck with the plan. You have to give credit to the guys up front. Seven, eight guys played up front today, all playing different spots and changing out. That was good."
On the quick adjustments that had to be made during the game:
"We had an inclination that we expected in the play. We had some of that in the plan already so that was good. It was a great job being able to fit things together. They understand it and fit it together to get it done right."
On the motivation coming from their recent defeat against the Browns:
"Taking a licking is always motivation. It was an important game, we knew that regardless. We had to come up here and win this football game, and the guys had that quietness about them and a workman's attitude. That's good. We need to end with that. We're on the march and we have another big one coming up. I told our guys during the week that we don't have pressure. We just have to go play. Knowing your responsibilities and how to get out and execute it, those are the things we have to do. We were in a situation last week where we didn't handle the fourth quarter well and we rectified that today."
On K Mike Nugent's ability to play regardless of the loss of his father:
"It was a tough week. Mike was out there at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday night with his wife, brother and sister. They were out there with the lights on and they were kicking into the stadium. That's the kind of guy you want on your football team. Then he came here today and he just handled it very well. We haven't ever done much as far as giving out a game ball after the game, but Mike Nugent got one. You get closer; guys understand that with anybody that's been through losing a loved one. We all had to put our arms around each other and come out here. We knew how important it was and how much our loved ones that we lost would want this game to be for them. I think that meant the most to everybody."
QB ANDY DALTON
On dealing with the QB Johnny Manziel hype:
"It was a lot of focus on them, that was fine with us. We just knew we had to come ready to play. The defense played great. This was a big win for this team. We have to keep moving forward."
On scoring a touchdown on the opening drive:
"It was big. It set the tone for the game. We did a good job of moving the ball and we were able to punch it in. We wanted to start fast and really set the tone."
On the previous game and the Manziel hype adding motivation to the game:
"Most importantly, this game is big for us getting into the playoffs. This was an important game. We didn't play so well last time, but to come out and get a big win like this is really what we were trying to do."
On being a rookie in your first start:
"It's a learning process. The more he (QB Johnny Manziel) plays, the more he is going to learn, and the better he will be. The experience is the best thing for him, so we will see where he goes from here."
On building off this win to finish out the season:
"It was big because we are still in control of everything. We know these next two games are going to be big. The way our division is going, everyone keeps winning. I think everyone won today, with the exception of Cleveland. We know what we are facing. They are really important."
On the play of RB Jeremy Hill:
"He did a really good job. Hats off to the guys up front. Those guys were challenged and they responded well. Jeremy did a great job running the ball. We need to keep that going."
On how well the offensive line played despite injuries:
"They did a good job. We had a big emphasis on the run. I felt like we were getting some good looks, and when we got those looks we made the big plays. My hats off to them. They are a big part of the reason we won today."
DE WALLACE GILBERRY
On the preparation for this game:
"All week everybody wanted to make the game about (QB Johnny Manziel). We just took that out and focused on us and focused on what we do. We were able to come out and put on a pretty good show."
On the team's energy today:
"All week we had the music going at practice. It was just a different week. We came out today and it poured over into today."
On the defense facing Browns QB Johnny Manziel:
"A guy like that, if you give him time to run around and set up, he'll hurt you. We knew if we corralled him and got in his face and stayed in his face, it would be a hard day for him and that's what we did. I'm not taking anything away from him. The guy is going to be good, but today wasn't his day."
On if he knew all week he would do the 'Money Sign' celebration if he got a sack:
"Of course, he kind of brought that on himself. But like I said, he's a great athlete, a good quarterback, but today was more so about us than them."
CB LEON HALL
On the win:
"It feels good. We were able to go out there, run the ball well, and shut them out on defense. It really is a good feeling."
On if the previous game served as motivation:
"A small part. When you're playing a division opponent in December, it's going to be a big game regardless to the fact that they went to our place and beat us pretty good on Thursday. That definetly factored into our motivation for the week."
On if the win is a confidence booster:
"Of course. Anytime you win, it's a confidence boost. We got two big games coming up in Denver and Pittsburgh. We're going to enjoy this one. In a couple days, we'll get on Denver and go from there."
HB JEREMY HILL
On running the new reverse play:
"That's something we just put in this week. I didn't think it was a big play. I actually didn't think (QB Andy Dalton) he would pitch it to me. He kind of popped it to me and got me out in space. We converted when we needed too. I think third down was huge today, especially on the ground. We converted a lot third downs on the ground. That was big."
On getting the Browns defense off balance:
"It all goes to (Offensive Coordinator) Hue Jackson. This game was really for him for losing his father this week. He did a great job. He probably didn't get much sleep, but he had a great gameplan in the run game today and obviously that showed. We hit them with a lot of stuff they haven't seen before and a lot of stuff we have run over the year. It kept them off balance and and kept them adjusting. By the end of it, we had already been up by 20 points. Anytime we can do that, we put ourself in a position to win."
On H-B Ryan Hewitt's performance:
"I think for a good stretch there, he was the player of the game. Those 150 yard games, those are a big part of him. He's getting all of those linebackers, he's doing it all. I think (TE) Kevin Brock did a good job of that today when Ryan went out. He did a lot of that, especially down the stretch so they couldn't get the ball back. We'll continue to need that in our run game to help us out a lot."
LB REY MAUALUGA
On facing QB Johnny Manziel in his first NFL start:
"His first start, Johnny Manziel's going to do this, do that. The whole hype was on him and what he was going to do to this defense. I think we kept our composure. I apologized to my teammates for getting that personal foul doing the little money sign. I let that get to me even though I made a good play. I got the 10 yard penalty that got them a first down. I think we owed it to ourselves for playing so bad in the first game against them and we played bad in the fourth quarter against the Steelers. Something had to change."
On if Manziel had a rude awakening today:
"I don't want to say that. Everyone always has their first start jitters, the butterflies and whatnot. He's a good quarterback and this is just his first start. (He got) to get to get his feet wet and see what goes on. Obviously, he has two more games left and he could do something. It felt good to not let them score any points. It was more so a flip-flop situation of what happened in the first game. 30-0. We're happy and we're excited. We all came to play in three phases. Everything was all about Manziel all week. We just focused on us. We focused on what we needed to do to stop the kid and stop their offense."
HEAD COACH MIKE PETTINE
"Don't have anything injury-wise that I can report on. We have a bunch of guys getting MRIs tomorrow. Obvious disappointment, but it's frustrating when you go out and get beat soundly in all three phases. I talked to the guys about (how) there's an 'it' factor that you have to have when you go out and play, an edge to you whether it's the focus, the intensity and we didn't have it today. That's frustrating because you only have so many opportunities to go out and play. It's frustrating because it was a very meaningful game for us. To me, one of the hardest things in sports is finding that edge and playing with it every time. That's something that we obviously have to do a better job at."
On if he expected that QB Johnny Manziel would bring that edge:
"No, it's not on one player. To me, everybody has to have it. For it to be on one guy, you get results like you did today."
On the difference between the defense in the first Cincinnati game and today:
"It's hard to say. I think a lot of it is what I just talked about. I could notice in-game (that) our pad level wasn't good, we didn't tackle well. When we've had good defensive performances we've tackled well, and we didn't have that today."
On his evaluation of how Manziel played:
"I don't think I need to… I always like to say I need to see the tape. (He) didn't play well – looked like a rookie, played like a rookie. Again, I know a lot of it was we didn't play well around him, but he made some obvious mistakes that typically a veteran quarterback won't make."
On if Manziel looked indecisive:
"A couple times he did."
On if he expected Manziel to have more success with his athleticism getting out of the pocket:
"Some, it just didn't need to happen – the number of attempts trying to do that. I said that all week that if you get into that mode that you try and do that all the time…and I know that's what he does and that's what you fall back on very quickly, but there were plays that were there where make a decision, make a read, throw it and we're onto the next play. There is no substitute for playing though. You can only simulate that so much in practice or in the preseason. You've got to get out there and play. The bad thing is the result. The worse thing would be not to learn from it. We have to come out and push through it, and hopefully he'll be better next week."
On if you have to stick with him and let him keep starting for those reasons:
"Yeah, it's just…it would be hard to judge on just the one game, but again, it doesn't just fall on him. We didn't play well around him at all."
On if he considered making a change at the half:
On why he didn't consider it:
"Because we made a decision to go with him. I wasn't going to pull a guy after a half. Same reason before when (QB) Brian (Hoyer) was the starter and we were down by big numbers at halftime whether it was Tennessee, whether it was Pittsburgh. You stick with the guy who got the reps throughout the week, who executed the plan in practice. To me, again, I don't like to put it so much on one player. That's why it's rare, the Buffalo game was a rare thing where we made a change in-game."
On how he explains not having that edge in such a meaningful game:
"I can't explain it, and that's a big part of coaching because when you don't have it, you want to know why. What was different? What were the signs during the week? As a staff, we'll meet; we'll talk about it because this isn't major league baseball where we have 100 and however many games. They're all big, and this one was meaningful. That's why it's a surprise. It's shocking that we just wouldn't have it."
On losing four out of the last five and how disappointing that this game knocked them out of contention to win the division:
"It's very disappointing. We live in a 'what have you done lately' business. You say four of our last five. That's what we are. I constantly tell the guys, especially in the NFL, it's not how you start; it's how you finish. We earned the right by playing the way we did to have meaningful games, but when you get those meaningful games you've got to make them count. We obviously didn't today. Hats off to Cincinnati. They came in here with a great plan, and they executed it. They beat us in every phase. We're not going to make excuses for that, but it's frustrating to put that out there."
On how much of what they did offensively was new:
"Yeah, we did some different things. I think schematically, we didn't have any new protections or new runs. We change our formations every week. Given the quarterback change, we had some different wrinkles, but from a concept and scheme standpoint, there wasn't anything really dramatically different."
On how disappointing the run defense was after the kind of target Bengals RB Jeremy Hill had on his back this week:
"Extremely. We did not play complimentary football. To me, you want to get the offense out there and maximize your opportunities. We just gave up too many long drives, and we were on the field. The end of the game was a perfect indication."
On verifying the commitment to Manziel starting at quarterback through at least next week:
"Yeah, I already answered that."
On Manziel's interceptions:
"I think the first one he held it too late, and then the second one I just think that's a rookie mistake launching a ball towards the end zone, especially when you're in an area of the field where you potentially have points."
On if everybody has to caution against saying that this game was a statement on Manziel's future:
"Yeah, absolutely. You just can't base it on one game. I said we didn't play complimentary football. When you're not running well you've got longer yardage. When you're trialing you've got to throw it more. To me, it's so much more a function of the team than the individual. Disappointing start for him absolutely. There were a few flashed of what he's capable of, but to me just overall…I don't want to just dwell on the one position. We've got to play better."
On if it's possible to tell anything about Manziel in three games:
"Yeah, you'll be able to tell. I see your point not having a full season, but three games plus the experience he got in Buffalo, I think, will be a decent sample. It's not obviously as big of a sample size we could have, but it's a good amount."
On if Manziel's performance was shocking:
"I think our team's performance overall. Again, it's a function of there are 10 other guys out there. I don't want to put that label on one player, especially not having watched the tape."
On if Manziel brought the same energy to the game that he did all week:
"There were flashes of it but brief, just not enough. I just keep stressing this – it can't just come from one. We have to play better around our quarterback."
On if he attributes it to being Manziel's first start and if Manziel was nervous:
"Yeah, he was definitely nervous I'm sure. The situations that we put him in didn't help. It's not like we were playing with a lead and getting turnovers and giving him short fields and running the ball well – things that help a quarterback out. That's a tough spot to be in in your first, especially when the game's going the way that it went."
On if DB Joe Haden is getting an MRI tomorrow:
On if he saw Hoyer helping Manziel on the sideline:
"No, my attention was – as it is usually during the game – on the field."
"I don't want to talk about it because that's the…Again, we'll submit what we think are questionable, see what feedback we get from the league."