Bengals at Browns Postgame Quotes

Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis:

Opening statement:

"I think overall I'm pleased. We came in here with an attitude and a job to do, and I thought we did a good job of staying on course and getting that done. The third quarter wasn't quite the way we'd like it, but we fought back in it and played. We missed a couple runs defensively and gave them a couple big plays in the running game. They hit us on the third down back across, but we regrouped, and I was pleased with the finish of it."

On how important establishing the run game was today:

"We didn't know what the weather was going to be, so it ended up being a pretty normal day. At least the second half was. The first quarter was blustery out there and the wind was pretty strong."

On gaining 200 rushing yards:

"It was part of what we needed to do today, and we credit the backs and everybody up front. The quarterback played efficiently and that's important."

On Bengals WR Tyler Boyd's performance:

"I think all three of the young receivers are doing well for us. They're answering the ball."

On defending Browns QB Robert Griffin III:

"There were a couple times in the second quarter when we had to keep coming and keep rushing. We anticipated that he had thrown the ball, and he hadn't thrown it yet. He spun out at (Bengals DE) Michael (Johnson) one time and there was one time later on. There were just a couple times I remember in the second quarter. You have to keep rushing."

On the momentum gained from winning two weeks in a row:

"It's huge for both sides of the ball as far as play calling goes. It makes a big difference. As you approach the game and approach the series, when you play with a lead, it's a different football game. We haven't done that enough when we needed to this year. We've built two weeks on momentum and we have a big football game at home this week. We have to be well-prepared to play this game on Sunday."

On the importance of taking the lead early in the game:

"That's always the theme, but it's important. When you come on the road, I think it's paramount to go out in front and do a good job. If we're on defense, first get a three-and-out and establish field position. On offense, you have to drive the football. It's really important."

On what happened on the missed extra point:

"I don't think we handled the snap very well. He didn't get it down very well. That's just not good for football because guys get hurt on plays like that. That's what I was worried about. There have been too many changing plays that have occurred on that this season. They have to try and tackle him. I credit them for doing a good job of lateraling the ball backward because once the ball touches the ground, it's a dead play. Once it's moving and it's legal like that, it's a good play."

On how he feels about Brown Head Coach Hue Jackson:

"I think you feel for any coach that's been in that situation. You know what they're going through. They're doing everything they can to figure out a way to get their team to play better and to make productive plays. He's coaching his tail off and I had a very experienced coach tell me, "When it's hard winning or you haven't won, you're probably doing some of your best coaching." Nobody recognizes that and that's the unfortunate part of it. You're drawing out so many more things and you're looking too much deeper at everything, you're going just to try to figure out a way. Not only are you coaching, but you're trying to reach in, help them to feel good about themselves and push them over the hump to make positive plays."

Bengals QB Andy Dalton:

On the running game setting the tone today:

"It felt like we ran the ball really well. We got into a lot of third-and-short situations, but we were able to convert. We did a great job of handling the line of scrimmage. (Bengals RBs) Jeremy Hill and (Bengals HB) Rex Burkhead did a great job running the ball."

On the weather not playing a large factor:

"It was obviously cold and snowy, but I don't think that impacted us too much. I thought we came out with the right intensity and the right attitude. We didn't worry about it."

On winning back-to-back games for the first time all season:

"We can't worry about that. We wasted some opportunities early in the year. For us, it's all about finishing strong."

On using this upcoming off-season to reflect on their slow start this season:

"That's the time where you try and improve and try to get better. We are going to look back at the previous year and look for areas to improve. We look at the things we did well and also things we need to improve upon."

On the touchdown pass to Bengals TE Tyler Eifert:

"I think they had a little confusion in their coverage. We were able to take advantage of it. It's easy when he is open like that."

On building a lead early:

"We wanted to start fast. Last week we started fast, and got up early. We did the same thing this week. We went down and scored a touchdown, the defense got a three-and-out, then we were able to score again. Anytime you start fast, it gets you ahead in the game."

On the play of rookie WR Tyler Boyd:

"He's got a great feel. We are asking a lot him to make plays and he's making them. I think he's really comfortable with what we are doing, and it shows with the production he has had."

On Boyd's third down reliability:

"He is great on third down. He keeps drives alive, which allows us to score points. With (Bengals WR) A.J. Green going down, we've asked a lot of him and he's been producing."

On importance of scoring touchdowns on third down:

"It's big. Anytime we can do that it's a big play. It's the difference between 7 points or 3."

On the coverage on Eifert's touchdown:

"I don't know what they were doing. I don't think he was matched up on anybody.  He's a big target. He has a great feel near the endzone. I was able to get the ball to him a couple times."

On wearing two gloves during the game:

"I wasn't too worried with the snow. The wind is a bigger factor. I felt good with the glove on my throwing hand. I have been practicing with it for a while just in case we got in a situation like today."

On if he has used gloves before:

"No, this was the first time in a game. It helped with the grip. It worked."

BENGALS PLAYERS

WR Tyler Boyd:

On the early reverse that gained 40 yards:

"It just set the tempo. I wish I had more breakaway speed and could have scored, but at the end of the day, we finished the drive and scored."

On his progression as an NFL player:

"We have a whole unit of guys who can make plays .Like I said since my first game, every time my number is called or the ball is thrown my way, I just want to make sure I make that play. Any way possible."

On the quick offensive start:

"It's always great to start fast. It helped knock the edge off of the defense. We had a great scheme and game plan, and all the plays that were called were executed very well."

* *

RB Jeremy Hill:

On being close to the end zone multiple times:

"Yeah, I had a few of those today. It would have been nice to find a way to get those and really put the game away. We came out with the win, so it doesn't leave that bad of a taste in my mouth."

On the steady run game:

"We stuck with the run game today and obviously I would have liked to get that third and one late. We closed out the game and gave them pretty minimal time to try and make it a game."

On WR Tyler Boyd's early reverse:

"It helped a lot. Anytime you get a play off like that, it keeps the defense on their toes. It forces them to be honest and they can't play as aggressive."

* *

OT Andrew Whitworth:

On making the playoffs:

"It's goal one. There are three big weeks left and it will be a challenge. It's three really good teams, and so we'll have an opportunity to really put our will forward. Next week, we have a great opportunity with Pittsburgh coming to our place and what should be a big battle."

On OT Eric Winston:

"Eric did a great job today. He plays good, he talks good, and he looks good."

On Browns young players:

"With a young team like this, they're trying to find that first win. You want to get a lead early to take some of the wind out of their sails, and get them to doubt themselves a little bit. That's the key thing you want to do in a game like this."

On the Bengals running game:

"In this weather and it's somewhere that they've (Browns defense) struggled a bit this year. We had to be able to do it to beat them. We knew with the conditions and the situations, they were going to make us run the football. To be able to execute and do it well was great."

OT Eric Winston:

On the game plan:

"I think coming in here, we knew that we could run the ball well. We did it last time against them. The weather was going to be bad, so we knew we needed to do that. Up front we had good push and we had that surge all game. We were able to get 4 or 5 yards per carry for most of the tilt, so that was good.

On momentum:

"I think it's something looking back to last year, we did a lot. We scored early, we got ahead of teams early. We were able to play from the front. We really haven't done that a lot this year. We go back to last week in Philly, (Philadelphia) we got up two score early, and here we got up two scores early. I think it just changes the dynamic of the game. The offensive coordinator on the other side has to call more passes. It gives us a chance for more turnovers. It allows us to be more comfortable to call some plays and more runs. I think it all goes together."

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Not a good day for the Browns obviously. Did not play as well. We left some plays out there, but I did see the fight in the second half from our football team. We did not play very well in the first half. We just did not play well. We need to play better. There are some things I thought we did OK in the second half. There were some runs that were OK. Did not throw the football as well as we can as an offensive football team. Obviously, I have to give their defense credit. They made plays, and we didn't. We had a chance to get it flipped, and there was a real key play down there in the second half where we had to kick the field goal. I thought we had a chance to go score. We could have had a chance to score. We just did not see it the same way. We just have to grow from these things and keep getting better. The more you keep playing different people, these are the things that are going to show up – just the growing pains. We will get through it." 

On QB Robert Griffin III's performance:

"I thought he had good poise. I didn't feel like it was too big for him. Obviously, there are some plays that we wish we had back and he will wish that he had back. That is Robert's [second] game where he has really been out there playing in two years. Like I said the other day, if things go great, good. If they do not go as good, that is OK, too. We have to grow from it. He will grow from it and continue to get better."

On if the play referenced on the opportunity to score was when Griffin threw it away out of bounds:

"No, not that one. No, there was a chance where we had a run up in there called. We just didn't see it the same way. I think it would have been a big play." On when Griffin threw the ball away on that drive:

"I think he was trying to not get hit. He was trying to be a little bit more protective of himself there, which is smart. Sometimes you have to say uncle, and that is the one that he did."

On the Bengals' ability to drive down the field in the first quarter:

"I have to look at the tape. Obviously, I don't think we fit somethings as well as we did in the second half in the first half. Our second half, the defense showed up and fought their butts off. In the first half, they kind of had us on our heels a little bit. They did a good job that way. We have to get better."

On his message to the Browns at halftime, given the team looked different in the second half:

"It doesn't matter what I said. It was not enough to get us over the hump to win. I think I say a lot all the time every half time. Our guys have responded in the last few weeks in the second half. We have gotten better that way. What we have to do is start games faster."

On if Griffin did a good job protecting himself:

"I thought he did. Yeah, I thought he did not try to expose himself that way. I saw him one time run out of bounds. I am telling him, 'Hey, go north,' and he is going, 'Hey, I am protecting myself.' He is right. You have to do those things so you can be out there for the next play. For him, just being out there and moving around again, calling the game and being involved in a game against a good football team, he showed that he belongs. He has to get better in some areas.  I think we all know that. I am not running from that, but for the first time back out late in the season like this, I thought he held his own." 

On previously stating this season that Browns players are expected to produce if they are out on the field and if QB Robert Griffin III is being held to a different standard:

"No, it is not a different standard. I am not saying that. I expect him to play well and produce, but you have a guy that is a quarterback. That is different. That is the most prestigious position in all of pro sports in my opinion, and you are asking a lot. We are sticking him back out there, and it is not like we have training camp and it is not like it is a preseason game and we are getting him ready. This is a real game, and it counts so he has to go out there and play well. You can't simulate everything that is going to happen in a game in practice. There is just no way to do it. At that position, you have to be a little bit more understanding as you go through it. I want him to play well. The more guys are around our system and how we play, the better they will be, but again, this is a first time for everybody and we are going through it right now."

On if Griffin will start next week against the Bills:

"Right now, that is my intention to do that. Unless there is something medically, which no one has told me – he played the whole game – or something like that is not right, he will go out there and play next week versus the Bills."

On if Griffin missed some open receivers because he has not played in a game recently:

"I know you guys are seeing there were some opportunities to hit some guys underneath, and sometimes it is not just him. Sometimes guys need to be a little bit wider than what they were. They have to be in the right spot, but do you think that we can still be able to complete the ball? Yeah, you do. That is what it is. It is getting to know these guys again in a game situation. Practice is different. I hope we know that. We practice fast and do all that, but the game is a different game once you play in the game. It is."

On how Griffin 'showed he belongs':

"I thought the poise and the ability to run around with the ball and to protect himself. I think that is what we are all concerned about – if he did get hit, if he did go down, would he get up? He did, and for the most part, he was pretty team protecting. He was not trying to put himself in situations where he was just going to get hit and maybe not get up. I thought that he showed that he has made that jump, and that is important."

On DL/LB Emmanuel Ogbah's performance:

"He is a young player that has emerged, and he is starting to have his arrow go up. These young guys have been playing a lot. They start off going and learning how to play the NFL game and then you start making plays. Then you kind of taper off a little bit and then you hit it again. Hopefully, he will finish the season strong with making plays because we think this guy has a bright future ahead of him."

On Griffin's interception on the flea-flicker play:

"Yeah, that was disappointing, but we took a shot and should not have, but we did. At the same time, that is on me. I made the call so I will take responsibility for that."

On if he noticed an emotional exchange between Griffin and WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.:

"Oh yeah, I noticed it. It was because we were trying to get in the right formation. I think one was trying to call the formation and the other one is trying to get people lined up. Those things happen from time to time. That is nothing. I don't think anybody should read into that. Those things happen from time to time."

On if RB Isaiah Crowell or the OL did something different to produce the 100-yard rushing game:

"No, I think it is us doing something different. That was another one of the areas, as I told you, that we need to get the running game back to going. That part of it we did OK, not great but better. We have to continue to get better at it. This is a team sport, and we have to play well in all phases – special teams, offense and defense – to win a game. As I said before, we almost have to play close to perfect to do that. We can't play in spurts. We can't play not well enough in the first half and then come out in the second half and do some things better and think you can catch a good team because they have good players, too. We have to find a way to start faster."

On how tough it is when the team is unable to highly involve Pryor in the offense:

"Oh, it is tough because he is a playmaker. We want to get him involved. We are trying to, and you have to remember the other team is trying to take him away. We have to find more ways. That was disappointing. The one thing I left the game with being disappointed about from our staff standpoint and from an offensive standpoint was not getting him more opportunities. They were trying to take him away. It is not like I don't think Robert was not looking for him. He was trying, but this guy flashed, that guy flashed and you have to go try to make a play someplace else." 

On Griffin throwing the ball deep early was part of the Browns' gameplan:

"Oh yeah, that was, and I thought one was pass interference. They did not call it. Those things right now for us, it is like those things we will talk about because those things make a difference in our game. That is a huge gain or it is we are getting the ball down there because it is a penalty. We can't get those right now for whatever the reason is. We don't get those calls, and that is part of it."

On WR Corey Coleman having 11 targets but only three catches and if that is a result of Coleman and Griffin not playing together much:

"Just have to spend more time [together]. Have to spend more time."

QB Robert Griffin III:

On returning to play in a game:

"It felt good. When you don't play a game for three months and come back, you can be a little bit rusty. There are some things, just routine things that I could have hit and done a better job of. When that does happen, you have a decision to make. You can either fold or fight through it. I'm happy with how I fought through it. The guys helped me get through some of that. We just have to find ways to start fast and finish strong. I felt like we did a good job of coming out in the second half and putting points on that board and giving ourselves a chance to win the game. We can't dig ourselves into a hole like that to have to claw out of it."

On what routine things need to improve:

"I felt like I saw the field well. I didn't miss many guys if any. Just a routine check-down throw here and there, I feel like those things are simple – easy, simple things that the rust definitely showed there. You don't want to miss a throw then make a throw, miss a throw then make a throw. I feel like those are the things that I was a little rusty on. I can fix that easily just by continuing to play. I feel like I fought through a lot of that today and still tried to give the team a chance to win."

On taking a hit from Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict and it showing he can take hits after returning from injury:

"Vontaze is a great player. He got me good. I believe that's the one where (Browns RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) went down the field so it was worth it. That definitely shows me that I can be able to take hits. Obviously, we don't want the quarterback to get hit, but it is football. It is a physical sport. I was able to take some shots today and get back up and continue to play."

On if he was happy with the way that he was able to protect himself:

"There were some streetball elements to some of the things we did today. Running around and protecting myself, I didn't really take any shots down the field running the ball. That is something that I have tried to continue to get better at over the course of my career. I felt like that was good. All of this is a side note. We want to find ways to win the football game. For me, it's not about stats. It's not about how many catches this guy had or that guy had or how many rushing yards that guy had. We just have got to find ways to do things early on in the game and late in the game to win the game, that will be our focus. (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) is always preaching that to us. Those guys in the locker room want it. They deserve it. It is just about us demanding that out of them every single day."

On needing to build more chemistry with WR Corey Coleman:

"It's not just between me and Corey. It is just about making sure everybody is in the right spot, making sure our timing is on. The Bengals did a good job of disrupting that with some of the looks that they showed and some of the pressure that they did get. We just have got to find ways to be high percentage in the passing game. We did a great job running the ball. The guys did a great job blocking, running and maneuvering. When you rush for that many yards, you definitely expect the outcome to be a little bit different. As an offense, we just need to figure out ways to get our passing game going, even if it is without those big chunk plays."

On how he feels physically:

"I'm fine. Football is physical. It is for the tough man. All of those guys that play out there on that field are tough. You just have got to make sure that you brush it off and that you are ready for the next week."

On the flea-flicker interception:

"On the flea-flicker, one of two things: I have to give him a better ball or just throw it away. The backside safety did a good job of cross-keying across the field. Corey was on the other side of the field with a corner, but the corner was on top of him, too. Really just manage a bad play and either throw it a little farther so T.P. (Terrelle Pryor) can run underneath it or throw it out of bounds."

On if the Bengals did a good job to take away Pryor as an option:

"They just did a good job of playing combo coverages, deep and soft. We just have to come up with ways to get T.P. involved. He is great player so you want to try to get the ball to him. That comes with just our offense flowing better early. Everybody will get their touches if we are flowing a lot better than we were early in the game. We can't put ourselves in a 20-0 hole."

On he should receive a grace for his performance, given his limited game play in the past two seasons:"No, I don't ever expect anyone to be understanding when it comes to me. That never crosses my mind. The more I play, the better I will get. It is tough to be off for three months during the course of the season and to come back into the game and expect for everything to go perfectly. It did not go perfectly. As a team, we did a good job fighting through the things that did not go perfect. We hurt ourselves too much with penalties and the turnover we can't have. We fought back from all those things and put ourselves in position to have a chance at 20-10 in the fourth."

On the emotional exchange with Pryor and if the two of them are OK:

"Yeah we are fine. It was not anything big. He just wanted to run the play *(laughter). *We got so low on the game clock that we needed to take a time out. That is what he was talking about. He just wanted to run the play that was called. As a team, we decided in the huddle that we needed to call a timeout so that we could actually execute it. We scored on that drive so it all worked out."

BROWNS PLAYERS

RB Isaiah Crowell:

On the difficulty of coming back from a 20-0 deficit:

"It's very tough to come back in the NFL. I feel like we've go to start faster and get rolling quicker."

On getting involved more late in the game:

"I feel like our line did a great job in opening up lanes for me to run. I feel like (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) and I did a great job, along with the offensive line."

On QB Robert Griffin III:

"He did well. It was good to see him out there with us. He's a great player so I think he can contribute a lot and help us win."

DL/LB Emmanuel Ogbah:

On if this was his best game:

"I wouldn't say it was my best game. I feel like we started off slow. We just have to keep improving as a defense and continue to get better."

On his sacks:

"It was constant pressure. I have to give credit to the DB's back there. They were making them hold onto the ball longer, which allowed us to get back there to him."

On if he is adjusting well to the defense:

"Definitely, I know it took me a while but I'm getting more comfortable with it."

On the defensive struggles at the start of the game:

"We will have to back and look at the film to see what happened. We started off slow, but we were able to finish strong"

* *

DB Jamar Taylor:

On the tough defensive start:

"They came out very quick and used some quick snaps against us. We had some sudden changes that we need to get better at. Overall, I thought we had a good day as a defense. We just have to be able to start a little faster."

On how the pass rush helps the DBs:

"They go hand in hand. When the guys on the end can pin their ears back and get after the quarterback, we are able to play with good technique and stop our guys. It speaks volume so hats off to those guys."

On the defensive effort in the second half:

"I feel like the past couple games the defense has been pretty solid in the second half. We just have to keep it going and start a little faster."

* *

OL Joe Thomas:

On the Cleveland Browns run game in the second half:

"I think Crow (Isaiah Crowell RB) was doing a great job running hard. When you get conditions that are a little sloppy and snowy, I think Crow is the perfect type of running back. He runs with his whole cleat in the ground. He doesn't slip and he makes guys miss. He is the type of guy you want out there when you have tough conditions."

On what Head Coach Hue Jackson said at halftime:

"He always says stuff to us at half time. We haven't really played well in the second half throughout the season, but we played better in second half than we did in the first half. Hard to put your finger on it. Sometimes the half time speech and adjustment is an overrated part of the game.  I think the only switch we made was running it a few more times, and we kind of gashed them on a few of them. I think that was the key to a couple of our second half drives."

On why RB Isaiah Crowell wasn't involved more earlier:

"I think early on maybe we get a few run calls, and if they don't go for the 4 yards and you're not on track, it's hard as an offensive coordinator to call them again. I don't know if that was the case today."

On having QB Robert Griffin III back today:

"It was great having him back out there today. He gives us a different dynamic back there at quarterback the way he can run the ball. That does make a difference in the run game and in pass protection. When you have a guy that's elusive like that, defenses have to be much more cautious with their pass rush and the calls that they are getting with their blitzes and stunts. What they don't want to do is leave a gap free and let the quarterback run through so they have to be a lot more disciplined and measured, which makes our job a lot easier up front.

On whether there is concern on how a young team will finish remainder of the season:

"I think this is a team that's resilient. I think that we've shown that were not going to lie down or give up despite the record or the adversity we've been showing. I expect us to fight really hard in these last three games. It's not going to stop next week, and we are going to do everything that we can to win."

BROWNS PLAYERS

* *

RB Isaiah Crowell:

On the difficulty of coming back from a 20-0 deficit:

"It's very tough to come back in the NFL. I feel like we've go to start faster and get rolling quicker."

On getting involved more late in the game:

"I feel like our line did a great job in opening up lanes for me to run. I feel like (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) and I did a great job, along with the offensive line."

On QB Robert Griffin III:

"He did well. It was good to see him out there with us. He's a great player so I think he can contribute a lot and help us win."

DL/LB Emmanuel Ogbah:

On if this was his best game:

"I wouldn't say it was my best game. I feel like we started off slow. We just have to keep improving as a defense and continue to get better."

On his sacks:

"It was constant pressure. I have to give credit to the DB's back there. They were making them hold onto the ball longer, which allowed us to get back there to him."

On if he is adjusting well to the defense:

"Definitely, I know it took me a while but I'm getting more comfortable with it."

* *

On the defensive struggles at the start of the game:

"We will have to back and look at the film to see what happened. We started off slow, but we were able to finish strong"

* *

DB Jamar Taylor:

On the tough defensive start:

"They came out very quick and used some quick snaps against us. We had some sudden changes that we need to get better at. Overall, I thought we had a good day as a defense. We just have to be able to start a little faster."

On how the pass rush helps the DBs:

"They go hand in hand. When the guys on the end can pin their ears back and get after the quarterback, we are able to play with good technique and stop our guys. It speaks volume so hats off to those guys."

On the defensive effort in the second half:

"I feel like the past couple games the defense has been pretty solid in the second half. We just have to keep it going and start a little faster."

* *

OL Joe Thomas:

On the Cleveland Browns run game in the second half:

"I think Crow (Isaiah Crowell RB) was doing a great job running hard. When you get conditions that are a little sloppy and snowy, I think Crow is the perfect type of running back. He runs with his whole cleat in the ground. He doesn't slip and he makes guys miss. He is the type of guy you want out there when you have tough conditions."

On what Head Coach Hue Jackson said at halftime:

"He always says stuff to us at half time. We haven't really played well in the second half throughout the season, but we played better in second half than we did in the first half. Hard to put your finger on it. Sometimes the half time speech and adjustment is an overrated part of the game.  I think the only switch we made was running it a few more times, and we kind of gashed them on a few of them. I think that was the key to a couple of our second half drives."

On why RB Isaiah Crowell wasn't involved more earlier:

"I think early on maybe we get a few run calls, and if they don't go for the 4 yards and you're not on track, it's hard as an offensive coordinator to call them again. I don't know if that was the case today."

On having QB Robert Griffin III back today:

"It was great having him back out there today. He gives us a different dynamic back there at quarterback the way he can run the ball. That does make a difference in the run game and in pass protection. When you have a guy that's elusive like that, defenses have to be much more cautious with their pass rush and the calls that they are getting with their blitzes and stunts. What they don't want to do is leave a gap free and let the quarterback run through so they have to be a lot more disciplined and measured, which makes our job a lot easier up front.

* *

On whether there is concern on how a young team will finish remainder of the season:

"I think this is a team that's resilient. I think that we've shown that were not going to lie down or give up despite the record or the adversity we've been showing. I expect us to fight really hard in these last three games. It's not going to stop next week, and we are going to do everything that we can to win."

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