BENGALS HEAD COACH ZAC TAYLOR
(Opening statement…) "I just told our guys that I am disappointed that we lost the game but not disappointed in the effort. That is a tough crew and we are going to win a lot of games with the guys in that locker room the way that we played tonight. The defense fought hard, forced sacks, limited them in rushing. I thought offensively our line played outstanding. We dropped back and threw the ball a ton of times. We had some challenges with their defensive front. But we stepped up to the challenge. They did a great job of protecting Andy back there. Of course it's disappointing that we lose the opening game, we expected to win that. That's life in the NFL, all these games are going to come down to the very end. We have to step up and make a play in one of those three phases. But tonight we just didn't get it done. We have a great group of guys in there and we are going to win a lot of these games.
(What happened in the second half with the offense…) "I think we had three trips in the red zone in the third quarter and came away with no points. Then the rain started coming down, they (Seattle) got their hands on a interception when we thought we had a big play there, it just happens. Another time Gio(Bernard) hit a big screen and we got down there. Your hesitant to throw the ball when it's raining that hard. We got stopped in there and ended up missing a field goal. Then we went for it on fourth and one and just didn't convert. And so you need to make one of those plays to win this game, you can't leave points on the board like that. The final score is a one-point game and one of those drives would have won it for us."
(Why did you have a tough time running the ball today…) "Well they (Seattle) played base to eleven every snap. So they pretty much have you out covered in every gap you have. We do twelve personnel to run it a little bit. It was a good game plan for them with Clowney in there. He creates some issues believe it or not. So your best chance is to throw the football. That's not how you want to win every single football game. When a team has chosen to take your run game out of the picture, then that is the reality. We had a chance to win. So credit to them, they had a good plan. It was hard to run the ball but we still put ourselves in a position to win. I'm really proud of the coaches and the effort they put in this plan."
(How frustrating was it to see some of Seattle big plays…) "With Russell Wilson, they are going to hit big plays. You try and limit it as best you can. We did a great job of pressuring him and getting him out of his comfort zone. He is going to step up and make some plays. He has played in the league a long time. We knew the big plays were going to come at some point, you're not going to be perfect. You just have to limited him and I thought they did a good job of that."
(Thoughts on your defense…) "Coach (Lou) Anarumo had those guys ready to play. Our defense stepped up to the challenge and they put pressure on those guys. We have to score more points when our defense plays like that and Seattle got it done."
(The second to last drive of the game, any thoughts about going for it on fourth down instead of punting…) "I think it was fourth and six, you just put faith in your defense to get a stop there. It's hard and then they got it. I think if it's a little shorter, then you really consider it. But fourth and six, an incompletion there, you concede the game because there in field goal range. They can eat up the clock and kick a field goal there, so I think it was the right decision."
(Do you leave here feeling pretty good about your team…) "I do, there were a lot of unknowns for probably both coaching staffs walking into this game. They (Seattle) don't know where we're going to be schematically in all three phases. Defensively they got a lot of new pieces that they have moved in and out. So we had a lot of plans in place to see how they played it. So we just wanted the win. That's all we cared about. Just getting out of here with a win and we didn't get it done. That is frustrating but we are proud of the guy's effort."
(What about John Ross making a big play after the dropped ball…) "I want guys with great mental toughness. He drops a pass and it's easy to get dejected. On the very next play he goes out and makes an unbelievable play. It puts us in a great position going into halftime. That's the example we use at halftime, don't be afraid to make a mistake. Don't be afraid to take a chance and make a mistake, just come on back the next play and be ready to hammer them. John was a great example of that. We have a ton of confidence in John. He did a nice job and made some big time plays for us."
(Have you thought about this offense once you get A.J. Green back…) "There is no question that we feel we are just scratching the surface. It's difficult when they set out and say you are not going to run the football. We are going to put more big guys out there than you can handle, you're not going to run the ball and you have to throw it every snap. So we have to get that phase done, so that your good in all three aspects of the offense. We thought we had a good plan in place to overcome that. We really did, we just didn't get enough scoring opportunities in the red zone that we took advantage of."
(Thoughts on your defensive line limiting Seattle's run game…) "Really good. It's one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL last year and we held them to them to however many yards, sixty, seventy, whatever it was. They put pressure on that kid all night. We got four sacks and so if our defensive line plays like that this year, we are going to be in very good shape. The sacks aren't just the d-line. It's the secondary, those guys are all doing a good job and making it work. To only allow 21 points on the road, the first game of the season, with the crowd like it was, that's a good performance by our defense."
(Why call a timeout on a third and seven with 50 seconds to go in the first half, are you trying to be aggressive…) "There is no question. Yes, you leave us time there and were going to go after them. It's not a certain message, it's just our philosophy, were not going to just concede the half. Obviously there is a point in time where you are going to but with 50 seconds left we feel we are explosive enough to go down and score there. The guys made me look good on that one."
QB ANDY DALTON
(On how he thought the offense performed overall…) "We did a lot of good things. From an effort standpoint, just the way we fought the whole game, very pleased with everybody. It'sunfortunate that we came out with a loss in this one because there is a lot of good things that happened in this game. In the end we just didn't make the play that got us over the top and allowed us to win this one."
(On the play late the TE Tyler Eifert slipped on…) "Yeah he slipped and that is one of those plays that we will look at and be like, 'man, if he doesn't slip there then that changes things.' There are several plays that we are going to look at and we hurt ourselves or just didn't make that play."
(On if there is encouragement in that a lot of things that went wrong were unlikely or fluky…) "Yeah, if you just look at the game and look at the total, I mean, we drove the ball well. We had a bunch of big plays, we had a bunch of long drives… TE (Eifert) slips on that one, the ball slips out of my hand on another drive. I mean that's never happened to me before. There's opportunities there that we felt like we left out there."
(On if the rain just starting was the cause of the ball slipping out of his hand…) "It's hard to explain. It's never happened to me before. As soon as I went back to throw the ball it slipped right out."
(On if he was encouraged by setting a personal record in passing yards in the first game with his new coach…) "Yeah we had a lot of opportunities there. Felt like Zac (Taylor) called a really good game and like you said, we were encouraged by everything we did. Obviously we want to win but there's a lot of positives to take from today."
(On John Ross dropping a ball and then coming back the next play to catch a touchdown…) "It's one of those things that you have to let the last play go. That's just the way this game works. For John to drop the one and then come back to make an unreal catch to score the touchdown, that just shows his maturity and just the way that you can't let the last play affect you."
(On Ross' potential in this offense…) "We have high expectations for him. He's very talented. He's got a lot of speed and he can do a lot of really good things. So, I think this is just the beginning for John."
(On if he felt like this game came down to just one play in the redzone…) "Yeah, we were down there, we had opportunities. We'll look at it and say, 'we got to make that one, we got to do this, we got to do that,' but we didn't make a play down there, we settled for a field goal in the fourth quarter and if we score a touchdown there, obviously that changes the game. We didn't get it on fourth down, that's a drive where we had several opportunities out there."
(On how much the weather impacted the game…) "The only time was when the ball slipped out of my hand. That's the only time, other than that I feel like we handle everything well. We handled the noise well, we handled the weather well. Besides that, that was it, unfortunately."
(On if it was apparent to him that the Seahawks were loading up to defend the run…) "I think we kind of knew going in. We weren't sure exactly what their plan was going to be. We had a plan for several different ways they were going to play us defensively. I thought we had a great plan in place. As you get into it, they were big up front, and did a good job of taking the run game away and obviously you can see what happened in the pass game, so we had opportunities out there."
(On the potential for their offense when they get AJ Green back…) "I feel like we've got a lot of guys that in this offense we can spread it around to. John (Ross) was the one today and made several big plays and so we feel like we will take AJ back whenever we can get him. That's the way this offense is setup is to feature different guys."
(On how well their defense slowed down and pressured Russell Wilson…) "Our defense played outstanding today. We put them in some holes, but they stepped up. One drive they were in field-goal range and we knocked them out of field-goal range. I thought they did a great job today. That's our standard now. We have to play well in all phases of the game. I thought our defensive plan, plus the way our guys played was really good today."
(On how well the offensive line played today…) "I thought the O-line played great. I thought they did a lot of really good things. They gave me time back there. That's a good front, and you add Clowney to that front and it's even better. I though our guys played a really good game."
(On if he thought the final play ruled a fumble was going to stand…) "My arm was going forward and I threw the ball. I'm surprised they called it a fumble. I don't know what they saw, but my arm was going forward and I threw it."
(On how he feels they defined themselves today, despite the result…) "We're a team that's going to fight. I thing that's one thing that we proved today. Even to the very end, guys were playing really hard and if we can have this effort in every game we play this year, we are going to come out on top more than we don't."
WR JOHN ROSS
(On his overall play…) "I had two critical drops, in my opinion, that I should have had. That's something I'm going to work on, go back in practice, put more focus on that. It felt good to finally get some live reps for the first time this year. But there are a lot of things I've got to clean up. A whole lot of things. Given the numbers that I had, you give all the credit to everybody else: the O line blocking and holding up, Andy putting the ball in great spots. Me? Just going and continue to play."
(On what he needs to clean up…) "A long list of things. Coming out of my breaks better. Focusing on catching the ball first. The blocking aspect. There's just a whole lot of things. Given that this is my first game, my first week, really, still, no excuses. I'msupposed to come prepared. There are a lot of things I've got to work on."
(On getting big gains after his drops…) "That's something I've worked on, next-play mentality, I think I've done a better job. Last year, year before, I went into a tank and would think about that for the rest of the game. Now I try to put it behind me and go make the next play."
(On the resilience of this offense…) "Coach is going to call great plays. Every single drive he's going to call great plays and get guys open, and the line is going to holdup and Andy is going to make great plays, as he did. He did a great job today."
(On if the coaching staff's confidence in him has boosted his self-confidence…) "Without a doubt. I think that's what a lot of players lack sometimes. Like me, I can honestly say now I lost confidence in myself the last two years. Now I come in with a different mentality, and now I've got to go out there and continue to believe in myself."
(On if he would have been on the bench after dropping a pass last year…) "Most definitely. I can honestly say that now. I would lose confidence in myself. It's completely different now, in my opinion."
(On after dropping a pass today did he know he would be targeted again right away…) "I didn't, but just knew he was not going to stop going to me. I ran a route when I knew we needed a big play, and I had to go down the field, so I just figured I should just run as fast as I can, go up and make a big play."
(On what a day like today does for him…) "It means nothing. You lose a game, it goes right out the window, because it feels like you've done all that, to me, that's selfish. I play every down to win. We've got to come out with a win. I'm not going to go home and say, wow, what a job I did. That's kind of selfish. I don't like stuff like that. I definitely would rather win that do what I did."
(On having a good performance in Seattle…) "It did feel good. It felt surreal. I used to work here for Staff Pro. I used to be a security guard here when I was in college. To be able to play here in front of some people who used to watch me in college, it did feel good. I'm thankful."
WR TYLER BOYD
(On the outcome…) "We've just got to keep working, keep fighting. That's all we can do. We can't take anything back. It is what it is. We lost by one. But we'll definitely be well-prepared next week."
(On any frustration that comes from a narrow loss…) "It's the NFL. Things happen. Ain't nobody in this league perfect. But at the same time, we've got to continue to operate together. The more and more we play together, we'll make every play when we need to at crucial times."
(On if this performance was a step forward for this offense…) "Definitely. Even when the ball was wet and slick and hard to pass in the second half, I feel my boys in the receiver corps, and the whole team, everybody played hard to the end. It just hurt to lose, especially when it felt like we had the game."
OT BOBBY HART
(On how they avoided false starts given the noise in CenturyLink Field…) "That was something that we got together as a group that we wanted to accomplish. Just being on the same page, not adding to the already hostile environment, not putting ourselves behind the chains – that was definitely something that we wanted to accomplish."
(On if he feels like their group made a statement or proved anyone wrong by helping the offense put up big numbers today…) "We don't really pay attention to the outside. I've said this before – they don't know the play, they don't know anything and what they think, we have to take with a grain of salt. The things that matter is your opinion, your coach's opinion, and your peers' opinion. We don't get into proving anybody right, proving anybody wrong, we just want to be accountable for one another."
(On if they feel good leaving today despite the result…) "I mean, we have to sit down and watch the film. I'm sure there's things that we can better at. A loss is a loss, we don't want to have moral victory, we aren't in business for that. We just want to continue to strive to get better in practice, work on the things that hindered us in this game, and get ready for San Francisco."
(On how hard it was for them to run the football today…) "I think their nickel got hurt early and even before he got hurt they were just basically telling us that 'you aren't going to run the ball, you have to throw it.' You have to take what is given to you. You can't force-feed anything that they aren't going to give you , you just have to execute."
TE C.J. UZOMAH
(On if he feels like there is a strong foundation now for the rest of the season) "Yeah, I think we reopened up the playbook. That's something that in the preseason, we're not showing everything that we have. Once we kind of started getting the game going after the first quarter, this is who we are. This is what we're going to be. This is how we're going to attack the defense. Obviously, week to week it's going to change. I feel like we have a great identity and I think that we move the ball well. Moving forward, we can expect a lot more big plays and bigger opportunities."
(On if he liked watching John Ross III playing today) "I loved watching John Ross III today. It was awesome to have him step up the way he did. To me, the most encouraging thing is he dropped a pass and we're looking around like dang, he had a lot of room to run. Very next play, calls his number again, goes up and makes an incredible play and scores a touchdown. That was so hype. I was going nuts. I was like, this is why you're here. That was very encouraging. I loved watching him out there run around them and just make people miss. My knees are hurting just watching him make those cuts. That was definitely a bright spot."
DE SAM HUBBARD
(On the pressure the defense created yet gave up one big play…) "I was really proud of the way we fought on both sides of the ball. That's just like in the NFL. It comes down to one or two big plays, one or to points, one or two stops. I think this is a great place to build from. If we fight like that for 16 games, we're going to win a lot of football games. But this obviously is a disappointing loss."
(On how the offense and defense would pick each other up at points during the game…) "That's what we've been talking about, being a connected team. There's going to be a lot of people trying to pull us apart, and if we stay together and stay connected we'll be a successful team. I like the guys we've got in this locker room."
(On the challenge of defending against an offense operated by Russell Wilson…) "We wanted to stop the run. We were stout on defense and made them kind of one-dimensional, holding the No. 1 rushing attack to however many yards we held them to. It was good execution. It just comes down to a few plays, and that's how it is in the NFL."
S JESSIE BATES III
(On if the defensive strategy was to confuse Seattle with different looks…) "We didn't show much during preseason. I think we've still got a little bit more. We'll see if we continue to improve."
(On the key to stopping Seattle's ground game…) "Pinning the hip was the biggest thing with the zone read. Russell, obviously he's a mobile quarterback, so pinning the hip and not leaving any room in between those gaps, and I think we did a really good job of that."
(On the team's state of mind…) "I'm very confident, and I'm sure everyone else feels very confident. Any time you go into battle like that and lose by one point, obviously it hurts. But the way we fought, the way we continued to improve throughout the game was very impressive. We're going to win a lot of games if we keep playing like that. Everyone knows we have a lot of potential. It's good that we got after it in Week 1."
TE TYLER EIFERT
(On it is encouraging to out gain the Seahawks by nearly 200 yards) "I mean, throughout the game I felt like we were doing a lot of good things. When the game is over, it's not how many yards you gain, it's how many points are on the board.
(On how he felt being back in the game today) It felt good. I was just excited to be back out there in the huddle in the hostile environment. There's nothing like it. It was good to be back out there, but, obviously, I would've liked to find a way to win this one.
(On the passing game being highly productive and the running game struggling have anything to do with the Seattle Defense) Yeah, if you look at what they were doing, they were doing things to get rid of runs. You end up passing the ball and we did it effectively. WE were just playing off of them. It's just where the game just took us.
(On John Ross III having a strong game) As well as he played, it wasn't surprising to the guys in the locker room because we watch him every day. Just the way he runs, he's really talented. You can't really describe it. It's just a matter of time before he can put it all together. He did that today and he needs to continue to do that for us too. He played well.
(On if they leave feeling good about what they did today) "I think we feel good about how hard we played and how hard we fought. We can continue to build off that. If we play with that kind of attitude and that kind of grit and all those types of things, you're going to give yourself a chance to win in a lot of games. If we continue to play hard like that, we'll get the things fixed and find a way to win.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL
(Opening…) It's great to get a win in the opener. Great to be at home for the opener, to get that done. The fans were awesome today, and lit it up for us today and helped us on pass rush late in the game when we needed it. It wasn't the game I hoped it would be. I was concerned that we might be a little messy trying to figure out what they were doing. We really took away the running game, totally, and they just threw the heck out of it. Andy did a great job. He hit a bunch of guys, they made a lot of nice catches and stuff, and they did a good job throwing the football. When you look at this game on the defensive side of the ball, we really blew it on the long one that they get on third and 18 or something like that. That's one. The other was the flea flicker that they got us one, which was a really nicely executed play by them. Give them credit for it. Those were two big plays. The rest of the game, we found our way to get off the field. A lot of positive stuff there. I was really surprised that we had trouble protecting today. We struggled with our play-pass stuff, which has been really strong for us. It just didn't work out as well as we wanted to, and so we didn't get our shots. We were in a lot of negative situations, behind the sticks and all that. That's always hard. So, it made for a hard day. The thing that was great about this football game is that we were behind the whole time. We played from behind the whole day, and those guys never stopped. They never stopped thinking they were going to win the football game. That's so valuable to us, because we're going to be behind in games, and it's going to be hard; they're going to be tough. That was really obvious, and the mentality was just where it needed to be to go ahead and set it up for an opportunity to come from behind and make a win, and then hold them off and get out of here. There are a few plays of the day in this one. The pass to Tyler, the execution from Russell to Tyler, that put us ahead to stay, was really an incredible play. It was just two guys who have been together a long time. They saw something, and they made a little adjustment, and here we go and it was perfect. We started, and we'll figure out what to do from here. I was pleased with kicking game, the coverage and the kicks and all that, the guys did a great job. So, that was really clean and kept us in it the whole time. I took my first shot at the pass interference new deal, just because I was pissed, and I just did it. It wasn't a good idea, but I just wanted to prolong whatever. That wasn't really the exact time you wanted to use it. I had my wits about me, but at that point I just didn't care. I just wanted to compete, and make them have to tell me that they did it wrong, and they didn't do it. So, anyway, that's how it may go again. That could happen again. Anyway, so a good win. It's great to get here to be here and play here to start this thing off. We have a big trip coming up and all that and we'll talk about it. The challenges have begun. The first one, it was about believing, and the guys hung tough today.
(On winning 11 home openers in a row …) Eleven home opening wins? OK, I didn't know that. That's a great stat, that's awesome. That has to do with a lot of stuff, and that's—haven't we only started at home four times since we've been here, in the first game of the year? Maybe they want to make it hard on us, I don't know. It's great to be at home, is really what the statement is. I'm glad we got started well.
(On the lack of pass pressure on Andy Dalton…) The pass pressure was kind of sporadic. But when we needed it, we had it. Third down wasn't bad for us today. We lined up and made sure they couldn't run the football, and it worked. They moved the ball a lot. Again, I go back there's two big plays in this game that make a difference. The time of possession, it was lopsided. But, we need to clean up those two plays. That shouldn't happen."
(On the play of Jadeveon Clowney…) He did some stuff. He knocked the ball down right off the bat, and had a big play on the sack. It was great to have him out there. You could have asked about Ziggy, and he just wasn't quite ready for this game. We are thinking long haul, and we'll hope that next week will be the week. He practiced throughout the week, but just couldn't quite get it right. So, you'll be asking about it all next week, too. But, we'll keep our fingers crossed that he can play next time.
(On whether the Bengals ganged up on the Seahawks rushing game…) I don't know; I have to see the film. We didn't run the ball well. 75 yards is not enough for us. We need to run the ball better than that. I felt like we're not in command of the sticks. That's where the play pass and everything fits together. We were behind a lot. We'll be better.
(On the offensive line play…) When we get sacked a bunch of times and we don't run the ball, then you're going to look at that. We'll see. Let me see the film, I have to put some work into that.
(On whether Clowney's snap count was the plan…) He went a little more than we thought. But, he was fine, he felt good about it. So, we really knew we would have to play it by ear. I think he had 20-something snaps in the first half, which was not really the plan, but we were just out there so much, because we didn't get much on offense at all. He's 26 years old, he's ready to go and all that. We'll see. He'll be pretty sore this week.
(On the play by Al Woods…) I think they called that a fumble, it was a fumble recovery, but it was still a terrific play. Al did a nice job. I should mention Quinton Jefferson, he had a great game. He had six tackles, he had two tackles for losses, he had two sacks. He had a couple pass defenses, knocked down or whatever. He had a terrific game today. It was definitely the best game he's had for us. We needed every bit of it.
(On DK Metcalf…) A good start. It was a good opener for him, other than the penalties; he did fine. He made some tough plays. Russ got the ball to him on a couple. The big bomb and the one down the middle. I don't know how to explain that pass. But, it was a great grab for him under duress. That's a really good start for him. He's ready to go.
(On whether it is important for Metcalf to understand that the play is never over with Russell Wilson…) Sure. We've been pounding that for months, in the offseason, about it. It was a great illustration. Really, he's pretty comfortable playing now. He's doing fine, and that's a great start for him. You can see why we are fired up about him.
(On the play of Quinton Jefferson and Rasheem Green…) Huge production for those guys, and it will just be better. It will just be better in general when everybody is out there and doing it together. Bobby had a bunch of tackles today, and I think Tre had a bunch of tackles today, around it all. Those guys made some nice plays up front, too. That's such a big way to finish. When you have a chance and they only need a field goal, and they only have to get about 30 yards and our guys rose to the occasion. They played down the stretch, and that was Rasheem's sack that ended the thing. Three turnovers today, plus two today. I love that. I love that for sure.
(On whether there is a specific teaching point to Tedric Thompson on the long pass before halftime…) Yeah, I guess. We throw the ball deep to those guys all the time. Every day in practice. He just misjudged it. He's a terrific ball hawk guy, and he just misjudged it. He left his feet too early. It was too bad, that never should have happened, obviously.
(On the play of Tre Flowers….) I thought he played fine. We played a lot of zone today. He was off, and they threw the ball underneath him some. We did not spend a lot of coverage underneath those guys today, that was not part of the plan. They were kind of hung out, and they took advantage of it a little bit. More scheme than anything else. I thought that both the corners played aggressive.
(On the play of the secondary…) There is a lot of stuff that worked great, in the game plan, to force them to throw the football like that. It's kind of intricate, but most of it worked out fine. We had to give up a lot of yards. We rope-a-doped a little bit today, and that's how it goes sometimes. Some people are wondering about rope-a-dope. Greg, you can fill them in.
(On Will Dissly and Poona Ford…) Will got hit on the knee a little bit. We have to see what that means. Poona had a calf that kind of tightened up. I don't know if it was cramping or not. Those guys didn't finish the game. Neiko didn't finish, either, with a hamstring that bothered him a little bit, so we'll see what that means."
(On whether the "rope a dope" approach to the defense was due to uncertainty about Cincinnati's offensive scheme…) Yes, partially. We didn't know what they were going to do, and we weren't sure. A brand new offense with a lot of stuff in their background that they could have done, so we just wanted to make sure we controlled it. That's why those two big plays stand out so much. That was supposed to be eliminated by the way we played it and unfortunately they got a couple of them.
(On the running game next week…) We'll be all right. We have a long ways to go. We're just getting started. This is not an indication of anything. This is just our first game; we didn't play very well up front like we wanted to. Part of that, too, is the way they played and we didn't know what they were going to do, either. I would have liked to think that we came in here and made great halftime adjustments, we had them, we knew what we were doing and we pounded the football. But, that didn't take place. They played pretty solid throughout. Give them credit. That's a good group up front.
(On whether they tried to get Chris Carson more involved in the passing game…) No, it just kind of worked out like that, I think.
QB RUSSELL WILSON
Q. What did you think of DK?
RUSSELL WILSON: I thought DK was special. He fought for the football. He was special. It's exciting to for him to come in and make some great plays in the first game. He almost got to 100 yards I think and everything else. He looked great tonight. I thought Tyler looked great when he got the ball and he got open down the field on a big fourth quarter touchdown that we needed.
Chris Carson was special, ran the ball really well. He had that touchdown catch he took in the end zone. That was pretty sweet. We battled. Best thing about tonight was we just kept believing, kept telling the guys we're just down by three, down by three, down by this, down by that, just keep the positive language going, keeping the neutral language, trying to stay focused on what the task is and the task is to win no matter what, so whatever it takes.
Q. What were they doing with Lockett and were you aware you had no targets?
RUSSELL WILSON: Well, they had the ball the whole first quarter, so that was a big thing. Only had three plays in the first quarter, and then the fourth quarter, it was back and forth. They had the ball a little bit -- a decent amount. We were looking for Ty -- there were some looks that could have been there, maybe somebody else opened up or something like that and then we had some plays where we could have had a big -- couple big plays with them, unfortunately we got sacked or whatever that was but we were always looking for 16, he's special. He always finds a way to get open and in the fourth quarter, he found his way to the end zone.
Q. Did you talk to him about that?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, of course. He keeps his focus. He's very -- he's got great belief. He knows how to get open. He knows how to separate and do some things. We just want to continue to battle. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge. They did some really good things on defense and everything else and we kept battling and their offense played well.
Their team collectively for us, we just talked about hey, just stick with it, stick with it and sure enough we got a big touchdown pass there in the fourth quarter to Tyler and then defense made some great, great stops and sure enough, we got the chance to win the game.
Q. On that trying to tell guys to stay with it and believe, is that something the team already has at this point, it's just a reminder?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think the team definitely has it. I think we've kind of always had that. I think Coach does a great job of demonstrating belief in how to create that. I think as players from guys like Bobby, myself, we've been in the game for a long time, guys like K.J. we've been here for a long time and we know what we can do and if things don't go the way we want to, there's no time to panic and there's no time to worry. It's just, hey, let's win the next play. You know and I think that's a big thing. I think that's -- for me, playing quarterback, that's the amnesia you've got to have. That's the baseball in me. That's just the belief that something great is going to happen and just knowing that and just continue to stay the course.
Q. What did you and Tyler see on the touchdown play?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, without saying too much, get open. He did a great job of getting open. He always finds a way to see things really well, and both of us, we were on the same page of what we were thinking there"
Q. How helpful was the quarter break there to talk about it?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think that it wasn't really -- I don't think that made a huge difference. I think we were planning on just trying to -- the key was just making sure we got the protection and finding a way to get open and sure enough, he did. I think it helped a little bit. But you know, we wanted to find 16. Wanted to get him the ball and you know, DK had a great day all day and Tyler he's been special for us his whole career. Want to get him the football, too.
Q. The attention the Bengals gave him -- now that Baldwin's gone, it's going to be a change for him?
RUSSELL WILSON: They gave him a little extra attention. I think the reason why we were a little bit behind is just because it was third and 15, third and 22, third and 30. You know, it's hard to do anything in that situation. We said that before, right.
So I think more than anything else, you know, the good thing is we got a lot of great players in the skill positions, the running backs, the receivers, the tight ends, a couple big third down catches that we needed and that continued the drive. You know, a lot of guys made plays when we needed to and I think for us, you know, everybody's got to be involved. That's how we've always been here. We want to get everybody involved. We want to spread the ball around and have different guys touching the football and there's going to be times where we are going to double certain guys and everything else but the good thing is we have another great receiver over there and another great receiver in the slot and another great running back right there and that's a good thing for us.
Q. Were they doing anything to limit the running game? Numbers were down a little bit?
RUSSELL WILSON: They stopped our first down runs. We didn't get any good positive first down runs we felt like. So it was second and ten or second and 13. So that's something we've got to go back and study and figure out how we can get better. Because you don't want those first down runs, if you're going to run on first down you want to make sure you get something positive out of it and make sure we're not getting backed up.
The second half, really the fourth quarter in particular, late in the third, middle to the third, fourth quarter, that's when we started getting those positive first down runs and that helps. That was a big thing for us.
*Q. The long pass to DK down the left side, it looked like they blitzed there. *
RUSSELL WILSON: The first – we kind of knew they were coming. It was a one-to-one for him and he made a great play. He can really run down the field and catch the football. He did a lot of things today. He caught the slant, the skinny post, the go ball. He had a great scramble play. He's going to be special for us.
Q. You mentioned the scramble one, for a rookie to understand that play as it's going on and get in the right spots, what does that show you?
RUSSELL WILSON: Scrambles are key and it's part of our game. We can be the best in the world at that and there's no reason why not to. It's going to happen, whether it's in the red zone, middle of the field, wherever we are, and something that's always been advantageous for us, guys just got to be explosive and just make quick, decisive decisions and we'll play from there. I think he did a really good job.
They dropped -- only ended up rushing two defensive linemen, kind of stepped up and kind of slid and sure enough he was kind of on a slant route on the back side and next thing you know, he saw me moving so he turned it upfield. His understanding of the game is up there. I think I told somebody the other day, I think I told you guys that his knowledge of the game, he's really sharp. He's played a lot of football. He's going to keep growing. It's just one game. You've just got to stay the course.
Q. Your passing volume was low, but efficiency was really high -- do you anticipate we'll see a lot more --
RUSSELL WILSON: I think for us, hopefully, hopefully not in the sense that hopefully the games that we play moving forward, we don't get behind the 8-ball too much. We were battling with our receives today and so in terms of the first half and so we've got to eliminate the negative plays the sacks and the different stuff and got to look at it. We'll get better, that's for sure. I think the offensive line did a tremendous job, especially the second half, keep battling, keep staying the course.
Again, kept talking to the guys and just letting them know and I think for us, we always want to be able to run the football. That's always going to be us. That's not going to change. We want to be able to throw the ball around to different guys and get their hands on it and everything else. We're going to be very versatile.
It's the first game of the year. To win the first game is the critical point. I think that's what -- that's the exciting thing for us, coming at home. We battled. The whole season I think it's going to be a journey, so the biggest thing we're going to have to learn and know how to do and do it well is not blink. When the game is on the line, don't blink. Just stay the course. Stay focused on what our goal is, and try to find a way to accomplish the mission, and that's to win.
Q. You touched on Carson. Can you elaborate on him and his involvement in the passing game?
RUSSELL WILSON: He's always over the place running plays, blocking it, catching it. I thought he had a great game. He was the difference-maker for us in the first half, in particular. He's going to be great for us all year. He's as good as it gets: He can catch, run, block and he's got the determination to find the end zone and he has the desire that you want. He's arguably, my opinion, one of the best running backs, if not the best in the league and I think that we've just got to continue to find ways to get him the football and let him do his thing.
LB BOBBY WAGNER
(On what the message was at halftime after giving up explosive plays) Just be positive, it's game one. It's a 16-game season, it's a long season. You can't let one play kill you so, just reset and refocus.
(On how good it is to get a win in week one) It was good, it was an ugly win, but it's a win. You think about last year, we went 0-4 in the preseason and then lost our first two games. So, it's a win, we'll take it and you can learn a lot from this. We have a lot of young guys playing and they can learn a lot from it, and we just keep growing from this storm.
(On adjustments they made to the defend the screens being ran against them) We just had to have eyes on it. They were getting us in some great play calls so, we've got to do better, we've got to execute better, and we will. Once they do it once, a lot of teams are going to see that and try to imitate that so we have to be ready for it.
WR TYLER LOCKETT
(On if it was part of the game plan for him to be quiet early in the game and then be targeted late in the game…) They had a great game plan against us. They did a lot of good things, especially against me, that I've never seen before. It was pretty good just to be able to experience that and see what it might be like down the road. I thought DK [Metcalf] did a great job. I thought he did an amazing job with the opportunities he got. He made some big catches, especially on third downs when guys were right there on him. He continued to drive and I think he's going to have an amazing season this year, especially given the opportunities that he's going to get. He's already a big reciever and already knows how to get open so I'm already excited to see everything that's going to come from him. He's doing amazing coming back from the stuff that he went through and like I said, I'm excited to see what he's going to do. I think Cincinnati did a great job in game planning, but we just found different ways to execute. On the touchdown play, me and [Russell Wilson] were on the same page. We saw the opening and he threw it to me. I was kind of waiting for it to come down so I didn't get knocked out and once I caught it, I was able to thread the needle and get in to score.
(On if defenses trying to take him away is going to be part of his role now that Doug Baldwin isn't here…) Your guess is as good as mine. I'm just taking it day by day. But for me, it's all about keeping my head down and working regardless of the outcome and regardless of the results of how a person plays me. When I go out there, a lot of people are going to play me different ways and it's all about being able to observe the game, learning what they're trying to do and being able to take advantage of it. I think that's something that I was able to do in the second half and a lot of stuff was able to work out. I should've caught that pass on the go route and I missed it, but at least I got the perfect passer rating out of the way.
(On how bothered he was by no targets in the first few quarters…) I think for anyone it's frustrating but it's more frustrating just because you go into the first game and Cincinnati did a lot of stuff against me that I didn't think they were going to do. When you're looking at that, it's kind of like, you have to be able to calm yourself down and really see what it is that they're trying to do. It's different to be able to scout a team outside of practice, you have to be able to scout a team inside of the game to see what it is that they're doing. Once you're able to see what it is that they're doing, now you can be able to play that game in your head of okay this person is guarding me, this is how I need to set this person up. But it's hard to be able to do that if you're not in that good place. So for me, I stay in that good place and just knew that when my time came, I just made sure that I made that play. Yeah I dropped a ball, but I was able to catch a touchdown and be able to help the team to where we got on top. I'm just going to continue working on my game.
(On if it felt like an ugly win…) It was very ugly. But if we can win playing like that, then imagine what we can do playing at our best. I think the defense did a great job keeping us in. Regardless of how a game is going to go, you never know how a game is going to go, but as long as you continue to keep pounding and keep pounding, eventually something is going to work out. Like I said, I dropped the pass, but I was able to make that one play. DK was able to make a lot of plays. Chris [Carson] was able to make a lot of plays. A lot of people might try and point out that he fumbled, but he put us in a lot of great situations. It's not really about that bad stuff, it's about being able to take advantage of the opportunities and knowing that mistakes are going to happen, but it's not being able to dwell off of them and being able to overcome them. I think this win shows how we were able to overcome everything.
WR DK METCALF
(On how it felt to be taking real hits in a real NFL game…) It was just a blessing to be out there in front of all the fans. This was my first real NFL game and it was amazing.
(On what the experience was like in his first game in terms of game speed…) The players are obviously better than in college. The competition level is raised. It brought the best out of me and the [defensive backs] that were guarding me were great all game. It was just another football game to me.
(On the point at which it became just another football game for him…) Right before the game, Coach Carroll sat beside me and said 'Just remember, it's just another football game. It's still football.' He calmed me down when he told me that.
(On how important it is to get the first game out of the way…) It's very important. Coach Carroll always says it's just another game so just do me and don't make anything of it.
(On his catch on the play where it looked like a scramble drill…) The play broke down and then I saw Russell about to scramble so I just turned upfield and we made eye contact. He had enough trust in me to just lob it up and I had to just go and make a play.
(On how important it is to never give up on a play…) [Russell] was very optimistic all game. He motivated the whole offense when we got in the huddle every play. By his demeanor, it speaks a lot about his character. Just to be around him, he's been around the game for a long time. I just listen when he talks and he's been mentoring me along the way.
(On what it means to have Russell Wilson's trust this early in his career…) It means a lot. All we can do is build on it. It's just amazing to be out there. Like I said, it's just a blessing.
S UGO AMADI
(On the mentality of the defense on the last drive despite giving up a lot of passing yards) It comes from within. Every game isn't going to be pretty. You've got to love games like this, you take it how it comes. Being in these types of situations are things you will remember for the rest of your life.
(On advice he received from veterans today that he may not have gotten during preseason or training camp) K.J. said, [even when I was out there on third down] "Don't take the cheese, don't take the cheese." I said, "I got you, I got you." So I made sure I didn't take the cheese, I wasn't a rat out there for sure.
T DUANE BROWN
(On how the offensive line played today) "There's not a lot of youth, a lot of inexperience up there so we know what the style of play is going to be like. We know what the tempo is going to be like. We know what the physical level is going to be like. Preseason isn't an excuse. We have to be able to come out and play to a certain level. We didn't start off that way. We had some great moments, but we just have to have it consistently. Again, Cincinnati has a great front seven. They did a heck of a job, great game plan. We just have to be better."
RB CHRIS CARSON
(On how he would describe how the game went) We started off kind of rusty. It was something that we had to get a hang of but we have to start out faster than that. We kind of picked it up towards the middle, and died out towards the end, and then picked it up towards the end again.
(On how much of resulted due to lack on time on field in preseason together) That's really what it comes down to. We didn't have that much in the games to really have that gel and that chemistry. We only played a couple drives during that preseason, so we kind of came out rusty. That's something that we've got to fix.
(On if that was part of the reason it was difficult to get push upfront and create running lanes) It's more everybody; running backs we have to do a better job. Me personally, of ball security, and pressing the hole and making that cut. So, everybody has to go back at it and get better.
DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY
(On this team being able to finish in the fourth quarter…) Yeah I remembered that there was something about this team when we played them when I was in Houston. When we played them, they beat us in the fourth quarter also. [Russell Wilson] is a relentless guy who never quits. On the sideline, he was saying, 'I'm going to take it. I've got ya'll. Just keep your guys locked in and keep your defense locked in.' We kept playing for him.
(On if it was surprising how quickly Andy Dalton was getting the ball out of his hands…) Oh yeah he was getting it out pretty fast. I looked to the sideline and I was telling our coach, he's getting that ball out fast. He said to just keep getting my hands up and just try and bat the ball as much as possible.
(On if getting his hands up is all he can do when they're getting rid of the ball that fast…) That's all you can do is get your hands up and try to affect his passing lanes. I feel like we did okay with it at times. But we have a lot of work to do. It's only our first week being together like this and getting to know each other. I just got here like I said so we're just trying to get guys lined up and learn what they're doing. We're not trying to peak right now, we've got a lot of football left. We're just going to keep working towards that.
(On if the stats are concerning or is it more about knocking rust off…) We just chalk it up to knocking rust off. As long as we get a W in the win column, that's all that matters in football. Wins and losses. [If you're] stacking up wins, that's all that matters.
(On what it was like playing as the home team at CenturyLink Field…) It's crazy. This fanbase is the best that I've ever been in front of. I remember telling guys when we were on the road here that I've never heard a stadium this loud. Being a part of it now is even better. I'm happy about that and [I'm] looking forward to next week on to Pittsburgh.
(On how they adjusted for the screens the Bengals were throwing…) We just had to calm down our front. We knew they had to get the ball out quick and they'd try to make some plays. They had some success early on with screens and we had to note that there was no comeback to that so we had to lock it up tight to try and force them to throw it deep down the field.
(On if it felt like it had been awhile since he had been out there playing…) Yeah, I felt like I was still knocking some rust off but I had a good time out there getting going and getting moving.
CB TRE FLOWERS
(On the victory) Like we said, bend don't break. They've got a lot of players on that side. There's a lot of mental errors that we know how to fix them and it's get back to work.
(On how important it is to move on from this game to the next) Yeah, I'm sure that everybody's ready to play again. We'll celebrate for about two, three more hours I'm sure. We'll watch film and then move on tonight.
(On the first home win of the season) It was great. The crowd was loud the whole night. Defense got them into it and a lot of passion by everyone tonight.
S TEDRIC THOMPSON
(On how he moves on after getting a penalty) When I catch a pick, when I catch a pick-six, the next play, right after that, I forget about it. If I drop a pick, I forget about it. If I make a tackle, the next play, I forget about it. If I miss a tackle, the next play, I forget about it. That's my approach.
(On if he expected the Bengals to be so pass heavy in the game) We expected pass play.
(On how they adjusted to all the tight end and running back screens) The D-line is dirty. The D-line did their thing. They did a good job chasing the screens down. Really give credit to the D-line when the screen starts, when they stop making yards on screen ups.
CB SHAQUILL GRIFFIN
(On what he sees from Tre Flowers and his mindset) "Year two- I know his mentality is to get more hands on the ball. That's something he continues to work on. Right now they're trying to make it tough on him because they're calling these pass interferences, and it's tough because I feel like the plays he's making are clean. You telling someone not to touch somebody, it's the game of football, there's going to be touching. So, I feel like that's the toughest part but, the more they try him the more he'll get better at it. He's going to have a lot of interceptions this year, I feel like it's coming. That's something he wanted to work on, he did it all offseason, he did great with it so, I'm excited for him."
(On his relationship with Tre Flowers and taking him under his wing) "He's like a brother to me so, I don't look at it as me taking someone under my wing. It's just, he's a brother so, wherever he's at is where I'm trying to be too. We look up to each other, that's the kind of family vibe that we have. It's not about taking someone under my wing, it's just having that relationship and being a brother."
DE BRANDEN JACKSON
(On Rasheem Green's strip sack at the end of the game) "I was like, that's when big plays need to be made right there. I looked to him and I said take your chance. Shoot it. He shot his shot [and] got a sack fumble. We knew it was a sack fumble when he hit it. I don't know if he knew, but I knew it was."
(On how good this defensive line can be once Ziggy Ansah is back) "It's going to be as good as we take us. Coach Carroll is always preaching on us up front, offensive line and defensive line. We understand that every week, we have to come up with big plays and stop the run. It starts from there. We're going to be as good as we take ourselves."
SS BRADLEY McDOUGALD
(On Andy Dalton being able to get rid of the ball so quickly) "That's what it was. He was just getting the ball out of his hands quickly. Whatever he was taking, he was giving. He wasn't out there trying to overdo things. He wasn't out there trying to make too many plays. He was just taking whatever plays came his way and trusted his receivers to get a couple extra yards."
(On his hardest hit being on Ugo Amadi) "Yeah. Definitely apologize about that, man. It just happened to be man-to-man. Me and the corner did a drop on the receiver who was dragging underneath. I tried to take an angle over the top to get by him and I was so locked in on my man that at the last second, I felt somebody in my peripheral. The next thing you know banged into him. Luck was on our side that play. The guy dropped the ball and we were able to recover."