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Bengals Locker Room Quotes 1/5

Bengals locker room quotes

Jan. 5, 2016


AJ McCarron just said he does not think this team lives in the past. What do you think?

                "No, we shouldn't. That's what happened. This is a new slate. This is the playoffs. Everybody is 0-0, has zero wins. We just got to go out there and do what we do. The past is the past; it's whatever."

Do you feel a sense of urgency to get this playoff win, especially with so many players whose contracts end at end of the season?

                "Every year is urgent. It's nothing different. We have to win. It's a playoff game. We're going to put our best foot forward. It starts here; it starts with preparation. We're going to be ready. We've worked hard this season. We had a great season. It's time to finish it off."

Have you guys been talking at all about staying off of social media, especially with the Steelers coming into town?

                "No. Most of our guys do a good job of doing that anyways. So you haven't seen much of anything from us."

What does AJ McCarron do well to handle these type of moments?

                "You look at him and his past, he's been in critical moments. He's been in huge games, national championships. He provides a calm attitude in the huddle, and that's a great attribute. We expect that Saturday."

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Would you guys be pretty excited if Andy Dalton was able to play on Saturday?

                "Definitely. We're excited either way. We know that AJ can get this done. Like I said, we'll practice hard and go out there and ball out."

Is it easier or tougher to get fired up to play the Steelers for the third time this season?

                "It doesn't make any difference because we're always fired up to play them. So it's naturally going to be fired up because the history between these two teams. They're a division team, so division games are always hyped, no matter who it is."

Has there been any talk about needing to get that first playoff win in five tries?

                "No, we just have to get it done. We have to make our plays. We know what we have, and we know we have the ability to make them."


What should we expect in this third matchup between the Bengals and Steelers?

                "An AFC North football game. It's the playoffs. We know what we're going to get out of this. Steelers versus the Bengals."

A lot of people are wanting to talk about the past. Is that something you're trying to avoid here in the locker room as well?

                "There's no avoiding the history of the Bengals versus Steelers. Hard-nosed AFC North football and then you add the playoffs to it, and that's what you're going to get come Saturday night."

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Has Paul Guenther given you any sense of urgency on defense, with so many guys whose contracts are ending at the end of the season?

                "We haven't addressed that recently, but at the start of the season, that was our mindset, why we wanted to be great, bring those records down that we were able to as a unit. But we don't think this is going to be our last one, come just yet. So we're going to come out here prepared and play a really good football team. We know where we fell short of last game, and we got those corrected and we're going to address them on Saturday night."

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AJ McCarron says he zones out on trash talk. What about you?

                "If they want to give bulletin board material, they can give it. We're going to go out there and put it on tape. We're going to speak by performance and do what he have to do win the football game and win our first playoff."

The offense has not scored as many points per game since McCarron became the starting QB. Does the defense feel extra pressure because of that?

                "I like what AJ's doing. He's getting his feet wet and he's getting more settled in the offense. As you saw the last time (against Pittsburgh), he stepped right in. We had no points on the board and we ended up with (20), and Andy was in the locker room. I like our odds; as long we don't let them score 35. If we put 35 up, we win the football game. So we're just going to out there to step up our play and do what we do best, and that's not let them score. We're going to like the results."

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How important is it to get that first playoff win? It would be the first one since the 1990 season?

                "Hopefully it will be the first of many. If we get that one out of the way, I feel like we'll get it rolling. We have a good chance to address it with an AFC North rival. There is no better opportunity than that. We know them, they know us. We've got to go out there and play a football game. There's no sugarcoating. There's no secret recipe. There's no nothing. We play them twice a year every year and we have to go out there and play them in our house."

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Is knowing your opponent so well a big benefit for you?

                "It can be, but obviously it's kind of mutual, because they know us, too. We've just got to out there and be the best football team Saturday. We've got a really great football team. We have all the weapons we need. We just have to go out there and do it."

There were a lot of teachable moments in the last game against Pittsburgh. What did you specifically learn from that?

                "We lost the football game and they won on third down and were able to put points on the board. That's something that's not like us as a defense. Those are the first things that we look at after the game. How were we on third down? How were we versus the run? How many points did they score?"

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How do you avoid the chippiness of the last game vs. Pittsburgh?

                "You don't need to avoid it. You've just got to be smart with it. It's a rivalry, so it's going to be out there. Just do not hurt your team. Do not sacrifice what you want in the moment for what you want in the long term. They're going to be pushing. We're going to be pushing. When the whistle is blown, we need to get out of it."

What makes Ben Roethlisberger so difficult to tackle?

                "We're going to put (Andrew) Whitworth on the scout team at quarterback, and we're  going to try to tackle him (laughs). So that's how we're going to prepare for Big Ben."


What have you guys learned after the past four first-round losses?

                "I think it's not so much what we've learned from past experience as much as what we've learned from this season. This football team has been able to rise from a number of different occasions that have been presented. I think we're excited about the opportunity of having one this week."

All year the team has been talking about how it's not good enough just to make the playoffs. Does that add pressure?

                "Not really. I think that in some ways this is exactly what we've worked for all year. This is our moment to all go out there and play our best. To have a 12-4 football team, you're extremely proud. You know what an accomplishment that is, but at the end of the day it's all about who gets that Super Bowl trophy. Nobody has done enough that doesn't have it. Every team leaves at some point upset if they don't get that trophy. That's our ultimate goal."

* *

You've been with the Bengals for a long time. What does it mean to play the Steelers in the playoffs?

*                *"Nothing, really. The reality is that the division, conference, all of that stuff is over with when you get into the playoffs. Now it's 12 football teams looking for one prize. It really doesn't matter who it is or what division they come from. It's about competing and playing your best football possible. So it's about going out this week and us making special plays and figuring out a way to win."

How important will it be to be able to run the ball?

                "Well, I think in the playoffs in general, it's always important, getting yourself in a positive down and distance. Every defense and every offense has played in big games. They've all been in those moments where they can handle things if you keep getting into positive situations. We've got to really emphasize getting ourselves in positive down and distances and eliminate the penalties."

What would it mean for this team to get the breakthrough playoff win it's been searching for?

                "I think it would be something where, yeah I guess there would be less media pressure. Honestly for us it would just mean we are one more step in the direction we want to go. Like I said, if we win this week and lost next week, I'm not going to be any more happy than I would be losing this week. The reality is, you don't play a 16-week season to win one playoff game to be happy about it. You play this game to win the Super Bowl. We're going to be upset whenever our season ends if it doesn't end with a trophy."


Is there more meaning to this game, because it's the playoffs?

"We play each other twice during the season. There's so much that we know. Right now, they know us and we know them. We are going to know what they are in when they line up. It's about who's going to stop who."

Do you enjoy the challenge when it's about executing plays?

                "It's all about mental focus. Seeing what you see. Playing what you see. Executing what you see."

Is there more to the playoffs because you are playing the Steelers?

                "It's just another game that we have to win. At the end of the day, we have to overcome some things. It's a great opportunity for us to take the next leap. It's about time. We're due for a playoff win."

Your thoughts on facing Ben Roethlisberger?

                "It's hard to defend him because he's so good at extending plays. He's so good in the pocket. He has great communication with his receivers. It's all about the mental focus and great communication for us on the back end of the defense. Because when he's done, Ben's going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer."

What's the message you have about the pre-game interactions before the last matchup with the Steelers?

                "This is another game. It's another game that we have to win."

How do you stop Antonio Brown from having a big game?

                "It isn't about the schemes. It's about going out there and playing with the bigger heart. You know he has a great heart. He's a great competitor. He competes throughout the game. We have to go out there and compete better than him."

Is there an excitement for what this team can accomplish?

                "Yes. I am ready. I can only speak for myself, but I feel like we are going to work our butts off to be there and be ready. It's all smiles this week for me. It's all about football. It's about this win. We've got to have it."



Any update on your thumb?

                "I'm doing treatments and rehab. I'm trying to get back as soon as I can."

What is involved right now?

                "Doing different things that are going to make my thumb heal and get more mobility. It's all I am doing right now."

Are you throwing a football?

                "Not yet."

What are the challenges involved when you do?

                "We'll see when that time comes."

Do you think you have experienced any muscle atrophy with your hand being in the cast for that amount of time?

                "No. I feel like in the stuff that I have done that I have good mobility."

Could you play if called upon Saturday?

                "I'm going to let this process take care of itself and keep working to try to get back as soon as I can."

Are you going to throw today?

                "I'm going to let the medical staff figure that out."

You've been to the playoffs five times. What have you learned?

                "It's a new year. Different things have gone on each year. We feel like we are better team than we have been in the other four years. Our focus is whatever it takes to beat Pittsburgh this week."

What can you tell AJ (McCarron) about playing in his first playoff game?

                "I have a lot from my experiences about things that have gone on. It's a different opponent. It's a division opponent that we have played a lot."

How much does it hurt if you do not play in this game?

                "I would love to play for this team. I want to be out there. This team has been through a lot of this stuff. AJ has been doing a good job. I am happy for him. I am happy for this team. We want to take care of our business and get a win this week."

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