SEPTEMBER 26, 2010
BENGALS HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS
On the game:Well we won it. We have a hard time making it easy. I think the biggest thing is you've got to keep playing the game. We got to play the game and compartmentalized it from quarter to quarter, and from series to series and look at it that way. And I think our guys right now are doing a good job of that. We aren't always as good as we want to be, or as we good as we will be, but we are working at it. They are working their tails off and they are playing hard. We've got to obviously, defensively play a little smarter. We've got to be careful around the quarterback. Some of those fouls there at the end were not good. We get the penalty on offense right before the half, and t ends up making it difficult for us to get points on the board. We've got to learn from that. It's a great learning situation for to have; for the quarterback to make sure if he's going to get it to Jermaine (Gresham) that Jermaine is going to fall into the end zone, or else it's got to go out the back so we can get the points. That's a good one to have on tape. Again, we hurt ourselves with the penalty. That's one of those things where everybody is talking about why you clock the ball. Well, there's an instance of why you clock it instead of getting up to run a play and having to have the cadence and all of that.
On turnovers:We had turnovers we had to overcome. It was a little slick and wet at the beginning, but we were able to settle down and overcome those things and not get frustrated with it. Getting the win on the road is good.
On Carson Palmer struggling:
We've got to keep working to have some answers with it. But right now ... we'll get it. The tight end keeps becoming a big factor. We saw him today, and that's what we're going to have to see. They want to keep doing the things they're doing outside, and not letting us get the ball vertically down the field. Those are the things. Early on we had a couple of those calls where we didn't get the right coverage matched up. One slipped out of his hands. The other one he got hit on. But we're trying to work it down there. I'm always stressing that with our guys. That's important emphasis for me. In order to get defense back off, you've got to keep pushing those. But you don't want to just give it to them when you do it. Again, we've got to go back to work. Get some things ironed out. We got knocked around a bit up front. We've got to do a better job.
Cedric Benson lobbying for more carries?I thought the difference in the 12 carries was the 12 Bernard (Scott) had. So that's the way it's going to be, and Ced knows that. He won't let you guys or any media lead him down that path any more that way. Some days he'll get some carries. Some days he may not. Sometimes we might throw it. We're going to win some games. We're going to play 16 games, and hopefully play 16 games with Cedric. Bernard is going to carry the football this year more than he did last year. Cedric is going to have less carries at the end of the year. But hopefully he's going to have 16 games where he carries the football and on into whatever is after that.
Hard to believe it was Benson's first receiving touchdown?Not really. It's being on point and being in the right spot. We've had that play a couple of times and it just hasn't worked out. We had one of those plays last year, same play. It was a good job today. Good execution on the play and it worked out fine.
On the kicker and punter:
It was a big field goal. Kevin (Huber) did a good job today of handling the wet balls in those conditions. That's why we kept these guys. They are obviously very well coached with Darrin (Simmons). I thought the whole group together played well. We've just got to keep it up. We've got to keep going. We had some opportunities today on the punt return that we didn't get. We'll go back to work and get after it.
On Brian Leonard:Brian's experienced, and those kinds of things help take the pressure off of Ced and Bernard a little bit too. Also his special teams snaps. We know there are some things we can do with him that we feel he can handle.
On the field position:I would have liked to have made the field goal before halftime. We won the field position battle big time today, which I set out to do. I talked to our guys about it on Wednesday morning. We're going to play field position in this game. So you understand it. We came out here and it started raining. But just like we planned it, we're going to play field position. If we had won the toss we were going to defer the toss. Well, they won the toss, and they deferred it. But that was my plan to play field position today and make them go long field. We were going to go short field and play good defense. We did a good job on third downs today. That was another key as well as holding that field position.
On if he is frustrated with the offense:
It was a frustrating game coming out. When it's wet like that and the ball is slippery, it's the type of game that the offensive line and running backs love. It's a smash mouth game that is won in the trenches. And we won it in the trenches today.
On whether there were missed assignments and timing problems on offense:Here and there, yes. We had a couple of things that were just a little bit off. I missed a couple of passes that were just a little bit off. It's just something that we are going to keep working at. We are going to get better each week. We have to go up to Cleveland, who always plays us tough. They defend the pass extremely well, so we have a big match on our hands. They hung with Baltimore pretty well today, so they are going to have some confidence coming off their performance against a good team. We have find a way to get up there and win.
On the two interceptions:The first one, it just didn't come out the way we wanted it to. I left the ball a little too far inside. We will look at on film and see what happened. The guy made a good jump and a good play. The second one, I thought we had a touchdown. I saw T.O. (Terrell Owens) run right down the middle of the field and I tried to get it to him. I just didn't have quite enough time to throw the ball unfortunately because that would have been a nice long touchdown for him and get him going a little bit and given him some confidence as well as the rest of the offense.
On whether they committed mistakes themselves or were forced into them:
Here and there, yeah. We definitely missed some things all over the field as far as the offense is concerned. But they did some good things. They had a couple of really good pressures. They had coverages where they had the perfect coverage on which doesn't happen very often but they did a good job defensively. They are a fast, quick front. They make a lot of plays up front and push the pocket around a little bit, but for the most part we did a good job protecting the pocket and giving us some room to run.
On the double coverage dedicated to Owens and Ochocinco:Over the course of the game, they doubled both Chad and T.O. (Terrell Owens), and they really did that the whole game. They rarely get one-on-one routes with defenders. Jermaine (Gresham) had some nice plays where he was left one-on-one and he caught some nice screens. They did a good job trying to limit their touches because they know those are the guys we want to get the ball in their hands and see what they can do.
On if the dropped passes were surprising:Not on a day like today when it's that wet and the ground is that wet. It's tough to catch a ball when it is that greasy like today.
On Jermaine Gersham's performance:He made some really nice plays. We love seeing him with the ball in his hands. He's fast. He's physical. He does a great job in the run game. He's tough to defend because he can kind of do everything. He's not one to make a lot of mistakes.
On Jimmy Clausen's performance:
I didn't get a chance to see him after the game. He hung with it. It was a long day for the offense. We brought a lot of pressure, and he stood in there and threw the ball. He's a tough guy and he's got a bright future.
On failing to score at the end of the first-half play:
We were hoping to get the ball in the end zone. Unfortunately it didn't work out. I looked at the clock and I thought we spiked it with one second left and we would get a field goal out of it, but we just weren't quick enough.
On playing in a hostile environment:
That's what you have to do when you are playing on the road. Come in and play somewhere you are not accustomed to and try to get a win. And that's what we did today. We took advantage of the opportunities that we had. It wasn't the best of conditions, but we made it work.
On his thoughts on Carson's struggles at times:
I was pretty much running my routes, so you're going to have to ask Carson that.
On the miscommunication at times on offense:
This is a team sport and obviously you have to put forth that effort. It's one of those things where you have to continue to get better. And we will get better as we go along. We just have to keep plugging away.
On cutting down on penalties today until late in the game:That was one of the things that the coaching staff has emphasized, and we have tried to work on. We know that early in ballgames we can shoot ourselves in the foot, so to speak, with some of the penalties and turnovers and things of that nature. But we are getting better. To give ourselves a chance, we have to eliminate some of those things.
On how throwing to Jermaine Gresham affects Owens and Ochocinco:We call our plays depending on the coverage, and Carson will sort that out. He gave us some opportunities, and Gresham just happened to be on the end of some of those. He (Gresham) is going to be a great player in this league. He's great with his hands and a great runner after the catch when he gets it.
On distributing the football between the three:
Eventually we will share the balls and we will have our time. It's one of those things where everybody has to do their part and we'll get it going at some point.
On winning on the road:One of those things I'm not accustomed to is kicking a lot of field goals. We take pride in our passing game, but obviously today the weather conditions prohibited us from doing some of the things down the field, so we just had to take advantage of our opportunities. We moved the ball when we had to and put ourselves in good field position and Mike (Nugent) came in there and kicked the field goals.
On if he was open deep on the ball that was intercepted:
Once I'm in my route, I can't really control what goes on behind me. So I'm just trying to do what I am supposed to do as far as my assignments, and let it play out.
On the rainy weather conditions:That's some of the things you have to contend with. In order for us to go out there as receivers, we have to catch the ball and it's going to be wet. If you are going to be handling the ball, you have to do so accordingly. It was just one of those days.
On converting a fourth-and-two in the second quarter:
I think it was (Dennis) Roland on that side. He gave me a good block and I hit right off it and went up field and got the first down.
On converting a fourth-and-one in the next drive in the second quarter:
That was the same thing, but those are plays we practice all week. I didn't know we were going to break it out on fourth-and-one… or was it fourth-and-four? I'm not sure what it was, but we ended up breaking it out then, and it kind of surprised me. But I got another great block by (Andrew) Whitworth, and we got the first down.
On whether the Panthers were expecting that play call:They definitely knew. We did it last year one time too, so I'm sure they had seen it and studied it. That was their game plan for it, but they still couldn't stop it.
On returning to the lineup:I've been waiting for it the last six weeks. It was important to me to get back for this game, and I felt like I was back.
On not having so many penalties:
Yes, it was much improved and that is something we wanted to do. Really, in the first game it was improved too, last game was just kind of a crazy game for us. We fixed that and we feel were doing better with that and we just have to continue to fine tune and were going to be a good football team.
On Cedric Benson:Yeah, when we run the football we have to run it successfully and were able to do that at times but we still have to do it better and more efficiently. There are things we want to get better at, but we have all the people we want to do it with and we just have to fine tune it and get a little bit better at it.
On Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham:I am in Jermaine's ear all the time to make plays. He is a fast learner and a very talented kid and Shipley is the same way and they have really helped us out this early in the year.
On field position:Field position was a good thing, to keep field position in a game like this were the field is sloppy and wet and where the ball is getting wet all day, that's the most effective thing of the whole game, to get good field position.
On the offense being close to where you want it:I think its real close, we have to fine tune a few things and there are a couple of things we have tweaked. I think it's really close. We have the weapons, which it is a good thing and we also have a quarterback that gets the ball where it needs to be. As long as we keep fine tuning things, we're good.
Today the offense didn't look like they were close to where you want them, why do you say they do?
Because it's this thing here and that little thing there. When you have as much talent as we do guys are going to try and take things from us and were going to have to adjust and find new thing to do and were real close on hitting on those things.
On the defensive approach to the game:
Just play football. Line up and do our job. The cards will fall where they fall. Let's not out think ourselves. If they move the ball and get in the red zone, make them kick field goals. And we know that if we keep the offense under 14 points, then we are going to be in every ball game.
On Clausen's debut and how the Panthers used him:I expected exactly what they did, just trying to lean on those two running backs. You saw, he just ran the ball, ran the ball, pass the ball. Try to make it simple for him and then come out with a little bootleg or play action. It wasn't very complicated for him. He just lined up, snapped the ball, and did what the coaches told him. But at the end of the game, he had to go downfield to win it, and for a rookie quarterback to do that is very tough.
On the road win:We didn't have road wins, five in a row and it is good to get that off your back.
On being healthy:Yeah, you just get the game plan and you play all together and the team has success.
On his sack:Coach just dialed up a nice blitz on a third down and I was lucky enough to get back there. They were worried about everyone else and not me. I just got back there and we got the win.
On when he knew he was healthy:
We worked out this morning early and once I knew I could get it, I was locked in and ready to rip.
On the defense:We had a little mishap the first game and now we have to take each game at a time and were continuing to grow as a unit and find success.
On the overall improvement on penalties:Yeah, that is part of the deal. We don't go out there to intentionally get a penalty or personal foul. It started happening and we knew we were going to get coached about it and move on.
LEON HALL Anything you do to enhance your reaction?Repetition and practice. You just kind of get use to it. I can probably say that for everybody, when we have a good week of practice your reaction seems to be just a little bit better in the game.
On the defensive coordinator:
He did a great job. We ran a lot of the coverages and gave him a lot of different looks. We put some disguise calls in there which was great and we threw some pressures at the end of the game, which ended up really well. I think he did a great job calling plays, like he usually does.
On the road win:A win is a win; we will take them as we get them.
PANTHERS HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
Jamar Williams left the game with a neck injury. The seriousness of it I don't have anything to report other than he did not return.
On the Clausen change:When we made the change a week ago, I did mention that I didn't think it was one guy. I'm not sure I think any differently today. We had a little bit of a spark there for three and a half minutes, when we went down and scored a touchdown. In this league that's not enough. Plus when you're averaging four turnovers in three ball games you are not going to win many games in this league scoring seven points with four giveaways.
On the missed takeaways:This game is about making plays. When you have opportunities, you have to make plays. We did make a couple of plays. We missed on a few opportunities. We are not in the luxury position right now of scoring 28 points a game, so we have to take full advantage of all opportunities.
On the quarterback position:The guy he replaced had eight NFL starts, not eight years, so we're pretty young at that position. It's evident that we have work to do and we'll continue to work, not to say that Jimmy was bad today by any stretch. We'll continue to try to get better in that area.
On the timing of turnovers:They are all deflating. Whether they are on the plus side or the minus side, they usually impact the game.
On gaining momentum:
That's why you play the game, you have a chance. We've just been on the wrong side of those chances over three weeks. Today was more of the same.
On Steve Smith's frustration:
I can't speak to that. I know I was frustrated.
On the Bengals defense shutting Smith down:
He had some opportunities. He did catch the ball. They took a lot of it away.
On the team's improvement:I thought we improved from Week 1 to Week 2. I'm not sure that improvement was much different from a week ago without viewing the tape.
Will Clausen start next week?Right now it's too early. I just think we have a lot of work to do on that side of the football moving forward, not just the quarterback position.
On Gettis's start:LaFell missed last week due to injury. We held him out. We deemed him healthy as late as today, so that is why.
On Dwayne Jarrett:
I still have confidence in him because he is on the 53-man roster. He'll get an opportunity to play this season. Those are the things I talk to the team about when we do make inactives. I wouldn't read too much into that.
On the secondary play:
Much like last week, our defense kept us in the game. Our kicking game kept us in the game. Unfortunately that wasn't enough.
On the weather:Both teams have to deal with the weather, so I don't think that was a factor.
On his first start:It was a tough loss in my first start. At the end of the day a loss is a loss. We have to go back and watch the tape, see the things that we did right and correct the things we did wrong.
On Steve Smith's frustration:Smitty is a real competitor. Those are the type of guys you want to have on your team and right by your side when you're in that foxhole. I'm trying to get Smitty the ball as many times as we can. He's our biggest playmaker on offense. It's tough sometimes trying to get him the ball when there are two guys doubling Steve. That is just Steve. He's a fiery guy, kind of like myself. He's just being competitive, wanting the ball and trying to make plays.
On how he reacted to Smith:That is his competitiveness. I'm going to listen to what he has to say and whatever he's saying, I'm going to try to do that. You want to have those guys on your team.
Take some time to learn each other?I think me and Smitty have a real good relationship. It's still early on, but I think we have a pretty good relationship.
On missed exchanges for fumbles:
Those were both my fault. The fist one the ball was just wet and I have to handle the snap. The second one I pulled out a little bit too early. Luckily we got on the second one.
On the interception towards Steve:
It was a bad ball on my part. I have to lead him out there and I threw a little behind him and it got picked off.
What can you build on?We have playmakers. We have a good offensive line, good backs, good receivers, good tight ends. We just have to keep gelling together and keep working on the practice field. Obviously we are going to dwell on this for tonight. It was a tough loss. Once we come in tomorrow and watch the tape, we have to move on and get ready for the Saints.
Butterflies?Not really. I really don't get too nervous out there. I just get a little cotton mouth. I'm just trying to go out there and execute the gameplan and make some plays.
There probably will be some once we watch the tape, but it's hard to say there are positives out there because we lost.
Starter next week?I don't know. That's something to ask Coach Fox. I definitely know I could have done more to help this offense move the ball and get in the endzone and help the team win.
Which play would you take back?Probably the fumbles and interception were my biggest and clearest ones to see. Take care of the football, get the snap, don't force the ball. When you are throwing it, lead him and put it in the right spot so he can make the play.
Blitzes:They started heating us up in the second half, definitely. They were disguising it and coming from everywhere. I'll have to see it on the tape tomorrow to know exactly what they were doing.
More comfortable in second half?I felt comfortable both the first half and second. I think the second half we just got into more of a rhythm. We weren't going three and out. We were constantly moving the ball down the field and started getting into a little rhythm.
Adjustment to different QB?I don't think there is any miscommunication with me and the rest of the guys on the offense that was different with Matt. I think it was pretty similar.
Took a shot at the end of the game?He got a clean shot on my ribs. I'm alright and got back up and was trying to make a play down the field.
Where is the offense?
Not where we want to be. We've go to put up more touchdown drives. We've got to put up a lot more points to win in this league. It just boils down to a lot of missed opportunities.
Turnovers?We practice not to do that but unfortunately it happens to us.
On Clausen:He played well. We've got to keep him standing up. I don't think we're playing well as a unit. I know we're not playing well as a unit. Look on the board. We're not putting up enough points. We're not putting up enough yardage. We're not playing well on offense in any area and we've got to get better.
Deflated getting a turnover then giving it right back?I wouldn't say it's deflating. We've just got to overcome adversity and right now I don't think we're doing too well in that category.
Each game is a different game. Unfortunately for us we kind of fell behind. When you fall behind you get out of your element and I think that's what Cincinnati had to their advantage. Once we got behind we weren't able to run the ball like we wanted to and we had to play from behind. All three games we've had to play from behind and we had to throw the ball. Like I said earlier we're not playing well in any of the phases, run, throw, catch.
What's important moving forward?Not focusing on the three losses that we have already and not focusing on the bad production. Not focusing on the problem but focusing on the solution to the problem because if you focus on the problem too much you'll get engulfed by that and you'll end up 0-16.
Ever this frustrated?Yeah, when we were 1-15, yep, I sure have. I wouldn't necessarily say frustrated as much as disappointed, let down.
Difficult not getting the ball until the fourth quarter?
It's not really my call. It really doesn't matter. They throw me the ball, they don't throw me the ball – I've still got a job to do. I think I ran some pretty good routes. You've got to evaluate yourself. I'm a horrible quarterback, terrible defensive back. I'm not going to tackle a linebacker so my best job is wide receiver. I'm going to run the routes they call. Hopefully they are sufficient. If the ball comes I'll try to catch it and if it doesn't you can't catch air. I'm going to continue to do my job.
On getting open:I'm going to run my routes. (The) offensive coordinator, head coach, management they'll watch film and tell me if I was open or not. They'll tell me if I was. It doesn't change anything. It's a loss.
Rookie quarterback growing pains?I don't think it's a rookie quarterback problem. I don't think it's fair to blame Jimmy (Clausen) or Matt (Moore). I don't think it's fair to blame me or David Gettis. There are a lot of people involved in this thing. I think to try to blame two or three guys-when there's eleven on the field, there's the guy that calls the play, there is the guy that has to hear the play to recite the play – there are a lot of moving parts. So I don't feel it will fair to blame Jimmy or blame myself. There's a lot that goes into it prior to today.
No second option to you?I can't do anything about that. I'm just going to run my routes. They tell me to run a dig and I'm going to run a dig. That's what I'm going to do.
On the game conditions:It was pretty difficult but those are the kind of situations that you have to deal with some times. So we got to find a way to make it work.
On the Bengals stopping the run:Yeah they stacked the line a lot of the time bringing the safety down to stop the run. We just have to find ways to execute.
On changing the game plan due to the defense stacking the line:Yeah they were bringing their safety down on the front side and that caused a lot of back door cuts, a lot of cut backs. So that's really what we had to work with all game.
On the team's emotions:We can't give up, I don't think anyone is getting depressed. I know nobody's going to give us a chance except us so we got to stay behind each other and help each other out and keep pushing.
On Jimmy Clausen's first start:
He made some good throws. We got to protect him a little bit and give him time to make good throws. But he looked good there for a minute.
On the long screen play from Clausen to Goodson:The line blocked real well, they let the line through and Jimmy got the ball to me and I was able to make a play.
JON BEASON On not able to capture:
It's the same song and dance. For whatever reason the ball just didn't bounce our way. We're not taking advantage of the opportunities when they are given to us. We just didn't do that.
On missed opportunities:Going into it I thought we would have the opportunity to make a play on the ball. It's very difficult to catch a wet football not that that's any excuse. They caught the ball. The receivers on our team caught the ball. We didn't. Five or six of them. It definitely would have helped the offense out and we didn't get it done.
On the turnovers:It doesn't matter what they do in my book. It really doesn't. I believe we had the opportunity to score on defense and if you shut a team out or they don't score it doesn't matter. That's how I look at it.
On staying positive:That's the sad part. It's nothing that they're doing in particular. That's the way I feel about all three games. We've just got to execute and stop shooting ourselves in the foot.
On being a team leader to the team:
You come back, you keep your head high and just continue to get better. You focus on you. What can you do as individuals to get better. I think the end result will be different