Q: Are you getting over it?CP:
I'm over it. I still get disgusted, embarrassed, frustrated every time I think about it, but you can't do that in this league. You've got to move on and get ready for the next game. Especially at this position, you can't dwell on the past, whether it's a good play, good throw, bad play, bad throw. You've got to move on and start thinking about the next coverage, the next play, the next check you need to get to, whatever it may be. You just can't dwell on the past. You've got to find a way to bounce back, rebound and move on.
Q: Coaches and teammates say you can compartmentalize stuff. How is it that you don't let things linger?CP:
I personally don't feel that way. I know we could be up a whole bunch of points, and I'm always thinking about the one play I missed. I always feel like I think about it too long. But because I'm conscious of it, I feel like I can move on. I'm always conscious of the bad things that happen, especially in practice. I'm conscious of the reads I miss or the protection adjustment I missed and I think about that as opposed to the things that went well and went right.
That's something that's always helped me when I get to game day, because I remember the mistakes in a certain play or a certain scheme, and that thing always kind of sticks out in my head so I don't make it again. So I think just kind of taking that mentality, with the way I practice and the way I prepare, has kind of carried over. When bad things happen or an interception happens in a game, you've got to remember it, think about it, and make an adjustment the next time.
Q: People say an offense has a shelf life. Are you concerned with the interceptions, that there is some predictability in the offense?CP:
Not at all. There's one play -- we run a little route inside with T.J. probably eight or 10 times a game. If you want to jump it and try to pick it, you can, but you've got to worry about T.J. going down the seam and catching a 50- or 60-yard play. He (Cardinals' Antrel Rolle) did a good job. He got me. He guessed right and jumped it. But if teams are going to look at that on film and say, 'OK, we can jump this and pick this off,' T.J. will just keep running right down the middle of that seam. That's the area of the field that he's trying to defend. If you want to keep doing that and keep trying to jump that route because we do run it so much, we'll get them the next time and run him down the middle of the field.
Q: Chad Johnson seems totally different on and off the field lately. Have you seen a difference in his production?CP:
He's gone through some things. I don't think he's ever had anybody bad-mouth him in the media before in his career. It's tough to go through. It's something that everybody's first time going through that, it takes an adjustment. Production-wise, aside from the touchdowns, he's still had a bunch of catches. They didn't cover him last week. I'm assuming these guys this week, they're going to have a bunch of coverages to try to stop him. He's still going to have 4-5-6-7 catches.
He hasn't had the touchdowns that he's had in the past, and a lot of that is because once we get into the red zone, people are playing straight zone and double-teaming him. I think T.J.'s got 10 or 11 touchdowns and is close to leading the NFL. That's the way it is. As for Chad, if people want him to catch a bunch of touchdowns, well, you can't catch a touchdown on every play. And if you're not catching it, somebody else is. T.J.'s been left in one-on-one situations and done a good job beating those one-on-one situations when Chad's been double and triple-teamed.
Q: What has happened to the deep passes to Chad Johnson?CP:
We've had an opportunity. I overthrew him this past week in the end zone. We've had some opportunities, but mostly people are putting a corner in his face and putting a safety 20, 30 yards behind him and not letting him run by him. And you can try and you can force it and you can throw interceptions that way, or you can put yourself in second-and-10 or third-and-10 and try and take shots down the field. But for the most part, he's catching short, underneath routes, and we just need to be patient. I need to be more patient and keep taking those short, underneath routes because at some point, you've got to come up and stop them. As a defense, you've got to try to take those away. And when they do, we'll attack them over their heads.
Q: The Titans have a top-five defense. Were you surprised to see Denver gash their defense on Monday night?CP:
Yeah, that was very uncharacteristic of them. You don't see it very many times against that defense. They're No. 4 or 5 in the NFL and they deserve to be because they're really, really good. They have two physical, fast corners. They have two safeties that understand the game. One of them is young and he's playing very well. The other is (Chris) Hope, who we're used to seeing from when he was in Pittsburgh. They have a good secondary. The strength of their whole team is in their front seven.
If Albert Haynesworth is playing, and I hope he's not, he's been unblockable. Really, if you sit down and watch him, he might not make every single play, but he's not blocked. He's double-teamed. They've got running backs chipping on him. A lot of times when you see a big 340-350-pound guy like that, they get off balance and you can kind of push him out of the way. But the guy gets engaged by the center and then the running back chips him and he'll stay on balance, spin off the center and somehow make the plays. He's having one of the most impressive years I've seen a guy have since I've been in this league.
The strength of their defense as I've said, is their front seven. (No.) 93 off the edge (Kyle Vanden Bosch), brings it every play. Their linebackers are fast, athletic guys. Thornton from Indy has been in that Tampa 2 scheme. He understands it. Keith Bulluck, who it seems has been there forever, is still making plays, flying all over the field. It's a s good a unit as we've seen. Offensively, we've got to execute because we've got our hands full.
Q: You and Vince Young had a chance to spend time together at last year's Pro Bowl. What were your impressions of him?CP:
We did get a chance to sit down. The thing that shocked me was how accurate he was. You hear so much about, 'Well, he can only run the ball and he can't throw the ball. He's a great athlete, but he doesn't throw enough touchdown passes.'
But it was him, myself and Peyton (Manning) out there throwing 7 on 7 and 1-on-1 drills, and he may have been the most accurate guy on the field. If not, he was just as accurate as all the QBs. That's something you don't hear that much about him because you hear about how he runs the ball and makes things happen outside the pocket. He's a great player. Defensively, he's a tough guy to defend because he can throw the ball and then you've got to worry about him getting outside the pocket. They do a bunch of waggle and bootlegs where they get him out of the pocket where it looks like a designed run play and he's looking for any receiver downfield, or he'll take off and run. He's just a great athlete who can throw the ball all over the field.
Q: Norm Chow is the kind of coach who tailors his offense to his players:CP:
That's what he does. That's what makes him one of the better coaches I've ever played for. Whether he's coaching myself, or Matt Leinart or Vince Young or Steve Young back in the day, Jim McMahon, whoever it is. He finds the strengths and weaknesses of that quarterback and the guys around him and builds an offense around their strengths and covers up a lot of weaknesses. His timing of play calls is great. He does a bunch of different screens. Whether it's tight end, a wide receiver, a halfback, he's very unpredictable. He's done a great job obviously with Vince, helping him along in his career and doing a great job with that offense.
Q: Do you let yourself eat whatever you want during the holidays?CP:
Yeah, I pretty consistently stay at the same weight. Fortunately we have a couple days between Thanksgiving and the game, so I'm definitely going to enjoy the food.
Q: What do you go for first?CP:
Q: Is it harder to be thankful this year?CP:
No. Everybody in this organization needs to be thankful for everything we've got. Aside from the wins and losses, we've all got so much to be thankful for. It'd be a lot better if we had a lot more wins but aside from football, we've all got a lot to be thankful for.