It definitely doesn't. That's what's so great about this league. It's challenge after challenge after challenge. We've got a big one in front of us and a
chance to get to 4-2 and get the bad taste out of our mouth from the past couple weeks and get rolling.
Q: Are you able to pinpoint any one problem for the troubles?CP:
It's definitely not because of injuries. It's because of a bunch of different things. All you can do is keep working and trying to get better and try new things. You get new challenges every week and we've got a huge challenge this week with probably the best front four in football. We've struggled protecting. We've struggled throwing. We've struggled running the ball. And here we're going up against probably the best front four in football. It's a huge challenge for us and a chance to kind of quiet everybody. If we clean up some of the things we've been doing wrong and put up a bunch of yards and a bunch of points, people will quiet down.
Q: More on his recent play:CP:
To be honest, I don't look at numbers or worry about numbers. I don't go into games thinking I've got to put up better numbers. Physically, I'm fine. My knee is strong. I'm healthy. I'm back in shape. I just need to play better. There's no excuses for it. There's nothing to cover it up. We need to play better. That's what it comes down to.
Q: Why hasn't your offense evolved?CP:
In the offseason, everybody looked at every game we played last year. They looked at our successful games and looked at games when we struggled and figured out why that was. They figured out how to play us. Teams have
played us differently this year. We just need to keep evolving as an offense; keep getting better and keep expanding what we do. And not try to expand too much. At some point you need to cut back and make sure guys aren't thinking too much but just playing. It's a fine balance between adding and expanding everybody's roles but not confusing people, especially when you've got young guys coming in and out.
Q: Was that yours or Bob Bratkowski's play call on third down of first second half drive?CP:
That's the play call. It was a great play call. We had Chad Johnson 1-on-1 and I missed him out of bounds. It's a play I shouldn't miss and Chad and I should connect on 95 percent of the time.
Q: Last year it seemed you guys would be on the same page:CP:
I had Chad plenty of times and missed him. I wasn't 100 percent throwing fade routes last year, that's for sure. I don't think any quarterback in this league has been 100 percent throwing fade routes. I just need to do a better job.
Q: Has Bob Bratkowski been getting thrown under the bus?CP:
It's ridiculous. It's a lot of people talking who don't know football, obviously. It's funny to us as players when you hear some of the stuff. When you
lose, you're the bum. When you win you're the hero. We'll go out this week and hopefully play our best football and quiet everybody down.
Q: Why do you think you've struggled with Chad?CP:
I think we've struggled specifically with Chad just because people have been really trying to take him away. I don't think that 51-yard completion got us back in sync. It was just nice to get a 50-yard gain ripped off there and change the field position with that play. Chad and I are fine. We're going to keep working. I haven't done a good enough job getting him the ball and throwing accurate enough passes for him and making it easy on him. We'll keep working and keep improving this year.
Q: What was his reaction after that catch?CP:
My reaction was, 'All right, it's first and 10, what's our next play?'. I'm not worried about throwing the deep ball or some of the things people are worried about. I'm thinking about trying to get a win. I'm thinking, "All right, we're almost inside the red zone." I'm not thinking, "Thank God, we finally completed a deep ball." I'm thinking, "Let's go, let's play football."
Q: What was the feeling of the offense last year versus the offense this year?CP:
During that time, you were thinking we were on such a good roll and any play can be a touchdown. We've been a little frustrated just because we've struggled to get those easy big plays, those big scores. I'm telling you, it's going to happen at some point during the season. It's going to happen and we're going to get rolling. We haven't done a good enough job to get there yet but we will.
Q: What will Chris Perry's return do?CP:
Anytime you get a player back, it's going to help you out. He hasn't played football in a long time. It's going to be a struggle for him to get back in the right game shape. He hasn't played since last year. We're really going to be counting on him to make big plays for us 3 or 4 weeks down the road. Running back is a difficult position just to come in and play. You've got guys flying all over the place trying to hit you. You're trying to get into a rhythm with the offensive line to read blocks, predict blocks and make the cut. Hopefully we'll have bigger roles for
him in the weeks coming. He's just another explosive player and another guy who can give Rudi a break and get some yards for us. It'd be nice. He's got phenomenal hands and runs good routes. Hopefully in the weeks ahead we'll get a chance to see what he can do.
Q: Many people have been saying your offense has become predictable:CP:
I'm not sure. I haven't heard anything about predictability in our offense. So much is expected of this offense coming off last year. We need to get back
to where we were. I don't know if predictability is the right word. The thing we're working on right now as a unit is execution. I don't think we've executed well enough in certain areas. Certain guys haven't made the right reads, the right plays, the right blocks, the right catches, or whatever it might be. As a unit we're not executing the way we have to be.
Q: Do you have faith in Andrew Whitworth?CP:
I have faith in all those guys. For a rookie to come in and do what he's done, playing two different positions, there aren't many guys in this league who can do that as a rookie. It hasn't fazed him at all. He hasn't stepped back at all. He has really taken on the responsibility and realizes there are a lot of people in this organization counting on him. I have all the trust in the world that he's going to get the job done.
Q: Thoughts on Deltha O'Neal:CP:
A lot of guys are playing corner because they tried to play receiver in college and couldn't catch the ball. But Deltha played receiver, punt returner and corner. He played everything in college and probably still could play a lot of those
positions now. He's fast enough, and quick enough. He understands how to go up for the ball and make plays on it. He's great for Chad to work on, and great for T.J. Houshmandzadeh to work on. He's probably one of the top corners in the league.
Q: What are your thoughts on fantasy football?CP:
This year I've gotten a lot of people mad at me for the fantasy numbers compared to last year. They keep saying you need to get back to what you were doing last year. I think its fun. I think it's great for the NFL. It ties in a lot of local fans with teams across a broad spectrum. It makes you follow teams all over the country as opposed to just the Bengals, or being in Dallas and just following the Cowboys. It's great for the NFL and fun for fans. All my buddies play. I don't have the time. It seems like a lot of fun.