Q: How do you want the coaches to handle the game Sunday? Play to win or use a little more caution?CP: "The whole team wants to win. The coaches all want to win. We want the best seed we can have going into the playoffs. I'm not sure of all the scenarios and all the what-ifs, but we're a team that wants to play to get better every week, that wants to play to win because we are competitors. It's a fun game to be in. We have a chance to knock somebody out. We've been in that position a number of times before. We've played teams that had a chance to knock us out. So that's part of the fun of playing this game. you have a chance to knock somebody out."
Q: Do you think you can build some momentum as an offense this week and carry it over? CP: "Yeah. Just momentum-wise and confidence-wise, playing against the best defense in the league and going out and being successful gets you rolling for that next week in the Wild Card game. Like I said, we want to play because we like to win, we like to compete, but also because this is as good as the competition gets on offense. They're great on defense across the board. There's not a weakness at any position on that defense. The play-caller is great. Everything about the defense is top-notch, so it's a chance to compete against the best and try to improve and get that confidence rolling into the playoffs."
Q: Do you see anything different from Rex Ryan now than from when he was in Baltimore, or is it pretty much the same?CP: "A lot of the same things. They do a really good job of confusing you, and that makes it even more difficult to play them in their own stadium, where it's loud and the communication becomes an issue. I think they're better at corner than he had in the past. They don't have Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, but they have a different combination of very good players, very elite players at different positions. Bart Scott is one of the best linebackers in the league, and (Calvin) Pace can rush. They have a lot of good players. I think it's an upgrade from what Rex has had in the past."
Q: What do Jim Leonhard and Derrelle Revis bring to that secondary?CP: "Revis is just a really good player, flat-out. Reads formations and plays, he can run, he can play the ball, he can press, he's good in and out of his breaks. Leonhard has played against us a ton, so he understands what he's seeing. He'll try to jump things and recognize formations. Just a smart, heady player that makes a lot of plays. He's not Ed Reed -- there's only one of those in the league -- but he's a very good player."
Q: You might have to play the Jets again the following week. Does that cause you guys to be a little more vanilla this week?CP: "Well, we're counting on that not happening. We're counting on going out and winning. We're preparing to win. It's not any different than any other week of the year. We've got a game to play, and we've got a game to win."
Q: A lot of guys have talked about how tough it is to throw in the wind at the Meadowlands. From your experience there, what is that stadium like for a quarterback?CP: "The wind is very difficult to gauge. I've played there I don't know how many times since college, and I think the wind has been different every time. It's like playing at our stadium here or at Candlestick. Pittsburgh can get some wind off the water, Cleveland is extremely windy. So, it's difficult to play in, but it's an environment we've played in a number of times. We're used to playing in bad weather. We're used to practicing in it every day. It's definitely difficult, but it's something that we've dealt with and have a lot of experience in."
Q: Mark Sanchez grew up in your town, and he's been quoted as saying he looked at you as something of a hero. What kind of relationship do you guys have? CP: "I've known him since he was probably in the seventh grade, eighth grade. He was actually a ball boy for my high school football team, so I've known him for a long time. We talk quite a bit. We have a great relationship."
Q: How was he as a ball boy?CP: "(Laughs) He was a good ball boy. Anything you asked him to do, he'd do. He's still the same guy to this day -- a very giving guy, very open. He'll do whatever his coaches and teammates ask of him. That's why he was drafted where he was drafted."
Q: Have you talked to him much during the season?CP: "Yeah, I've talked to him a couple times, just kind of said a couple different things that I would have liked to have been said to me when I was in his position. Because I know what it's like to go through those growing pains, being a young guy, not having a lot of experience to bank on. He's gone through a lot of the same things that a lot of rookies go through, that a lot of first-year quarterbacks go through. I went through some of those growing pains. It's only going to make him a better quarterback in the future."
Q: Do you think some of Mark Sanchez's rookie struggles are connected to being in New York City with all the media?CP: "I don't know. I've never been in the New York media, so it's hard for me to gauge. I've been in the LA media, which there'd be about 50 more people in this room on a typical press conference. And I got used to that, and I'm sure he's got that same type of atmosphere in his press conferences and after games and things like that. He's had as good a training as you can have going into the New York media, being in the LA media and being at SC (University of Southern California) and being the only show in town."
Q: What did you tell Sanchez to help him that you wish that someone had told you?CP: "I just told him that there's games like that, there's days like that. I know he had a couple games that were really rough. There isn't one quarterback in the league that hasn't had a day like that, and some of the ones that have had days like that are (Dan) Marinos and (Peyton and Eli) Mannings and (John) Elways. You can go on and on down the great ones. It's just part of the deal. You can't worry about it. You've got to look at the film, learn from it and get past it and move on."
Q: Are you surprised or disappointed that no one from this team made the Pro Bowl? CP: "Very disappointed. I thought one of our corners would make it, at least somebody on defense. As good as our defense is, I can't believe somebody on defense didn't make it. I would've loved to have seen Ced (Cedric Benson) make it; Bobbie (Williams), who's been playing great for a long time; (Andrew) Whitworth is the best tackle in football, AFC or NFC, and the fact that he's not on it is a joke. But I'm not surprised. I mean, playing in Cincinnati, it's not a big market. You don't ever play on national television until the last game of the year when the ballots are already out, so it's tough to make it. But I'm not surprised."
Q: Is not getting a player voted into the Pro Bowl an extra incentive now?CP: "No, no. This team's not playing for Pro Bowls. We're playing for one bowl, and it's not the Pro Bowl. I know a lot of guys would love to make it and love the opportunity because it's a great honor, but we're hoping to not be able to play in the game anyway."
Q: Do you see this game being flexed to a national spot as a reward for you, or more just because the pressure is on them?CP: "This game's on national TV because it's the Jets, it's not because it's the Bengals."
Q: Is that one of the negatives about coming to this place, that you don't get the exposure? Or do you like being under the radar? CP: "I don't. As a football player you always want to play on Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football. I don't think there's a guy in our locker room that doesn't want to do that. It's just one of the negatives of playing here. It's a smaller market, there's a negative outlook on us, and you just don't get those nationally televised games year-in and year-out like some of the bigger market teams. But that's just how it is. It's not going to change. You know that when you come here, you know that when you're a free agent, you know that when you're a drafted player here. It's a small market, just like Buffalo and some of the other smaller markets. It's just part of the deal."
Q: Do you think that's the case even for a team like you guys, who have won two division championships in four years? CP: "Yeah. Hopefully we can win a Super Bowl and maybe they'll put us on Monday Night Football. But until we do that ... We don't have a big following across the country, we're not in a huge city, but until we go out and prove that we need to be put on national television, we're not going to be put on national television. It's our job to make sure that happens."
Q: Do you think that all the exposure on Hard Knocks has helped this team's national following a little bit?CP: "I hope so. I don't know. I'm not sure if our fan base grew at all. But it's the same thing: you've got to win in order for people to respect you throughout the country and put you on national television. And for your fan base to grow, you've got to win."
Q: Do you think people should make personal resolutions for New Year's?CP: "I think it's anybody's personal decision. I tend to make a couple and stick with them for about a week, a day, a month. But I'm going to try to think of a couple and try to stick to them. But I think it's a personal decision."