BENGALS POSTGAME QUOTES
OCT. 4, 2015
KANSAS CITY AT CINCINNATI
Initial comments ...
"I was pleased with what we did in the second half today. We came out and got the stop on defense and got rolling on offense. We were able to put the ball in and got it back up to a two-score lead. That's the first time this season that we've been able to do that. We showed some confidence and poise in doing that. We still have a lot of stuff to work on — penalties and some other things to clean up out there from today. Just keep rolling and keep grinding. It's a good win for us. We'll get started again tomorrow."
Was that as complete a game as you've played this season?
"It's probably our best. Offensively, they (the Chiefs) present some issues and problems with the running back. Their receiver is a good player, their tight end is a good player and their quarterback played a good game for them today. He was smart and completed the ball underneath. We've got to tackle after the catch, and just be patient. We were able to stop them and hold them to field goals in those situations and not panic. That was key today defensively. We allowed some field goals and some drives, but we were able to stop them when we needed to. We were good on third down on third down early in the game, where they hadn't been that good. They did a good job of keeping themselves in manageable situations."
The play where Michael Johnson forced the fumble on Travis Kelce seemed like the key play in the game today. Was that just a hustle play on his part, since he got downfield to make that play?
"The fumble was a big play for us. It was a wide-receiver screen — the "shield," which is the en vogue play right now. It was a good job by Michael hustling inside-out. I believe he probably had the coverage on the play. So, it was a good job by him."
Your defensive line had five sacks today and has been very good for you this season ...
"We've had a good start to the season, the first four football games. We've gotten pressure in each game, whether it be with pressures or four-man, three-man, five-man, six-man, we did a good job today. We've just got to keep it up. Everybody has to work together — rush and coverage has to work together all the time."
What was the biggest difference for you defensively, once they were able to get into your end, where you were able to hold them and force field goals?
"You get a little shorter and tighter windows when the ball gets down in there, so when those tighter windows and tighter passes happen, you've got to do that. The field shrinks a little bit, and the defense gains a little bit of an advantage when you get down in there."
You dealt with some injuries in the secondary, and Darqueze Dennard came in and Leon Hall was in a new role, but they seemed like they played well. Would you agree?
"Those guys did a good job. Darqueze came in and played pretty solid after the first play. That's what we've got to keep doing. We've got these guys for a reason, and they've got to go in and play and be ready to go."
Did you say anything to Dennard after the big pass play he allowed?
"Get your hands on him. Don't play the run, let's play the bump-and-run."
What kind of signs in a game, especially today, are you seeing that indicate your team is playing with confidence and maturity?
"That lull through the third quarter, we were able to get out of it. There was a big stop by the defense on that drive to hold them to a field goal. We had different things occur. That was a big stop, when we held them to a field goal there in the fourth quarter. It was huge. They got the ball down in there, we were able to get some pressure, get the ball out of his hand and make some tackles."
More than 300 yards passing today for Andy Dalton. He seems very efficient and comfortable right now ...
"It was a good job by the guys on the big play moving out of the pocket on the scramble and finding (Brandon) Tate, and Tate doing a nice job with the scramble and turning it up the field like he's supposed to do. It was a good throw, good catch, and Tate put it in the end zone. So it was a good job. He (Dalton) executed and ran the offense well today. The runs he got us in and out of were great. They were stacking in there, and we did a good job."
Do you expect to see Brandon Tate in more on offense now?
"He's got a role. When he gets an opportunity, he always takes advantage of it. It was a nice job by him."
You guys averaged nearly 10 yards per play on offense. How big of a roll is Hue Jackson on right now?
"Well, today is over. It was a good job by us today, but today is over."
The defense today was forcing Kansas City into field goal situations. Did this take pressure off of you and the offense?
"Yes. We scored touchdowns, and our defense held them to field goals. That equation ended up being the difference today. Our defense played well. Getting stops and making them kick field goals was key in today's final outcome."
How much did Kansas City's defense adjust after you had the hot start connecting with A.J. Green?
"They were trying to find different ways to take him away from our game plan. The used double-coverage and adjusted their defensive looks. That is what teams are going to have to do. A.J. is very talented, and we connected for some big plays early. Those factors contributed to them changing what they were doing."
Green mentioned it had been some time since he had seen bracket coverage. When teams focus on him, do you feel it opens up opportunities for other players to excel?
"I told A.J. that they knew at some point I was going to be placed out at receiver, and they'd have to make adjustments (laughs). I'm just kidding. Teams have to respect A.J., and they're going to continue to focus on finding packages to take him out of the game plan. Situations like that will put other players in single-coverage situations, and we'll take advantage of those mismatches."
This offense seems special this year. Explain how it feels out there in the huddle ...
"We've got a lot of guys who can make plays. A number of players got involved today. Different things happened, and different guys made plays. That is what we expect from this offense. We still left some plays out there. A couple of them I'd like to have back. We will keep working, and hopefully get to 5-0."
Your offense seems to have a trend of balanced running and passing this season. Please elaborate ...
"We hit some big runs today. Gio (Bernard) and Jeremy (Hill) both carried the ball well. Our passing game was a nice complement to the running attack."
Do you recall getting knocked to the turf much today? And can you talk about the offensive line's play?
"The Chiefs have one of the best pass-rushers on the league in Justin Houston. Our offensive line answered. They contained him well. The result was that I didn't get hit much today."
Can you elaborate on the scramble play where you hit Brandon Tate ...
"The way it happened, I was able to escape to my right. Brandon made an unbelievable catch. What great field-awareness he had to get up immediately and score. That play made an impact at that point in the game."
Talk about the how you set Tyler Eifert as an offensive weapon ...
"We feel like Tyler fits our system well. He is a tall guy, he has a big catch radius, and can elevate to make plays. He showcased his talents today."
Your thoughts on Jeremy Hill's performance today?
"I kept asking him, 'What happen to Jeremy Hill?' Jeremy played like he is capable (of playing) today. We haven't forgotten what he brings to this team. Things just haven't gone his way a couple of times this season. Those things happen. Big day for him today, and a big game for Gio (Bernard) too. I am proud of those guys."
Can you speak a little more about how you made adjustments when the Chiefs made adjustments in their secondary to A.J. Green?
"I thought we responded well. Early on, if they weren't going to key on him, we were going to get that ball to A.J. (Green). He made plays. When they adjusted, so did we. We responded well. Other guys stepped up and made plays. Those adjustments are just part of our offense. As good as A.J. (Green) is, he is not the only guy we have."
What are your thoughts about where this team currently sits in the AFC North?
"We've put ourselves in a good spot. Every win matters. Every win counts for something. Our goal is to get to 5-0 this week."
Elaborate on what it feels like to be a leader in this offense ...
"We have a number of players that contribute. In Week 1, it was Tyler (Eifert). A different week, it was A.J. (Green). Different guys are always getting involved and making plays. You never know who it will be each week. That is the mentality we have."
What's up with your first-down signal?
"I got a first-down (laughing). That's all it was."
Does this team have a sense of confidence right now?
"This was a game, that when we needed a first-down, we were able to get it."
Was running the ball directly at their defense part of the game plan going in?
"It was. We had a very nice plan going in. Our coaches did a great job preparing us for all of the things the Chiefs were going to do. We had a very good plan going in. It is one thing to have a plan, it's another to actually execute it. We did that well today."
Are you feeling confident in yourself right now?
"I am. I am feeling confident in what we are doing right now. Obviously, we want to score every time we have the ball. To have long drives early in the game helps us gain confidence."
You've outscored opponents 52-6 in the first-half entering today's game, what factors have led to that success?
"You want to start fast. We need to make the first, first-down. We need to make the first big play. Today A.J. had a big conversion on a crucial third-down. That seemed to get us going. We need to keep that up."
Jeremy Hill stated that you've been improving in practice. Can you elaborate?
"It's part of what we do. It showed in a couple plays today. This is something we work on."
Can you speak about the bad snap that occurred early on?
"It was a little low. We were able to recover and make a big play."
You've been around for good starts here in Cincinnati, but never a 4-0 start. It's been 10 years since this team started 4-0. What does it mean to get off to this kind of start?
"We're having a lot of fun. We're playing hard and guys are doing what they're supposed to do, executing when they need to, and just trying to play good football."
Does it feel different inside the room when you do start 4-0?
"We break the schedule down into quarters, and right now we're getting ready to start the second quarter. We're starting the season off 0-0. That's how we're looking at it."
Why do you think this team is 4-0? What's the difference?
"The camaraderie. The locker room has been together for five years. A lot of guys want to be really good, and a lot of guys want to get paid, so you translate those things. It's a great opportunity, what's out there."
Does that mean you also?
"Yes, most definitely, and myself included."
Can you speak to the defense today and how you kept the Chiefs without a touchdown?
"We like to keep the yardage down, and we've got to improve on that. When we do that we give ourselves a pretty good opportunity to win."
There have been lots of good starts here, but it's been 10 years since a 4-0 start. Does it feel any different with the way this team has played after four games?
"It just feels like we're doing what we expected. We know we've got more work to do and to try to improve. It's early in the year — we've got to take it one game at a time. We've got the Seahawks coming in next week, and that's a great team and where our focus is right now."
You start 4-0 and people are going to start telling you how good you are. How do you handle that?
"Don't take the cheese."
Is that hard to do?
"No. You don't do it. You don't pay any attention to it. Ignore the noise, focus on this locker room, believe in each other, and we'll go from there."
Does it feel different or special to be off to a 4-0 start?
"We're taking it one game at a time. We've just got to continue playing like we are, and let the rest take care of itself."
How does this team keep its edge when you start 4-0?
"Just keep ignoring the noise and everything outside this building, and continue to stay to together as a family and play team ball."
Is that going to be hard to do?
"We've been doing it for four weeks, so we just have to keep doing what we're doing and worry about us, and nothing outside the building."
When you look at the other teams in the division and how they're struggling, what does a win like this do going to 4-0 in getting an early stranglehold on the division?
"We can't worry about anything else — just take it one game at a time and continue to play solid football."
Marvin Lewis said he felt this was the best game you guys have played this year. Is that how you feel?
"We're going to come in and watch the film and see what it looked like. He might have a different outlook on each (side of the ball), offense and defense."
What was clicking for you guys on those first two drives?
"We had a good game plan going in for a lot of the different things they were going to throw at us and we executed well. We kept the ball moving, avoided penalties and got two quick scores."
How well do you think Andy Dalton is playing through the first month?
"He's playing awesome right now. As an offense, that's what we see every day in practice. That's what we expect from him as our leader and quarterback. He works hard. We've got to keep going, not get complacent and just be happy with where we're at, but keep working hard moving forward."
You guys have played really well at home. What's the secret of success at home?
"I think statistically it's easier to win at home, with the crowd noise and things like that. Going into a game, we're not thinking or worried about where we're playing. It doesn't matter to us. We're going to approach it the same way."
Big win today improving to 4-0 ...
"It was a good win today to go to 4-0, but we've got to get ready for the next one and keep it going. We had a good game today, but there's some mistakes we've got to clean up. That's what Wednesday through Saturday is about, going back to work and getting better."
Two sacks for you today. Are you going to be coming off the edge against Seattle?
"I don't know, man. I'm just trying to do my job. I just want to give a shout out to coach Paulie (defensive coordinator Paul Guenther) and our defensive coaches. They put a good game plan in. We're just players. We go out there and execute it. Coaches put the plan in, and we just go out there and do our job. That's what football's about."
You stuffed them every time in the red zone. What was the key to that?
"I think it's just playing great red-zone defense and having that will inside of you inside of our huddle. We talk to each other and say we're not giving up six points."
How are you feeling?
"We're 4-0. That's all that matters right now. We need to work on what we did wrong and get ready for 5-0, and get ready for Seattle."
Marvin Lewis said this may be the team's best overall effort of the season ...
"I think last week against Baltimore was a turning point for us. We battled with a team from our division — a team that we know is good. I think since last week, we kind of know what we have."
You and Jeremy Hill combined for more than 100 yards and four touchdowns ...
"Our goal for every game is 160 yards rushing. I hope we achieved it, or we'll get an earful tomorrow."
How dangerous are you guys when you really get rolling?
"We know the type of playmakers this offense has. Andy (Dalton) has done a great job this season. He has gotten us to the right places and made the right reads."
What's different about Andy Dalton this year?
"I don't know. You'd have to ask him. He's really commanding this offense and doing a great job being a leader."
Do you care what other teams think of you guys being four-and-0?
Have you had a chance to see the play where Andy dropped the ball but still managed to get it to you for a big gain?
"No I haven't. I heard everyone screaming and I looked up and the ball was there. It was a really great job by him."
How dangerous is this team when the whole offense is involved?
"We're very dangerous. We have people who can make plays and that's what we need to continue to do."
Was it good to see Jeremy Hill bounce back after a tough week?
"We care about winning. We're a family and we play for each other."
It's a 16 week season but you're 4-0 to start. What does that mean to you?
"It's a great start. We have to get better."
Was this your most complete game as a team?
"We left some points out there. We need to get better. We have tunnel vision right now. On to the next one."
Do you feel this team deserves more attention?
"We'll be fine. This team is a family and we keep it in the locker room. We block out all the outside noise. We'll keep grinding and take it week-by-week."
Andy has played well this season ...
"Andy doesn't listen to what's going on outside. We know what type a guy he is. We see him every day in practice. He's our guy."
Scoring on the first drive must have felt good ...
"We needed to start fast. That's something we preach all the time. To finish a drive off by punching it in there was big. It set the tone for the game."
First time since 2005 that this team has started 4-0 ...
"We have a lot of confidence, but we all remember last year when we started 3-0 and the fell off a little bit. We need to keep grinding. It's a long season. We won't get too far ahead of ourselves. We know what we have ahead of us and we'll keep grinding."
Was this the most complete game on offense of this season?
"Coach (Marvin) Lewis always says that the games we look like we played the best, the film will show lots of areas that we need improvement."
Have you been frustrated with the penalties on the offensive line?
"Yeah — you'll have those games where you get flagged and can't really get an explanation. It is what it is. It's NFL football and that will happen. It's part of what you overcome throughout the season. Today was an opportunity for us to overcome the penalties and still win."
Jeremy had a couple of tough weeks. Was it good to see him bounce back?
"He's a guy we challenge all the time. He's a young guy with a ton of ability — the sky's the limit. It's great to see our running backs be such a great duo. They mix it up and make it tough on defenses."
Andy has played well ...
"He continues to be Andy Dalton. We're proud of him. We've always believed in him. We're excited that he's our quarterback and excited to see where he will lead us."
You didn't give up an offensive touchdown today ...
"I think we did a good job in the red-zone. We let a few plays get out here and there, but as a group I think we did a good job."
How special is it to get off to a 4-0 start?
"Real special. I'm excited for the team and for this city."
Does it feel different in the locker room?
"I think everyone has a sense of urgency. Everyone in here wants to win."
Do you think the defense has hit it's stride?
"I think we can play better. I don't think we've put a complete game together yet. I feel special about this group."
Is this the best you've see Andy Dalton play?
"Andy is playing great right now. I'm Andy's No. 1 fan. I'm happy for No. 14. I've always believed in the guy. If we win, you give praise, and if we lose, you shoot Andy. I'm happy for the guy."
CHIEFS POSTGAME QUOTES
OCT. 4, 2015
KANSAS CITY AT CINCINNATI
Initial comments ...
"As far as injuries go, Josh Mauga is the only injury. He's got a thigh strain. Other than that, we came out healthy. It's pretty easy to observe what took place with big plays from their defense and offense across the 50-yard line. We're moving backwards and we have got to take care of that. We are going to do that. This team has great character and they're willing to work. You saw that throughout the game. I like this football team. We just have to eliminate some of these things. In the National Football League, it's not as bad as you think and not as good as you think. There is a small margin between winning and losing, and we've got to tighten that up."
What can you do to protect Alex Smith?
"I think they had five sacks, so it's too much. We have got to tighten that up and keep working on it. We're young in some spots and inexperienced in some spots. I never say it's a long season, but you can expect the improvement to continue to take place as we go forward. This is a good defensive front, which isn't an excuse. We've got to keep getting better and that's the bottom line."
What can you do to increase the pass rush?
"Against good quarterbacks, you have got to get as much pressure as you can get on them. He moves around a little bit when he had the pressure. I thought he extended the plays a couple of times and made big plays from that. Big plays can get you there. I thought he did a good job of that. Guys are working hard and they were close to being right there. We just lost contain on a couple of instances."
What happened at the end of the first half?
"You don't want to give the ball back, but at the same time you want to make sure you score. There was a time when I thought they should have put four seconds on the clock and they didn't. There were instances and that's part of the game."
Looking back at that situation, was there anything you would have done differently?
"Not in that situation. We had it down to about 38 or 39 seconds and we used a timeout there. There were some opportunities to shoot it potentially into the end zone. It didn't work and that's not what took place. That should be plenty of time. When it works it's a beautiful thing and when it doesn't, it doesn't look very good."
Why did you decide to kick the field goal late in the fourth quarter?
"It was a distance thing. We felt if we kicked the field goal then we come back and need another field goal, plus a touchdown, plus a two-point play and then you're right in the mix. I think that's what you're talking about without reviewing it, but that was the situation."
Can you assess Alex Smith's play?
"I thought we did some good things. You have got to take care of business when you cross the 50-yard line. I'm the one that's guiding that ship there. You can't have penalties and you can't have minus plays, sacks or whatever takes place in that area. It is tough enough having one of those situations during a drive let along on that side of the ball. It puts you into a big time bind when you're playing a good football team, so I know we're capable of not doing those things. We're going to get it right and we're going to keep working hard. We'll get it right as we go."
Do you worry at all about guys focusing on record?
"We talk about those things. You just focus on the team you're playing. That's just how this works. I have a lot of trust in this locker room and I have trust in the coaches. We have all got to do a better job here and that starts with. We'll get it right."
You made a change on your offensive line ...
"If you're talking about Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, sometimes you can take a step back to take a step forward. That's one of the toughest guys on our football team. He doesn't have as much experience as the other guys and I like what Zach Fulton has been doing. I haven't watched the whole game, but I'll go back and look at the tape."
What about Charcandrick West instead of Knile Davis?
"We like what Charcandrick has been doing. We also like Knile. On certain situations, we like to use them all. In those situations, we chose to go with Charcandrick. We haven't lost any confidence in Knile. You saw some of the things we were doing with him and we think Charcandrick does a pretty good job with those things."
Can you assess how the offensive line played?
"Listen, there were some good things. You can't have the negative plays on that side of the field. One of which, I called the play and it was dropped for a big one on the end-around. I thought there were some good things with the offensive line, but we'll keep working on it and continue to get better as the season goes on and that's what I'm banking on."
What do you guys have to do to stop the pressure you're facing from defenses?
"I thought at times today we handled it pretty well. I thought we had a good plan for it, made some plays against — certainly they made their plays against us. You're never going to be perfect on the road against a defense like that . They're going to get some, and hopefully you get them a few times. I felt like we did it; I think the name of the game for us was once we got in the red zone, high red zone and (the) negative plays. It would penalties or a sack or negative plays and all of a sudden, we'd be in a bad situation. It seemed like that was it all day. We'd march it (down the field) and then stall out."
What happened towards the end of the first half when you called the time out with 30 seconds left?
"So, we called the time out and the refs — you don't know (as) the TV (broadcast) dictates whether it's going to be a 30 second time out or a long time out — so we come over to the sideline and no one told us anything, and all of a sudden they had started the clock because it was a 30-second time out and no one told us anything. It's all dictated from the TV (broadcast). No one had told us anything.
"Usually, head refs wait — common practice out of the time out is they'll give you a 10-second heads up as a quarterback to make sure you're ready to call the play so you don't have a situation like that. I thought that was a bit ridiculous after a time out, so we had a delay of game. No one came over to tell us that was a 30-second time out because those are completely different (situations) in my mind and I thought there was a lack of communication there that should have been that normally is. I accustomed to it. Most head refs make you aware and will give you the time and we just took a time out, so to be rushing us and not communicate that was unusual."
It looked like you guys had a miscommunication what the play was ...
"Yeah, it was loud and we were mixed up there as we broke the huddle but I think if we had — it was an easy fix if we'd had any time on the (play) clock."
Was there a concerted effort to be more aggressive in going down the field today like there was against Green Bay last week?
"I think it was a concerted effort by all of us, yeah, just to play like that, period, especially on offense — me included. You're still , you're always kind of taking what they give you but yeah, no question game plan-wise all week we were going to spread it out and pick our spots and if some opportunities presented themselves we were going to take them. I feel like we did a better job of that today, mixing it around (and) spreading it out after being put in some tough situations."
Cincinnati seemed to stay true to their tendencies on defense ...
"Yeah, on first and second down, they're good personnel-wise, so they don't get crazy. They're well coached. They play fundamental defense and they get you in third down and here comes the crazy stuff. That's kind of been their deal and it's always tough here at their place with the crowd noise and trying to get some tells and you can't always be right. They're good at it. They're a veteran group and they disguise well and all of the sudden at the snap, they've got guys coming."
Do you expect to see that again and again until you guys ...
"I thought we actually hit it and combated it pretty well. There were certainly times they got us. When you play a good defense on the road, there's going to be some of that. There's going to be some back and forth."
Is there a way to explain getting down there and having to kick seven field goals instead of producing touchdowns?
"I thought plain and simple it was negative plays. For right now, without seeing the film, you've got to stay ahead of the chains down there and it was penalties, it was negative plays, a sack and all of the sudden, you've put yourself in second-and-17 and it's going to be tough versus a good defense. They're not going to let you throw it downfield."
How does it feel to kick 7 field goals, but not win the game?
"It's always great to go out there and perform well and do your job, but I think I would have happier if I kicked seven extra points and won the game instead of field goals. It's exciting to kick well. Those long ones were into the wind, so it was kind of a tough day of kicking with the weather. We fought through and kicked well. I give huge thanks to my holder Dustin (Colquitt). He is kind of like my caddy helping me with the wind, and James (Winchester) snapped the ball well and protected well, so those guys did a good job."
Were you surprised that Andy Reid kept sending you out there late in the first half and at the end of the game?
"He understands the game a lot better than I do, so I trust in whatever decision he makes. It kind of got late in the game and we did need a touchdown rather than a field goal, but whatever he was thinking, I was just trying to do my job and be there for him."
What are your thoughts on not being able to score touchdowns?
"We were moving the ball well, but when we get the ball over the 50-yard line, we have to keep it going forward. Today we either got stopped, or moved it backwards hurting ourselves. You can't do that if you want to win games."
Your thoughts on the fumble call?
"You have to hold onto the ball. That's all I have to say about it."
How does it feel to be back?
"It feels great. I was out there with the guys. It is different from practice, because of the whistles and all that. I got to compete and test my talents and technique against someone else. It felt pretty good."
What do you remember about your big plays against A.J. Green in the first half?
"First of all, A.J. is such a unique talent. He has great technique and you have to be on point every time. He's very quick and elusive. He's everything you could ever ask for in a wide receiver. I knew going into the game that my footwork and everything would have to be on point to guard him. With the screen, I was able to sniff that out and make a big play for us and the on the second one it was old fashion, one-on-one football. He tried to get me with the back-shoulder and I was able to stay on top of it and make a play on it. I felt pretty good out there."
What type of challenge does the Bengals' passing offense pose?
"For us, we kept giving up big plays. We were unproductive inside the red zone. If you look at the stats, they are pretty equal on both sides. The difference is, they stood up and forced us to kick field goals, and we just gave up way too many plays. That pretty much sums up the game there."
What can you say about the inability to score touchdowns today?
"Field goals against this team is not going to get the job done. We have to find ways to get into the end zone. I'm pretty sure when we look at the film, it will come down to blocking and making good decisions at times in the game where it is really needed. In the red zone, we need to come away with six points instead of three, especially against a defense like the Cincinnati Bengals. We have to put more than three points on the board."
Were you surprised with the way coach handled the end of the first half and the end of the game, kicking field goals instead of going for it?
"I leave all that up to the coaches. It's our job to play and we trust the coaches to make the right decisions at the right time. I didn't think twice about it."
What did coach say to you at the end of the game?
"Just stay together. This is a tough time. This is not a good feeling. A lot of times, players start pointing fingers and placing blame others (rather) than themselves. This team has good character. Coach, he stressed to stay together as a family. We are family. This is a tough time, but we are going to stick together and weather the storm. Go back to work, go back to practice, keep pounding away and come away with a win next week, hopefully."