Dalton, Lewis News Conference Transcripts 11/19

Andy Dalton News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
November 19, 2014

If we were looking to go have a meal somewhere in Houston where would you suggest?
    "Hah hah. Goode Company Barbeque is pretty good. That would probably be one that I would go hit."

What do you do when you go back home? Is it straight to the hotel or are you able to go to your folks' house?
    "Well, we'll be close to my parents' house this time, but with the timing of everything, I won't be able to go over there. So just grabbing dinner, seeing some people."

Is it special going back home or is it just another trip?
    "It's definitely cool. There's a lot of people who watched me grow up and watched me play growing up too. So it'll be fun for everybody to get to see me play."

Is Dallas more your home now?
    "It's different. Houston is obviously where I was born and raised and all that stuff, so I've got my group there. I've got a lot of family in Houston, but I'm living in Fort Worth now. I guess that's technically my home."

What is the difference in impact in practicing in the cold compared to playing in warmer temperatures?
    "Well, we practiced in the cold last week and we played indoors. We're going to be practicing in the cold this week and playing indoors. So here you've just got to get used to the cold weather. But it's nice to be able to play indoors in a controlled environment."

What is your first reaction when you see J.J. Watt on film?
    "He's as good as advertised. Everything he's done. He's big, he's physical, always finds a way to get a hand on the ball and certain things, so you've got to know where he is."

Do you ever look at the play from your rookie year?
    "I mean, I've seen it."

What do you think of it?
    "He made a good play. He jumped up and was able to get the ball. That's why he's been good. Even if he's not around the quarterback, he does a good job of batting balls down."

Was that the last thing you expected?
    "Yeah, when you're throwing the ball you're not expecting a defensive lineman to jump up and intercept it. You can't plan that way. He made a good play."

Does that affect you going into this game?
    "You understand that he does that and the defensive line does get their hands up. If you feel it, changing your arm angle or getting around guys and different things. So we do understand that's how they do things up front."

How much do those two playoff games in Houston still sit with you? Is it a little extra motivation this week?
    "Yeah, it is. Obviously when you go home, you want to play well, you want to get a win and all that kind of stuff. You know, losing in the playoffs a couple times there, it still does sit with you, so we're going to come out and play well this week and do whatever we can to get a win."

You spun away from pressure a couple times last week and improvised. Is that a point of emphasis or did it just happen?
    "I think it's something where we feel like if things break down, to get out and try to make a play outside the pocket, and I was able to do that a couple of times last week. I've got to keep that up, keep doing that."

How do you carry over the momentum from last week?
    "I think it's just about the way we practice, the way we approach this week the same way we did last week and keep pushing. We can't get complacent with anything. You've got to keep working on all what you do. That was a big thing last week, was a big point of emphasis with the way we were practicing, getting off and practicing well, and we were able to do that. So we're going to bring that into this week as well."

A.J. Green talked about how Hue Jackson challenged him last week. Did he do that with you at all?
    "Yeah that's part of it. A.J. is one of the best guys on this team, and you need your best players to come out and perform. If A.J. has a big day, obviously I was a part of that. I was a part of that challenge of getting him going and getting our connection back. It was big for us to step up and answer the call."

What are your thoughts on the suspension of Adrian Peterson of the Vikings?
    "It is what it is. The league did what they thought they needed to do. It's not our focus right now. It's not something that's part of our team. It's something they'll have to handle."

The team is 2-2 on the road, but you've played basically mistake-free on the road. Is there something to that for you this season? Has it been nice to get away from some of the noise at home?
    "When you go on the road, shoot anytime you play, turnovers make a big impact in the game. That's what you've got to do, especially when you're on the road. I've got to do a good job of that not only on the road but also at home. There is that extra little focus, because one little thing can go wrong, and the other team can get momentum, get the crowd into it and all that kind of stuff. There's a little extra focus going into it."

Has your family back home reached out at all? Are they ever helpful during tough times?
    "Yeah, regardless of what goes on outside, you've always got the support of your family. That's big."

The focus is on J.J. Watt so often, but what about the rest of their defense? What kind of stands out to you beyond him?
    "I just think what they do up front. They've got several guys that have got high motors, they keep going. You've got to be consistent with the blocking and keep blocking them, because they do a good job of getting off blocks and getting to the quarterback"
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What are your impressions of Johnathan Joseph? I know you played him a couple times in the playoffs. What are your impressions of him now as he's a little bit older?
    "He's a smart player. He's played a lot of football, so he does a good job of reading routes and breaking on certain things. He's another guy you've got to feel and see where he's' at, because he's got a good feel for the game."

Do they look different defensively with a new coaching staff?
    "There's certain things that they do a little bit differently. Some of the personnel is the same. Scheme-wise, they're a little different."

How often do they flip Watt?
    "There's certain times he's on the left side, the right side, inside, outside, he's all over. It's just finding where he's at."

You have a lot of rookies that are starting to step up for you guys. In your first year is it about that midway point that you really start to grow that comfort level?
    "The more you're playing, the more you get comfortable. Early on in the season you're still trying to feel things out and feel how games go about doing things. Midway through, I feel like you kind of get in the rhythm of things. Obviously towards the end of the season, you should be comfortable with what you're doing."

How aware are you that the New York Times had an article yesterday about Robert Sands and the domestic troubles and allegations by his ex-wife about keeping everything in house and not go outside? Any thoughts on that at all?
    "I didn't know anything about any of that. I don't really know anything about the situation."

Marvin Lewis News Conference
November 19, 2014
Paul Brown Stadium

Initial comments...
    "We're getting ready to go back to Houston again, that has a lot of history with us. But they have a different coach now, and Bill O'Brien's done a great job thus far. They're doing good things on defense. They've settled in now to their scheme and what they're doing. They got off to a good start, but now they're really doing a better job of figuring out what they want to be, their blueprint for what they want to do.
"Obviously, they've changed the quarterback to Ryan Mallett, and the emphasis on running the football this past week. But we're going in with that mindset that Ryan's a very gifted passer. We spent a lot of time with Ryan prior to the draft. We know a lot about him and his abilities. We're going to have to play really good defense, both in the running game and defending the pass.
"They've got a great receiver in Andre Johnson, an excellent, excellent deep receiver and all-around receiver, much like A.J. (Green). On the other side of the football, they've got great rushers, explosive guys, and obviously Johnathan Joseph in the back end is an excellent cover player, so we've got our work cut out for us on the road."

How difficult is it with Mallet only having one game on tape?
    "They're going to run their offense and what they do. They were a little different last week against Cleveland than they were when Ryan (Fitzpatrick) was playing quarterback for them. We're going to have to see what the day brings and adjust on the move. That's part of NFL football each and every week."

Is Mallett a guy who stays in the pocket?
    "He is. He's been that kind of player in the past. But as you said, other than his preseason snaps in New England … he has just not had a lot of playing time other than the preseasons."

How do you deal with a guy like J.J. Watt that can wreck a gameplan?
    "J.J. Watt is an excellent player. he's great against the run, he's explosive off the football and he's such a great rusher, he's an all-around good player. He does extra effort all times, kicking game, whatever, he's going to be full speed."

What is your first reaction and what sticks out when you first see him on tape?
    "He's always playing hard, but he has a great feel for when he is blocked to get great presence, to get his hands up and make plays that way too, blocking balls at the line of scrimmage and so forth. He's got great timing on the quarterback. He's obviously a very smart player who understands the tendencies and plays to them within the gameplay."

Does that play he made in the playoff game still enter your nightmares?
    "That's one of them. He's done that a number of times. That's not the only time he's done that."

What are your thoughts on the rest of the defensive line?
    "(Whitney) Mercilus is an excellent player. He's really come into his own. Brooks (Reed) has really played well since he came into the league from Arizona. They've got some other guys. The kid from Nebraska – (Jared) Crick – 93, he's doing a great job. He's emulating J.J. Watt. You're not sure what number you're looking at, it could be 99 or 93, so they're doing a good job that way. (Jadeveon) Clowney played last week, and he'll obviously be a week better with more time on task. They've been an impressive group."

What role has Ryan Hewitt played in helping turn the running game around?
    "Ryan continues to do everything that's asked of him. He's been a great lead blocker, he's made some critical catches. He's in the right spots where he needs to be in the offense. More importantly, he's a young guy who we can count on whatever is asked of him."

Does last week's win mean a little more to you because you responded so well after a bad game?
    "No, sir. It really doesn't matter. It's just another win. What's in the past is in the past. We don't get anything for that one now."

What do experienced cornerbacks bring that maybe a young player cannot?
    "Well, you're playing a position where you know you have to do almost everything correct, and just hope they don't throw the ball your way. And if you don't do it quite right all of the time, you can give up a play, and when you give up a play, everybody in the stadium knows you gave up the play.
"That's the hard part about playing cornerback. You've got to have a really short-term mentality, but you've got to have the resilience and competitiveness to keep playing snap after snap after snap, to stay sound in your technique, discipline in your technique all of the time, and just go out there and battle your tail off. J-Joe (Johnathan Joseph) has got that. He's got great speed. He's got great ability to turn and run. His feet are excellent, and he's got a great knack around the receiver. He can make plays on the football."

What are your thoughts on the suspension of Adrian Peterson?
    "I have no thoughts. It's not any of my business."

The New York Times had an article about Robert Sands and treatment of situation with domestic violence, talked about meeting with you where it was suggested by Mercedes (Sands)…
    "Mercedes doesn't have a very good memory of things, but I think we made a statement from the club, I think (PR Director) Jack (Brennan) gave it to everybody. But Mercedes' memory is not too good. We did a lot to try to help the Sands. It's part of growing up. You had two young kids who didn't really have a good feel for what life is and so forth. Their relationship was very tumultuous. I think she is kind of remembering things one-sided, from her side. Anyway, I was asked not to say any more. so I am going to stop.

Will Vontaze Burfict practice today?
    "No."

Will Giovani Bernard?
    "He will."

In general, what is the club's policy on handling situations where there might be domestic violence involved?
    "When domestic violence is involved, it's a matter of the law. It's not in our deal. In their cases, the authorities were called. That's the way it goes. It goes through that system. Is there anything else I can help you with that way? It was all documented in the story, the police were called in their issues."

She brought up the idea that you prefer to keep everything in house instead of going outside...
    "You prefer they don't have the things that caused them issues. They have got to work on their relationship. These are young people, I think they knew each other about two months, three months before they were married, something like that. That's going to be tough."

When something like that comes up, how big of a distraction is it to your weekly, normal protocol?
    "Not my protocol. This didn't happen during a game, during a game week. This was an offseason thing, and unfortunately Robert is no longer in the NFL."

You or the team never told them not to contact the police?
    "The police were called and contacted before anything ever got to that point, so I don't know where her rationale comes from on that. What they were asked to do was to work on the relationship. We offered counseling to them, and many times where they missed the appointments, and it got to where the counselors would not longer take their appointments (due to previous missed appointments). Really, from Mercedes' standpoint, she ought to be more truthful in what she is talking about."

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