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Dalton, Lewis News Conference Transcripts

Andy Dalton News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
October 29, 2014

Does Jacksonville's defense remind you of Seattle, with Gus Bradley having been their defensive coordinator?
    "There's definitely a lot of similarities to what Seattle does. They fly around. They've got guys with a lot of speed. They do a good job of chasing the ball, getting there and making plays."

Their defensive front has two guys from Seattle in Chris Clemons and Red Bryant. Is that the strength of their defense?
    "Yeah, up-front they're really good. With the speed, and the way they rush the passer, and the things that they do. We've got to be ready for that stuff. We've got to know the type of team we're playing, and we've got a good plan in so we'll be prepared."

They put eight guys in the box a lot, similar to what Indianapolis did. They have 25 sacks on the year. Do you think they're a lot like Indianapolis?
    "There's some similarities. But there's a different style with the way that they do it. They do put eight in the box a lot, making sure they get safeties down to stop the run and different things. You've got to find ways to hit runs, and the running backs are going to have to make guys miss, because there's going to be an extra guy in the box."

They've been stingier on defense lately. What's the difference?
    "They've been playing better recently. You look at the record, and it doesn't show what they are on tape. They're flying around, making plays. But we're not really worried about what they're doing, it's more what we're going to do, the execution of everything, and if we do that, we'll put ourselves in good spots."

Have you noticed an improvement in their secondary?
    "Yeah, they've got some young guys back there, so they're getting more confidence with the more they're playing. You can see it on tape."

Do you have empathy for a guy like Blake Bortles that has been thrown in there right away to play? He's thrown some pick sixes and struggled a bit...
    "You've got to find ways to take care of the ball. That's the best thing you can do to help your team win. Being thrown in right away, there's some learning that you've got to do. He's still getting used to the speed, he's getting used to the way defenses are going to be playing him. I understand what he's going through."

What's the biggest challenge for a rookie QB?
    "I think it's understanding--whether it be the protections or the scheme--what defenses are doing. You adjust to the speed of the game pretty quickly just because you get used to guys running routes and all of that stuff. It's the understanding of how defenses are attacking you and ways to stop it."

Are there any advantages for a rookie because they haven't been seen much?
    "Obviously people are trying to figure out who he is, and what he's good at and different things. So from that standpoint, he has what, only seven or eight games to look at? But I think he's going to learn just with the experience of playing."

Is one of the toughest things when defenders fall off in coverage and are someplace unexpected, just getting a feel for that?
    "Yeah, like I said, it's understanding the way defenses are playing and how quickly guys react to stuff. You're playing against guys that are bigger, stronger, faster and understand the game more than you did in college. So it's just finding that timing, and finding when you can do things and when you can't."

The AFC North is very close. Does it sink in how big that win was Sunday?
    "Yeah, it is big. We knew that we had to come out and get a win, so if we did that, it put us in a really good position. Our division's really good. They've been playing well. That's why you've got to be at your best every week."

You guys have been pretty good at avoiding the "trap games." What is the biggest reason why?
    "It's just the focus that you take. We're going to do things the same way we did them last week. Just keep that same mindset that we've got to come out and win the game. Still, our goal is to be undefeated at home, and we've got to keep that. It's another home game, and we've got to be playing at our best."

How important would it be to get A.J. Green back?
    "It would be great. Everybody knows what A.J. can do and the player he is. As a quarterback, you love having him out there. I think the biggest thing is for him to get out there and be full-go. So whenever that time is, that's when he'll be out there."

You participated in the Layups for Lauren Hill challenge. Can you talk about that?
    "It's something that I saw on Twitter, that they challenged me, Whit and some other people. So Whit and I wanted to get that done pretty quickly. It's a crazy situation that she's in. I'm glad a lot of people have caught on and understand what she's going through. There's a lot of excitement about the game on Sunday. I wish that we could be there, wish the game wasn't at the same time that we're playing. But I'm glad there's been a lot of support for her, because it's such an unfortunate situation, but they're really making the most of it."

Why did you challenge UK and have you heard from them?
    "I haven't heard from them, but we figured we'd go with local basketball teams, and Whit challenged the basketball teams here, and I just went down to UK. There's a lot of people, they can get a lot of publicity from it, so I felt if we could challenge them, and they could get the notoriety out."

You guys scored a TD on the opening drive last week. How much of a carryover is that for the rest of the game?
    "You want to start fast. If you can get that early lead, you've put yourselves in a good position. We've got to find ways to keep doing that."

Do you think it sets a tone when you score on the opening drive?
    "Yeah, right from the start you want to set the tone, you want to drive down and score. We were able to do that on Sunday, and we've got to keep that up."
You guys were good in the red zone last week compared to earlier in the season. What has been the difference?
    "It's been a point of emphasis when we get down there to score touchdowns. So guys made plays. We were able to drive the ball down there and keep it going. The run game was great. Even on that last drive, the last four were run plays. It's just getting down there, and moving the ball, and giving yourself a chance to get into the end zone."

Baltimore had the best red zone defense, and you knocked them out of first. Now the  Jaguars have best red zone defense this week. Do you need to be able to run the ball down there?
    "I think when you get down there it's finding lanes and guys making plays. That's basically what it comes down to. It's either making guys miss or making a contested catch, whatever it might be."

Marvin Lewis News Conference

Initial comments...
    "This morning Vontaze Burfict had a scope (arthroscopic surgery) on his knee. He had a little rock in there we had to get cleaned out from the play the other day, when his foot got trapped. The guy came in to block him he kind of trapped his leg. We thought initially it was a bruise to the knee, but when they did further studies Monday morning, they found this out, and he had that removed this morning. He'll be out for this week and likely Thursday night (Nov. 6 vs. Cleveland), and it's just a matter of his recovery after that. I've had it done a couple times, and everybody tells you it's like getting a rock out of your shoe. That's really our only update of things."

Does he have a shot to be back for New Orleans?
    "I think he has got a shot. Again, it's up to the recovery and so forth."

How tough was it for him to play in the game?
    "What you're talking about is something that can float in there, but the problem is if it locks in the joint, then your leg locks. Also the fact that if you leave it in there, and you continue to try to play, which is what his initial thought was, you can do some further damage, so you don't want to do that. When the adrenaline is going, unless it's in the joint. it's fine. The problem is you don't want it to get stuck in the joint and cause an issue. That's why the best thing to do is bite the bullet right now, and have it removed, and get him back to rehab it and be healthy for the rest of the way."

Did you have to talk him into that?
    "A little bit. I don't think he's ever had a surgery. I think that was more of it. Nobody wants to volunteer to get put to sleep and have somebody cut on them. It was done this morning successfully, and everybody feels good about it.

Comments on the Jaguars …
    "This is a football team, as I said Monday, that is playing better than their record indicates. Over the last four weeks, they've played close football games, winning one of the four. They've been in these games throughout the season, but particularly the last four weeks they've played pretty well. They've had some error that's causing them to lose, which gets you beat all the time.
"The quarterback, Blake Bortles, is a young player, a very talented, gifted player. He's done a great job with the Michigan kid (Denard Robinson) as a runner, really utilizing him and his skill set and doing a nice job once (Toby) Gerhart got injured. Their receivers, the kid from Penn State (Allen) Robinson, (Cecil) Shorts has been there, then they take the (Marquise) Lee kid from USC last year, and they're using him on special things. They're getting a lot of production from the tight end lately, Clay Harbor. These guys are doing good things on offense. They've got a young offensive line, obviously with (Luke Joeckel), they've got some guys that have been picked up there.
"Defensively, they've kind of morphed into the Seahawks and their style of defense. You bring (Chris) Clemons over, you've got Red Bryant, so you've got two very good players. They've got a guy No. 59 inside, (Ryan) Davis, who is doing a great job as an inside rusher when they get people into third-down situations. The secondary, Demetrius (McCray) is doing a nice job. They've got a lot of young guys, (Jonathan) Cyprien who was a good player coming out a year ago. It's a team that has a lot of good athleticism. They've got good speed on defense, explosiveness on defense, and they have two semi-experienced specialists. We're going to have to play very good football. It's at home, good for us, but we have to have a really good week of preparation here."

The other day you said you didn't know their record; is that the attitude you need to make sure your team knows they can't focus on the record of a team that's been struggling?
     "This is the NFL, and it's such a fine line between winning and losing, and we have to always understand that. We have to take care of our business, and just continue to do that and go do our thing."

The difference for them in the secondary lately, is it just a matter of young guys settling down a little bit?
     "It's not my place to speak for them. They've got some ability there. They're trying to make the quarterback hold on to that football until the rush gets him. They've got 25 sacks already. That is a lot of sacks."

When you have played rookie quarterbacks it's been kind of a mixed bag. Is it an advantage for them because you've never seen the guy play, and is it a disadvantage because the guy's a rookie?
     "I don't know how I'm supposed to answer that. We have to go defend the offense, and the quarterback is part of the offense, and obviously we have to make him work and earn throws. I think in pass defense all the time, the number one goal is to dictate where the ball goes, and that's our first responsibility in pass defense. Have coverage good enough to allow the rush to get there, have rush good enough to not let the ball get to where it shouldn't go. I think the two have to work hand in hand."

How have you felt about how your linebackers have responded to playing a good majority of the season with a lot of different pieces together? Has that been kind of a learning experience for a lot of people in that room?
     "It just speaks to why we call them linebackers. You've got to be somewhat interchangeable, and you've got to have skills to play the three spots, and the two third-down spots. That's why we refer to them the way we do. When we begin training camp, and begin the offseason program, and I'm constantly telling the coaches the next guy there, and let's make sure we get him snaps at those things, and that's why we do it, so when things like this occur you're ready to slide, move, adjust, step in and get going."

What did the Jaguars do well against Cleveland that they maybe didn't do against other teams?
     "I don't know that they didn't do it every week. I think against Cleveland, they did have some turnovers early, but they settled down and didn't turn the ball over. They continued to make plays running the football. There was a really big play in the game where there was a penalty that kept a drive alive that was kind of a nondescript holding call, and then they just kept the drive alive, and scored and got the lead in the game. They played from a lead, and did a great job of closing the game out, which was big. They had a 17-0 lead on Philadelphia the first game of the year, and eventually wound up losing the game. They closed this one out when they got the lead on Cleveland."

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