HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS, QB ANDY DALTON AND LB DONTAY MOCHInitial comments:ML: "We're excited to have these guys here for a brief bit today. It's good for them to come in and meet you and answer your questions in person, rather than on the phone. We appreciate them getting up early and taking the time to do this and be here this morning before the draft gets underway. In the back, we have Andy's (Dalton) fiancée, Jordan. As we said yesterday, we're very fortunate to have been able to pick both of these players. We're excited to have them here in Cincinnati. As soon as we can get underway with football, we'll get underway with football and get going. They really fill some needs for us. The upsides of both players really fit us well and we're excited to have the opportunity to coach them and help them become better players and us a better team. We'll let Andy (Dalton) say what he wants, then we'll let Dontay (Moch) speak."
AD: "I'm excited for this opportunity. I feel extremely blessed and am glad the coaching staff has faith in me. I'm just ready to get in and get to work. I know with the whole lockout situation you don't know what's going to happen, but once the chance comes, I'll be ready to get in and get going."
DM: "First off, I'm just honored to be here. I'm blessed with an opportunity to be here and contribute to the Bengals. Whatever I need to contribute, I'll get it done."
What was it like for you when you received the call from the Bengals saying you had been drafted?AD: "I was so excited when I got the call. Coach Lewis said, 'Are you ready to be a Bengal?' and I said, 'Yes, sir.' I was so pumped. I've been around the staff a lot, probably five times before the draft, so I have a good feel for the coaching staff. Right when I got the call I was pumped and excited to get here."
DM: "It was exciting to see the number come up and not recognize it, I knew it wasn't someone calling me to find out some basic information. It was Coach Lewis on the line. I believe he asked if I was 'ready to be a Bengal' and I was speechless at the time. I'm pretty sure I said 'Sir, yes.' It was a great feeling for me. It was emotional. It felt like my heart was out of my chest. It's great to be blessed with this opportunity."
Andy, you brought up the current lockout situation. How can you best prepare yourself for that moment when they call you and tell you to get in here?AD: "I just have to keep working and try to contact some of the players that are already here. I'll keep working out, keep throwing and get ready for once the time comes when we can come in so I won't miss a beat once we step on the field."
If the opportunity presents itself, would you go out and start throwing to some of the guys who are already here?AD: "Yeah. I'd have to figure out where guys are and what they're doing. It's definitely an option."
You've had a whirlwind month. What has it been like?AD: "It has been a lot. The past month I've had 11 or 12 workouts and six visits. It seems like I got into a routine where I was gone Monday through Thursday and had workouts on Friday or the weekend. It has definitely been a process. I'm glad it's finally over and happy to be here in Cincinnati."
Dontay, you have a great size-speed ratio. Have you met the special teams coach, Darren Simmons?DM: "No, not yet. We'll definitely cross paths soon."
Have you had the chance to meet with any of the coaches yet?DM: "Briefly. I've been told I'll be placed in an opportunity to go out there, given the linebacker depth. I'm going to contribute mostly on special teams and however I can."
What do you like about playing special teams?DM: "You can win games with special teams. If that's where you go to contribute, then that's where you have to go to get the job done. You shouldn't lack in that area because it can make a big difference."
Andy, within the division you'll be playing against (Cleveland Browns Quarterback) Colt McCoy twice per year. He has the most division one wins in college football history, and you rank number two. What does it take to be a winner?AD: "I need to keep doing what I've been doing my whole life – working hard, getting around guys and gaining their trust and coming in and working to prepare myself to be the best. I'm a perfectionist when I'm on the field. I don't want any balls to hit the ground in practice. That's what pushes me and drives me. I'm going to do what it takes to prepare so that once I get the opportunity, I'll be able to go out and succeed."
What are your biggest strengths as a quarterback?AD: "I think I'm very accurate with the ball. That has to do with all the time and work that I've put into it. I can push guys and I know what pushes guys to get them to respond to what I'm saying and what I'm doing. I'm hoping to carry that in to this organization."
Dontay, do you feel comfortable transitioning to more of a stand-up linebacker?DM: "Definitely. It's a transition that has to be made. At Nevada, I played both with my hand in the dirt and on my feet, so I'll have to get comfortable with seeing everything rather than what's directly in front of me."
Andy, Coach Lewis mentioned you may be one of the most NFL-ready quarterbacks in the draft. How do you prepare yourself to be a starting quarterback in the NFL?AD: "I just need to put the time in and continue working hard. If I don't know something, I'll keep asking questions until I know it. I'll watch film and do all the different things that it takes. I'm going to prepare like I'll be the starter and if, come week one I'm not, I'll keep preparing that way and look forward to the opportunity."
How do you prepare to be the starter?AD: "You come in and work with guys. You have to know their style and personality. You have to get in and watch film and learn the offense. You have to have the trust of everyone around you so that they know you're going to put everyone in the best situation to do the right thing. That's just the start of what it's going to take."
Jay Gruden has said that at the Combine, he asked you to throw a few balls into the dirt so no one else would pick you. Did you feel a connection with him early on?AD:"I did. Once he said that, I knew he kind of liked me. He told me to throw a couple in the dirt so no one else would look at me. We had that connection from the start. It feels good to be comfortable with him."
Did you think that Buffalo was going to take you with pick 34?AD: "I wasn't sure at the time because on television it said that the Buffalo's pick was in and then I got the call from Coach Lewis. I didn't recognize the area code so I thought that it may be Buffalo. When I answered, Coach Lewis said, 'Andy, are you ready to be a Bengal?'. I was very excited.
What do you know about the current quarterback situation here?AD: "Obviously, everyone knows about the current situation with Carson Palmer. As far as I know, it's open (competition). We're trying to figure out who will be the guy, and I'm looking forward to it."
Who have you watched over the years and patterned your game after?AD: "Growing up and watching the NFL, I saw what Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have done. They seem to have full control over their team. You see how well it's worked out for them. Recently, I watched Aaron Rodgers even before he won the Super Bowl. He's a guy who took advantage of his opportunity when it was his time. I think those are three guys that I've watched and studied. Hopefully I can take something from each of their games."
DM: "There are many guys who've had an impact on my career. Guys like Dwight Freeney and Jevon Kearse. I idolized Kearse when I first started playing defensive end in high school. From Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis, I try to take away their emotion and demeanor. I take a little bit from every athlete because everyone has something to contribute."
What did you guys study in school?AD: "I was a marketing major and had a minor in communications."
DM: "I was a criminal justice major with a minor in family studies."
TCU has been sort of an underdog team. Do you see yourself as an underdog?AD: "I kind of had that attitude about myself. That was the attitude that TCU had. That pushed us to work even harder. Playing the Mountain West Conference we knew we had to be perfect to have a chance to play in a BCS bowl. So I pushed myself to be perfect in everything that I'm doing."
What are your thoughts on first round pick A.J. Green?AD: "AJ is a great player and I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with him. Hopefully we can hook up pretty soon and get to work."
Is there any reason why you've been able to step in big situations like the Rose Bowl?AD: "I had a lot of confidence in that game. I felt like I knew what we were going to get so I didn't have any nerves for that game. I was going out and playing football which made it fun. It came down the wire and we had to bat down a two-point conversion to win. That's definitely a game that will always stay with me, especially with how we ended up in the Rose Bowl. It will always stay with me."
How do you explain your better play against tougher opponents?AD: "I think I get up for the big games. As a team, we all responded well and we know what it takes to win those kind of big games. It wasn't something that I was doing alone but it was a team thing. I had confidence going into those games and I knew that if I play like I'm capable of, things would turn out well for us."
What is the best official 40-yard dash time you've ever put up?DM: "The best official time I put up myself would be a 4.2. I've also been clocked at a 4.18 on my junior pro day for NFL scouts. It was a turf field. They had me run three times in a row and my slowest time was a 4.2 and the fast was a 4.08. It was a 4.18, 4.08 and then a 4.2."
Did you have the fastest 40-yard dash time for linebackers at the NFL combine?DM: "I had the fastest time among linebackers and defensive linemen. I'm not sure in regards to the fastest ever, but they did say I was ranked among the top."
You had a shuttle time that was faster than many of the running backs…DM: "Once again, I try to shock and amaze people. That's what I want to do with my career."
After the private workout with Coach Fitzgerald, did you have a feeling they were keeping an eye on you?DM: "Most definitely. I felt a connection with him from the start. We even had a few jokes back and forth. I felt like I could bond with him initially and we had a great vibe going back and forth. He saw what he needed to see."
You guys had a big win over Boise State this year:DM: "Yes sir. That was a great game and a great win. It was a phenomenal game."
You've been around some pretty good quarterbacks:
DM: "We're going to build on it and get better and better. With Andy and I coming in together, along with A.J. Green, we're going to make things happen."
Are you excited to work with Ken Zampese?AD: "I've been around him as much as I've been around Jay Gruden. It s a great atmosphere and everyone gets along well. They make it fun and they care a lot. I think that's what you need to have to be successful."