Dalton News Conference Transcript 10/15

Andy Dalton News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
October 15, 2014

With Robert Mathis out, their approach is a little different. Are they blitzing from everywhere?
    "Yeah, they do a good job in their blitz package. They've got a bunch of guys with sacks. It's because they play really hard up front. They've got high-motor guys that keep coming, and so that's why they've got 17 sacks."

They're the best in the league in third down. Are they just getting teams in third-and-long?
    "That's part of it. And they've done a good job of making guys drop underneath, making tackles. Certain things that make that percentage so good for them. It's an area where we were better last week than we had been in the last couple of games. We've got to keep doing that, keep trying find ways to move the chains, and keep drives alive, especially against this team. They can score, and they can score quickly, so you've got to keep the ball in your possession and keep drives going."

How different is Hue Jackson's game plan from one week to the next?
    "Obviously there's going to be change week to week because each team does stuff differently. I think that's what you've got to do. You've got to adapt to what defenses you're going to be facing. So there's definitely similarities in games plan, and there are some things that are different. We've done a good job at mixing things up."

Do you get excited to go over the game plan every week to see what Hue has cooked up?
    "Yeah, it's something Hue does a good job of -- trying to find a way to get our guys matched up. Each week we come in, we see the certain things we've got in, and we feel we've got a good plan."

Can you predict what he's going to do, or do you just not try and guess anymore?
    "There's definitely some things where you see the looks, and you see there's possibilities of certain stuff, but he's got his stuff that he's throwing in there."

You guys brought in Greg Little. How quickly can you get into a rhythm with a new guy?
    "If he comes in and takes the coaching, and picks up on how we're doing things, and how we run routes, and all that kind of stuff, I think you can build it pretty quickly. I haven't had a chance to throw with him yet. We just had a walk-through so far. He's a guy that's eager, and he wants to have all the attention to detail, so hopefully we can get on the same page pretty quickly."

Do you relish the chance to go up against Andrew Luck in his house?
    "It's always fun to play quarterbacks like that. He's really good. I've known Andrew for a long time -- shoot, even back from high school. It's fun to go against him. When you're playing guys like that, I don't usually sit on the bench. I like to watch what they're going to do offensively and certain things. It's going to be a good task for us this week."

He's been growing that facial hair for a while now...
    "He's been known for that neck beard that he's rocking (Laughs). It's worked for him."

Did you play against him in high school?
    "I didn't play against him, no. He went to the same school that my cousins went to. He was a sophomore or a freshman my senior year, so I knew about him."

You're playing back-to-back against No. 1 overall picks in Cam Newton and now Luck. Did you get a chance to talk to Cam after the game?
    "Yeah, we just talked just a little bit. Cam played well. I follow the guys that were in my class. I follow him quite a bit. He played a good game."

Are you getting pretty good feedback from other top-tier quarterbacks?
    "Yeah, it's usually a quick conversation. You don't usually sit around and talk for a while. But I have gotten some good feedback."

You've been missing some starters on offense but still performing well. What do you attribute that to?
    "I think it's the next guy steps up. We've got a good scheme in place. We feel like we've got depth, so it's just trusting guys to go make plays. That's what happened Sunday. We've got to rely on these guys because they're the guys out there. So regardless if A.J.'s not out there, Tyler (Eifert), Marvin (Jones) … whoever isn't out there, we have to have the next guy step up and make these plays."

Is it more interchangeable than in the past with guys lining up in different places?
    "Guys have a good understanding of the offense and playing different spots, so guys are able to move around, and guys are able to shuffle in, and I feel comfortable with everybody that's been out there."

James Wright caught his first pass in overtime in a clutch situation. Do you have any hesitation to throw to someone who hasn't caught a pass in two years?
    "James is a guy that's just been waiting for his opportunity. Just the way that we saw him practice starting in OTAs to training camp until now, he's got a lot of talent. How he didn't catch a ball last year in college, that blows my mind. At that point in the game, he came in and made a big catch and got a big first down. That just comes from the confidence and working with him. Like I said, he's just waiting for his opportunity."

The defense struggled to be in the right spots, but it seems on offense, everyone was where they were supposed to be and playing with confidence ...
    "That's the thing we stress is guys getting in the right spots, and guys making the tough catches. You've got guys doing all the right things, it makes it easier on me, and that's how the quarterback gets into a rhythm, and gets comfortable, and is able to have a high-completion day."

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