Andy Dalton News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
September 9, 2015
How excited do you get, just all the nerves and everything, that goes into a season opener, especially on the road at Oakland?
"It's the fifth one for me, which is pretty cool. We're excited, this is where all the work we've put in will hopefully show up on Sunday. You got through the training camp, you through all the preseason and now it's time to get everything going. We're looking forward to it.""
There's so much talk in the offseason, sometimes you guys are criticized without even playing a game. Is it nice to go out there, put something on film and show everyone what you're all about this year?
"Yeah, it's a new year. Every year it's a new team, you've got different guys. This is a first chance to show what the 2015 Bengals are about. Like I said, we're looking forward to this opportunity. We're excited the season is going now, and we're hoping to put our best foot forward on Sunday."
What are your expectations for the 2015 Bengals?
"We have high expectations. Everybody's goal is the Super Bowl. You don't play this game not to have that as your goal. But it all starts one game at a time. You have to think that way. Our focus right now is Oakland."
Would you know what to do if you opened at home?
"No I wouldn't, it'd be weird. I was talking to several people, and even the year before I got here it was away. But it is what it is. That kind of how the schedule goes."
Do you sense something different on opening day?
"Yeah there's a lot. Fans are excited that the season's going. You usually get a really good crowd at these games. The fans are always into it. You feel that on opening day."
You've had a good record as a starting quarterback on the road your first few years in the league. What do you attribute that to?
"It's just that extra focus. You know you're going against a lot. You have to handle different things. Not just the team you're playing. You have to handle the crowd noise, the atmosphere, you've got to handle all that stuff. I think it comes down to the mentality that we've gone into games with, and it's that extra focus. Making sure guys are all on the same page with everything. We've been able to come out with some wins."
When you look at the Raiders defensively, what catches your eye?
"They're big and physical up front. That's one of the things you see right from the start. You turn on the tape, you see them run to the ball. They get guys around the ball and they play really hard. We've got a tough task ahead of us, but we know what we're going up against. We know the type of defense they're playing, the type of style that they are. We've got to match that effort."
How are you a better player than you were a year ago?
"I've got a lot of confidence in everything that we're doing. I feel like another year in Hue's system, another year with everybody, is going to help. From a leadership standpoint, everything that goes on, I feel like I'm in full control, and it's been great. I'm at a lot better place than I was last year, and that's how it should be. Every year you should grow and get better."
What's better this year than last year at this time?
"It's just the natural progression, the understanding of everything we're going to be doing. The understanding of everything we're going to be facing. The amount of stuff that coaches put on me to do, I can handle, because I've got a lot of experience. I've played in a lot of games, and I think it's all just part of it.
I think you'd have to say you had a better year, as far as touchdowns, a few years ago. With everybody back, Marvin (Jones) and (Tyler) Eifert, how does that make you better than you were last year?
"Those are two really good players. To not have those guys on the field and basically to not have those guys for a full season was tough. They're a big part of what we're going to do. It's two really good players that we're going to rely on a lot to make plays for us. I'm definitely happy to have those guys back.
In situations like that, when guys go down, other guys get the opportunity to evolve. It looks like Rex Burkhead has shown his capabilities, and everyone knows what he can do, providing another weapon you can throw to, correct?
"Yeah, We got to see what Rex can do. We put him in that position going into the playoff game, and he did some good things for us. He's really come on and been able to handle everything we've asked him to do and be just another part of our offense."
For the detractors, like those people who booed you at the celebrity softball game, what would you say to them?
"You hear a lot of the negative stuff, but there's still so much positive. Even since that happened, so many people coming up to me, and everything's been positive. The good thing is that the expectations for this team have changed, based on what we've accomplished. To make it to the playoffs four years in a row is not an easy thing to do. But that's obviously the expectation of this city, and the expectation of this organization.
"Like I've said several times, you can look at stuff that's negative or look at stuff that's positive. You can see what I have done. But I'm not worried about all that stuff, because there's so many people that have supported me and have supported this team. That's what it's about."
Do you read it, or hear, or just happen to stumble upon it?
"Well, I'm not going out looking for it (laughs). Stuff happens where I see it. I'm not naïve to the fact that the stuff is out there. But, again we don't need to be talking about the negative stuff. Yeah, there is negative stuff, but there's so many other positive things that have gone on that I'm not worried about it."
There's a football axiom that the quarterback gets too much credit when the team does well and too much blame when things go poorly. You've done a lot of positive but do you ever feel like you get no credit when it goes well and all the blame when it goes poorly?
"I'm not going to say that. It kind of is what it is. Until we accomplish what we've set out to do, and that's to win the Super Bowl, we won't consider our season a success. Again, it's all outside stuff. We're not worried about that here. We have one goal in mind, and right now that's the Oakland Raiders."
A lot of national writers aren't picking you guys to make the playoffs. Inside the locker room, is that motivating you guys and putting a chip on your shoulder?
"We don't look at that kind of stuff. Everybody starts off with a clean slate. Everybody's 0-0 right now. People are picking who's going to win the Super Bowl. Nobody has any idea who's going to win the Super Bowl this year. We're going to let our play show."
How much anticipation and excitement do you guys have to see what you're all about against the Raiders?
"Yeah, this is our first true test against an opponent. This is where all of the hard work is going to show up and all the time we've spent trying to put the best offense, best team together. Everybody is excited about what we have in front of us and we're looking forward to it."