Andy Dalton News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
September 23, 2015
You're playing a divisional opponent that was rated high but is 0-2. Does that make it a little bit tougher, considering they'll be coming in with venom to win their first game?
"Yeah, right now their backs are against the wall, we understand that. Their record doesn't show what kind of team they are. They're a good team, it just hasn't worked out for them the first two weeks. We know what we're going up against. You can't look at the record and take them lightly, they're still a really good team."
I know you have to be respectful of their next man up, but how different do they look and how much more can you potentially do without Terrell Suggs in the game?
"It's obviously hurt them, because Suggs is such a good player. Not just for their team but one of the best ends in the NFL. Anytime you lose a player like that, it's a tough loss. There are different things that they've done to try to pick up from losing him. We just have to be ready for all of it."
They lose Suggs to injury, they lose Pernell McPhee to free agency, they trade Haloti Ngata to Detroit. They look a lot different, don't they?
"Yeah, they have different guys in there. They obviously still have a similar style, it's just some different faces."
Where do you see the strength in their defense now?
"I still think it's up front. Obviously, (Elvis) Dumervil is such a good pass rusher. (C.J.) Mosley is a really good linebacker. Their front is a big part of what they do and we've got to be ready for all of it."
Usually when you start a season 2-0, it's a sign of good things down the road …
"It's big, but we can't get caught up in anything. We just have to keep doing what got us here, and that's putting in a lot of work, the preparation that goes into it. It's still early on in the season. We've put ourselves in a good position for the first two games. We're striving to be 3-0 after this week."
Why is it so tough to win in Baltimore?
"Mostly it's that you're playing a good team. And any time you go to these away stadiums and you can get a win, that's huge. You're not just going up against a division opponent, you're going up against a really good team. They've got the crowd on their side and everything. You have to do whatever you can to combat it."
You have recent success against them, three in a row. You've never beaten them four in a row. Does it give you confidence?
"We do have confidence. We have confidence in what we've been doing, we just have to stay the course and keep doing what we've been doing."
How important is it to have excellent communication on both sides of the ball, especially playing in Baltimore?
"It's big. Any time you're at an away stadium and there is crowd noise, there is definitely that extra amount of communication. It's the little things that help you out, and it's going to be big for us."
Obviously, Jeremy Hill had a rough time last week. Do you feel like he needs some confidence going into this game?
"Jeremy is going to be fine. It's unfortunate that he had the two fumbles, but he's going to be all right. Stuff like that's going to happen, it's just the nature of this game, but he's in a good spot."
You've been tested early. How much better does that make you guys, and how good is that to see guys step up?
"It's been big. Finding different ways to pick each other up. Tough start that Jeremy had, and Gio came in and picked the team up and picked the offense up and got the guys rolling. Same thing, even after the turnovers, the defense stopped them. There's different things that have gone on and that's why it's a team sport."
When you put in a play like that pass to Jake Fisher, what's going through your mind?
"You're hoping to get the look that you thought you were going to get, and then hit it. It was a great design, great play. Could have been a little bit of a better finish (laughs, Dalton had joked Sunday that Fisher should have made the tackler miss instead of setting for a 31-yard gain). Good execution."
Does that mean you're not going back to him?
"Well, it was still a 30 yard gain or whatever it was. I'll take it."
Is this offense better when Gio does get more snaps at running back?
"We have two explosive guys. It's hard to know who's going to get more carries and who's going to get more touches. Both of those guys have to be ready, and we have the luxury of them having different styles and both being really good players."
San Diego ran a 3-4 up front with a lot of sophisticated blitz packages. Is there any carryover, or is it totally two different styles of defense with the Ravens in the 3-4?
"There are some similarities with the 3-4 style of defense that you can carry over. But they're two different teams."
It seems like this team has had missing parts somewhere down the line that last couple seasons, but going into this game, it seems like its all there. Is it tougher to adapt to the missing part, or is it tougher to have so many weapons that you have to throw to at one time?
"It's obviously better to have more weapons. It's tough when you don't have your guys. We feel like we're in a good spot right now."
They haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher the last 28 games, I believe. What kind of added pressure does that put on you as the passer in this offense?
"I wouldn't say it's any added pressure. I would just say that when we get chances to hit big runs, we have to hit them. We've run the ball, and if you can do that successfully it will bring extra guys in the box and open up some lanes in the passing game. I wouldn't say it's any added pressure."
They've never been 0-3 in their 19 years in Baltimore. Does that mean anything to you guys, to be the team that could put them in a big hole early in the season?
"It's the next one on the schedule, it's a division game. Their is a lot that puts importance on this game and we understand that. You just try to win every week."