Andy Dalton News Conference
November 18, 2015
Paul Brown Stadium
Is there any more motivation with the matchup against Carson (Palmer) this week?
"It's not any more motivation. We're facing a good team, and we're not just facing Carson. They have a really good defense and a really good offense. We know what we're going up against. The story this week, of course, is going to talk about Carson playing the Bengals. But, we're not just facing Carson."
You are facing a good Cardinals defense. What are your thoughts on that?
"Yeah, they're good all over the field. They play tight coverage. They run to the ball. They have speed and athleticism. We have to come to play, and match their level of play. When we get chances, we have to hit them."
Seattle gets a lot of attention for their secondary, but Arizona's secondary has 14 interceptions. What have you seen in that group?
"They've done a good job. They've been tight in coverage, and when the ball is in the air, balls have been tipped, and they've been able to make plays on it. That's one of the first things that I saw. The balls getting tipped in the air, and they rally around it to make play. Like I said, they're a good defense."
What challenges does that present for a quarterback and how tough is that to control?
"You can control it to a certain extent with accuracy, and putting the ball in the right spot. Our guys have to make tough, contested catches. You can control from the standpoint of knowing when to throw it in there, and when you do throw it, put it in the right spot."
They've got a safety-type player at inside linebacker, (Deone) Bucannon. You will get a different look with his speed. Do you look at him any differently when you prepare?
"Going in, you know what type of guy he is. He's a guy who is really athletic, even when he hits it on blitzes. He obviously covers really well, being a safety-type player. He does a lot of good things when they put his athleticism on the field."
They have 15 sacks, by 11 different guys. There defensive mentality seems to be aggressiveness. Are they bring them from everywhere?
"Yeah, they do a good job in their blitzes. A lot of five-man rush, trying to get to the quarterback. It's not just one guy doing it, there is a bunch of different guys that have sacks. We have to be ready, good in our protection plan, and we'll be fine."
Anything you can point your finger to on the last two-and-half games, as to why the offense hasn't clicked as much?
"We have to better on first down, to make it easier on third down. We had some penalties that set us back, making it tough for us to convert. We can't have the negative plays. I think that is a big part of it, and Houston had a good plan against us. We have to play better than we've played, especially this past week. Even with everything that went on, we still had a chance to win at the end. Unfortunately, we didn't get it done."
Do you expect to see what the Texans did and see a little more of that type of philosophy?
"We could. You have to be ready for that. Obviously every coordinator and defense has their own personality."
You ran the ball on some design plays Monday night. Do you like doing that?
"Yeah, I don't mind it. I'm not going to run the ball 20 times a game. I think there is a good mix, where you can pick up some yardage."
You were the leading rusher at halftime. Is that a reflection of the run game in general, and that it's not where you want it to be right now?
"I think there were some things that we did well in the run game. But, there were also chances for me to run. There were some possibilities where I was able to keep the ball, whether it be a run play or a scramble out of the pass game. Obviously we don't want me to be the leading rusher, but sometimes things happen that way.
When Tyler (Eifert) was struggling like he was, do you say anything to him or do you just let him work through it himself?
"It's one of those things. I don't think Tyler is going to have three drops in a game again. He's so good, and sometimes it's going to happen that way. You can't be on every night, you try to be, but we've moved on from it. He's just fine and he will be all right."
Did you burn those footballs that he dropped?
"No, I don't know where those are (laughs)."
What have you learned from the last couple days, with the postgame comments from Monday about J.J. Watt playing all over the world. Where are you with that?
"What I did wrong was that I responded to what somebody (in the media) said to me about it. I never even heard (Watt's) interview, so I don't even know the context of what was said. I don't know what he said before or what he said after.
"For my part, I shouldn't have reacted how I did without hearing what he said. I was responding to what someone told me he said. From that standpoint, my reaction wasn't warranted. I still haven't seen it, I'm not going to watch, I don't care. I have no ill-will towards J.J. (Watt). There is no feud between me and him. We lost the game, he said what he said, and we are moving on. It's in the past now."
Patrick Peterson had some health issues last year. What have you seen in him in 2015?
"You can tell the speed that he has. I was watching it Sunday night, and they showed his two picks, and they said he lost a lot of weight and all that kind of stuff. He's running really well. He's always been a really good player. I guess health stuff is what it is, but he's playing well."
You don't shy away from anyone. Even if there is a good corner, that doesn't seem to bother you or A.J. (Green) …
"Usually their best corner follows A.J. We like A.J. matched up against whoever it is. We still like his chances to go make plays because he's one of the best in this league. Whoever follows him, it doesn't really matter. We trust A.J. to win."
We talked about how they flow to the football. Tyrann Mathieu does a lot of that. What does he present as a challenge?
"He's athletic, he has ball skills, he's a quick guy and can react to certain routes. He's got his hands on a lot of plays. He's a good player."
Do you embrace it even more, to bounce back from the loss, playing on primetime Sunday night against Arizona?
"It doesn't really matter who we're playing. Obviously, more people are going to watch this game and see what this team is about. Hopefully we will play the best game we've played so far. At the end of the day, the goal is to score more points than they do."
Is there any part of your game that you are focusing on from Monday night, so you can get back to how you've been playing most of the season?
"Yeah, sometimes you have to take what the defense gives you. There were a couple times I could have checked it down sooner than I did. I could have gone through my progressions a little quicker. Again, at the end we still had a chance."
Was the interception a case where you were trying to get something going?
"The look was right, I could have thrown a better ball, and obviously the play could have turned out different. I overthrew it, and it wasn't that I tried to get something going. It was there, I just missed it."
Do you have a mindset when you play an offense like Arizona, where you have to take advantage of every opportunity?
"Yeah, for sure. You know going into the game that they can score, and they can score quickly. You have to have that mindset, where any chance you get the ball you have to score, because you know they can on the other side."