Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski took four snaps with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com this week in a series of questions as he prepared for Sunday's game in Tennessee.
GH: How did rookie center Eric Ghiaciuc play Sunday night in Jacksonville and how much responsibility did he have for the calls?* *
BB:** We thought he did a pretty good job. We didn't have any false starts in the offensive line. We had false starts out by the receivers. He snapped the ball when he should. He played real well is what we would say. He had the normal responsibilities that a center handles. He had a little bit of help from the other guys, but he did a good job.
GH: How do you address the penalty problems?**
BB: We've got to continue to harp in their heads. We watch them and monitor them during the practices and we don't have that problem. When we get in the heat of the battle, some as a result that we're playing with some guys outside that haven't had a lot of playing time. They need to grow up and mature. They've had their time now to play in games. When the lights go on, don't flinch. Get lined up right. It doesn't happen in practice, so that means when the lights come on, we're not playing with the same close attention to detail as we are in practice. **
GH: Chad Johnson is getting double teamed every week. What can you do to get him open and how do you deal with his many emotions when he goes public with his frustrations about not getting the ball enough?* *
B:** We moved Chad to three different positions last week. Weak side receiver, inside receiver, and strong receiver. They had somewhat of a plan to handle him in any situation we put him in. What that means is he's going to have to maximize the opportunity he gets when he gets one-on-one matchups. He's got to win and he's got to make it work.
He's also got to understand you're not going to have a lot of 12-to-15 catch games when you're getting doubled everywhere you go. It's going to be hard. The other guys have to pick it up. When they do those things to him, those guys are going to get singled up and get the better look.
We work every week to try and get Chad the ball as creatively as we can, but we can't stand there all day just trying to get him the ball and waste opportunities when you have the other guys being singled up.
He gets frustrated. We get frustrated. We're all frustrated of the events of the other night. A lot of that is the frustration of losing the game. If we had we won, I don't think you would have heard a word from him. But you've got a competitive player and when you don't win the game, their natural reaction is, 'If I had the ball in my hands more, we would have won.' That's where it is basically coming from. As long as it's in that regard, I have no problem with it. When it becomes selfish, then I have a problem with it. I don't think he's been selfish. **
GH: How do you see Carson's development, what was your take on his last-play fumble Sunday night, and what do you have to improve on as a unit after the Jacksonville game?* *
BB:** He's improving all the time. You see it in the numbers. His touchdown to interception ratio (11-2) is real strong. His passer rating (111.4) has been very good. He sees something every week that I think makes him better the next week. That's what you're looking for in a guy. He may get fooled by something or may make a poor decision, but the next time that situation comes up, he improves on it and makes the right decision and doesn't get fooled and he's doing that to this point.
What happened (on Sunday's last play) is never one person's fault. There was a block in front of him that didn't get executed all that well, he had to step up in the pocket, and he didn't keep both hands on the ball, but he was also trying to make a play. That stuff happens to any quarterback in the league, whether you're Brett Favre or Kyle Orton.
We have to quit shooting ourselves in the foot. Penalties. One time we had a protection break down where we should have been able to throw the ball to Chad out on the sideline, and we had the protection problem. It was a day one install of the protection. It shouldn't have happened. We have to eliminate the mistakes.