BENGALS POSTGAME QUOTES
AUG. 16, 2014
PRESEASON GAME 2 — JETS AT BENGALS
Initial comments ...
"We hurt ourselves on offensive field positioning with the penalties and the kicking game, which also held true in the second half while on defense. I realize it is a lot of young guys, but the development of this team has been because of developing depth. We have to realize we are going to have players getting injured during the season and guys have to respond and be able to step up, and the standard of play cannot get lowered.
"I'm anxious to see the tapes. Offensively we were pretty crisp and we have to keep it up. When guys come in they have to be able to carry the torch when it is their turn. We are getting a lot of guys out there to play and getting some good evaluations."
You can't ask for much more than that out of your QB in a preseason game ...
"He is doing a good job. We've got to keep doing what we're doing."
How is Mohamed Sanu progressing in his time here?
"We always feel good about Mo. We have a good group of guys and I'm pleased with them."
Any updates on any of the guys who were injured tonight?
What is your overall impression of Andy Dalton tonight?
"He's on top of his game. He's throwing the football and understands what we want. Guys are doing a good job with him. He continues to play the way we think he should play all the time. It doesn't surprise me, because that's the way he practices all the time. He doesn't have to be flashy; he just needs to be accurate and handle the offense. He does his thing very well."
You lost, but how do you take this game from your perspective? Is it about what you did?
"Obviously, personally you want to play well. And you want to see how the team does when you're in there. But it's a team game. The preseason is about finding depth, finding guys that are going to help us win games, and you don't want to see a dropoff when the starters aren't in. It's tough from that perspective to get a loss, but to know how well the first unit played — there's some give and take there. As a team as a whole, you want to do whatever it takes to win the game. They're still keeping score, so you obviously want to win."
You got to make a variety of throws tonight. How good was it for you to do that, and not just have a bunch of the same types of passes?
"It was good. We got different guys involved. It's what this offense is capable of doing. We've got a lot of playmakers, a lot of guys that are explosive, so it's nice that we can spread the ball around and make big plays."
What makes WR Mohamed Sanu such a good option for you? What does he do well?
"He's had a really good camp. It's been a lot of fun to see Mo's progression in the offense throughout his career. He's a guy who is always in the right spot. He's got really strong hands, runs really good routes and just finds ways to get open. That's exactly what you want as a quarterback — a receiver like that. It showed tonight. He made a big play."
To this point in his career, he's been considered a possession receiver. Can he be more than that, and be a downfield threat for you as well?
"He can be. Obviously A.J. (Green) is going to get a lot of attention, and that's going to make the other guys get involved. I think you can see what he's able to do. He wasn't just a possession receiver tonight — he was downfield and made a big play on the touchdown. He's capable of doing a lot of different things."
People have talked a lot about you having more fun this year. Is that a conscious decision that you made, to try to have more fun through OTAs and training camp, or is that something that's happened naturally?
"We've got a really good group. I've had a lot of fun since being here because we've got a lot of really good guys on this team. When you're out making plays and doing things like we did tonight, it is a lot of fun. It's still the game that you played when you were little. I have a lot of fun playing the game."
The way you played tonight, it probably felt a lot like it did when you were little, right?
"Yeah. Obviously this is the kind of game you want to have, but you have to keep getting better."
When did it start becoming fun?
"It's always been fun. When you have a game like you did tonight, and you have teammates like I have, it's a lot of fun. It's not like it just started being fun; it's been fun since I've been here."
What do you like about this group of teammates?
"We're so close. That's why we're able to do certain things. Guys respect each other, guys trust each other. To be a really good offense and really good team, you need to have that continuity on the team. That's exactly what we have. We just have to keep building on it and keep having fun along the way."
The great offenses seem to always be very precise. Do you think you guys are getting there, from a precision standpoint and attention to detail?
"Yeah. Efficiency has been a key for me and for this offense. Whether it be a throw down the field or getting into check-downs, you want to get completions and keep the chains moving. So that's one thing that's been stressed and one thing we've done a really good job of so far."
Were you at all apprehensive about the reception you would get tonight, since you just signed the new contract and this is the first game back here since the playoff loss? Was this a good first step toward winning the fans over?
"Yeah. I've been here for a while now, and obviously I'm going to be here for a little while longer. It was fun. I think the fans were into it. We had several big plays tonight. Hopefully they keep coming and see what this team can do."
What did you think of the reception you got tonight from the fans?
"I thought it was great. It wasn't any different from the way it's been since I've been here. I got a lot of cheers going out there. Hopefully we'll keep getting cheers when we're scoring touchdowns."
You guys have talked a lot about check-down passes. It looked like you had a few tonight. Was the pass to A.J. Green a check-down?
"There's certain things where I've got a lot of control at the line of scrimmage — getting us into the right play, getting us into the right look. It's a big part of what we do. It allows us to really take advantage of certain looks we get."
You really got them to bite on the play action passes tonight ...
"Yeah. That's what happened on the touchdown. The safety and corner both bit on the action, and we were able to go over the top with it. Being able to run the ball helps that."
What did you think about the third-and-one touchdown? It seemed like they had stopped it a few times ...
"When you get in a situation like that and you're down there, it's about who wants it more and who is going to push more. We did a really good job of that. Like you said, it looked like we were stopped, but Gio (Giovani Bernard) kept moving his feet, and the line kept pushing and everybody got involved. That right there was the ultimate team touchdown. Everybody got involved in that one."
ANDY DALTON (NON-NEWS CONFERENCE)
You threw a perfect game today — perfect passer rating of 158.3. In the two games, you have a 144.4 rating with two touchdowns and no interceptions. You have to feel pretty good ...
"Yeah. I thought we came out (and) moved the ball well. We hit some big plays and that's what we want to do. The game plan coming in was to take a couple shots and we hit a couple big ones."
You hit Mohamed Sanu for a 43-yard touchdown tonight, and it's needed with the injury to receiver Marvin Jones ...
"Mo's done a great job. It's unfortunate Marvin's out, but Mo has stepped up and played really well. I've got a lot of confidence in him, and everybody knows what A.J. (Green) can do, but having another guy like that that's coming up and making big plays is exactly what we need."
Watching the offense in OTAs, it seemed to be running in precision — am I right on that observation?
"Yeah, you are right, and I think that's a big reason why we've done what we've done so far throughout the preseason. We just got to keep getting better. That's the biggest thing. Guys are competing, playing hard."
In the past, you may have taken some unfair criticism where receivers weren't always where you thought they were going to be. The way it looks now, you're throwing with such great anticipation, they have to be where you think they're going to be ...
"I think we've got a good system in (place). Guys understand where they need to be, I know where they're going to be, and the biggest thing is efficiency. We've done well throughout these first couple games, so we've just got to keep it going."
On your touchdown pass to Sanu, the pocket protection could not have been prettier ... To have your vision totally unobstructed, that's got to feel great ...
"They did a really good job up front. That's a play that takes a little while to develop, and I was able to step in and get everything I wanted into it. When we can do that, that's exactly how you want it to be."
How frustrating was it to see a 17-3 lead evaporate and the team struggle offensively?
"You don't want to see a huge drop off when the starters leave. You're still playing for a score and still playing to win, and it's unfortunate that we weren't able to do that tonight. But we're just trying to establish some depth and hopefully, guys step up and the play won't change when the starters aren't in."
What do you call that dance that you did when you scored your touchdown?
"It's a dance that went viral on Instagram. It's the Bobby Schmurda dance. That's the guy's name who did the dance."
You looked pretty good ... You're very smooth.
"Thank you — I try to be a smooth guy out there." (laughs)
You had a good game tonight including that 43-yard touchdown grab ... You've really stepped up and grabbed an opportunity with Marvin Jones being out ...
"You've got to. That's a rule of thumb in life: When you get an opportunity, you've got to make the best of it."
Your receiver corps is a very tight group. Marvin goes down with an unfortunate injury and you have so many guys that can play so many positions inside, outside — that versatility really helps you, doesn't it?
"It definitely does help us. When we've got a guy like Marvin Jones go down who's a big part of our group, we have to have guys who are versatile who know what to do in certain situations and fill that void for the time being. You got to be able to make plays."
How good is Andy Dalton throwing the football right now?
"Man, that guy's amazing. He's dropping dimes all over the place."
MARVIN LEWIS (NON-NEWS CONFERENCE)
Some of the numbers when it's the first team against the opponent's first team are quite impressive these first two preseason games — that has to be encouraging ...
"You know, the thing I said to our football team is that we've got to continue to develop depth. A year ago, every year, you lose guys to injury. Whether it be games, whether it be seasons, whatever it may be, you've got to continue to develop depth, and these young guys are getting a lot of exposure to playing. But we've got to seize the moment and respond. Or maybe we've got some of the wrong young guys. It's great for them to be getting this much exposure and playing this much football. And I want it to improve and be winning football all the time."
Is it too early to tell how serious the injury to running back Rex Burkhead is at this time?
"Yeah, I don't know what (injury) anybody has at this time. I don't know what Rex has, but otherwise I think we're pretty good. I think we had the normal — maybe more than we had a week ago — but the normal bumps and bruises you get in a football game. Nothing that should keep anybody out."
Next Sunday night, you play a nationally televised football game against the Arizona Cardinals — that's going to be an interesting encounter, as they have a good football team ...
"They do, and I told our guys that — it's going to be just what we need: To go play well against a good football team. We get some of our other guys who didn't play tonight back, and that's good. That's what a football team does. We had four or five guys not play tonight that will be ready to go and play next week."
Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth played a quarter of snaps tonight, and it looked like he was riding a bike, as he didn't seem to miss a step ...
"He had a good week of practice, and he wanted to get back in and get some snaps. We'll extend him a little bit next week, but we're in good shape. It's good to have him back out there tonight."
Do you anticipate defensive tackle Geno Atkins playing against Arizona some next week?
"Yeah, we'll see how Geno's practice goes, but we ramped it up in practice last week with the anticipation to do more this week and see where he is at the end of the week."
The first team offense has looked great so far this preseason ...
"We lost. We lost. I'm disappointed because I think we can play better than the way we're playing, just as a unit. There's no question the number ones are ready to play, and they came out there and played, and rightfully so — they're supposed to do that. Andy (Dalton) has done well, and I've said that since training camp started. He's really taken over the offense and done a great job. But we keep turning the ball over (with second units in the game) and putting the defense in a tough situation. We couldn't cover zero and get hit like that and fumble the ball, so at the end of the day, for two weeks, we've turned the ball over and really hurt our defense. So I've got to get this solved. This turnover thing is not what we should be doing. That's my responsibility and I've got to get it fixed."
Is it too early to tell how serious Rex Burkhead's knee injury is?
"Yeah it is. I don't know how serious it is. I hope he's OK; he's one of the better players on our team, so hopefully that works out. Again, I was disappointed. We're at home in front of our crowd, and it looks like we haven't played after our number ones went out, like nobody's practiced. That was disappointing. That was very disappointing. We were against a good defense. They left their (first team) guys out there, but so what? This is the National Football League — you've got to rise up and make plays."
The first time Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan had a chance, they brought everybody from the blind side and like you've said, you've got to recognize that play and respond ...
"Absolutely. I don't blame him. Again, I'm not mad at Rex for what he decides to do with his team, you know? I'm disappointed in our offense that we didn't get it stopped. Again, we've got to get better. We're not where we need to be yet, and that's important."
You haven't had a chance to study it yet, but Whitworth and (guard) Mike Pollak both had a chance to get some snaps tonight — what did you think of what you saw?
"I thought they did a good job. Obviously, Whitworth was in there with the number ones; I think Pollak was in there with the twos and I know he's a battler, so it will be exciting to see the tape. Once we get (all) our guys back, we'll be better but again, we've turned the ball over for two weeks in a row and I don't think you can do that and be a winning offensive unit, so we've got to fix it."
The first team offense came out and made a couple big plays tonight. How meaningful is that for yourself and the ball club?
"We're just trying to be consistent and play well as a unit, firing on all cylinders. I think we did that today. We made some big plays. A.J. (Green) did, and I did myself."
The first-team offense made quite a statement with how efficient it was, especially throwing the ball ...
"We've all got to play well — first team, second team, third team. We've all got to play well. The No. 1s played pretty well, but we've got to make sure the No. 2s and No. 3s are playing just as well. We've got to make sure in practice this week we're working on all the little details, and make sure everybody is on the same page."
Do you feel you have to step up your game quite a bit, considering all of the injuries at the receiver position?
"You've got to play well. We don't have that many people going right now. Marv (Jones) is out, so we need pick up the slack there. Everybody's got to make plays when they've got the opportunity."
What was head coach Marvin Lewis' message to the team in the locker room after the game?
"Just that we can't let things like that happen. We've got to keep our heads in the game and just be physical — play fast, be smart. And we've got to win. It doesn't matter if it's preseason or if it's regular season. No matter what it is, we've got to win."
How about that third-and-one from the goal line for the touchdown?
"Yeah, it was fun to get there and pile it in and play a little football. Technically I'm not as great as I want to be yet. But (it's good) to go in there, play well and get a chance to see how you do against good competition. These guys are a great group and we played well."
The first team offense has looked strong the first two preseason games. Can you say why the continuity has been as good as it has?
"Like I've said before, I think people expected a lot out of some really young players — from Andy (Dalton), A.J. (Green) and Mo (Sanu). And a lot of guys that had to step in at a really young age, play and basically be what carried this football team. Every year they've taken another step. That's how the offense has gone — every year they take a step. Now they're going into their fourth year, and usually for most players that are really good, this is when they start to get into their prime and play their best. So those guys are definitely doing it now, and it's helping us play well offensively."
Hue Jackson has talked about being a physical offensive team. Was Giovani Bernard's one-yard touchdown run an example of that mindset?
"Yeah, it was about as ugly as a play could get. Technically, I don't think we were real good. We just dug in and said that there was no other option than getting in that end zone. That's going to be the kind of attitude and the kind of offense we're going to have to be to be able take this team where it needs to go."
Does going eight-for-eight and recording a perfect passer rating mean anything for Andy Dalton in a preseason game?
"I think it just continues to show the progression he makes. Really? No. It is the preseason, it is development. You never know the outside factors, but it's not a negative that's for sure. He continues to just do what we've always expected of him — that is to be Andy and play well that way. When other guys play well around him, he shines and sticks out. That's what we've said all along. He carries a lot weight, but the truth is, other guys have to play well for him to play well. When that happens, we're going to be good."
Things were chippy out there, especially in the first half ...
"Yeah, it is what it is. You know me — I'm not the type of guy to go in (in a skirmish). I'm not usually the bigger guy, so I kind of just look from afar. But if I was a bigger guy like an offensive lineman, I'd be in there, here and there."
JETS POSTGAME QUOTES
AUG. 16, 2014
PRESEASON GAME 2 — JETS AT BENGALS
Initial comments ...
"First off, I will not be answering any questions about the secondary. I'll tell you, (Andy) Dalton looked like a $100 million quarterback today. You know what, I love the way we stuck together, because there's going to be games like that. We talk all the time about how the offense has to pick up the defense, vice-versa. Today's one of those days. I was so proud of the way our guys fought. I mean, we fought. It was a tough game — we knew it would be. I told you this was going to be one you'd want to watch because it was going to be physical.
"We know they're a good football team over there. The pounded us on both sides of the ball last time. It wasn't the case this time. Our offense ran it all over them with 125 yards rushing in the first half, over seven yards a carry, so I appreciate that. But again, against a good opponent, obviously they made a lot of plays. That's a good football team. They're well coached. Marvin Lewis does a great job. It was a slugfest. I like the fact we had three takeaways — that was good. And, I liked the way we ran the football."
Twelve penalties for 133 yards, and six of them personal fouls ...
"Well, you know six of them, sometimes that's what happens. The main thing is our guys are protecting each other. Sometimes we have to look at them, and did we cross the line a little bit? We'll certainly look at it and address it. We want to be as physical a football team as we can possibly be within the confinements of the rules. But again, we're not here to take anything from anybody. If a teammate's at risk, then we're not going to take that. We'll watch the tape. But again, we want to be a clean, physical football team, and that's what we plan on being."
How would you evaluate your starting secondary?
"I don't know. It doesn't matter how I evaluate them. You guys are going to write about it all you want. Obviously we've got some work to do. I don't know how evaluate Calvin Pryor — give him a plus. I don't know, he forced like two fumbles and knocked some dudes out. I guess we were right on that one. We'll be right on our corners, too. We'll sort it out. You know, 18 (A.J. Green) can make you look bad. We said that going into it. It's tough playing defense, and you put guys at risk when you double him. We blew the coverage and gave up the first touchdown. So obviously, we've got to fix that."
Why are you so fired up about the secondary?
"I'm fired up because I know we're a lot better than what we're given credit for. This is a victory, we'll take it — that's a good football team. I recognize we've got some work to do, there's no question."
The secondary is one thing, but the lack of a pass rush to go alone with it has to be a concern ...
"Are talking about us or them? It looked like we disrupted them a little bit. It was a backup quarterback, but that was a starting offensive line. But I don't know, maybe I was the only one that noticed that."
You used (Jason) Babin a little bit more. Is that a sign of things to come, or did you just want to see what you had there?
"Oh, definitely a sign of things to come. They guy's a good football player. We'll definitely use him."
What did you think of Geno Smith?
"I thought he played great. Obviously, one exception. Wish he had that one pass back."
How much better of a quarterback is he when he uses his legs?
"Every quarterback in the league is harder to defend when they can run. When you can run 4.5 or change or whatever, you become that much better."
What convinces you that you'll be able to fix your secondary problems?
"I'll just rely on what I know, which is about 20-something years of experience. It gives me plenty of confidence."
What do you take away from your performance, given the fact that you were playing against their reserves for a lot of the first half?
"I don't know what you're getting at with that. No matter who's out there, we have to execute. The thing is, I think we did a great job. First of all, the offensive line — they were tough all game. Overall, I think we did a great job being balanced. Obviously, there's a ton of room for improvement in all areas. We're going to look at film and break down things and figure out a way to get better. Anytime you can get a victory and be balanced on offense, you are pretty pleased with that."
What's your opinion on the seven personal fouls that were committed?
"That's something that we have to clean up. We can't have those penalties throughout the course of a regular-season game. (We can't have) drive-stopping penalties or things that will set us back. Obviously we want our guys to be tough upfront and to be fiery, but we have to clean those things up and we have to make sure we're not shooting ourselves in the foot and not hurting ourselves. At the end of the day, it's about winning games. We understand that all of our guys are tough, but there is a way to exhibit it out on the field."
Were you expecting David Nelson to go another way on the pass that was intercepted?
"It's something that we have to clean up. It's one of those plays where we both saw the same thing — we were both on the same page — but I was a bit too early with the throw, and it caught him by surprise. I put that solely on me. I need to give him a better opportunity in that position. We'll get that corrected and get better from it."
In general, how would you assess your performance tonight?
"I did some good things. I had some good plays. I had some plays where I think I could have done a lot better. Specifically, the first play on the post, I had David (Nelson), who got behind the coverage. Anytime you get a situation like that, you want to make that play. In hind sight, you can always improve on a bunch of things. Overall, we have to continue to keep the same mindset and continue to work week to week."
You looked very decisive on a few plays where you had to decide between running and throwing. How much have you improved that part of your game?
"There's a fine line. I do feel a lot more comfortable deciding on whether to put it down and run. I feel a lot faster and stronger. I feel like that's something that's going to help our team out, especially on third-downs. It's something that I have to keep working at. You never want to pass up an open guy, but if you do have the opportunity to tuck it and run, then that's always an option for us."
Do you think that your body of work to this point is substantial enough for them to come out publicly and say that you are the starting quarterback?
"That's up to the coaches. I'll leave that up to the coaches. My job is to execute out on the field no matter who it's with, whether it's the 1s, the 2s, the 3s or 4s — go out there and execute and make the throws, make the good reads, and lead the team down the field. I let the coaches do the coaching and I do my job as the quarterback."
Do you think your team already knows that you are the starting quarterback?
"You have to ask them that. The intention is to work hard and put myself into the position to be the starting quarterback and to lead this team. It's up to them, whether or not they want me to be the starting quarterback."
Is it important for a team to know?
"Is it? As of right now, I don't know. I know that our team is very tough and we're sticking together no matter who's our quarterback. We're going to fight for one another. We're going to support one another. That's what is making our team better. That support system and that ability to negate all the outside distractions and stay focused on the goal, which is to win games."
You had six personal foul penalties. That's not good, but talk about defending one another on the field ...
"Yes. That's right. We're all brothers here. We're looking to compete. When things go south, we'll continue to work and fix our problems."
How have you improved between your rookie and second seasons?
"It's almost night and day. I feel a lot more confident. Knowing I'm playing between the guys. Knowing the playbook is the key. Going out there and being able to play fast makes all the difference."
Do you feel like you got some revenge on the Bengals for the last preseason game in Cincinnati?
"The Bengals are a good team. We worked hard this offseason. We prepared for them, and you have the results."
What are some of the things you want to work on after tonight?
"Eliminate the mistakes and penalties. There were too many third-and-longs. We have an offense that can move the ball. Just eliminate the negativity."
How did it feel to get back out there tonight?
"It felt good. You look around this locker room. On and off the field, this team has a good bond. I was excited to finally get out there with the guys."
What do you see in Geno Smith's play?
"I see a lot of growth. We played against a good defense tonight. He showed composure. He showed we can move the ball down the field. We need to eliminate the penalties, but we came away with the win tonight."
How did it feel to be out there today?
"It feels good to have a chance to play in any game. I felt like we did a great job with the second team unit. We went out there and were efficient. We had some penalties and setbacks. Most importantly, we put the ball in the end zone and were able to capitalize on our drives."
How do you guys address the penalties?
"We had a lot of things to learn from tonight. The guys were a little anxious and wanted to make things happen. We know what happened against this team last year. We wanted to put forth our best effort."
What do you say to Geno Smith when he comes off the field upset after a penalty or short drive?
"He's into the game. He's out there working with the first unit. He wants those guys to always do things right. Tempers flare in this game. At the end of the day, that's him being a leader."
What does it mean to have Bilal Powell back in action?
"It's great to have Bilal back. He did a great job in pass protection. Obviously, he did a great job running the ball. We were very excited to get him back and see him make some plays with the first team. His impact was greatly felt tonight. I was glad that he was able to contribute."
Talk about the rookie defensive back Calvin Pryor ...
"He did a really good job. He's a football player. He made the plays that he's supposed to. That's why he was drafted No. 1."
Are things progressing the way they should?
"I think so. I think we did a good job moving the ball up and down the field. I think we scored when it was necessary. We did everything that our coach asked us to do."
Do the penalties send a statement?
"We never want to hurt each other. We had a couple of drives where we were moving (the ball) and set ourselves back. That's what we have to learn from. We were fired up coming in to the game."
You looked comfortable today. Did you feel comfortable out there?
"I feel like some things I could have done better. The older guys lined me up and put me in the right position to make plays. They told me, 'Go have fun. Go ball out.' That's what I tried to do."
How good did the pass breakup feel?
"I believe it was a forced fumble. I had a good look at the ball. The quarterback threw the ball, and I was able to make a play."
Is this what Jets fans can look forward to this season?
"A lot of guys questioned me, because I had a concussion. They questioned my aggressiveness. That's the way I play football. I'm an aggressive player. Tonight was Step One."