The most serious injury at Cleveland was Tab Perry with a hamstring strain. He doesn't look to be available this week. It does look like Frostee Rucker will be back to practice with us this week. Antonio Chatman was able to go through practice last week with no problems. He should be back and ready to go. Eric Ghiaciuc will have an opportunity to play this week as well. We are continuing to mend. Rashad Jeanty and Ethan Kilmer appear to be on track for their return dates.
Q: Ahmad Brooks left the game yesterday:ML:
Yes, he has a groin injury.
Q: Will Brooks be available this week?ML:
He's not on any other list.
Q: The defense talks about making corrections, but when will we see it on the field?ML:
You just wrote all about it last week. We were the '85 Bears a week ago. I tell the players all the time, don't try to explain it to you (media), because you don't understand it. And as I've always said, you're never as good as you seem to be after a win, and never as bad as you seem to be after a loss. So we just need to play football -- make our corrections and move forward.
Q: Bryan Robinson said a little negative publicity may be good medicine for the team:ML:
I don't worry about what kind of publicity we get. We just need to play football. Practice well, prepare well, play well. We need to play better through crucial moments in the game. In the first half, we allowed two-third-down touchdowns. We let an interception go through our hands and they kicked a field goal. We had two turnovers on offense. Those plays make a difference in the outcome of the game. If you look at the headlines in Cincinnati compared to the headlines four hours North, you would think they shut us out. That's the difference of what a few points make, and that's the psyche of a football team. We understand that. We didn't play well enough to win. We'll take our medicine and move forward.
Q: Two things you talked about earlier, finishing and consistency. Does it frustrate you when those two things don't happen?ML:
Just do your job. Don't try to do too much. When a bad play occurs, what happens is a player tries to make an adjustment on his own. Guys try to compensate, and that gets you out of sorts.
Q: You made mention yesterday of guys trying to invent stuff ... the week, before no inventions were going on:ML:
Oh, there were some inventions. But when you win, they get swept under the carpet a little bit. Playing in critical moments, you have to respond and make critical plays, and we did not do that well enough yesterday to win the football game.
Q: Did you consider challenging the spot on Braylon Edwards' first down in the fourth quarter?ML:
The official ruled forward progress, and the ball was spotted. At that point it was kind of a dead issue.
Q: What in your mind is the biggest reason players make mental errors?ML:
Again, trying to invent and create a revision on their own. They probably did it right the first play, and on the next play did it wrong because they're trying to overcome someone else's deficiencies. You have to stay on the same page and not deviate to compensate. That's what happens.
Q: Does it boil down to trusting the system and your teammates?ML:
It's no different than anything else. You have special teams guys compensating on offense, and what happens is you have the opportunity for bad plays. That's why it takes eleven guys on the same page to play good football.
Q: Special teams have given up 451 yards in returns in two weeks:ML:
We didn't play well enough. We have to do better. We have to run with better speed. We have to shed, get our pads down and use our hands better. We have to tackle better. We had three missed tackles with clean defenders in the hole. We have to make those tackles. We will. Because of some guys missing with injury, we had some guys playing in different spots. They have to respond and go do that. They're getting an education by fire. We actually did some things a lot better this week than last week against Baltimore. We just have to reap the benefit of it by making the tackle. When we don't make the tackles, it's exacerbated because the field gets bigger. We're in the right spots, we just need to finish the play. We have guys who are more than capable of making the tackles. We just need to make them.
Q: What's Levi Jones' status? When will we see him play on offense?ML:
His status is what it is. He's competing for a position and working hard to get himself back and get his job back. That's what he's doing. He's working hard.
Q: Glenn Holt stepped up and made some big plays when Tab Perry was out, both on offense and on kickoff returns:ML:
I thought he and Skyler (Green) came in and really filled into those spots and did a good job. They will get more opportunities depending on how long Tab (Perry) is out. Between those two guys and Antonio Chatman, they'll have their opportunities.
Q: You can imagine Carson Palmer calling his mother and saying, 'Gee, Ma., I threw six touchdowns and we lost.' How upsetting is that to you?ML:
It is upsetting to me, and to Mrs. Palmer too, probably.
Q: How much of what happened yesterday was a result of what had happened Monday night, and also what happened with the Browns last Sunday?ML:
I can't judge that. It's hard to say. We didn't play well enough, long enough, to win. We started off playing very well and did some good things. We turned the ball over, got ourselves behind, had the opportunity to make some big plays to keep them at zero points. We didn't do that. They kicked a field goal. We turned the ball over, they end up getting a couple third down completions and got a touchdown. They get two touchdowns on third down.
We should have been way ahead, but instead we were behind, and we never climbed out of that hole. We kept playing, and no matter what they did, we kept responding. We have to get them stopped, do the things we need to do, and score when we need to score. It was one of those kind of games. We ran out of time in the end and didn't get enough time to score again. We didn't deserve to win. We didn't play well enough, or up to our standards. Had we won the game, we would still be saying the same thing and you would, too.
Q: Is there a possibility of moving Landon Johnson or Lemar Marshall from the outside into Ahmad Brooks' spot?ML:
They have opportunities. They end up being the backup players, but not at this point.
Q: National sportscasters are saying you condone Chad Johnson's antics. Bill Cowher said it yesterday:ML:
You know better than that, and I think Bill knows better than that, too. It's unfortunate that he said that. He would know better than that, because he knows me as well. He coached Chad in the Pro Bowl, and all he had to say were glowing things about Chad. Now (Cowher) is in a different position, where part of the job is to create controversy.
Q: On defense, how much of this is coaching, and how much is it not having the right players?ML:
We just have to play better. They're put in the right spots, we just have to play consistently. I keep repeating the same words. They're not going to change.
Q: Obviously, everyone is taking a turn at it. It's not just one guy.ML:
Well for one guy, one defense, one play. But there are a lot of moving parts. All those parts need to be in sync all the time and don't try to create something on your own.
Q: Do you take it personally, and is there a chance you may be calling signals like you did a few years ago?ML:
I'm not going to respond to that. I do take it personally, I'll respond to that part.
Q: Have you taken an early look at Seattle?ML:
I have seen them a little bit. They've been an explosive team offensively in the past few years. The ball comes out of the quarterback's hand quickly. They do some things to create formation stuff. They're probably more of a two-back team than some of the other teams we've faced. Defensively, they do a good job in the secondary with their two corners. They have a good front four. Their linebackers have done a good job. They play very sound. They're not real exotic, but very sound and aggressive. It's a big week for us, an important game for us.
Q: Rudi Johnson fumbled in the first two games. Is it ball security, or is he trying to do too much and is there someone else who can run the ball and take some heat off of him?ML:
Well, I don't think the heat in the first quarter is going to get to him.
Q: Well, we haven't seen Kenny Watson touch a ball on the offensive side, I don't think:ML:
Well yes you have, but you don't remember. We feel confident to put Kenny in at any point. The game didn't dictate that yesterday because of the tempo and because Kenny had some cramps. The thing about it is, we have to secure the football better. Rudi has to secure the football better and he knows it. That hasn't been a trait of Rudi -- fumbling. Unfortunately, over the last five football games, he's probably had more fumbles than over the first three years he was carrying the ball. That's an issue we need to continue to work hard at and address. We all know how important that is. This is a team that hasn't had a lot of turnovers, and we've had more turnovers the last two football games than we almost had in a whole season. We need to do a better job of guys being where they're supposed to be. No different defensively. No different on special teams. So we don't have those turnovers.