We'll start with the guys who didn't participate in practice today. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chinedum Ndukwe, Dexter Jackson, Ahmad Brooks, and Lemar Marshall. We'll see how those guys are as the week goes on. These guys won't play this week: Rashad Jeanty, Ethan Kilmer, and Tab Perry.
Q: What does Dhani Jones bring to the team?ML:
He's a guy who has played winning football in the NFL. He has played at linebacker and started a lot of games. We had the opportunity to watch him here on our practice fields (during joint practices in August with New Orleans), and we kind of followed him since then. He stood out when they (the Saints) were here, and they decided not to keep him. It gives us the opportunity to have a guy who's experienced and who knows how to play. We have to transfer some words and get up to speed quickly.
Q: Your reaction to Bill Belichick's fine and the length he went to "cheat?"ML:
I haven't really actually said much about it, and I still don't want to. That's nothing I need to comment on any further.
Q: Why do you think it has been so tough for previous Bengals teams to win on the West Coast?ML:
The important thing for us is to take the trip as any other trip, and for us to go play. No. 1, get our rest. We're there early enough where the time change does not affect us. But the most important thing for us is to play winning football. There's a lot of things we do between now and then, just slightly differently, and hopefully, it gives us an opportunity to play winning football. They're a good football team and we're going to have to play winning football.
Q: Do you think crowd noise will be a big factor in the game?ML:
We play in loud stadiums every week. Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City. It's just something you deal with. We can't let that be an excuse for not executing.
Q: In what ways can your attacking offense help the defense?ML:
Our pace on offense is not a problem. Although we sometimes don't huddle up, it's not as though the ball is being snapped early. It's still being snapped inside 10 seconds on the play clock. So it doesn't take away from things that way. We're not in a hurry-up mode, we're just in not-huddling mode. So that's not an issue. We want to score touchdowns every chance we get. In fact, the biggest point for our offense is to make sure every series ends with a (place) kick. If you have every series end with a kick, you're probably going to be successful in the game - which is a huge part of why we didn't win last week.
Q: Are you counting on Leon Hall's maturity to get him through this rough stretch?ML:
We had a couple of bad plays. When you play that position out there, you're going to have some bad snaps. Leon will bounce back and play better football and be the guy we know he'll be for years and years and years. So I'm not concerned about Leon in any way.
Q: Can Dhani Jones contribute to the defense right away?ML:
He'll understand some things, yeah. He'll be able to do it and he'll contribute on special teams. It was a two-fold thing. An opportunity, again, a guy that's had some experience to come in and help quickly as opposed to trying to teach a younger guy.
Q: Can Dhani play any linebacker position?ML:
We signed Dhani to play football this week. Let's not make this the Dhani Jones press conference. So let's move on.
Q: Has Ahmad Brooks' injury caused you to make adjustments to the game plan?ML:
You adjust. Guys get injured every week in the NFL and you've got to adjust as a team, and move forward, and step the next guy up, and move on. That has no bearing whatsoever.
Q: Shaun Alexander is a patient runner. Is that different from what you saw last week in Cleveland's Jamal Lewis?ML:
I think he's very similar to Jamal. He's a good cut runner. His shoulders get squared up and headed downhill as quick as he can get 'em. He's got great vision. He's a good receiver as well. He's a guy who is as fine a running back as there still is in the NFL. He played last week with a little padding and wrap on his hand. There were people who felt, well, he wasn't the same. Well, I don't know, he still makes a lot of free defenders miss in the hole, and that's what a good back wants to do.
Q: Are the Seahawks more of a two-back team?ML:
They're more of a two-back team. They've always been like that, and that's somewhat part of the West Coast philosophy. Mike Holmgren's philosophy is more of a two-back style of offense. It's just the way they operate.