It looks like we'll be without the services of Kelley Washington, Rich Braham and Levi Jones. Everybody else will be OK.
Q: On the Colts:ML:
They're obviously a very explosive team on offense. We can't allow them the big, explosive plays. We need to do a good job of both defending the run, playing third down and not allowing explosions. Special teams-wise, they give you a lot of different things that we need to be sound and alert to, and make sure that's a part of the game that we can control. Defensively, they've had some injuries, but they still have some guys up front that can get after it and rush the quarterback. So we've got to do a good job of protection and go out and execute our offense.
Q: When you dropped to No. 32 in total defense, your players seemed to make it a mission to improve. Did you take it personally?ML:
I take everything personally, particularly when we don't win. That doesn't bother me any more than anything else, but everything does when we don't win.
Q: Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokley are out with injuries:ML:
They've played without those guys most of the year, so I don't think it's going to change how they do things. They've already made those adjustments. They signed Ricky Proehl three weeks ago in order to put him in there at that position.
Q: The RCA Dome is small and loud:ML:
Noise is always effective, and we've got to do a good job with our focus. It's going to be important that we don't have any pre-snap problems and things that way. That we stay on course and on track.
Q: The Colts offense hasn't exactly lit it up in their recent losses:ML:
They had one the first play of the game last Sunday. They've had some other ones. I said what's important for us, and I'm not going to worry about what went on in the past because that's got no bearing on Monday night. That's important for us, to limit their explosive plays. It's very, very important.
Q: Thoughts on Colts rush defense:ML:
When teams play them, they're going to try and run the football more often because they want to try and use more of the clock and keep the Indianapolis offense on the sideline. So that's going to be something they've always got to determine. This is the same group of players, a year ago, that had everybody telling them how great they were. It's a season, and its 16 games. And at the end of the year, that should be how you're evaluated and go from there. There's going to be some ups and downs in every season, as we know here. That's part of playing in the NFL. They've got good players on their defensive football team, and I'm sure they're going to get together and play as well as they can play come Monday night. We've got to be ready to play as well as we can on offense.
Q: The Bengals running game hasn't quite met players' expectations. Has it met yours?ML:
Well, as I told you earlier, nothing really meets mine. When we win, that's a good thing. But we can do better. We can do better in all areas. It's something that you're constantly working at, to do better, and be in better fits and better shape.
Q: Is there an emotional buildup to Monday night after sitting around all day Sunday and Monday?ML:
It's not much different. We'll be busy. That's good. We'll be busy doing our thing on Sunday. Monday's a little different because there is no football on. That's the only thing I think about playing a Monday night game is, there is nothing on Monday. But we're busy in that time period, so it's not like we're just sitting around. We're busy doing our normal routine so it doesn't affect us as much as you would think.
Q: How do you get pressure on Peyton Manning?ML:
He's going to get rid of the football. He is not afraid to take the ball down short and shallow if he needs to, even though it may be where they expect a vertical throw. But maybe the protection doesn't hold or whatever doesn't work out the way they had the play designed. He doesn't mind taking the ball down short and living to come back another play most of the time. He does a good job of putting himself in what they thought was the best play for the look you are showing. He does a good job of that. That's what really limits some of their sacks. He's not given as much credit as he probably should for avoiding the rush when he needs to. He does a good job of that. He has a great sense of the pocket in being able to avoid the rush when he needs to, or when it does break down on him. They do a good job blocking people, too. So I think it's a combination of all three things.