Richie Braham, Levi Jones and Kelley Washington look to be out at this point. And the guy who's questionable would be Brian Simmons. I think the rest of our team will be probable. We'll have a couple guys we'll give some rest today, but everybody else should be ready to play.
Q: What about Kevin Kaesviharn?ML:
Q: Any update on the long-term prognosis for the "out" guys?ML:
They are closer, but no, I don't really have an update. That doesn't help us, as I told you before.
Q: Did you sign a wide receiver?ML:
No. We've had a good opportunity the last couple of weeks to get to know some guys, and have them come in and spend some time with us. It's been good to get to know the guys that are on the street. We signed two tight ends today: Greg Guenther, who started the year with the Titans, and Tim Day. Guenther's from USC and Tim Day's from Oregon. Both will be on the practice squad. Ronnie Ghent will go to the practice squad/IR designation with a broken bone in his foot.
Q: How has Ethan Kilmer done as a receiver?ML:
He's done well. We call him three-way. It's very appropriate here in Cincinnati. He goes after the ball. He certainly has the tremendous speed, and the ability to go up and fight and catch the ball. We've been getting our money's worth out of him in practice. He's always going to be playing. We've had him playing corner on defense, and he's done well there. We'll visit after the offseason and see where his best position is as we go forward, but we know he's been a big contributor this year.
Q: There seems to be no sense of panic:ML:
We're 0-1. We lost last week. Other than that, it really doesn't matter. Today we're 0-0. When we had won each week, we were 0-0. There's really no difference. We just have to move forward and continue to build upon the good things we're doing, which we're doing a lot more. We've got to make positive plays to change the game no matter when they occur. That's the thing our football team understands. When you don't win, they question things. lose.
Q: What does the Baltimore franchise mean to you, given your history there?ML:
You probably can go back every year and get the answer I gave to that. It means a lot, but that's it on that subject for now.
Q: The Ravens are a familiar opponent:ML:
The last few weeks, we've played some people we don't know quite as well. It was interesting talking to Greg Knapp, the Falcons offensive coordinator, before the game, and talking about them having to play our division, and things we know very, very well. It was their first time seeing it -- players and how they play and do things. These are guys we're a little bit more familiar with, and it makes a big difference. This is a big, important game for both of us. It's at their home place, and it makes it that much more important.
Q: Is the offensive coordinator's job a hot seat?ML:
I don't know that it's any different than being a defensive coordinator.
Q: It's easier to second-guess offense:ML:
You could've fooled me a few years ago. Ask Mr. (Art) Modell that one. It depends on what seat you're sitting in. I appreciate that point of view. I will say that when I was the coordinator for Brian Billick, I couldn't have had a better position and job. Because he did not ever second-guess me no even talk to me during the game, which was good. He didn't want to talk to me during the game. He didn't want to get in my head about anything. He would talk to me through the other coaches, which was great. That's the kind of person he is.
Q: Regarding the Ravens' recent firing of offensive coordinator Jim Fassel:ML:
As I said to the Baltimore writers today, their players were looking for something. They had their little clamoring going on. It's not the first time it's occurred there like that. He (Brian Billick) felt like he had to do something, and he did.
Q: On the nature of the Ravens defense and Ray Lewis:ML:
They are led by a guy who's as studious a defensive football player as there may be in the game. He's a guy who studies, and he demands the rest of them to study at that level and understand the opponent, the formations and personnel. You can tell there's a lot of studying, as you watch them play through the year, where they understand what the opponent has done leading up to this point. And then they're going to jump on it and attack it. They have great athleticism. They feed off that. They're generally a good tackling football team. They've had a lot of turnovers this year. They want to come at you and pressure the quarterback and force your quarterback into some bad plays.
Q: What has Steve McNair brought to their team?ML:
From what I can see and understand, he's brought a sense of calmness. You know you've got a guy who's proven, and who has won big football games. He's won games coming back. He's won games from the onset. He's a pro. He's hard to sack. He doesn't turn the football over carelessly, and I think he's given the defensive players a sense of a guy over there that's as tough as they are as well. That's helped feed to the aura of their whole team.
Q: Are you a hands-off coach with the coordinators, like Brian Billick was with you?ML:
I'm probably worse than that. But it's just my nature, maybe a little different.
Q: You said there was a clamoring in Baltimore. There was a clamoring here? ML:
We've had the same clamoring last year when we lost to Pittsburgh. We get it once a year. It wasn't a clamoring. It was a why-not-me? We had a clamoring a few weeks ago by our receivers. They wanted to do it after Kansas City.
Q: How do you deal with it?ML:
We've just got to go win. We've got one football. That's the way it is. We're doing everything we feel in our power to win the football game. We've got opportunities to make plays. Every one of those plays they call are supposed to score a touchdown. So let's block them up and let's go score a touchdown. At the end of the day, let's see where we are.
Q: Last week they got Jamal Lewis going. Do you see a shift in their offensive philosophy?ML:
They had a lead of 35-7. They came out and threw the ball off the play-action, the boot and the waggle a little bit early in the game when it was a different game. That's Brian's thing. He's going to get the quarterback with an opportunity to throw the ball, push the football a little vertically. That's always been Brian's thing, and that's the way they're going to go. They use the screen. It's a different man actually calling the plays. The nomenclature's been Brian's nomenclature, but when you're a different guy calling the plays, it's going to be a little different.
Q: Is there some familiarity with these teams?ML:
It's a part of us identifying their looks, attacking the best way we feel is the way to attack, and vice versa. We want to stay one step ahead as much as we can in all three phases.
Q: Is it more about self-study?ML:
I don't know whether it's that simple or that complicated, but there's a little more to it than that.
Q: Was the Baltimore game Carson's turning point in 2004?ML:
That was '04. Again, that really doesn't matter much now to us, does it? Let's have this week be the turning point for Carson.