Let's start with the injury report, as usual. Antonio Chatman will be out, and we'll have two guys questionable: Deltha O'Neal and David Pollack. Everybody else will be no worse than probable and ready to go.
Q: I know you're focusing on Kansas City, but looking ahead, will anything less than a Super Bowl appearance be a letdown for the fans?ML:
They share my thoughts, but our focus is Kansas City.
Q: If Deltha can't go, will Johnathan Joseph get the call at corner?ML:
Yes, Johnathan will start.
Q: Who becomes the nickel player? ML:
That's my business.
Q: How fresh in your mind and the players' minds is the game from last year?ML:
They're a different football team coached by a different person than last year. Their media call with them was all that was about. It's really not relevant to where we are right now. We're a different team. They're a different team. This is a new season. We had a different agenda out there last year (with a playoff berth already clinched). They're a good football team that returns most of their players. They're excited about their season just like we are. Both teams want to get off to a good start.
Q: How concerned are you about their running game, led by Larry Johnson?ML:
I think they have a good football team and a lot of good players. As these guys will tell you, one player doesn't make anybody's team anywhere. They filled in what they felt were the appropriate people, and they'll be ready to play on Sunday.
Q: Is Arrowhead Stadium as big a homefield advantage as any place in the NFL?ML:
They have an outstanding record at home. Their crowd is loud and they have a lot of people. It'll be a sea of red. It was good for our guys to experience it last year. It was a big, emotional day for them with the retirement of Coach (Dick) Vermeil. So now we have a chance to go back. It's good that we play a fine team on the road. It's a big challenge for our team.
Q: What are the keys for the Bengals?ML:
We've got to handle the flow of the game and the tempo and be ready for the excitement and be poised. They're going to line up with 11 guys over there. If they want to play us with 10, I think we'll take that. But I think they'll have 11, and they're going to go. We've got to be prepared. We're going to line up with 11. We're going to come at them and attack them.
Q: They've added a Pro Bowler in Ty Law. Are you going to do anything to compensate for their cornerbacks?ML:
We're going to go out and run our offense and do things the way we do. We don't necessarily comment much about other people's players or teams. I worry about the Cincinnati Bengals. That's what's most important to me.
Q: How do you feel about having a target on your back?ML:
Do you think our target is bigger than the Kansas City Chiefs? No.
Q: Are you embarrassed by offseason publications that predict you at 8-8?ML:
If the record is about what it was last year, we'll be fine with them.
Q: How excited are you to see Sam (Adams) out there? Will he make a big difference vs. Larry Johnson?ML:
We'll get to see that on Sunday. As I said, one guy doesn't make a big difference in how you play football. I have yet to see that occur on an NFL field, particularly in that point of the game.
Q: Any concerns, conditioning-wise, with your club?ML:
Our guys are excited. Our guys are in great shape. We've been that way. It's going to be a good day out there. I think both teams are going to get their pipes blown out a little bit. It's the first time anybody plays that long. I think our guys have probably played a lot longer than their players have played this far this preseason. I think we'll be in good shape.
Q: What's your relationship like with Herm Edwards?ML:
Very good. He's been a great friend of mine for a while, since I was an intern in the Chiefs camp. I can't even remember what year that was. It was a long time ago. I guess 1990 or '91 or so. And then Herm was a scout for them later. So when I coached the University of Pittsburgh, we were one of the schools he called on. Since I've come to the NFL, his wife and my wife have become very close friends. It's a good relationship.
Q: How similar is Herm Edwards' team to his mentor's (Vermeil)?ML:
I don't really know. From what I've read, there are some things Herm has cut down -- their time at the facility and some things that way. Their practices are a little earlier in the day, and they're practicing before lunch. They're coming in and doing the lifting and meeting a little bit afterwards. From that standpoint, they're probably a little different than Coach Vermeil. Coach Vermeil was one of the guys whose practices were probably a little longer in time, from what I understand. But having not worked with or for either coach, I'm not exactly sure. I've not been a fly on the wall in either place.