**Q: The last couple of practices you have gone out with no pads. Why is that? What are the factors that go into that decision?
We make out the practice schedule everyday and we talk about what we need to get done and what's best for the team. Part of it is the periods. Part of it is the emphasis. Part of it is the dress, how long it is. It could be a combination of things.
**Q: Does it have anything to do with some of the players being banged up?
Yeah, we've had three physical games. Sure, I think that's part of it. Yes.
**Q: Is Chad Jackson any closer?
**Q: Would you put Ellis Hobbs in the day-to-day category?
That's exactly where I'd put him. You guys don't need me. You can write the story without me.
**Q: How would you describe the style of Cincinnati's offense? What school?
Explosive. They're explosive. They do it all.
**Q: Do you see a lot of no huddle from them?
There's some. I wouldn't say a lot. I think it fluctuates. There could be a lot. There could be very little. There could be just a blend in there to change the pace up. I don't think it's exclusively no huddle like the Jets, lets say. But they run it and I'm sure if they want to run more of it they could or if they want to just mix it in there, they could do that too.
**Q: Have they played a little no huddle in each of their games this year?
The last two. I'm not sure about the Kansas City game. It's sort of hard to tell on the film. We know they have it, but it's sort of hard to tell on the film whether the play is no huddle or not because of what they do at the line in the last 10 to 15 seconds. It's about the same whether it's no huddle or not no huddle.
**Q: How would you assess Carson Palmer's mobility?
Good. He looks fine.
**Q: You don't see any lingering effects of the surgery?
It doesn't look like it to me. He's a really good player. He can do it all.
**Q: How different is he than when you saw him last?
He killed us the last time we played him. He's pretty good.
**Q: That game was kind of a coming out party for him. It was one of his first really strong games.
Yeah, we hosted it. He's been good. We've seen him in preseason. You couldn't do much more than he did in that preseason game there, the start of the '04 season. Anybody that saw that game, I don't know, they scored 31 points in the first half or whatever it was. We couldn't do much. He just went up and down the field. He's been pretty good when we've seen him.
**Q: With field goal kicking and the holder being seven yards back, why seven yards? Was it further back in the past?
I think it's anywhere between seven and eight. The further back you are, the further you are from the inside rushers, but the easier it is for the guys to come around the corner and get you. The closer you are to the line of scrimmage, the harder it is for the guys coming off the edge, but the more you have to get the ball up inside. You try to find the optimum point for your team, your situation, your kicker and all of that. Sometimes you might make a little adjustment there by a few inches one way or the other relative to the laces, coming back from the center. If you move up a little bit or back a little bit, if the spin of the ball is consistent you may get the laces right on the holder's top hand and make it a little bit easier for him. So those are some of the things you take into consideration.
**Q: Has it always been seven?
I think it's between seven and eight. You'll see some teams closer to eight. Some teams closer to seven. I would yes, as long as I can remember, probably it was more seven and now it's probably more seven-and-a-half to eight.
**Q: Has anyone ever experimented dramatically in either direction?
Well, yeah, back in the days when you had the double jumpers, when that was legal. When those guys like Matt Blair from Minnesota. Everybody had one. It seemed like they'd get behind the line, run and jump. I've seen it back as far as eight-and-a-half back then because those guys, it was hard to get the ball over the line. Teams that were blocking them up the middle with those jumpers and double jumpers, then you'd move it back and take a chance on the edge. Some teams, on extra points, I know that some teams move the ball back a little bit on extra points, cheat it back a half a yard or so just because it's a shorter kick and you just make sure you get it up.
We're going way back now, but that was back when there was an issue back there too when the ball was on the goal post or on the goal line, you know, if you were kicking from the half-yard line. Now you're trying to get it up, not just over the line, but over the cross bar, if it's that close. It hasn't been in play in my career, but I've heard other coaches talk about that, you have to kick a winning field goal when the ball is on the one-yard line or something. You have to get it up in a hurry.
**Q: Why did they do away with the jumpers?
I don't know. I think you'd have to ask the experts there at the league.
**Q: Isn't it mostly because the league wanted more points scored?
Look, I'm not on the committee. I don't know what goes on in those discussions. Anytime you have vote in the league, there's usually going to be, unless it's a unanimous thing, there's going to be two opinions on that. There's an argument on both sides. So, whatever the prevailing opinion is, obviously that's what carries the rule. What goes on behind those closed doors in those meetings between the committee and the officials and whatever league parties are there, I really don't know.
**Q: Hasn't that always been there though, going back to when Tex Schramm was first there? I think their first charge was to increase scoring.
I don't know.
**Q: Would you like to be in those meetings?
Would I like to be in them? Not really. What I want to try to do is coach our team and see if I can make our team better. I'm not really trying to rule the world. I'd just like to have a set of rules that are there. You know, the game has changed quite a bit and the rules have changed. There used to be a time where the rules committee was made up of coaches. Now there's only a couple of coaches on the rules committee. Now you have a lot of other people. I'm not sure what everybody's agenda is or what everybody's point of view is, but whatever it is, that's what it is. If the league wants to change the rules, which they frequently do, then they change them.
**Q: What do you make of the perception that sometimes the rules have been changed in response to something that you've done well?
Whatever the rules are, it's not our job to legislate them. It's our job to understand them and play by them. That's how I look at it. Whether there's replay. Whether there isn't replay. Whether you can take two consecutive timeouts. Whether you can't take two consecutive timeouts. Whatever it is. It's not our job really to commentate on them. It's our job to understand them and coach them. That's where my emphasis is. I just want to understand the rule and I just want it to be consistent, whatever it is. We've had a lot of different ones and I'm sure there will be some modifications going forward at some point. Whatever they are, it's our job to understand them and play within them.
**Q: Can you talk about how much the Brown fFamily has been an influence on the game and in the league?
Obviously it's been a lot. I don't know who you could put ahead of them. There are probably a couple you could put up there with them, like the Mara family.
**Q: The Halas' maybe?
Yeah. There's a couple, but certainly they would be up there at the top and the lineage that has come from the Brown family, particularly from Paul Brown. There's a million of them, but let's start with Don Shula. 347 victories there. Really you can roll it right down the line. It's been tremendous. Paul Brown, really to me, he's the father of pro football. There's so many things that he did as a coach with the Browns and the Bengals, it's what we do now. He was half a [century] ahead of his time in so many areas.
Preparation. Plays. Techniques. Communication. Nomenclature. Pretty much everything that is done in the NFL, he did. Now there are different systems, there are different ways of doing it, but nobody did it before he did. A lot of what we do now really has its roots with Paul. The west coast offense, that clearly is Paul Brown's offense. That's what he ran. All the elements that have trickled through in various the decades, that's really the origin of it. But preparation, scouting, game-planning, taxi squad, draw and screen passes, blocking techniques. He did it all.
I was lucky because I got a little bit of exposure to that as a kid, going to the Browns training camps at Hiram, and then the Bengals training camps at Wilmington with my dad and with Bill Edwards and people that went all the way back with Paul back to Severn School in Annapolis, and Ohio State and Massillon, people that had relationships with him, all the way back into the Great Lakes in the Navy program, that went way back with him.
The elements of what he did then, and the stories that I heard -- and then actually going to those camps and thinking back about them after I was an NFL coach and thinking back about what I saw there – it's pretty remarkable, really. Mike [Brown], he's certainly been a big part of the NFL as Paul's son and then taking over the team in Cincinnati and running it. They've had periods where they've been every successful and they're certainly in a good upswing period now. He's one of the real, long-time, members of the league.
**Q: Can you think of any other coach that has had that success on all three levels, high school, college and the pros, the way Paul Brown did?
Not right off the top of my head. You look at the Lombardis and the Shulas and guys like that. You look at some of the college coaches, Bear Bryants, guys like that. There obviously has been other coaches that have been successful at all three levels, Chuck Fairbanks would certainly be one that you'd have to put up there, but he certainly stands out. It wasn't just his record, which it was his record, don't get me wrong, but the way he did it, and how he really turned pro football into a professional football league and people were trying to keep up with him and emulate what he was doing and following his system.
He really turned it into a pro football league like it is now, instead of just a bunch of guys running around out there playing football. He made it truly professional. I spent a lot of time with Jim Brown and Jim and I talk a lot about how they did it when Jim played for Paul and their system, and their preparation, their practices, how they handled things -- terminology and all those type of things. Again, it was so much like what we're doing now. It's really remarkable.
**Q: How does Cincinnati use Chris Perry? Is it a traditional, third down back type of thing?
**Q: Their third down running back?
Their third down running back is [Kenny] Watson.
**Q: How do they use Chris Perry?
How much has Chris Perry played? I want to say he's on [Reserve/PUP].
**Q: He's not on injured reserve. But he's been hurt.
You're not talking about Tab Perry, right?
**Q: No, I'm talking about number 23.
I don't think I've seen him in any of these games. He's played against us in the past, but I haven't seen him recently in the role he's been in as a third back. Watson has really been doing that for them and he's returned some kicks.
**Q: In the preseason, Willie Andrews was used on offense. Is there a point where he might play on offense in some of the next few games?
When you only have 45 players, you have to have players backing up at multiple positions no matter how you slice it up. He's a guy that has worked in multiple positions for us. I don't know how close it was to...I think right now his major role for us is on special teams, but he has worked on offense and defense. I think that if we had to play him there, that he would be prepared to do hopefully what we ask him to do. I don't think that would be everything, but it could be a role, sure.
**Q: How has he embraced his role as a gunner?
Good. He's been productive for us in coverage. He's been one of best coverage players.
**Q: Does it take a certain attitude and a certain mindset to play that gunner position?
Yeah, I think that's a very difficult position to play. You're out there basically getting double-teamed on every play with some restrictions on what you can do. It's hard. That's a tough spot to play and it takes a player that has a) a mentality, but also b) some type of skills to be able to beat that type of tight alignment that those DBs play against them, where you either have to split them or outrun them or out-quick them or do something. You have to get away from two guys and they're lined up a foot away from you. It's hard. It's a tough spot to play.
**Q: Where are both he and maybe Jonathan Smith in terms of getting a chance to return punts?
I think they should be ready to go every week, like all players should be. If they get that opportunity, then hopefully they'll be ready to take advantage of it. We have other players that do that. That's not really their call. That's a coaching decision. So, if the coaches call on them, then hopefully they'll be ready to go. But we have other players as well that are working those spots. It's really out of their control, other than to prepare. That's in their control.
**Q: With Smith in particular, would it be maybe you want him to get a little more acclimated to the way you do things here before you give him anything extra to do?
No. No, I don't think so. The decision comes down to who we feel are the best players to play in the situations as they present themselves. That's what that is based on.
**Q: Do you feel like Doug Gabriel is ready to play a full game?
BB:** I don't know. I think every player should be prepared to play as much as they're called upon to play by the coaches and then those are the decisions that the coaches make. That's what coaching decisions are - personnel substitutions and plays. That's not in a player's control. I don't think they should worry about it. I don't think they do worry about it. I think they prepare to play and need to be ready when they're called on. We'll make the decisions that we feel like are in the best interest of the football team period.