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Playoff Quote Board: Larry O. Injury Dents D-Line; Bengals-Titans Connections; Designer Joe

Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi jogs off the field after the defense made a stop against the San Francisco 49ers.
Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi jogs off the field after the defense made a stop against the San Francisco 49ers.

Best of the Zoom news conferences before the Bengals practiced Tuesday: 


The Bengals defensive line took a blow this week when they placed starting defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi on injured reserve after he hurt his foot in the Wild Card win over the Raiders. In what figures to be setting up the addition of a defensive tackle from outside the team on Wednesday, the Bengals released veteran guard Xavier Su'a-Filo to make room. Su'a-Filo just returned to the roster after rehabbing an injury suffered in the second game of the season. 

Also unable to play is veteran D-tackle Mike Daniels (groin), but they're hopeful on Josh Tupou. 

Ogunjobi was one of the huge defensive free agent signings this off-season. His seven sacks from the three technique were the most by a Bengals interior player since his role model, Geno Atkins, had 10 in 2018. He also made a big play Saturday when he recovered the game-changing strip-sack fumble forced by defensive end Trey Hendrickson in the second quarter.

Linebacker Logan Wilson: "It's tough. It sucks. That's the worst part of football is to lose guys to injury, especially one of your starters. This team, I think we have a next man up mentality, and I think that, whoever steps in, in his place will do a great job. So, I'm not really worried about it. Will (Ogunjobi) be missed? Absolutely. He's a great player for us."

Defensive tackle D.J. Reader: "Next man up.We've got a lot of young guys in our room. We're going to pull on guys. Guys might have to move around but, it's the next man up. We got to go out there and get it done and do a great job with the things that Larry sees. He's still around us, he talks to us all the time so, taking his coaching as another coach out there and just having a good time."

"(Larry is) a brother, he's a warrior. A very hard-working player. I respect his grind, everything about him, everything he's done since he came into the league and just come in and join our team and bringing that leadership and hard work. Just as a person that meant a lot. He's a team guy who's a very good guy in our room. He'll be missed"

Head coach Zac Taylor: "Larry really laid it all out there for us this year. This is his first year with our organization, couldn't have been happier. He's still around, he'll have surgery here shortly … I've really, really liked him, respect his work ethic, respect his leadership.

"He's not a loud guy, he's a quiet leader. Guys respect the heck out of him, he knows how to practice, he knows how to go through the process. He gave us everything he got every game he played in and (I'm) really happy that he's part of this organization."

Taylor says Hendrickson (concussion) and Tupou (knee) have been trending positively. Hendrickson, one of those big free agents who had those 14 sacks this season, left Saturday's game in the third quarter.

Tupou got hurt in Cleveland two weeks ago in the finale.

Taylor: "(Hendrickson is) progressing through the concussion protocol in a positive manner. He won't be fully clear today, but he's progressing the right way … Josh will be limited today. We'll get him going this week and see how he feels as we get to practice."


The Bengals play a Titans team Saturday (4:30 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) in an AFC Divisional game whose calling card all season has been its running game. Derrick Henry, the two-time NFL rushing champion, is arguably the best running back in the league. But when he went down with a foot injury in Week 8, D'Onta Foreman became the featured back with 566 yards and three touchdowns. Henry has since been cleared to play and should return.

Taylor: "They've got a really good stable of running backs that really picked up the steam when Henry got hurt."

Wilson: "You want to keep him contained as best you can, keep him in between the tackles. But, they're going to have some scheme runs and we'll have to adjust accordingly.

"He's obviously got one of the best stiff arms, probably the best stiff arms in the league. You've got to understand that when he puts it up, (you have to use) swipe on-swipe off techniques to try to get it off of you as fast as you can and try to get with him, to grab him and bring him down."

Reader on Foreman: "It's a blessing to see him playing well. I was with him in Houston and things weren't quite going his way. He's a really good player still, things just weren't going his way. (It is) a blessing to see him get a new opportunity and things kind of go his way a little bit this year."


Quarterback Joe Burrow has been hot down the stretch which has led to big wins and he talked about his secrets in preparation.

Burrow: "A lot of young quarterbacks … (in) college and high school, they asked me that question and I think that's the wrong way to look at it. If you sit down and say, 'I'm going to sit here and watch three hours of film', I don't think that does you any good. I always think about it as however long it takes for me to feel comfortable with whatever I was watching that day.

"Whether it's red zone, third and medium, third and short, however long it takes me to feel comfortable about where I'm going to put my eyes and my decision-making. Every situation has, different coverages. So as long as it takes me to sit down and feel comfortable with all these different looks that I'm going to see is how long it takes. It could take 20 minutes, could take 30 minutes, could take an hour and a half."


Burrow and his teammates are already laying the organization's foundation for years to come.

Burrow on the playoff win: "The fans were very excited but, I try to downplay it and all that because, this is how it's going to be from here on out. This is a great win for us. This is the standard, the bare minimum every year going forward."


No. 9's post-game Cartier glasses went viral on social media.

Burrow: "I just wear stuff that I like … I just see something online that I might like or people buy me stuff that's right up my alley and I'll just throw it on. If it's cool, you know I'm going to wear it … I got a couple of (Cartier glasses), maybe we'll see them in a couple of weeks. Probably not back to back though."


Taylor had two different coaching stints with Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Taylor was a graduate assistant with him at Texas A&M and then when Taylor became a Dolphins assistant coach in 2012, Tannehill was Miami's first-round draft choice.

Taylor wore many different hats on Miami's coaching staff, but was always attached to the hip of Tannehill and the offense.

Taylor: "I had a tremendous eight years being around Ryan Tannehill. I've probably got a stronger library of all the throws and all the catches he made and all the runs he had over those eight years than maybe he does, because as a coach you end up watching those cut-ups all the time.

"He used to miss practice in college because he had the pre-med classes he had to take and so he'd miss the Wednesday practices. He was always capable of knowing the entirety of the offense and what the coaches wanted out of the system. He's got the arm to make all the throws. He could play receiver in the NFL if he had chosen to do that.

"It's no surprise, he's helped that team get into the position they've been in these last couple of years. He really executes that offense at a high level and he can make your defense pay if you let him. They've got the right quarterback on board there."

More Taylor on Tannehill: "A misconception is that he was a receiver. He was a quarterback at Big Spring High School. Came in as a quarterback at A&M. I would say, he may correct me on this, but two or three days before the first game in 2008, he was a third-string quarterback and we just moved him to receiver right before the game.

"He went in there against Arkansas State and played receiver two days later. Never went to receiver meetings, he was always in the quarterback meetings. He was always a quarterback who just happened to have 140 catches as a receiver."


Burrow is 'Joey Franchise' and linebacker Germaine Pratt is now 'Playoff P' but, Wilson has a few monikers of his own.

Wilson: "One of my buddies that I grew up competing against in high school, we went to the University of Wyoming together and played football together. I think he just came up with (The Governor). I don't remember what the exact reasoning was for it, he just came up with the nickname and it stuck. Everyone used to call me that when I was back in Wyoming and some people still shout me out on Twitter with the Gov nickname."

Wilson has also been referred to as Dash because of his resemblance to Dash Parr from Pixar's The Incredible's movie series.

Wilson: "They're both fine. I don't mind Dash. Dash is way better than Incrediboy."


Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has connections with some of the Bengals.

Burrow: "I know (Vrabel) was one of my favorite players growing up. He played both sides of the ball so, that was always fun to see when I was young. You didn't see that a lot in the NFL. He's been a great coach. He was at Ohio State right before I got there. I think he recruited Sam (Hubbard) when he was at Ohio State. It's been fun to see him go from that, to where he's at now."

Vrabel played defensive end/linebacker for the Steelers, Patriots and the Chiefs before his coaching career started. As a Patriot, he won three Super Bowls and would occasionally play offense. Before he went to Tennessee, he was the defensive coordinator at Houston, where he coached Reader.

Reader: "Coach Vrabel was a good coach. He was a great player in this league for a long time. He's a tough guy. I played for him, I love him to death. He's a guy you want to run through the wall for."