Quotes: Players And Coach Taylor React After 2nd Preseason Game

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

HEAD COACH ZAC TAYLOR

Opening statement:

"Like I told the guys, it feels good to win. You’ve got to get used to winning. This week, as we get ready for the Giants, we got a seven day week that’ll be like a normal week. So, I told those guys we’ve got to raise our standards in every area coming off this week because this week wasn’t quite good enough, and we got a lot to improve on. I thought offensively, the first drive, I don’t know how I feel about it because it was a string, I think eight penalties on the first nine plays. So it was very disjointed, but I do know we had too many penalties in the first quarter for us to go win a football game. So that was a bad way to start, and unfortunately, we felt like we had a good shot a touchdown there, the ball got tipped, and it goes the other way. So your feeling goes from about to score a touchdown on the first drive of the game to all of the sudden we are down 6-0, that’s a tough way to start. So, you know, I just thought our guys just needed to rebound better on offense, take control, not so many penalties and get the ball moving. I thought defensively we really did a nice job in this game. Guys tackled better, guys played with more energy, those are things that we asked them at halftime, “Let's create some turnovers and let’s be great tacklers.” I thought they came out and did that. Special teams obviously stepped up and had a much better game. Great to see those guys, we still have to make the kicks that are there for us. But overall, I thought special teams and that defense, the whole unit played well throughout. I thought the first offense needed to start better but the next groups picked it up in the second half."

On feeling out the offensive pass interference call and the review process:

"The one that got us was when they called a touchdown for us, but we didn’t see a signal for touchdown. So I assumed he was down at the one and then all of a sudden the clocks running and we've been spotted way back because we got called for OPI. So those were, I guess, do a better job speaking with the officials and make sure we're all on the same page because they must review it very quickly to declare it was an OPI so that we can regroup and get ready to roll. But, I think the officials are doing a really good job of trying to over-communicate with you, just in general. Everyone’s kind of working through this together and so the guys that have been on our sidelines have done a good job. They come up after each try and make sure we are on the same page, so they are in a tough spot; it's not easy. But they are trying their best to communicate with us."

On what happened on the touchdown play that was ruled an OPI:

"Well, we didn’t need to throw the flag because it was technically a score and so we can’t throw a flag on a score. We didn’t realize it was a score; I thought he was down on the one. So we threw it and their comment was ‘’just get with us and see if you can review that or not.” Obviously, if we knew that was a touchdown, we wouldn’t have thrown it, everything is reviewable at that point. So they reviewed it and they deemed it was not DPI – I'm sorry, that it should not have been picked up for being OPI. They spot us back at first-and-20. That’s just a confusing scenario that we worked through and it's good that it happened in the preseason."

On younger players having some jitters in preseason games:

"That should be no surprise; it's their first game in the NFL. Guys are going to be nervous. They get so excited and tired very quickly because all their nerves are running through them. [I] certainly thought those guys stepped up and responded tonight and we saw a lot of the early guys make some plays."

On the touchdown pass that QB Dwayne Haskins threw:

"Yeah, just a split second late. You’re talking about the touchdown on the third down? Sometimes that’s the difference on third down. We cause some of those pressures and you’re vulnerable on the back end because you’re counting on the pressure to hit the quarterback a little bit sooner and lucky for him, he got it out and made a big play."

On performance of the receivers:

"It was. I think those guys have – we’ve been impressed by the receiver groups as a core. I think [wide receivers coach] Bob Bicknell and [assistant quarterbacks coach] Dan Pitcher have done a great job with those guys and being on top of the details because that’s so important in the system is that guys are doing the little things the right way. So, it's still not perfect, but I have been impressed with that group as a whole. Those guys stepped up and made some big plays tonight."

On the touchdown to WR Auden Tate:

"Yeah, it's important to format to make plays that way that put guys into position that plays to their strengths. That was a great job by him, great job by the other two guys to create interference in a sense and him doing a great job of coming through there with aggressive hands. That was a great job by Auden, great job by Ryan [Finley]."

On the WR Damion Willis catch that didn’t count:

"Well, Damion’s got a knack for the ball. It's no surprise that when we put the ball down the field, he's got that radar where he can get underneath and go track those balls down. It’s too bad that one got called back, because obviously it would have been a big play. It changes things and instead, we end up kicking the ball there. Damion has been impressive. With those young guys, consistency has been what we’re looking for. Showing up in the run game. It's not just about catching the ball, it's helping our backs in the run game as well. So, those guys have got to continue to step up, but overall they’ve done a nice job."

On QB Ryan Finley starting 8-for-8:

"Well, it sounds like we’re getting worse because we were I think 10-for-10 last time. We’re regressing in that regard but again he was very cool and calm and you've got a lot of confidence with him in there and I thought he did a nice job. I really thought all of our quarterbacks did a good job with their decision-making. You know unfortunately for Andy [Dalton] the penalties get out of control and he's the leader of that group so he's got to step up and take control of them, which he does a good job of. Unfortunately for him, it's hard to get into a rhythm when there's flags every other play and so that was tough. But I thought the other two guys did a nice job."

On WR Alex Erickson returning punts in the 4th quarter:

"Yeah, I think that he just wanted Alex [Erickson] to get another return. You know he hasn't gotten too many of them yet and he’ll be the returner, so I'm glad that they put him back there."

On his confidence in CB Darius Phillips:

"Yup, we got confidence in Darius [Phillips]. He's still a young player, he’s improving. Obviously we had some miscues last week but he had a good week in practice which I think everybody saw and then he bounces back. You know you have just got to keep picking these guys up and have confidence in them. I think Darius [Phillips] knows that we do and he had a great return there to start the game. That was good to see from him and Alex [Erickson] is just a guy to get back over the hump and get the confidence back. He's a good return guy and we’ll keep giving him a look."

On the run game:

"It’s a little easier to tell tomorrow, to be honest with you. I know Joe [Mixon] had a good one when we got called for holding. It’s good to see those guys in there, they’re difference makers so it’s a little easier to call the run game. I thought Jordan Ellis did a nice job. He was our last man standing. We were out of backs. He was in there, we tried to give him a break at times, but he kept fighting his tail off and getting some hard-earned runs. We felt like we got better at the run game as the game got going. Our guys got in a grove a little bit and that’s typically the way it goes and he does a good job of grinding those out."

On HB Trayveon Williams’ injury:

"I don’t know yet. We’ll find out a little more probably tomorrow."

On C/G Trey Hopkins’ performance and finding a starting center:

"Sooner better than later. We’ll keep looking at all these positions. Billy [Price] is still fighting through that foot injury so we want to make sure Billy gets back up to speed and we’re still evaluating that left guard. We’ll watch the tape and keep making evaluations and take our time on making a decision."

On K Tristan Vizcaino’s 57-yard field goal:

"It’s a consistency that we need now. We’ve got to make extra points early in the game. We’ve got to make the field goals that are there, but he did a great job. It was good to see him come through and kick a 57, 58 (yard field goal). That’s impressive, that’s something he can do. Happy for him."

On how he thought G Michael Jordan performed at left guard:

"We’ll see. That’s one you’ve got to watch the tape. When you’re calling plays, you’re thinking of the next play. You’re not necessarily evaluating [what the battle was]. [Offensive line coach] Jimmy [Turner] will probably have a better feel for it and we’ll talk about it tomorrow."

On the first defense’s performance:

"They really stepped up. They did a nice job. They played physically, the way we wanted. Defensively, we feel we did a lot better."

BENGALS QUARTERBACK ANDY DALTON

On the interception:

"Yeah, if the ball doesn’t get tipped it’s a touchdown, so unfortunately he just went the other way with it. It is one of those things, the ball doesn’t find the ground very much when they get tipped. I mean it’s exactly how you draw it up. We had a great play call and unfortunately it got tipped."

On finding a rhythm:

"Yes, it was kind of weird. I don’t know how many yards we had on penalties on that first drive. We had way too many penalties. It is one of those things we have to look at ourselves. We can’t have that; we can’t set ourselves back. So, it was tough to get in a rhythm there."

On watching young receivers:

"I thought those guys played great. Damion [Willis] had a couple really good catches. [Auden] Tate had a couple that were really good, obviously with the touchdown. That was a really good play. There is that competition there and these guys are really starting to raise their level of play."

On the offensive penalties:

"Yes, there were too many penalties and we set ourselves back. We didn’t get any kind of rhythm. It made it tough. We put ourselves behind the chains and it made it hard to convert. It’s one of those things we have to correct. We can’t have those penalties. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot like that."

On the interception being a TD if it is not tipped:

"It’s a touchdown. Unfortunately, we have a great play call, great play. Ball is going exactly where it needed to go, it just happens to get tipped. That goes to show you it’s a game of inches. You never know what’s going to happen. If he didn’t tip that ball it’s six points for us, Unfortunately, it got tipped and they brought it back."

On the interception play call going to Trayveon Williams:

"Yeah, he ran a great route. He got open and it's unfortunate it got tipped."

On who tipped the ball:

"It was right at the line, I don’t know who got it, one of those interior guys."

On Head Coach Zac Taylor’s experience as a QB being helpful:

"For sure, I think that we have so many QB’s on the staff, and so many guys that have that experience as a QB. Little things that happen they know what you been through so it definitely helps with all of that experience in the room."

On finding a rhythm:

"We didn’t really have a rhythm and then we got down because of the penalties too. Some of them were kind of going both ways, but we set ourselves back and made it tough, I feel like there was a penalty called on every play at the start of the game, it was weird. We can’t do it; we have to be sharp on our assignments."

On that tipped pass being low:

"No, the ball was going exactly where I needed to, on time and rhythm. He just happened to deflect the ball and it got to Nicholson. If he didn’t touch it it’s a touchdown on our end, so I guess it’s just a good play on his part."

BENGALS QUARTERBACK RYAN FINLEY

On his overall impression of the game:

"It was a lot of fun getting out there. I thought [we] had some really good drives. I was in there, I thought Jordan [Ellis] ran the ball really well and just really balanced, made it easy to call plays. I thought it was fun for Drew Sample to get his first touchdown and then banging that one on [Auden] Tate, that was a really good catch by him. I thought guys played really well, it was a lot of fun."

On the touchdown to WR Auden Tate:

"Well pre-snap I knew I was throwing to him. So just give him a chance. He’s a huge body. He’s got great hands. So if we put it anywhere in his area code, he’s going to come down with it. Really good catch by him."

On building chemistry with the young wide receivers:

"I think that is one of the really awesome things about what we are doing on offense right now. We have a lot of receivers that know a lot of different positions and are playing at a high level. So when those guys get back, it’s going to be awesome."

BENGALS WIDE RECEIVER ALEX ERICKSON

On the feeling of returning a punt return for a TD:

"It just shows how hard it is. Never take it for granted I guess. No matter if it’s in the first quarter of week whatever or the fourth quarter of preseason game two. I guess it’s all the same. If you’re going be out there, you might as well give it your all and make a play. We were able to do that, and it ended up being a big play in the game. Obviously where we’re at, and I know it’s just the preseason, but we’re trying to win every single game. We’re trying to build a winning culture here, and the only way to do that is by winning games. So it was good to get the W tonight. Sometimes it’s all the phases. The special teams showed up big tonight, and it helped us win the game."

On taking the chance to return almost every punt:

"Yeah it’s one of those things too. Preseason, you get a lot of advice, you get a lot of opportunities and then, from your own standpoint, you want to get comfortable back there. You know it’s one thing catching it at practice, but when it’s live bullets, it makes a heck of a difference. For me, personally, I want to make sure I get a few live reps in because when week one comes around it’s all going to be up another level speed wise. You want to be comfortable catching it, you want to be comfortable in traffic, you want to get your eyes right on the defenders, so you can set guys up and things like that. It’s all about getting the feel back and getting the flow. We were able to do that tonight."

BENGALS TIGHT END DREW SAMPLE

On the 57-yard field goal:

"Oh, 100 percent. Going back to practices at Washington [University], games at Washington, he was the man. I’m sure, I know he was bummed, I think he missed the first one and then he came back and just nailed the second one, that 57-yarder. Definitely, I knew he was capable of that and I was really happy for him to make that."

On if he is surprised Tristan [Vizcaino] can hit from all over the field:

"No, I mean he’s got a leg on him, so that doesn’t surprise me at all. For him, it is awesome and obviously it was able to help the team out too."

On hitting the game winning field goal:

"I think it was just kind of understanding what you’re going into. You kind of get the first game jitters, speed, there is just a lot that goes into it. I think even just the preparation part, the differences between college and the NFL. Kind of knowing what was going to happen more definitely helped. Another week in practice I think helped too."

BENGALS KICKER TRISTAN VIZCAINO

On his journey to the Bengals:

"Really my agent got in contact with the team and I had a tryout in Cincinnati, I think a week before the end of the regular season this past year. I did well and got signed to a futures contract. Went through OTAs here and now, we are competing in training camp."

On how it feels to kick a 57-yard field goal:

"I mean, that one in particular didn’t feel like I got the hardest hit on it, but I got enough on it to get the job done. Probably could’ve gotten a little more solid contact on it."

On hitting the game winning field goal:

"It kind of comes with the nature of the position, right. You can’t have high highs and low lows. You just have to stay pretty even, stay within yourself and I guess I translate it off the field."

BENGALS LINEBACKER GERMAINE PRATT

On what he feels he can improve on:

“Me being more discipline in the defense, more discipline and just being more sound and stuff.”

On what he feels like the defense can improve on as a whole:

“I mean just being physical, playing hard and then just everybody doing their job. Come out and do your job. Make sure that the eleven people that’s on the field do their job and just play hard for your brother.”

On how he felt about playing on the same field as Adrian Peterson:

“That was good, just seeing him, you know, old guy, you know what I mean, that you watched growing up when he played for the Vikings and stuff. Then seeing him get out a little bit. That was like, we didn’t want him to get out, but I see he still had it.”

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