Q: You are going against one of the greats, Peyton Manning; is that something special? RF:
We're just trying to get stuff figured out on our end, so the focus will be more on that. It is neat to play against guys like that. Earlier in the year I played against Brett Favre in New York, and that was a neat experience. But by the time the game starts, you're just in there trying to get first downs and touchdowns. It is cool to get a chance to play against him, but the focus is getting the football in the end zone.
Q: What about playing against (DE) Dwight Freeney?RF:
Yeah, he is certainly a guy you have to account for. He was banged up last year with some stuff, and you can definitely tell he's back healthy. Definitely a guy you have to know where he is, have him accounted for every play.
Q: Three straight games of pressure, but of different ways (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis defense). Which seems the toughest to play?RF:
This game is going to be different because unlike Pittsburgh or Baltimore, you are going to be able to know what they are running basically before you line up to take the snap. It's a matter of who out-executes who, who is more physical. We know what we are going to get facing them, it's just a matter of going out there and blocking them up, and to get the run game going, and well see where it takes us from there. We'll certainly have to focus on running the ball early and getting completions in the pass game.
Q: You played a lot there in the preseason finale. Could you get any sense of the crowd noise?RF:
No, it was just a preseason finale. But I've played there before, in the old dome, and it's loud. They have great fans. They're yelling and it's loud. We know we are going to have to take account for their noise, but it will not be unlike any other road game before.
Q: Is it mind-boggling how you can look good for a drive or two and then how quickly it can fall apart?RF:
Yeah, it really is. A lot of it is consistency and getting 11 guys on the same page. Sometimes when plays break down, it's just one guy's fault. Then you have another play and it's a different guy. We have to make sure, especially now, that everybody is doing their job on each play, and if we do that, then we'll be more successful.
Q: With all the injuries you've had, how hard is it to keep all 11 guys on the same page?RF:
The biggest injury has been Carson (Palmer), and there is going to be some timing work for me. I just have to build rapport with receivers, and at this point that's out the window. I've been doing this for weeks now, and the guys are comfortable, and I'm comfortable. Other than that, we've had a little shuffling with our line when we have had some injuries. The guys who have come in have done pretty well. We have struggled all year long, and you certainly can't point to injuries as the only reason. We are looking to overcome all that and score some touchdowns.
Q: It looked like there were a lot of batted balls against the Ravens. Is that something they were doing, or something you guys were doing differently?RF:
Baltimore, going into the game, that was something they were going to do. Especially to take away some of our quick passing game. There is not a lot you can do on some of those, when you have Terrell Suggs batting balls down with his armpit. Whether I was 7-feet tall or 6-2, they were going to get some balls. It's a matter of finding windows and I have to be more aware of that.
Q: Was it almost just a reaction to them, because it seemed like there was a lot of quick three-step drops in Pittsburgh. Do you think Baltimore made an adjustment after seeing that on film?RF:
In general, in the league, that's what the guys upfront are taught. The last two weeks, that's certainly something we've had happen more than in the past.
Q: There was a quote from Bart Scott saying, "We knew they had a short QB." Are you sometimes envious of Carson (Palmer), who is six-five, and there's no way a ball is going to get knocked around with him?RF:
I'm 6-2, and that's what I have to deal with. There are plenty of other guys in the league that play quarterback that I'm taller than, Drew Brees being one of them, and he does fine with it. My vision is going to be a little weaker than Carson's, but it's finding lanes and holes and getting the throws down.
Q: Why aren't offensive lines cut-blocking any more on short passes?RF:
I'm not sure. That's not something that we do, or anybody else does in the NFL. I don't have an answer for you.
Q: How much do you think a more robust running game would help you in the passing game?RF:
That's something that we have struggled with all season. Going back to the Jacksonville game, we had some success in the run game. I don't think that it's a secret, if you have success in the running game, it opens everything up. We are going to continue to run the ball and work on it in practice and work on technique. Hopefully we'll bust some big runs out in this game.
Q: The Indianapolis defense is certainly not Baltimore or Pittsburgh when it comes to stopping the run. Is there a sense of urgency to become more committed to the run during a week like this?RF:
Pittsburgh and Baltimore pose different problems in the running game than these guys. When they load up the eight man box, there is going to be a really good safety in Bob Sanders, sitting there, that you have to account for in the running game. Usually that means leaving somebody free. We know what they're going to give us, and it's a matter of blocking and running the ball downfield.
Q: In years past, they have been a team that runs a lot of Tampa 2 defense. Are they still running a lot of that?RF:
Not as much. You'll see it on the third-and-long or the second-and-long plays, but for the most part, the identity of their defense is an eight-man front. They're definitely a good defense, just different than what we've seen the last few games.
Q: Can you compare their defensive style to any defense you've seen this year?RF:
We've played so few four-down teams this year. As I've said, we know what they are going to do. It's a matter of us, when we get man-to-man, beating them and blocking them on the first and second-down plays.