BENGALS POSTGAME QUOTES
NOV. 16, 2015
HOUSTON AT CINCINNATI
Initial comments ...
"As I was standing on the sideline, I think what it came down to this evening was all of our opportunities (being present) and not taking advantage of them. We kind of got behind the field-position eight-ball there in the third and fourth quarters and were never able to flip it back over. (We had) too many penalties in the first half that derailed things; we had a couple penalties in the second half that derailed things. We've got to clean those things up. Tonight, that's the disappointing thing. We just didn't make enough football plays, point blank — dropped balls, penalties — (they) make a big difference."
Not to take anything away from the Texans, but it sounds like — according to you — that you guys kind of beat yourselves ...
"They played a football game. They didn't have a turnover (save for the one at the end of the first half). But again, I can't worry about them. I'm supposed to be here to talk about us and I'm trying to do the best I can (with that)."
You won't have to hear the hype anymore or worry about the team potentially having big heads this season ...
"I don't think we have big heads. That's not an issue with this football team. We'll go back to work like we always do."
Do you think there was a reason their defense was so successful on third down against your offense?
"They did a good job of (putting us in) third-and-long a lot of times, and that's an issue. They've been leading the league in third-down defense, and when you get people in third-and-long situations — like we put ourselves in, because of the penalties we had tonight — then they're going to have a little bit of an advantage, and it's hard to convert 60 percent of those. We converted some, but not enough of them."
Do you think this would have been a completely different game if you had completed one successful offensive drive for a touchdown?
"I don't know that, but we didn't score a touchdown tonight, and they did. That was the difference in the football game."
How do you think this team responds to this performance?
"We're going to come back and go back to work."
Was this just sort of a case of this being how this league works as no one goes 16, 17 weeks and does not play a poor game?
"Well, I think we've been on the other side of making some plays down the stretch and today we didn't; we were close again. I think that, for our guys, is what they can understand. For the defense to go out there maybe three, four series with the ball at the 40-plus yard line and be able to force punts, that's playing NFL football. And then, the offense (was) backed up ... You know, we're not converting, but yet we're coming back out and we got the drive at the end of the game and you know, we're still in a pretty good spot if (wide receiver) A.J. (Green) is able to hold on to the ball there at the end. But A.J. won't fumble the ball and Tyler Eifert won't drop balls (like he did tonight), and we'll go back to work, making plays and catches like we have (been) and continue to get better at it."
You talked about Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and his talent prior to this game ... Can you talk about the play he made for the go-ahead touchdown?
"He made a nice catch."
Your defense overall had a really solid effort tonight ...
"Well, again, it was a good effort, but we give up a couple plays — we gave up the fake screen, we gave up the quarterback scramble, we gave up the naked (bootleg), and the one play in the second half ... We just didn't get control of the field position tonight, and we gotta keep doing (work). You win as a football team, and you lose as a football team."
What was it about the defense that was causing so many problems?
"They had a good plan going in. They did a good job of taking throws away down the field, and in the end, we didn't make enough plays. That's what it came down to. We had a lot of opportunities."
Did you feel like if you had one successful series, it would have been a different game?
"Yeah, I thought we were going to go down and score at the end of the game. Our defense played really well to keep giving us those chances. We had a chance at the end to win. We just didn't win. We couldn't do it."
How do you bounce back from this going into another primetime game?
"We just have to put this one behind us. We can't let this loss turn into another one. We can't let there be any carry over. That's not the team we are, and we know what we've done to this point. This game doesn't define our season. It doesn't define anything. We're still 8-1. We're still leading the division. We know where we are, so we just got to get back to what we've been doing, and we'll be just fine."
Did penalties keep you off track?
"It definitely hurt us. You can't keep having negative plays and keep setting yourself back. It makes it tough. We have to correct that."
After the game, J.J. Watt said he wanted to make the 'Red Rifle' look like the 'Red Ryder B.B. Gun'. Your response?
"I'm disappointed in him because of the integrity of this game. I have a lot of respect for him. He's a really good player. There are a lot of kids and people who look up to him, and for him to make comments like that, he's just showing that's acceptable to say that kind of stuff. It's disappointing for one of the best players in this league to come out and say something like that, so that's all I'm going to say about that. I think he's a good player, but for him to be one of the best in this league and to show that integrity, it shows what he's about, and that's disappointing."
Can you learn more from a loss than a win?
"Yeah, we have a lot of stuff we can correct. I think that's something you can take from this. We have to get back to playing the way we can play. We can't let this loss carry over."
Have you talked with A.J. Green or Tyler Eifert since the game has ended?
"Both of them have to drop it. It's one game. They're two of the best players on this team, so put it behind them."
How did you feel about the boos from the fans?
"It's part of it. It's the way that things go. There were a couple of times that we didn't put anything out there. The biggest thing for this city is the support. We've done a lot of good things so far. I think the fans stayed into the game. There were a couple boos out there, which is fine. It's part of it. I think at the end of the game, everyone thought we were going to win and we had a chance to."
Was it a surprise when the offense faced struggles?
"I wouldn't say there were frustrations. We just had to put one drive together. It was almost like Pittsburgh. At the very end of that game, we put a drive together at the end and we won. I felt that same vibe from everybody, but unfortunately we didn't hold on to the ball. It's part of the game."
Are you curious to see how this team will react to adversity?
"Yeah, this is where we will see the character of this team. The guys we have here understand this wasn't our best game. We didn't put our best out there. We'll move forward, and we are going to be just fine."
On DeAndre Hopkins' touchdown reception ...
"It was an excellent play. You have to give him his credit. We went out there and fought hard and everything, but at the end of the day, as a team, you can't put it (blame) on one side or the other. We have to come out and dominate in all phases. That's something we came up short on today. We just have to come in tomorrow, learn from it and get better."
On the Bengals' penalties disrupting their momentum ...
"Yeah. Penalties can kill your drive. That's something right there that we need to be more disciplined in. We have to stay on top of it. We'll go back to the film, watch that, clean up our technique and get better."
It seemed like the defense played well, holding Houston to just six points ...
"Our defense played great, except me. I've got to make that (expletive) play (touchdown catch by DeAndre Hopkins). I consider myself one of the main guys on this team, and I love when my number is called. That won't happen any more, hopefully. We'll go back and look at the film."
On this being the first adversity the team has faced thus far this season ...
"This is the first one that we lost. We're going to go back and look at the film. We're taking it one week at a time. It's not going to break us — it's one game. We've been here before, and we know how to bounce back. We've got a great team (to play) next week, and we're looking forward to the challenge."
How do you take this one game so personally, considering how well the defense played?
"Because I'm one of the captains of the team, and when my number is called, No. 24 needs to make the play. I hold everybody in here accountable, and everybody knows that. When my number is called, I've got to make the play — period, point blank. Today, I didn't make the play that could have won us the game. If they don't score right there, they probably get a field goal and we go to overtime."
But it was a one-handed catch ...
"I don't care about that (expletive). I've got to make the play. 'I've got to make the play' — put that in the blogs. Put the game on me."
How shocking is this to come out of tonight with a loss?
"It's a tough time. It sucks. Anytime you lose, it hurts. Especially after winning eight in a row, to catch our first 'L' against the Texans, it hurts. But guys in the locker room are already talking about bouncing back next week against the Cardinals. But before we bounce back, we've got to watch the tape and see what we can improve on. We have a lot of areas to improve on defensively. I felt like we could have gotten more pressure on T.J. Yates when he got in the game — especially on the deep ball, the game-winner, which killed us. We've got some room to improve. It sucks to get our first loss, but all we can do is move on."
The vibe around the locker room has been that you were better than the Texans and that you left a game out there tonight ...
"Yeah. That's what I was saying out there on the field, the last couple of plays when they were kneeling the ball. I felt like we tricked this game off, and that we kind of peed down our leg a little. We can't do that, especially here at home. It was another AFC game in the race for that first and second spot. It was a tough loss, but we'll be fine and bounce back and find a way. That's what good teams do: Bounce back and find a way to win the game."
If you look at this locker room, what makes you think that you'll overcome this?
"I'm kind of new to the team, but a lot of these guys have been playing together for years. We all look at each other as brothers. That's the best thing for us. We won't point any fingers. We win as a team and lose as a team. We've just got to go back to the drawing board and get ready for Arizona."
There haven't been a lot of struggles for this offense this year. Anything you can put your finger on from tonight?
"We just didn't play well. I played awful. It's embarrassing. We've just got to come back and work. Losing is never a good thing, but maybe it will refocus us and kind of recharge us."
Are drops something that eat at you?
"As much as you try to forget about it, it's tough. There's no excuse for it. I drop one and I start fighting it. You've got to forget about it, but it's hard. It's unacceptable."
Have you gone through this before where you drop a couple and it happens again?
"No, that's never happened to me in a game. I've got to get on the jugs. That can't happen. I let me teammates down. We move on and get back to work on Wednesday."
Whether it's warranted or not, from a national perspective people say this team isn't ready for primetime and your quarterback isn't ready for primetime. What's your response to that?
"It is what it is, I guess. We don't care when we play and it doesn't affect how we prepare for the game or anything. I don't know why we have that streak but we can't let it bother us. We've just got to move on. Like we said when we were winning, move on to the next game and take it one game at a time."
This offense has been so efficient this season. What was different tonight?
"Just penalties, the drops, not converting on third down. Pretty much that's all it was."
Disappointing to have this kind of performance on Monday Night Football?
"Yeah, it always hurts when you can't execute and do what you game plan to do. It's very disappointing, but that's why you play 16 games, and get a chance to go out there next week and try to make it right."
A lot of guys are talking that you guys maybe left one out there against a team you might be better than. Is it disappointing when it's a team with a losing record?
"It's the NFL. You can't overlook anybody. They've got guys over there that get paid, too. They came out with a great game plan and they executed it. We didn't do our part and that's how you lose games—you turn the ball over, don't convert on third down, and get penalties.
Eight-and-one. You guys have to think you're still fine where you are ...
"I wouldn't say that. I think everyone in this locker room feels we could have been 9-0. We've got a lot of work to do. We've got to come in, and fix some things and keep pounding."
Your sack was a pretty big play because it flipped field position and got them off the field. We saw you guys move into their territory for a drive. Did you feel that play could have been a turning point?
"There were a lot of different plays that could have been a turning point for us. We were in it until the end for sure. Regardless, you have to give the Texans credit. They fought back all night, continued to make plays, and when it came down to it, they made a couple more plays than us. They won the game."
A theme here is that multiple guys are blaming themselves. What does that speak to the character of this locker room when guys are doing that after a tough loss?
"This is my first year here, and I've said it from the beginning that there's a lot of great guys in this locker room—a lot of guys that are fiercely competitive—and you see that every single day at practice. Of course after this game we all know that we could have done more and we didn't do it. We have a lot of guys here that are high character guys that stick together through the wins and the losses, and that's what we're going to have to do with this one."
There's a human element to this too. Do you get caught up about having to go play a great football team next week?
"I don't think so. I never sensed any of that. It's been a long week leading up to this, coming off a Thursday night game. I never felt any sense of that. Nobody was talking about it. Now we are. We knew once the game was over whatever happened—win or lose—that we're going to have to find a way to go out there and perform on a short week now. I don't think we were caught looking ahead, we just didn't make enough plays. It's pretty simple."
A lot of people are pretty shocked you guys lost that game. What's your feeling? You guys were a pretty big favorite ...
"I don't know if you guys watched the Ronda Rousey fight. I'm not saying this is anything to compare to that at all, but we're humans and a lot of stuff happens. There's a lot of moving parts in football. We couldn't make enough plays to win it. I wish there was an easier way to explain it. They made more plays, and they won, they beat us at our place."
You guys can still feel pretty good about where you are after nine games ...
"Yeah, it's tough directly after losing on a Monday night. We know everything is still out in front of us, and we need to find a way to go to Arizona, and put on a good show and perform like we feel like we should. It will be a good test for our team. The good thing is nobody here is pointing any fingers or anything like that."
TEXANS POSTGAME QUOTES
NOV. 16, 2015
HOUSTON AT CINCINNATI
What is your reaction to tonight's game?
"It's a great win. I couldn't be more proud of those players and these coaches. I think the players worked very hard — they've been working hard all year. We said this was the start of the new season, and we talked about the fact that we've all made mistakes in the first half of the season, and we can't look back, all we can do is look forward. Those guys, they took it to heart so I'm proud of them."
How about the defensive effort?
"It was great. You can't ask for more out of your defense than what they gave us. Offensively, obviously, we had some issues. I thought our offense did a good job of grinding it out when they had to. It wasn't great obviously, but it was enough to win. And special teams — I thought Shane (Lechler) punted the ball extremely well, and we had some decent returns. I think it was a great team win."
Your thoughts on T.J. Yates ...
"He's a pro. He came back in here and had a great recall of our offense when he got back here. He's got a really good demeanor. He's a great guy in the locker room, really good teammate, very supportive of Brian (Hoyer), and he's got similar experience to Brian in terms of years and things like that. He's a pro. He was prepared to play if something were to happen to Brian. Brian got dinged and was having trouble out there, and so he went in there. I thought T.J. did a really good job for only having been here for a couple weeks."
How emotional is this win for you?
"I'm proud of these players. They focused on what their jobs were, and they did their jobs in practice and in the film room. We've got really good guys in that locker room. To come in here and beat a team like Cincinnati, that in my opinion is a really good football team — an 8-0 team — I think that's a heck of an accomplishment for the Houston Texans."
What are your thoughts on the way you tackled?
"We worked hard on that. It's not easy to work on that in practice because you can't always be in pads. We have worked on tackling. We've had tough practices and I think those have paid off. We've had tackling drills because we struggled to tackle early in the year. ... Look, it wasn't perfect, but for the most part, they tackled well."
When you drafted Kevin Johnson, was this what you were hoping for?
"Sure. Anytime you draft a corner in the first round, you're hoping he can help you win a game like that, and that's what he did. He's a very smart guy. What he gives up in size sometimes, he makes up for in competitiveness and quickness. He's just a real good kid to coach."
Can you talk about the touchdown catch play?
"We've been working on that play. Obviously, Hop (DeAndre Hopkins) is a go-to guy for us. We always tell the quarterbacks, whether it's Brian or T.J., just give him a chance to make a play — throw the ball in bounds where he can have a chance to jump up and get it, and that's what he did. He got both feet down. It was a great play. Great throw and great catch by DeAndre."
Any update on Brian Hoyer's status?
"It's probably a concussion. You know, I'm not a doctor, but that's the way it looked to me. There was something a little off with him. I asked him on the sidelines and he just said, 'Look, there's something a little off with me right now,' and that's not like him to be like that. He's a competitor and he wants to be in there, but he wanted to do what was right for the team, and that's when we made the decision with our medical staff to go with T.J."
Can you talk in general about what this win can do for your team?
"It's a big win. Winning cures everything, especially when you beat a team like Cincinnati that's a well coached team, a really good team, an undefeated team, coming in here. Hopefully we can build on it. This is a team in this locker room right now that understands what they're capable of doing. But we've got to do it every week. It's on to the Jets now, and I've been watching them in preparation for a short week here, and they're a very good football team. It's going to be a big challenge. We're going to need our fans big time next week."
Have you presented a game ball?
"No I did not present a game ball."
What does it say about your third-down defense that you've been excellent, not just tonight, but all year long?
"We've been good on third down for a couple years now. We were pretty good last year, too. The problem early in the year for us is they weren't getting to third down sometimes. Now when you get them in third down, we've got a good third-down package and our guys understand it. I think it's difficult because it changes every week. It involves, obviously, Mr. Watt, and moving him around, and then our coverage principles behind it. I think our guys understand that third down is a big down, and if we can get off the field, it gives our offense another opportunity to score."
Are you interested in the Maryland job?
"Again, these things get thrown out here by the media and I will not respond to those things. I know you have to ask that, and it's not directed at you, but anyone can say anything. They can just throw it out there and say anything. All I know is that I'm head coach of the Houston Texans, and we just had a great win, and I'm damn proud to be the head coach of the Houston Texans."
T. J. YATES
Can you tell us about the touchdown pass?
"When all else fails, throw it up to Hop (DeAndre Hopkins). That's the only thing I was thinking right there. I had a good matchup with one-on-one, and Hop made an unbelievable catch."
What is it with you and the Bengals?
"The thing that has happened all three times is great defense. I'm glad we got in there early and got a score, but the defense held them to six points all game long. That's amazing against that offense."
What is it like to be the Johnny-on-the-spot guy?
"I've done it before. I just made sure I was prepared to do this. You have to do that coming into every single week and this week my number was called and I made it happen."
How have you done this when you haven't been with the Texans all that long?
"A lot of hard work. A lot of studying. A lot of help from all the guys on the offense. They have done a great job of getting me up to speed and simplifying things and not making it too big."
How much did it help having big moments in this stadium before?
"Just being in this situation before; knowing this place and knowing this defense let me just go out there and play football."
When you walked into the stadium, did you have some feelings?
"Yes, it was a little nostalgic. I wish my parents could have been here today. I've had a lot of good memories in Cincinnati, and I'm just glad that we came out of here with a win."
How did you learn that Brian Hoyer was concussed?
"He came up to me and told me to get ready. He knew something was wrong. He just told me get ready and go in."
Can you talk about what it means to come in here and beat a team that is undefeated?
"It is a huge win for our team. We are starting off the second half of the season on the right note. Coming in against this team (and winning) is special because they are good on both sides of the ball — special teams as well. They are a very tough team to prepare for. We had a bye week so we had some extra time to do it. We felt very good going into this game. The defense did a good job to hold them there at the end."
Does this defense look like it did in 2011?
"Tonight it looked like it. That defense looked dominate like it used to be. Hopefully we can gain some momentum off this win and keep it going."
What happened on that first toss?
"Oh yeah. Let's not talk about that. I had to get that one out of my system. That was nasty."
Bill O'Brien said that you guys needed a win like this to get you over the hump. Do you think you are?
"Going against one of the best teams in the league and having an impressive win on both sides of the ball — shutting them down on defense. Sustaining good drives is what we need to do on offense. If we can go against an 8 — 0 Bengals team (and win), then we can go up against anybody in this league."
This was an emotional win against an undefeated team ...
"Yeah, no question. We put in a lot of work. Most people didn't believe we could go out here and win this game. We believed as a team. We came out here and did what we wanted to do and got that 'W'."
Was this a statement game to the rest of the league?
"It's just big for us, realizing the level of football we can play at. We've got to get better and try to improve next week."
On the defensive performance ...
"We're starting to click. We're starting to gel — playing fast, playing with emotion, and making plays."
What did you think of DeAndre Hopkins' touchdown catch?
"I see him do that every day in practice, so it was no surprise to me when they threw that ball to him he came down with it."
On backup quarterback T.J. Yates' performance ...
"I can't say enough about him. When (Brian) Hoyer went down, I came up to (Yates) and told him, 'Let's keep it going.' He came out there with poise, confidence and threw a dime to (Hopkins) in the end zone. I think that just gave us a huge spark to see him come in and make a play. For him to operate our offense the way he did, I know it's not easy. It's not easy to learn in such a short time period, but he got the job done. I'm glad for him. I'm happy as hell right now."
Were you able to see DeAndre Hopkins' touchdown catch?
"Oh yeah, I saw it. You just get used to seeing him going up and getting those kind of catches. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. They called offensive pass interference on him earlier, so I was hoping that he wouldn't push off. He got a little bit of separation, just enough. It was just an incredible catch. He's a special player, and he continues to make those kind of plays week in and week out. I'm happy he's on our team."
On his overall reaction to winning the game ...
"I'm pretty excited. It was an incredible team win. It took everybody — offense, defense, special teams — especially in the fourth quarter, when you look at the field position they put us in. Punting down the field knocking them back inside the 20, inside the 10. And our defense manning up and getting three-and-outs. We got stops when we had to.
"You can't say enough about T.J. (Yates) coming in the second half and doing what he did. Our coaches putting together a great game plan. It's an incredible feeling when you do something that basically everybody tells you you can't do."
On Quintin Demps forcing a fumble on A.J. Green at the end of the game ...
"Incredible play. Absolutely incredible play, playing all the way to the whistle, giving everything you've got until the last second. Those are the type of plays that win you games against 8-0 football teams. You have to make plays like that."
What does this do for you team to get a win like this?
"It's a big win. It starts the second half of your season on the right foot. It puts you in a position where everything's in front of you. We knew in the second half of the season we were going to have everything in front of us. And today helps (us take) one step in the right direction. It's a process; it's a bunch of one-game seasons. We have a big game against the Jets coming up at home, and we just need to attack that one just like we did this one."