COACH TOM COUGHLIN
Coughlin: Good morning. We’re back on track. We’re looking forward to getting back on the practice field, preparing for the Cincinnati Bengal team, a team that was 3-1 earlier in the year, has lost four very close games of late. Just a week ago, had lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-17, a very, very good football game. Then, against the Broncos, they were down 17-3 and came back to take a 20-17 lead, and eventually lost that game as well. They had some turnovers in that game. They looked like they were going to be in pretty good shape. They are a team that’s built in the style of the AFC North, in that they’re attempting to overtake the Steelers. They’re built much like that. They have a big, strong and powerful offensive line. A.J. Green is an excellent receiver, a deep threat. (Andy) Dalton being the young quarterback who was a Pro Bowler a year ago. They were in the playoffs a year ago. They run the ball, (BenJarvus) Green-Ellis is there, as you know, as a free agent. He’s a powerful runner, a lot of the style that you see is emblematic of the formations that we just played against. Defensively, a very good front, outstanding front. Tenth in the league in sacks, (Geno) Atkins leads their team. (Michael) Johnson is second, in that regard. He’s very, very good, very physical. A veteran secondary, they picked up Terence Newman, who’s played well for them. Had two interceptions against the Broncos the other day. Their special teams, again, with two outstanding returners. (Brandon) Tate and Adam Jones, two outstanding punt returners and kick returners. So, we’re on guard again of that. (Kevin) Huber is an outstanding punter, he’s a lefty who can drive the ball the length of the field. (Mike) Nugent has kicked well, he’s 14-for-16 in field goals. It’s a talented offense. Of late, they’ve had some very close games that they have not won. I’m sure there’s some frustration, just as there is here.
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QB ELI MANNING
Q: What do you see when you look at the Bengals?
A: They have a good defense. They do a good job of getting to the quarterback, getting the pass rush and they have some good blitzes, they have a bunch of talented guys back in the secondary. Overall, they’re a very sound, talented defense. We’re going to have to have great execution.
Q: Your brother played them last week. Did you talk to Peyton during the course of this week and ask him what he saw?
A: Yeah, I talked to him a little bit. I talked to him yesterday about their game. Just seeing if there are any tips on certain things. We talked a little bit.
Q: What the Bengals don’t do well is red-zone defense. What have you seen there, and what do you hope to exploit?
A: We watched some games, got into all of our red-zone plays, which we don’t have in quite yet. We usually do that on Friday. In the next couple of days, we’ll start analyzing that, seeing what plays we’re going to run. I don’t really have an answer for you on that right now. No matter what’s done, it’s all a matter of execution. I know they do some all-out blitzes, you have some one-on-ones, so you want to win those match-ups. If they’re playing deep, we’ve got to run the ball.
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DT CHRIS CANTY
Q: What do you think for Sunday?
A: I think everything is very positive for Sunday. Feeling very good. I don’t feel like there’s a limitation on it. Again, it’s just I’ve got to get used to getting banged around a little bit. We’re talking about three games in and we’re talking about a total of nine practices. So it’s not an excuse. I’ve got to be healthy. I’ve got to be out there. It’s my responsibility to be out there on the field, so we’re going to try to do everything in our power to get me back out there.
Q: Tom said there’s a lot of similarities between the Bengals and the Steelers, particularly on the offensive line. Is that what you see?
A: It is what you see. Those AFC North teams are built very similarly. It’s smash-mouth football. They want to beat you up and then they’re not too shy of letting you know about it. So it’s a team that wants to establish their physical presence. They want to mush you, they want to maul you and then use that to set up the play-action pass, offensively. Defensively, they’ve got one of the better fronts in football. Special teams, they’re a good outfit. So there are a lot of challenges that this football team presents to us, so we’ve got to make sure that we put them under the microscope, we do our due diligence and make sure that when we go to Cincinnati we’re prepared to give ourselves the best opportunity to be successful.
Q: In 20/20 hindsight, if you look at what happened in the division this past week, is there no harm, no foul?
A: Obviously, we had a tremendous opportunity that we did not take advantage of. We understand that. We understand you can’t let too many of those go by. Not in this business. You have to be on top of your game week in and week out, so we let one get away. Hats off to the Steelers. They played a great football game. They were physical. They hit us in the mouth, but the great thing about it is you get a chance to bounce back and this is an opportunity for our team to re-establish who we are going up to Cincinnati against a very good AFC North football team.
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WR VICTOR CRUZ
Q: How was practice today?
A: Today was good. We had a good tempo to it and we had some good opportunities. We did a little one on one period just to get some more timing down, so it felt like a productive day.
Q: Have you done the one on one thing in the past?
A: We kind of threw it in. Once the season starts, we normally don’t do that as much as training camp, but we threw it in there a little bit just to get some timing against man coverage.
Q: Was that your idea?
A: It was actually Coach Coughlin’s idea. It was installed in practice and we just executed it.
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SAFETY WILL HILL
Q: How did you feel out there?
A: Awesome. I was at home just hanging out with the kids, keeping the body in shape, but it ain’t nothing like being amongst your teammates and your coaches.
Q: Is there rust?
A: No. I didn’t lose a step. Just because I wasn’t here, I was still working. I was always grinding. I called Ray Buchanan and the first week I was out, I went down there and got with him and then came back home.
Q: Down in Florida?
A: In Atlanta.
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