Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Welcome back everybody. We're excited to play Monday night in front of the home crowd; I thought the fans did a tremendous job last week, they were loud when the Eagles had the ball and it was a tremendous advantage for us and we look forward to them being behind us this week.
Defensively for Cincinnati, it's a veteran group. They have a history of success. Their front four has very good rush ability and tremendous length. They're led by Atkins and Dunlap up front. Their linebackers, they're a salty, physical group; they play downhill and they can lay the wood when they get there. Their secondary is aggressive and very multiple. Offensively, they have an elite group of skill players: A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard.
They're creative and multiple with how they distribute the ball to them. Andy Dalton is playing at a high level and takes great care of the football, that'll be a challenge for us. Four of their five offensive linemen have played a lot of snaps together and they're acclimating the fifth guy in there. Special teams wise, their unit focuses on extracting the ball.
They have 26 fumbles caused since 2003. Their trio of veteran specialists there with Mike Nugent, Kevin Huber and Clark Harris and two premier kick blockers in Margus Hunt and Carlos Dunlap, again, a lot of length there.
Q: What is the status of Victor Cruz?
A: He did not work today.
Q: Will he come out tomorrow?
A: We'll see tomorrow.
Q: How is he feeling at this point?
A: He was out today.
Q: Regardless of the injury, do you plan to cut back on his usage a little bit in the second half of the season?
A: We'll see. We'll take it week-by-week.
Q: It was written that he had a reduced role even before getting hurt the other day. Do you agree with that assessment?
A: Again, we talked about using all 46 of our players as much as we can during the bye week and try to spread the reps around.
Q: Did you guys do anything on the field yesterday with Victor?
A: He didn't work today. He's working off the field and on the field a little bit with the training staff.
Q: Is rushing the football still an important part of this offense and do you think you'll continue to improve on that?
A: We're working at running the football. We spent a lot of time on today. It's an area of importance for us, an area of emphasis and we're going to keep plugging away at it.
Q: What does Eifert bring to their red zone offense. Their productivity increased when they returned.
A: He's a big target with some range. He has sneaky speed, he can chew up some ground with his stride length. But, again, big targets that are smart and get football, in the red and green zone, are an advantage for the offense.
Q: Landon Collins earned himself another NFC defensive player of the week award. What can you say about that?
A: He's making a lot of production. He's all over the field, he's playing fast, he's playing aggressive, he's tackling well and he's doing a nice job with his ball skills.
Q: How much similarity did you see with a guy like A.J. Green compared to someone you played in Week 1, Dez Bryant?
A: They're different players. A.J. is very talented, covers a lot of ground, plays the game fast. Great ball skills, hand-eye coordination; I think all the great ones do. He's made a lot of nice plays over the years.
Q: What makes him different?
A: He's a player that has tremendous length. A very big catch radius and can do it with two hands and one hand.
Q: How do you think Eli Apple responded after Sunday's game?
A: He's bounced back.
Q: What's your plan with Larry Donnell going forward?
A: We'll take it week-by-week. We're not necessarily going to talk play-time before the game. We're going to take it week-by-week. Everyone has an opportunity to contribute in the game.
Q: How did he deal with having such a reduced role last week?
A: That would be a better question for Larry.
Q: Do the Bengals do a lot of stunts and twists up front, maybe more so than what you've seen?
A: Depends on what their plan is. They've done a lot of double A-gap, mug stuff in the past. Maybe not so much recently, and they mix their stunts and twists in there with pressure. But they like to straight rush four, too, and they have a lot of length doing that but they can push the pocket back and have those guys get their paws open and try to bat some balls down.
Q: What kind of challenge will Brett Jones face when has to go against Geno Atkins?
A: I think every guard faces a big challenge when they go against Geno. He's got a tremendously quick first step. He's built low to the ground, that's an advantage for him and he's very disruptive.
Q: Learning to finish games, which you've been doing. The last few games have all been by seven points or less. Is there something about this squad that you see that's unique?
A: I think we believe that we're going to win the close ones in the end, that's what we work towards. At the same in point in time, we had some opportunities in the ball game to blow it open last week and when we get those opportunities, we need to take advantage of them.
Q: What adjustments do you have to make when guarding a big, strong, multi-threat tight end like Tyler Eifert?
A: I'm going to choose my words carefully here. We have to be aware, we have to know where he is. They can use him all over the formation. They use a lot of shifts and motions that try to disguise where he's going to be and disguise tendencies as much as possible. We'll know where he is and we'll have a plan for him.
Q: Why is it that tight ends have been an issue for you guys?
A: I think when you play good tight ends, I think they cause problems. My history coaching the position, it causes problems for people. They're tough matchups for safeties because of the size and a tough matchup for linebackers because of the speed and the quickness. A lot of times, corners don't have the strength to contain them. Especially when you go against great, great ones, it poses matchup problems.
Q: How big of an asset has Keenan Robinson been in that regard?
A: Keenan has been a good player for us. He's jumped in with both feet, he's really bought into what we're doing here, become a nice part of the locker room. He's played some good ball for us.
Q: Why do you think Paul Perkins was so effective in the 4th quarter?
A: As opposed to?
Q: Earlier in the game he was getting zeros and ones and minus'?
A: Well, it takes all 11 on offense to have a productive play. Sometimes he blocked what was there, other times he may have missed a read. He may have missed a read or two but again, with reps, he'll get better.
Q: You don't think it had anything to do with him getting stronger as the game went or just a matter of technique?
A: I think he got more comfortable as the game went on.
Q: When you look at Brett Jones, he doesn't have ideal size for a guard. How much can technique compensate for that?
A: I think technique plays a big part into it. He's going to be very prepared, that's who he is, that's how he goes about his business. He's a student of the game and puts a lot of time and effort into the preparation part of things and that showed up on Sunday.
Q: Can Perkins carry a full load?
A: You need to have a variety of ball carriers. Having just one ball carrier going into the game and saying one back is going to play 68 snaps, I don't think that's feasible. I think you need to have a variety of guys who are ready to play and make sure you have the reps distributed that way.
Q: How difficult is your offense protection wise for a rookie?
A: To learn the protection?
A: I think all offenses in this league, that's probably the biggest hurdle for a rookie to overcome is to try to learn the protection and be able to play. Not just learn them, but when the ball is snapped, to be able to play fast. Not just where your number one is, but where your two and your scan shows up.
Q: How much is he still learning that?
A: He's still learning. He's made some progress but he's still learning.
Q: How come your defense has been so good in the red zone?
A: That's a good question. You can go back and look at the tape, like we did over the bye week. Been very productive, making a lot of plays, a lot of great effort by the players that way. I think we're calling it aggressive down there and the players respond to it.
Q: Have you talked to Darian Thompson at all since he was placed on IR?
A: I wished him the best getting healthy.
Q: You only have three safeties at this point, is Mykkele Thompson a potential to return?
A: Everything is fair game at this point.
Q: Where does he stand in this process?
A: He's making progress.
Q: What goes into that decision for you guys and when do you feel like you have to make the decision? You basically have two that could return, Mykkele and Shane Vereen.
A: When they're ready physically, we'll make the decision if we feel it's the right guy at the right time.
Q: Neither of them are ready physically at this point?
A: When someone is ready physically and we deem them the right guy, we'll make the decision.
Q: In that red zone D, are you guys winning physical battles at the line?
A: Yeah, the run game is a big part of it. When you hold the team, when you take away the run, just like anywhere else on the field, it limits what the offense can do schematically.
Q: Understanding that you appreciate Giants tradition so much, how special is the Ring of Honor for you and for some of your players who know Tom Coughlin and Justin Tuck and could that provide more motivation on Monday?
A: I'm not sure about that. I know I'll be excited to see those two guys, wish them the best and congratulate them. We look forward to it.
Q: Ernie Accorsi said he met with you last week, what was that conversation like?
A: I had an opportunity to pick his brain about a couple of different things. It was a great conversation; I look forward to doing it moving forward, too. WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Q: Chance for four-straight wins. How do you feel this team is coming together?
A: We're getting better day by day. It's something that we have to improve. Have to step up in each and every way, especially in offense and defense. Just be better. Right now, we're in a good spot. Just have to keep winning. We have a tough matchup this week.
Q: When you look at this Bengals team, they've got a lot of different components and a lot of different parts offensively and defensively. What's the challenge?
A: It's everywhere. They've got guys on offense. They've got a great defense. Don't know exactly what their record is but I do know that this is a playoff team pretty much each and every year. It'll be a great test for us, a great matchup. I'm looking forward to it, it's Monday Night Football.
Q: How good is A.J. Green?
A: A.J. is one of the best, hands down. He was gifted with speed, size, hands, pretty much everything that you would think of in a receiver, he's got it and then some. He's one of my favorite in the league. I've watched him for a long time. Even when he was at Georgia, I was at LSU. We watched those SEC guys pretty closely. Defense has a tough challenge ahead, for sure.
Q: When you have a guy like that on the other side, does that get you a little more jacked up for a game?
A: Absolutely. I'm out there watching. I'm watching what he's doing because I enjoy it. I love football like that. I love seeing other guys who are great. As long as I'm not going against you. It's not like I'm rooting for him, but I like to see someone at their best. If not, I like to see them compete.
Q: What's the skill that pops out at you?
A: He's got it all. Like I said, I couldn't pick one for you. He's tall and he goes up to get every ball. He's got great hands and he runs great routes. He's got speed. I don't know what bad I could really say about him.
Q: Could you compare yourself to him in any way?
A: Maybe the way he goes up and gets a ball. The way he attacks it in the air. There is little bits and pieces of each person's game that I'll try and take and incorporate it into my own. I'm sure there is a little bit of that in there. We're just not the same build. Not the same receiver.
Q: Can Jackrabbit give A.J. Green a run for his money if he happens to cover him?
A: I was having this conversation with someone else. You talk about who's the best corner in the league this, that and the other. It's tough to even put him in that category. You see him everyday and go against him, when you're asked who's the best corner, you don't think someone on your team. He's playing at the highest of highest levels. He's not really giving up much. He's been a phenomenal player since I've known him. I would expect him to be on him at some point in time. Also, 41 (DRC). He's a 6-foot-2 guy who's up there a little bit but still runs a 4.2. He's smart. I would expect a little bit of both. I would expect 41 on him, and 20 on him. More importantly, I'm expecting some really good work. Have to watch that whenever you get a chance.
Q: Do primetime games mean more to you?
A: I love Sunday. I love the opportunity to even step on the field. It's great to be on Monday Night Football. It's great to be on the Sunday night games as well but it's not any more inspiring than a game on Sunday at 1 o'clock. When you get on that field, you want to play at the highest level. You want to play your best game no matter what time it is. Whether it's 9:30 a.m. over here or 2:30 in London. You want to play the very best you can at all times.
Q: Where do you think this team is in terms of coming together and fighting for a championship?
A: I think we're right there at 5-3. Of course, you could sit here and could've, would've, should've won games that we could've won. We could've done this different. That's not the case. We're 5-3. We are a 5-3 team right now. Just trying to progress each and every week. Want to make this run towards the back end of the season. We have a great opportunity ahead of us. A position I haven't been in since I've been here. It's great to feel this way. It's great to be 5-3 at the moment. You can't sit here and be complacent with it. You have to keep going and pick up wins.
Q: What can you learn from Leon Hall about the Bengals defense? Have you talked to him at all?
A: Yeah. I was talking to him today. We were just talking and trying to get the inside scoop. Just what he would know. I'll definitely find out more from him this week. A guy like that, who's been there and played over there for a while, I'm definitely going to get into his playbook and asking him what he knows and what he doesn't know.
Q: The music playlist at practice seemed to have you going today?
A: You have to have energy at practice. You have to have fun. You can't go through this methodically and come out each and every day and think it's just another day and you want to get through it because you'll never get better. If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. I don't really believe in getting worse. I try and come out with as much energy as I can everyday. Come to work. You fight through all of this for Sunday's. You sit here and you go through practices and meetings, everything for those 60 minutes on the field. The problem that I have is that I want to make the most of those 60 minutes every opportunity that I get. That's really where I'm at. If you're not able to make the most of it, then it's difficult.
Q: When a guy like Pacman Jones calls you a freak in terms of ability, what does that mean to you?
A: I've watched him play football since he's been in the league. It's a compliment from a guy like that. I was at the Pro Bowl with him. We got to converse. He gave me knowledge of how the game goes. How to do the right thing. Just make sure you're doing the right thing. He helped me as far as giving me examples of his past and kind of teaching me. It's definitely a compliment coming from him.
Q: What do you think of the way Roger Lewis has stepped up these past few weeks?
A: It doesn't come as a surprise. He works hard each and every day he's out there. He's given it his all. It doesn't really surprise me. It's actually more exciting to see him and all the work pay off.
Q: He says he watches you and Victor at practice. You're not even that much older than him, but do you feel that? All the guys looking up to you at this point?
A: Sometimes. I don't quite know. I get out there and just space out. As much as I'm involved with every single person on this team, there's times where I'm just in my own world. If somebody is watching or following, I don't quite know that. I do know that each and every time I run a route, it's got to be the best route I've run so far. Never really any plays off for me. In turn, I've seen Rog. He's not really taking any plays off. He's excited about his opportunity and working as hard as he can.
Q: All your teammates talk about how hard you practice. Do you think people don't know that?
A: I don't know if they do or don't. It's irrelevant. Everyone is going to have their own opinion at the end of the day. I know that each and every play I get out there, it's going to be full speed. I'm going to try and break the previous speed that I ran on the last route. I'm just trying to maximize my opportunity. It's just such a small window. You only have a little bit of time. I'm just trying to make the most of it.
Q: A guy like Randy Moss when he is in the building, what do you try and pick from his head?
A: Everything. He started something that even now, he has his own little segment, You got Mossed. The Getting Mossed thing inspired a lot of receivers. You wanted to go up top on someone and you wanted to scoop the ball off his head and run it into the end zone. I've watched him streak down the field for years. Change his route. Just put his hand up and it's like, we're gone and out of here. He's a guy who I aspire to be like. Just him being able to be here, pick his brain and take whatever I can take from him is good. WR Victor Cruz
Q: How is your body feeling?
A: It feels good. Obviously the ankle is progressing, feels better than yesterday. I just want to continue to take it one day at a time and see how it feels on Monday night?
Q: Is there anything concerning you beyond swelling?
A: No, no swelling. There is no discoloration. There is nothing like that. There is just some soreness there. I don't want to do anything until that soreness goes away, but still continue to keep it mobile and flexible and keep it moving and those are all the things that we did today in the training room.
Q: Before you got hurt, it seemed like your snaps were reduced on Sunday. Do you feel that is a comment to how the coaches felt you had played prior?
A: I think coach is just taking care of me a little bit. He came up to me and said that they were going to move some guys around and just making sure that everyone is fresh and that they are using all of our tools out there. If you saw, Dwayne Harris got in as well in the slot there, giving Shep a break and things like that. So it is just a matter of keeping everybody healthy and using all of our weapons.
Q: What can it mean for your offense as a whole if more bodies are involved?
A: It just means that there are more guys for defenses to not be as cued up on. I think that defenses won't know certain guys. It is hard to game plan for four, five, six different receivers, whether it be tight ends or receivers, so it is hard to game plan for that. With moving everyone around, everybody knows what their role is and what they need to do and it just gives Eli more weapons and more people to throw the ball to, to make a play.
Q: The touchdown that came after the play you got injured, were you surprised at how much it started to hurt then?
A: Yeah, it was hurting on that play. Right when I got up, as energized as I was as the next play came about, I was like, 'Oh, that hurts a little bit. That doesn't feel good.'
Q: You did do the dance with the guys there.
A: Yeah, and then I was like, 'Alright, let me go to the sideline and figure this out.' So I was good up until that play and then on the sideline it kind of hurt to push off of it and things like that. Again, today feels better than yesterday, it feels better than it did on Sunday, so we just want to continue on that upward path.
Q: No specific thought yet on your potential availability?
A: Not yet. We are going to take it one day at a time.
Q: Does the extra day help?
A: It helps a ton.
Q: Do you think there is a chance that you can play on Monday?
A: That is the idea. I want to play in every game, but we will see how it goes, see how it feels tomorrow and then take it from there.
Q: What do you need to do to get there?
A: Ice. A lot of it.
Q: Is it swollen?
A: No swelling.
Q: Can you run?
A: Yeah, a little bit.
Q: When they took the X-Ray did they get the MRI just in case?
A: Yeah, especially with me, we are going to get every picture that we possibly can just to make sure that everything is on the up and up, but once the X-Ray came back negative it was a good sign and then we got the MRI and it showed that there was not significant swelling or damage to ligaments, so we just want to stay in front of it, stay ahead of it and make sure that we are icing it, resting it and all of that good stuff.
Q: Do you get nervous about those things because of your history of injuries?
A: If I can go the rest of my career not having to lay on that bed for 45 minutes, I will take it. But obviously it is part of the game, it is part of the nature of this business. Anytime that you get an injury, they want to get a closer look and make sure that everything looks good and looks the right way, the way it is supposed to be and you take it from there.
Q: Do you fear the worst?
A: No, I don't. You kind of know in your heart what it feels like and you know the severity of it the minute it happens, so you know that within your heart and within your mind and then the MRI may be a little more – sway to the left of that or sway in a positive way and thankfully for me it swayed in the positive way. I joked with Dr. Warren yesterday. He was like, 'You know, we are optimistic that you can play this week.' I was like, 'Doctor, that is the most positive thing that I have heard you say in about three years. Thank you very much.'
Q: After what you have gone through the past three years, do you look at this as being a frustrating thing or do you say that it is just part of the game?
A: No, it is just part of the game. Obviously it is frustrating because as much as I love practicing, I love being out there with my team, but you just have to take care of your business. Taking care of this body, in the locker room and in this league is what makes you money, so you want to make sure that your body is healthy and ready for you to go, so that your team can depend on you.
Q: You rarely see the Bengals. Does that make it a little more difficult if you are unable to get practice reps?
A: A little bit, but I do a good job of watching film, making sure that I am getting a beat on this team from a mental standpoint and then at the end of the day, when you line up, football is football. You are going to go out there and see what you see on film and be able to combat that as you go along, but like I said, football is football, man, and you just want to make sure that mentally you are good on how we want to run these routes, how we want to attack this defense and be able to execute once game time comes around.
Q: You said that coach was limiting your snaps to help you out. Is that a result of age?
A: Don't get crazy on me. My birthday is tomorrow; I am only turning 30. Don't give me the age factor just yet. I think it is just more so that the deeper we get into this season, we have been bit by the injury bug, as you guys know, for a few years now, so we just want to make sure that everyone is fresh, that all our playmakers are good to go as we get to the last stretch of this season and then into the playoffs, it is no holds barred, everyone is getting into it.
Q: You are also coming back from two major injuries. Is there a point that they don't want to push you too much?
A: I don't know. I haven't spoken in depth about it with the training staff or coach, it is just a matter of taking it week by week and treating each week and every scenario differently and I think that is the biggest key, is just making sure that we stay ahead of it, everyone is healthy and we are making sure that we are winning these ball games.
Q: What is it like to be back at work and kind of be in the playoff hunt?
A: It is great. It is a great feeling. I remember that feeling. It is starting to get into my belly a little bit now and it feels good, obviously, as a team to get into that mode, but we just have to remember that it is still a long season. There are still a lot of games left and we have to be able to be 1-0 each week and take care of our business.
Q: Do you remember your last four-game winning streak?
A: It has been a while, but I think that the last one that comes to mind is that last run going into the playoffs in 2011, winning those games, getting into the playoffs and the rest is history.
Q: Are you receptive to a reduced role if it keeps you fresh for these games at the end of the year?
A: I want to play every snap. I am a competitor in my own heart, in my own soul, but obviously I listen to the coaching staff and the training staff and they want what is best for me and that is what I adhere to.
Q: So that is putting team above self?
Q: Do you find yourself being extra cautious with your injuries?
A: Not really. A little bit, but every injury is different. You want to treat every injury differently. Everything isn't a torn patella, so you want to make sure that you treat everything as the treatment. You don't want to treat everything as, 'Oh, he had this. Let's be cautious.' You just treat it as it comes. Every injury is different and you want to make sure that you stay ahead of the curve, no matter what the injury.
Q: Did you feel like yourself 100 percent this season?
A: I have felt 100 percent in every game that I have played in this year so far. I have felt good going into these games, even throughout the game I have felt great and I just want to be out there and continue that trend.
Q: You guys are on a three-game win streak and the Bengals are under .500. Is there any concern that you may take them too lightly?
A: No, we can't afford it. We can't afford to look at any team and have that emotion. We have to look at all of these games as winnable games and we must go in there focused and ready to win a game against an opponent that we are not as familiar with, although we did practice with them at a joint practice a year ago. But other than that, we are unfamiliar with this team and we don't see them often, so we just want to make sure that we stay ahead of the film and make sure that we are ready once that time comes.
Q: How do you look at turning 30?
A: 30 is the new 20 for me. If you ask me, 30 is the new 20. I am just excited for another chapter of my life. But I still feel great. I still can run with the best of them and run these routes and do what I need to do to make plays, but 30, at least psychologically, makes me feel a little different.
Q: Are guys getting on you a little bit?
A: Not yet, not yet. Tomorrow they will, I am sure.
Q: What were your thoughts on the election?
A: My mom told me one time that if I don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all, so I am going to stick with that one.
CB Leon Hall
Q: Is there any part of you that wants to show the Bengals that they made a mistake and that you should be back there?
A: No, not really. I don't look at it that way. I could see how you would or could do that but for me, I'm just trying to see what I can do for the team, come out with the win and go from there.
Q: How hurtful would it be to be inactive for it?
A: I haven't even thought about that yet. It would be unfortunate but at the end of the day, going into this week, I knew that was a possibility. It would suck for sure. Just as much as it did last week. It would obviously be nice to be out there and make some plays, but we'll see what happens and how the week pans out and what happens on Monday night.
Q: Were you surprised last week to be inactive?
A: A little bit. Caught me off guard a little bit. It is what it is. Kind of just roll with the punches.
Q: Is that a first for you?
A: It is. As far as a healthy scratch.
Q: The coaches mentioned they wanted to get three safeties up as a reason. Do you still feel they didn't like how you were playing?
A: No, I really took it for what they told me. I would hope they wouldn't lie to me. They've been pretty honest since I've been here. I took what they said for face value.
Q: Are they working you exclusively at safety now?
A: I'm still kind of all over the place. It's what I've been doing generally since I've gotten here.
Q: You've played against A.J. Green in practice. How would you describe him as a player?
A: A problem. He's a big problem. There's not a lot he can't do. He can run the short routes, he's agile enough to run some bigger routes and stuff like that. He can pretty much do it all. He goes up and gets it, he can run. He's pretty strong at the point of attack on press coverages and stuff like that. Everyone knows what he can do week in and week out. He's done that for years now. It's going to be a challenge for everyone.
Q: Do you see similarities between Dez and A.J.?
A: I haven't seen Dez as much as I've seen A.J. I never like to get into comparisons, especially with someone like A.J. I couldn't even tell you who I'd compare to him in the past decade. It would be like trying to compare someone to Calvin Johnson. You just can't do it.
Q: When teams have had some success in controlling him, what have they usually done?
A: You have to switch it up with him. You can't just leave him alone. With all the great receivers, I think that's part of the recipe for success. You can't just keep rolling up to him because he'll figure that out. You can't just play Cover 2 or Cover 1. You have to have a variety. At the end of the day, it really starts with the quarterback. You want to keep him on his toes, keep him guessing and hesitant to affect some of those throws.
Q: What about A.J as compared to Odell?
A: They're obviously different types of athletes. A.J. is a little taller. Everyone likes to categorize the taller or little, smaller receivers. Obviously they've both been productive since they've gotten into the league. Both have great hands and can run really well. Beckham probably does a little bit better with the shorter routes. Gives a little more quickness.
Q: What does Andy Dalton do right when he gets it going?
A: Once he gets his timing going, it's impressive to watch, especially the past few years. He's had a lot of options at wide receiver and a couple of threats out of the backfield. Obviously tight end. Once he get's it going and spreads the ball out, it's pretty impressive. The numbers that he's had year after year for the past few years has been a compliment to the work that he's put in. Obviously a compliment to the people that he's had around him.
Q: What are the emotions for you going up against your old team?
A: I don't know. I haven't really dealt with that yet. I think maybe once Sunday, Monday comes around, we'll see how that goes. I don't see it being too much of a problem for me. It'll be nice to see some of my friends that I've developed over the years over there.
Q: Marvin Lewis said that you and your family hold a special place in his heart?
A: That's my guy. Obviously, I've been there for a while. He was the coach since I got there. We do a lot of stuff in the community together. Definitely a good relationship there.
Q: How do you feel you played prior to the bye?
A: I thought I've played decent. I missed tackles that I would like to take back. Obviously some plays that I would like to take back. Definitely, a lot of room for improvement. CB Janoris Jenkins
Q: What are the characteristics that make A.J. Green so special?
A: He is fast, physical, rangy, long, has a big catch radius and they like to give him the ball.
Q: For all the numbers he has, he only has three touchdowns. Is that surprising?
A: No, you have to understand that defenses are keying on the guy, double coverage or whatever and you have to get in where you fit in.
Q: You have been tasked with a lot of tough guys this year. Do you expect to get him again?
A: Whatever job the coach gives me, I will do. Like I told you all, I won't get into all of that. I will do my assignment and do it to the best of my ability.
Q: How did you guys handle him with the Rams last year?
A: I followed him a lot with the Rams.
Q: If that is what they want, are you comfortable with that?
A: Yeah, that is my job. Whatever they give me is my job.
Q: Green had two touchdowns against the Rams last year.
A: I think he had two, yeah.
Q: Were both those on you?
A: One of them was on me. It was a blown coverage, but I don't think the other one was.
Q: Do you think the defense has some momentum?
A: I feel good. I have been saying it since the beginning of the year, I think we can be special and I still feel that. We just have to continue to work.
Q: You guys have won three in a row. Are you thinking that it is time to open this up and put some daylight between you and the teams behind you?
A: We are just focused on taking it one game at a time, one step at a time. We understand that it is a tough league to play in and we understand that there are going to be some tough games where we have to come through and finish in the clutch.
Q: You seem to play your best football defensively in the red zone. What changes when teams get down there?
A: We understand that if they don't score, they don't get any points. We understand that if they get down there, the best thing we can do is hold them to a field goal and we emphasize that in practice and we just need to work on that.
Q: How is Andy Dalton different than quarterbacks that you have faced in recent weeks?
A: He can squeeze the ball in tight windows, he will give his guy the chance to catch the ball no matter who it is and he has a great feel for the game.
Q: With Hill and Bernard, how much tougher does it make it on you guys in coverage?
A: They are some good backs and we have to always be aware of where they are and we have to play as a defense and swarm to the ball.
Q: When a snap goes off, do you check the backfield to see if they are getting the ball or are you just watching your own guy?
A: No, you have to watch your man. It depends on the call or the coverage, but you just have to stay on your guy.
Q: What do you like about what you guys have done together?
A: I like a lot. I like the whole secondary, I like the whole D-line, I like the whole defense, honestly. It is just making those unexpected plays, the game changing plays. Coach tells us all the time that everybody in the room has an opportunity to change the game on a play. Just be that guy.
Q: What are some conclusions that you have made about Landon Collins this year?
A: His play is speaking for itself. He understands the system and he has a knack for the ball.
Q: On the matchups between Jenkins and Green in college.
A: Those were some nice battles. I remember the first play of the game in the Florida-Georgia game. They threw him a hitch and I got it. I picked them off the first play of the game. It was my biggest memory.
Q: What year was that?
A: I think it was 2010.
Q: Is it fun when you know a guy from your college years and you both reach this level?
A: It is fun because you have to understand that we meet these guys also during high school and during camp, so you kind of have a feel for who they are or you heard of them and then just to see them on this level, it is exciting.
Q: It is hard to make the NFL?
A: Yeah, it is very hard.
Q: A.J. also said that it would be a quite matchup because neither of you are trash talkers. Would you say that is true?
A: If he said it, then that is on him. I am going to go in there and play my game.
Q: When you see a guy like that, do you kind of know his moves or do you look out for anything new?
A: You have to guard every receiver different. You can't guard a receiver the same because every receiver isn't the same. You have big guys, you have small guys, you have fast guys, you have slow guys, so I have a different mindset when I cover guys like him.
Q: How loud did that stadium get in the Florida-Georgia game on that first play?
A: It got very loud. Very loud.
Q: Would you like the challenge of shadowing A.J. Green?
A: I would love it if they give it to me. I don't mind.
Q: How do you guard a guy like that?
A: You all will see on [Monday]. I am not giving you any ideas. You all will see on [Monday].