"They were, I thought, physical, they really did some good things in the running game. They also learned some lessons we figured they'd learn – Cincinnati moves their front a lot more than we do and they dropped their head a little bit and lost their man a couple times – and same thing in the protections, we got picked off a little bit a few times there in the second and third quarter that we need to work – we were out here working on today. Overall, I thought they played well. They played well, they held up early in the game against some different things (Cincinnati) did. They also got tired, which is why we wanted to go ahead and get that out of the way and let them play a bunch and they both stayed in there pretty much the entire game. We just were hopeful that when we go to Jacksonville, it's not going to be the first time they're going to play four quarters."
On OL Chris Kuper's return to the practice field
"Well, we're in shells so it's not like we did a whole lot of banging around today but it's great to have "Kupe" back, he did a great job of pushing through his rehab and he's ready to go so it always brings back some continuity when you can get a guy like that up front and hopefully we'll continue to meld together and I think it's great when he can get in there and work with J.D. (Walton) – obviously is a rookie and making the calls and exchanging information before the ball is snapped is important."
On whether he saw issues with the special-teams coverage against Cincinnati
"You bet. That's what we were doing today and we'll do it this afternoon. We kind of learned a hard lesson – when you over-pursue or you don't break down in coverage in this league, the returners are too talented, too good, too fast, too quick and we gave up way too many yards in the return game. We were down there and we were down there fast, we just didn't do a good job of tackling, we didn't do a good job of breaking down in space and surrounding the returner. (Special-teams coverage) is a big point of emphasis this week against Detroit."
On LB D.J. Williams' status
"I think he's close – you won't see him (at practice) this afternoon but he's good enough to come out here and practice. We were running around at full speed in seven-on-sevens and all that so it's great to have him back too because he obviously brings so much to our defense and the communication inside so it was good to see him back and hopefully we'll stay with that program – mostly a one-a-day kind of thing as we go and make sure that we're taking care of things the right way."
On whether he's expecting any of the injured running backs to return
"At some point (laughing). When they're healthy, when they're ready to go – again, they're all on different schedules and their rehabs are different and unique, the injuries aren't the same and their bodies are responding to it a little differently. As soon as they're all ready, believe me, those three are dying to be out here on the field and as soon as they can be – they hate the training room right now and hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later."
On the reason for bringing in QBs Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow during the offseason
"Competition. We felt like there were certain spots on our roster last year that we didn't have enough in-house competition to help push each of those players that were in those starting roles to continue to improve. It's one thing when you hear a coach yelling at you all day long about doing this right or doing that right, it's another thing when you can see, ‘There are some other guys at my spot and they do some good things too.' We added depth in the defensive line, did the same thing in the secondary, we were aggressive in terms of receivers – brought in a couple guys in the draft, re-signed (WR) Brandon Lloyd. Same thing on the offensive line, so there really wasn't a spot that we didn't try to address in terms of adding competition because we just thought that would make our players better and (QB) Kyle (Orton) has been the perfect example of what we hoped to get out of a lot of our players which is, he's come out, he's had a great training camp, he answered a challenge, he's responded perfectly to a competitive situation – that's all it is – and he's been a very solid leader and set a great example for the team."
On how much higher QB Kyle Orton can take his game
"He can go higher, I know that for sure. He's playing very smart right now, he's very accurate – there's nothing really that we're not doing offensively that I've ever done in the past that he's incapable of doing and running at a high level but there is still more to do. I know he thinks that, I know we think that as a staff, which is exciting for us and we're going to try to push him as far as we can go before opening day and then continue to push through the season."
On the wide receiver group
"Different receivers this year – very unique, I think. I think our defensive backs would say the same thing. (Jabar) Gaffney is crisp, efficient, a veteran, he's got a lot of savvy. (Brandon) Lloyd is smooth, has great body control, sneaky fast, good hands. Eddie (Royal) is obviously playing extremely well right now in the slot. He brings a level of quickness in there and to our secondary it's a changeup for them and then you look at (Demaryius) Thomas and (Eric) Decker and (Matthew) Willis, who is a sub-4.3 (40-yard dash) guy. We've got big, we've got small, we've got quick, we've got fast, we've got all of the above and they're versatile too because they're not just playing one position. We feel great about that, I know it's fun to watch when you don't really care where the ball goes, you don't know where it's going to go when the ball is snapped and the other thing that you don't really know is you don't know exactly how the defense is going to play you because when you have a sure-fire guy that they're going to say, ‘You know, we have to do a lot of things to take this guy away,' usually you know what's going to happen and then you can try to game plan certain things away from it but we think when we snap the ball, there are five guys in the passing game that have a chance to get it and they've all shown up this training camp."
On whether it helped to get TE Marquez Branson extensive playing time at different positions against Cincinnati
"It helped a bunch, I think it helped him a lot because he's had some ups and downs during training camp. We put him in the backfield, he showed a high level of toughness – he was a lead blocker on certain things. He caught balls in the passing game, he protected so there are a lot of things he needs to do better – he's a young player that we're excited about, he's got a lot of ability. He can do things in the running game in terms of helping us there, he can also spread out and catch balls so he's going to play as much as he can possibly play in this preseason because we think it's the best thing for him, it's the best thing for our team."
On whether he expects OL Zane Beadles and OL J.D. Walton to play the entire game against Detroit
"Probably not this week – and maybe not the rest of the preseason but we wanted to definitely go in there and take a shot at that early and let them understand – and that's why there were about 15 people yelling at Walton during the sprints today because he was pretty gassed at the end of the game and it isn't going to be any easier in Jacksonville at 1 p.m. on September 12, so we actually got some cooler weather, relatively speaking, in Cincinnati and we wanted to make sure that they understand that there is a different level, there's a different speed, there's a different tempo, plus there is a difference in terms of endurance and it was good for them to get that out of the way."
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