Was there any particular reason why you seemed to take so many shots deep this week?
We thought we had some opportunities and we designed some things to allow us to get the ball down the field. A couple of times we were able to and a couple other times weren't, but you would like to think you could do that a couple of times a game.
So even if the shots downfield don't connect, it serves a purpose because other teams have them on film?
Well not only film, but you send a message that you are willing to take a chance to throw the ball deep.
Was there anything consistent in that most of the deep shots went to Amani Toomer?
No. No, we had Plaxico (Burress) deep, we had Amani deep I think three times, we had (Domenik) Hixon deep, so we had a few people involved in that.
Are you using more three and four wide receiver sets because of the younger tight ends?
I think we have some options now with the receivers and it was unfortunate that the real nice play to Kevin Boss got called back, but it would have started us in the right direction. There is no plan that says, ‘okay we are not going to throw it to…' no, that is not anything. We want to spread the ball around and it is unfortunate that got called back, but that is not in the thinking, no.
When you see Ahmad Bradshaw perform well after not really playing the previous week is it reassuring that he seems to keep himself ready to go?
Everyone made a real big deal about last week. There are reasons for everything, not all are shared. The opportunity came this week, he obviously did a great job in that situation, he was a very nice momentum change for us, and he was ready. I knew he was ready. As I told you yesterday after the game he warmed up well, he really worked well with his return game, and I thought that he certainly was ready to go and he was focused and ready to go. It was all positive.
You said that in warm ups he looked like his old self. Had you not seen that earlier?
Not necessarily, and it was no reflection on him. He has had a couple of na gging things that have bothered him, but hopefully he is now beyond that. Certainly he enjoyed playing yesterday and doing some really good things. It was good to see that.
How significant is it that the team put the hammer down yesterday in the fourth quarter and put the game away?
I reminded the players after I congratulated them that at 9:25 in the fourth it was 20 to 13. One of the themes was be persistent because if you saw, even the week before, the game got out of hand a little bit, but at the half the one play right before the half put them at that 20 or 21 point position. We were prepared for that type of a game, but we did have to stick to the test and continue to be persistent and keep pounding and some things happened from that point on. The one good thing that you can say was that we answered each time we had to answer and that was good.
Record aside do you feel like you are ahead of last year in terms of team identity?
I don't know that. As I said, we challenge ourselves constantly to be as good as we can be. We just have to keep playing and keep getting better and keep doing a lot of the little things well, taking care of the football. The interception for the touchdown was a big, big boost yest erday and even if it had not gone in the end zone it would have been tremendous field position and that is obviously what you are looking for always. These things are constantly on our mind, we are always talking about these things, about improving, about getting better, and about the details. There were some things yesterday that we didn't like. We didn't like kickoff return; we didn't think it was as good as it can be, it has to be a lot better. We have to do something, as I mentioned postgame, about the penalties. The penalties are negatives, they lose games, we have to get that stuff out of our system and hopefully we can focus on that.
Since you started 0-2 last year will it be an easy sell for you to the players about how desperate the Bengals will be this week?
We talked about that last week and it will be the same kind of approach this week. Again, being concerned about our team, about us individually being as good as we can be, making a great effort, preparation being the key, and then as a team improving in the areas that we isolate and say we need to improve upon.
Is it nice to not be behind the eight ball in terms of wins this season?
I don't really know. For us it is one game at a time. 20Every game is just as important as anything else. Whatever predicament you are in the next game is the critical game. I think we keep the pressure on ourselves all the time, to be honest with you.
Has Hixon earned himself another shot as the punt returner?
Does he have a shot to be the punt returner?
Did you get a clearer look on the film at the Torry Holt touchdown?
It was the same kind of a look that we had on the field, to be honest with you. It really wasn't anything more…
Did Kenny Phillips play that pass well?
Well, first he had a great recovery. You saw the maneuver, not that different from the maneuver that Plaxico made, and he had a chance. He recovered, he went up for the ball, he just didn't catch the ball. There are two things there that could have happened good for us, he intercepts it or the ball gets knocked down, but instead it starts getting tipped around and it falls right into… and give Holt credit, he is alert, he stays alive even though he doesn't have the initial catch, but he stays alive. He made a heck of a play.
Phillips said after the game that next time he will just bat the ball down, is that what he should do?
Be in good position, hopefully be in a spot where you could perhaps, as in coverage, you are going forward, catch it, intercept it.
Did you say anything to Scott Linehan after the game?
I really didn't have time to say a whole lot. Jim Haslett I saw, and waved to Rick Venturi and some of those guys. I will say this about it, they played hard. They played tough, they played hard, we knew they would, they were at home, they were physical, they came out and executed their plan, they were in position in the fourth quarter to win the game, so I think that they have many talented football players. I mean look at their kicking game. I realize they are 0-2, but they have a talented group.
How is Lawrence Tynes coming along?
He is advancing and he will do more work this week and hopefully he is continuing to make progress.
How about Terrell Thomas?
He is going to go individual and then after he does that we will see how he is and if he can advance, we will advance.
Did you have any injuries beyond Aaron Ross saying he had a stinger?
No, the main thing is trying to move (R.W.) McQuarters along from his strained calf and Tynes. We have some bumps and bruises, but I think those will respond.
With Carney kicking so well and having the bye week coming up, do you want to tell Tynes to take it easy?
No, we are continuing to advance him. He has been out a while; we can't afford to not move him along.
He said he needed to be kicking 40-50 balls a day in order to get close to playing. Is he anywhere near that yet?
What do you think of the term Earth, Wind, and Fire for your running backs?
I will leave that one up to you.
You don't object to it?
Don't object? I would rather just pretend I didn't hear it.
Do you like the way Justin Tuck has developed personality-wise in terms of his leadership?
I like the way he has developed as a young man, as a football player, taking some responsibility in the meeting room. I like that a lot. I think he has learned from a real, real good one. He has paid attention, he is smart, real smart, pays attention, so the fact that he is contributing in all those ways is a real plus for our team.
Are there a lot of personality similarities between him and Michael Strahan?
Each is unique. Each is of their own, their own person, their own identity, but they both have a lot to add obviously.
Do you find it is harder for the players to forget about a win or a loss when they come in on a Wednesday and get to work on the next opponent?
I think they are doing a pretty good job of that. We did a good job with that last year. I complimented them many times last year on that, the ability to constantly challenge yourself, to constantly be looking forward, to not worry about the past, not reflect on the past, but to learn from it and move on and always challenge yourself and accept a new challenge. I think we have done a pretty good job of that and they continue to give example of being in a good frame of mind, a positive looking-forward frame of mind, and I saw that last week as well, so hopefully that will continue.
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