Behind Enemy Lines: Bengals Q&As

Read below to see what Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and wide receiver A.J. Green had to say about their upcoming matchup against the Ravens on Monday.

WR A.J. Green

  On his reaction to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh saying Green is one of the NFL's best receivers: "It's a good thing, but I just take it with a grain of salt. I've got a long way to go to be mentioned with some of the best, so I've just got to keep working."

  On his thoughts on the Ravens' secondary from what he sees on film: "That whole defense has a lot of Hall of Famers. They're probably one of toughest defenses we face, just because they've been in that system so long and everybody knows what they're doing. They really don't have a lot of mental breakdowns, so that's the toughest thing, because they're so solid up there."

  On how much he studies opponent tape from the preseason: "We try to study as much as possible, but in the preseason they really don't show as much. So, we just try to go back to last year and see some of the stuff."

  On whether he puts any stock in the Ravens being challenged by other big-time receivers during this past preseason: "Oh man, it's the preseason. I take note of it, but in the back of my mind, it's still just a preseason game."

  On what his expectations are for his second NFL season: "Just capitalizing on another great season – keep building, using last year as a base and just keep building from that."

  On if he feels like he has something to prove against the Ravens: "I don't feel like I have anything to prove. I am just going out there and playing my game. Whenever the ball is thrown at me, I'm going to try to make the play."

  On if he feels having a size advantage against the Ravens favors him: "I don't know if it favors us, but like I said, they have great players over there. It's going to be a tough battle. It's going to be smash-mouth football. It'll be a tough game, and we have a tough task ahead of us with them."

  On Ravens CB Lardarius Webb: "He is probably one of the best all-around guys, because he plays the nickel, he plays outside, he is a punt returner. He is probably one of the best all-around football players we have in the league. He's tough, so it's going to be a challenge for me going up against somebody of his caliber."

  On why Green was able to develop so quickly in his rookie year: "I think just because I don't listen to all that that it takes you whatever [amount of years to develop]. I feel like if you are willing to work, you're ready to put in the time to be great, who says you can't come out there and have a great season your first year? So, that's what I did."

  On if there was a time last year when he thought he was going to have a breakout year the way he did: "I didn't at all. I just went in there every day and tried to get better each day and just take it game by game, practice by practice, and see what happens."

  On if he is getting enough reps with QB Andy Dalton despite Dalton getting banged up in the final preseason game: "Oh yeah. He's definitely fine. We'll be ready on Monday night."

  On what he has to do to avoid a "sophomore slump": "I don't believe in all that stuff. Just like you said about taking a receiver three years [to develop], I don't believe in all that sophomore slump and all that other stuff. No, I don't look into that stuff."

  On if Green feels a lot of expectations: "Not really. Like I said, I don't buy into all that expectation – all that hype stuff. I've had a target on my back since I came out of high school, and that's one thing I didn't worry about – what other people had expectations. I just take the expectation, I mean the expectation to myself, and go out there and play my game and see what happens."

  On his impressions of Ravens CB Jimmy Smith: "Oh man, he's a great athlete. He's a big and long corner; he likes to get his hands on me. So, I'm going to have to work. I'm going to have to release and see what happens."

  On if he feels defensive coordinators will game-plan different because of his performance last year: "Yeah, most likely. But if you want to be that good receiver, you have to be able to move around to different spots and don't let them key in on you on just one spot on the field."

On if he saw safeties shading to his side last year: "Oh yeah, definitely. Last year we didn't have the offseason, so they really couldn't move around. But this year, I have a whole grasp of the offense, so they can actually move me around and don't let defense key in on me at one spot on the field."

  On being able to go through offseason workouts: "Oh man, it's been great. Like I said, it gave us time to sit down and actually watch some of the film from last year and slow things down and actually work on things that I need to get better at."

  On the significance of beating Baltimore: "Oh man, it would be great. Last year we lost to Baltimore and the Steelers. If we want to get over that hump, we have to beat those two [teams] at least once."

  On if the Bengals look at Baltimore as a team to beat: "Oh yeah, definitely. They are probably one of the best teams in our division. So, if we want to be one of the best, we have to beat the best."

  On what the Bengals expect to do as an encore this year: "Just want try to make the playoffs again and make a run at this."

  Bengals coach Marvin Lewis

  On what is in store for an encore after last season: "I think what we would want to have in store for an encore is an opportunity to get back and win the division, earn ourselves an opportunity to be in the playoffs at the end, and go forward and eventually end up in New Orleans and become world champions."

  On how much he uses what happened last year as a building block for this year: "I think what we've used [from] last year is that we weren't good enough. We tried to take steps this offseason to improve our football team, to get better. We've added, I think it's 18 new players that weren't here last year, and hopefully, as we go through the season we'll feel like we've improved in the areas we felt like we needed to."

  On how important it is to win on Monday after struggling against playoff teams last season: "Well, it's an important game. And Buffalo was undefeated, and we beat them, and they were the cat's meow. So, there [are] some teams… It is what it is. You have to win, you have to win against good teams, and until you do everybody can say and do what they want."

  On how QB Joe Flacco looks now and if he has seen any tape on him this preseason: "Yeah, I've actually seen a few shots of Joe Flacco this preseason. (laughing) He seems to be getting the ball in and out of his hand. They've been in their spread, their no-huddle-type offense, I think, with their first group the entire preseason. [He's] done a good job of managing that and seems to be getting them in the place they want to get into."

  On his impressions of the no-huddle: "Well, I think it's a great way to change tempo. It's all about… You have to possess the football, make first-downs and so forth. So, that's what I feel."

  On whether the Ravens' offense was similar when he coached there: "We ran no-huddle offense here in Cincinnati for five, six years. The players that they have now weren't in Baltimore when I was there. So, I think we won a Super Bowl, went to the playoffs two of three years I was there with Brian [Billick], and did a nice job offensively. [We] did what it took to win football games, and I think that's what they are trying to do right now, is put their players in the best position they feel like is going to make them as successful as they can be."

  On stopping RB Ray Rice: "Ray Rice is a very good football player. He's a great runner, he's a great receiver of the ball, and you have to do a great job of staying on your feet and staying in the pursuit angles and tackling him when you get the opportunities."

  On his impressions of CB Lardarius Webb: "He's been a good, developing young player. He's done a good job competing. He really competes with the receivers. He has fine speed and he really can… He hits the open-and-change, open-and-close on receivers. He's done a really nice job. He fits well into the schemes that they use. He seems to understand them very good, and has an opportunity to take advantage of that if you leave the ball inside or outside and he's in the leverage. He's going to make a good play on the ball."

  On his impression of WR A.J. Green: "A.J.'s a very good player [and] he's got a very good ability. He's a very, very hard worker, and he continues to develop each and every day. He's got a great degree of confidence and has a chance to be a very, very good player over his career."

  On his thoughts about going up against G Bobbie Williams opposed to having him on his team: "Bobbie has been a great, obviously, a great work horse here as one of the leaders, one of the lieutenants. [I'm] happy he's been able to continue to play and nobody has anything but great things to say about Bobbie."

  On how not having OLB Terrell Suggs in the game changes their offensive planning: "Well, Terrell is an excellent football player, and he's a great pass-rusher [and] he's a physical player in the run game. He makes the unscripted plays quite a bit. But, we have to attack their defense, and that's what the key is no matter who's in there. They are going to have other guys step up and be ready to play. That's what good teams do, and that's the way to go about it."

  On WR A.J. Green having a "sophomore slump": "No."

  On what makes OT Andrew Whitworth effective as a pass blocker: "Andrew, I think, is a good technician of the game. He really understands football and leverage. He's a guy with quite a bit of length. He's a good athlete. He's a guy that can go out and shoot below 80 in golf. He's going to be your first-pick on the basketball floor. There [are] a lot of things he can do. He's a good athlete."

  On what LB Vontaze Burfict adds to their roster and his impressions of him: "He's just done everything that you ask a linebacker to do. He's been a very good player on special teams. He's understood responsibilities. He's gotten his job done, and he's done a nice job on defense for us."

  On if he has settled on a No. 2 receiver, and how he thinks whoever is lined up there can make up for the players who left last year: "We chose not to re-sign those guys. They didn't leave. We felt like we really had an opportunity to better ourselves at wide receiver. [I] feel really good about our guys."


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