Answer Man X

<b>Reporter:</b> So, Answer Man, I understand that among your many skills you're quite the pugilist and that you know your way around a boxing ring. Give me breakdown of Joey Porter's technique last week.

AM: Well, I thought he had excellent ring awareness. He didn't look rusty. When the first overhand right from Green came, he bobbed and weaved and moved off to the left. That's what they call zoning. But at that point, Terrelle Smith jumped in. He threw a right and Joey came with an overhead hammer to the back of the helmet, which wasn't a smart move based on two facts: Number one, he only had a glove on his right hand, you know, no padding; and number two, he wasn't wearing a helmet and it put him in harm's way. But, Smith bailed out, so Joey quickly faced up against Willie Green, who came in with his right arm low. Joey threw a nice jab, cross-jab. The only problem was his center was a little too high and he needs to bend his knees, sit down on his punches a little bit more, get a little better hip rotation. Now if I were coaching him up, I'd say lead with the double jab and then finish with the cross based on two things: Number one, the jab was landing, and the second thing was Green carried his right arm low, which was due in part to (Cleveland strength coach) Tom Myslinski breaking it up by bringing his right arm down. So always hit the man on the side where he's being held.
Reporter: And, if you were his football coach what would you tell him?
AM: If I were his football coach, I'd say never should you have walked all the way over from where you were at. Words are just words. They mean nothing.
Reporter: Do you find this to be a disturbing trend in football?
AM: I find it disturbing that the pre-game warm-up is starting to turn into a situation where you've got to declare a DMZ across the 50-yard line and you have to have the officials out there. They should conduct themselves like the professionals they're supposed to be.
Reporter: OK. Enough fun. Tell me about the Bengals. They've won three of their last four games. How much have they improved?
AM: Offensively, they're a little better. Carson Palmer's still making mistakes but he's not making as many as he was when we first played him.
Reporter: What did you think about them benching Jon Kitna in favor of Palmer in the first place?
AM: If I was going to do it, if I'm going to say no matter what I'm going with this guy, I would've had an open competition in the preseason. And then I would've said we're still going with Carson Palmer. At least then, if Carson struggles a lot, you can say we had the open competition and we can go back. But if you name Carson, before they had an open competition, and then you go back, then you're kind of demoralizing the kid and people would be saying you didn't make the right decisions and they should've battled it out anyway. That's the only reason. I mean, if you've got to go with the guy, you've got to go with the guy.
Reporter: Aren't you letting down the rest of the team when there's a guy on the bench who can help you win?
AM: I can't make that statement because I'm not at their practices. Game-wise, I can see him and say Kitna got them to 8-8 last year. Kitna made some mistakes but he played well last year. The year before that, he didn't play better than Carson's playing right now. So that's when you're at practice and can gauge how he is in the locker room and with teammates. If he's a leader, and you see the talent, then the players are with you. But I can't answer that not being around.
Reporter: Doesn't it look like it's working out for them?
AM: Right.
Reporter: What about their offensive line?
AM: Eric Steinbach didn't play last time. He's back and he's pretty good. Levi Jones is still inconsistent. Willie Anderson is on the decline and the knee (injury) is contributing, but he's such a big guy and has veteran savvy, he'll get by.
Reporter: Have they improved defensively?
AM: I think they're still susceptible to the run. Their corners are playing pretty good. Their safeties are playing pretty good. They interchange a lot of them. Their D-line and linebackers are just not getting it done.
Reporter: They're missing their best run-stopping tackle and their middle linebacker. How have the replacements played?
AM: Langston Moore, the tackle, can hold the point but he won't make plays. He'll get a stalemate but he's not going to find the ball, react off it and make the play. Landon Johnson didn't play last week. Caleb Miller did.
Reporter: Why is their secondary playing better?
AM: The safeties are back, the corners are there and they're locking them up in man a lot more. (Madieu) Williams and (Kim) Herring started at safety last game, but all four will play.
Reporter: Will you guys pound the run game at them?
AM: We'll definitely try. That will be the game plan, I would think.
Reporter: What's the chance of a letdown?
AM: If anything happens, it'll be because they always give us trouble. I don't think there'll be a letdown, especially with our history with these people, and playing there. There's nobody that's been here even two years who can say it's going to be an easy game. And then you see they're getting some momentum, so I don't think that'll be the case. In our division, there's not going to be a letdown. If they beat us, it's because they beat us.

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