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30 November 2014


(Opening statement)
“That’s how 2-10 football teams play. Found a way to lose it at the end. Did some good things defensively, played hard throughout, taking the ball away from them, playing hard right up until gave us an opportunity to win the football game. But when you make dumb, stupid penalties like that throughout the game it ends up biting you at the end, which it did. Again we’re a 2-10 team; not a good feeling at all. Thought we were really prepared for the game but the results didn’t show that. ”
(On the 12 men on the field penalty)
“Coaching error on our part; we didn’t catch it. Simple as that. It shouldn’t happen. Blame head coach; bad move on my part of not seeing that.”
(On having three tight ends and the starting center inactive)
“It handicapped us, but not that much where we should be in that situation. Again, if we don’t make some - it had something to do with stupid penalties that we continue to make; it’s not missing those players. Yeah we miss them, but it’s a game we should’ve won. ”
(On loss being due to a lack of discipline)
“We definitely were not disciplined today. Absolutely.”
(On a low number of pass attempts)
“It was a tight game right up until [the end]. They were doing kind of the same thing. We were right in it, right up until the end of the game. This was our game plan, we felt like we could run the football. Our game plan put us in position. We hound the end of the game and we’re talking about a win instead of a loss. We can’t really get into how many pass yards we have. It’s about what we need to do to win the football game and I don’t have a problem with that.”
(On early turnovers and recovering the Cincinnati onside kick)
“Starting off right away, first play of the game you get a takeaway. Even there we’re talking about trying to get it in the end zone for the defense. But from there offensively yes, one wrong direction. We’re giving the offense the ball in position to kick the field goal, yes, we need a touchdown there. We lost opportunities today.”
(On running the ball)
“Just not good enough play up front for the most part. There were moments when we were able to run the football. Again, to me this game isn’t about not running the ball or not passing the ball to certain guys. It was about penalties. This should be the easiest part of winning a game in the NFL, of not continuing to make penalties like that. That’s the game. Everything else I can live with.”
(On the play call during the 12 men on the field penalty)
“Again, we had 12 guys on the field. Bad on our part: coaches, players, no matter what the play is. The play didn’t work.”
(On whether players are normally counted prior to a play)
“We count them. Yeah, normally. Not every snap. When I say I, I’m in charge of our staff. It’s Head Coach, it’s offensive staff, offensive players. There are a lot of safeguards in place. Guys up in the box, guys down on the sidelines and throughout. A lot of us should have caught it.”
(On production on the final two possessions versus the rest of the game)
“To me it was a heavyweight fight. We had our moments, they had theirs. We jumped out with 10 points, and then they got momentum. Back and forth and it comes right down to the end of the game when who wants it more. We haven’t been able to close the deal at the end. That’s the game.”
(On the defense)
“They’ve been playing well. Since the bye week they’ve been playing good defense. Today we got the takeaways. Set our team up to score some points off of the takeaways. Then at the end of the game where defensively we had to stop them and gave up the big third down play. The defense buckled down and didn’t allow them to kick that field goal. They kept us in striking range with the field goal with plenty of time left to go on the clock. The script was written right for us to pull it out at the end.”
(On when he realized there were 12 men on the field)
“For me, afterwards. It’s happening pretty quick. I knew, good point on their part on throwing the flag. From there, it’s a hurry-up situation so we were going pretty quick. If they hadn’t thrown the flag, we probably would have gotten it out. I don’t know if they caught it up top – they didn’t actually stop us, so, good play on their part.”
(On mental issues happening
“Don’t know why it’s happening in the games. In practice, no, we’re not. We haven’t been.”
(On whether he gave any thought to kicking a field goal on the final play)
“64 [yards], no. Thought we had time for one more play to try and get it down the field a little bit closer.”
(On his responsibility for checking the number of players on the field)
“Yeah absolutely, we can all help out. We had a bit of a muddle huddle there getting guys on and off [the field] and we played with the extra tackle this week. The transition going from four wide [receivers] to then bringing Oniel [Cousins] back in the game – we’ve just got to handle it better. I certainly own it. I didn’t see it. We called out protections and other things, but I didn’t get my eyes over there to double check it and see where we were. I own my part in it.”
(On having 12 players on the field)
“Obviously because of the tight end situation where we were at this week, Oniel [Cousins] played a lot in the game. They had pressured us before in that situation, down and distance, and so we were trying to get a shot down the field while making sure we were protected so we ran [Oniel] on, but we obviously we did not get Robert Herron off. Again, I just have to do a better job of looking up and seeing it and calling out protection and calling out routes. It just can’t happen. Louis [Murphy] made a great catch on [the play] and we were setting ourselves up there to win the ball game.”
(On when he realized there were 12 players on the field)
“Not until after – I was concerned with getting the play and seeing coverage. I didn’t see it until after.”
(On having zero timeouts and considering spiking the ball on the last drive)
“That is exactly what we were doing. We were letting it get down to five – or four really is what we always say – just like at practice when we do it every week. We wanted to let it get down to four, clock it, have Patrick [Murray] come up and kick [the field goal] and we’d win it, but our conversation is different now.”
(On finding ways to lose)
“I tell you as a veteran, as a leader of the team and obviously as a quarterback – I just look at it as I have to be better. The defense played lights-out today. I don’t know what was there and what wasn’t there until I look at the tape. Man, I carry these losses heavy because you know you want to do something that affects the game and changes it. That’s what hurts so much about that last drive because we feel like we did that. We thought we did what we were setting out to do and needed to do in the situation, but a penalty got us and they got us all day.”
(On his emotions on the last drive)
“Very rarely do you go through a situation like that where you’re in, you’re out, you’re in, you feel like you’re close and then you’re back out. It’s hard because when you’re in, you’re trying to be smart with the ball and play underneath and just get a little bit, but when you’re out it changes your mind set. It’s a tough situation.”
(On how not having tight ends Brandon Myers, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Luke Stocker affected the offense)
“I’m not sure, we’ll look at [the tape] and see. I think things could have been cleaner as far as being quick in and out of the huddle and at the line. As far as how those guys did physically, Oniel [Cousins] did some good things in the running game and we had Doug [Martin] going a little bit. You know, those guys are starters for a reason and obviously when you don’t have them, there can be a difference. We just have to do a better job working through it. Again, it starts with me and throughout the week, I have to do a better job of preparing ourselves to handle those situations better.”
(On running the ball more versus passing it in the fourth quarter)
“Well, we said we wanted to run the ball. A little bit of it was the field position. We had great position a couple of times. It was a great thing that we got the ball in the end zone on the one run because they didn’t want you to throw it down there. They were going to close the middle and they were going to make you run the football in the end zone. That was kind of the case when we got the ball down there in the backed up situation. We were just trying to get it out, but that’s the hard part. When you say what they have given up run-wise throughout the season and what we felt like we could do, we set out saying we were going to run the ball and when you stick to it you have to give yourself chances. You have to keep handing the ball off if you’re going to stick to it and let the guys get hot and let them get going. That’s part of it – sometimes you find yourself in the fourth quarter, especially when it’s only a one-score game and a field goal, if that – you have to still set out and rely on what you said your plan was during the week.”
(On talk about the playoffs)
“I don’t know where we are with that. Leave it to the mathematicians, but until they tell you that you’re out, you keep talking about it and you keep striving for it so that’s what we’ll do. We have a game next week so we have to get ready to go up to Detroit and get ready to play a good football team. There is no quit in me and I think the rest of the guys in the locker room are the same way too. As long as there is still a chance we’re going to keep fighting.”
(On moving the ball more during the last two possessions versus the rest of the second half)
“I don’t know other than we opened up and we were throwing the ball just about every down so that may have been some of the difference. I have to look at the tape and see what happened. They had a good plan for us. They brought some good pressure and did some things that caused some problems, but again it’s hard to tell what stopped those drives without looking at the tape.”
(On the outcome of the game)
“It’s tough. I’m at a loss for words. That’s been killing us all year — penalties. We have to be more disciplined as a team. That’s been our biggest problem. Today showed exactly why we need to be more disciplined. If we don't make penalties, we can win a game.”
(On correcting the penalties)
“Sometimes it’s playing hard, and sometimes it’s a mental thing. We have to be more mentally focused as a team and as a group.”
(On three interceptions)
“We’ve been playing some good football. We just have to keep pushing and keep going forward. We have to make it work one way or another. It’s not going to go away. We have four games left so we have to make it work somehow.”
(On Head Coach Lovie Smith and the team’s reaction to loss)
“He’s [Smith] handling it well. I’m sure he feels like all of us — frustrated. We’re frustrated. He’s handling it well, and we really appreciate him for that and for not spazzing out on us. He still comes to work every day and coaches hard. You can’t do anything but respect him.”
(On his first snap in the first quarter)
“I didn't get my hand on it. I just didn't have my hand on it like I should of. The bad snap was on me. I know I had two bad snaps today and that’s something that I’m working on getting better at.”
(On the leg whip penalty)
“It wasn't intentional. It was a screen downfield. I was just trying to cut the defender with my head facing the end zone. I must have rolled, and he must of gotten clipped by my leg. It wasn't intentional; it was just a cut I was trying to make.”
(On the team’s penalty for having 12 men on the field)
“Plays like that, your stomach definitely drops. I look at myself and just a few plays prior to that I had a holding call. So for me, I can’t point the blame. I had far too many mistakes today. I’m just as hard on myself.”
(On the offensive line and penalties)
“I think it just comes down to focus and just being consistent. I think for myself when I get out of sorts, I tend to get sloppy, and today that showed up. I was sloppy in several plays. So I look at myself, and it’s just a matter of maintaining focus and composure. We put ourselves in a position to lose today. I was a huge part of that, and I recognize that. Definitely this week he [Smith] emphasized a lot on eliminating the self-inflicted wounds. So I know for myself, I allowed far too many.”
(On being disappointed with the loss)
“Disappointed - for a lack of a better term. Just frustrated [in] not pulling off a game I felt we played hard in. We had opportunities, didn't seize them. Credit to Cincinnati, coming in here and winning the football game.”
(On today's defensive performance usually being enough to win the game)
“Holding the offense under 300 yards would likely be acceptable, but the game can go either way. It's football, it's got ups and downs. Offense not playing good, special teams not playing good, it doesn't matter, we help each other out. When defense is [not] playing good we rely on offense and special teams to pick us up. It's just one of those things. We got to keep coming.”
(On the defense doing enough to win the game)
“No. We didn't do enough because we didn't win the football game, so we just got to do more.”
(On the improvement of the defense)
“Things are about repetitiveness, once you do and keep doing it, you get better. That’s what our defense is doing. It’s not one side of the ball. It’s a team game, that’s why the game of football is so great, because it’s a team game. I’d rather have more wins than losses”
(On his individual progression as a player)
“I just did what I’m coached to do. We got a great coach in Coach Hardy (Linebacker Coach, Hardy Nickerson). We got great guys in that room, Lavonte (David) & Mason (Foster) and we help each other out there. It's the next man up mentality. We gel together and we are friends off the field and hang out so I think that plays a big role in it as well."
(On his approach going into today's game as the starter at will linebacker)
"I take the same approach. All through my career I take the approach as a starter. You are one play away from being up and if you are out there and don't know what you are doing that's the fastest way to get cut. Being a professional you got to prepare like you are a starter."
(On the team's overall performance)
"We're close but close doesn't give you a win. We can talk about defensive numbers and all that but it's not a win. We don't play this game for numbers, the only number you play for is the number in the win column."
(On the performance of the defense)
“We're playing better, but we’ve got to score on defense. It was great, we had three takeaways, but one of those we’ve got to turn into a touchdown.”
(On what needs to be done better for the team to win)
“We have to be better in the end - whichever side of the ball it is. There's been numerous times this year where it's been on the defense to finish the game. Collectively, as a unit, everybody has to be better in the end.”
(On the penalty for twelve men on the field)
“Still had a shot. That's tough. That's tough, but we still had a shot.”
(On his drive for the rest of the season)
“Season ain't over. We’ve got four games. Until they tell me the season is over, I 'm going to keep going. I never stop. You won't see Gerald stop for nothing. You won't see me quit. Yeah, this one hurt, so of course I am upset right now. I'm hurt. My emotions right now are because we lost, but give me a day or two and I'll be right back at it.”
(On cleaning up the penalties)
"Yeah, that hurts the worst, when we're beating ourselves. We’ve got to be better - all of us, everybody. The penalties will kill you. They'll just kill you. It can't happen."
(On what he does on the sidelines at the end of the game when the offense has the ball)
"Sit and watch. Can't do nothing about that. If the defense is not out there, I just let things fall how they may. I can't do nothing about that. All I can do is sit and watch."
(On not pointing fingers)
"Nobody is going to point fingers. This is how I see it: I'm on the defensive side of the ball, and they have 14 points, right? So that means, we gave up two touchdowns. If they don't score, they don't win. So, the person can want to point fingers if they want, they have 14 points. We gave up 14 points, we lost by one. We don't let them score just one of those touchdowns, we win. Defense got to be [good] too."
(On not running the ball as much in the second half)
“I have no idea. Doug [Martin] was running the ball well. Charles [Sims], he had some nice runs too. We just got to finish. Same thing when we were playing the Browns - good first half and then the second half we didn't do a good job of running the ball. We’ve just got to finish. We're starting off fast and also have to finish that way too. We can't just play one half of football.”
(On his performance as a kick returner)
“It went pretty good. I left a lot of yards out there, especially when I first returned. It happens, like I said, but it can't happen though. We're not in a position to have anything like that happen. We have to make plays any chance that we get. For the most part, overall, special teams, I think, we did a great job today.”
(On kickoff and punt coverage)
"They have a great returner back there and we knew we had to get down there on our kickoff coverage. The guys did a great job protecting first then getting out and making plays."
(On the play of linebacker Danny Lansanah)
"Coming in filling in for Lavonte (David), those are big shoes to fill. He's picked it up and we haven't missed a beat so shout out to Danny, he's been playing great for us."
(On defense moving forward)
"This defense has been playing well… so we just want to keep that going. We want to keep it going for these last few weeks, just play outstanding ball and see what happens."
(On team's progression through the season)
"The results aren't changing but for us they're changing. We are getting takeaways, we are getting running backs on the ground, we are stopping offenses.”

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