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What The Bengals Said Following Their Week 1 Loss vs The Seahawks

Postgame quotes and locker room reaction from the Cincinnati Bengals in their 21-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2019 regular season opener.


Opening statement:

"I just told our guys that I am disappointed that we lost the game but not disappointed in the effort. That is a tough crew and we are going to win a lot of games with the guys in that locker room the way that we played tonight. The defense fought hard, forced sacks, limited them in rushing. I thought offensively our line played outstanding. We dropped back and threw the ball a ton of times. We had some challenges with their defensive front. But we stepped up to the challenge. They did a great job of protecting Andy back there. Of course it's disappointing that we lose the opening game, we expected to win that. That's life in the NFL, all these games are going to come down to the very end. We have to step up and make a play in one of those three phases. But tonight we just didn't get it done. We have a great group of guys in there and we are going to win a lot of these games."

On What happened in the second half with the offense:

"I think we had three trips in the red zone in the third quarter and came away with no points. Then the rain started coming down, they (Seattle) got their hands on a interception when we thought we had a big play there, it just happens. Another time Gio (Bernard) hit a big screen and we got down there. Your hesitant to throw the ball when it's raining that hard. We got stopped in there and ended up missing a field goal. Then we went for it on fourth and one and just didn't convert. And so you need to make one of those plays to win this game, you can't leave points on the board like that. The final score is a one-point game and one of those drives would have won it for us."

On why they had a tough time running the ball today:

"Well they (Seattle) played base to eleven every snap. So they pretty much have you out covered in every gap you have. We do twelve personnel to run it a little bit. It was a good game plan for them with Clowney in there. He creates some issues believe it or not. So your best chance is to throw the football. That's not how you want to win every single football game. When a team has chosen to take your run game out of the picture, then that is the reality. We had a chance to win. So credit to them, they had a good plan. It was hard to run the ball but we still put ourselves in a position to win. I'm really proud of the coaches and the effort they put in this plan."

On how frustrating was it to see some of Seattle big plays:

"With Russell Wilson, they are going to hit big plays. You try and limit it as best you can. We did a great job of pressuring him and getting him out of his comfort zone. He is going to step up and make some plays. He has played in the league a long time. We knew the big plays were going to come at some point, you're not going to be perfect. You just have to limited him and I thought they did a good job of that."

On his defense:

"Coach (Lou) Anarumo had those guys ready to play. Our defense stepped up to the challenge and they put pressure on those guys. We have to score more points when our defense plays like that and Seattle got it done."

On thoughts about going for it on fourth down instead of punting late in the fourth quarter:

"I think it was fourth and six, you just put faith in your defense to get a stop there. It's hard and then they got it. I think if it's a little shorter, then you really consider it. But fourth and six, an incompletion there, you concede the game because there in field goal range. They can eat up the clock and kick a field goal there, so I think it was the right decision."

On feeling good about his team:

"I do, there were a lot of unknowns for probably both coaching staffs walking into this game. They (Seattle) don't know where we're going to be schematically in all three phases. Defensively they got a lot of new pieces that they have moved in and out. So we had a lot of plans in place to see how they played it. So we just wanted the win. That's all we cared about. Just getting out of here with a win and we didn't get it done. That is frustrating but we are proud of the guy's effort."

On John Ross making a big play after the dropped ball:

"I want guys with great mental toughness. He drops a pass and it's easy to get dejected. On the very next play he goes out and makes an unbelievable play. It puts us in a great position going into halftime. That's the example we use at halftime, don't be afraid to make a mistake. Don't be afraid to take a chance and make a mistake, just come on back the next play and be ready to hammer them. John was a great example of that. We have a ton of confidence in John. He did a nice job and made some big time plays for us."

On his thoughts about this offense once A.J. Green gets back:

"There is no question that we feel we are just scratching the surface. It's difficult when they set out and say you are not going to run the football. We are going to put more big guys out there than you can handle, you're not going to run the ball and you have to throw it every snap. So we have to get that phase done, so that your good in all three aspects of the offense. We thought we had a good plan in place to overcome that. We really did, we just didn't get enough scoring opportunities in the red zone that we took advantage of."

On the defensive line limiting Seattle's run game:

"Really good. It's one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL last year and we held them to them to however many yards, sixty, seventy, whatever it was. They put pressure on that kid all night. We got four sacks and so if our defensive line plays like that this year, we are going to be in very good shape. The sacks aren't just the d-line. It's the secondary, those guys are all doing a good job and making it work. To only allow 21 points on the road, the first game of the season, with the crowd like it was, that's a good performance by our defense."

On the timeout on third and seven with 50 seconds to go in the first half:

"There is no question. Yes, you leave us time there and were going to go after them. It's not a certain message, it's just our philosophy, were not going to just concede the half. Obviously there is a point in time where you are going to but with 50 seconds left we feel we are explosive enough to go down and score there. The guys made me look good on that one."


On how he thought the offense performed overall:

"We did a lot of good things. From an effort standpoint, just the way we fought the whole game, very pleased with everybody. It's unfortunate that we came out with a loss in this one because there is a lot of good things that happened in this game. In the end we just didn't make the play that got us over the top and allowed us to win this one."

On the play late the TE Tyler Eifert slipped on:

"Yeah he slipped and that is one of those plays that we will look at and be like, 'man, if he doesn't slip there then that changes things.' There are several plays that we are going to look at and we hurt ourselves or just didn't make that play."

On if there is encouragement in that a lot of things that went wrong were unlikely or fluky:

"Yeah, if you just look at the game and look at the total, I mean, we drove the ball well. We had a bunch of big plays, we had a bunch of long drives… TE (Eifert) slips on that one, the ball slips out of my hand on another drive. I mean that's never happened to me before. There's opportunities there that we felt like we left out there."

On if the rain just starting was the cause of the ball slipping out of his hand:

"It's hard to explain. It's never happened to me before. As soon as I went back to throw the ball it slipped right out."

On if he was encouraged by setting a personal record in passing yards in the first game with his new coach:

"Yeah we had a lot of opportunities there. Felt like Zac (Taylor) called a really good game and like you said, we were encouraged by everything we did. Obviously we want to win but there's a lot of positives to take from today."

On John Ross dropping a ball and then coming back the next play to catch a touchdown:

"It's one of those things that you have to let the last play go. That's just the way this game works. For John to drop the one and then come back to make an unreal catch to score the touchdown, that just shows his maturity and just the way that you can't let the last play affect you."

On Ross' potential in this offense:

"We have high expectations for him. He's very talented. He's got a lot of speed and he can do a lot of really good things. So, I think this is just the beginning for John."

On if he felt like this game came down to just one play in the redzone:

"Yeah, we were down there, we had opportunities. We'll look at it and say, 'we got to make that one, we got to do this, we got to do that,' but we didn't make a play down there, we settled for a field goal in the fourth quarter and if we score a touchdown there, obviously that changes the game. We didn't get it on fourth down, that's a drive where we had several opportunities out there."

On how much the weather impacted the game:

"The only time was when the ball slipped out of my hand. That's the only time, other than that I feel like we handle everything well. We handled the noise well, we handled the weather well. Besides that, that was it, unfortunately."

On if it was apparent to him that the Seahawks were loading up to defend the run:

"I think we kind of knew going in. We weren't sure exactly what their plan was going to be. We had a plan for several different ways they were going to play us defensively. I thought we had a great plan in place. As you get into it, they were big up front, and did a good job of taking the run game away and obviously you can see what happened in the pass game, so we had opportunities out there."

On the potential for their offense when they get AJ Green back:

"I feel like we've got a lot of guys that in this offense we can spread it around to. John (Ross) was the one today and made several big plays and so we feel like we will take AJ back whenever we can get him. That's the way this offense is setup is to feature different guys."

On how well their defense slowed down and pressured Russell Wilson:

"Our defense played outstanding today. We put them in some holes, but they stepped up. One drive they were in field-goal range and we knocked them out of field-goal range. I thought they did a great job today. That's our standard now. We have to play well in all phases of the game. I thought our defensive plan, plus the way our guys played was really good today."

On how well the offensive line played today:

"I thought the O-line played great. I thought they did a lot of really good things. They gave me time back there. That's a good front, and you add Clowney to that front and it's even better. I though our guys played a really good game."

On if he thought the final play ruled a fumble was going to stand:

"My arm was going forward and I threw the ball. I'm surprised they called it a fumble. I don't know what they saw, but my arm was going forward and I threw it."

On how he feels they defined themselves today, despite the result:

"We're a team that's going to fight. I thing that's one thing that we proved today. Even to the very end, guys were playing really hard and if we can have this effort in every game we play this year, we are going to come out on top more than we don't."


On his overall play:

"I had two critical drops, in my opinion, that I should have had. That's something I'm going to work on, go back in practice, put more focus on that. It felt good to finally get some live reps for the first time this year. But there are a lot of things I've got to clean up. A whole lot of things. Given the numbers that I had, you give all the credit to everybody else: the O line blocking and holding up, Andy putting the ball in great spots. Me? Just going and continue to play."

On what he needs to clean up:

"A long list of things. Coming out of my breaks better. Focusing on catching the ball first. The blocking aspect. There's just a whole lot of things. Given that this is my first game, my first week, really, still, no excuses. I'm supposed to come prepared. There are a lot of things I've got to work on."

On getting big gains after his drops:

"That's something I've worked on, next-play mentality, I think I've done a better job. Last year, year before, I went into a tank and would think about that for the rest of the game. Now I try to put it behind me and go make the next play."

On the resilience of this offense:

"Coach is going to call great plays. Every single drive he's going to call great plays and get guys open, and the line is going to holdup and Andy is going to make great plays, as he did. He did a great job today."

On if the coaching staff's confidence in him has boosted his self-confidence:

"Without a doubt. I think that's what a lot of players lack sometimes. Like me, I can honestly say now I lost confidence in myself the last two years. Now I come in with a different mentality, and now I've got to go out there and continue to believe in myself."

On if he would have been on the bench after dropping a pass last year:

"Most definitely. I can honestly say that now. I would lose confidence in myself. It's completely different now, in my opinion."

On after dropping a pass today did he know he would be targeted again right away:

"I didn't, but just knew he was not going to stop going to me. I ran a route when I knew we needed a big play, and I had to go down the field, so I just figured I should just run as fast as I can, go up and make a big play."

On what a day like today does for him:

"It means nothing. You lose a game, it goes right out the window, because it feels like you've done all that, to me, that's selfish. I play every down to win. We've got to come out with a win. I'm not going to go home and say, wow, what a job I did. That's kind of selfish. I don't like stuff like that. I definitely would rather win that do what I did."

On having a good performance in Seattle:

"It did feel good. It felt surreal. I used to work here for Staff Pro. I used to be a security guard here when I was in college. To be able to play here in front of some people who used to watch me in college, it did feel good. I'm thankful."


On the outcome:

"We've just got to keep working, keep fighting. That's all we can do. We can't take anything back. It is what it is. We lost by one. But we'll definitely be well-prepared next week."

On any frustration that comes from a narrow loss:

"It's the NFL. Things happen. Ain't nobody in this league perfect. But at the same time, we've got to continue to operate together. The more and more we play together, we'll make every play when we need to at crucial times."

On if this performance was a step forward for this offense:

"Definitely. Even when the ball was wet and slick and hard to pass in the second half, I feel my boys in the receiver corps, and the whole team, everybody played hard to the end. It just hurt to lose, especially when it felt like we had the game."


On how they avoided false starts given the noise in CenturyLink Field:

"That was something that we got together as a group that we wanted to accomplish. Just being on the same page, not adding to the already hostile environment, not putting ourselves behind the chains – that was definitely something that we wanted to accomplish."

On if he feels like their group made a statement or proved anyone wrong by helping the offense put up big numbers today:

"We don't really pay attention to the outside. I've said this before – they don't know the play, they don't know anything and what they think, we have to take with a grain of salt. The things that matter is your opinion, your coach's opinion, and your peers' opinion. We don't get into proving anybody right, proving anybody wrong, we just want to be accountable for one another."

On if they feel good leaving today despite the result:

"I mean, we have to sit down and watch the film. I'm sure there's things that we can better at. A loss is a loss, we don't want to have moral victory, we aren't in business for that. We just want to continue to strive to get better in practice, work on the things that hindered us in this game, and get ready for San Francisco."

On how hard it was for them to run the football today:

"I think their nickel got hurt early and even before he got hurt they were just basically telling us that 'you aren't going to run the ball, you have to throw it.' You have to take what is given to you. You can't force-feed anything that they aren't going to give you , you just have to execute."


On if he feels like there is a strong foundation now for the rest of the season:

Yeah, I think we reopened up the playbook. That's something that in the preseason, we're not showing everything that we have. Once we kind of started getting the game going after the first quarter, this is who we are. This is what we're going to be. This is how we're going to attack the defense. Obviously, week to week it's going to change. I feel like we have a great identity and I think that we move the ball well. Moving forward, we can expect a lot more big plays and bigger opportunities.

On if he liked watching John Ross III playing today:

I loved watching John Ross III today. It was awesome to have him step up the way he did. To me, the most encouraging thing is he dropped a pass and we're looking around like dang, he had a lot of room to run. Very next play, calls his number again, goes up and makes an incredible play and scores a touchdown. That was so hype. I was going nuts. I was like, this is why you're here. That was very encouraging. I loved watching him out there run around them and just make people miss. My knees are hurting just watching him make those cuts. That was definitely a bright spot.


On the pressure the defense created yet gave up one big play:

"I was really proud of the way we fought on both sides of the ball. That's just like in the NFL. It comes down to one or two big plays, one or to points, one or two stops. I think this is a great place to build from. If we fight like that for 16 games, we're going to win a lot of football games. But this obviously is a disappointing loss."

On how the offense and defense would pick each other up at points during the game:

"That's what we've been talking about, being a connected team. There's going to be a lot of people trying to pull us apart, and if we stay together and stay connected we'll be a successful team. I like the guys we've got in this locker room."

On the challenge of defending against an offense operated by Russell Wilson:

"We wanted to stop the run. We were stout on defense and made them kind of one-dimensional, holding the No. 1 rushing attack to however many yards we held them to. It was good execution. It just comes down to a few plays, and that's how it is in the NFL."


On if the defensive strategy was to confuse Seattle with different looks:

"We didn't show much during preseason. I think we've still got a little bit more. We'll see if we continue to improve."

On the key to stopping Seattle's ground game:

"Pinning the hip was the biggest thing with the zone read. Russell, obviously he's a mobile quarterback, so pinning the hip and not leaving any room in between those gaps, and I think we did a really good job of that."

On the team's state of mind:

"I'm very confident, and I'm sure everyone else feels very confident. Any time you go into battle like that and lose by one point, obviously it hurts. But the way we fought, the way we continued to improve throughout the game was very impressive. We're going to win a lot of games if we keep playing like that. Everyone knows we have a lot of potential. It's good that we got after it in Week 1."


On it is encouraging to out gain the Seahawks by nearly 200 yards:

"I mean, throughout the game I felt like we were doing a lot of good things. When the game is over, it's not how many yards you gain, it's how many points are on the board.

On how he felt being back in the game today:

It felt good. I was just excited to be back out there in the huddle in the hostile environment. There's nothing like it. It was good to be back out there, but, obviously, I would've liked to find a way to win this one.

On the passing game being highly productive and the running game struggling have anything to do with the Seattle Defense:

Yeah, if you look at what they were doing, they were doing things to get rid of runs. You end up passing the ball and we did it effectively. WE were just playing off of them. It's just where the game just took us.

On John Ross III having a strong game:

As well as he played, it wasn't surprising to the guys in the locker room because we watch him every day. Just the way he runs, he's really talented. You can't really describe it. It's just a matter of time before he can put it all together. He did that today and he needs to continue to do that for us too. He played well.

On if they leave feeling good about what they did today:

"I think we feel good about how hard we played and how hard we fought. We can continue to build off that. If we play with that kind of attitude and that kind of grit and all those types of things, you're going to give yourself a chance to win in a lot of games. If we continue to play hard like that, we'll get the things fixed and find a way to win.

Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' regular season opener of 2019 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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