Opening statement:"Great to see everybody. I'm glad to see that our beat writers are in high spirits out here, which is very nice to see. So is our team. We had a really good practice, and we're beginning to get emotionally ready for the game as well."
**John, with WR/RS Keenan Reynolds being promoted, how pleased have you been with his progress throughout the year? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"I'm pleased with Keenan. It's a difficult thing making a transition like he's doing. He works really hard at it every day. He's learned a lot. Next year is going to be the year. We'll see. He has to go to work the next three or four months, too, and get some real specific work, as far as running routes and doing the things a slot receiver and an outside receiver have to do. He's done a good job. We're pleased with him, and I think Ozzie [Newsome] is rewarding him by bringing him up this week. It's good for him."
Knowing what you think of him as a person, was that a special conversation to tell him he can fulfill an NFL dream?* (Luke Jones)*"Not really, no. We didn't have that conversation. He's cool. He's good. It doesn't change too much for him. I think it's a positive for him though. It probably speaks for itself."
Was it a little sentimental being out there with some of these guys for the last time possibly? (Jerry Coleman)"Not really. Not really. We had a lot of fun. No one shed any tears or anything. We had an energetic, full-of-life practice. Guys were getting after it, and they were very sharp and very loud. Guys were into it; you guys saw that. There's no time to be shedding any tears right now. We'll go play a football game. We'll be there with Steve [Smith Sr.], obviously, is what you're referring to, and the rest of the guys. C.J. [Mosley] did mention in his talk at the end [of practice] that that's one of the very important things we're playing for – Steve's last game."
Is there going to be any tendency to feed WR Steve Smith Sr. the ball a ton of times to go out with a bang? (Garrett Downing) "We're going [to Cincinnati] to win the game. That's the plan. Feeding Steve, as you put it, is never a bad thing when you're trying to win a football game. We'll see how that plays out."
All week you have said you're going up there to win the game. Fans worry if starters will get hurt. How much do you worry or get concerned about injuries in a game like this? (Jamison Hensley) "I'm always worried about injuries. To me, you just can't be thinking that way. You're going to play a game, and you want to play really well. It's just not who we are, to run scared. It's just not. That's not what we're going to do."
*This is going to be the fifth time you closed the season in Cincinnati. Can you do any lobbying to break that pattern? (Joe Platania) *"The question is, 'Can I do any lobbying to break the scheduling patterns that the National Football League put in place?' And the simple answer would be 'no.' There's nothing I can do about that."
Is that a trend that you have noticed? (Jamison Hensley)"Of course. It's OK. They schedule them, we play them."
What are your resolutions for the New Year? (Bill West) "Win more games – a lot more. Good question."