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Post Game Press Conference Transcript - Bengals

(opening statement) "I want to give compliments to the Bengals. That's a good football team. We knew they were a good football team, and I say they are everything as advertised and more. They came into a tough environment and found a way to win the game. They played well throughout the game, but then in the end, they finished and won the game. So, hats off to them on that. They are in control of the division, and we're all looking up at them."

(on if the game was decided on the field) "The game is always decided on the field. We didn't play well enough to win. We didn't play well enough in any of the three phases to win, and we didn't. We didn't finish and find a way in the end to win. We all understand that. Every one of our guys understands that. Coaches understand that, and we have work to do."

(on if it's frustrating to lose a second game in a row in the last few minutes) "We don't really measure frustration. That's a question I wouldn't even tackle – if it's frustrating or disappointing. Our guys work so hard – players, coaches, everybody works so hard, just like everybody does in this league. There's a lot of good players on both sides. It's hard fought, and we lost a tough football game that I felt was important for us to win. Now we have to find a way, as the season goes on, to overcome it and get ourselves back in position to achieve the things we want to achieve this year."

(on if he thinks the defense wore down) "I don't put labels on that. You find a way to get them stopped. You find a way to get first downs, and you find a way to get them stopped. We didn't get them stopped when we had to, when we needed to, and we didn't extend drives when we needed to. We didn't make big plays on special teams, necessarily, when we needed to. Those are all the things, if you want to win this game, that you have to do. All of us have to do a better job, collectively, to find a way to do it."

(on if the Bengals' defense was a factor in the Ravens' limited deep passes) "I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about. [The Bengals] had those guys back, and they were playing coverage like they always do. I thought the corners did a nice job on our guys outside. We had a couple guys deep, and they played well. The secondary played well. The front played well. They got good pressure, so give them pressure."

(on Bengals' RB Cedric Benson) "Well, I think Cedric Benson is a really good back. He's obviously fulfilling a lot of promise that he had early on in his career. That offensive line did a heck of a job, and you have to give them credit. They were well coached. I think they had a nice game plan. Just good fundamentals and a well-coached football team. Solid. They played that way today."

(on if he has any doubt on the officials' calls) "I'm not thinking about it. I just think we have to play better. The idea is to play so well that those things become irrelevant. That's what you have to do in this league, and we didn't do that today."

(on if he is disappointed by the defensive penalties on the Bengals' final drive) "I think you have to play better. You have to find a way not to have penalties. You have to find a way to get them sacked. You have to find a way to make a play, an interception, whatever it might be, and I think we all have to do a better job of that."

(on if he sees improvement of the Bengals from 2008) "That's a measurement question. They're good. They are 4-1 and they're leading the division. So, that's a really good football team. We get them in three or four weeks, whenever it is, and hopefully we play well enough to be in a position to make that game matter. That's our responsibility."

DE Trevor Pryce

(on the penalty during the field goal attempt) "I don't know. I guess the rule is you can't line up with your helmet over the center. I thought I wasn't. Because I know that. I lined up outside, and we were all kind of bunched in together. So, I've got broad shoulders or whatever. But I've never seen that. I've never gotten that penalty before."

(on whether the defense was wearing down at the end) "I didn't. I don't think we did. We had some stuff not go our way. And those guys made the plays they needed to make to win the game, period, point blank. They were a better team today."

(on Cedric Benson's 100-yard rushing game) "He did great. He's a good [running back]. He had his Wheaties this morning [laughing]. He's fast and you couldn't see him behind those big guys. He found some holes in there and squeaked through. I don't think most people realize how fast a running back he is. As big as he is, you think he's going to be power game, power game, but if he gets a seam he's able to wiggle through there pretty good. So he did a good job. Hats off to him."

(on the referees' calls at the end of the game) "I'm not going there with you. No, I don't do the referee thing. Your job, I think as an athlete, no matter what sport you are playing is take it out of the officials hands. I don't care what sport it is – baseball, football, soccer, basketball, whatever – if you dominate, the calls don't matter. You know what I mean, so. Referees and stuff, that is of no importance to me whatsoever."

(on having to speak about a loss) "I'm surprised to be standing up here period. I've never been in [the Ravens' post-game media room] [laughing]. I've been here four years, and I've never been in here to see y'all."

QB Joe Flacco

(on his thoughts of the game) "I mean, we played well. We obviously didn't play the way we wanted to, but we need to go back and look and see what we thought. But, we really didn't get on the field that much early in the game. Then we had a good drive, but turned the ball over in the redzone. Like I said, we need to go back and take a look at it. They definitely played well, but I don't think we did the things we wanted to. When we go and look back at that, I think we'll see it."

(On what the big difference maker might have been in a close game) "It's just the kind of games these are. Whoever comes down with it, whoever has the ball last and whoever is able to make the most of the opportunity, and that's what they did. You've got to give it to them, they played well. But like I said, I think when we go back and look at it, I'm sure we'll be a little bit disappointed with how we played."

(On preparing to go to Minnesota to face an undefeated Vikings team next week) "The same thing we've been doing all along. We feel like we prepare just as well, and even better than everybody, so we need to make sure that we stay steady and continue to do what we've been doing all season. We'll go up there, and we'll come ready to play next Sunday."

TE Todd Heap

(On whether the Bengals secondary had a certain look that was slowing the passing game) "No, I don't think it had anything to do with that. I think the biggest thing is we could have executed better. And that's what we've got to go look at – what we can do to execute the passing game better and the running game better for that matter. That's where everything starts, up front, and we've got to do a better job putting them on their heels and forcing them to see different looks."

(On what could have gone differently toward the end of the game) "Well, you've got to give them some credit for how they played today. And we definitely do that. At the same time, we feel like we can play better. And that's what we've got to do this week in practice, and we'll go see what we can do tomorrow to get better and work on that. We'll put this game behind us quickly and get ready for next week."

(on a difficult game upcoming at Minnesota) "Well, obviously we'll spend some time between now and Wednesday getting familiar with Minnesota and what they do well. You know, we've got to make sure that we come to play, because it's easy to see how good they're playing right now, and it will definitely be a challenge for us at their place next weekend."

S Ed Reed (On how much tougher it was having trouble stopping the run) "Makes it real tough, man. They ran their game plan. They executed their game plan. That's what it's about at the end of the day. It's about execution."

(On what they did to make it so difficult today) "Nothing. They did nothing different. They did nothing special to make it difficult. They ran their game plan; they ran it to a 'T'."

(On how big the interception was personally for him) "It means nothing if you lose at the end of the day. When you lose, everything else is out the window. Individual stuff doesn't matter at the end of the day – for me anyway – at this point of my career. You're just trying to win, man."

(On whether he felt they were in an OK position with under two minutes to play) "Yeah, I felt like we were in a great position. But against a good team you can't leave it down to the wire. You got to make those early plays when you've got a chance and make them count."

(On what he is thinking when all the penalty flags come out at the end) "You want them to let us play ball. It's supposed to be a 50/50 equal playing field for both teams. At points like that it just didn't seem like it. Certain plays you're like, 'OK, we can understand it.' Certain calls just didn't seem to go our way when they're supposed to. You prepare and you just can't fight against everything. You've got to play your game, and hopefully, not put it in anybody else's hands."

"You can't put it in anybody's hands. The players come out there to play and win the game, and you've got to win the game on your terms. You can't have close calls. You can't put them in a position where it's a 50/50 call for the referees, because you don't know which way it's going to go. It's not about them, it's about us playing sound football."

(On how his interception play unfolded) "It was just making a play. Certain quarterbacks have certain tendencies. It was just a great jam by Fabian [Washington] and me breaking on the ball."

(On how many times he has seen Fabian do that before on film) "I watch film constantly, man. We've been playing against each other for the last couple years, and I know him just as much as he knows me. It's just competitors going against each other and somebody making a play."

(On whether this loss is as tough as they come) "Yeah, you're playing against a good team, and it's a conference game, and you know what the Bengals present. Hats off to them getting the win, but you know what they present, and they came out and executed their game plan and that's what you expected."

(On where they go from here)"We go back to practice tomorrow. There's no time off. We've got meetings tomorrow; we go to meetings, we look at the tape, we get better, you check your mistakes, you look at the plays you left out there, and then you come back Wednesday and prepare for Minnesota."

(On whether the play where he punched the ball out was an instinctive play) "I mean, it was just, we practiced it, we talked about it, and you see things on tape, like I said. It's just instinctive stuff at the time, because I got out and [there] and actually, he shouldn't have caught the ball. So, it's just running to the football."

(On them sticking to the run game, which many teams haven't had success with against the Ravens) "Yeah, you expect them to do that. In order to play a good game, you've got to stick to your game plan. You've got to run the football when you've got good backs. We have guys like Willis McGahee, guys like Ray Rice, and even Matt Lawrence. We've got guys unsung that you don't even know about. So, they stuck to their game plan, you expected them to do that, and they came out with the win."

NT Kelly Gregg

(on the game) "It was a tough one. They came out, and they executed their game plan. They just beat us."

(on the defense's performance) "We had a chance to win it. We didn't. We just got to come back, we got to make plays. We left some plays out there, and we got to get better this year."

(on the referees' calls) "Some tough calls. But you can't leave it in their hands. You've got to get it right and get it fixed."

(on Bengals RB Cedric Benson) "He made some plays. We missed some tackles. You got to take your hat off, he came out and ran the ball well. We didn't tackle well. We've got to get that corrected."

(on what was more frustrating about Benson) "We just lost the game. They made more plays than we did. As a defense, we expect to make plays. We just left them out there, and we need to get that corrected."

WR Derrick Mason

(on how the Bengals' defense played) "They just played good defense. They played NFL defense. They didn't do anything different from what we practiced for. They played hard. One thing they did, they played hard. And they won the game because they deserved to win."

(on rebounding emotionally) "Forget about it. Move on, and prepare for the next game. That's all you can do. Ain't no need to dwell on it. You dwell on it and you'll find yourself in the same situation the next following week. You can't dwell on it. You've just got to get the team to move forward."

(on the little things they can do better) "I don't know what happen today, it just didn't go our way for some reason. Whether it be execution or whatnot, things just didn't go our way today. You got to take your hat off to Cincinnati because they made it that way."

RB Ray Rice

(on how he kept his balance during his touchdown catch) "They didn't tackle me. I got down, and I think they thought my knee was down but I was just doing an old school drill, grass-picking, and I found my way through."

(on the offense) "The defense was doing certain things, sitting back in coverage. They were just playing everything in front of us. Teams were aggressive at the beginning of the year against us, and we were just going over top of them. But, that's game plan stuff. We'll be straight. We'll get it corrected. As terrible as we played, we had the game in our hands. We've just got to do a better job of finishing. It comes down to finish. As terrible as we played, the game was still in our hands. They made plays but we definitely had it in our pocket at the end. We've just got to make plays regardless of what the officials are calling on both ends."

(on the Bengals) "They're a good team. They didn't do anything that we didn't expect. You've got to give a good team credit. They had a great running back [Cedric Benson] today. We saw him for the first time. [Allowing a 100-yard rusher] usually doesn't happen. When you're that close, this one stings a little bit. We'll get back to work tomorrow."

(on his physical shape at this point in the season) "Coming in right now, I'm pretty fresh. Right now, I'm just trying to be an all-purpose back. I don't want guys taking me for granted out there just saying he's just a receiver; We have to prove we can run the ball between the tackles. The Bengals played things in front of them, and that's when I can get open in the pass game. That's the thing we have to do. My yards are going to come all-purpose. That's what I know."

(on what happened on the chop block penalty) "I was called for a chop block? You know what, I didn't even know I got called. I was actually releasing for a route, so I don't even know how I got called for a chop block. If I do get fined, that will be an appeal because I didn't even know they called it on me, honestly."

WR Mark Clayton

(on reception down by contact) "They called what they called. You don't have any say when they make the calls. It was something that was very small in the game."

(on QB Joe Flacco's incompletion on the last drive) "We just weren't able to connect. It was a blown opportunity. We just weren't able to get it. It is what it is. We'll continue to work this week and come out like we know how getting ready for next week."

(on Ravens offensive lack of production) "Give credit to them. They did a good job keeping us out of the end zone. We know we have work to do. We've got to score points. We'll work on that and get it next week."

(on RB Ray Rice) "Ray [Rice] is exceptional. He is a special player, and you guys saw it today. He does what he does, and we appreciate it."

DT Haloti Ngata

(on giving up a 100-yard rusher) "The 100-yard thing, it just didn't matter. The big thing was that he got a touchdown. We take a lot of pride in that. He [Cedric Benson] did a great job at finding the holes and breaking tackles. We have to do a better job of tackling and closing those holes."

(on why they couldn't stop Bengals RB Cedric Benson) "We have to do a better job of closing up those holes. Cedric Benson found those gaps, and we have to tackle better. We missed the tackle when Cedric Benson scored the touchdown. We have to do a better job of that."

(on Cincinnati's last drive) "He [Carson Palmer] did a great job of finding the open guys, and we didn't get enough pressure. As a defensive line, we definitely have to get better at that."

(on Cedric Benson's performance today) "You have to give a lot of credit to his offensive line. They did a great job at blocking people off. We have to do a better job at closing off those gaps."

(on Cedric Benson getting 100 yards) "It sucks. We definitely try to stop the run first, and basically, we didn't do that today. We've got to go back and fix it, and hopefully do better this week."

(on the Bengals staying with the running game) "They definitely did. They stuck with it in the third quarter and the fourth quarter. We have to do a better job of stopping the ball."

LB Jarret Johnson

(on the Ravens defense being on the field for the final drive): "I'd take that opportunity every day of the week, being up, long field, you know, I want to be in that opportunity every single time, and we didn't come through today. I've got a lot of respect for them. Carson Palmer, you know, he's an elite quarterback, and it hurts. They definitely earned that win, and that's the way it is."

(on if the league is watching the Ravens' defense a little closer): "I don't think so. I don't know. I can't speak for the league. I can't speak for the calls. All we can do is go out and play. We can't slow down. We're not going to slow down the way we play, but at the same time, we can't kill ourselves."

(on how much of a factor the calls are): "[They're] 15 yards. I had a couple of them this year. It's just the league we play in today. We're a bunch of aggressive guys. We're going to go out and play that way. If you are going to make those penalties, you better play well enough on other downs to make up for them, and we didn't do that today."

CB Frank Walker

(on the defense being on the field at the end) "I'll definitely take those circumstances, any time. I like us on the field last…the rest of the season. If that's the way it has to be, I definitely [prefer] us to be on the field."

(on if the late penalty on him was accurate: "I felt like I went around him and batted the ball down, but we haven't watched film yet, so I could be inaccurate, but I'm pretty sure that I batted the ball down around him because I really didn't think he was going to throw the ball because he was covered and everything, so when he threw it, I just went around and batted it."

(on the loss and the officials) "Any loss is frustrating. Any loss is frustrating. The officials, they're just calling the game. These games are close; they're close because we let them be close. Whenever the game is this close, it can be anything that can determine the outcome of the game. I just feel like we've just got to start [being more] disciplined, making the leads bigger…It's football, man. We're 0-1 this week. We're going to try and go 1-0 next week."

CB Domonique Foxworth

(on giving up the TD on the final drive) "It's like I said, it was unsettling. It doesn't feel good. You want the pressure on you in situations as an individual and as a unit on the defense, especially in Baltimore, you welcome that situation, and you think it's to your advantage, and it wasn't today."

(on the defense's struggles) "We have to stick to what got us here, go back and get better. It's not time to throw out the whole package based on what happened today. I mean, it's important that we work hard and stay humble."

(on where the problems were) "That's a tough question. I think you have to wait until we go back in and look at the film and decide what individuals made mistakes because all of us make mistakes throughout the game and look at the game as a whole. It's tough to come off the field with emotions and decide what was the difference."

(on the officials and possible mistakes) "It's human error. When you have people out there, I think there are some...[like] in the baseball playoff games. You don't get here by making mistakes, and you don't get here by blaming other people and by making excuses, so I don't think any of us are going to do that. That's now how we are here, and we're not going to turn into those type of people now."

(on whether they were thrown off by how much they ran the ball and how effective they were on the ground) "No. To be honest with you, not really. They've been running the ball pretty effectively all season. We expected them to try, they had a little bit of success, but it's something that we need to work on."

(on what the difference maker was in a tight game) "You just need to make the plays when it comes down to it. That's all it boils down to. Every game comes down to about five or six plays. They made…It comes down to five or six plays that decide which way the game goes. We made a couple, they made more."

(on what they have to do to prepare for an undefeated Vikings team next week) "We need to do the same thing we do every week, whether we win, lose or draw. You need to get better going into the next game."

OLB Terrell Suggs

(on Ray Rice's TD and how the Bengals fought back) "I thought that was it. I thought that was the dagger, but they kept [battling]. I thought we were going to do what we do and put them away. It just didn't happen that way. You would think this is where we come alive and play our [best]. We had plenty of opportunities, despite every call, to win the game. We just didn't make the plays. They did a great job executing."

(on Cedric Benson running for over 100 yards) "They did a good job of the chess match, putting those guys in situations where they can be successful. We just didn't play like ourselves. Right now, at 3-2, we've definitely got to turn it up, especially with next week's game. We've got to all around play better football. There's no excuse. We didn't play good football today—at all. We made some plays, but they made more, and they did it in our stadium, and that's not acceptable. So we've got to go back in, we've got to look at ourselves and check some things."

(on the officials) "That's for you all to speculate on. I feel that there were some plays where we still could have won the game. It's just a simple fact that we gave the refs the opportunity…to take it from us. They had to make a judgment call, and they made it. Like I said, we better start playing some good football, and we better start doing it like right now before too many of these get away from us."

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