Head Coach Marvin Lewis
On their time off since the Thursday night game at Miami:"You just sit there and look at yourself. It's an opportunity to evaluate our football team, and that's what the time was spent doing."* *
On if he's talked to QB Andy Dalton about pocket awareness:"That's something that's dealt with all the time. It's always addressed."* *
On how he views the Ravens' defense without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed: "They have a lot of good players. They still have Haloti [Ngata] up front. They still have 'Suggsy' [Terrell Suggs]. They still have – they've added Elvis [Dumervil to] the guys they have. They're good on the outside at corner. They're playing with two new safeties. There are a lot of good playmakers. They've done a great job this year so far of sacking the quarterback and doing the things they're doing. They're a very well-stocked, talented group. They knew Ray [Lewis] was moving on. They knew that Ed [Reed] was moving on. They added their personnel over the years to deal with that."* *
On if he uses the Ravens as a measuring stick for how his team is performing: "I always use the Baltimore Ravens as a measuring stick. This is a very important game for us. [It's] a tough game, on the road, and we're going to have to play great football."
On if he still views the AFC North as an up-for-grabs division: "I do. I think we've got to play great football. We have not done anything. We've gotten off to an OK start, but we've got seven football games left, and every game matters. We were kind of in a reverse situation a year ago, and we were able to flip the script, so we've got to stay on course and keep fighting and chiseling each and every day."* *
On how his experience with the Ravens served as a guide for how he's assembled the Bengals' roster: "I think the thing that I've had an opportunity to do is spend a lot of time looking at players. I think that's important that I got back involved and making sure on things, and so we've done a good job of that. My experience in Baltimore allowed me to go look at the players and make sure that the guys met the standard I thought was important, which mainly, is to have a high motor and have the ability to bend their knees and make football plays. I think everybody there did a good job of bringing all the thoughts and ideas together, and obviously, making great decisions."
On the importance of adding impact players every year: "I think it is key, because the thing we don't ever know is when you lose players to injury. Every team does and every team has to overcome that. So, that's important at every single spot, how important it is in making sure you're backed up with good depth and good young guys and that you have the right guys for special teams, you have the right guys to go in and fill in in special situations and so forth. So, it is important that you keep working hard at that."
On if NT Haloti Ngata is still as disruptive as he's been in the past: "He still is so big and strong and just gets up and swats guys and goes. He's another guy, who down the line, will have an opportunity to be considered as a possible Hall of Fame player for his accomplishments since he's been in the league and how those guys often go unheralded because they're not big sack guys all the time. When you've had to coach against him like I have since he's come into the league, I know his value and how good he is."
QB Andy Dalton
On how much they've used the Ravens as a measuring stick for their progression: "The Ravens have been one of the best teams in this division for a while. Anytime you can go against teams like they've had and see where you're at and see what kind of team that you've got, it is a good measuring stick just to see where we're at as a team. We don't expect anything less this year. This is a big game for us, so we've got to come out and play our best."
On how much the time off has benefitted the team after its shocking loss in Miami: "It's been good. I think it's been good for everybody just to get some time to get some rest and get away a little bit. I think just the amount of time that we've had to relax a little bit is going to be beneficial for us."
On the game-ending safety against Miami: "Obviously, it's an unfortunate situation what happened and how close it was. You never want to end a game like that."
On if he sees parallels between the development of himself and QB Joe Flacco: "There are definitely some things that are very similar to how our careers have gone and how things have started. Hopefully, I can do what he did last year. It was big for him to come in with a lot of people doubting him and a lot of people saying all this stuff, and for him to go out and lead them to the Super Bowl – that was big. I think there are some similarities to how our careers have been."
On the impact of rookie RB Giovani Bernard: "He's an explosive guy. I think he's a guy who is versatile and can do a lot. It's been great having him. I think he's the type of back that we've been missing that last couple of years, a guy that can make these big plays – these big either explosive runs or runs after catch. He's been a big part of our offense."
On the Ravens' pass rush being different: "The pass rush – a lot of those guys are very similar. Obviously, they've added [Elvis] Dumervil. They've done a really good job up front. I think one of the strengths of their defenses is their front and being able to get pressure on the quarterback and things like that. We've got to be prepared. For me, I've got to be able to get the ball out of my hands quick and make quick decisions."* *
On where he feels he has become a better quarterback: "I feel like I've taken more control of the offense. There's a lot of stuff that I'm doing at the line of scrimmage getting us into good plays. And some of these throws that I've been able to make downfield a little bit more have definitely improved from where I've been the last couple of years. I've got to keep trying to improve each game, each year, and that's what I'll do."
On the high expectations that come with success: "I think when you do some good things, that's what people expect. That's just kind of the nature of the business."* *
On if he expects to face a desperate Ravens team: "For them, the way the season has gone so far, this is a big game for them. So, we're expecting to get their best. This is a big game for us as well. There's going to be a lot of really good prep going into this game, and we'll be fired up and ready to go."
On if it's unusual to be ahead of the Ravens in the standings at this point in the season: "Obviously, the season hasn't gone the way they've wanted it to. Obviously, we can't worry about that. We've got to keep focusing on us and the things that we control."
On the luxury of having several offensive weapons: "It's been nice. We've done a good job of getting guys in here that are playmakers. It's been big because it's not just A.J. [Green] making plays. It's a bunch of other guys that are doing it. We've got to keep that up."