Transcripts: Smith, Ryan Press Interviews

Head coach Mike Smith
On the injury report:

"Jake Matthews is on the injury report, along with Roddy White. He (Jake) did not participate in practice today, and Roddy was a limited participant. Those were our two players that were on the injury report."

On how practice went preparing for the Bengals:

"I thought the guys came out and were very focused. This is a very good football team that we're getting ready to play, really in all three phases. They've got a very potent offense led by a very good young quarterback and a wide receiver, and a running back that can cause problems both in and out of the backfield. They've got a very good tight end, so we'll have our hands full defensively against them. On the offensive side of the ball for us, they're strong up front. They've got some guys that can rush the passer, and they've got a really good group of linebackers. We'll be monitoring very closely their injury report, in terms of who's going to playing at the linebacker position."

On Giovani Bernard:

"He's a mismatch. He's a guy that can line up in the backfield, can come out of the backfield and create problems catching the ball. He runs the ball well. He's not just a change of pace back; he can run in between the tackles. When you're playing man coverage he creates a lot of issues because he's very athletic, has great quickness, good change of direction."

On their receiving group:

"They've got two very good tight ends. I think (Tyler) Eifert went down, from what I understand, he went down on their IR to return list today, but (Jermaine) Gresham is one of the better tight ends in the League. They've also got the young guy from Stanford that they're playing as a F – Fullback/tight end as well. They've got a good group. (Brandon) Tate's a good receiver. (Mohamed) Sanu's a good receiver. Marvin's put together, he and the Bengals, have put together a really good football team. They've been to the playoffs the last three years and they're the defending division champs in the AFC North."

On the crowd noise and playing on the road:

"They're very effective at home. Crowd noise is definitely going to be an issue for our offense. We've got to be ready to match their tempo that they're going to present for our defense because they were able to run their no huddle offense last week in Baltimore. Having experience of playing lots of games in Baltimore, that's very impressive. They really controlled the tempo on the offensive side, and it's going to be a challenge for us. Crowd noise is something that we worked on last week for our defense and our offense, in anticipating that we were going to have a loud venue in Cincinnati."

On Ray Rice situation:

"Well, I think, in terms of what's been shown, I think it's very disturbing. I'm a husband and I'm a father of a daughter that I adore. I believe that there's a certain way that you're supposed to treat women, and I'll just leave it at that."

On his impressions of the running backs:

"We're very deep at the running back position. Steven is our starting running back, in terms of what we say starting running back, but we just don't have 11 starters. Those guys that are behind him, all three of them, were effective and efficient in the preseason. They deserve an opportunity to touch the football. I thought that our offensive staff put together an excellent game plan last week to accentuate the strengths of not only our running backs, but all of our players on the offensive sides, and our guys went out and executed. I think that group is very unselfish group. They were very excited to watch each other go out there and compete and make plays. Probably some of the most rewarding things about the game was watching the interaction of our players when someone that was playing their position made a big play."

On Gabe Carimi:

"Gabe had to step into a role that he wasn't really fully prepared for, but I thought he did an outstanding job. Gabe was our John Havlicek going into the game last week. He was going to be the first guy in at all positions except for the center position. Unfortunately for us with the injury with Jake in the second half he had to play the left tackle position, but I thought he did a nice job. He'll get a lot more snaps this week at the left tackle position, and he'll be prepared to even play better and I thought he played good last week. We protected our quarterback well."

Quarterback Matt RyanOn the Bengals Defense:

"They (have) got good players at all three levels of their defense. Their statistics last year show that they're a really, really good defense, tough to go against. I think they're very fundamentally sound in their approach. You don't see many mistakes on that side of the ball, so we certainly have our work cut out for us this week. We're going to need to play very well, especially on the road. It's going to be important for us to communicate really well, and to make sure that we're really on top of our game plan."

On how fun it is to play in this offense:

"Well, I feel like we've got a lot of really good pieces on offense. It was a good start for us. We played pretty good last week. I think we can play better, but it's just a start. We have to produce week in and week out. We haven't done that yet. I think guys are in the right spot. I think we know that we can make the plays, but we know that it takes really good preparation and really good focus during the week in order to be able to do that."

On the four receiver set:

"Well, I think it's good. It was good for us in terms of the matchup last week. I think we'll see each week how it works for us, in terms of matchups. When you have those four guys out there, they're all capable of making big plays at any time. Certainly, the defense has to account for playing defense to cover those guys. It was good for us last week, and hopefully it'll be good for us again this week."

On what he expects to see against Cincinnati this week:

"I think each scheme is different week to week, and Cincinnati's scheme is certainly different from what New Orleans' is. They do play a lot of zone coverage on first and second downs, and mix in some man coverage on third downs. I expect them to stay consistent with what they've done. I think that's been their M-O as a defense since Marvin's been there. They're very, very fundamentally sound in how they play. They have guys in the right spots. You do not see very many mistakes from their defense, so that means we're going to have to be on top of our plan."

On his running ability and whether or not he feels bigger and stronger:

"I felt good. I guess the opportunities just presented themselves a little bit more this past week, but I've always felt like I've been able to extend plays when I need to and make some plays with my legs. I think it just showed up a little bit more last week."

On the crowd getting excited every time he left the pocket:

"Obviously the positive reaction is always good. They were probably a little bit surprised. It's one of those things you have to make those plays when they present themselves, and certainly I appreciate the support from our home crowd."

On when he knows if his teammates are feeding off his play:

"I think so. I think momentum is real. I think we had plays across the board by different guys that sparked kind of sparked our offense. I really do. I think big plays and explosive plays feed into guys playing with more confidence, and I think that showed up."

On whether or not having Matt Bryant gives him a sense of security:

"It's huge. Matt Bryant has been one of the reasons we've been successful here in the past because we've relied on him to make critical kicks a lot, and he's delivered. In that game alone he connected on three kicks: one before the half, one at the end of regulation and one in overtime that were the difference in the game. He's been so consistent that you think it's just old hat, that he's going to go out there and perform, but that speaks to how talented of a player he is because he just continues to do it week in and week out."

On winning NFC offensive player of the week:

"Certainly it's always good when you receive honors. I'm proud of that. I think we had a lot of guys that were critical in making that happen. A lot of people were making really good plays out there. Whenever one guy gets it, kind of on the team, I think everybody shares in that because it's the ultimate team sport. You're depending on the offensive line. You're depending on the running backs, the wide receivers. I think everybody pulled their weight, but it's certainly nice when you do get recognized."

On whether this game reminded them of the 2012 season:

"We got a long way to go. It's just one game, and certainly a good start for us, but each year is diferent. We're different from who were in 2008. We're different from who were in 2012, and different from who were last year. I feel like we can be a very good offense. I feel like week-to-week we've got the guys to be able to go out there and execute at a high level. Now it's our challenge to be able to do that. We feel like we've got the potential. It's on us to make that a reality, and I think that's where everybody's mindset is at."

On Geno Atkins:

"He presents a lot of problems for us on the interior. He's an explosive player. Very, very good against the run, and really a high end pass rusher for an interior guy. We're certainly going to have to be aware of where he's at. We have him listed. He's a game wrecker. He's one of those guys that it's imperative for us to try and slow him down a little bit, but that's a tough thing to do."

On whether or not he looks like he's recovered from the injury:

"He looks good to me. He looked really good last week, and was disruptive."

On Ray Rice situation:

"I think it's one of those things you don't want to see that happen. My personal opinion is there's never a reason to put your hands on a woman. How've they've handled it, and all those kinds of things that's not for me. I wasn't in those rooms. I wasn't in those decision making areas, but as far as doing something like that, it's something that can't happen."

On the offense being able to put teams away late:

"That's huge. I think starting fast, both first half and second half is critical, but being able to put points up in order to secure a game is the most critical factor. We were able to do that last week, but we can improve in that area. We can find other ways to get touchdowns. That's kind of our focus during the week, is to find ways to improve, and find ways to be better. Hopefully we're able to do that throughout the year."

On the four running back committee and maximizing it:

"I think our coaching staff does a great job of using those guys in different situations. Each of them has different skill sets, and I think each of them is a little bit different and that makes us diverse as an offense, but that's on Mike Smith, Dirk Koetter and running back's coach, Gerald Brown to figure out ways to put each of those guys in situations that they're going to be able to succeed. Up until this point I think they've done a fantastic job."

On Wallace Gilberry:

"He's a guy, with changes and personnel on their defense, he's a guy that has stepped up into a bigger role. I think he had something like 11 sacks, or something like that last year, and was extremely productive. I think he's impressive. Across the board on the defensive line I think they've got some talented guys."

On Vontaze Burfict:

"We have to prepare for him being in, and adjust to him being out. Dynamic player, leading tackler last year, very physical – both of their linebackers on the interior, (Rey) Maualuga and him are physical downhill guys. We'll prepare for him being in, and adjust otherwise, but during the week it's all about finding ways to get hats on those guys."

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