Coach Whisenhunt's Wednesday Practice Report



(On trying to make plays early in the game)

That's every team in the league. Every team I've been with is that way. It's part of playing football. Guys you get a little more confident, you make a play. We always try to run our best plays. If I knew what our best plays were going to be before, I'd call one of those. It's a process. If we correct some of the little things that we did and continue to improve, we'll make those plays. We did it in the first game.

(On James Anderson adjusting)

He's a veteran guy, started in the league a number of games, eight-year guy. He's been with some good football teams. I would anticipate that he'll be able to assimilate fairly quickly.

(On what he looks for from the inside linebackers)

I think it's based on what they do well. You look at London Fletcher, he played a long time in this league. How much did he weigh? To me, if they're needed to fill a gap and they can do it, they'll do it. We have physical characteristics for each position, and we try to place those guys in those positions, but it's still about playing the defense.

(On Bengals QB Andy Dalton's technique)

He was good coming out of college getting the ball out of his hand pretty quick. He's done a good job with that. He's been in the league for a number of years now. I know they changed coordinators. I don't know how much they changed their system, but they're playing well as a unit.

(On defending the Bengals offense)

It's tough every week. You're going to play against a pretty good quarterback, a pretty good offense every week in this league and defenses, too. You've just got to play your scheme. We'll have our opportunities, hopefully. That's what we're working to try to get. We've been pretty good with it the first two games.

(On Andy Dalton coming out of college)

I thought he was a smart football player that did a good job of handling pressure and getting the ball out quick, of what I remember. It was a number of years ago.

(On determining matchups when a player has a big game the previous week)

It really doesn't have any impact on the next week's game plan. I think it was Delanie (Walker's) turn this last game. It was different guys' turns in the first game. A lot of different guys have made plays for us. We're really more worried about trying to be a little better on third down and do better in the red zone. Those are the things that we're trying to correct for this game. Wherever the ball goes, hopefully it's progression-based. We'll try to create matchups, but you never know for sure that you're going to get what you're trying to get.

(On the Bengals this season compared to last season)

I really think it takes about four games before you really get a good gage of anybody. I'm sure there's some unknown with both sides of the ball that we're going against. They're still doing some of the things that they've done before with the other coordinators, and why not? They were good at doing them. We're preparing based off of what we see. It helps that we've played against them before, or at least prepared against them. I know this team hasn't, but a couple of our coaches have prepared against them before. At least you have a little bit more knowledge, if not so much scheme personnel.

(On Bengals WR A.J. Green being questionable for this week's game)

To be honest with you, I don't have any information on what his status is. We're preparing like he's going to play. They have good players. You've got to prepare to face their offense, not a guy. If he doesn't play, then that's the way this league works. Somebody, the next guy has to step up. I acknowledge he's a darn good football player, so if he decides that he wants to take this game off, then I certainly won't complain.

(On Jason McCourty's status)

He did some stuff in practice today. It will continue as the week goes. We'll see where he is as we get later in the week.

(On Cincinnati's running game)

They're a good football team. They've executed well in the first two games, and we've got to do a better job than we did last week of fitting our gaps and trying to stop the run. I know that we're going to get tested because we didn't stop the run as well as we needed to last week. It's going to be important for us to play our defense well.

(On Bengals HB Giovani Bernard)

He's a good football player. He does a lot of things, catches the ball well, runs it well. He's up there as far as yards in the league. He's a good football player.

(On Jake Locker's decision to run with the ball or not)

I don't think you can get him bogged down thinking about that. I think you just have to react to it. The throw to Nate (Washington), whatever that was it should have been caught. That's the way you look at it. Was it perfect? No, but gosh, the touchdown that (Chargers TE) Antonio Gates caught against Seattle wasn't a perfect throw and he made the catch. That's how you work in this league. That's how you have success. Like I said, I think if you try to get him too bogged down to think about criteria when something's happening, that's going to be detrimental to him. We'll talk about certain situations, but he's got to have a feel for it. He's a good player, he's got a good feel for it.

(On wanting quarterbacks to make throws in the pocket)

To be honest with you, if he runs for the first down, I like that, too. Like I said, every situation's different, and you've got to play it based on what you feel and the way you see it. He saw Nate (Washington) open and made the throw, and we didn't complete it. I'm not saying he should have run there because we didn't complete the pass. If we'd caught the pass or we made a little better throw, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

(On the defense losing physicality between weeks one and two)

I think we did a better job early in the game against it and with the way the game went, because our defense was out there, they wore down. That's what happens in this league. When you get tired, you have a tendency to make more mistakes. That's what we have to correct. If we get off the field, then we won't be as tired, and maybe we'll have more of a day like Kansas City than we did like Dallas.

(On the encouragement of Jake Locker's second half performance against Dallas going into this week's game)

I don't know about you guys, but I've seen Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers and all these other guys have bad games, bad halves. That's this league. I like the fact that he recovered and played better in the second half. That's an important piece of it. Once again, I'll go back to what I said about the first half. It wasn't just Jake (Locker). I acknowledge Jake missed a couple of throws, but there were a couple of other situations where other guys broke down. Those things all work together.

(On Bengals CB Adam Jones' punt returns and their special teams)

It's always big when you're on the road. I'll give you a stat. I don't think he's fair-caught a ball since 2006. That tells you a little bit about what you expect from the standpoint of a punt returner and in him and in what we're facing on Sunday. It is an important piece of it.

(On playing two road games in a row)

We really haven't even thought about our second game. It's been more about Cincinnati. We got one on the road, which was good, but we lost one at home, which is bad. I guess we're even. We're starting all over. Going into this game, it's a good opponent. It's a tough place. We've got to play well. That's really all we're focused on.

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