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RB Joe Mixon


Q. Your thoughts on clinching an AFC title berth?

JOE MIXON: I'm still dreaming right now, to be honest. I'm still dreaming. I feel like I'm on the highest cloud you can ever imagine. I'm so blessed to be here, be a part of this something special. So thankful for my teammates. So thankful for the fans, for all the support. They came down here. Like I say, I'm on an all-time high right now. Words can't even explain it.

Q. Your touchdown run, what did you see, and how big did you see (Joe) Burrow running for that third (indiscernible) conversion of the game?

JOE MIXON: That was a big first-down conversion, or third-down conversion to make it a first down. Came back on the field and called stretch right, and all of a sudden I just remember the boys were running over the top, the linebackers and safety, they were flowing hard. I put my toe in the ground. I put my toe in the ground again and I just seen backside, it was like open, like the Red Sea. And I ended up going, trying to explode and get to that zone. And I was fortunate enough to find daylight and everything worked out on that play, and I thought that was a big difference in the game.

Q. What was your personal frustration level at halftime?

JOE MIXON: It was definitely a rough first half. It was tough getting started, really, at least on the ground game. We came back up in here, adjusted, and Coach (Frank) Pollack was, like, 'We'll find a way to get you going.' Zac (Taylor), he was calling them plays, and the boys was blocking up front. Them guys, they're good, very good on the other side of the ball. They were one of the best defenses we faced all year. But we've got them guys in our locker room, and we feel like we've got the best of all locker rooms that you could ever think of. Like I said, we're on cloud nine right now. We're going to celebrate this win tonight, and tomorrow we've got to look forward to scouting whoever we're going to play. I'm just very excited for my teammates, excited for Paul Brown, Mike Brown, excited for Katie, all of them Elizabeth, Coach. This is just a hell of an accomplishment. And we've got a lot more football left, and we've just got to keep going each and every week.

Q. Talk about the value and impact of the locker room. How do you see that trend out on the field on a given play?

JOE MIXON: I mean, man, it was crazy, because when we were down, they were marching and they were trying to do whatever they can. I'm sure they were trying to play for a field goal at the end of the game. I was talking to Tyler (Boyd), Tyler was like, 'Man, we came too far to go out like this.' I was just like, 'Believe, bro, defense is going to get us a turnover and we'll go into overtime.' Sure enough, literally one play later, literally one play later we got a pick. Logan (Wilson), he came up super big. Seemed like when I was watching on the sideline, the pick was just in slow motion. It was like, 'Man, it's already written. It's written for us.' And we've just got to seize the moment and seize the opportunity because, like I said, we're building something special around here and we've just got to keep on pushing and keep on going.

Q. What's it like in the locker room, the meeting room yesterday, feeling like the underdog?

JOE MIXON: I felt like all of the captains spoke. And to be honest, I think that when Vonn (Bell) was speaking and when Tyler (Boyd) was speaking, started getting us up. Then after I spoke, it seemed like them boys were like, 'Man, let's go, I'm ready to play.' When Joey B (Joe Burrow) came out and spoke to us, it was like, 'OK, it's that time.' And everybody was just ready. Went through the whole day.

We waited, waited. And like I said, we came out here and got the dub. That's what we came to do.

Q. You talked about Burrow. Pretty tough season. How did that maybe even change after what you (inaudible)?

JOE MIXON: Man, that boy, Joey B (Joe Burrow), he's a bad man, to the say least. He's a bad man. I'm so happy for him because all he's been through, he's overcome. He was in a slouch with us. It wasn't like multiple years like me Tyler (Boyd) and C.J. (Uzomah). But he's been here. He's witnessed it. And when I was on the sideline, probably about like 10, 15 seconds left, I believe, when we took that ball back, Joey B went out there, and I tell everybody all the time, what surprised me the most about Joe Burrow -- and at this point it's definitely not surprising because he does it time and time again -- is his poise under pressure. And I'm just so happy for him because of all the work that he put in his offseason, getting his leg right, working on his arm and building his body up so he could take whatever happens to him. You just don't know. He got sacked a couple times. We've got to clean that up. But by him overcoming all that he's been through, I just can't do nothing but say that I'm proud of that man.

Q. Joe does a lot really well, is there one thing he does best? Joe does a lot really well. Is there one thing he does best?

JOE MIXON: I told you, his poise. That's one thing that -- everybody talks about his arm, his swag, the way he approaches the game. No, like to me it's his poise. And that boy, he's got ice in his veins. Real life. Him and Evan McPherson. When a play is called and we've got to deliver and we've got to answer, them boys, they own it. They own it and everybody's bought in around here. Like I said, it was a huge victory. We're going to celebrate tonight and get ready for whoever we've got to play next week, scout them out and hope for the best.

Q. What's it mean beating a No. 1 seed on the road, their house, given what you guys were facing in the fourth quarter, what does that do for you going forward?

JOE MIXON: I mean, to be honest, it was as expected. It wasn't no surprise to us. We got the dub. We came out here, did what we said we were going to do. They're a very good football team. I've got a lot of respect for them guys over there. Like I said, for us, we just came out here, came out here and executed.

We had one mishap. But at the same time, for the most part we were on point all game. And we've just got to continue to have the little things take care of the big things each and every week with the execution. And then from there everything is going to work out.

Q. Now that you are one game away essentially from playing in the Super Bowl, what are you feeling heading into that?

JOE MIXON: It's just you got to go out there and give it your all. Can't hold nothing back at this point. We're in the playoffs. We're in the AFC Championship, and we had a long year, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity we went through and overcame. And I'm just so happy for, like I said, our players. And the boys, they come to work, they show up. People in the locker room, all the camaraderie that we've got going on in there, the chemistry, just with the players and the coaches, and even with ownership. Ownership, they're down with us. And they come to practice each and every day. And they are supporting us. And we're doing everything that we can, just go out there and put on for the city. Put on for our teammates and put on for the city of Cincinnati, all the fans. They showed up big tonight.

I know they tried to limit our count and whatnot and up the ticket prices. I'm just so happy for the fans because it's been a drought here. And like I said, it's already written. It's written for us to go ahead and make this happen. And it's no surprise to me. But at the same time it's very emotional. So we've just got to keep on keeping on. That's really the thing. Everybody is saying why not us. But we're going to make it happen.

Q. What's that last sentence of "What's already written"?

JOE MIXON: Us. Us and where we're at. Where we're destined to go. Like I said, without God being in this position, it just seemed like it's meant for the Bengals to go to that bowl. We've got literally one more game to do whatever we've got to do, however we're going to make it happen, to go out there and get one more dub to go to the Super Bowl. It's the biggest game you could ever imagine. As a kid, I didn't imagine it as a kid. And even right now it still feels like I'm dreaming, literally feel like I'm dreaming in front of you all. It's crazy. But at the same time, we're ready. We're ready. And I believe in my team. I believe in our coaches. They're going to put us in the best position to win. And players just have to stay bought in, keep on fighting, keep on grinding, keep on doing that extra that got us here, and hopefully we'll come out on top.

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