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Bengals Conference Calls


How difficult has it been during this streak? How hard is it to keep players' attention and fighting?

I think they have done a good job of being attentive and continuing to prepare very well.  I have to get them over the hump confidence wise and get them to understand and keep punching that, to be confident and get them to believe that you can make a single play or a group of lays that put a football game away because you are right, that is what we are not getting done.

Is that the difference between this year and last year, you were getting those plays?

I believe it is a big difference, yes, no question about that.  Obviously it make a huge difference in the game and you look at where the Atlanta Falcons are this year compared to last and last year we were that team, finding a way whether it be an offensive drive, a big turnover defensively or making a stop defensively that made the difference setting up the game with field position and the kicking game and those things. But we have a little football left to play and we just have to keep our head down and keep working at it.

Does the play at the end of New Orleans game on fourth down kind of summarize all of that?

Well it is an unfortunate play and let's not go backwards.  The game comes down to more than one play in a football game, as we all know.

Why despite injuries and suspensions have the Steelers managed to stay on top year after year?

Well the system has stayed in place, year after year. I think that is important so I think the guys know that if you look at the backup players and take a look at the defensive line, (John) Mitchell has coached those guys for a long time and they have one new guy who was drafted a year ago. But I think that makes a huge difference so when you lose a fine player in Aaron Smith for an extended period of time, the other guys are there.  Charlie Batch has stayed in the mix throughout and Byron (Leftwich) was there a couple of years ago, so you've got guys and Kevin (Colbert) and Mike (Tomlin) have done a nice job of keeping guys in the family.  I think when you can do that and if you choose the right ones and they are productive, that makes a big difference.  Because the system stays the same, you are changing one maybe two pieces but the other nine pieces continue to roll forward.  I think it is a testament to that.  I think it is good for the young players to see as the young receivers had had the opportunity now to develop and move what people maybe felt like wasn't in the direction they were going.   Move the guy on and push the young player up and let him have the opportunity.  I think everybody sees that. I think Timmons has benefited that on defense and those things help you because every year it helps the coaches develop the young players because they see the opportunity and the light at the end of the tunnel.

Does it go without saying that you would like to get back and turn that thing around in Cincinnati?

I have a job here and I don't know why everybody speculates.   Mike and I will come to an arrangement and when we come to that arrangement everyone will know about it, regarding the future of the football team here.  It has not been something I have focused much at all on during the season and it is not a thing I am comfortable with talking about, my own situations.


What do you expect this week from Coach LeBeau? After all, you said last time you might have to bribe him to get people not to double-cover you.

Same old, same old man, it's no different week to week. We know what's going to happen. As Coach Lewis stated after the game, through my frustrations at the time, Dick dictates where the ball goes and that's the way it works. I just need to be patient. My time will come.

Re: The losing streak:

It just hasn't been our year at all. The games that we've been close in are the games that we pulled off last year. That's the difference between this and last year. The penalties were there, the mistakes, the turnovers were very minimal. Those things seem to be hurting us. Other than that the games have been close. We've lost in the games that we found a way to win last year.

Do you ever look at how the Steelers maintain success every year?

Do I, no. I have never looked at how opposing teams have been able to do that. I think that it starts with more than just looking at the team. It's bigger than that if you know what I mean.

Re: Opinion on violent hits:

I'd rather stay out of that because I get fined enough in other areas. It's the game of football. It's a violent sport. It is what it is. What I think is happening here is that the league is protecting themselves for further injuries down the road that players may develop due to the game being violent. I think that's what they are doing. They are protecting themselves and fining players for players that may have injuries down the line when they are done playing.

Do you still think Ben Roethlisberger is soft?

You might want to watch the show again. Are you sure I said that?

Do you agree with T.O. when he said Ben is soft?

Did I agree with him then? Did I agree with him when he said that?

Yes, that is what I am asking.

No I did not. I thought you watched it.

No I did not watch it. I read about it. I guess I was wrong.

Yes you are wrong. I know how tough Ben is. I have seen him play before. I actually sent a Tweet out about him yesterday, about how tough he was. It takes three or four people to tackle him. It is what it is.

Re: Playing hard for Coach Lewis even though the season isn't going well:

It's the way the game is. It's the way the game is supposed to be played. There's going to be ups and downs. But there is a thing that each player has in this locker room, and that is pride. It's pride. You continue to go out there and play hard because you know that's what you are supposed to do. You're not supposed to let not just yourself but your team down.

Re: Coach Lewis coming back:

That's not my area guys. I don't touch on those things.

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Are more teams targeting Bryant McFadden because Ike Taylor is playing so well?

I have no idea. Ike is a great corner. McFadden is a great corner. They have a great defense in general. There is no such thing as targeting an individual. You guys are superb year in and year out. Whatever the case is you are still 9-3 regardless of who they are targeting. So whatever other teams are doing, it's not working because you guys are still winning.

Do you think you can come in here on Sunday and steal one?

Steal, I think you can go to jail for stealing.

What about win?

Hopefully man, hopefully, if we do things right. We can't turn the ball over. Every time we play the Steelers it's a good game. It's normally close. It's usually a close game regardless of what our records are. We'll see what happens.

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