On his limited playing time this season compared to his expectations going into the season: "I probably did expect to get a few more snaps but it all comes down to game plans and what we get from defenses and what happens during the game. If we get down by a couple of scores early, which tended to happen during this eight game skid and pretty much every game, we stop going to two tight ends, two tight ends (and) one running back sets. We start spreading the ball around to try to move the ball down the field faster."
On whether he had the most playing time this season after TE
On whether Celek’s injury is an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities: "Yeah (but) it’s unfortunate (Celek got hurt). You can’t really replace Brent Celek. He’s a great all around tight end. He blocks well, runs well and catches the ball well. I’m just going to go in there and do the best I can. It’s an opportunity for me to get on the field more and get more snaps, and really build confidence in the coaching staff and put some stuff on film there and show them what I can do. I’m going to take it as a good opportunity to get out there and get some good playing time."
On how he feels physically after getting so much playing time against the Buccaneers: "A few more bumps and bruises but I feel pretty well. (I just) get in the ice tub and I pretty much feel like a normal week."
On the adjustment of switching from the SAM linebacker position to the WILL linebacker: "We prepared all week for it. It was an easy adjustment. We’ll have to see how it goes though later on throughout these next couple of weeks. It was fun though."
On whether he feels more comfortable at the WILL position: "That was the position I played in college. Any position that they put me in and they want me to play in, I’m willing to do so. So it really doesn’t matter as long as I’m playing."
On what the biggest difference is for him on the weakside as opposed to the strongside: "I’m covered up by a three-technique."
On whether he has more freedom at the WILL position: "I’m still doing my job. As linebackers, our job is to fit, run, tackle, hit. I’m still doing all those things. It frees me up a little bit more."
On how he mentally prepares for the short turnaround, playing on Thursday: "First, getting the body right from the game. It was a pretty good one, so get your body right, get your mind right and go out there play."
On how he felt he played on Sunday: "I think I did fairly well. I think I could do better. This was my first week in the position, so we’ll see."
On whether the Tampa Bay run defense was even better than he expected: "I mean, I think they surprised everybody, but we went to our passing game and it worked out great and we got a ‘W’. I’ll take it."
On the last time he had more carries than yards in a game: "I don’t think ever. I can’t really remember it, so I’ll go with never. First time for everything."
On the Tampa Bay defense being able to stop the run out of different formations: "They stunted a lot. It was just their day because they stunted into everything we were going to and the safeties did a good job and the corners did a good job of cutting everything. They were right where they needed to be to stop the run."
On how he is preparing for the short turnaround playing on Thursday: "The same as always: spending a lot of time in the training room, getting the things that I need to do to take care of my body. This is my first time doing anything like this. It’s pretty crazy but I’m excited. I’m looking forward to Thursday."
On what adjustments need to be made to better protect the quarterback: "I just think we need to win our one-on-one battles. The game plan this week compared to last week, it’s pretty much the same. We’re going to go out there and we’ve just got to execute better."
On how he feels about sharing the backfield with RB
On whether there is a positive atmosphere around the facility even though the team has been officially eliminated from playoff contention: "Yes. We needed this win and we needed some positivity to be going on around here. Losing, and the way we’ve been losing – we’ve been losing some tough games and guys have been fighting hard and trying hard. It starts to become emotional, and having a win is just great for us as a team and as fans as well."
On not being able to enjoy the win because of a short turnaround: "This is how it is. This is the way it is in the NFL. You have a short turnaround, and you have to take care of your body and do the necessary things to get ahead of the game. We have a game here in a couple of days, and we’ve just been taking care of our bodies as of right now and cramming everything we can cram in."
On how difficult it is to play in a short week: "I won’t say it’s difficult, but we just have to cram it in as much as we can. We have to go out there and play ball."
On how proud he is of the younger guys on this team who have been able to keep fighting through adversity: "When everybody is working, it gets contagious and everybody just follows suit. We went out there and we knew that they had a running back that is good. I think he is a great running back and we knew he was going to be running hard. Our goal was to go out there and stop him and try and get as much pressure as we could on the quarterback."
On going against Cincinnati’s athletic front: "Just when we were playing against Tampa Bay, we knew that they were going to move around a lot. That’s difficult for any offensive line. With all of their stunts and everything, we did have a hard time with it. The Cincinnati line is very athletic and very quick, so we just have to focus in on how to fix that and what we did yesterday and make it a positive."
On whether that was hard to do with a short turnaround: "It could be. This is my first time having a turnaround like that, so I’m kind of learning this kind of process as it goes. The way we’re looking at it is double the preparation to be ready for it. When we do what we have to do, we should know it."