Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles
On whether he saw progress from the defense tonight: "I saw some of it from certain areas but not enough to win the ballgame so we have to keep working."
On what he attributes to the defensive line getting pressure tonight: "Just working hard, they kept working. Those guys are prideful guys and they worked hard."
On how difficult it was on the defense when Cincinnati was getting the ball in good field position: "That’s our job as a defense. You have to hold them no matter where they get the ball at. So we win as a team and we lose as a team and we lost as a team today."
On what the difference has been the last two weeks with the opposing quarterback not having much success: "The guys are working hard and taking pride in their job. Everybody is held accountable and the guys are working on it."
On whether there have been any scheme or assignment changes: "Not much, here and there. We tweak it a little bit each week and they seem to be grasping onto it and it’s working okay."
On what he has seen from Graham during the games that he has started: "He’s getting better as he goes. Every week it’s a more confident week for him, and the more he plays the better he feels. He’s getting better."
On what he has seen from DT
On how the defensive front has complimented the linebackers and secondary the last two games: "They go hand-in-hand. When they rush the passer, we help cover. When they cover, it helps rush the pass. They go hand-in-hand. They can’t be apart."
On Cincinnati getting good field position off of turnovers tonight: "It’s tough but you go out there and fully expect to stop them. If anything you have to stand up even more because you have less field to work with, you have less room for error there. We go out here and we try to hold them. After the blocked punt, you go out there and you try to keep the ball out of the end zone. We went out there, we stood up and we held them to three points. For the time being, in the first half, it turned out to be a big stop. We tied it up and then we were winning 13-10, unfortunately we couldn’t follow it up."
On how encouraging it was to see the defensive line make strides despite the loss: "It doesn’t mean too much though. The last year or two, we put up a lot of stats and numbers and we were losing too. In the end, all the moral victories, whatever they are, don’t mean anything if you don’t get the win."
On allowing a second straight 100-yard rusher and whether it’s due to the adjustment process of a new defensive line coach: "The run has a lot of different factors whether it’s technique, assignments, and then we can help ourselves out with that. They started off and they got a few good runs on us. Then once we started battling back and the score was in our favor, we forced them to open up their playbook a little more and have to throw the ball. They weren’t getting all of those runs. Then, all of a sudden, when the score started to get a little out of hand, they double teamed, pounded and ran the ball every play."
On how this team has to regroup for the final two games: "It’s going to be hard. For the most part, we have some time off to get it out of our system. When you come Monday, you come back ready to work, fix your problems and go from there."
On the second half turnovers and how frustrating it was: "Just looking at it at how it went down, it was like, ‘How can this happen?’ But, you know, it happened. That’s just part of the game."
On his dropped interception early in the game: "I had a good break on (the ball). When I broke, at the time, I looked and the ball wasn’t there. I had to get my eyes back to the man and when I looked again, it snuck up on me. I really didn’t get a good look at it."
DE Brandon Graham
On whether he feels like he is coming into his own: "I feel more confident. I feel like I am back in my Michigan days. I knew it would take a little time to come and settle down. Now, I just go out there and do my job and try to do the best I can. Today was just one of those days which I felt comfortable. Every game we have just been one step away. Turnovers killed us."
On how gratifying it is to have some success after some had written him off: "Shoot, I knew it was going to come one day. I now just have to keep on going, because the first time I fall off, people are going to bring it back up. I am going to make sure I do my job and do my part. I want to help the team win."
On what DT Cox has been able to do recently: "He is a beast. He knows his moves and everything the coaches tell him to do in practice, it’s working. He is more comfortable and settled just like me. He feels like it’s like college all over again. We were just talking about that. We just have to go out there, have confidence and do our jobs. That’s what he is doing."
On how he is making the most out of his starting opportunity: "When I was the number 2 guy I just wanted to make sure that when I got out there, they knew I was out there. That is the same approach I am taking now. I want them to know I am out there. I just want to have fun and bring the energy."
On what happened on the kickoff return in the 4th quarter: "I’ve never dropped them in practice. I dropped that one when the game was on the line. I just need to be more focused. It was my fault. I lost sight of the ball when it was in the air and I was running on the go. It was my fault and I need to be more focused on that."
On whether he should have called for a fair catch: "Definitely should have been a fair catch. That was my fault. I was running, looking to make a big play and should have fair caught it. That was my fault. Next time I will be more focused and I will call for a fair catch."
On what he attributes the six sacks to tonight: "Our d-line. I’m very proud of how they stepped up. We got them in third-and-long, so they had to pass the ball and our guys got after it. They did some good things. They were able to get to the quarterback and get to the ball, most importantly. It was special to see and I’m happy to see those guys be back in rare form."
On what goals are left to accomplish in the final two games: "Winning. That’s the thing. Just winning. You want to end on wins. It just hasn’t been a good season for us, but you have to end on a positive note. You can only get that done by winning."
On whether or not this is the toughest stretch that he has gone through during his career: "It’s a tough one. I don’t know if this is the toughest one that I’ve went through, but this is a tough one. Anytime you’re losing and in the way that we are losing, it’s a tough stretch."
On how difficult it is to take away positives from a game like this: "There are positives. When you get a chance to watch the film, you pull the positives out and then encourage those guys to continue to do those positive things and see how we can get better from there."