QB Carson Palmer looks to make a pass behind the blocking of his offensive line. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Head Coach Dennis Allen
On the difference in the 3rd quarter: "Our guys were executing what they were being asked to execute. We didn't tackle well in the first part of the game, and that was probably the biggest difference."
On the inadvertent whistle ruling: "It was a big play. We felt like we were going to get the ball. That was difficult for us to swallow."
On if he was aware of the rule before: "I was unaware that a ruling of an inadvertent whistle would give them (Cincinnati) the opportunity to choose what they wanted to do. It was unfortunate."
On Carson Palmer's struggle getting the ball down the field: "I think it had a lot to do with the rush. He was under duress all game. We knew they had an exceptional four-man rush, and they were able to get after the quarterback using four men."
On if playing against former team was a factor for Palmer: "I don't think that was a big factor. I think their rush was the biggest factor. We obviously didn't come out and start the game the right way. We came in after halftime and made a few adjustments, and I thought the guys played harder in the second half. They came out and competed."
On if pride kicked in during 3rd quarter: "Our guys understand that we've got a standard to uphold, and we didn't do that the first half. We came out and played better in the second half, and that's the way we've got to play going forward."
On halftime speech: "The good news is I didn't have to say a whole lot. The players took control of that, which was good, and I think they responded."
On players getting ticked off after inadvertent whistle call: "If that's the ticked off that you're talking about, I think it's okay to play with anger, but we've got to play with poise and composure. We lost our poise a little bit a couple plays after that happened. Ticked off after halftime and the way the defense responded I thought was good."
On BenJarvus Green-Ellis' big run: "We didn't fit the run the right way. That's what happened on a couple of their runs. You can't do that. You've got to do it exactly right every time, that's the way of the National Football League. We can't come out and spot a team 24 points and expect to come back. We've got to come out and start the game the right way and play that way for 60 minutes."
On if he's tired of preaching the same message: "All of us have to be accountable. We've all got a job to do, and we haven't done it as well as we need to."
On if he can give an honest assessment on the inadvertent whistle ruling without getting in trouble by the league: "Probably not."
QB Carson Palmer
On the game: "Not a lot went right, from start to finish. This wasn't the game we expected to play. Hats off to Cincinnati. They were the better team today. We have to get better."
On if he was upset with what he was seeing: "I was upset with myself. I expect more out of myself. I need to put us in better situations to win games."
On the 3rd quarter: "Yeah. We definitely responded in the third, but didn't sustain it. You have to play four quarters of good football. It starts with me. Being a veteran quarterback, I need to play better and make sure we're playing to our ability for four quarters."
On the Bengals defense: "They gave me a couple of different looks, but they're so good up front, you don't need to change much. You don't fix what's not broken. We knew we had our hands full with those guys. They're really good pass rushers and really good in the run game too. They've done it all year and will continue to do it for the rest of the year."
On if the boos affected him: "No. You obviously hear it, but I had prepared myself for it and knew what I was coming into."
On if he's bothered by the criticism: "No. Anytime you go into an opposing stadium, you're going to get booed. That's what home teams do. Obviously it was a little bit louder and a little bit longer, but that's part of going on the road."
On his emotions returning to Paul Brown Stadium: "I love playing in this stadium. It's one of the coolest looking stadiums. It's a great atmosphere, the crowds are always intense and the fans are always into the game. It's a great place to play."
On the inadvertent whistle ruling: "Unfortunately, refs make mistakes too. We make them, coaches make them, and refs make them. It's part of football. Things happen. You have to overcome them, and we weren't able to."
On what changed in the 3rd quarter: "I don't know, but it's not enough. You can't play one good quarter of football. It has got to change."
On if he spoke with his former teammates: "I saw a bunch of guys after the game. It was good to see them."
On his message to the team at halftime: "Play better football. We knew we had to play a better second half to get back into the game and we didn't."
On more of his passes going to backs instead of wide receivers: "There's not a whole lot of time to throw the ball against that front four. They're as good of a front four as there is in the game. You don't want to throw into coverage, and the guys that had one-on-one were the underneath guys."
On his emotions after the game: "I want another one. I don't feel much differently after any loss. Sometimes you'd like to change a handful of plays, or even just one play. In this case I'd change a lot of plays."
CB Joselio Hanson
On the inadvertent whistle ruling: "I at least thought it was going to be fourth down, because he didn't get the first down."
On if he's ever seen that ruling before: "No. Never in my life. I thought it was a bad call. At least it's fourth down. You don't give a team another chance to get the first down. It's tough to stop them with three downs — it's tough to give them another chance."
On thinking he'd given the team another chance to get back in the game: "Yeah. I felt that if we would have gotten that touchdown, then anything could happen. We would have been down, I think, 10, and there was 10 minutes left. We had a chance, but things happen and you can't control certain things in the game. The only thing you can control is how you play the game."
On playing better in the 2nd half: "I felt like, in the second half, things started going our way. We were challenging a little better and we were starting to make plays. We had a bunch of three-and-outs (in the first half). The first half was tough. They made plays in the first half. You have to tip your hats to them. They made plays. I felt we came out in the second half with a different type of energy. I felt like the game was going our way until that bad call."
DE Lamarr Houston
On being ejected: "You know, it doesn't matter. The game is over now. Give them credit, they played well today. They played well as a team. We'll be back to work on Monday."
On the inadvertent whistle ruling: "I'm not sure what happened. To me, it looked like a fumble, but I guess the refs are saying that the Bengals had a choice of replaying the down. It is unfortunate and things happen, but you have to give credit to the Bengals, they are playing good football and they played a great game."
On if Palmer's return to Cincinnati was a factor in the game: "Whenever one of your teammates is playing for something special, you want to pull together a good game. It was a big game for him and a big game for our team to get this thing turned around. We have to try our best and just try to compete."
CB Ron Bartell
On what needs to change on defense: "We have to figure out how to play together and figure out how to do our jobs on each and every snap. If we can figure that out, we would be okay."
On Coach Allen not needing to say anything at halftime: "There's nothing that he needs to say. You can only do so much talking. Carson brought us together and refocused us. Talking right now isn't going to do anything. It's time for guys to step up and start putting things into action. We are past talk right now."
On Palmer's return and if the type of performance they expected: "I wish we could have gotten a win for him and ourselves. Guys play hard, but you can play hard and still not play smart. Right now, we are not playing smart."
S Mike Mitchell
On if he saw what happened in the altercation: "I don't know. I just remember one of their guys attacking one of our guys and then our guys defended themselves. The next thing you know, we get two guys kicked out and they only get one guy kicked out. That is crazy."
On returning to Ohio: "Definitely. That was not the way I envisioned it. It definitely wasn't the way I wanted, but it is what it is. I don't try to control the things that I can't control. You wish you could do more, but you can only do what you are allowed to do."