*DOM CAPERS *
*Initial comments… *
"Let me begin by giving the Bengals credit. They went out and simply out-executed us today. I think Marvin Lewis and his staff have done a good job. They are an improved football team, and it showed out there today.
"We had a number of opportunities that we weren't able to take advantage of, and that is the way these games go. It was a tight, hard-fought football game. They were able to take advantage of their opportunities and we weren't able to take advantage of our opportunities. We fought back after going down 7-0 in the first half. We matched them score by score. We come (and) in it's anybody's football game. At halftime, we go out and take the first drive down and score. I think it was an 83-yard drive. Unfortunately we weren't able to slow their offense down enough in the second half. They stopped us we had to kick the field goal, and they went down and got the touchdown and got the lead. And then, of course, we were in a situation where they had a four-point lead, and we went out and threw the interception, and that's what it came down to. We've got a few injuries we've got to take a look at. The No. 1 (injury) — we lost Jabari Holloway early in the game. He has a throat contusion. We took him to the hospital. He'll probably stay here in the hospital over night before, hopefully, returning to Houston tomorrow."
*Can you talk about the inability to stop their rushing game? *
"That's something we have to go back to work on. If you can't stop the run and tackle better than we did today, you are going to have problems. We knew coming in they had a good offensive line. Rudi Johnson is a physical running back. They were able to convert and keep the down and distance situation to their advantage most of the day because of their running game."
*Was there any question the interception was trapped and would you have challenged it if you had a time out? *
"We were out of time outs, so I didn't really think about it because I knew once we used our last time out that it wasn't an option, so it is hard for me to answer that."
*What did you think? *
"It very well could have been. I'm at the opposite sideline. Again, obviously, if we would have had a time out it would have been worth challenging."
*Did you expect Rudi Johnson to be that much of a factor? *
"We have a lot of respect for him, and we knew coming in that he is a physical runner, and he's a guy you are going to (need a) second and third guy there to tackle (him). He did an outstanding job today. Their offensive line is a very good offensive line. We thought it would be a physical football game. We knew they were a much-improved team and I think it showed today."
*How are Antwan Peek and Troy Evans progressing? *
"They are both young guys. Antwan is a guy who's played a lot of football for us now. He's started the last couple of games and we think he's making progress. He's going through what most rookies go through in terms of how to play the position …"
*Was David Carr affected by his ankle injury? *
"He told me that he wasn't. I did feel there in the fourth quarter there was a time or two he wasn't able to set his feet and throw the football. Whether that affected him or not, I don't know. He told me he was not (affected)."
*Seeing how this was a winnable game, is this the most disappointing loss for this franchise? *
"I don't know. I think we were there and had our opportunities. From one week to the next in the National Football League, these games are going to come down to that. It might come down to the last series or two and who makes the plays and who doesn't. We won one last week where we made the plays and the Panthers didn't. This week, we were sitting there and sure had our opportunities, but we weren't able to make the critical plays at the time we had to make them to win the football game."
*What did you think of J. J. Moses? *
"We battled. We had some good returns and we were able to get some field position at critical times."
*What does it say when a guy gets 43 carries in a game? *
"That normally bodes very well for you. I don't know if many teams lose if their running back runs the ball 43 times. The times when we have run the ball 30 or more times, we normally win the football game."
*Were you guys just physically whipped? *
"Well, I'll have to look at the tape, but obviously any time they run the ball on you that way, we have to take a good look at it. We have to evaluate what we can do to improve in that area. We have seven games to go and we certainly have to find a way to play the run a lot better than we did today."
*On his ankle… *
"It didn't get any worse. It kind of felt the same way it did going into the game. It's not 100 percent yet, but it felt good enough to go out there and play. There were probably some more plays I probably could have made if it felt 100 percent, but it's going to take time. That's the first time I've gone out and gone full-tilt in about two weeks, so it will keep getting better."
*On not being able to win back-to-back games and whether or not it's getting more frustrating… *
"It is frustrating, especially in a game like this where you're putting points on the board (and) your defense is going out there and stopping them on occasion. It was a back-and-forth game, and (when) you get in a game like this, those are the ones you want to win (because) it brings the whole team together if we could have pulled this one out.
"It was a winnable game, and I think if we would have won this game, it brings the whole team together, especially in the type of game that it was where you're going back and forth … We just fell a little short.
"It's pretty disappointing. Like I said, you go out and play a defense that is going to come after you, you have to take some shots and make some big plays and we were able to hit a couple of big plays, but we didn't hit enough. We put some points on the board, but it wasn't enough."
*On the Texans' last offensive play of the game… *
"I went to go throw it to (Texans TE Billy Miller) and it got tipped at the line of scrimmage, and Billy just tried to make a play on it and I think he said he tipped it again. I didn't see anything after that. I just heard the crowd. I didn't see the ball or what happened."
*On his analysis of the Bengals this year versus last year… *
"As far as the defense goes that I saw today, it was really well coached. I think their guys were in the right position and they just did a good job overall in their game plan and executing what they had to get done. We had a couple of plays on them and we've gotten a little better since last year when we only scored three points on pretty much the same group. But as far as their defensive scheme (is concerned), they've gotten more aggressive I think. They're playing with confidence and that's a sign of coaching."
*On his record-setting performance in a loss… *
"It's always frustrating when you're doing so well and then you lose the game. It don't matter that I got a 100 yards. I just want to win. We couldn't get things going like we wanted to. (We) had a few mistakes. We just have to get back on work on the mistakes. (Things did look good there in third quarter), but some things weren't working. We had a holding call that put us back a little bit — penalties that just put us back, and it cost us."
*On Texans QB David Carr's ankle injury and whether or not it was limiting him… *
"It looked like it kind of bothered him, but he was doing all right."
*On the Bengals' defensive game plan… *
"They did a whole lot of stunts today and it threw us off. They did a really good job today. They played hard."
*On the Texans' offensive performance against Cincinnati… *
"We played pretty well, but as you look at it, we just didn't do enough to win. We just have to keep working. We can't just hold our heads down about it. We put up 27 points, but sometimes a team just scores more. I think that's the biggest thing as an offense — you want to go out every game and just try to do enough to win. We just didn't do that today."
*On his return to Cincinnati… *
"I was looking forward to playing every game my whole life, so it was a business trip and I tried to not get too involved in being at home and just come in here and do my job and see everyone at the end of the season."
*On his progress as a rookie and switching from defensive end in college to linebacker in the NFL… *
"I got a little banged up today, but I think I've been getting better each game and getting more and more confident each game, so (that) has been my biggest asset this year. I think, over time, I'll just get continue to get better and things will start working out.
"It hasn't been as hard as I thought it (would be). I knew I was athletic enough to be able to make that transition, so it's been working out for me so far. At UC, I was just straight rushing (the passer). And here, I think it's harder to play just straight defensive end because you have to go after the ball so hard every time. And when you're playing linebacker, sometimes you can rest up because you're dropping into coverage and the play might not even be coming to you. That makes it a little easier."
*On his return to Cincinnati… *
"It was great getting back and seeing the guys and my old coaches and friends. It was wonderful — I had a great time. But the fact that we lost the game pretty much negated everything. Nobody wants to go out and play a hell of a game and have a hell of an individual effort and lose the game — at least not a team player. So there's no glory and no celebrating for me."
*On the difference in the Bengals today versus the teams he played on for five seasons… *
"I don't know what the atmosphere is like over there. I don't know how guys are going about it day-to-day, but just by looking, I think I saw some guys that were more in tune and more into it later in the game. In the latter parts of the game, they kept their heads together and made plays. If anything, that's the difference that I saw.
"The key part of it was us not being able to stop that run. That's what killed us. We had plenty of opportunities, but we didn't make the most of them. They did, and you saw the outcome."
*Initial comments… *
"You've got to enjoy every win you get. Our guys went out there and scrapped in the second half and we came out ahead. Obviously there were points where we didn't play very well at all on defense, but we found a way there at the end to play good enough to win the football game. The same thing in the kicking game. We are excited about the victory. It's great. But we are going to move forward because it gives us a chance to play (an important game against) the Kansas City Chiefs this week."
*43 carries for 182 yards for Rudi Johnson… *
"Great job by the offensive line, receivers, Rudi, Jeremi (Johnson), the tight ends, (Matt) Schobel and Tony Stewart — awesome job today. Chad (Johnson), Peter (Warrick) — every catch we made today was a big catch. I know they didn't catch as many as they had been catching, but every time we had to go throw it for a first down, we did a great job of doing that. Our third-down conversions had to be excellent today. That was important in the football game. I think we went into the game knowing what we wanted to do. We wanted to get off to a fast start. We started a little bit better than we had been starting with the no-huddle. We were able to hold them to a field goal on defense. We still have a lot of work ahead. The fun thing about these guys (is that) they just keep playing. Sometimes we look up and (we'll) be out of time, but they will keep playing."
*Is Rudi your stud now? *
"Rudi is a running back on our football team. We still have Corey Dillon who is recovering from his injury, and when we get Corey back, we will have Corey and Rudi."
*Does Rudi allow you to play the offense the way that you prefer to play it? *
"I think Corey would allow us the same luxury. … Rudi's done an excellent job though.
*After last week, was there more of a commitment to demonstrate that you can run the ball? *
"You have to do what you feel like you are effective in doing in the football game. We felt like there would be some cracks, and we could move running the football a little bit. The way it got going, we were able to take advantage of it."
*Peter Warrick had a roller coaster game — a couple of penalties, and a couple of big catches… *
"Yeah. The big run was the reverse. I wish he didn't have that one motion penalty, but you know it was a no-huddle, and we had to get set — get up and get going. We have young guys, and we keep making young errors. We get the completion on third-and-eight; he is in there. We have Terrell Roberts getting the completion on third-and-eight; he is in there. Kevin Kaesviharn steps in and plays corner today for half of the football game. A great job by guys stepping up and playing larger roles and doing good things."
*On how he feels following the victory… *
"I feel good. I feel good because we won the game. That is the main thing. We won the game, and we're enjoying ourselves."
*On his stamina as the game continued… *
"I just keep fighting. The game is 60 minutes, however many carries it takes. You have to play four quarters of football, and that's what we did today. I have to take my hat off to (Bengals strength and conditioning coach) Chip Morton for getting us ready to do this kind of work."
*On the performance of his offensive line… *
"We said we wanted to start fast and finish strong, and that's what they did today. They came out firing off the ball, kept their feet moving, and they made things happen."
*On the team running a no-huddle offense to start the game… *
"We practiced that all week. We wanted to come out and start fast, and that's what we did."
*On how he will spend his day off tomorrow… *
"I'm going to get in the hot tub for a little bit. I'll be fine. You always feel better after a win."
*On how the team eventually bounced back after Houston scored at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half… *
"Everybody was really upset at halftime, but they only made two plays the whole half. We were in control of the football game. I told everybody that we would go out and do the same thing in the second half and we'd be just fine. They came out and scored to start the second half, but that's all right. Like I told the guys on offense, we play the game to score points. You don't want to have to fight from behind, but that was the reality, and that's what makes it fun to play football."
*On the two decisions by Marvin Lewis to go for it on fourth down with the team trailing… *
"It surprised me. When we were down three and he decided to go for it, I was shocked. But I liked it. I like that aggressiveness. That just shows confidence in our offensive line, and what our running game was doing today."
*On Rudi Johnson's performance… *
"He did an unbelievable job. It comes down to the fact that our offensive line really dominated the game. He is a downhill runner — nothing flashy — and it is hard to tackle that guy."