Sunday, September 8, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: Cincinnati Bengals
By Coley Harvey
CHICAGO -- Observed in the locker room after the Cincinnati Bengals' 24-21 loss to the Chicago Bears:
Spoiled performance: Although Bengals receiver A.J. Green had one of the better individual performances of his career, catching nine passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, he was in no mood to celebrate. "It's not a great game, man. Not when I had a hand in a turnover and a dropped pass and coming out with a loss," he said. "I don't care about my stats. I'm going to have my stats regardless."
Keep composure: Coach Marvin Lewis wasn't happy with the general lack of composure the Bengals had. In all, Cincinnati was flagged eight times for 84 yards. Of those eight, three penalties were for end-of-play or postplay extracurriculars. There was a face mask, a personal foul for a shove out of bounds and linebacker Rey Maualuga's unnecessary roughness penalty that may have cost the Bengals one final offensive possession in the game's final minute. "We had a lot of guys unfortunately lose composure today, and we can't do that," Lewis said.
Finger's fine: Green injured a finger on his left hand during the game, but both he and Lewis said he was fine. Late in the second quarter, Green missed part of a series, as he had the finger taped up on the sideline.
Burfict mum on injury: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who had to be helped off the field early in the fourth quarter after intercepting a pass, did not want to get into the details of his injury. He said he had a "bruise" and declined to say exactly where the injury was on his body. With the Bengals holding a 21-17 lead, Burfict jumped in front of a Jay Cutler pass and began running back with it when Bears tight end Kyle Adams tackled him by diving into what appeared to be Burfict's right knee with his helmet. Burfict returned to the game on the next defensive series.
Collins in control: With Pro Bowl left offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth shelved as he continues to nurse a knee injury, reserve tackle Anthony Collins got the start against the Bears. He didn't allow a sack, even with one of the NFL's best defensive ends lined up against him. "I mean, I can't sugarcoat it. I did my thing. I prepared all week for this. I basically prepared five years for this, and for my first game to be against all-world Julius Peppers ... I'm proud of myself. But like I say, I'd trade it all for a victory."