So coach Hue Jackson is back with the Bengals now…
“Yeah, he’s here (laughs).”
What was your reaction when you heard the news Hue Jackson was returning?
“With what’s going on, I think it makes sense. With Marvin (Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis) taking over the defense, have another set of eyes out there for him. It’s good to have him back.”
Do you wonder how having Hue Jackson back will impact things?
“It’s good to have him here. He’s an asset, and he’s definitely going to help out, especially with what Marvin is going to be doing with the defense now. He’s another place of communication with everything going on, on the sidelines. We’ll see how it goes, but I don’t see there being any kind of issue with it.”
Does it make it awkward from your perspective, just because he used to be your offensive coordinator and there is already an offensive coordinator in place? Does it impact that dynamic at all?
“No, not at all”
How do you make sure it doesn’t?
“First thing is that he’s on the other side of the ball. Hue and I had a great relationship, and we still have a good relationship. It’s good to have him back in the building, but it’s not going to affect anything (offensively).”
Were you surprised with how everything unfolded in Cleveland for Hue?
“Obviously he was a great coach. He helped us here a lot. Obviously it’s weird talking about another team that’s in our division. You want him to have success, but not too much success — that whole thing. You still want to beat him. Whatever happened, happened. All that’s behind him now, and he’s now here. He has something else he can focus on now.”
Does Hue provide an advantage game-planning with two games left against his former team, the Cleveland Browns, and the rest of the AFC North teams?
“For sure. Hue’s been in this division for a long time. He’s been in this building at different times and for a while (throughout his career). It’s an asset having him here. He’s seen a lot and been through a ton.”
Does his passion and love for the game become contagious?
“For sure. That’s one thing he will bring. He will bring his energy like he always did when he was here before. It will be a good thing for us.”
Do you expect much interaction with him? Will he have anything to do with the offense?
“It’s hard to say. I think for the most part he is going to stay on the other side.”
Does the offense feel the pressure to be perfect on every drive, considering how the defense has played the last few weeks?
“We don’t feel the pressure, it’s what we expect. We expect to get points every time we have the ball. Regardless of what’s going on in the game, you want to score and want to go down there. We don’t feel like there’s any pressure, it’s just what we’re trying to do.”
Do you expect Baltimore’s defense to use a heavy blitz package on Sunday?
“Yeah. That’s what they are. They have so many different ways of doing it. It’s like everybody else, you get in the flow of the game and see what’s working. Last time, we were able to hit some big plays when they did blitz, which took them out of it for a little while. That’s still the personality of their defense and what they do.”
What kind of memories does last year’s game-winning pass to Tyler Boyd in Baltimore evoke?
“There’s a lot that came from that play. Not only did it get us a win, but all the stuff that happened with my foundation and all of that. It was a pretty cool moment. It was one of the coolest moments of my career, with everything that happened on the play and afterwards. We’re just going back to play another game now.”
What is it about playing in Baltimore? It seems like the games you play there are always entertaining or having something crazy happen.
“I feel like the games we’ve played have been crazy. They’ve gone back and forth at the end of games. We’ve been able to finish some of these games. I don’t know what it is about that place, but we’ve found a way to win and make the big play when we needed to.”
The offense struggled after the first drive of the game last weekend vs. New Orleans. Why?
“There were just a couple plays that, if we would have been better, it could have changed what was going on. We’ve looked at it and seen what we needed to do, and we’ve got it corrected.”
How stunned were you when you got hit by a Saints LB’s facemask and there was no penalty on the play?
“I’ve gotten used to it.”
You don’t get a whole lot of love in that regard, do you?
“I haven’t, but I have to keep playing and maybe they will get called.”
Jeff Driskel entered the game last weekend for a play to run an option run, and you were split out as a WR. Did you like that?
“I’ve done it some in my career. We’ve had some success with different guys back there, especially when Mo (Mohamed Sanu) was here. I’m waiting for them to use me as the viable deep threat out there (laughs). We’ll see how it goes.”
You have a pretty good yards-per-catch average…
“Yeah I do (laughs). One-for-one. I may want to keep it that way.”
Do you think you will bring Jeff Driskel in for those types of plays more? Is it hard with only two active quarterbacks?
“We’ll just kind of see how it goes. Obviously Jeff played well last week. He had a big (touchdown) run at the end too. We’ll just kind of see how it goes.”
Is it something to put on tape that can make Baltimore plan a package similar to how they use their guy, Lamar Jackson?
“It’s a big competition there (laughs). That’s what it is.”