QB Andy Dalton: “We’re doing whatever it takes to win."

QB Andy Dalton meets with the media ahead of the Bengals home game against the Buccaneers this Sunday.

How quickly do you flush out a game like Sunday night?

“That’s the first thing that you do. You watch it, you learn from it and you move on. This game is important for us, and we want to end the first half of the season the right way. We’ve done a good job of moving past it.”

What do you take away from what wasn’t working in the game on Sunday?

“There’s opportunities that were missed. We know we need to play better. We did some things early on in the season that were really good. Last week, we didn’t play like we know we can play, and we have to get back on track.”

How have teams adjusted to the offense over the last couple weeks, following the hot start to the season?

“We’ve seen some different things. We have a lot in this offense, and a lot we can do. We have really good players. We have to be able to react and adjust in-game and get back on track. Our goal is to get back to the way we were playing and the way we know we can play.”

You threw to A.J. Green a lot early on Sunday. Is spreading the ball around to other receivers something that you need to be aware of?

“When we’ve had bigger games, other guys have been involved. We feel like we can spread it around. A.J. is going to get his — he deserves it, and he should. He’s a big part of why his offense has been successful throughout the years. But if we can spread the ball around, it helps.”

Is it also due to adjusting to having some key pieces of the offense out?

“There’s no excuse for having guys out. Teams know where A.J. is, so when they do, we have to have other guys get open and make plays.”

Were receivers not winning enough of their one-on-one coverages against Kansas City?

“With the way Kansas City plays, with as much press and one-on-one (coverages), that’s the matchup. You have to beat one-on-ones. For us, a lot of things happened, but we didn’t do it enough.”

What changes do you see in the Tampa Bay defense following the change of defensive coordinators?

“It’s a little different from when they made the switch of coordinators. We only have one game of film to watch (of them with the new coordinator). We have to be ready for it all.”

Where is your level of confidence in the defense right now?

“I’m confident in this team. We’ve seen them make plays for us this year that have won us games — look back to the Miami game. We have full confidence in them and have seen it happen. That’s why this is the ultimate team sport and you have to trust everybody and have to play for each other. We’re going to get this thing back on track.”

As a competitor, do you relish the opportunity where it feels like you have to outscore the other team some weeks?

“We’re doing whatever it takes to win. That’s what it comes down to. We want to score as much as we can and make it easier on the defense. We want to make it easier for us as a team to get the win. Our mentality hasn’t changed, and it’s not any different. We want to score as much as we can.”

How important was it for team leaders and captains to speak up after a tough loss?

“The first thing we need to realize is that it’s not like we haven’t won a game. The initial feeling can be, ‘Man, things aren’t going well.’ But we’re still in a good spot, and there’s still a lot of season left. Everybody understands where we’re at, and it’s just about getting on track this week.”

When you watch Tampa Bay’s defense what players jump out at you?

“Unfortunately they’ve had some injuries. Brent Grimes in the back end is a guy that’s played a lot of games at a high level for a long time. Up front with Gerald McCoy and Jason Pierre Paul, they have guys that are proven stars in this league. They definitely flash on tape.”

Is the loss of several key tight ends the biggest reason this offense has struggled some the last few weeks?

“There’s other things that are involved. We had a good thing going with all three of those tight ends. Injuries happen, and we have to adjust and change some of the things we’re doing. Obviously, that was effective for us.”

Why are tight ends such a big deal in this era of football? Is it the type of athletes they are nowadays?

“I can only talk on this era. They’re big guys that can run and can catch. The matchup that you can get with them is big. That’s why tight ends are pretty important.”

Tight ends are usually a quarterback’s security blanket. Is that still the case?

“For sure. There’s a size advantage for them. The guys that are psychical and can make a contested catch over the middle can change things.”