HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
Initial comments ...
"Someone pointed out to me a few minutes ago that this is the first time we've started out 2-0 since 1999. It's hard to believe that, but the reason we're 2-0 is because we had everyone contribute for the second consecutive week. Today was a great effort in very unusual circumstances. I've been in a lot of games, including games at the Meadowlands, and never can I remember a game where wind was more of a factor than it was today. I thought for the most part that both teams did a nice job adjusting to the wind and respecting the wind. Overall, we liked the game plan going into this week. Despite some stuff we had going on earlier in the week, the guys stayed focused. I give my congratulations to them because this game was important for us to win. Injury-wise, we have some bumps and bruises. I'll have more information later, but I don't think anyone is at risk to miss playing time next week."
How much impact do you think the wind had on the game?
"Obviously it affected the kicking game. We adjusted and went to the tight punt. We narrowed down Craig Hentrich's distance, and just one-stepped it out. When you do that, you hinder your ability to cover because everyone is so tight. We felt like we had a shot to get our hands on a punt if we had them backed up. We just made a push and Keith Bullock made a great play. I don't think we threw a pass in the fourth quarter because we couldn't afford to. Both offensive game plans were shrunk down do to the wind."
You guys seemed to be persistent when it came to sticking with the run ...
"You've go to stick with the run, especially when you're protecting a little bit of a lead and trying to run some time off the clock."
At what point did you know the wind was going to be such a big factor in the game?
"It was during warm-ups. The wind was swirling, primarily from the south. We knew it was going to affect the passing game either way. They elected to take the wind in the fourth quarter, which didn't end up working to their advantage. I would have made the same decision Marvin Lewis did, because we had talked about it before the game."
Does the fact that Kerry Collins has such a strong arm help in a game like this?
"Mike Heimerdinger did a good job with Kerry, not asking him to do too much. He didn't want to take too many chances down the field because the ball sails."
You brought Chris Johnson in to change games, and that 50-yard run at the end of the half really changed this game, didn't it?
"That is why he's here. That was a huge play. The way Carson Palmer is (with less than two minutes left on the clock), you don't want to give them the ball back. We were just going to be patient. It was the first false start where I can almost thank a player, because we had a different play called. So we ran the draw and got a big play."
Are you potentially a better team with Kerry at quarterback?
"We won this game with Kerry, and we won last time he started. I think Vince is 18-11 as the starter."
You have to be happy with the defense's play in the red zone ...
"I'm pleased with the defense's play overall. We gave up a touchdown by missing a tackle, and that can't happen."
Were you worried that the situation with Vince Young would be a distraction to the team this week?
"No, I wasn't worried about it at all. I watched these guys practice, they met with him, and they're his teammate. They care about him, and they just went about their business."
How good a job did Kerry do in these conditions, managing the game and not turning it over?
"Kerry played well."
What do you have to see from Vince once he's healthy in order to get him back in the lineup?
"He's going to have to grasp the game plan and be the quarterback we drafted him to be. I felt all along that he had a good training camp and a good preseason."
Is that something he must show you in practice?
"I think this is going to be a good experience for Vince - to sit here and watch Kerry do what Kerry did. He's never really had an opportunity to sit behind a veteran quarterback and watch him grasp a game plan and put it into play. That experience will be very useful to him over the next week or so."
Kerry Collins after the jump.
QB KERRY COLLINS
Easy day for pitch and catch right?
"That is one of the toughest game conditions that I've ever been in as far as throwing balls against wind like that. I've played a few games with some bad conditions when I was with the Giants, but I don't remember it being as bad as this. It was borderline impossible to throw the ball where I really wanted to throw it."
How much of the offensive playbook did you have to condense because of the conditions?
"I didn't think we took anything out. I felt like everything was still in play. We called a lot of plays from the playbook we practiced all week. You have to able to adapt and make some plays and I think that is what we did."
What changed from the first quarter to the second?
"I think the Bengals came out playing really hard. They were making plays on third down, and we weren't adjusting early but got some things worked out. We thought we had to just keep chipping away and call plays we believed in, and that would make us successful. We just started making some plays. Obviously, Chris (Johnson) breaking that big run really helped us out."
The first couple runs weren't getting anywhere, but with this line do you feel you just have to keep going?
"I just think that's the way it is when you run the ball in this league. You will have several runs where you will not gain anything, lose yards and then bust a big one. With Chris we had that happen. He was stopped a few times, then just busted a big one. That's a huge play in a tight ball game. We don't get that play, and it's different feelings going into the half. The important thing was capping off that big play with a score."
How much pressure does it take off of you knowing going into preparation for the next couple of weeks, you're the starting quarterback?
"It is so much easier. It changes my mindset going into games. I just want to continue to have good weeks of practice and take the focus on the next opponent. I think today was a good start. By no means was it great, but it was a good one. I didn't feel like I had a perfect game, but I made good decisions and held onto the ball for us."
What does it feel like with everything that was happening this past week, to come in and lead this team to a victory?
"I think at, the end of the day, you just want the other guys to go out there with you and make them believe they can win with you. As an NFL team, you have to be able to put certain things behind you, and move on and control the things you can control. I thought the guys did really well this week. You have to focus on what's going to happen on Sunday and get as prepared as you can."
How did you feel personally?
"I was excited to play. Given the choice, I think any of us would rather be out there playing. I was fired up for the game and just wanted to play well. I had a good week of practice and, like I said before, played well today."
You've probably played some hectic weather games in the Meadowlands. How does this compare?
"I've never had to play in anything like this. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of bad days weather-wise up there as well. In Oakland, we had a few windy days as well, but nothing like what I had to experience today. It just wreaked havoc on anything we tried to do in the kicking and passing game. I've been fairly confident in my ability to throw in this kind of wind throughout my career, and I just tried to drive the ball through the wind."