Bengals DT D.J. Reader (9.17.20)

Bengals DT D.J. Reader:

On the Browns running for more than 200 yards:

“That is rough. Two-hundred yards rushing yards is just a lot of yards. You never want to give up that much. You always want to play better. There were just too many yards rushing, and everyone has to be better from the point of attack, starting with me. At the point of attack, I have to be better. Everyone has to be. It takes a whole defense to stop the run, and that is what teams are going to do until we stop it. Everyone has to be better.”

On how the Bengals can be better at stopping the run:

“Want to. We have to want to do it. I think that is the biggest thing. We talk about it, but you have to be about it in this league. You can talk about a lot of things, but you have to go out there and be about them. I think that is collectively as a group, everybody. It starts in our room with me and everybody in our room so I have to get that corrected. We will go in next week and we will get that corrected.”

On the difficulties stopping the run and issues fitting gaps:

“Call it what you want. It is stopping the run. It is an attitude. You have to go get it done. Gap-fit, non-gap, any gap, get the man on the ground. That is what this game is and that is what football is – get the man on the ground. Do whatever you have to do to get him on the ground.”

On changes on the Bengals DL and being one of the only consistent members of it:

“I am fully confident in all of those guys to do their jobs, and I have to do my job. It is not tough. It is just knowing how to do your job, doing it and getting it done. You as a reporter, you have to come on here and ask questions. My job is to stop the run. Our job is to stop the run. That is what we have to do, and that is what has to get done no matter what. Whoever is there – my son there or anybody – it has to get stopped. There is no excuse for it.”

On if the necessary tenacity on the Bengals defense may be lacking:

“I think we just have to do things in a better way. It is a culture change. We are trying to bring a winning culture to this team, and we have not had that before so you are working on that. That is what comes with it. There is a toughness that comes with it. There are no excuses for it. You have to want to win. If you are not this pissed off after the game we just lost and gave up 200 yards rushing, it is not right. You have to want to win. This hurts. It is tough to win in this league week to week. It is really tough so you have to want to do it. You have to put your mindset to it every day, day in and day out.

On how tough it is on a defensive line when QB Baker Mayfield is consistently rolling out of the pocket:

“When you give him down and distances to do those type of things, it makes it real tough. It makes it real tough to figure out run and pass, especially when they are running stretch and outside zone with cuts. They are doing that so it puts a little bit of stress on you, but it is nothing too big. We have to do our job all around. We have to make him pull those boots up and force them into bad throws like we ended up getting done at the end, being able to force those turnovers on those big plays and giving our DBs time to make plays.”

On how long it takes to build a winning culture:

“I don’t know. That is a really good question. I have no idea, but it is done collectively. It is not done just one person. It starts, but I think everybody and this loss hurt a lot of people. To the core, it hurt. You can see. I think collectively, you have to want to make a change. That is the same battle we are battling in this world, right? To change a culture, you have to, collectively, everybody has to want to make a change.”

On not being able to play complementary football yet this season:

“It is tough, but I play defense. That is what I am worried about. I have full confidence on everybody else on the other side of the ball to do what they have to do. That is how this game works. I can’t go play offense. I am no good at it. I play defense so I have to focus on my guys and guys on my side of the ball and have trust and confidence on those guys on that side of the ball.”

On the Browns not attempting a throw on their final scoring drive:

“It is tough. That is a man stepping in front of you and saying that he is going to shove it down your throat and do better than you. That is what he said. He said he was going to run the rock at us, and that is what happened. That can’t happen. Football is too intense of a game and too physical of a game for us to let that happen to us. We have to get that corrected.”

On how much the defense misses Bengals DT Geno Atkins:

“A lot. That is one of our brothers on the sidelines. We always miss one of our brothers, especially one of our leaders and a guy who has played a lot of football for us. We miss him a lot. We will be glad when we get him back, but in the meantime, nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have our games to play, and we have got to get things done.”

On missing Bengals DT Mike Daniels, in addition to Atkins:

“Yep, but in the meantime, we have to get what we have going fixed now right. It just has to get done.”

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