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Bengals Quarterback Scott Mitchell Press Conference

Phone ConferenceBengals Quarterback Scott Mitchell speaks to the press.



            **Q:  For you it is another situation in Cincinnati. I am sure you would like to remedy any problems the team has?**  

M: No question. We've been able to run the ball pretty good this year and we just haven't been able to compliment it very well with our passing game. Coach felt like it was time to make a change and see if I could come in there and create a spark and get things going.

Q: How have you managed being in a supporting role after coming from being a starter?

M: When I started out my career I started out as a backup in Miami. I learned how you have to prepare yourself every week as if you're the starter. You look around this league throughout the last few years there have been a lot of number two quarterbacks that have come in and played and had significant roles on there team. So you can't really look at yourself as a backup in that situation. As best you can you've got to find ways to prepare and get yourself ready in the event that you have to come in the game. That kind of helps to keep your mind into it and keep you sharp and you do whatever you can to physically stay ready to go.

Q: You were in Detroit when Bobby Ross was there?

M: Oh yeah.

Q: You have had connections to situations with head coaches that quit. Are you surprised Ross quit and [Bruce] Coslett quit?

M: You are asking me a real loaded question.

Q: You don't have to answer it in a loaded way.

M: I know how I want to answer it. I think in Bruce's situation, and I wasn't there when Bobby quit so I don't know how it was when he quit. I did play for him there for two years and he did bench me after two games there. So our relationship I would say isn't the greatest and I can't say that I am one of his biggest fans. It's kind of hard for me to comment there. But with Bruce I think that he was ready to be done. I think he just said health wise, my life, the stress I am under with it, I just can't do it any more and I need to get out. I am sure it was probably the same kind of feeling with both guys, why they got out of it. But I was a little bit surprised with Bobby, but I wasn't' with Bruce. I actually talked to Bruce after he quit. I just wanted to thank him for having confidence in me and wanting me here and just wished him the best of luck with things. He said, I'm fine. I'm great. I needed to do it. I just health wise couldn't go on.

Q: I wonder if he had a big sigh of relief?

M: I know that he has been out hunting and fishing and doing all the things he likes to do. So I am sure he's not really cried too much about it.

Q: All athletes feel like their career is going to turn the corner and good things will happen when they get the opportunity to play. Is this the way you feel?

M: I guess I have really stopped looking at turning the corner. I just really am excited about being out there and playing. I think I just want to focus on doing my job and staying within myself and just making the most of whatever opportunity I have. I just…I don't know how long I will be in there, how many games or whatever. I just want to make the most of it and enjoy it. I think life is too short, this opportunity we have to play this game and just have this experience is a great experience and I just want to enjoy it, just have fun with it, and just go play.

Q: If you can get a passing game with the running game it will improve the opportunities for everyone on the club?

M: I totally agree with you. We have been able to establish a pretty solid running game and you would think with that we could throw the ball a little bit better and hopefully we will be able to do that.

Q: What can you tell us about Akili Smith and what advice have you given him?

M: I think just what you said, he just needs to get more comfortable and whatever that means for him. Whether he needs to demand that they do fewer things or he needs to say hey I don't feel comfortable with this or I like these things better. Maybe he's too young to where he really knows what he doesn't know what he doesn't like. Maybe he's just not sure about that, I don't know. I think sometimes he tries to…lets other things bother him. Like if he did something bad on the last play. In this business as a quarterback you have to have a terrible memory and you just have to forget what's happened in the past and just kind of go forward. I think he kind of holds on to some of that negative and bad stuff more than he needs to.

Q: It's really an odd business, particularly for the quarterback isn't it?

M: If there was one thing through all my experience that I would say as a quarterback is that each and every one of us that plays has strengths and weaknesses. If we can get in to a situation that enhances our strengths and plays to our strengths, we are going to have success. You just don't get to this league and get here if you can't do it. But if you are put in situations where you may not feel comfortable with what they are doing, it may not work to your strengths. It makes it tough to succeed. It makes it tough too when you are doing a whole bunch of different things every other year. You got a new guy who has his own version of trying to do it and now it is the seventh different way you've learned how to run a twelve yard curl route, and it just kind of makes it tough. I think every single one of us is that way. But with me in Miami, I was there four years before I ever played. So it wasn't just like I all of a sudden…here I am. I spent four years of making sure I was ready every week and doing everything I could. That included going to the World League. I was one of the first guys that went to the World League, even back when they thought that no good NFL player would ever go to the World League. That's kind of changed and I was willing to do whatever I had to make the most of my opportunity and get a chance to play.

Q: What is amazing about it is you became an overnight success in four years?

M: Right.

Q: Drew has been in a number of systems and coaches but he perseveres to different degrees, you've seen him?

M: Having been in the situation, I can totally know what frustrations and what triumphs he's felt throughout his whole experience. Really to his credit I think just to have stayed in the same place and to still be starting and to still be playing after all of those situations is really a credit to him and to his ability to get ready week in and week out under different coaches and systems and all that stuff. It is not easy to do.

Q: Do you think there is the opportunity to air it out this week?

M: There's no question we need to take our shots down the field and we've just got to be committed to doing it and just find the right opportunities when they are there. We can't be afraid to throw the football. You've got to call the plays. You've got to call them. And you just have to go out and you've got to execute them. If we can do that we'll have our shots; it just kind of evens out over time. We've struggled but you know we are plugging along and we just can't stop doing it. We've just got to keep playing.

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