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Lewis Looks Ahead

Posted Dec 12, 2008

Marvin Lewis is trying to win the last three games. He also has an eye to next year after looking in the defensive meeting room.

"There are 30 heads," Lewis said after Friday's practice, "because of all the guys we've got on IR. That's a lot of people. Then you're going to add some new people and some better people. We're getting the chance to not only play, but see other guys mature and round into better spots. Like Kyries (Hebert). Some of these guys. It's amazing. Chris Crocker."

Hebert and Crocker are two safeties that weren't here a year ago, like the stunning amount of 23 players that are now on the roster.

Lewis says the injuries have let him find some guys, and he gets excited when he talks about rookie defensive tackle Jason Shirley. Shirley, a fifth-round pick who never played until the last month, saw his most time last week against the Colts.


Shirley
"I see life in Jason Shirley. I see a much better practice week than he's had the entire season for getting to play how many snaps he played in the last game," Lewis said. "It's just different when you get a chance to play. It's like a new lease on life. It gets you enthused and excited when you know you have a chance to play. It's why you coach. To see guys like that. The light come on."

Lewis then used the line he apparently just used on his players during practice.

"Hopefully we're standing here a year from now when the record is reversed and these games are really for something," Lewis said. "And now you look up and, hell, we're running on the field behind Jason Shirley. Now that's been worthwhile."

He smiled when someone observed it sounded like he was coming back for another season.

"It's the only tangible thing I know," he said.

SLANTS AND SCREENS

Word out of the locker room Friday is that Seattle has plucked quarterback Jeff Rowe off the Bengals practice squad, meaning he's now on the Seahawks active 53-man roster. Rowe, a fifth-round pick of the Bengals in 2007, had been cut at the end of the last training camp but signed back to the practice squad Oct. 17 after Carson Palmer had to shut it down because of his elbow injury.

Safety Chinedum Ndukwe (foot) wasn't dressed for the second straight practice. Running back Chris Perry (groin) didn't work all week after being on the sidelines Friday. Lewis said after practice that Perry won't play Sunday but that they'll wait to make a call on Ndukwe. (Friday Injury Report)

WEATHER CHECK: The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for a mild but windy day Sunday when the Bengals play the Redskins at Paul Brown Stadium at 1 p.m. The forecast is for temperatures in the low to mid 50s under partly cloudy skies with winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour coming out of the south. There is a zero percent chance of rain.

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