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Marvin Lewis news conference transcript

Posted Oct 23, 2017

Opening comments ...

        “The game yesterday, a division (game), we know how important it is. It was disappointing. No. 1, how we began the game defensively, we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be. We didn’t execute, we didn’t tackle. We put ourselves behind, which is what you don’t want to do in that football game on the road. We were able to go down and answer (the Steelers’ first TD) with the offense on the second time (we) had the football, which was good. Then we gave up another (TD), and then we answered again. So, offensively, we played the first half in very good rhythm. We needed to do that to get everyone acclimated to the crowd, the noise and so forth. They handled things the way we expected. Then (the Steelers’) drive for the field goal before the half, on defense — (the Steelers have) good players, so they’re going to do some things — but we ought to make sure we defend them well, and we didn’t do a good job of that. Then obviously we let them have the drive in the one-minute situation before halftime, so they got the two field goals. Then, in the third quarter, we have the ball coming out, and a score (would have put) us back ahead. But we go three-and-out, then they’re able to drive for another field goal. And now we’re down by nine (points), we have a positive play on first down, then we have the interception. Then we come back and the defense holds them to a field goal, then (our offense) makes a first down, then we have another interception there on third down. Plays that we don’t want to have put us out of sync and out of the mix there. And then we stop them there (on fourth down) on the first play of the fourth quarter, then we take a sack.

        “Offensively, we weren’t able to get into a rhythm at all in the second half, and the defense was able to settle and hold them to field goals. ... (There were) positive plays (and there were) negative plays, but too many (negative plays), it it wasn’t good enough to win yesterday. We have to coach better, we have to play better, execute better, and handle each and every situation better.”

 

It seemed like the wheels fell off for the offense. How disappointing was that?

        “That’s not necessarily true, the turnovers took us out of the situation. We didn’t have the ball. That (hurt us) more than anything. We (had an interception on a tipped) ball off A.J. (Green)’s hand, and the (other interception) that Andy (Dalton) wants back. He can’t try to rip that one in there. We had an opportunity to make the first down another way, (he has to) just do it the way he normally does.”

 

You made a joking reference to jovial when you took the stage, do you take exception to that characterization?

        “I’m not even going to dignify that any further. I wouldn’t have known anything about it if (the media relations staff) hadn’t briefed me.”

 

Does it matter if players are laughing after a loss?

        “Well, it would matter to me (laughs).”

 

Is there a misconception on how players handle losses?

        “I think some players handle different situations differently, unfortunately. I can generally point them out. Some times its a defense mechanism. With some people, it’s their actions, how they talk, or whatever it may be. But, again, as I said, lets stop and start there.”

 

What about the play of CB William Jackson?

        “Well, we got to keep getting better.”

 

Were there some positive plays there?

        “There were some positives.”

 

How about the positives of Kevin Huber’s game?

        “It was a good ball game yesterday for Kevin. We needed him to have it. We were in some situations where we needed some (good) punts. Obviously Antonio Brown is an exceptional punt returner, and we put the ball where we needed to. I thought he gave us an opportunity to hold/serve and flip the field.”

 

Do you have any concern about hearing from the league about what happened with Vontaze Burfict in the first play of the game where he appeared to kick a Steelers player?

        “The player pushes Vontaze back after the play. The official was right there and warned No. 45 (Roosevelt Nix) to not do that. So, I don’t know.”

 

You think it was overblown?

        “It’s generally overblown.”

 

Is it something where you need to tell him to stop reacting?

        “Well, you can’t react. Everybody on the football team knows you can’t react.”

 

Are you concerned he could be suspended?

        “Again, there’s no reason for me to waste any time on it.”

 

Where are you with starting the opening drives of halves and games with HB Jeremy Hill?

        “It’s a thing where everyone needs to know what to do all the time and going out there and executing it. That’s what I get to (do) — make sure we are all on the same page.”

 

Is there an advantage to having Jeremy Hill start each half?

        “It gives us a good opportunity for Joe (Mixon) to get a feel for the game and what’s occurring. There’s going to be some things that Jeremy has been through that (Joe) hasn’t been through yet.”

 

With Andy Dalton, there’s been a few games where he’s had turnovers this year ...

        “He’s had some tipped footballs. This ball (the second interception against the Steelers), he probably shouldn’t have thrown. There have been others where he needs to make the throw, and (others) need to make the catch — they might be a little bit off or whatever. This might have been the first (interception) where he really had another option, and he should have gone ahead and taken it. We’ll be fine.”

 

You’ve coached some running backs that have been frustrated that they weren’t getting the ball enough ...

        “And some should show maturity. That’s all a part of it.”

 

You would prefer he (Joe Mixon) wouldn’t say anything?

        “I didn’t know anything about it until I was told. Again, I’m going to say the same thing again: You should show maturity just like everybody else. Everybody wants to be out there all the time. But we’re not going to create a run when we are down by 12 or 15 (points). We’re not going to create it. I saw a ball go on the ground when he received two balls thrown to him, which are the same situation. We got to handle it all the time the correct way, and be strong enough to not be led into questions after the game, which unfortunately he doesn’t know enough about.”

 

How was the running game when reviewing the tape?

        “Some of the things we wanted to make sure we improved in, we did. We had some improvement, and that was a positive. But we have to keep going. We didn’t have a lead (that would allow us to run our) full scope of things. We played from behind throughout the football game for the most part, and we didn’t get an opportunity to see where we were. We had the three-and-out in the one-minute situation before half time — it was a possession, but it was a possession where we had three timeouts inside of two minutes on the clock, trying to make something happen.”

 

Andy Dalton took that big hit against Buffalo, are you worried all those hits will accumulate into something?

        “Quarterbacks have to move in today’s NFL, he’s done a really good job of that all the time.”

 

Did Andy Dalton explain what happened on that fourth-and-five with 3:30 left, that throw out of bounds?

        “We discussed with the other parties on the field. We all have to do better. We have to give Andy an option.”

 

Is it time for these guys to emerge as other options?

        “Yes, they have to keep emerging. We have to connect with them, and when we do that, things will be fine. Brandon LaFell did a nice job yesterday, had a few opportunities. Tyler Kroft has taken advantage of the opportunities. Alex Erickson had a great third down conversion in the middle of the field. All those things have to happen to keep us going. The running backs ... As we know, we had the opportunity in the first series in the third quarter, and we miss over there to Cody (Core). We have to connect on those, and that’s (means) everybody involved. We have to make sure that the protection and everything matches. All those things have to fit when you throw the football, and we know we have a really good player in A.J. Green, but we have to make sure everybody else is where they need to be when they need to be there, all the time.”

 

As for the tackle rotation, is that going to continue?

        “It’s a week-to-week thing. We will evaluate it each week.”

 

What did you think of the performance of the three tackles against the Steelers?

        “I think we had plays where we all could do better.”

 

Care to give us a John Ross forecast?

        “No. It’s raining outside today, isn’t it (laughs)? ... There will be no forecast. When John Ross is out there and suited up, he will be out there and suited up.”

 

 

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