Marvin Lewis News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
October 20, 2014
"Indianapolis was a football game that we've got to really learn some things from, and then use it as a critique, correction, and move on, put it behind us. There are a lot of things there to learn from and do better.
"Offensively, I don't think we handled the line of scrimmage very well -- something we've been very good at. We didn't do a very good job, number one in the running game, and number two, being solid in protection throughout the day. We didn't really make adjustment enough in our play to adapt to the things that were going on.
"Defensively, we've got to just get in position and not allow the ball carrier to fall forward for the extra yard. There was some open-field tackling that caused plays, obviously, and led to two touchdowns. And then, being able to adjust to the protections we were seeing, and be consistent with the rush. We got some pressure, we got some rush, but be consistent with it, to be able to adapt to the seven-man protections we were seeing throughout the day.
"It seems like it's the ongoing thing we're seeing, and something we're going to continually relate to, and adjust to, and when it's not, be able to get to the right progressions in the pass game, and coverages and so forth. We lot of details to be better at, and to challenge ourselves to be better at, and we have to do it very quickly."
The last three or four games you guys have struggled to stop the run compared to what you're used to. Is there something you can put your finger on to why that is?
"I think we played the running game -- other than the quarterback runs--a week ago pretty well, to go back to that (Carolina) game. You can't lump it all into one. We've got to play the run, and be consistent with it throughout the day. We had a couple bad plays in the running game yesterday, but the biggest thing, as I said, is to make sure we don't allow the ballcarrier the extra yards and stay consistent."
Do have to make any adjustments in the run game defensively? Bring an extra body or two...
"We've got all the adjustments made throughout. We have extra bodies. I don't know what you mean by extra bodies."
Get seven or eight at the line and show that. Is it something that you're still happy with doing in run-fit circumstances?
"We've got to do a great job in run fits all the time. That's more the answer to the question. Consistently all the time, whether it's in seven-man spacing, eight-man spacing, and so forth, we've got to do a better job of it, and understand when they're in those spacings."
How is Vontaze Burfict today?
You mentioned that there were a lot of things to learn from with this game. What do you think the biggest thing is that you can take away from it?
"Just make sure we take care of the little things and the details of our job throughout the game, series after series, play after play, and be consistent with it. It's unfortunately the theme from a week ago defensively. We have to do a better job of it."
Does the fact that you had young linebackers playing lend to some of that?
"That's an excuse and a cop out, because there were guys who didn't play those positions that have correction to make as well."
What are your thoughts on the way Vinny Rey played yesterday?
"Again, we didn't play very good anywhere on the football team. We got beat 27-0. I don't like to praise or not praise. We've got a lot better to do with things."
When it comes to bouncing back from a loss like this, how important is attitude? Or do you have to take the emotion out of it and look at it analytically?
"We've got to be analytical. The emotion of it is not going to make correction. We've got to take a critical look at what we've got to do better, and make sure we carry that all the way through, and we carry it up through the ebb and flow of a football game as well, continually, and make sure it stays that way."
How much could it have helped the balance and rhythm of the team if you guys ran the ball more?
"You're going back in hindsight. That's probably not a good thing for me to do at any point."
Your defense has played a tremendous amount of snaps the past few weeks. How do you prevent that?
"Number one, you make first downs on offense. You convert third downs on offense. Number two, two weeks ago against Carolina, you've got to make third down stops, and that gets you off the field. Our offense didn't make first downs, conversely. It's been a mix of both."
You have a chance to bounce back with your next three games at home ...
"Regardless of where we're playing, we know how important this game is. Baltimore is playing very well right now. They're doing a good job both running the ball and throwing the ball, and obviously they're playing good on defense; being very explosive. (Pernell) McPhee's playing his tail off, and (Terrell) Suggs and (Elvis) Dumervil and (Haloti) Ngata, they've got the guys rolling up front. It's a big football game for us."
Do you anticipate A.J. Green making progress to play this week?
"A.J.'s made a lot of progress, and as we go through the week we'll see as always how things go. I think he's made significant progress, and feels good about everything that he's being told, and what the prognosis is. It's been a consistent message he's gotten, and as we said earlier, the time will allow this thing to progress."
When you don't have A.J. and Marvin Jones together, do you have to guard against the offense getting frustrated with things they can't do compared to when one or both are on the field?
"Just a week ago I was trying to simmer you guys down a little bit, and now quickly things change. It's my responsibility, and our responsibility as coaches, to put a plan in place all the time to utilize the guys we have, and to be effective in attacking the opponent. I didn't think we did a very good job attacking yesterday in any phase of football, and that led to our demise big time. We have to know who we're playing with, and their better qualities. And they have a lot of great qualities. They've done great things, they've all made game-winning, game-changing plays here in the NFL at the skill positions that we have left that are playing. We have to put them in positions to still do that all the time, and that's our responsibility, and then the quarterback's got to play error-free football. He has to have the confidence that he can sit back there and do that, and that's important as well.
You mentioned after the game you were on your heels too much. After looking at the tape, does that reinforce what you thought?
"There's no doubt. We have opportunity. Nine plays in the first quarter is not good enough, and we have opportunities on at least two of those three-and-out possessions to make first downs and have opportunity. The first drive in hindsight, you throw the ball at Jermaine's (Gresham) feet when the screen's covered. Then you go back again, and maybe if we can sift and move, maybe we get the third down off. We slide off of the run on the second down. Then Gio (Bernard) makes a nice run, and we fail to convert that. Then we come back, and we don't convert the next one. Then we drop a ball for third down before the half. A lot of different things that make a difference in the football game, and we weren't on the good end of it yesterday. We drop an interception likely for a touchdown. We did some good things on defense throughout the game, but not enough, and that would be sugar coating it to say otherwise."
How is this team's mindset?
"You were talking how great their mindset was three weeks ago so (laughs)."
But they were winning ...
"It is what it is. They have to get back and play confident, aggressive football, and that drives your mindset. When you do things right, and you feel good about it, and you're being successful at what you're doing, whatever your task is, and you're doing it right, it makes you feel a lot better about yourself."
Brandon Thompson, Emmanuel Lamur … do you have a chance to get guys back on that side of the ball?
"We'll see as we go through the week. I think guys will return to practice, and just how they go will be the eye test as we go through."