Marvin Lewis News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
October 12, 2015
"After viewing the tape from yesterday, nothing really changed. We have to do a better job offensively, running the football when we need to, and limiting the penalties that set us back. This causes us to throw a little bit more than we'd like. We also can't have the turnovers. The two turnovers yesterday were a six-point swing before the end of the first half, and later a fumble returned for a touchdown. Those are huge plays in the football game.
"Defensively, we have to avoid errors in explosive-play breakdowns. We were fortunate in the game to overcome those things on defense and offense. We have a lot of work to do that way. We have to get better in both areas and eliminate plays like that. We also have to get ball carriers down when they break the line of scrimmage and get them to the ground. We have a lot of work to do with that."
How big was special teams this past week?
"We set ourselves back with penalties. We have to continue to eliminate foolish penalties in the kicking game. We had one yesterday that took back another return -- minus-13 yards, so those things we have to keep working at. You're right, our guys did a good job of ball placement and getting down and making plays. Those were keys to the football game."
Are blown coverages starting to become an issue?
"We have to do better."
Carlos Dunlap has caused a lot of problems for teams. He is tied for the NFL lead in sacks with five …
"He's done a good job. He did a good job of rushing yesterday and did a good job throughout the day on the line of scrimmage. The ability to chase a quarterback down like that and the length of the outside guys was really helpful. That's why we have guys like that. He's doing a good job of working at it, and continues to grow as a player."
Are you seeing him in particular blossom, or is it all of the line in concert?
"It all has to work in concert. But he's done a good job."
Is there a way to get the running game on track?
"Its important for us to control the game by running the football. We haven't done it consistently enough yet. We would like to be able to do that. Our skill guys on offense are doing a good job, and we are doing a decent job of protecting the quarterback. We have to keep those up. We're doing a good job of delivering the ball where it needs to be. But I think the goal of most offenses is to try to control the game by running the football."
How does Gio Bernard help and fit into this passing offense?
"Gio is a good fit and does a good job in those situations. He's been very productive."
How has Tyler Eifert's blocking been?
"He's doing a good job. We have to keep getting better. He also has to do a good job in protection when he's asked. We ask a lot out of those guys, and they can't just be one-dimensional."
How did your offensive line show up vs. a tough Seattle defense?
"We would like to get through the game clean. Sometimes its not the offensive line. Quarterbacks are responsible for sacks, running backs can be responsible for sacks. It all has to work in concert. We need to do better than four times."
Is there a particular key to overcoming the turnover battle?
"You have to be really fortunate. (Laughs.) And also, the offense has been able to respond and string some drives together. The Baltimore game was the other time. What the offense did against Baltimore was huge. They did the same thing yesterday, to be able to drive the length of the field and get scores late in the game. The offense, what they did responding, and what the defense did down the stretch were key elements in winning the fourth quarter and overtime."
What does this second come from behind win say about the team?
"We did a good job at winning those football games. There's no reason to puff smoke. (Laughs.)"
How do you pick the moments for Adam Jones to return kicks and punts?
"Darrin (Simmons, special teams coordinator) and I always have discussed it during the week. He understands what I'm thinking, and we stay to the plan. Sometimes Adam can be a little winded from a third-down play and it may change from our original thought. Brandon (Tate) got one yesterday that generally Adam would have returned, but Adam was at the point of attack on a third-down play and wasn't quite ready. A returner has to be in the right frame of mind, and be able to handle the whole situation all the time."
What is it like having a guy as unique as Adam?
"He's an excellent punt returner. He's hard for one person to bring down. He runs strong for a guy of his stature, has great acceleration and vision. He's a handful. Every time someone kicks a ball to him, we know that if we do a good job, we have an opportunity to gain good field position."
Are there any comparisons?
"I'm not very good at comparisons."
What can you say about Andy Dalton's frame of mind at the start of games?
"I think everybody has done a good job. They've done a good job of staying in sequence. The coaches, coordinators have done well at previewing the openers. Our guys are doing a good job executing the plays. That all helps the quarterback shine, when everyone does what they're supposed to do. His job becomes simpler -- make your reads, go through your progressions, get us in and out of the plays based on the look. He's doing a good job of that."
Can you clarify that fair catch call regarding Adam Jones?
"it's water under the bridge. the explanation is what the official thought he saw, and its over and done with."
So is it a delay of game?
"If it's signaled a fair catch, the ball should be blown dead there. Then it could be a delay if he starts running."
Have you had to rein in the excitement over what you've done?
"No. We've done what we were asked to do. We don't put the schedule together. We knew our job was to go out and win each game, one at a time. That's what they've done. They've done a good job of preparation, playing, and playing for 60 minutes. That's what counts, if you don't do that, you lose.
"We have to be one point better than the opponent every Sunday. We have to understand how we prepare to have an opportunity to do that, and execute on Sunday to have the opportunity to do that. Part of that is taking care of the football, taking the ball away on defense, winning on third down on defense, and tackling on defense. If you look back yesterday, if every one of our possession ends up in a kick, we'll feel pretty good about yesterday. If they don't, we put ourselves off track."
Is starting 5-0 an important accomplishment?
"Its important because its the best we could do so far this season."
How has the team reacted to this success, in comparison to other teams that have started well?
"I'm not going to compare. It doesn't matter what others have done. This is what we have now, and we have to stay the course and not worry about anything else. We have a very important football game this week In Buffalo. We have to have great preparation and focus for it starting this afternoon."
Rex Ryan's defense is different than Seattle's. Is there usually no carryover between preparation for defenses week-to-week?
"It happens at times. Some carry over. I haven't gotten versed in the Bills yet, but we have our work cut out for us. They're a good team that plays physical football. They've played well in most of their football games this year. We have a big challenge ahead of us."