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Lewis News Conference Transcript

Marvin Lewis Press Conference

Paul Brown Stadium

September 14, 2015

Opening Comments:

"After going through the tape, I was pleased with the number of guys who made contributions yesterday. Both sides of the football, offense and defense. I think special teams wise we've got to keep coming, we've got a ways to go there with that. It was the first time for some guys, and playing with a 46-man roster and how all that works. For some of the guys, three or four guys in that situation.

"Overall, I think the positive things were the offense and defense. We got in a lot of situations that we got to work through as well that happened in the game. A lot of things to continue to coach from. The negatives were the things we talked about after the game. We left a lot of plays out there offensively. Quite a few yards rushing. We've got to be better at being on point with our tracks of our runners.

"Those are things we need to do significantly better as we move forward. I thought the protection was very good for Andy yesterday. That was another real positive. Each week it's always going to be a challenge, but that was a good start to the season, and there are things to continue to work on moving forward."

The very first pass that they tried was a three step drop, and Dunlap beats Howard inside and hits Carr. It seemed like it had them feeling uneasy right away …

"Well, we've seen it now for 17 games. We're going to see a lot of six/seven man protections and three and four-man routes at the most. That's part of what we look for in the quick drops and the wide receiver screens and things like that 'that we saw. That's been pretty commonplace, so we just have to keep doing a good job reacting to those things and tackling. It ends up we end up ahead in the count, which is a good thing.

Your cornerbacks had a lot of big tackles they had to make, a lot of one on one situations. You guys have been really good there. What is the biggest key there?

"Well tackling is general a want-to. They've got the physical abilities, and it comes down to wanting to do it. Doing it with the proper leverage, and when we're getting as many wide receiver screens and those kinds of things, the balls coming out fast. We didn't want to give many free shots to the quarterback, so that's what we're seeing.

Leon Hall in particular, it seems over the years he's amazing at sniffing that stuff out. Is that just part of his veteran savvy?

"Well, he's just doing his job. Not necessarily sniffing out, but staying sound to his responsibilities."

It seemed like rather than reacting to the fact that Oakland has a new coaching staff, you guys made them react to you. Did it seems like that aggressiveness was there for you guys?

"Well, when you play four preseason games, they're not going to come out with a new offense and defense. The coordinators have come from where they've come from. We weren't quite sure what exactly until we started the preseason, and then you have a feel for what people are going to do. There's always going to be things that occur in a football game that are part of the plan against you. I thought our guys did a good job of handling what we knew and reacted to things that were a little different."

You showed them a lot of things that weren't shown in the preseason. You kind of had them on their heels a little bit ...

"I think its part of the offense we have. The flexibility of our players, and their ability to line up in different spots and do different things. We've got to keep doing it better and better."

Your team seemed to switch pretty quickly to San Diego, I think there's a little bit of a sour taste there ...

"Well it's game number two. It's our first home game of the year. Game number two of the season, and that one yesterday is over with, and we have to move on. We're going to move forward one way or another. We'll enjoy today a little bit for another fifty minutes, and then it's over."

We talked about it a little bit, there weren't many guys who remembered anything about Oakland. A lot of guys remember about San Diego...

"I think a lot of the football team played against the Chargers last time we played them. If you look across the board, I think every single guy on defense except for Pat Sims and the rookies, and everybody on offense except for the rookies. I guess Jeremy Hill would be the only one. But, the rest of the football team was here and a part of our loss to the Chargers here in the playoffs."

How did you feel Michael Johnson handled his first action back with the team?

"I thought it was good to get him some snaps and get going. You know, live football is different than what he's been practicing. He'll be a step ahead next week and that's good. It was good to get him going and out there, and you have to credit him for the work he did in order to get back and be ready to play in week number one. He had the fumble recovery and some good productive snaps."

What are the challenges of dealing with your team at halftime when they're up 24-0?

"Well, you know that you're generally not 24 points better than another NFL team, first off. We had good things, we made plays and had things bounce our way. We've got to continue to keep playing and playing hard and doing it right. We had the ball coming out. I think one of the key things that we have to do better is that opening drive in the third quarter. That's a key drive and we didn't do well enough with that. Again, something else to do better. We are generally going to defer (if winning the coin toss), and we had an opportunity for back-to-back possessions in the game, so we need to take advantage of the possession coming out after halftime.

"Those are the challenges. To stay on point, stay focused and the things we adjusted at halftime, come out and go through those openers on offense, and let's march the ball down the field like we did the first time around. We can't have the penalty that sets us back in that situation."

With George (Iloka) and Reggie (Nelson) so rarely coming off the field when they're healthy, how do you feel Shawn (Williams) played in his first real game?

"I think Shawn did a good job. He's done a nice job, basically took snaps all spring for us when George was out. We felt really good about Shawn, and I thought he stepped in and did a good job."

You like the aggressiveness of your guys, but you talked about the penalties and demonstrative stuff afterwards. Where's that line that you try to draw with your guys?

"It's been handled. It was handled after the game and reaffirmed this morning. No doubts about it."

We're you impressed with the physicality of your team?

"I think it's important to handle the line of scrimmage. I was pleased with that part. Again, I was pleased for the most part with the tackling. We've got to continue to take steps forward with tackling on special teams. We had some opportunities to get the ball carrier down with the first guy there, and we've got to keep getting better at that. Overall, first football game that way for 60 live minutes, guys playing the most snaps they've played, I was pleased with that."

You guys have to defend the Grahams and Gronks of the world, how nice is it to have an Eifert kind of guy that other people have to worry about?

"Tyler's an effective player. He's dynamic and can do it all. He does a nice job in the run game, blocking, and he's obviously an effective receiver."

Coach with a guy like Adam (Jones), he's always played with a lot of energy. Did you talk to him individually after what happened yesterday with Amari Cooper?

"I think I addressed this already, didn't I?"

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