Lewis news conference transcript 9/5

How much did you get to see of Jeff Driskel, and what were your impressions on him?

            "The coaches have studied him. He's not a player I looked at before the draft. I watched him and his playing time in San Francisco. We knew what we felt of him before the draft, and we thought he was a young, talented player who has a chance to continue to move upward. He can mature and grow, and have an opportunity possibly to become an NFL quarterback. It gives us an opportunity to take a look at him."

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What was the thought process behind keeping three quarterbacks on the roster?

            "We have three today. Right now, we could afford to do three and take advantage of having another good young prospect around."

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What went into the waiving of P.J. Dawson?

            "We were going to add another player some way or another. He just unfortunately ended up being the player we were wiling to part with."

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Will you be adding him to the practice squad possibly?

            "We'll see. It would not surprise me if P.J. is claimed (by another team)."

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What message do you try to send to the players for these road openers?

            "We've done it six straight years. It has been the same message, that's one thing we've been able to carry forward. It's just us, and to block out everything else. We have to do the things that we know are important to win football games on the road."

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Have you addressed the emotion of this game being on 9/11 and in New York?

            "It is already being addressed. It has been addressed for a month."

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Did the injuries you had during training camp influence or make any of the cut decisions hard?

            "We played the scenario with Will (Jackson) and Cedric (Peerman). They went to injured reserve. We've obviously had some other injuries that impacted the roster, with losing Andrew Billings. He would have more than likely been on the 53-man roster. This provided opportunity for others, which is why we put the 90-man roster together as best as we can. Injuries happen, and we did what we did with Ced and WIlliam to try to preserve an opportunity for them to possibly come back as they go thru the rehab process."

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Are you confident that you'll have all hands on deck here soon and most players back from injury?

            "Yes. I do."

With only eight defensive linemen, will you look into adding a body there?

            "From what somebody told me, we've had nine at times, as well as eight or ten. We'll see what happens down the road."

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Is it a challenge to get players that haven't appeared in the preseason up to speed for regular season action?

            "That's two players. For those two players, we'll push them through practice this week and see how they are. Maybe they won't quite be ready this week, but they should be ready for the next week."

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Will Tyler Eifert practice this week?

            "He won't practice with the team. He'll be doing his practice. But I don't anticipate him taking any team reps this week."

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Is he the only guy not to?


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Do you still get excitement and anticipation for season openers?

            "It's going to be an exciting day. Everybody knows the fact that we were selected to go play in New York on 9/11 is a huge thing. We've educated our players on that and what it means; the significance of it, the impact of that day on the city of New York, the area, and our country. We'll be ready to play, but it will be an emotional day for a lot of folks around them, and I wanted them to be conscious of that."

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Is the context of the 9/11 game a teaching moment for the younger players who maybe don't remember it as much?

            "It has been a teaching moment. They'll continue to be educated on it all the way through. The fact it is the opening game means we've had the time and opportunity to prepare that way. Over the last couple of weeks, we've been addressing it piece by piece."

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What did you see from Trey Hopkins, to have him on the roster now. His versatility?

            "Trey has obviously worked his way back from an injury. He's done a really good job. He's a young, ascending offensive lineman. He gives us an opportunity with the flexibility to back up a couple of spots. He's on the 53-man roster at this point, and we'll keep moving forward. I think that's the thing we have; flexibility as we move forward on the roster. We have a chance to continue to get better. As you go through the league, there's a lot of moving pieces the first couple of weeks. So we'll see what happens."

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It must be good to see James Wright rehab all the way back and make the roster …

            "It is. It's a tribute to James and Nick Cosgray (of the athletic training staff), how hard they've worked together. Nick has James back after missing an entire season. It's obviously a big thing for James to be on the roster."

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