Marvin Lewis News Conference

Cincinnati Bengals Dec. 8, 2004

News Conference Transcript

Marvin Lewis

Injury report ...

The injury report as of today remains almost the same as Monday's report. The questionable players are Rogers Beckett, Carl Powell, and Chris Perry. Chris has the flu. The players listed as probable are Willie Anderson, Deltha O'Neal, and Kenny Watson.

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Q:** Is it nice to have a player such as Keiwan Ratliff who can step in a replace a starter such as Deltha O'Neal?

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ML:** It is nice to have depth that we can depend on. It provides us the opportunity to rehab players in order to have the healthiest and most productive 11 players on the field on game day.

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Q:**From your experience in Baltimore, is it true that Super Bowl winners get everybody's best shot the next year? Is that a reason it's so hard to repeat?

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ML:** The reason it's harder to repeat is due to how hard it is just to get to the Super Bowl. Lots of things have to go well. You have to be lucky. You have to stay healthy. The ball has to bounce your way. A lot of good things have to happen. I think that's why it's hard to repeat, rather than how your opponents play against you. I think teams strive to play their best every game, and that idea would convey that teams don't give their best effort week in and week out. Teams do get ready to play week in and week out, regardless of who they are playing.

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Q:**When you do win a Super Bowl, are you more confident coming into the following season?

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ML:** You are confident. I know Coach Belichick did an excellent job this past off season in picking the minds of past coaches who have repeated as Super Bowl champions. He is trying to understand what the process is that occurs, to help repeat in back to back seasons. He wants to realize what value each person brought to the team, and what their contribution was to the team the year before. He doesn't want players to get full of themselves and feel their contribution was bigger that it actually was. I think that is important.

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Q:**When we speak to players here in the locker room they all seem speak of how New England refers to themselves as a team ...

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ML:** I felt that last year when I got a chance to spend some time with them on media day the Tuesday before the Super Bowl. All of their players in every interview spoke about the concept of team. They never spoke of having the best defensive line, or best quarterback, they spoke about their football team and how each member is important. This day and age in professionals athletics, they are the ultimate team. They believe in that, they have bought into that and it is working.

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Q:**The Patriots have scored first in 17 straight games. How big of a factor is that in their success?

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ML:** I think it's important to score first, though we have overcome the scoring-first statistic a few times this year. I do think it is important, and they do a good job of it. They don't only start fast, but they finish games too. I think that is the more important issue. Making sure they finish games as well.

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Q:**What is it that makes the Patriots special this day and age?

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ML:** They have a lot of veteran players, and guys have chosen to stay there on the New England Patriots team rather than seek a possibly better financial offer elsewhere. They have been very satisfied to perhaps play at a lower salary cap number to continue in an environment they feel comfortable in and can thrive in with the success of the team. They choose to re-sign and stay put. I think they do a great job of acquiring veteran players who know their style. They understand their style and how they do things. Last year they overcame with a lot of guys, and they have added a few guys this year who are very familiar with their style of football. They come in and replace a guy who is injured and move forward.

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Q:**Is there anything you borrow from Coach Belichick?

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ML:** I think it's that they pick players who fit their style. Their is no question about it. On draft day they choose players who might not be the popular choice, but in two or three years they are the right choice. That's what's important. I don't think they will be swayed by some outside source. They don't choose who others feel is the best player for the Patriots, they choose the player who they feel has insight of what is important to the team.

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Q:**You mentioned the other day how the Ravens are like the Patriots in the sense that they feel when the game is on the line, they'll make the big play to win. Do you feel your team is on the same path?

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ML:** We're on the path, but you have to continue to do it, and that is what keeps you on that path. We have a belief that we can win football games, but you have to keep doing it. You have to understand how and why you did it, and that helps you to continue with that down the road.

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Q:**How has Corey Dillon changed New England's offense?

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ML:** He has given them a player who runs hard downhill. He has made a difference in their football team that way. He hits the outside perimeter that way and makes plays. He has brought them another outlet, where in years past they have run more spread formations. They have replaced the passing game where they used to look for that quick six or seven-yard throw in the beginning of a drive with running the football, and that takes more time off the clock.

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Q:**Having coached Corey and knowing his style, do you think that gives you an advantage?

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ML:** I don't think a runner's style is advantageous, one way or another. You have to go play defense against their offense. You have to attack their blocking. I don't think you have any real advantage from coaching him.

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Q:**Coach Belichick is known for his large library of books which motivate him. Do you have a large library, and what would be a favorite book?

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ML:** I have a huge library. I have a lot of favorites. I read a lot of John Maxwell's stuff. I recently read a book about Bill Parcell's first season in Dallas. I referred to a chapter in a Pat Riley book last week. I use many books to motivate the team and myself.

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Q:**Can you elaborate on the playing conditions and the hostile environment in New England?

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ML:** We have to get ready and play in another hostile environment. Their fans are very passionate about their team. You see it in their faces. They obviously were with them through the playoffs last year, and in the run the Red Sox made this season through the ALCS and the World Series. There is a great passion there, and we have to go deal with it. It is going to be a lot of fun. It is going to be part of the experience. This is the reason why we play in the NFL. It is the reason why we coach. It is a great atmosphere and we must go and keep pounding to get a win.

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