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Marvin Lewis news conference

Opening Comments: ML: "After going back through the tape this morning, in the three phases, I thought there were some positives that came out of the football game. Offensively on third down we made some plays, but we also shot ourselves in the foot and put ourselves in the third-and-very-hard-to-manage situations. We did a good job of getting some of those back. We were able to go down the field a couple of times and get the football game tied. We overcame even the fumble at the end to at least get back and get the field goal. I think that was key. We still have to do a better job of execution in the red zone. It's important that we continue to keep working on that, and do a better job that way.

"Defensively we need to be more consistent and better on the third downs. We had a good start to it, but we have to be more consistent. Obviously, we had a big third-and-one stop. But we can't blow a coverage like we did on defense yesterday and give up a score.  And then, obviously, the one-minute drive (setting up San Diego's winning field goal.) You don't want to give up points in the one-minute situation like that. We had an opportunity to get that stopped.

"Kicking game-wise, we had two great opportunities to down punts and really control field position. We have to make sure we do a better job of execution that way. It was good to see Kevin (Huber) get his rhythm back and get into it, and really be quite a weapon yesterday. But we have to do a better job of getting it down when those punts are inside the 10 yard-line like that.

"All-in-all, I think the execution of things, the trust, are very fixable things. That's part of playing football at that level with things on the line like they are. We keep getting an opportunity to work at it, which is good.

"As we go forward this week, we're about as healthy as we can be. We're going to come home to our home fans. It's a good week for us. It's a week that obviously is going to have a little bit different spin to it, with us traveling to New Orleans tomorrow, and obviously Christmas on Friday. But I think our team understands that and is mature enough to handle it, and we will. And we still have the opportunity to obtain our first and No. 1 goal, and that's to win this division. So that's key. So we'll be excited about that."

Q: How will traveling to New Orleans tomorrow for Chris Henry's funeral affect things like the preparation of the game plan? ML: "It affects me. I'll work later tonight and tomorrow morning early. I haven't been home yet. I'll be fine."

Q: Are you going to have some coaches stay back to work on the game plan? ML: "Our coaches will take care of the game plan and we'll be fine."

Q: What are your thoughts on the toughness of breaking up the week and going down to New Orleans tomorrow?ML: "We have to be respectful of the situation. They would like to pay their respects to Chris' family. We'll take care of it that way. We'll be very respectful of that situation and their need to bring some closure to it and their ability to pay their respects. We'll have that opportunity to do that tomorrow."

Q: Carson said Chris Henry's death wouldn't really hit home until the funeral. Do you agree?ML: "I would imagine. As I said three or four times now, guys will deal with this in their own way because they all had different relationships (with Chris Henry)."

Q: For the first time this season, Leon Hall seemed to struggle a little bit, yesterday: ML: "Leon gave up one play. So, careful what you write, please. All right?"

Q: Which play? ML: "I'm not going there (laughs). You know better than that. I thought Leon played, other than one play, pretty well. Sometimes things happen and you're the one that's supposedly the goat, and he's not necessarily the goat. Leon is a good football player, and he gave up a play yesterday that he wished he had back. We have to do a better job. We have to win the football game. That's the most important thing."

Q: Quan Cosby caught a few passes yesterday for the first time this season. How do you think he's progressing?ML: "He's done a good job. He's done a nice job all year. Everything we've given Quan to do, Quan has made the very best of it. He continues to show he's an outstanding football player, very well-rounded. He'll block, he'll run, he'll catch. We know he'll run with the ball well. He understands what to do. He backs up all the spots. When called on, he's ready to perform."

Q: Do you see his role as a receiver expanding a little more over these last few games?ML: "I see guys getting an opportunity and making the best of it. You don't go into the game and say we're going to throw the ball to this guy. I think Carson (Palmer) did a nice job reading the coverage, Quan was where he needed to be and the ball went to the soft spot in the coverage. Quan made good plays. That's how offenses work."

Q: You seemed to put an emphasis on improving on all the penalties after the Minnesota game, but you still had some costly penalties, including a stretch in the third quarter that backed you up. What happened?ML: "It occurred because we got a little bit unnerved with the noise down there, and we had a flinch. From there, our quarterback had a hard time hearing what the call was in the huddle. We had the personnel wrong and we didn't get out of the huddle. We just have to make the correction."

Q: At the end of the half, you chose to spike the ball to stop the clock after a long gain, instead of using a timeout. Did you think about using the timeout, instead of spiking the ball and burning a down?ML: "No, I wanted to keep the timeout just like we did, to have the opportunity. If we completed another ball in bounds, we'd have a timeout and then have a chance to throw the ball in the end zone on second down. And then on third down have another opportunity, if you completed it in-bounds on second down."

Q: You mentioned the struggles with penalties, but you guys seemed to bounce back well after each penalty. It seemed like you would get a penalty, then would get a big play to make up for the penalty: ML: "Well, penalties occur. We don't want to have them hold us back, but then if it does happen, you have to move forward. You can't sit there and whine about it. You've got to move forward, and go make the next play that overcomes it and puts you back in position to be successful and move the ball down the field. There's no way around it."

Q: Kansas City just had a tough loss to Cleveland, yesterday. Do you think that makes them even more dangerous, now that they are a little more angry?ML: "I think any NFL team is always dangerous. I don't know that that changes. I'm sure with the Chiefs, we'll get their best effort. We'll get a football team that's growing  and is learning, and we'll have their best effort come Sunday."

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