Marvin Lewis News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
August 26, 2014
"Summing up the game Sunday night, felt good again about the process, I felt good about the traveling and having to play the game Sunday night in Arizona, a rare thing, and we have a really quick turnaround, and our guys responded well to it. I thought we had good work today. We obviously experienced some nicks out there on Sunday night, but things that at some point I think all of our guys will be back from. For the most part we're pretty good, so let's just keep it up."
Would you expect any starters to play Thursday?
"They all expect to play."
Would you like to get Andre Smith some snaps?
"We'd like to expect them all to play."
You've got to make some more moves today. Are you ready to announce some more cuts?
"We released Jasper Collins and Kevin Brock this morning. That's it. I'll let Duke (Tobin) handle the rest when he's ready."
Are you mostly happy with what you've seen out of your starters in the first three games?
"You've got a couple goals. Number one for your football team is to take care of the football. Number two, on defense, is tackling and takeaways. We feel pretty good about that with our starting units. But we can be better. We weren't as good as we needed to be last week on third down, but in the two previous games we were pretty good on third down. Those are the things that are important. Defensively, we just need to be a little bit more consistent. We had two explosive plays against us last week. We need to play both of those plays better. We had breakdowns on both plays and we need to get that done better."
Would you eventually evolve to run more out of the I-Formation to get Jeremy Hill running downhill?
"We're going to run our offensive sets that we feel are best against each opponent. That's what you do. You're going to run to throw the ball and you're going to pass to run the ball. There's got to be a combination of both things with your base offense."
You've been doing this for a long time, and you've certainly had the conversations with guys before they get released. Does it get easier as you do it more?
"No it doesn't get any easier. We're blessed that we have a really hard-working group of guys. Every one of these guys that, unfortunately, we've told that we were going to release, they're guys who have worked hard. They really give their heart and soul out there to us and are doing everything they can to make the football team and make the football team better.
"So, no, it doesn't get any easier. These are always tough conversations. You're just hopeful that we've given them enough opportunity that they get another opportunity somewhere else, or down the line it could be here. I always want to leave that thought on their minds. We've been pretty forthright with the players that we bring in here that we give them an opportunity to play, even the undrafted college free agent types, that we get them out there, we get them on tape so we give them an opportunity. Look at what (K) Quinn Sharp did. Darrin (Simmons, special teams coordinator) comes in pleading with me twice last week to let Quinn get some kicks in. And Quinn responded (two-for-two on field goals at Arizona). You've got to feel good about that. It's good that we identify the right kind of guys and they take the opportunity and make good on it."
Playing a Thursday game after a Sunday night is not optimal, but you're going to do that in the regular season. Is there anything that you can take away from that?
"It's a little different. The trip was longer, but our guys played maybe at the most 40 snaps. I told the team that we always have to be ready to deal with any circumstance handed to us. Particularly for the rookies, it's a good opportunity for them to understand that, and see how that goes because they don't have those turnarounds like that in college. When they play those weeknight games, they usually have the week before that off. It's good for them to understand how quickly we have to turn things around.
"We could be a little bit more aggressive today in practice than maybe we would normally in a short week. Obviously during the season, we come to Monday and get right to work. So it's a little different, but the trip out there to Arizona makes for a change of circumstances, which is good for the team to understand. Whatever circumstances we're given, we've got to deal with it, and overcome it and win the game."
How has the transition been with Hue Jackson at offensive coordinator?
"I'm very pleased with both of our coordinators and where we are right now. I think both have done a great job of putting together our training camp, our installation, our practices and on into the timing for the preseason games thus far. The way they have previewed the opponents for the players -- albeit only one day the first two weeks and then a couple days last week -- things have unfolded just as they described to the players.
"They've gained the credibility. As a coordinator, you've got to be a great teacher. You have to install, and you have to be a great teacher. The guys have got to absorb the knowledge that you give them every time. We're doing a pretty good job of that. I'm pleased with the pace and what we're doing on offense. We've sped our quarterback up, which has been important for us, and then the utilization of our skill guys. I've been pleased with that."