Marvin Lewis News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
October 7, 2015
"The Seahawks, as you all know, re a very well-coached group. They have exceptional players throughout the football team. It's really a great week for us, and a great challenge with them coming in here this week. The things they do, they do so well, and they are repetitive with it. Their guys know how to play the situation; they play smart, and are very aggressive. We have our work cut out for us in every area."
So much talk about their secondaries. What are the differences between the secondaries?
"Well you look at Richard Sherman. They've changed the outside corner each year and come up a guy who plays well, and he ends up going somewhere else. Both safeties are excellent players. They play physical, they play the passing lanes. They're a good tackling group. Whether it be zone or man, and in tackling, they excel at all three areas. Its great for our guys to watch and see, 'This is how its done.' "
How far are your guys from them?
"We get to prove that week in and week out. They've done it over time."
Seattle easily could have been 1-3. Are people catching up to them?
"They've played good football teams. They lost to the Rams, who are playing good football. They lost to the Packers who are playing good football. They beat the Bears and the Lions, who we know are talented groups. That's what the NFL is all about; its just four football games. Whether its 2-2, 4-0, or 1-3, there is not that much between them. Each and every week, you're going to be tested and you have to do a great job."
What kind of lift does Kam Chancellor provide them?
"He gives them a guy who's been back there since Pete (Carroll) took over. They understand the ins and outs of things. When you play with a new player, who has been there through camp and two weeks of the season, you're not sure when certain things come up. You're also not sure what he doesn't know. So the confidence of that group and the continuity of playing together is raised when you put a guy like Kam back in there, who plays both passing lanes and up to the line of scrimmage. He does a lot of things."
Was his play at the end of the game a teachable moment?
"Its what he does. This group will go for the football and try to punch it out. They do a great job of it at defense."
Is Russell Wilson a guy who extends plays?
"I think somebody said he extended one six seconds (Monday) night. I'd say that qualifies."
Any reason you've seen why they've had some trouble getting Jimmy Graham untracked?
"You take one player out of one offense and you put him in a different offense, and it's different. It's different; it's proven every season. He's got a lot of ability, but he's in their offense now, he's not in the New Orleans Saints offense."
Your defensive line has been great. Has it lived up the expectations of how good you thought they'd be so far?
"Well, we've played four games and done a pretty good job."
What have they done a good job at?
"Playing the running game and getting the opponent into passing situations, getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands."
How much does that change the game for you guys, especially the secondary, when they can do that?
"We've been fortunate we've been playing with the lead, and so that's one good way to have that opportunity. You want to do that each and every week."
A lot of people underestimate Russell Wilson's ability to throw. He's got a big hand and he's real accurate, isn't he?
"He's got a strong arm and he's a very accurate passer in the pocket. They do a lot in base-down situations with the hard play-actions, the nakeds, the boots and so forth on the move, or in the pocket. He does a great job of recognizing the coverage and getting the ball to what they feel is the weakness of the coverage and delivering a very accurate throw, let alone when he's on the move and throws accurate balls. They had a guy come back last week from the goal line and catch the ball at the 40-yard line on one of his scrambles. Those are impressive plays for a quarterback to make, and for the receiver also, their ability to relate to him when he moves."
Considering it's Week 5, how is Vontaze Burfict doing in his progress?
"He's doing OK."
You expect him to be healthy and ready in a few weeks?
"We'll see. Hey, I went nine minutes before I had to say, 'We'll see.' " (laughs)"
There have been a lot of penalties around the league, any reason you see for that?
" "Well, I think we've got to clean up our hands, and I think around the league it's an adjustment to what is and what isn't a penalty in a lot of situations. I think there's a lot of OPIs (offensive pass interference penalties). That's become the new vogue on offense with some of these plays that are being run against the defense, and so that number's up. It's up by a third, I would imagine, at least.
'That continues to be a point of emphasis for the officials each and every week, yet the offenses keep running that particular play, and those style of plays, and you see it called at least once a game every game.
"As we go forward, for us, we can't have any more personal foul penalties, because those hurt us. We've got to eliminate that, or that person can't play for us anymore. They can stand beside me for awhile (on the bench) until they figure it out. Those kind things, we've had too many of this year. In every way we've got to clean those things up. I think there's always an adjustment that occurs, and each and every week, the officiating works hard to figure out and try to set the 'strike zone' of what is and what isn't. We as coaches try to coach to that as best we can and teach our players."
Is it something you can correct week by week?
"You have to correct week by week, because you will have a hard time overcoming penalties. Week in and week out in the NFL, when you get a holding penalty on a drive, you don't overcome that almost 70 percent of the time or more. Same thing defensively, you give up a defensive penalty, that generally leads to an offensive score. At the end of the day you are not going to be happy when you get your tail beat because of things you did that you can do better."
Do all those penalties hurt the rhythm of the game?
"You must be talking to my boss, huh? (laughs) I think they do, but again — I want to be the smartest team, I want to make sure our guys are not creating penalties. I want to do it the right way. If the other team is doing it wrong and they get penalized, so be it. I'm not worried about that rhythm. We just have to clean it up on our part for the Cincinnati Bengals. That's my concern."
Is Marshawn Lynch challenge if he plays?
"I'd imagine he plays. He's a very, very strong runner. He's got speed people don't realize he has. He has the ability to catch the football. He's used in their passing game from the backfield, from screens. You really have to be conscious of him. He's a strong guy in his upper body, let alone his lower body. He's kind of that Corey Dillon-type of runner that you have to do a great job of wrapping up and tackling."
How has Rey Maualuga played? He had a good game last week. Does he set the tone?
"He's done a good job and played well last week. We need those guys to continue to come up big in the running game. It sets the table for everything else."
Seattle has a winning record on the road. Is that a testament to their running game and defense?
"No doubt. They do a good job of defending the goal line, defending the score. They don't let you score a lot of points. That's their mode of operation. They want that ball down inside and they are going to vertically penetrate against you on defense. Since Pete (Carroll) has been there, they don't turn the ball over a great deal, Russell Wilson takes care of the football. As we know, that leads to success."
Are they a team you admire, with their style of play?
"Yeah. Don't worry. We've been on the Seahawks since February or whatever. They set a standard that we would like to play to. They play the style of football we play over here in this division. You like that. This will be one of those games."
How much do fast starts correlate to winning?
"I think getting off to a fast start is always something you want to do in a football game. Obviously it's early in the game, but you get momentum and you can change field position. You want to hold field position, and getting that defensive stop is important that way. As coaches, what we are looking for is to create field position advantage, and if we can do it in the first series, the first drive, and get points on offense, then you can do that. Or if you have to kick off, go and defend it and get punt forced right away, and you have created an advantage in field position with your defense."