Marvin Lewis news conference transcript

Opening comments:

*                * "The video of the game unfortunately didn't come out with a different outcome. We still came up short. I think the takeaway from it is in some ways improvement, and in other things we still need to know that we have to do better.
                "Starting in special teams, we have to make some things happen. We didn't affect the game positively in special teams, and in a close football game like that, we have to take that opportunity. Offensively, with first and second downs, we have to do a better job there, which will lead to better opportunity conversions on third down. That ended up being the key to the game, their ability to convert third downs, sometimes unconventionally, with their quarterback being able to stay alive and make a play to get the ball to a receiver. Those are the things that you take away from the football game."

How do you feel about some of the questionable calls that were made? Do you feel they could have gone differently?

                "I can't change those calls. My opinion doesn't really matter, nor will I voice it."

What was the discussion about challenging the Uzomah catch? Was there a reason not to?

                "Yes. We saw one view at the end that we thought that there wasn't evidence to overturn. You have to have clear evidence. The coaches don't get all the views that the media and broadcasters get. That's a fallacy of television. We have to go to the next play. TV announcers say things like that time and time again, but that's not the way it works. It has to be a quick judgement from the person in charge, and then we have to go from there. Even at the end, when they showed them, everyone on the field obviously thought the opposite. "The (stadium) screens didn't show a replay of that (Uzomah play)."

So do the officials to tend to err on the side of caution when making review calls?

                "No. The officials are instructed to get it right. They're not supposed to err one way or another, because they're graded on what they do. You can't officiate that way. Their job is to get it right. We had another ball, the punt, that was ruled a fumble. Their job is to get it right. They're graded based on being right, not on the effect of replay. Replay doesn't come into their job description."

What was their explanation on the punt return?

                "They said the runner was down by contact, and there was not a clear recovery. We lost the football game. We have to learn from it and be a better team than we were yesterday. No question about it."

College games have instituted so much replay it makes the games longer. Do you think replay opens up a can of worms to some extent?

                "I'm not for any more replays. (Laughs.) High definition TV has made this a lot harder for what the officials do. They have to make a decision. Everything they see, they have to judge on it right way. With high definition television, you can stop it and pinpoint it. It makes a difference. It makes a difference in timing of football games, and so many other things.
                "You used to kick a 45-yard field goal with six seconds left and the clock could run out. Then they said, 'Look, that's only going to be four seconds.' So now we have standards. It's the same thing with the ball being thrown out of bounds. There's certain standards about how much time is going to run off, because of high definition television and the ability to stop it at some point, look at the clock, and compare. So it changed that. Everyone wants high definition television though, so that's where we are."

Is there anything you can pinpoint the running game struggles on?

                "We can't have one-person breakdowns. We have about three, four, five plays each week where the quarterback has chosen to throw the football and been very productive. Those are good things. He has the ability and choose and go up and do his thing. We're comfortable with Andy doing that. When we do choose to run it, we can't have one-person breakdowns and instead of it being a 10-yard gain, it's a three-yard gain. We have to do better at that all the way around. That recognition and execution is important."

Is it easier to address if it's a one-person breakdown?

                "Yes. It is. Particularly because if it were one person all the time, then that may be an easier fix. But we do have to be better, no question about it. You don't have to rear back and throw it 50 times. A little bit was the end of the first half when we reared it back and threw it, and we did the same at the end of the game. It gets a little bit disproportional. I think early in the game, with the looks he was getting, Andy was comfortable with what he was doing. We have to make some plays; a couple of contested catches at times, and at other times we have to make sure we make accurate throws."

The Steelers ran it a lot. Do you think you're running it enough?

                "Our offense and their offense are two different offensive schemes. They're going to do what they feel successful at, we have to do what we feel successful at."

What do you think of Cedric Ogbuehi's progress?

                "He and a few guys are basically on practice number 10 now. Of training camp. That's good. We're going to keep getting better, and you have to feel good about that. You have to feel good about him and Tyler Kroft that way-- Darqueze (Dennard) too. There's nothing but improvement ahead for those guys. We're obviously going to have a handful this week as well."

Is it a positive that you were seemingly in the game at the end despite their edge in a lot of areas?

                "We allowed two third-down touchdowns, and three red-zone touchdowns make a difference in the football game. We didn't get a red-zone touchdown. That's a difference from a week ago. We flipped that script a week ago. You have to get those extra four points when you are down there on offense, and hold them to three if they happen to get down there defensively, and do a better job in those areas than yesterday. It's very easy to point out why we don't win football games when you don't do those things right."

It must have been nice to see Tyler Boyd perform well.

                "Tyler has to keep improving. He made some plays that affected the football game. His responsibilities are throughout, and obviously at the end of the football game he has to hand the ball to the official. Don't leave it on the ground."

Both cornerbacks played good games, especially vs. Antonio Brown.

                "I think our guys battled. That's what you have to do against Antonio. He's going to battle you for every play you're out there against him. It's important we do that. We're disappointed we didn't win the football game. He caught four balls on the day and two critical third downs that he converted. We have to stay on top of him all the time. We know he's a very good player, and we have to keep track of him. He had two punt returns yesterday. When he's on the field, everyone on the sideline is cognizant to where he is."

What did you see from KeiVarae Russell that made you want to sign him?

                "He's a prospect that we felt like had an opportunity to be an NFL corner. Right now we took the opportunity to add him to the football team. Cornerback is a position where you need players. There's not a lot of guys hanging around that step in and go play NFL corner productively. We've been fortunate. We like to add those guys. It gives us more flexibility for Josh Shaw if we add another guy like that."

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