Marvin Lewis News Conference Transcript - 9/10



Head coach

Did the game yesterday take a couple years off your life?

"No. Just last night and this morning (laughs)."

How many hours of sleep did you get?


What stood out about yesterday's game when you went back and watched the film?

"We have a lot of improvement to make, and we have to make it in a hurry. We did a good job in the running game for the most part, offensively. We have to shore some things up protection-wise. We got bulled (bull-rushed) a little bit. We need to keep understanding that and fix it in the right spots. That will be helpful. Special teams-wise, we didn't really have a lot of opportunity, but there are some things we have to be conscience of. We need to make sure we're always paying attention to the details and shore things up. Defensively, we have some things we have to do a little bit better. With Shawn Williams' ejection, Clayton Fejedelem was in the game and Jessie Bates became the experienced guy back there very quickly, (in regard) to the guy that's got all the work (leading up to the regular season). We have to continue to get better there. (Bates) played a good first football game. We just have to have everybody on the same page throughout the defensive football team."

With a short week, is there any concern S Shawn Williams could be suspended following his penalty and ejection yesterday? Would they tell you today?

"It would be today, yeah"

How would you assess the performance of the offensive line yesterday?

"We were able to go in and do some of the things we hoped we were able to do. I felt good about that. We just have keep building on the performance yesterday throughout the season and be a little bit sounder in a couple of details in what we're doing. The quarterback (Andy Dalton) did a good job of getting us in and out of things. It is going to be important as we go and having the guys be able to handle that moving forward. Billy Price's first regular season game was good to get him going. He will keep growing to be the player we expect, which will be a great player."

How do you think Price did in his debut?

"I think he did OK."

In the past, you've rotated guys on the offensive line early in the season to work out issues there. How short is the leash for guys if they struggle on the starting offensive line?

"It's no different than any other position. No matter what position, you have to get your job done, or else we have to try to find someone that can get it done better. If you are preventing us from winning the football game, we have to find a different way."

HB Joe Mixon had 22 total touches on offense yesterday. Is that an ideal workload for him, or would you like to see that number rise?

"You would like to have more total plays than what we had yesterday. But we made some chunk plays. The two turnovers (interception and fumble) hurt us in those drives. You would like to have more (total plays). I think (Mixon) can carry it 22 times. The number of receptions he had was good, and they were well-used. He got to the right spots in the pass game, and that's important. We didn't get the opportunity to get the ball in Gio Bernard's hands as much as we would have liked. But when the game's rolling, it's what happens."

How did you feel the game plan worked for TE Tyler Eifert, in terms of getting him in a rhythm playing?

"It was good. He was productive in both the run and pass, and that's what we need. We don't want to over-work him for that. We have two other capable players (Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah) there. They all contributed to making positive plays."

TE C.J. Uzomah played a lot yesterday. Is TE Tyler Kroft still working his way back from his offseason injury, or is that how you envisioned it going?

"Tyler is still working... It just depends on the opponent and the personnel that Bill Lazor calls. That's going to change week to week."

Last season, you noted that Joe Mixon was like a "big kid" and loved being around the facility. Has that changed at all in the last year?

"He was the first person to congratulate John Ross (following his TD). I'm sure he was the first one in the end zone with Clayton Fejedelem. So, no it hasn't changed one bit. He is the first one at everything and to congratulate his teammates. Within the football game, his spirit and drive is evident in that huddle."

He seemed to do a really good job of following his blocks yesterday. Was that something he needed to work on from last season?

"He has to continue to be good with his footwork. He was better last night, and he needs to stay on track."

When Clayton Fejedelem scooped up that fumble, Jessie Bates was yelling at him to 'get down'…

"It was a 'get down' situation."

Does that speak to the awareness Jessie has, even as a young guy?

"They talk in the defensive huddle about getting down after a turnover so the offense can take a knee and end the game. That's important. The entire defense, as well as the coaches on the sideline, were telling him to 'get down' (laughs)."

What is your first impression of the Baltimore Ravens, after watching their game yesterday?

"I've watched them all preseason. As usual, they are well-put together. Joe Flacco played well yesterday, completing 73.5 percent of his passes. They were hot, they created turnovers, and they created field position. We're going to have our hands full come Thursday night."

How much of an advantage is it for them to be able to rest guys late in a game on a short week?

"You write your own story (laughs)."

Is it minimal?

"You write your own story (laughs). I don't need to comment on things that aren't my issues."

On the second penalty on DE Carlos Dunlap for roughing the passer, was that called for landing on Andrew Luck or for hitting him high?

"For landing on him."

Will LB Preston Brown be available to play this week?


Is that like a partly sunny situation, or partly cloudy?

"Partly sunny right now (laughs)."

WR John Ross had his first career catch and first TD yesterday. What did you see from him after that play?

"I didn't pay attention to John after that to see (what happened). Consistency is what we needed to see from him in games, as far as his routes, his depths and his speed. I was pleased with that. He has to keep going out there and playing in the games, making sure he is in the right spots so he's in position, based on the coverage, to have the opportunity to make the play. His touchdown was very effective, and those are the things he can do. He needs to continue to grow. That's why he got to play more in the preseason – so he could feel comfortable being out there all the time."

Did LB Hardy Nickerson give you what you were expecting yesterday?

"Yes. Hardy can go out there and run defense, and we can be seamless with it, which is good."

WR A.J. Green put the ball on the ground a couple of times. Do you have any concerns about that?

"Yes. He has to protect the ball. We are concerned about that. Anybody that touches the football carries all of us in this building with them. We have to make sure we protect the football. We can't lose football games because we don't take care of the ball."