Marvin Lewis News Conference transcript (9/7)

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Opening Comments:

"I don't have much to add here. We had good work yesterday, and we have a good opportunity today to get out and get back for football since we haven't played since Thursday night. It'll be good focus as we begin preparation for the Raiders, as it comes around quickly. We know they've put together a very good-looking, physical football team. They've set their standard of play from Jack (head coach Jack Del Rio), and they look good on tape."

 Is it a challenge in shifting from preseason mode to regular season?

"Well, I think for some of the young people it is. But our veteran players that have been through this, they understand and know the focus that has to happen in everything you do, from the detail of insertion, the detail of how the play should come off on both sides, and so forth."

The combination of young guys and not so old … a good one for your team?

"Right. I think it's what you want to have. We've got, obviously, a number of three, four, five-year players who have been down this road, as well as the guys on the other end. We have about 10 guys with eight, nine, 10 years of experience. So, we're pretty well put together that way. We've got the ability to mentor and bring along and keep pulling forward the young players."

You've seem to ended the concern here about West Coast travel. Is it just another road trip?

"I think this one has special stuff. It's the opening game, on the road. To me, that's the thing, no matter where you're going to play it. We're opening on the road for the sixth year in a row, and there are certain things that come with that, and we understand that, and we've got to take care of our business."

Can you remember what it was like to open at home?

I can remember one of the last defensive plays opening at home (laughs, recalling an improbable Denver play that defeated Cincinnati in the 2009 season opener). That I can remember. I don't remember any of the positives.  But I can remember that last defensive snap when we opened at home. It's been a while."

Has it been tough to open on the road?

"It's just different. The whole thing speeds up. This week, it's the first game for a new coach who basically grew up in the area (Jack Del Rio). And he's an experienced NFL coach with an experienced staff, and they're going to be jacked up and ready to go. The last time we were there early in the season, the second game of the year in '03, it was the day that they were crowned AFC champs (from 2002). "

Have you ever received an explanation for starting six straight seasons with road games?

"I think it's the way the Reds schedule has fallen. Unless we have a Monday Night game, we've been on the road and they've ended up being home. So we decided not to challenge that. Conversely, we get a chance, generally, to finish at home, so I like that. I'll take that trade."

'The good thing about '03 is that none of these guys remember that loss out there…

            "That's true, there's only two of us in the room. Or maybe five. Nobody really remembers other than me, anyway (laughs). That's the end point."

You mentioned a style of play with Jack (Del Rio), obviously you knew he was there and you knew the schedule well in advance. Did you guys look at previously coached Jack Del Rio teams?

"Jack's been a coordinator in Denver for the last couple seasons. We played him when he was the head coach at Jacksonville in probably five of the nine years he was coach there. We're really good friends, and our families are friends. We spend time together in the offseason. So, when the schedule came out, we quit talking (laughs). We will talk afterwards. But you know he does a fantastic job, and they've put together a really good football team, and it's evident on tape."

You and Del Rio kind of share the same workman like, blue collar attitude …

            "When Jack was a player, he was a guy that I wanted Ray Lewis to emulate and learn from. I went to Ozzie (Newsome) in '97 and said we should hire that guy as a player, and he ended up retiring. He's the kind of guy you want. I had the chance to be around him, we were coaching the Pro Bowl one year when I was with the Steelers, and I had a chance to observe him and knew he was the kind of guy you'd like to have your young players emulate. He did a fantastic job coaching the linebackers there in Baltimore, and of course moving on to Carolina and so forth, and then being the head coach at Jacksonville. He did a fabulous job in Denver for a few years. Everywhere he's been, he's been successful, and they're going to be a well-coached team, we know that."

It's not like they don't have any personnel. They've had some high draft picks to build a franchise with over the last few years and gone out in free agency and tried to do some things …

            "The last two first picks were very impressive, I'll tell you that, and they stand out on tape. That's all I can say. They're impressive."

Speaking of Jack and his personality, how do you see that playing out with some of those linebackers?

            "Well it's kind of a clone of what they got in '94, when DeMarcus Ware was a young guy with Dallas. You see that kind of explosive ability from (Khalil) Mack. Explosiveness and the ability to affect the run and the pass."

Some of the guys were talking about how there's still something to prove. It's 0-0, and all the stats from last year are all gone. How important is it for a team to have that idea where it's fresh and there is still that hunger?

            "Our guys are aware of that. You don't get anything for things you've done in the past. You have to go out each and every week. It's an important kickoff, one on the road. Again, we have to do what it takes to go out there and win on the road."

Does it look promising for Michael Johnson this week?

            "We'll see." (laughs)"

Overall, you have to be pretty pleased with this preseason, not having a whole lot of injured guys to talk about …

            "Well, the best thing is not ever having to talk about it (laughs). 'We'll see' covers it all."

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