Marvin Lewis News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
September 8, 2014
"After viewing the tape a couple of times, I'm pleased with the outcome of the game. I thought there were real positives in all three phases of our play yesterday, and things that we really need to go hard at, and improve at, and we'll go to work on it.
"Overall, third downs, offensively and defensively, were key elements in the game. We have to continue to do better at that. We had the field goal blocked and one kickoff return that we allowed for field position. Those are areas we need to continue to do better, and pay attention to the details of it all the time, and let it become--particularly with the field goal--monotonous, and have everybody understanding each and every time how important getting their job done is.
"It was a tough fought game on the road. It's the first weekend of the year, which brings up the emotion of it, brings up the emotion of it being a division game and being on the road. It was natural to be spent after that football game."
Do you feel good about the overall conditioning of the team?
"Yes. I feel like it's the way you're going to be. You can't expose them to that until they get exposed to that."
You guys did not have any turnovers yesterday. How do you get a team in the mindset of taking care of the ball?
"It starts with your quarterback. Your quarterback and your protection. Those go hand in hand. The decision making he has, and then the ball security of those that touch the football all the time. It's the return teams, blocking and so forth. We didn't have any returns yesterday, but everybody's included in that. Anytime we possess the ball it takes all 11 guys to get their job done right and to not put you in jeopardy of that.
"We've been harping on that as we do all the time, and continue to critique it. The way we carry the football all the time in practice is important. We have to continue with that. Our quarterback made some good decisions to throw the ball away yesterday and come back the next play."
Hue Jackson ran about every which way you could have an exotic look. How important do you think it was to keep them off balance with a lot of different stuff?
"Your goal offensively would be to always keep the other team off balance as much as you can and get them to have to keep turning the page and turning the page. As long as there are things that we've been doing, and things that we've been working in practice, our execution level continuing should be higher with that. We have to keep getting better at it. Some of it is the first time we've put it out there on tape, where we could really critique it against an opponent other than our own defense, which sometimes presents different looks, so it was good."
The running game was not as efficient as you would have hoped, but it was persistent enough to the help the protection. Was it just a little thing here or there in the running game?
"We have little things here and there in every game. If you don't convert third down you're not going to get as many runs as you'd like. That's going to be big. That's always plays a part in that."
Emmanuel Lamur came back yesterday after missing all of last year. It wasn't too big for him...
"I thought Emmanuel did a nice job yesterday. He has things to clean up like they all do, but he has waited a long time for this moment, getting hurt as he did last year. He's a big part of everything. He provides a lot of flexibility defensively and did a good job."
Wallace Gilberry seized opportunity and made two huge plays at the end of the game...
"He made a lot of big plays all day. I thought he played really well. He played hard and obviously did a nice job finishing out things. He had tipped balls, ran down balls on screens. He did a good job all day."
Is Reggie Nelson kind of the back end version of that as well?
"He made a big stop for the two-point play, he and Brandon (Thompson). A lot of guys played well. I thought our corners did a nice job. I thought our defensive ends all played well. We had good rush inside. I thought linebacker-wise, we did a nice job on the interior part of their passing game. We all have things we got to improve on, but we were prepared to play and they went out and demonstrated it."
How comforting is it having a guy like Vinny Rey, who continues to step in when needed?
"Yeah, he steps in and does a nice job. He continued to do his thing on special teams as well. He probably got a few more snaps than we expected."
Do you have a report on Tyler Eifert yet?
"No, I don't. No more than yesterday's."
After looking at the film, how did you feel Russell Bodine did in his debut?
"Russell did okay. There are some things that we want to clean up for him, but it wasn't too big for him and it wasn't too physical for him. He was good. He did that part of it fine. We've just got to keep doing better."
With Gilberry, you talked about how spent everybody was. For him to make two huge plays like that at the end of the game, is that just a mind over body thing?
"The other side is out there, too. The people they're playing against have been out there too, so we've just got to play each snap the best we can and give everything we've got. He did a nice job on both plays."
You did a pretty good job on special teams, for the most part, containing Jacoby Jones ...
"He's a dangerous returner. He's such a strong runner. Because of the wind, it kind of knocked a couple of balls down. He caught a couple of those kickoffs on the move and that's not good. Other than the one time, we were able to get him on the ground and guys did a nice job of covering. Margus Hunt had a nice play down there, and we did a nice job on the punts, the few that he had a chance to return. That was a good thing. Obviously our punt return, getting Adam going was good. Adam having the ability to do that for us will help us throughout the year."
Have you ever seen a guy the size of Margus Hunt on kickoff coverage?
"(Laughs) He had some good plays in the game on defense and the big play on special teams. It's fun for him to get out there and be doing all this."
Were you able to get what you expected out of Geno Atkins?
"Yeah. Geno did a nice job. He did some good things in the run game and he was able to get some pressure when he got one-on-ones. We had some movement going on yesterday, a little bit more than normal at times, but I thought he did a good job yesterday. There's no way we can simulate big people pushing on you. That part of his game will continue to return as he gets more and more snaps of that."
With concussion protocol being so nebulous in this stage, any time a player is in concussion protocol has to be concerning, isn't it? You don't know what to expect...
"I can't be concerned with what I can't expect (Laughs). You'd be wasting concerns."
Does it concern you that Vontaze Burfict is in it?
"Remember, I've had a lot of concussions, so I'm always in the protocol (laughs)."
Your reaction to Baltimore cutting Ray Rice today?
"I wasn't aware they did that."
They cut him this afternoon and he was indefinitely suspended. Your reaction to their reaction to domestic violence with this video coming out today?
"It's really not my place to have a reaction. It's obviously something that we don't want in society. It was brought to the forefront, but really it's not my comment and it's not my place to comment on what they did. What's done is done now. I think everybody across the league has made their statements about it. We know how important the level of how professional athletes are looked at is. It's important for our society to continue to hold it to a high standard. Every situation is its own situation. I haven't seen the video, I just heard about it, so you guys are more aware of it than me. I've got to worry about the Atlanta Falcons."
Do you think that because the league is held in such high regard, and the league takes a stance on it, that it will help society realize that domestic violence is always unacceptable?
"It is. Again, you're better served to call the commissioner and talk to him about it than me."