Marvin Lewis Press Conference

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Opening comments: ML:
The main thing we'll deal with as we go through the week is having some guys banged up, particularly on the offensive line. Andrew Whitworth and obviously Levi (Jones) didn't finish the game at full strength. We'll have to deal with that as we go through the week, and gain some replacements that way. Antonio Chatman spent the evening in the hospital and should be released pretty soon. He seems to, as we thought yesterday, be fine. It was a bad stinger. But we want to make sure everything is fine before they release him from there.

Abdul Hodge, who sustained a triceps injury. Chinedum (Ndukwe) has been dealing with that plantar fasciitis on his foot and he tore that in the game, which actually is a good thing. He's pretty sore today and we'll see how he goes through the week. If you have an issue with that area, what they actually do is go in and surgically repair that. He did that on his own, which we have had a couple of players do through the years here, as Rashad Jeanty did a couple of weeks ago. So the body performs surgery on itself. Then you just deal with the soreness of it.

Q: Clarify on Levi (Jones) and Andrew (Whitworth); will they play? ML:

I don't need to make that determination now. It's a short week. We'll see.

Q: Will replacements on offensive line come from within the roster or from outside? ML:

Both.

Q: Will Carson (Palmer) continue doing the same rehab as previous weeks? ML:

Yes, he will.

Q: Anthony Collins was inactive yesterday; was he hurt?ML:

No, he wasn't hurt. I had Andrew Crummey up and active. Those were our 45 spots.

Q: Would you have handled the injuries on the line any differently if Collins had been available?ML:

We'd have done it the same way.

Q: Does it seem like a Steelers Week?ML:

It will, once we get going. We're still trying to get through yesterday. But for me, at least, yeah, it will once we get going. I had a chance to see the end of their game yesterday on TV. They're still playing well on defense, as you can tell, and they're doing the things on offense they need to do to win. They come up with the big drive and score to win the football game at the end. 

Q: How does the short week change your routine?ML:

It changes everything we do. It's hard to play an NFL game in seven days, let alone play a game in five, or four and a half, or whatever we have. It's very difficult. It's not a good turnaround for the players. It really is a difficult thing for the players.

Q: Do you basically have all walk-throughs during the short week?ML:

We cater how we practice to what we have and what time frame, and obviously we'll adjust a little bit more based on our health.

Q: It looks like you will face the Pittsburgh defense with either some banged-up linemen or some inexperienced linemen; do you have to change your game-plan to account for that?ML:

We have to make sure we do things that we feel good about to both run the football better than we've done, and obviously to throw the football. We'll have to make some adjustments. Some guys will have to step up and play. Some of our other players who are healthy have to play great. That's important, that they pick up the slack.

Q: After looking at the film of those eight sacks, was it a combination of things?ML:

It really was. It was a combination of things such as field position and not wanting to make the bad throw, and we got bumped off the protection. We got beat twice, and we had the fumbled snap which led to one. So there really was a combination of things. I think a couple of times Ryan (Fitzpatrick) pulled the ball down a little early and ran up in there, and it cost us a one-yard sack.

Q: When you punted the ball away near the end of overtime, did you think you would have an opportunity to get the ball back?ML:

Yeah, I felt we would get the ball back, as we did. I felt we would have an opportunity to get it back and we could pin them down. They had had a difficult time moving the football and I felt we'd have an opportunity to get it back. We still had the two timeouts left. In that situation, we would get it back with just two minutes to go, so that was a good thing. And we've been very good at our one-minute offense all season, with Carson, with Ryan, so I also felt confident in our ability to move the football in that situation.

Q: After watching the tape, on third-and-long when you run the ball with Kenny Watson, is that a situation where you're thinking about going for it on fourth down if you had picked up some yards there?ML:

Yes. The quarterback had the control of the play and he had the look where he was directed to run the football based on what he got from the defense. He (Fitzpatrick) put us in the play he thought we would be most productive and ran away from their blitz instead of trying to drop back and throw into their blitz. They blitzed off the other side and we ran the football away and did not pick up the yardage we needed. If we get a little closer, then I have a decision to make whether to punt it or not.

Q: What about the attempt of the fake punt to (John) Busing?ML:

I didn't see a fake punt. That was just Brad (St. Louis) direct snapping it to John after the play.

Q: So the look wasn't there?ML:

Was what there? No, we just got a delay of game on that punt unfortunately. We wanted to take it back five yards anyway before we punted it.

Q: Any changes you would like to see in the overtime procedure? ML:

I wouldn't want to see any changes, actually, because they played long enough yesterday. There is no need to play any longer. You risk too much injury, we obviously have to turn around with a short week and so, that's difficult.

Q: So you knew the rules of overtime?ML:

I did know the rules (laughs). I was involved in that. That's why when I saw Andy (Reid) calling timeouts there in order for him to get the ball back, I was shocked to find out that some of the players weren't sure. But I think our players were pretty sure about what was going to happen at the end of the overtime period.

Q: Chad said he didn't know:ML:

I'm sure he said he didn't know after somebody else said he didn't know. It made more news not knowing.

Q: Do you think a guy like Anthony Collins would have a tough time making his debut on the road against Pittsburgh?ML:

Well, guys make debuts all the time. There's no better debut than against the best, and I think they're still leading the league in defense. So, there's no better time to do it than the present. If Anthony's our guy come Thursday night, he'll be up and ready to go and excited about it. You can't pick and choose who you debut against. 

Q: You like what Anthony Collins has done in practice, right?ML:

What Anthony has done for us this year, I've been very impressed with. I took the liberty yesterday to have a backup center for the first time in a while, so that's why Anthony was inactive and (Andrew) Crummey was up.

Q: Do you regret not challenging the (Frostee) Rucker fumble return for a TD?ML:

I'm so glad I didn't. On the tape, you see his knee is down about a foot from the goal line.

Q: What went wrong after the Rucker fumble recovery? Why could you get the score?ML:

Well, we didn't execute on the first run and we didn't make it. Then second down was incomplete and third down was incomplete. We didn't score a touchdown and only got three points out of that.
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