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Marvin Lewis Press Conference


Opening comments: ML:
My thoughts didn't change much after watching the three phases of the game on video. Sometimes the execution of the offense was not where we needed it to be, and we played pretty well for most of the day on special teams. We allowed the kickoff after halftime to get outside of us and forge the return on which we lost leverage on Josh Cribbs.

Defensively, we had the neutral zone violations, which are something we have to get better on by lining up in proper position. We finished making plays in the coverage on their receivers. We settled down defensively after the first drive, and got back the right spots. We did a nice job filling the gaps on defensive. The first drive on defense was not very good. Offensively, we just have to make first downs. We are playing on such a short margin of error that it makes it very difficult.

Q: Why was there deception regarding Carson's status?ML:

There was no deception on Carson. The decision was made on Sunday morning. I talked with Carson at length Saturday evening and told him what I thought was the best thing for him, because at that point he was still adamant that he wanted to play. So there is no deception. The doctors expressed their concern to him on Thursday, as he told you and I told you.

Q: Is there an update on him?ML:

No, there is not an update on him.

Q: Is it still possible he could play Sunday?ML:

It's possible, yes.

Q: Chris Henry returns from suspension; will you have a one-week roster exemption?ML:

We'll find out about that.

Q: Do you know what you will do with him?ML:

He will practice this week (pending the roster exemption). Other than that, we'll have to wait and see. No change from what I told you last week about him.

Q: Can he help this team?ML:

If he's in football condition and learns what to do again, and to be on spot and be where he needs to be, then he can be productive.

Q: Is it the coaches, players or management who is responsible for 0-4? We (media) don't see a lot of wins when we pick up the schedule.ML:

You get to pick up the schedule and find wins? That's how it works? I don't think so. I think you've got to play and you've got to execute, and that's how you win football games.

Q: Last year Chris Henry was activated right away:ML:

It's a little different. Last year he was given the ability to practice with us for a couple weeks at the end of the suspension. So it's a completely different situation.

Q: When Carson practiced Wednesday and Thursday, was he having difficulty throwing?ML:

Actually, in his terms, he wasn't having much difficulty. But there were some things he wanted to do that he didn't feel very comfortable with. It was brought to our attention, and that's why the evaluations were done.

Q: So things he tried to do things and couldn't get them done?ML:

No, it wasn't that he wasn't able to get it done. He just didn't feel comfortable doing it.

Q: Is there a chance you shut him down for the season?ML:

No, I don't think so. That's why we held him out of the game, because with rest, this inflammation would go away, and he'd be fine.

Q: There have been rumors about Palmer needing surgery:ML:

Not true.

Q: Is it more the muscle than the ligament?ML:

No, it's inflammation inside the elbow. I'm not going to sit here and explain that, because I've been told not to.

Q: Will you have to watch him carefully in practice for the rest of the year?ML:

I don't think so. Can I repeat it one more time? Everybody get their microphones ready. With rest and the inflammation going away, this should not re-occur. That's what I've been told and what Carson has been told.

Q: Will he practice Wednesday?ML:

We'll see where he is on Wednesday before we go any further than Wednesday.

Q: With injuries to DeDe Dorsey and Kenny Watson, and with Chris Perry's having problems with fumbles; do you need help at running back?ML:

There is a possibility for us to add another running back, yes, because DeDe should be a few weeks, and we're not sure quite where Kenny will be this week.

Q: After watching Ryan Fitzpatrick on film, has it changed your thoughts on his performance?ML:

No, you've got to take care of the football. It's no different whether it's like you just mentioned with Chris, whether it's Ryan, Glenn Holt, whoever it may be, guys that handle the football. It's their responsibility to take care of the football in order to give us an opportunity to win the football game. If you don't take care of the football, bad things are going to happen to us, almost assuredly. As I said yesterday, I think in this situation Ryan tried to get a little bit too much done and was careless. I think, given an opportunity again, those things will disappear.

Q: What goes into challenging a call? Is there somebody upstairs advising you?ML:

Yes, there is. Most of the time. A lot of the times I can see it on the scoreboard, or I feel like I got a good view of it when it happened.

Q: Were you advised from upstairs on the call you challenged Sunday?ML:

No, I felt like I had a pretty good view of it, because I could see it on the screen. At home I have a little bit of an advantage; I get to see replays on the screen. That's an advantage you only have at home, because on the road you get no replay, on the field or in the booth. All the coaches get are stadium feeds. So if they don't show it in the stadium, the coaches never see it. ... You don't have the network feed in the coaches' booth.

Q: Everybody thought the defense would be a work in progress with Mike Zimmer (defensive coordinator) coming in this year and a lot of youth on that side of the ball. But how disappointed are you in this offense that is loaded with veterans? Can you lay them blame of this on the offense?ML:

You lay the blame wherever you think you need to lay it. We need to play better on offense, no doubt about it. We talked about the fact that some of these guys haven't been together, and I don't care what the issue is, you have to play together. Our receivers didn't have that opportunity, and now they have. With that said, they came out and did good things in the game. We weren't able to get them the ball as much as we would like to, and we have to do a better job of that. We have to do a better job in creating some offensive plays, plays that give us some chunk yardage.

Right now we aren't getting those things done, but we aren't going to abandon the ship. We played yesterday without Carson Palmer, and that makes a little difference to us. If Ryan Fitzpatrick is the guy as we go forward this week, we go into it a little differently. That's the way we'll have to approach it. More than likely, tonight and tomorrow, the coaches will have to prepare to play with Fitzpatrick and everybody has to understand that. There will be some things that we can do differently, right from the onset. But no doubt about it, the offense needs to do a better job of scoring points. We are not scoring points, not getting first downs and not doing well on third downs. That is part of the difference, because that puts the defense in a bind when they are playing their tails off. A lot of guys are doing really good things on defense. You look out there and see no more than two guys with more than five years experience.

Q: Are you going to create two game plans because if Carson (Palmer) can't go:ML:

No, we will not.

Q: What I'm talking about is adding additional packages. How about:ML:

We won't have to.

Q: How about snaps during the week? How many snaps do you give each guy?ML:

See, I opened up Pandora's Box here. We'll be fine. I'll stay up all night figuring it out.

Q: Is the offensive line the biggest disappointment?ML:

I'm disappointed in how we played physically, particularly in the running game, I think more than anything. I was disappointed with our outcome yesterday, and our finish. We've got to do a better job.

Q: Does that surprise you, because the guys on defense need experience, but the OL guys have been around a while?ML:

Again, I do believe there's a lot to be said for experience. But you've got to come out and do it together all the time. And you've got to block the looks together. You've got to finish the looks together. And you've just got to keep chiseling at it. And that's what we're going to do.

Q: The last sack (from Alex Hall), was he offsides?ML:

I'm not allowed to talk about the officials, you know that.

Q: Seems like you need something to spark yourselves offensively. Are (rookie WRs) Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell the guys to do it? Are they close to playing snaps?ML:

I think there are things that they can do. But we're having a problem right now getting the ball to the eight-year receivers. There's a lot to go through other than just putting them out there, because they've got to see the adjustments and the routes and so forth. We're working very hard with those young guys to keep them in tune with what we're doing, keep them immersed in the plan and give them as much opportunity as they can get. So that if something happens or they get more opportunity, they'll be ready to go and do that. We're trying keep them moving along and keep them very close to us in everything we do. We want to keep them understanding it so that they have opportunity.

Q: T.J. said he felt like it was the first year of the offense:ML:

I'm not going to chime in on their comments.

Q: Are Simpson and Caldwell close to playing 10-12 snaps?ML:

That would be kind of hard since probably they both can't suit up in one game right now.

Q: Is it the same with (rookie DTs) Jason Shirley and Pat Sims?ML:

Jason is a ways, ways away, and there was no intention that he would have to play football for us this year. It was envisioned that he would be a project-type player. Pat Sims is doing things pretty well. Given an opportunity, I think there's some opportunity he'll have an opportunity to play here at some point this year. Yesterday, I thought the guys on the defensive line rotation did a pretty good job. The guys that are feeling the heat, and know this guy's chomping at their heels, showed up and made some plays.
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