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Marvin Lewis Press Conference


Opening comments: ML:
As far as injuries go, we seemed to come out of the game pretty clean. And with another week, a couple of guys who missed last week, Ben Utecht and Dexter Jackson, have the opportunity to be closer to playing this week. We'll be able to see how they are come Wednesday. The health of the team continues to improve, and that's a good thing.

After watching the game on tape, I'll just say that in all three areas, we need to continue to sharpen our edges, get things finished. We have to look at the detail of a couple of things. The issue we had with the sacks (six allowed), we could spread that out over the group; each area had a hand in it or some play in it. We need to continue to be sharper in those areas with everybody being on the same page.

Defensively, it's just finishing things out at the end. We got a little antsy at times, trying to do a little too much, each player trying to make that one play that would maybe turn the game. We need to stay disciplined and stay in our responsibilities.

We have to make some plays. On a couple of drives, we could have ended up winning the game by making just one more third-down stop and getting the ball back for the offense. I thought both groups did a better job on third down. The defense had a great start to the day and didn't finish as well as they had started.

In the kicking game, we continue to be very close on returns. We allowed a punt return to squirt up there through us. We have to do a better job at leverage.

Q: Is it frustrating, with a veteran offense, when you have to call early timeouts?ML:

We had a problem with the (helmet) communicator. Carson couldn't hear the play, and I'd rather not take the delay of game there. I guess they have frequency problems there in New York. It became an issue and happened early. The league was aware there was a problem, and it bit us in the butt early in the game. And so we had to get that resolved. There were a couple of plays early in the game where he couldn't hear.

Q: Even with that, it's been reported you lead the league in delay of game penalties:ML:

I don't know. How many do we have? Two? Probably. It's all I can remember. If we're going to come up with stats let's be accurate and let's see what they are. That way I can answer your question better. I can't answer a nebulous question.

Q: You have talked about the timing with the receivers and Carson (Palmer). Did you see any progress there? ML:

We were much sharper in a lot of areas in the passing game. We still have to work it and make sure we're being exact. We have to give Carson the opportunity to deliver the ball where he thinks it ought to be delivered, and make sure we're always in the right spots with everyone. We have to have another great week of preparation and practice. Whatever's in the game plan, we have to go out and execute it as well or even better. Better than we did last week.

Q: The timeout you had to use for the frequency problem in the second half would have been handy on the last drive:ML:

A little bit handy, yes. We started that drive with 1:40 and two timeouts. Having three would have made a little bit of a difference. And then we used one later on in the second half when Carson couldn't hear (one each half).

Q: The play with T.J. Houshmandzadeh on last regulation drive ... he couldn't get a first down, and then you couldn't spike it because it was third and one ... that was huge. But looking back, do you think you should have taken a shot in the end zone?ML:

Carson has to deliver the ball to the open part of the coverage. He's not going to throw the ball in the end zone and risk an interception. I don't know that there was no way. But the play call that he made, he put the ball in the right spot, and Antonio (Chatman) comes very close to making the guy miss and scoring. That's all you can do. At that point, where you are on the field, your chances of getting five guys in the end zone, and, as you say, take that shot, are difficult to do without risking the sack and throwing you out of field goal range.

Q: Carson said the pass play to Chatman was originally supposed to be a spike?ML:

It was not supposed to be a spike. I'm telling him what to do. He anticipated we would spike the ball, but I was telling him to go, which we did. We want to make sure he is always thinking 'go' until we tell him not to, or I call time out. That way his mind is always clear that his job is to continue to progress the football down the field, and I'll control him from there.

Q: Another good day for Chris Perry?ML:

As we continue to get the right hats on the right guys, and Chris continues to have the time back getting used to carrying the football and receiving the football, he's going to be more productive. He's shown some of the explosiveness to run away from guys, explosiveness that we know he has. All it's going to do is give him more confidence. He had the touchdown run against the zero blitz, and the more he can do that, the better off he is going to be. I think it gives our guys more confidence that if they get on the right guy downfield on the perimeter and block them, that Chris can make something big happen. It has happened twice now.

Q: Your defense has only one sack through three games:ML:

We want it to be better. We need to get more pressure. We got a lot of pressure yesterday but weren't able to get him on the ground. He delivered the ball early or threw it away. He threw some balls where they weren't. We need to be better in the four-man rush stuff, no question about it.

Q: What did you see from the two young corners, when you went back and looked at the game tape?ML:

They did some good things, and there are some things that we need to do better. Leon played good football out there, but we need to keep improving. 

Q: On the third-and-14 play where you give up the first down, was that an experience problem?ML:

Yeah, we can't give up a third-and-fourteen play like that. But it's not an experience thing, it's a physical thing. You get to your outside leverage and finish the down.

Q: Chad had limited catches again yesterday. Is that coverage?ML:

He had a couple of chances where the ball went off his hands, so that would be five catches. Still, they played their coverage rolled to him for the most part. He has to keep doing what he was doing. That's probably as well as I've seen him handle that kind of situation in a while without getting frustrated. He kept playing and playing, and when there were opportunities, he was right where he needed to be. He has to keep working at it. There were a couple other opportunities where the ball was in his direction, and we have to do a better job making sure we are executing the way we need to be.

Q: It had to be good to see Antonio (Chatman) take advantage of it when they were rolling to cover Chad and doubling T.J.:ML:

I didn't see those doubles and other things you're seeing, but we did get some open spots for Antonio and T.J., from the roll and some of the pressure. With some of the roll pressure that they executed, we were able to shake some of the guys free and that's good. Both he and T.J. ran well once they had the ball in their hands.

Q: Would you look at this game (at Giants) as a confidence builder, despite the loss, with the way you played?ML:

The confidence comes from doing things right. Those are the things that you're always telling somebody. You get on that bike, and if you pedal and stay on the mid-line, you won't fall over. If you don't pedal fast enough, you'll fall over. It's like anything else, if you do the things the right way and stick with your assignment, good things are probably going to happen. If you don't do the thing the right way, you're going to crash and burn.  So you just have to keep working hard at it. We did some good things in some areas, and there are some things we need to tighten.

Q: Have you had a chance to look at the Browns on tape yet this week?ML:

I have not. But I know it's the big game and we can talk about that. It's a divisional and rival game for us. Our fans will be here and be loud. We need to have a better output than the Tennessee game, from us playing and everybody in the stands. It should be a hard day and a loud day for the Cleveland Browns to try to communicate, just like we've had on the road for the past two weeks. I think that's the key. It's the Battle of Ohio, the southern version this week.

Q: With that said, that was a tough thing. The offense got backed up particularly early and with the crowd noise:ML:

It's noisy and like I said we had a problem with the communicator and that's hard from him (Palmer) to deal with. When we got down on the play clock we couldn't signal the play in, so it was a combination of both. The best thing was us not being unnerved and calling a timeout. If you remember that play I took the timeout early when I saw that things weren't going to come out right. It was critical that we didn't have another bad play after the way we started the game. 

Q: Did you have two problems communicating?ML:

More than that, but those are the one that were more relevant. Sometimes you're able to get through it because we have the opportunity to signal the play in from the sidelines. There has been some issues with those things and the frequencies in New York, at least that's what I've been told. We'll try to address it better when we go back up there and play the Jets.

Q: Was there one each half?ML:

More than that.
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