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Marvin Lewis Press Conference


Injury report:ML:
Chris Perry had his surgery today on his lower leg this morning. He had a fibula fracture. Bobbie Williams will still be out this week. Levi Jones also looks to be out. John Thornton was really the only injury we sustained yesterday. Right now we'd list him as doubtful. John actually hurt himself in pregame.

Q: What did John Thornton injure?ML:

It's a knee.

Q: Where would you list Richie Braham at this point?ML:

Richie will be questionable along with Deltha O'Neal, Brian Simmons and Tony Stewart. Tony had a contusion; a bruise of the kidney. Everything has cleared up. Kelley Washington also will be questionable. Other than that, everyone else will be probable. Keiwan Ratliff came through the game without any incident, so he will be good to go. 

Q: Thoughts on Ravens game:ML:

Obviously it's a short turnaround. Our focus immediately shifts to the Ravens. They're playing very good football. They played very fine yesterday in shutting out the Steelers. They seemed to be playing with twelve a few times. They ran the football effectively, threw the football effectively and converted third downs and won the football game.

Q: You have to make a decision on Jonathan Fanene this week:ML:

This week. By Tuesday.

Q: How long have you been planning for this game?ML:

I planned for it before the season and during the bye week. Over the last three weeks, we've been planning for this as coaches. We began to adjust the things we do and how we do it. These guys are creatures of habit, so they adjust better when they know how things are going to adjust on them. With the Thanksgiving holiday, that was an adjustment. And this game this week is another adjustment. Then we come back for the Monday Night game where we have a longer week. As long as we continue to do that, I think they are ready for it. They are existing outside of here a little more calmly, which makes their lives here easier. 

Q: What is the hardest part on a player during the short week? Is it not having enough time to recover physically?ML:

That can be it. You've got to let your body rest. Last night needed to be a rest night. Obviously we want to get the blood flowing back through the body today to get the aches and pains out. It's important so we can have a spirited day tomorrow. 

Q: Was today just a lift-and-run session, or did you guys have any organized practice?ML:

We'll have organized work today. Today was Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday all in one. 

Q: Thoughts on Rich Braham coming back for Eric Ghiaciuc:ML:

When Rich has an opportunity to come back and play, he has to prove he's ready to do that. Otherwise we stay status quo.

Q: The best thing would to take Rich's knowledge, and put it in Eric's body:ML:

I think Eric has already displayed that. At this point there is nothing new.  

Q: Do you see the offensive line meshing now, and really starting to come together?ML:

It's a continual process. Every week provides a new challenge. They might have taken it for granted, but it really wouldn't have been any different. Each opponent gives us a different challenge and a different look. Some of them had to get out of their comfort zone a little bit, which is maybe what Willie Anderson was referring to. He's had to get out of his comfort zone. He's had to step up and he's been a great leader for the entire football team. He's taken more responsibility on himself. This is important to him and he's stepped to the table that way. 

Q: Could you see Glenn Holt get more of an opportunity at kickoff return?ML:


Q: Does it come down to him and Reggie McNeal as the two candidates?ML:

We've got some other guys, but we'll see on Thursday night.

Q: What does a shutout mean for a defense that has gone through what this defense has?ML:

The same thing the offense went through, when they couldn't score for three or four weeks in a row and you were questioning them. You come back and get ready to play the next week. It doesn't amount for anything this week. Its over. 

Q: In your mind, how important is Thursday night?ML:

Very important. Is that a big enough answer for you?

Q: Is there concern that the teams won't be at their best following a short week?ML:

The teams will be the same. Every week we line up and play football. That doesn't matter in the NFL. You play with the best team you can put out there.  That's the way it goes. There are no qualifiers.

Q: It would seem like it would be better for the players if a Thursday game came following a bye week:ML:

You can write your NFL commissioner. 

Q: Are you surprised by the Ravens' success?ML:

I think what they've done is what you like to do as a football team -- win all the ones you're supposed to win. They've kept themselves in position to win games, and they've found ways to win football games. Obviously they are good. Steve McNair has given them calmness on offense, and even when the situation seems a little bleak, he's been able to keep the game in check until they had an opportunity to win the game. They do what good football teams do: You hang in there until you can win the game. Where we've lost some of those games, they've won them, and that's a big difference in your season.

Q: It seems they play the same as when you won a Super Bowl with them, great defense and special teams, and no mistakes on offense:ML:

Again, that's a long time ago. I don't even remember that. They're this year's version of the Baltimore Ravens, and we play them on Thursday night. The crowd will be excited and loud, and it will be a fun night.

Q: How much does Brian Billick deserve credit for going 5-0 with him calling plays?ML:

You'll have to ask Brian when you guys talk to him. He ought to take all the credit, right, the way they were beating him up? You didn't notice me calling defenses last week? Just kidding there.

Q: Have you noticed any differences since Billick's been calling plays?ML:

They're undefeated, I have noticed. I think there are some things he wants to get done, and they've been very good at it. They're precise, and I think obviously when you have that kind of run like they've had, the players begin to believe and then, as a coach, you get those guru titles.

Q: Caleb Miller has been starting the last couple of weeks:ML:

We've got to play better. We thought Caleb gave us an opportunity to do that, and he's done a good job. He's filling his role and carrying out his assignments.

Q: Thoughts on Kevin Kaesviharn:ML:

Maybe he should bat that fourth-down interception down there, but it was a good play to get up and get the ball before the half. It's tough to tell these guys in the NFL not to pick those balls off, but you really want to bat that one down and have the ball down there at that point, depending upon the situation in the game. Which is just a coaching point we get to remind our guys of. But Kevin has done well. I thought our three safeties, which now we're kind of sharing the roles, did a nice job. I thought Dexter Jackson came back and played well after missing last week, and I think Madieu Williams is kind of settling in a little better and I thought had one of his better games at communication and doing things the way we need him to do. And we've just got to keep playing.

Q: Did Tory James prove he has a little bit of gas left?ML:

We've never doubted what Tory can do. He's just got to do it.

Q: Are you pleased with the special teams play?ML:

We've got to play better. I thought we could do some things a lot better on kickoff coverage. It was not Kyle Larson's best day punting the football. We let one get way away from us, and we've got to do a better job. So just keep working at it and keep getting better.

Q: The first two turnovers versus the Ravens dictated the first matchup:ML:

You don't want to get behind like that. They do a nice job of converting those takeaways into offensive plays. They've got guys that are athletic, who have fun with it and like to run with that football. I saw Adalius Thomas was pulling away from folks yesterday. So they can do those things. But yeah, we've got to take care of the football. That's important. These games are generally close games, and those can make a difference.
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