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Marvin Lewis Press Conference


Opening comments:ML:
We made the roster moves that we needed to make to get down to 53 players. When the league cuts come across this evening, we'll look to see if there are any other additions or subtractions that we can make to improve our This is where we are right now headed into the Kansas City game.

Did special teams, as in past years, drive some of the decisions?ML:

It's important that, for the non-starting players, we have the best guys there, guys who have produced and made plays in special teams all the time. If you give up an explosive play on special teams, that's likely to get you beat as much as offense or defense. 

What was the thinking as far as keeping only two tight ends?ML:

We kept the best 53 players. 

Going heavy at linebacker seemed to be a nod to special teams:ML:

There's no set number for guys that you keep. If you look around the league, some keep four tight ends, some keep two. Some keep six linebackers, some keep nine. We have to judge our football team for what's best for us today. 

Did Quincy Wilson make the team with his performance last night?ML:

No. Not necessarily. Quincy's had a strong preseason. He's really been one of the guys who have done better on special teams. I think him being around here for as long as he has helps him understand the value of special teams. He really helped himself there. If he's a guy we suit up on Sunday, he could provide us with some good, quality snaps in the special teams area, as well as running back. 

How tough was it to make these cuts?ML:

It's difficult. It always is. We had some very close calls. It's not easy for those guys to hear, but it is part of this. Hopefully some of them will get signed back to our practice squad tomorrow. They can continue their NFL career here in Cincinnati. These guys have fought their tails off and have worked very hard for us. 

Ethan Kilmer seems to be another one that was driven by special teams:ML:

He was drafted to fill a certain role. He has come in here and just been outstanding. He has not disappointed. He's been consistent all the way through. 

Are you hoping that Reggie McNeal will pass through waivers and get signed to the practice squad?ML:

Yes. He got injured which set him back at wide receiver. If he's back that will give us an opportunity to develop him, and that's what he's been told. 

Was Reggie up against a brick wall in terms of switching positions?ML:

Not necessarily. Everyone is against that brick wall, but there is no ceiling on that wall. He's done well. Maybe three days ago we would have kept seven receivers, but at this point we didn't. Unfortunately, Reggie is on that list today.

If Carson hadn't injured his knee, was there a possibility of keeping only two quarterbacks and using Reggie in case of emergency?ML:

That's something we would have considered. 

Was Ben Wilkerson one of those very close calls?ML:

I don't want to get into each and every guy that way. It's not fair to the guys. 

Moving on to the Chiefs next week:ML:

It's exciting. We're excited as a football team to get through this training camp and preseason. I put a slide up to show the players how much we've been through. There are a lot of positives. 

What about the receivers, with Antonio Chatman and Bennie Brazell being hurt? It seems like Kelley Washington has nine lives:ML:

Kelley's been a productive guy. We always say the same thing about Kelley but you guys (are skeptical). He keeps doing well. He's really raised the level of what we expect out of him on special teams. He understands that and he's been productive. Every time he gets an opportunity, he plays good football for us. 

Is there any concern with Carson's conditioning and playing a whole game?ML:

I don't think so. Every team is concerned with all their guys the first game. We're going to blow those pipes out with all 45 guys who suit up that day. Everyone goes through that, the anxiety, the anxiousness. All 45 players and all the coaches experience that before the first game. It's different. We've got to ratchet it up. Our guys are in excellent condition. I'll put our guys against any other team when it's time to answer the bell on opening day and who's the team that's in the best shape.

There seems to be some stability with the core guys:ML:
Obviously we return a lot of starting players. The guys we've acquired, through free agency or the draft, are developing in our way and our style. There's a comfort level. Our guys know what is expected out of them and how to prepare, practice and compete. They know when it gets to hot, they've got to do things the right way.

Do the Chiefs have a different complexion with Herm Edwards as head coach?ML:

Slightly, but not much. Herm played for Dick Vermeil, so there is some familiarity. Some of Herm's style was probably taken from Dick Vermeil. We won't notice a difference in the first game. You might see it down the line that there's a difference. I don't think we'll worry about it as we prepare. 

Because of what Larry Johnson did last year, is that why you got Dexter Jackson and Sam Adams?ML:

We acquired Dexter and Sam to make us a better football team. They get the first opportunity this week to prove that, which is fun. We know Larry Johnson is a fine football player and they are a fine offensive football team. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league. It's a talented group across the board so we've got a challenge ahead of us. Their defense plays very well, very physical, aggressive. They've got one of the best special teams in the league so it's going to be a challenge.

What do you expect from Rudi Johnson as far as comparisons to last year?ML:

I don't know how you compare Rudi from year to year. He has just been the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going. Obviously this year in preseason, I didn't feel the need for Rudi to touch the ball as much as he has a year ago or two years ago. He doesn't have the time on the field as he normally would. We want to keep him fresh and healthy. We know what Rudi Johnson can do and now we get to see him at full speed. 

Is Rudi going to get more carries with Carson Palmer coming back from the knee injury?ML:

I don't think he'll be any different. I don't think we are trying to take heat off Carson; we are trying to win football games.   
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