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Marvin Lewis Press Conference


Opening comments:ML:
We'll get started with the injury report. Right now, the guy that probably won't play this week would be Antonio Chatman. Obviously, that's always subject to change. These other guys will be listed as probable - Sam Adams, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Levi Jones and Deltha O'Neal. Levi sprained an ankle again in the game a little bit, so that's his injury and the rest are the same things they've had.

Q: What was your reaction to Chris Henry's guilty plea? ML:

I think Jack (Brennan) released that and we'll stand by it, what we said yesterday.

Q: Romeo Crennel said it could be a minefield game against the Browns for the Bengals, who had an emotional game last week and might be looking ahead to the Steelers next week:ML:

Is that right? I don't think our guys will buy into that. This is an important game. It's our home opener. Our fans will be excited. And we're approaching it like that. It's the home opener. It's a division game. That's a very important game to us. So I don't know if our guys know who we play next week. The important thing right now is the Cleveland Browns.

Q: You guys handled that surge of excitement in the stadium at Kansas City. Is that tougher to do at home or on the road?ML:

I think on the road. It was their first time playing with a new coach, and so forth. It's a little different. We went through that here with the Broncos, in my first game in 2003 (at home). We just didn't handle it very well. Since then, we've learned to handle it a little better. We've had one at home. We had one on the road. We didn't handle the opener on the road very well, either, in the second year. So we've been through those. And I think it makes a difference.

Q: But you still have to handle it here, right?ML:

Oh, yeah. Guys are going to be excited. It's going to be fun. We've got to make sure we stay poised and stay focused and keep our eye on our target - very similar to what we did last year when we played Minnesota here. We can  we run around and beat our chest, but that's not going to make any football plays.

Q: The last three years Cleveland has come here, they've given you fits:ML:

They have. But every time you play a team in the NFL, they cause you fits.

Q: I don't know if it's the rivalry, but some teams just give you grief. The one year they knocked you out of the playoffs (2003):ML:
I appreciate the thought, but I feel like we're in a battle every time we step on the field in the NFL. So I don't know that it's any different. The Browns have a good team. They're going to come down here ready to play football. They want to win, just like we want to win.

Q: The offense was conservative at Kansas City. Was it a reflection of the conditions or do you have more faith in your defense?ML:

Well, once we have a lead in a football game, and are controlling things that way ... and then the rain came, so we're not going to be foolish. It was a situation in the game where they were going to have to beat us. We had put the game in pretty good shape. So it's important that we manage the football game correctly. Sometimes you've got to do that. We haven't had many of those like that. But that was good.

Q: But you have confidence in the defense?ML:

The same confidence I had in (it) last year.

Q: When you have an offense with so many weapons, is it important for the offense to have patience?ML:

It's always important that we stay patient and don't try to get ahead of ourselves, and I continually say that. We're only going to score one touchdown on any one play. So we're going to have to play one play at a time. I think it's important for our guys to understand that. Don't get frustrated. Don't flinch. Just keep playing. And pretty soon you'll knock a hole in people. If you do things the right way, you wear them down. You just have to keep playing. Sometimes they're going to make some plays. They've got guys over there that are paid as well. And it's important that we do that all the time. That's always something we make sure we're well aware of. 

Q: Rashad Jeanty did not play like a rookie. What's the deal with the rookie from the Edmonton Eskimos?ML:

Everything you tell him, he really takes to heart. He's very conscientious at that, and understands. This was a big opportunity for him. I can remember trying to convince him to sign the contract with us. After I worked him out here at the stadium, and he went back home, he was getting pressure from a couple different areas. It would've been easier to stay home and been with the local team (Miami Dolphins), but we convinced him to come. And I reminded him of that the other day---some of the points he kept asking, trying to understand a little better and how trivial they were particularly now that he had to trust in me. With what I had experienced on the field with him, I thought that we could work with him. That helps him as well. That's why he's so committed and plays so hard.

Q: How about Robert Geathers, now playing as a situational guy?ML:

Robert has played well for two years. Again, he's in a different role this year. He started last year. And I think there's no question he wants to play more. He wants to be a starter. I hope the competition brings out the best in all of our guys and in his role, he's doing great. He's coming in as a sub rusher and he's spelling the guys, and rotating in at end. We're fortunate right now to have quite a few guys that we consider starting players.

Q: How about Johnathan Joseph?ML:

I thought Johnathan played well. There are some things he has to do a little better. But again, I've said that the game's not too big for him. And he continues to perform as we hoped he would.

Q: What are your impressions of Charlie Frye, Kellen Winslow and Cleveland's offense?ML:

Kellen is a fine athlete, and can run. For a guy that plays that position, he's almost like a wideout. They do a lot of different things with him, very similar to what we see from Baltimore with Todd Heap. He's one of their threats in the passing game. They try to get the ball in his hands. And Charlie Frye has done a fine job, which he did last year against us, in moving around. When you get pressure on him, he's able to move and make plays with his feet whether he runs for a first down, or throws, and that's what he's been doing.  He's done a fine job with that.

Q: What are your thoughts on Reuben Droughns?ML:

Reuben Droughns is a runner that gets his shoulders pointed down the field toward the goal line as quick as he can. He really has the ability to cut and wind the football back, which is a lot of what they try to set up in their offense. He does a nice job of it.

Q: Is this game really important to Mike Brown considering his father's importance in both franchises?ML:

He likes beating the Cleveland Browns. We all do. It's important game for us. It always is and always will be as long as we're in this division as well. I know he wants to beat the Cleveland Browns all the time.
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