Marvin Lewis News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
August 9, 2014
After reviewing the tape of the game?
* *"Well, we went in there with basically four new offensive linemen, and I felt good about how they performed. Obviously there's a lot of things to correct and do better, but they did a pretty good job against a pretty good defensive front. We're pleased with that, and pleased with play of some of the defensive guys, the young guys that got a chance to play last year. They continued to take steps forward, and that's important.
"For the first time out there I think the most guys played was about 27, 28 plays. They got a chance to see about half of a normal game as far as repetitions, and some guys hadn't been used to playing that much. They got a chance to check the conditioning meter a little bit, being out there with the anxiety of the first game and all that.
"Guys know that some of them have to address their conditioning level a little bit. Maybe they're not getting as many reps in practice, and then they got to the game and they got more than they had been getting in practice. Our draft picks got a chance and I was pleased, and obviously pleased with some of the undrafted free agent players and what they did. All in all, for a preseason football game, we got exposure to so many players and we got some situations, different things done, things to coach off of and make correction off of, which is very good."
On special teams when you give up some big returns, is it helpful for Darrin Simmons to say "This little thing here is the type of stuff to correct?"
* "*Yes, it is. It's helpful to point things out to guys who maybe weren't in those roles and now have an opportunity to be in that situation. We've got to get the ball where we want on the punt and get the angle we're looking for. The rest of the team has got to finish the play. They had a long kickoff return, and we got a penalty on our long return, so there's a lot of correction we need to make and go forward from."
Depending on Jason Campbell's availability, will you have to bring in another quarterback?
* *"We're going to bring another quarterback in, yes. But we'll see how Jason is. He's going to rest today. He should be fine to get back to work next week, but we will bring a quarterback in, so we don't have to rush him if he's still sore. He's got some sort of a bruise. We'll go from there."
The red zone is always something you want to take a look at. You guys handled things in the red zone pretty effectively...
* *"If you look at football year in and year out, we know turnovers, the turnover margin, third down and red zone are such key elements. Then after that, you go to explosive plays. You've got to win those areas of football, and we won some and we lost some. That's the key to winning football all the time. We've done a good job. Our red zone practice has been efficient. We've got a little longer in between Thursday night and this Saturday so we've got some time today and then practice next week to go back and do some things in the red zone and continue.
"I think the quarterbacks and everybody on the team understands the urgency of those areas. We had a sudden change situation on offense, and we were able to respond very well to score. We had a sudden change situation on defense with the kick return, and we were able to hold it to three. Those things were also positives."
It was your first chance to see Matt Scott in a game situation. What were your impressions of him?
"You've got to be impressed with what he did. I thought he was composed and in there at the end of the game that last minute with a lot of stuff going on (laughs). He stayed composed. I think he taught he whole football team a very valuable lesson of a guy busting his tail to make a football team. If it's not this team, it's another team.
"When you get an opportunity to go out there, you've got to play your tail off, play your very best football every chance you get, because that earns the next opportunity. I think he proved that. Just the way he carries himself around the building since the day we brought him in here, I have been impressed with Matt. He didn't disappoint me."
Was the problem at the end (Scott vomiting briefly before taking a shotgun snap) a combination of anxiety, conditioning, everything?
"You know that. That's a spent man. He literally is leaving everything out there."
Have you ever seen that?
"We see it every week. We see it quite often. Maybe you (media) don't get quite a chance to see it as much, but we see it quite often. It's part of it. The guy had to compose himself. I don't know if I've seen that very often from a quarterback, but I do remember one somewhere. The guy is handling it, and there's a lot going on."
How did you feel about Russell Bodine's debut at center?
"It wasn't too big for him. He and (rookie guard) Trey Hopkins, their first exposure to NFL football it wasn't too big for them. They will do nothing but continue to grow and move forward."
Paul Alexander said Bodine always knew his mistakes. Is the biggest thing you are looking for that understanding?
"That's a key element to playing football at this level, the understanding of what is going on and being able to make revision and correction moving to the next series. Being able to talk to the coaches and see, 'Hey, this is how they are playing me. This look they are playing me this way, and this look I'm getting this.' If you can communicate those things on the sideline, smart players make you a better football team."
Did any young guys stand out defensively?
"I was pleased with Brandon Thompson continuing on with his development. Also Margus Hunt. A Christo Bilukidi, who didn't get to play a lot last year. He did some good things in there. Will Clarke handled himself very, very well. Will has continued to impress.
"At linebacker, I thought Marquis Flowers did a nice job, after basically only one week of work. He missed the last week or so of offseason, too, maybe two weeks, and he missed the first week of training camp. He's got some things to learn and understand. In the fourth quarter, he handled the huddle and did all that. I was impressed with how some of these guys handle themselves."
Thompson has been getting more reps and becoming more of a factor...
"If I were Brandon Thompson, I would think of myself as a starting player and keep going forward that way. Geno (Atkins) will be back, and we'll have a good three player or four-player rotation in there when it comes to Sundays. Right now, Brandon needs to keep seizing the moment. He continues to grow with it. He played the last part of last season on a very, very sore ankle. That's showing no signs of anything now after having it cleaned out. He's doing a good job."
Did Darqueze Dennard perform the way you expected?
"He did. We know it's not going to be too big for him. He's such a bright light in everything we are doing, and he is going to be an important part of the football team."