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Marvin Lewis Press Conference Transcript - 11/1


Initial comments:** ML: "The thing I'm disappointed in is that we had a game last evening in which we failed to make enough plays at the critical moments to put ourselves ahead and close the game out. We dropped some balls offensively that were critical. Early in the game, defensively against the run, we weren't very good. We settled down and played pretty well on defense. I thought we played really good on third down. We had numerous third-and-short situations defensively that we played very well and got off the field on. We have to continue to build forward. Offensively, we go up and down the field until we hurt ourselves. So we have to keep working at that and getting better. On special teams, again we keep taking positive steps. So we have a lot of positive things to build upon. The disappointing thing is that we lose a game like that. We fought back but just left the other team to hang around and beat us."

Any update on Geno Atkins this morning?
ML: "I don't have anything further. He was going to get an MRI this morning and see exactly where things were. But I don't know anything else."
(Later in the day, Lewis said the team's medical staff had confirmed that Atkins has a torn ACL in his right knee and will be out for the remainder of the season.)

How do you feel Brandon Thompson played when he came in for Geno?
ML: "Brandon plays all the time (in the line rotation).He doesn't necessarily play for Geno. He was going to come in anyway. He did OK. Did some things that are good, did some things that we need to improve on, everybody does. We didn't play very well upfront on the defensive line yesterday. We need to play better. We didn't get off to a good start when Geno was in there, and we didn't play very well until the second half of the game."

Was the safety on Andy Dalton the right call?
ML: "Not from my viewpoint, still. But again, I didn't see TV. Hopefully they had a better look than what I've seen on it. In my opinion, it isn't (a safety). But my opinion really doesn't matter. The call was made and they stuck to it. Andy's feet aren't in the end zone, so for the ball to be behind his feet, it would be kind of an awkward position. So that's the only thing I can see, because his feet aren't in the end zone when he's contacted, nor are they on the white line."

Do you think the Mike Hartline catch at the end should have been a booth review?
ML: "I think he dragged his feet. On the catch on the sideline? He dragged his feet."

How do you think the running game did?
ML: "We faced a lot of different pressures, a lot of guys moving around zigging and zagging, and we blocked and had some good creative, good runs up in there. Both from Bennie (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) and Gio (Giovani Bernard). Then we had some minus plays which you're going to have, or some no-gains. That's something that we saw more of than we expected, so we have to continue to work and be more consistent at it. Obviously, Gio created a run that was a big, huge play in the game. We get out, and our athleticism in the open field kind of shows, so we have to keep highlighting that, putting ourselves in those situations."

The block from Andy Dalton helped spring him:
ML: "Also Jermaine Gresham and the receivers. Gio did the rest."

Do you think Gio (who later was sidelined with a rib injury) will miss an extended period of time?
ML: "No. I was told he would not."

With all of the injuries, does the draft class from last year have to step up?
ML: "Yes. (DT Devon Still) is well on his way to progressing back. Brandon (Thompson), as you said. And (Domata) Peko continues to do good things and is a great leader for those guys up front. But between Robert (injured DE Robert Geathers) and Geno, we've lost two of the guys up front we counted on for a lot. Wallace Gilberry continues to play through injury. He answered the bell last night and did good things. Michael (Johnson) and Carlos (Dunlap) have to keep being consistent and be dominating in games."

You had some big injuries in 2008 and 2010. Is this the worst you've been devastated by injury?
ML: "I don't know. I know we lost some guys in those seasons, but I think the good thing is we have a lot of good players, and guys have to rise up, step up and go. We've got to do other great things. We can score a lot of points if we need to and we can play great defense if we need to, so we need to keep doing it. We have to be just as consistent on special teams."

The offense pretty much did everything but hold on to the ball. They moved it but couldn't finish:
ML: "Yes, we've got to get more touchdowns. We had opportunities for more touchdowns, and we had a 14-point turnaround at one point. We give up the interception before halftime and that's another three points. We put ourselves in some precarious situations yesterday. We didn't help our cause much. That's NFL football."

Did you feel in overtime that it was better to play field position rather than kick the field goal and risk missing it?
ML: "It's the same situation we had in Buffalo, wasn't it? I don't think you guys ask that question if we win the game. It's good though, you always keep it in your pocket just in case. I don't see many 58-yard field goals going through the uprights very often. Earlier in the game, the wind was a little stronger. Later in the game the wind was different. You could tell by the depths of the kickoffs as the game went on."

The wind changed from the fourth quarter to overtime?
ML: "It doesn't change. I said the wind was a little stronger at points in the game. It was still the same direction basically. We didn't kick a 58-yarder in the fourth quarter, did we? It's a big difference, 58 and 53."

One of the biggest plays of the game was Jermaine Gresham's holding:
ML: "Or lack of hold. By definition of the rule, there's no restriction. The guy spins out of the block and Jermaine lets him go. That's the way it should be called. We've got flags flying. We've just got to keep working and it'll turn back in our direction, in our favor. I can't fault Jermaine for that. He's got his hands on the guy. He's shoving the guy. The guy spins. He lets him go. And Marvin (Jones) runs around it. We just have to keep going. One play doesn't affect it. There were a lot of plays that affected the football game, as we know.

Thoughts on how Vinny Rey played?
ML: "I thought Vinny did a pretty good job. I was pleased with Vinny. There's obviously things that the front didn't help any with early in the game, but he was able to keep his focus and just keep playing. He was able to step up and make plays when he needed to. I thought he did a good job in coverage. I thought he was in the right spots run-wise. He missed the one tackle on what happened to be their long run, but we've got to get the ball turned back and make it easier for him. We had a lot of other guys that didn't play that real good at the point. It's obviously a great hustle play by Carlos to strip the football from the runner."

Are you alright with the depth on the defensive line?
ML: "If Geno is out, obviously we've lost another person. We really didn't replace Robert. We came in heavy, and now we'll be thin. We'll have to look at some kind of adjustment."

Any possibility for Devon Still to play in Baltimore?
ML: "I don't know. I haven't checked in this morning with how things are. His biggest issue he had was some swelling. They've gotten the swelling out pretty good last week, so hopefully he's a quick healer. We've got nine days until we have to play, so we'll see."

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