Opening comments: ML: "Going forward to Buffalo, we're looking forward to having an opportunity to play another team on the road. They're a team with a new coaching staff, and some things are a little different on offense and defense. They're making the transition from a 4-3 front to a 3-4 base front. They've got great speed on the perimeter offensively, very good speed at wide receiver. With the addition of (C.J.) Spiller in the backfield, there's another guy with great perimeter speed, so it'll be a very good challenge for our defense Defensively, it's a group that did a nice job last year getting some turnovers. They're making the transition to a 3-4 under George Edwards, who's the coordinator that I worked with in Washington, so they're getting their feet wet that way.
"Last week against Indianapolis, playing against the three-wide (receiver) sets all that time, they didn't get as much in their base defense as probably they'd like. But I think they've got some guys that can rush the passer, and some big guys in the middle in their defense up front, so it'll be a good challenge that way. And then in special teams, they've had a really good team at returning kicks over the last two, three, four years, so that's going to be a good challenge for us in the coverage phase, which we've done an excellent job of thus far. It's another good challenge going into this week as we get closer to making some final decisions on players – who fits, where, and why. We know that a lot of that comes down to their roles and how they can help us on special teams as well as offense or defense."
Q: How would you assess Keith Rivers?ML: "Well, I think I don't call Keith's name much out on the practice field, so that's probably a good thing. I think Keith's made a lot of progress on the little things that will enable you to play faster at linebacker. I think he's done a good job of that."
Q: A lot has been made about his offseason workouts and him being meaner. Do you see that? ML: "We're not going to promote Jay Glazer's business up here (laughs). I think that was all promoted by Jay, right, that he was going to be meaner? So I don't know. I don't know what mean means on the football field. You've got responsibilities and jobs to do, and I think Keith's been an aggressive player. He's a guy who, if he has a fault, it's that he wants to do things too perfectly and maybe sometimes that's perceived negatively, because he is very conscientious, when really that's what you want. You've just got to be able to go break through that wall and go play at some point, and I think he did a good job of that last season for us, and kind of came of age a little bit."
Q: How do you assess the defensive line? There are lots of guys, but not enough spots: ML: "Well, I don't know who's counting spots. So is this your team or our team (laughs)?"
Q: Going by past numbers, you've kept a certain number of guys at each position:ML: "Well, be careful going by past numbers and so forth, because at some point you're going to be wrong somewhere, right? I think when it comes down to it, hopefully we'll get guys back who have not been able to play the past week or so and then it will make decisions easier at the end. Because when you get to the final 53 guys, a lot of things that come into play are the health of the rest of the guys around the group and different spots on the football team."
Q: Do your restrictions on tweeting go beyond the league's restrictions? ML: "Yes."
Q: What exactly do you require them not to do? ML: "That would be between me and my football team."
Q: Is the idea here you want guys thinking about football and not all the other social stuff? ML: "I think the social part for them is different now. Things have changed, guys. It's what they like to do, it is how they communicate. I don't think you can sit there and act like it doesn't go on, because it does. Again, it is how they communicate. But, no, when they are here to do work in the meetings and so forth, that is our time here. You have time when you are not here to do what you need to do, and obviously their day here has some free time. Nobody cares what Chad (Ochocinco) does in this building. The rest of those guys don't care what Chad is doing. People make more perception of Chad outside of this building, which you know, because you're here. All 40 or 30 of you could go right to his locker and everybody would not even have a second take. It's just Chad is doing something stupid again and that is what it is going to be (laughs)."
Q: Do you worry about injuries and information getting out? Chad has sent pictures of his hamstring getting worked on: ML: "You guys are here everyday. There nothing I can keep in. I would close all of you out if I could (laughs)."
Q: Who is out on Saturday?ML: "I've got a little bit of a list, but I'll let you have fun with it on Saturday and figure it out, seeing as how I don't have to (release it). I'll give you. (Rashad) Jeanty and (Tom) Nelson (as out for the game)."
Q: Speaking of Jeanty and Nelson, have you made a determination on putting them on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list yet?ML: "Not yet, we still have a little bit of time. I will say to the positive on both players, I've been encouraged by what they're doing with their rehab. You can see smiles on both of their faces, which is good since they are turning the corner. So, I think they're going in the right direction."
Q: Will Ochocinco's new cereal be a staple on the Marvin Lewis training table?ML: "Is it sugar-laced (laughs)? It probably has like pancakes and syrup in it or something like that. I don't think so. It seems like I eat every meal here anyway."
Q: It's not on the Bengals training table, is it?ML: "It's not on the Bengals training table - you can quote me on that."
Q: Are you sensing some pressing from the bubble guys to break off that bubble?ML: "As I've said, I think it's fun to watch these guys go out and play. Unfortunately I can't keep all of them here, and I tell them that all the time. I remind them that there's 31 other teams that are watching film. I didn't get a feel that last week we were pressing. The one guy who was pressing was Gibril (Wilson), who got hurt. You have to relax. If you start pressing you're going to become anxious and not perform your job. With the coaching as we get to a particular point on some guy, you want them to play football and not try to outscheme anybody. This is our fourth preseason game and we will treat it that way. We're beyond some teams because we've had an extra game."
Q: Have you seen any improvement from your backup QBs (J.T. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer)? ML: "I think that both J.T. and Jordan did improve over the short week last week and playing in the game. It's a lot longer week this week, and the cast around them gets a little more stable, which is good. In order to play that position you do need a supporting cast that you can count on. Sometimes it's reflective of you, but I thought both guys had good weeks last week in the short week and then carried it into the game, and they've done a good job this week. We've got to keep on. I think they're getting their arms back, all three of our quarterbacks, after the training camp routine where you're going two-a-days every other day. I thought on Sunday (at practice in Dayton), we threw the ball as crisply as we have in a long time. That's what happens as you back off the practices and they get their arms back. They're a lot crisper. I thought legs were crisper yesterday and that will continue, hopefully, the rest of this week."
Q: Will you bring the starters out for the second half this week?ML: "No."
Q: Any update on Antonio (Bryant)?ML: "It was a good day yesterday."
Q: Do you think he's closer to practicing?ML: "I can't tell you that, but it was a good day yesterday."