Marvin Lewis Press Conference Transcript

Opening comments:
"After going back through the tape this morning a couple of times, I think a couple things we need to continue to improve and do a better job in is our return game and special teams. We didn't do a very good job of reacting to a couple of short kicks or getting an opportunity to get our punt returner started in the game. We didn't create any field position advantage whatsoever with that part of the game.

"Offensively, we seemed to convert a couple of third downs, and then we didn't and that puts us behind. We haven't done a great job of scoring to open the football game and we have to do a better job of that. We converted the first one, and then we have a guy open and the ball gets knocked down at the line of scrimmage. So, I think some of the execution things are good, but not 100 percent and not exactly what we want, and we got a bit of the luck of the draw there with the tipped ball. That being said, I think getting off to a better start running the football would help us in creating some movement and space. Running the football would help in a lot of those areas.

"And then defensively, the tale seemed to be our ability to have an inopportune penalty at the wrong time. The lining up offsides, which is just a huge mental error, and we get the holding there at the end of the game, and then there were three other defensive penalties. Penalties were critical in the game. They enabled them to sustain the drive at the end, and then we didn't play the power play, the bounce-out play at the end, very well.

"And thus we're sitting here 2-2 when we had an opportunity to get them stopped and get the ball back. But that's where we are, and we've got to work at the positives of it and do more things right for a longer period of time. We've got to create more pressure with our four-man rush. We allowed the quarterback to escape back from us a couple of times yesterday, and he converted a couple of throws that made big first downs and kept their chains moving with that."

On the personal foul penalty on Chinedum Ndukwe:
"I don't think Chinedum's was an error. You just have to keep coaching them within the rules, and Chinedum hit him within the rules. He was in the numbers, it wasn't with his helmet, and so that's all you can do. It wasn't even his shoulder. That's all you can do, is just keep trying to do it the right way. Those guys try to tackle with their arms as much as they can, but if they have to take the guy out low they have to take him out low. But they don't want to risk themselves. You just have to keep going."

On injury updates:
"We don't talk much about injuries. So, we'll see how we are on Wednesday with that. I think a guy who missed the game, Jonathan Fanene, gets closer to being back. If he's not back this week he'll for sure be back when we play again (October 24th). Jordan (Shipley) suffered a concussion yesterday."

On Andre Smith's increased playing time:
"Well, he played more snaps yesterday. We'll evaluate that this week and see what's the best way to go. But we want to keep putting our foot on him and pressing it and trying to see what's the best option for us there."

On (Browns safety) T.J. Ward's personal foul hit on Shipley, and how he views that as a member of the competition committee:
"It was a forearm-to-helmet hit, which is not within the rules, but I'm not a member of the competition committee within the season here. I'm a football coach."

On putting Adam Jones back to return a punt:
"We're always going to return based on our plan. Adam hasn't been able to practice enough with that until this last week. I don't want to put the football team at risk until I'm comfortable with everything we're doing there, and he's comfortable with where he should be within the return."

On the offensive line vs. the Browns pressure:
"We got the two (sacks), the one where Carson stepped up, and then the guy came around the horn there at the end. They got hands on the quarterback three times with less than a five-man rush, so we have to do better. One is a timing thing and the others we have to get away. Carson left the pocket on two of those. We have to be in the game and we have to be alert. It is part of playing, we have to be alert for 60 minutes and make things happen. We can't afford right now to make mistakes. Our margin of error is not great enough, it's so tight."

It seems that way from the scores around the league (tight margins of victory):
"It's always that way. We've said that every time we come up there (to Cleveland). Yesterday we were on the downside of it. We didn't overcome it. We had a couple opportunities where we have two fumbles where the defense is able to stop them. We miss a field goal -- don't get a field goal off -- and it ends up being the difference. We had opportunities to score and we don't get the points."

On if the blocked field goal was a protection issue:
"Yeah. I thought Mike (Nugent) hit a good ball, a really good ball on a tough surface."

On the blocked field goal changing momentum:
"Well, it's a field position thing. They don't get one (field goal) without it. Again, it comes down to the execution. Obviously, I'm very comfortable with us taking the field goal opportunity there and taking the lead at that point. But we didn't get it done, and they end up getting one."

On running the ball more:
"Last week everybody was screaming about us being able to throw the ball more, and I kept saying we'd be fine, which obviously we are. We have to do what it takes to win the game. That is the important thing. I don't care if a guy throws for seven zillion yards. If we don't win the game, it doesn't count for anything. That's the important part. We want to win football games. That's our goal. It doesn't matter about yardage."

That always seems to be the common denominator, running the ball:
"It makes a big difference."

On possibly going with more no-huddle:
"I think when we use it, we eliminate a lot of other things, so you're kind of stuck in one drawer. If that drawer isn't working and not getting you what you want, then you're in trouble, because you haven't spent the time game planning some of the other things you have to do.

"In order for us to be more engaged in that, it takes more time, and takes away from some of the other things in your plan because you only have so much time on task with it. The quarterback does a very good job of getting us in and out of things in that situation, but they can dictate to us a little bit more than we'd like that way, because he's going to work the weakness. So we've got to make sure it's weakness and not perceived weakness that way."

So it's more a 'feel' thing:
"We have a plan going in each week on whether we're going to use it. Based on the situation, in New England we were down by three scores, so we got into it. Yesterday, we tried to create some more opportunity and stretch the field a little bit, and we were able to do that."

On if the Bengals are shifting away from running the ball:
"We're four games into the season. We are where we are, and we have an opportunity for a new coming-out party here this Sunday against Tampa, in our stadium, in front of our fans, and it'll be a new Sunday. All the previous four Sundays go behind us, and we move forward, so it's a big week for us."

On lack of red zone success running the ball:
"It would help, and we missed a couple opportunities there. We've got to stay disciplined with that. Our backs have to stay on track. We missed possibly a hit-your-head-on-the-goalpost run that we ended up kicking a field goal with, so we've got to just keep pounding and keep doing the things right all the time and not get frustrated. Sometimes when guys put in the time and effort and they don't get the reward or the W, I've got to make sure we don't back up on that. We worked hard, they studied hard, they put together a good week. I told them they were going to play a football team that was going to play their tails off against them, and that we better make sure we play our best football, and we didn't.

"The Browns played well. They had one turnover, and they'd been having other turnovers. We didn't force any fumbles, and they'd been putting the ball on the ground. We didn't get those things done yesterday, so we've just got to keep at it, get back at it, get to work, and here comes a new week."

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