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Marvin Lewis Press Conference Transcript

Opening comments:
"We went into the game thinking offensively that the keys to it on our side would be consistency on third downs, move the football down the field and take our opportunities to make some big plays. On the other side of it, we had to control John Abraham. He's a very good rusher, and player, and we had to do things to minimize him. We weren't 100 percent on that. I think he had two sacks and a couple times where he got us out of our spot a little bit early.

"We had some third downs in the first two series - I think we were three out of five, but two very manageable ones we didn't convert kept us from moving the football down the field. I think other than one series, we were able to get good shots at running the football with Ced (Benson). We would have had more opportunity in the second half even though we were behind. We were still able to get some good runs, opportunities, and then we fumble, which really hurts us and takes us out of it.

"Defensively, the number one thing was win on the perimeter, and obviously we didn't do that. We have to do a better job of that. We didn't tackle as well as we need to, and we have to do a better job of winning in those situations. We played some series that were very good, a few three-and-out series. We won on some third downs, but on third-and-ones, we're still not very good this year, and we gave up a couple big plays yesterday in third-and-one situations. We need to do better at that.

"Special teams-wise, the thing was to get our (kick) returner (Bernard Scott) off and started. We had good opportunity there. We had the one penalty that brought us back. Even in the punt return game, we got a chance to get going. We had the one short kick. But we've got to keep working hard at that, at getting separation between our returner and their coverage people. On the other side of it, I thought we did a good job. We didn't have one punt exactly where we wanted, and obviously missed the one field goal that obviously our guy can make. That's kind of the summary of the game yesterday with things.

"So, as we move forward, I've got to do a better job of coaching our guys so that we're executing and playing poised under pressure. If you put the 15-16 guys on each side of the ball that play out there, they're not going to be all the 11 right guys on each play. We're having a couple critical errors, and a guy has two or three per game and those things can add up, and they're hurting us right now. They're not egregious, they're not huge things generally, but they're ones that can make a difference on us winning the down or not winning the down. We've got to keep understanding that.

"We have a dropped ball here on a blitz adjust that could be a big play. We showed yesterday that against some of the pressures, we can make big plays. So we just have to keep understanding. There's a lot of positive things to build upon, but we lost the football game because we dug ourselves such a hole early, and when we had to get them stopped at the end, we didn't get them stopped. So that puts us here where we are."

On the differences on defense between last year and this year:"I think there are some differences. I talked to the coaches about it this morning, and I talked to the defensive players about it. I pointed it out to them where things are different, and things that they did very well last year. They were ahead of the curve and were proactive on some things that went beyond us coaching every step and every move. They understood and took the initiative to get themselves in the right leverages and the right spots."

On the run defense's struggles:"We've given up basically one play a game. When you go back and really look at it, we've given up one play. Yesterday, we gave up a run because we had an unblocked guy miss a tackle in the hole. You might have another play or two where you want to do better, but that's not the issue as much as making plays on contested balls and being tighter in coverage. Those are the things we still need to do better. Nobody's just taking the ball and running it down the field, but we've got to do it better. Unfortunately yesterday, on their two bigger runs, our unblocked defender was right where he needed to be and didn't make the tackle, and then it escalated from there."

On the missed tackles being more alarming:"That's part of it, yes."

On the number of 20 yard runs allowed compared to last year:
"We are still in Week 6, so we have time to get back there. I think last year at this point we had more than we wanted. Early last year those were the Achilles heel of our football team. We were giving up some plays like that. Then we settled down and we quit giving them up. I think that was the biggest differences of the jump and why things changed. Scoring defense was fairly consistent most of the year but we were giving up some plays like that."

Is it a matter of guys not finishing?
"There are a lot of different variables, but we are not getting it done."

Is it a matter as much of guys trying to 'harvest other people's crops'?
"No, not really."

On the no-huddle offense:"Our game plan this past week was to do a little more, depending on the situation and field position. It depends on what we look at as we go through the week, and as we break them down and look at what we want to do offensively and put our plan together. But again, there are pluses and minuses of everything."

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