Marvin Lewis Press Conference Transcript

Opening comments:"My retake on the game was that I was pleased that we set the tone offensively, taking the kickoff, working into the wind, and driving the football down the field. It was a good start offensively. I thought defensively early on, we didn't quite fit some of the running game correctly. We made some plays on third down that helped us get off the field. We had the quarterback trapped a couple of times, and he was able to get away from us, throw the ball, complete the ball and make plays.

"As the game went on, we didn't play as effectively on third down defensively and obviously not good enough offensively. We had the two sacks that occurred on first and second down, which put us behind and made those third-down opportunities longer than you would like. They excel when you get in third-and-longer situations because you have the whole gamut of things, from the six, seven man rush to the three-man rushes. It's all going to unfold the same initially, but then you've got to sort through it. They have the advantage in that situation, and that didn't help.

"We come out in the second half, and they drive the football and end up with a field goal. We come back, and again the penalties set us behind. We don't get an opportunity, and nearly the whole third quarter goes away with only one possession. Then we have the interception to start the fourth quarter, and at that point it's a different game where you have to do things to score points quicker. Now, we're in two-score mode to try to get back in the game.

"I thought guys did some good things, but our goal for the week was you couldn't turn the football over and give them opportunities, and we didn't get that done. We had to be very sound and secure versus the pressures. Defensively, (the key was) being able to win on third down and have the opportunity to tackle the quarterback. Special teams-wise, we missed an assignment on one of the returns and we bobbled a return, so that makes a big difference in the timing of the return. We didn't punt the football especially well, but it turned out okay with the outcome. I thought in punt return, we're getting back to hitting our stride. We just have to keep working at it and working at it, doing a little better there and making some positive plays with that.

"No one really cares (about our problems). When you lose, you lose. We have to look forward and move forward. We've got to find a way to coach our guys to be better in their roles and responsibilities. We've got some new people doing it, we realize that, and we have to just find a way that they can handle their slice of pie."

On the play of CB Jonathan Wade:
"He's fighting his tail off, for just being here the last three weeks, not even three whole weeks really. You are talking about changing habits and styles, and how he was coached in the past, to try to get him to play the way we want him to play. He's very attentive to it and trying his heart out."

On safeties Tom Nelson and Reggie Nelson catching up defensively:
"(There are) a lot of guys who weren't here and haven't spent any time here. You are paring things down. You are doing things that hopefully you don't make a big error on. That is the hard part for the defensive coaches right now. You have a lot of guys on defense that really weren't looked at to be in those spots when the year started."

On not giving up any offensive touchdowns to Pittsburgh:"We lost the game. We got the opportunity, we had balls in our hands, we have to come up with some of those plays and keep those scores off the board. Even if it is a field goal, keep it off the board. Maybe we turn the tide, we have an opportunity to intercept a ball on the sideline that might take it back. We have an opportunity to intercept a ball in the red zone. So, (with) those things we have to just keep working at it. Man, I thought the tide would turn, it hasn't turned our way. We have to keep doing things right and just keep on doing it."

On the interceptions returned for touchdowns:"Again, they're both plays we don't want to have happen. The three interceptions are all plays that our quarterback should do better, and we shouldn't have those plays."

On the two illegal-formation penalties:"It was more on the back, and where he (Bernard Scott) lined up. He was on the line, but the line was bowed a little bit. I kept having theirs moved up a little bit, but they never got a call, and we did. Anyway, Bernard has to check with the guy outside, that's part of the process and make sure he's good. He might tell you to step up a little bit. And the guy came in afterwards.

"The other one was on our formation call and was called wrong and it was an error. You have four penalties, we have the one cadence change and we flinch. They were all significant plays and we don't overcome them. (They) took away more opportunities and carries, more things. When I looked at it after the game, I thought we had more effective runs than that, and then the third quarter evaporated."

On only being able to run 14 times:"The three penalties hurt us in those situations because they were all three running situations, and the fact that now you're getting in second-and-longer situations where you run the ball up in there for zero gain, now you're third and even longer. So in your second-and-longs, you're trying to get half your yardage back, however the play is designed. You're trying to get the third down to be a manageable yardage situation."

On the Steelers making big passing plays to erase their penalties:"They hit the one pass play, but we eventually stopped them, yet they evaporate the whole third quarter by making the second down-and-30 when they hit the seam pass."

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