Marvin Lewis Press Conference Transcript

Opening Comments:ML: "With the Packers, it probably starts with their quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He's in his second year as a starting player. He has a very strong arm, he's very athletic and he has very good foot-speed when he does move and run out of the pocket. They have a fine runner in Ryan Grant. Their receiving corps is very talented, with Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley, the second year player from Texas. So it's a talented group of guys. They want to push the ball vertically quite a bit, and work it off of the action passes, and things like that.

"Defensively, they're in a new system with the 3-4. But I thought last week, Cullen Jenkins had a great start to the year. They're athletic up front, and they have some big, strong, physical guys. With the linebacker group, it's a good pass rushing group. So when they come with the pressures, I think they do a very good job of trying to get matched up versus a running back, and winning. In the secondary, they've got some guys who have played well throughout their careers in the NFL. So it's a really athletic group defensively running around. They're similar to what we saw last week from Denver. Scheme-wise they're just a touch different, but similar. Their special teams is a really athletic group, and they've been playing together for a while.
"So it's a good challenge going up to Green Bay and playing at Lambeau Field. It will be a fun thing with the great crowd. We're excited and looking forward to the challenge of the game."

Q: You had a good pass rush last week. How important is that against Aaron Rodgers?ML: "Well, it's important to put pressure on the football, whether it be the running game or the passing game. That's a given."

Q: Kevin Huber did a nice job pinning Denver deep a few times. Can you speak to what he was able to do and how important that is?ML: "I thought Kevin did a good job and I think Kevin will do much better as the year goes on. It wasn't his best day punting the football. By our standards, it was good, but Kevin is even more talented than that and will do better as time goes on. It was his first opportunity, so I'm sure he was a little nervous going into the game, but he's not one to carry much of that with him for very long. He's been a pretty cool customer. He did a good job. He had a great punt when we were backed up. He was good when we were into the wind. He did a lot of good things. I would expect Kevin to do nothing but continue to get better and better as we go. He had a little block there on the fake punt, he stuck his nose in there."

Q: Even though Andre Smith isn't practicing, how much has he progressed just from being here?ML: "He's doing well, really doing well."

Q: Obviously there's a big learning curve:ML: "Oh, I don't think it's that big. He was here for every OTA, every coaching session and minicamp. He's a smart guy, and he's playing the position he's played his whole life. His learning curve is just going to be on what happens with NFL defenses and the changes and so forth. He played at a very good school, very well coached there. It's just a matter of repetition."

Q: It looks like Carson is getting comfortable with Andre Caldwell, and he looks a little like T.J. (Houshmandzadeh), making the tough catches on third down and over the middle:ML: "He's done a good job vertically for us, which is the key and what we're looking to get more of out of from that position. Andre has been able to do that, and then get the tough catches and the tough yards, as well as getting dirty blocking in some situations. I really think Andre continues to get better and better in a lot of areas. So we really are getting a lot of quality snaps out of that position, maybe more than we were."

Q: You worked with Dom Capers in Pittsburgh. What does he bring to a defense, and what did you learn from your experiences with him?ML: "They're doing a lot of the 3-4 things that we started doing back in '93 in Pittsburgh, some of the pressures and things like that, and they're trying to do some of the new things that are happening this year, in the 2008 and 2009 NFL. So you can see all those parts of the equation as they line up and go. But they're starting from ground zero with some of the fundamental things we did. You see it on tape."

Q: You coached Kevin Greene and had him here for a training camp. What does he bring?ML:"Kevin is really making his first full transition into coaching. He was obviously a very smart player. When I was coaching those guys, it was a mutual coaching going on most of the time, probably, because they were getting mad because they had to do certain things and I was the college coach. But I think as things turned out, they all had fine careers. Kevin was a really smart player, and he made our other players better, and I think that's going to show up in what he's able to bring to this group of linebackers he's coaching in Green Bay. As a player, he was able to uplift the guys he was playing with and help them, help the young guys, he and Greg Lloyd. There was quite a challenge there. That's why I had Kevin here in training camp. Kevin was a walk-on at Auburn and was a late-round draft pick and he just kept doing it. I think he is the all-time leading sacker as a linebacker in the NFL, which is quite a record for a guy who rushed primarily from the left side for most of his career. Averaged 10-plus sacks a season. What he has done stands alone."

Q: How much does experience benefit the cornerbacks Green Bay has?ML: "Charles (Woodson) goes inside on third down, plays their nickel, so he's getting a chance to blitz a lot as their nickel corner. Al Harris is a fine player. He's a smart guy who plays the ball well. So it's going to be good. It's going to be a great matchup on the perimeter on both sides -- our corners against their receivers and their corners against our receivers. I think that's going to play a lot to the outcome of the game. But we have to do a good job up front on both sides of the ball and along the line of scrimmage."

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