Marvin Lewis had depth on his mind during the 25-17 loss to the Jets Saturday night.
The performance of the back of his roster had Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in a sour mood after the Jets beat up on his second teamers in a 25-17 preseason loss Saturday night at Paul Brown Stadium. But the perfect performance by quarterback Andy Dalton had him brighten for a moment.
"He's on top of his game," Lewis said after Dalton sifted the Jets on eight-for-eight passing for 144 yards and a touchdown heave before he left early in the second quarter. "He's throwing the football and understands what we want. Guys are doing a good job with him. He continues to play the way we think he should play all the time. It doesn't surprise me because that's the way he practices all the time. He doesn't have to be flashy; he just needs to be accurate and handle the offense. He does his thing very well."
Dalton has a 144.4 passer rating this preseason with a staggering 16.5 yards per attempt.
The one thing bugging Lewis that of the 11 penatlies, five were in the kicking game.
"We hurt ourselves on offensive field positioning with the penalties and the kicking game, which also held true in the second half while on defense," Lewis said. "I realize it is a lot of young guys, but the development of this team has been because of developing depth. We have to realize we are going to have players getting injured during the season and guys have to respond and be able to step up, and the standard of play cannot get lowered."
T. BALL: Cornerback Terence Newman was in the right place at the right time when he set up a field goal with his interception of Geno Smith in the second quarter. After he was assaulted by two Jets offensive linemen after the play, Willie Colon and Breno Giacomini, Newman threw the ball to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther on the sidelines from far out in the field.
"The funny thing is I told him, earlier 'Paulie, I'm about to go get one,' so I just kind of threw it up," Newman said. "He threw it just before the receiver turned. He threw it behind him. I didn't do much on the play."
But he didn't retaliate when Colon and Giacomini roughed him up after the play and both drew personal fouls.
"I don't know much about the Jets. I know they usually have a pretty good defense," Newman said. "But to have some of the offensive linemen act the way they did, it just makes no sense. Back when I first came into the league (2003), things are different, it was kind of an understood rule if we get one of our (players), we'll get two of yours. The way things are now, you just have to be smart and try to get away from it and help your team out as best as you can and not get a penalty. It was different for sure.
"I don't even know who it was," he said. "All I know is the guy hit me in the back and I looked back and I saw some dreds and my helmet flew off. My first instinct was to square up, which I did at first but I realized my helmet was gone."
And it was not lost on Newman he had plenty of help from his friends.
"I tell you what I do like. The fact our defense is jelling," he said. "We're a side that's very together. I looked around and saw all kinds of guys over there. We stuck up for each other."
REX KNEED: Running back Rex Burkhead looked to be the most seriously injured Bengal in a game that saw several of them led off the field. He was still being examined about 45 minutes after the game and while the initial take wasn't good, it wasn't as bad as it could have been, either. They think he may have suffered some kind of MCL injury in his knee and it didn't appear to be a season-ender. If it turns out to be confirmed, he could be looking at a timetable of six to eight weeks and that would be a tough spot for the Bengals because they may have to keep one extra and five running backs for the final cut to 53.
Burkhead was going to be the man in the fourth quarter, but he was sidelined on his first carry when Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor blitzed and gave him a knee shot just as he got the handoff for a two-yard loss.
GUENTHER NOT PLEASED: Like Lewis and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, Guenther was upset with how his backups played. One the first-teamers left in the second quarter, the first-team Jets offense had their way against the Bengals second team. And he had a warning
"Some of it is nervousness. Part of it is not knowing what to do all the time. We've got to get that cleaned up as coaches and they have to take it as pros," Guenther said. "There are some guys around here that think they've made the team that are going to be shocked when this thing gets done if they keep playing like they're playing now."