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Marvin Lewis Conference Call Transcript: Patriots are 'A very well put together football team'

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis addresses the New England media during a conference call at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.


Q: What do you see from the Patriots that makes them a dangerous opponent? **

ML: Well, they're a very well put together football team. They've got an explosive defense with great people up front. They've got guys in the back end that cover and do a great job playing on the football. They're very, very sound we know in special teams and do a great job there, and then offensively they've got one of the best quarterbacks of all-time and he's got guys, receiving corps that obviously he's got a little bit of change there, but he's got [Rob] Gronkowski back now and the other guys are going to get the ball throughout the time, and with [Julian] Edelman and so forth, he does a great job with his routes and their experience together and so forth.

Q: What do you see in terms of the Patriots' most dangerous weapons and how are they using them in their first four games?

ML: Well they've got a lot of experience with their weapons, and they went in the year knowing the guys they had, and just like a year ago when the young receivers kind of emerged, and they go out and bring in [Brandon] LaFell, the receiver from Carolina and bring him in and get him introduced to the offense and [he] made a couple big plays in the last game, and it's part of it. Gronkowski comes back and he's played more and more each and every week, and then they're back to great receivers of the ball. They're good downhill runners, and this is a well put together offensive team.

Q: What do you see from Darrelle Revis and how they're using him?

ML: Well I mean Darrelle's skills are his ability to get up and press on people and run with them and really contest the catches. He's a very strong guy at the top of routes and you see that.

Q: How important of a game is this week, and what are you looking for in terms of the way your team is handling its fast start?

ML: Well again, we've won three games. That's what we've done. Our expectations are far greater than that, so we've got to continue on the same pace as we've been doing, just take each game as it comes and prepare well and do a great job in preparation each and every week, and then go play our best football when Sundays roll around.

Q: In terms of your defensive and offensive coordinators, it seems like you've taken your system and Paul Guenther and Hue Jackson have taken that system and picked up where you guys left off? Do you think your coaching staff has had a smooth transition?

MZ: Well that's the plan that we hoped for. The timing of Jay [Gruden] getting the job and then Mike [Zimmer] getting the job lended to that, and we were able to put Hue and Paul in place very quickly, and they've coached a long time with me. We coached together in Washington, so they know me. They both came here with me. We came over from Washington in '04 here, so they've been here a while. They know what my expectations are, and I feel obviously very, very confident in both coaches and was very fortunate to already have them kind of in those roles ready to step in.

Q: The approach for your team to run first and take some of the pressure off Andy has been the same whether it's been Jay or Hue. Is that the way it has turned out in the first three games?

ML: Well we made that transition years and years ago. I thought that was the most effective thing in all offensive football, particularly in the division we play because as we get later in the year the weather and the changing and so forth and things that we need to do, and yes, that's our mindset and that's important. We have an outstanding group of receivers that know that they get more chances, more opportunity, by going in there and doing their part in the running game as well, and it's really important that we continue to do that.

Q: In terms of Andy Dalton being able to rely more this year on the defense and the running game, have you seen a growth in Andy's leadership?

ML: Well, I think, again, I think Andy has grown from being the starting quarterback to being the leader of the offense to now virtually the leader of the football team, and the guys have welcomed [passing] the baton to him, some of the older guys that are linemen and so forth. He's done a great job of that and has accepted that responsibility, but he knows every down he carries the football team in his hands with taking care of the football, and that's the most important part of his responsibility as well.

Q: Where would you say Geno Atkins is in coming back from his injury?

MZ: I think history has proven that players coming back off an ACL injury, they need time on task, and he continues to get that. I think every snap that he gets brings him a step closer to being where he was in that, but Geno is not going to get a lot of one-on-one opportunities and we understand that, and he understands that which is the best part of it. Sooner or later if we can continue to do good things with our other rushers maybe he'll get some of those again, and then he'll be able to do the things he needs to do for us.

Q: Is that a good sign that Geno is not getting one-on-one because it is freeing up other players along your line?

ML: Oh yeah, I think the other guys know they've got to play and do their thing, and that's part of being a pass rush unit – [it] has to play well together and sit well together.

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