Conference call: Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis

HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS, SEPT. 10, 2008

(On his take on the Titans defensive performance against Jacksonville last week)

I thought they played very well. They were very stout, they were physical, they limited the run the way they did and got obviously great pressure on the quarterback. They did a nice job on the perimeter and coverage and matchups and did a nice job.

(On how the Titans defense compares to the 2000 Ravens defense for which he was the defensive coordinator)

Well, you know I don't know enough about them that way. I don't know what's inside them. They have a lot of good players, they're very physical and aggressive up front, they have a great outside rusher and so there's a lot of comparisons. They seem to have a great leader there in Keith [Bulluck] so I think there's probably a lot of similarities. They're trying to make a name for themselves and they got off to a great start. I think the thing is when you can limit an opponent's rushing and limit their scoring, you have a chance to be very, very physical.

(On if a strong defensive team that lacks a potent offense can still win in today's NFL)

Oh, I think you can still win with playing defense, you just have to do it. You can't give up explosive plays and big plays and if you limit that and make them earn everything they get, you have a chance to be successful on defense and play. Obviously, [the 2000 Ravens defense] was a very, very special group and they just didn't want people to ever score. They did a good job of that.

(On his hopes to get Chris Perry going this week)

Well, we always want to get our running game in better shape and make sure we do a better job of staying on blocks and finishing and I think that's key.

(On preparing to face Kerry Collins)

Well, I think there's a little change in terms of how we had to prepare for two players as we did a year ago. Prior to the game, we weren't sure who was going to play. Kerry Collins is a fine passer, he's been very successful. You know a little bit more where he's going to be although I'm sure part of their offense is to move the quarterback some. I'm sure they'll have those aspects involved in their offensive scheme.

(On his initial impressions of Chris Johnson)

He's done just what he did on his college tape. He's very quick and fast, he's a downhill runner and for a guy with that kind of speed is very special.

(On the key to kick-starting the Bengals offense)

Well, they have to keep playing. Keep playing and practicing. They haven't been together very long and they have to get back together and get to work and quit reading about where they're supposed to be. You aren't worth nothing until you do. That's a little point we had to get through is get hit in our face like we did and realize that what you did in past year's doesn't amount to nothing.

(On Antwan Odom)

Well, Antwan really just got his first snaps of the season last week. He got hurt the very first practice of training camp, he injured his foot so he was non weight-bearing for quite a bit. As he's had to work his way back in, we got those pipes blowing out a little bit last week in conditioning with the snaps that he did play, since he hadn't played any real football. I think as time goes on he'll play better and better and more and more.

(On his thoughts about Cortland Finnegan)

Well, Cortland's a fine, fine cover corner. He's an aggressive guy, he can make plays on the football, he challenges those wideouts and he's a fun guy to watch.

(On John Thornton's defensive role for the Bengals)

John's really been a rock and a leader defensively. You can count on what you get from John week in and week out.

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