Even though the Bengals gave up a third-quarter lead and lost their final preseason game against the Colts by a score of 17-13, head coach Marvin Lewis was extremely pleased with what he saw from his team. He even went as far to say that it was one of the best fourth preseason games that he's coached.
"I think it was one of the best fourth preseason games that I have been a part of. There were a lot of great teaching moments that we'll be able to build upon going into this season. We were able to play a lot of guys that are battling for backup positions. The opportunities, chances and the amount of snaps they got tonight is great. I think everything (was great) except for the outcome, because when you go out there, you want to win the game."
The Bengals sat a lot of their usual starters, including the entire secondary, allowing backups to play throughout the entire game so Lewis and the other coaches could get a better idea of who they plan to keep on the 53-man roster and who they plan to cut. The deadline for those cuts is Saturday afternoon.
"We rested the secondary guys where we had some depth. It was good to get the other group in there playing so we could get a good look at them. there were a lot of positives. We have some decision to make over the next 48 hours or so."
Marvin Lewis and the rest of the Bengals coaching staff need to cut 27 people between last night's game and Saturday afternoon. That means that the Bengals will be cutting some talented players that hopefully can be signed to the practice squad. It's disappointing to know that the Bengals will be cutting talented players, but at the same time, it's a luxury that some teams may not have.
"It's a lot of guys. there will be a lot of guys -- 27 guys from here and across the other 31 clubs. But, I think it was great to be afforded the luxury of getting guys out there to play tonight and actually see them play. Sometimes you really don't get that opportunity, which was good."
The regular season begins in just over a week, when the Bengals travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns next Sunday. The game will count, whether the Bengals win or lose. It's not like the Bengals won't be busy from now till then. They're going to have to let 27 good football players go within 48 hours and then they'll need to prepare for their a match up against a division opponent.
Stay tuned. It's going to be a busy few days.