On Tuesday, Marvin Lewis addressed the media in a pre-draft press conference with the media. In it, he covered a range of topics, ranging from the draft to the Andre Smith negotiations. He continued the day of media exposure with an appearance on an episode of Tuesday evening's "Around The League" show on NFL Network. Host Andrew Siciliano and Lewis chatted for a few minutes, talking about similar topics. We've made the transcript for you, so perhaps you can compare and contrast to what Lewis said in the earlier interviews.
AS: "Marvin, you had your pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, which I know you look forward every April because you sit here and tell us exactly what you're going to do...so at No.21 the Cincinnati Bengals select...?"
ML: "The best player left after the last 20 picks." (laughs)
AS: (Laughs) "What does that mean, exactly? 'Best player available?'"
ML: Well, you want to make sure that you don't reach and maybe take a player from position because I gotta go in a draft 'this position player' and the three quarterbacks or whatever position you have of need are gone. So, you want to make sure that you can take the player that you value at that particular rank and place...because if you don't, a year from now, you could be unsatisfied with that player because you took a player of less talent and you could still be looking to fill that void."
AS: "You guys have four picks in the top-84 this year. Historically, Bengals fans know, that you guys don't move around that much. However, is this draft one where you find worth in moving up in?"
ML: (Laughs) "You know, I don't think that we'll have to move very far. I think we'll be really satisfied with those four players. We have an opportunity to get four players who will play a role for us this next season. We feel really good about the guys we got last year--some of them got to play, some of them didn't and got almost like a redshirt year. They'll have an opportunity to roll out there this season and I think in some ways we could end up with a guy that could compete for more playing time right away or play for a rotational role."
AS: "You seemed to imply earlier today (Tuesday) on the podium...that there's a chance that Andre Smith gets signed by Thursday. Did I read that right?"
ML: "Well, I'm optimistic of that, yeah. That would help. But, we're going to proceed one way or the other. Andre would like to get it done, he'd like to be here and that's a positive in our favor. We just have to get both sides to agree on a contract that both sides are happy with."
AS: "You want it done by Thursday though, don't you? Personally speaking?"
ML: "Well, personally, I do, yes. We want it done as quick as it can be done and get him in here and with his teammates."
AS: "Alright. Let me play you something that you said last Halloween. Take a listen." (Plays the clip of Lewis calling out Andy Dalton and Rey Maualuga to the media, pleading for them to be better leaders by being a little bit of a..."jerk".)
AS: "Now clearly, the word you used wasn't "jerk", but we'll call it that right now (laughs). But, that brings me to James Harrison. Is that kind of the reason that you brought him in? To bring that "jerk mentality" that you thought you were lacking a little bit last year?"
ML: (Laughs) "Well, in that particular conversation, we were getting ready to play the Denver Broncos. We were getting ready to play one of the best leaders in the NFL in Peyton Manning. How he empowers others, how he drives others to be better, and I was merely talking about our two leaders on both sides of the football, in those huddles, to continue to drive people to do it better. To not settle for mediocrity--in the meeting room, on the practice field. That would just drive us to be better on Sundays. "To turn the page to James (Harrison), I don't know that he's quite what I referred to there, but he brings an aggressive, attacking attitude and that's what we wanted on our football team."
ML: "Well, I don't know that it's personal to the Steelers. He wants to go after a Championship, he's there before, a couple of times--three times actually, and he's won two. He'd like to win another. He's got a great focus, a great humility to him, actually, we were really privileged to see that from him in person. He's a driven player and that will fit well with our guys here."