NFL.com conducted an interview with Marvin Lewis that was published, uploaded, broadcasted (whatever) on Friday. The interviewer was Scott Hanson, who looks like a sober Stiffler on anti-anxiety pills, asking basic questions such as: how is Palmer looking this year, what should we call Chad Johnson, how's the defense and how's the expectations in 2009. Here's a "nutshell" version of that.
Marvin Lewis on Carson Palmer:
"I think we'll see a better Carson Palmer. I think we'll see a more determined and a guy that looks like a caged bear all year, having to go through what he had to go through."
Marvin Lewis on Chad Johnson:
Scott Hanson: "I want to talk about the other wide receiver, number 85. I'm deciding on whether to call him Chad Johnson or...
Lewis: "Just number 85 or Chad."
Scott Hanson: "You'll never go Ochocinco you don't think?
Marvin Lewis: "No."
Scott Hanson: "Why not?"
Marvin Lewis: "It's not his name."
Scott Hanson: "He legally changed it."
Marvin Lewis: "He changed it for the wrong reasons."
Flashback to January 30, during Super Bowl week when Chad Johnson and Deion Sanders were chatting about the Bengals chances of making the Super Bowl. Without dictating the whole conversation, Chad said that if Arizona can make the Super Bowl, why not the Bengals. Sanders said no way. Chad reiterated. Sanders did the same.
Lewis said that Johnson knows what it takes to get the Super Bowl and that he's a big part of the team getting there.
On the Bengals Defense:
Lewis: "I'm very confident now in our defense's ability to go and defend the score, to not allow people to score. There's a layer of confidence now that they feel like they can go out there and they can battle and play with most offenses day in and day out."
On Expectations in 2009:
Lewis: "Well, our number one expectation is to win our division. That goes through Pittsburgh and through the World Champions and through the AFC runner up in Baltimore and last year's pick in Cleveland. When you come in and play our division, you get your head kicked in a little bit and that's the way it's going to be on Sundays.