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Cutting Through The Chuckles: Decoding Marvin Lewis reflecting on 4-0

Marvin took the stage again this past Tuesday, showing a level of enthusiasm that could be described as "room temperature."

It's week four and we've laughed our way to four wins.
It's week four and we've laughed our way to four wins.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

We take a look at Marvin Lewis' Monday press conference where he answers questions in coach speak regarding the Bengals' win over the Chiefs. But since you might not speak "coach" we break it down into what he's actually saying for you.

Opening Comments...

"I want to reiterate what I said after the game yesterday. I felt really good about the finish of the football game. I thought in the second half we were able to get things going offensively and put points on the board. Then, defensively we gave up some chunk type plays. We need to do a better job there, but we played well in the red zone and kept them from scoring touchdowns. That was obviously a big part of the game. We are pleased with that, and now we make the corrections and move on."

Translation: This press conference is so pointless that I'm just going to say what I said yesterday. (Says what he said yesterday.)

A couple of guys after the game said they don’t listen to anything outside this locker room. Do you think that veteran presence is good because they’ve been through it before and don’t worry about the outside?

"It has been old hat for them, so there really is no worry. They know that there is a lot of football ahead, and four games doesn’t get you anything."

Translation: In my mind, I really want to be a smart ass to you. I don't have the energy for it though. Shockingly YES, a veteran presence is good. Who knew?

Offensively, so many guys were involved with big plays. When you get that kind of productivity, things are rolling pretty well aren’t they?

"Obviously, it was a big factor for us offensively. We overcame ourselves a few times with penalties and made first downs, which was big. We had that one stint in the third quarter where we fooled ourselves a little bit. But other than that, I thought we did a good job. Like you said, with different guys making those plays. (Tyler) Eifert had a play, (Mohammed) Sanu had a play, Rex (Burkhead) had a play, A.J (Green) had a play. They all had a hand at different times in the game, not only getting us first downs, but flipping the field position."

Translation: Things were going real well when the field didn't look like it was being hit by mortars who were loaded with yellow flags.

Do you get concerned with some of the yardage that you gave up?

"You want to play better, but you have to stop them on third down and that prevents yardage. We had some third downs that we allowed them to convert, and we have to do a better job of that."

Translation: Yeah. You don't usually get lucky and have the opposing coach with their kicker on their own fantasy team. First place in the coaches league this year is free Papa John's for a year, and Andy Reid's favorite kind of food is free food.

Paul (Guenther) mentioned the 10 plays for 260 yards...

"Speaking like a true defensive coordinator" (laughs)

Translation: Spoken like a true defensive coordinator that needs to get his shit together.

It seemed it wasn’t mental breakdowns on defense, but more of technique and things of that nature...

"It was a combination of things. There are things we can do better, no doubt. Football games are always going to have those."

Translation: It really took an entire team effort to allow Alex Smith to accrue the most yardage passing last week.

Across the league, there have been a lot of kickers missing kicks. Do you think there is any connection with the movement of the extra point?

"Darrin (special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons) can get stats quicker than you guys, kind of like Paulie’s (Guenther) stats (laughs), but anyway, in Darrin’s determination, a lot of teams went with young kickers, and they are the ones missing for the most part. Mike (Nugent) has missed two (field goals) for us, which we can’t have. He's better than that, and we expect better out of him. He has to go back and get in a rhythm like he did a year ago when he missed a couple early and was spot on the rest of the way. But, I do think the young guys play a factor in it. I do think that moving the PAT had a little bit of an effect, because for the most part that was a non-stressful kick. Now, it is all stress-related. They have been stress-related for me the whole time, but it's on them as well."

Translation: It's mostly young kickers missing, except Mike. He's probably going to want to get this thing ironed out or he'll be collecting unemployment checks by the end of the month. Then we'll have to sign a young guy who misses kicks and be in the exact same spot. Screw it, we'll keep him.

It seems to be a confidence thing. That position is so much about confidence...

"It’s all about the strike of the ball. It’s like a golfer. It’s important that they strike it correctly all the time. They have to block it out and go on to the next one."

Translation: Actually, kicking is all about kicking the ball. I know that is a novel idea, but it is true.

You guys have got off to such a quick start, trailing only 1:58 out of 240 minutes. You are putting a lot of pressure on people early...

"I think it does. You would rather coach with the lead than from behind. Again, it goes back to how I was pleased with the third and fourth quarter. We continue to handle our business right. We just have to stick to the process. I thought the goals put out on all three phases by the coaches were good, and I thought the players did a good job of realizing those goals. When we continue to do those things in the first four football games, they lead to winning. We have to keep that up. The guys believe in it, and if we get the simple tasks done, we can continue on that track each and every week. That is all we have to do. Just worry about what needs to be done this week for the Seahawks."

Translation: Even though I just said how pleased I am with our fast starts, I'm going to talk about the second half because, well who knows why. Now, I'm going to talk about other things that still do not have to do with the question you asked.

You touched on it briefly, how the team was able to respond after the lull. It's now two straight weeks. What do you take away when you get off to these hot starts and things get stable?

"I think the other side gets paid, too. It’s going to be what we determine feels like a lull. We have to rise up and make a play to get the offense stopped, or a big play on defense. We’ve worked hard on the quarterback scrambling, and our guys have done a good job responding to him this season."

Translation: Even if the other team plays badly, they still get paid which is really nice in my opinion. But we don't subscribe to what other people call a "lull." We define the word now. Also, scrambling. What just happened? I think I blacked out. I need some water or something.

You had a lot of young DBs playing this week. How did you think they played?

"We were pleased with their play throughout the day. There are things to clean up and do better. We're going to rely on guys like that all year, and they came in and played the way we need to play."

Translation: I am totally lying to you because Jeremy Maclin carved up Dre Kirkpatrick like a killer in a slasher flick.

Another constant is the play of your guys up front on offense and defense. They seemed to handle the action yesterday...

"It was a big day, and generally every Sunday is for those guys. There are no weeks off for them. They have to respond each week, and I was pleased with them. We put a lot on their shoulders and asked them to shoulder the burden of the football game, and they did a good job both ways."

Translation: They can't take weeks off because our linebackers are so bad. We've made it hard on them (Intentionally, for some reason), but they are making us look smart. SHOUT OUT TO GENOOO.

What does Leon (Hall) give you as far as personality, and the ability to do so many things?

"He’s such a productive guy, whatever spot he’s in. He’s also very intellectual with it. He can help the other guys with communication and if he ever makes an error, he’s quick to correct it and move on to the next time. Those are things that when something presents itself the same way, he’s going to be in the right spot and win that down."

Translation: As far as personality, Leon is a thoughtful guy who enjoys putting together a nice suit, debating politics, and crocheting. He's fundamentally sound off of the field. Oh you meant on the field? He's a smart guy. NEXT.

How do you see that spreading throughout the team?

"You have to work hard to be a smart team. It's one of the things we always talk about. You expect to share the communication throughout, and if you have a breakdown, it’s not the time to get out of your lane. Just continue to do your job, and let us make the correction with the other player and move on. Then, the next time it happens we should play it correctly. We don’t want two guys fixing things because then they are out of their lane, and out of their responsibility."

Translation: We just want the players to do their own jobs and not ours too much. No offense, but Mikey isn't a big spender. If these guys start coaching themselves... I'll be the one looking for a job.

With the instant information today, it seems like it used to be a bigger deal when players came off the field, and coaches were looking for good information from them. Do you get good information from your guys when they come off the field?

"That’s a key factor, is good information. We try to, but sometimes they see some ghosts out there (laughs)."

Translation: We'd get better info if the Wi-Fi at PBS didn't suck, so we have to rely on Chris Crocker sending us info via Morse Code.

Did you ever get an explanation on that formation call?

"He explained what he saw, and how he felt. We just determined whether we did it right or wrong, but it is important that we do things right."

Translation: I am going to shake up a dictionary and use whichever words fall out for this response.