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Coach Talk: Interpreting Marvin Lewis' pre-Vikings press conference

Marvin Lewis held a press conference on Wednesday to talk about the Vikings joint practices and game. What did he say, and more importantly, what did he really mean? We try to decipher the differences.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

To welcome the Minnesota Vikings to town, Marvin Lewis hosted a press conference to give the media a chance to ask questions which have germinated since the opening of camp. And while the illustrious staff of Cincy Jungle was not invited, it is still a valuable opportunity to gauge the team's current status from the mouth of the man who is closest to the situation.

Unfortunately, like most head coaches, Marvin Lewis can be prone to answer some questions with obscured content and expected cliches. Therefore we have taken it upon ourselves in a seriously non-serious endeavor to cut through the "coach speak" and interpret what he probably meant to say.

Marvin Lewis' opening comments: I’m looking forward to having a productive day today with our practice against the Vikings.
What he probably meant to add: And by productive, I just mean no more freaking injuries. Seriously.

Marvin Lewis' opening comments: I think it's good for our football team to take a step forward and practice against different people, new things, and new schemes. You have to react differently to things much like you have to do in a real game, where everything isn’t so scripted and you have to react.
What he probably meant to add: I know Bodine can’t block Atkins, but I just want to see if he can block anybody.

What was asked: Is this like the old days with Mike Zimmer, and coordinating with him to script a practice?
What Marvin Lewis actually said: What Mike and I did in the springtime was decide what areas we wanted to cover...It’s pretty easy when you do it with people you’re friends with and respect that way.
What he probably meant to say: Um, did you not hear in the opening comments how I said ‘everything isn’t scripted’? Anyway, I’m glad we’re practicing with the Vikings and not a team like the Steelers.

What was asked: Do the players feel a different level of excitement with these next few days?
What Marvin Lewis actually said: Yes I think there is, no question. There’s way to pull back from that. I tried to pull back yesterday in preparation for today. That’s a good thing.
What he probably meant to say: Yes, they get excited. OTAs and camp are like eating Skyline chili every day. At some point you've got to mix it up and add Gold Star in there too. Eating the same thing every day gets old, just like practicing against the same guys over and over.

What was asked: How much satisfaction do you get seeing many of your former coordinators go on to head coaching jobs?
What Marvin Lewis actually said: It gives me a great deal of satisfaction.
What he probably meant to say: If you aren't winning, nobody wants a piece of what you have. So teams constantly vulturing our assistants is a sign of our success. Just imagine if we lived in Cleveland - we probably couldn't give our assistant coaches away.

What was asked: When did you first meet Mike Zimmer?
What Marvin Lewis actually said: Mike coached at Weber State when I coached at Idaho State. We obviously played them. The coaches in the Big Sky conference decided they were going to take a page from the Pac 10 conference and have the assistant coaches' golf tournament.
What he probably meant to say: Wait a second, I feel like you're Chuck Woolery interviewing me on Love Connection. We met at college and went golfing - but don't take that the wrong way.

What was asked: Who is the better golfer?
What Marvin Lewis actually said: Well, I don't know. I don't think he's playing much golf. But that's not to say that I'm the better golfer.
What he probably meant to say: I don't know. that's like asking which of us is the better 10 meter platform diver or better at gymnastic trampoline.

What was asked: How much did Paul Guenther’s relationship with Mike Zimmer have to do with his promotion to defensive coordinator once Zimmer left for Minnesota?
What Marvin Lewis actually said: As you’re part of the meetings on offense and defense, you know the expertise of coaches and you know their input with the things you’re doing and what they bring to the table. I thought Paul was a very valuable part of what we were doing and a great asset to Mike.
What he probably meant to say: Well, they weren’t dating or anything, and as an organization the nepotism ends in the front office. Guenther was hired on his own merits.

It can often be difficult to shovel through the "coach speak" and figure out what is really being said. Hopefully our efforts to interpret coach Lewis' words will help you better understand what he meant to say underneath the veil of what he actually said.