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Coach Talk: Interpreting Marvin Lewis' 53-man roster press conference

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Marvin Lewis held a press conference on Monday to give the latest updates following forging of the 53 man roster. What did he say, and more importantly, what did he really mean? We try to decipher the differences.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Training Camp
Marvin Lewis and the 53 man roster are the subject of the most recent press conference
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis opened up for the media, offering his thoughts and insights during his weekly press conference. This week, Lewis focused on the topic of roster cuts as the team cut the roster down to their final 53-man roster. But as usual, we have made another attempt to decipher what Lewis meant by his comments, which are often really hard to understand.

Question: How much did you get to see of Jeff Driskel, and what were your impressions on him?

Lewis’ Response: He’s not a player I looked at...It gives us an opportunity to take a look at him.

Is Jeff Driskel a handsome man? Apparently Lewis will be the judge of that. Lewis has not had an opportunity to look at him, and the team signed Driskel so Lewis could look at him. It seems an odd way to form a roster, but who I am to judge?

Question: What went into the waiving of P.J. Dawson?

Lewis’ Response: We were going to add another player some way or another. He just unfortunately ended up being the player we were willing to part with.

Lewis cleverly sidesteps the issue by talking about being willing to part with Dawson. Lewis may consider it to be a team secret regarding how the team waives players, and may not want to divulge such sensitive information. What Lewis may not realize is that thanks to Hard Knocks on HBO, most of us already know what goes into the waiving of a player like P.J. Dawson – calling him into the office, asking him for the playbook, and sending him on his way.

Question: What message do you try to send to the players for these road openers?

Lewis’ Response: We’ve done it six straight years. It has been the same message...

Here, Lewis points out one of the advantages of being a long-tenured coach, you get to use the same material over and over. It’s like when a teacher has been teaching the same class for a while – they already have the tests and notes ready to go, and just repeat it every year.

Question: Will Tyler Eifert practice this week?

Lewis’ Response: He won’t practice with the team. He’ll be doing his practice.

If anybody has any questions about how exceptional Eifert is, Lewis pretty much puts the doubts to rest with his revelation. He points out that Eifert can both practice and not practice, at the same time. Let’s see Rob Gronkowski or Jordan Reed try to accomplish that!

Question: Is he (Eifert) the only guy not to go?

Lewis’ Response: Yes.

Presumably before the players go practice (or in Eifert’s case, before he both practices and doesn’t practice), they hit the restroom. Here Lewis points out that not only can Eifert practice and not practice, but he’s got some amazing bladder control, as he is the only player on the team who did not have to go.

Question: What did you see from Trey Hopkins, to have him on the roster now. His versatility?

Lewis’ Response: He’s done a really good job. He’s a young, ascending offensive lineman...

Here, the observation is not with Lewis as much as it is with the interviewer. By even asking about Hopkins on the roster, the interviewer clearly demonstrates that he or she does not follow the Bengals, as those who have seen him play would not question why he is on the roster.