Bengals HC Marvin Lewis Talks Matchup with Raiders


The Raiders lead the all-time series against the Bengals 18-9. The two teams will meet to open the regular season.


Q: How tough is it to prepare for a team with a new coaching staff?

Coach Lewis: "Well, they played four preseason games, and I don't think they're hiding a new offense or defense in the barn. I think they'll go out and do what they do. You go into any opening game, there's going to be changes and so forth that you're going to have to adjust to. But I think that the foundation of what they do is you have to practice it in order to do it, and then evaluate it on tape."

Q: What are your impressions on Derek Carr and how has grown after a year of experience?

Coach Lewis: "Well, he's a very active passer. He's good in the pocket. He's good on his feet. He has great vision down the field and he seems very, very calm. Last year and the opportunity to play, and then he comes into this year being able to just go and play and not having to worry about being the rookie quarterback anymore."

Q: What do you recall about Jack Del Rio when he was the Baltimore Ravens linebacker coach?

Coach Lewis: "Well, Jack did a tremendous job as a player, no nonsense guy. He did a great job coaching our linebackers, and every step along the way has been very, very successful. I'm extremely happy for him now. We've been close friends for a long time, and I'm just glad he has the opportunity to do this and to do this back home."


Q: Khalil Mack has made a good impression in preseason. Do you see a real potential star in him?**

Coach Lewis: "I do. I think he has tremendous explosiveness. He's comparable to guys who have played in that spot like Derrick Thomas and guys like that who are tremendous football players, not just rushers, but football players. He plays hard. He tracks the football. He chases the ball. He does what you want to do, and he's a great young player."

*Q: When you have had the success you have had in the regular season, but it hasn't carried over to the playoffs, is it tough to stay the course and stick with what you guys are going? *

Coach Lewis:"We change all the time. We change each and every season. You adjust and try to do things differently and better, and that's part of coaching. I can't worry about the postseason. We've got to worry about the task at hand and that's the Oakland Raiders."

Q: What does Hue Jackson bring to your coaching staff and to your team?

Coach Lewis:"He's got tremendous expertise. He's been a great mentor for some of the young players when he first came back here and he was coaching on defense. He helps move our young guys along and continues to have done a great job now with the offense and the development of our offense all the way through."

Q: Do you think there is going to be any extra juice for him going up against the team that he used to coach?

Coach Lewis:"I would hope so. Anytime I go back to Pittsburgh and Baltimore there is extra juice."

Q: Are you surprised he hasn't gotten another shot at being a head coach?

Coach Lewis:"That's not my call, but I'm looking forward to doing everything we can to help him get there."

Q: A.J. Green is big, fast and strong, but what about his personality makes him the player he is?

Coach Lewis:"Well, he's got just the most unassuming personality that you would want. That way, as far as person, he's first at everything he does. He has a dominant, dominant at work ethic and so forth, and he has no airs about him that way. He's one of the first people in this building, one of the last to leave every day. Go downstairs and he's down there with the guys, whatever it may be, shooting baskets, whatever it is. He's here enjoying himself and that's what you like about him. He's been that way all the way through."

Q: What are your early impressions of Amari Cooper? Coach Lewis:"He is a great prospect, great speed, the ability to catch and run routes. He's a great, fine route runner. He's got body control. He's aggressive to the catch. He's strong to the catch. He's a guy that you want. He's been in a pro-style offense there at Alabama. He understands how to do things at this level and he's impressive."

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