Here is a transcript of what Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had to say after his team's 30-27 victory over the Chicago Bears in their 2019 preseason opener:
Initial Comments ...
"Tonight is evident why you have the opportunity to play these preseason games. To have the young players play, and for them to have the chance to play when the game is on the line like that, was very cool for them at the end. And to be able to make plays and get back to having a (competitive) game and finish it out.
"There are lot of things to coach from this game, as we'd figured -- at the beginning of the game, we basically have a penalty on defense which extends a drive, but we get the stop and those guys come back and get a three-and-out. So it's a good start to things. We're going to have some young players play, and getting them in there (for) meaningful football was good. We'll continue to do that the rest of the preseason.
"With the offense, again, I thought the rhythm was good. The thing that will be interesting to look at is where we were in the running game early on the game. We created a couple spaces in the second drive, but nothing in the first touchdown drive, or at least not as much as we need to. Obviously, we were having the opportunity (to pass), so they must have been crowding the box to get the ball pushed down the field as Andy did.
"The positives, other than the turnover -- we weren't great on that route, and that happens, so it's another learning lesson. The other thing is just we had a couple special teams penalties with young guys, and they make an impact in the game. (These are) good things to coach from, and I'm really pleased with the opportunity to get guys playing in there and them having a good (game) tape now."
John Ross came in and had a nice catch in the first half. Was that impressive to you?
"John is like a rookie out there, so it's great. He just has to be keep playing."
Obviously offensive coordinator Bill Lazor called plays last year, and now defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is calling plays. How did the communication work with the play calling from your view?
"There's no middle man. Teryl has the vision, and that what he's comfortable doing and that's where he's been."
Any hesitation about showing that fake punt in a preseason game?
"It's basically (about) the look (of the defense). Clayton (Fejedelem) has the look, and in that situation he makes the call. I wasn't even paying attention. It wasn't a call we made from the sideline or anything -- that's what he's coached to do all the time if he has the opportunity. You don't run a fake to run a fake; you run a fake because of the look (of the defense). You don't go in the game and do that. That's not how it's done. I wasn't even looking; I was looking for Kevin (Huber's) ball up in the air (laughs). I want to see Kevin get the ball in that situation. I wanted to flip field position, and we did (albeit) a different way."
You've got a lot of different receivers you want to look at in camp. It seems like Cody Core didn't get targeted much tonight ...
"It depends on the coverage. With the quarterback, he got a lot of snaps, but you can't control the coverage and where it ends up at times."
Auden Tate had a prime example on his touchdown tonight of what he's done in camp -- just throwing the ball near him and letting him make something out of it. You had to be impressed by what you saw ...
"Yeah. As you said -- he's shown every opportunity he's had. You've got to feel good about that, and I think everybody's got to take notice."
You said you like getting the young guys in for the playing time, but for many of them this is their livelihood on the line. Do you still enjoy this aspect of the preseason?
"It's what it's all about. It's fun. It's great to see our young guys go out and play. It's great to see Joe (Mixon) have a play like that (touchdown). It's great to see John (Ross) make guys miss. That's what our lifeblood is -- these guys and their athleticism. And Mark Walton. For them to make the guys miss in the open field, that's why we have them. CJ Uzomah kind of picked up where he left off last year, and he had very important catches tonight to keep the drives alive and keep the chains moving. So there were a lot of good things there like that, and we've just got to keep going. Like on (Carl) Lawson's hustle on the backside tonight, the quarterback broke the pocket and Carl chased him down from behind -- that's what it's all about."
Is there any update on Vincent Rey's injury?
"They talked about taping him (up) and having him come back (in the game), but I said that's not necessary (laughs). He has a sprained ankle, so hopefully it's nothing that keeps him out very long. But I'm well aware of what Vinny Rey can do."