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What Marvin Lewis had to say day after loss to Jaguars

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 6:10 PM


            JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 05: Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis looks out to the field in the first half of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 5, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 05: Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis looks out to the field in the first half of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 5, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis hinted at personnel changes and updated the injury status of a couple of players during his Monday afternoon press conference.

Initial comments …

“Going back to yesterday, we failed to do a very good job. On offense, (we struggled with) making first downs. I felt that after the football game yesterday. When you look at it, we had some positive plays, but we didn’t convert the two early third downs. We lost those opportunities. We had field position in the first half, which was good, but we were unable to maintain it and sustain it. Defensively, we were putting them on long fields even when we had to punt. We put them on long fields, but we weren’t able to hold-serve back there. … You couple (those things) with the breakdowns we had — both on third down defensively, and some of the things on offense — it wasn’t a very good day. Then we had the breakdown in the punt coverage for the touchdown to start the fourth quarter, which basically put us out of the game at that point. It’s hard; we have to play better. We have to look at how we’re doing things, who we’re doing it with, and see what the best way to come out of this is.”

After the coordinator change, you said that the next change of jobs would be with the players. Is everything on the table as far as that is concerned?

“(Evaluating players) doesn’t change. It’s not like (we don’t do it) every week. We just have to make sure we are being effective with the people we have — that they can play and execute as best they can.”

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So is your focus on how you’re doing it rather than who’s doing it?

“It’s a combination. But if we aren’t getting things done and executing properly, then (we ask), ‘Is there someone else who can do it better?’”

Do you feel that there are players on this roster who haven’t gotten much playing time that could contribute?

“I don’t know that, but we’ll just have to see.”

At what point before the game did Jeremy Hill tweak his ankle that kept him out of the game?

“It happened on Saturday.”

And with Jake Fisher, did he get food poisoning? Or what happened?

“No, he just wasn’t feeling well. He’s (dealt with this) as we’ve been going through the season. It’s something that the doctors are monitoring very closely. Yesterday they thought they needed to pull him from the game and run some tests, so they took him to the hospital to run tests.”

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Is this something that could be potentially serious?

“It’s not as serious as I would think it is. Yet, it took him out of the game yesterday.”

Have you heard anything from the league as far as a possible discipline for A.J. Green?

“No.”

Would they tell you if he wasn’t suspended?

“No.”

They would just keep you wondering?

“No, I don’t wonder. You wonder — I don’t have to wonder (laughs). That’s what you do. You like to wonder, in fact (laughs). When you wake up in the morning, you love to wonder (laughs).”

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But you have to game-plan though, right? How do you game-plan if you don’t know if you will have a player or not?

“If something were to happen, it would occur very quickly.”

Are you disappointed that A.J. took himself out of the game?

“Yes, and he is too. He’s disappointed and he apologized for his actions. I think he said that to you guys, which I wasn’t aware of.”

How concerning is the number of negative plays the offense has amassed? How do you stop that?

“I think you look at why it occurred, and I think that’s most important. The overall effect is — yes — we had some negative plays. But (we need) the ‘why,’ and it’s all fixable. We have to fix it. Whether it be the point of attack — wherever we are — whether it’s blocking, or running, throwing, catching, etc. We can’t have the negative plays, whether we have an assignment responsibility, miscommunication or (something else). We’re in close football games, and every one of those plays has an effect on the overall outcome — particularly in the field position, but no question on the overall outcome.”

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Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor mentioned that he was disappointed in the outcome, considering that the practices leading up to the game went well. Do you agree that it was a good week of practice last week?

“I thought that there were some things that were improved (upon) as far as what we were trying to do heading into the game. But we come away as productive as we would’ve liked because of small miscues and (other) things, and we have to do better.”

A couple of veterans on both sides of the ball talked about the will to win. Is that concerning?

“That’s something players love to do (laughs). I’m the one has all the passion (laughs). It’s what should happen all the time. We played a very physical game and guys put things out there, and we didn’t play well enough.”

Do you feel like there is a lack of passion, or a lack of will or ‘want-to’ on this team?

“I don’t.”

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We are at the midpoint of the season. What do you see that makes you believe that there’s a run left in them?

“We’ve got enough ability to get it done, but we got to go do it. They’re going to work. We just need to continue to work smarter, play smarter, and eliminate the errors and the things that occur that we (have to overcome) in the scope of the game. We just need to get on the right track. We have to make things happen.”

Are you still evaluating where this team is?

“I don’t think so. We lost a football game yesterday. We have to come back and get back in order.”

Three weeks in a row, there have been special teams plays that have swung the games, which is uncharacteristic …

“It has been. Those are things you can’t let occur. We always like to make game-changing plays on the other side, but we’ve had three plays in three weeks where we’ve got to do a better job. No. 1, we have to get a good punt and get the ball where we need it, and then we need to get down and cover it, and free ourselves, and make sure we make a play on the ball.”

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Hypothetically, could John Ross play 80 percent of the snaps on Sunday, from a health stand point?

“Yeah (laughs).”

Would you bring him in for the sole purpose of creating a spark for this team?

“You guys ask this same question every week. John has had three weeks of practice now. Let’s let him practice and lets get him comfortable playing football again before we put him back in there. When he knows what to do and how to do it all the time, and when he can play productively, then he’ll play fast, he’ll play with confidence. But he wouldn’t be very confident (right now). Each day, he gets more confident with playing football. He hasn’t been playing football. That’s the thing. You have to (practice) 11-on-11 enough to be comfortable with it.”

Do you see John Ross getting better every day at practice?

“Oh yeah, there’s no question he becomes more comfortable. What he’s has to do is take what he practicing one-on-one and be able to play it 11-on-11. The more reps and time he has against the defense every day in practice and the more he’s part of the offense, those are good things, because he has to gain that confidence. It was three weeks ago, that every time he went on the ground, everybody held their breath. You’re going to get knocked down in football, and you’ve got to get up, go back to the huddle and do it again. He’s not made of glass — he’s not going to break every time he falls down —yet he’s got to practice football and continue to do it.”

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Is John Ross’ path headed where you can see him contributing this season?

“Oh, I hope so. Yes.”

So, you can’t play fast if you’re not confident …

“You have to know what to do, make the proper adjustments, and so on. Even when he was in the game two weeks ago, he’s moving in one speed, while everyone else is moving in another. You got to get used to playing.”

Are you confident that K Randy Bullock will play on Sunday?

“I was confident in him last Sunday, but it didn’t work out very well.”

Was it still a question this past Sunday morning, before the game?

“Yes.”

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Can you afford to carry two kickers?

“If need be, but I hope to get it figured out one way or another.”

When you made that decision to waive a player, why Derron Smith?

“It wouldn’t be proper or fitting to explain anything in here that way.”

Is he someone you hope passes through waivers?

“We do.”

With how much the offense is struggling, it is more than disappointing that A.J. Green took himself out of the game …

“I think he was very forthright with you and I am going to leave it at that. I don’t need to expound on it any more.”

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Reds top prospect will miss rest of season

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know

Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel will miss the rest of the season after tearing a tendon in his right index finger Friday, the Reds announced Saturday.

Senzel, who will undergo surgery Tuesday, addressed the injury in a message posted to Twitter and Instagram.

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“I would like to start by thanking my family, friends and teammates and fans for the support over the last 24 hours,” Senzel wrote. “It had been a challenging season from the start, but it has made me grow. The news this morning was very unfortunate, but I was prepared mentally on how to handle it whether good or bad. I had a goal this season, and it was to make it to the big leagues and help the Cincinnati Reds win ballgames. Although I did not fulfill this goal, it will not stop my drive to continue to fulfill my dream. The support that has been shown is what makes me blessed and thankful for everything in my life, inside and outside of baseball. It’s what makes me keep going, and make no mistake, I will be back stronger than ever. Love u all Reds nation.”

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The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Senzel was hitting .310 with six home runs and 25 RBIs with Triple-A Louisville.

Senzel’s 2017 season was also cut short as he battled vertigo late last season while playing for Double-A Pensacola. The same condition cost him time this spring.

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Dayton draft drought ends as Antetokounmpo chosen with last pick

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:04 AM

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A 28-year drought ended for the Dayton Flyers on Thursday as the Dallas Mavericks selected Kostas Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-10 forward, with the 30th and last pick of the second round in the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the 60th player chosen overall.

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Antetokounmpo, 20, is the first Dayton player drafted since Negele Knight in 1990. The Phoenix Suns drafted Knight in the second round.

Dayton had 38 players drafted between 1952 and 1990. Twenty Flyers have played in the NBA, including four undrafted players (Chris Wright, Chris Johnson, Brian Roberts and Charles Cooke) since Knight was drafted.

Antetokounmpo seeks to become the third member of his family to play in the NBA. His brother Giannis Antetokounmpo, 23, was the 15th pick of the first round in 2013 and now is one of the top players in the league. He averaged 26.9 points per game last season for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, 25, played in two games in 2016 for the New York Knicks. He was a second-round pick in 2014.

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The 6-foot-10 Antetokounmpo committed to Dayton in June 2016 but sat out his freshman season as a NCAA partial qualifier.

Antetokounmpo debuted in the 2017-18 season and averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. He led the team with 31 blocks. He appeared in 29 of 32 games and started six games.

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In late March, weeks after the end of a 14-17 season, Antetokounmpo left the program and the university.

“His mindset was he wants to test the waters to see what his prospects are for being in the NBA,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “And he felt it was in his best interest to leave school to do it. I’m not trying to judge his decision in terms of basketball, but the timing of his leaving did surprise me with just six weeks of school left.”

     

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Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna suspended 75 games 

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:11 AM

Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games without pay, retroactive to May 8, for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy, the New York Daily News reported.

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Osuna, 23, an All-Star in 2017, was charged with one count of assault in Toronto and was put on administrative leave, the Daily News reported. The right-hander has not pitched since May 6. 

Osuna has nine saves and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games.

The suspension will cost Osuna $2.54 million of his annual $5.3 million salary, the Daily News reported. He will participate in an evaluation and treatment program, which is confidential and supervised by the joint policy board of Major League Baseball and the players’ association, the newspaper reported.

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Sorting through some 2026 World Cup questions

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 2:41 AM

Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.(Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, voted last week to play the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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And while the announcement raised much excitement in North American soccer circles, it left questions that won’t be fully answered for years. Here are some of them.

WHICH CITIES WILL HOST MATCHES? 

Sixteen North American cities -- at least 10 in the United States -- will be chosen by FIFA in 2020 or 2021 to host matches. Those 16 choices will come from 23 “candidate cities.” FIFA will have negotiating leverage in whittling the number.

The U.S. host cities will be chosen from among these candidates: Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas), Denver (Broncos Stadium at Mile High), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, or the new NFL stadium under construction), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey), Orlando, Florida (Camping World Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California), Seattle (CenturyLink Field) and Washington (FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.) 

In addition, current plans call for matches to be played in up to three cities in Canada (Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto) and up to three in Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey). 

"We are blessed with 23 really world-class stadiums -- some iconic, some brand-new cutting-edge and everything in between," U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. "I think it will be a very difficult decision to make … when we have to determine the final 16 cities. But it’s a high-class problem.”

Under current plans, 60 matches will be played in the U.S., 10 in Canada and 10 in Mexico. 

WHAT IS THE COST OF HOSTING? 

It helps that no new stadiums will have to be built in North America for the event, but the costs of security, transportation and other requirements will be considerable in any host city. 

“We’ve been told during the bid process it is on the level of (hosting) a Super Bowl,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council and chairman of Atlanta’s World Cup committee. “We have not gotten into too much detail on that yet, but we will during this next phase of the process.” 

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