Coach Marvin Lewis was pleased with the start of the Bengals' 23-10 preseason-opening win against the New York Giants, but he had his quibbles, specifically with regard to mental mistakes, especially in pre-snap situations.
It's something Lewis wants corrected in Monday's second preseason game, at Tampa Bay. Thankfully, he has nine days in between games.
“Obviously pleased with how we started the game. Defensively, I thought going out and getting off the field, and offensively, going in and taking the ball down the field and scoring, was good," Lewis said.
"There are some things to build upon, but obviously a lot of work left to do. There are things to do better. Defensively, I thought the No. 1 thing I was pleased with was tackling. We’ve got to keep working hard at that, and we’ve got to get better at turnovers — we’ve got to get some turnovers and create some turnover situations. The negative on defense was being offsides there with guys early in the game. That was the biggest Achilles heel."
The biggest positive for the coach was health.
"We came out of the game fairly healthy, which is also the key element in these football games," said Lewis, who also thought many of the youngsters battling for roster spots received valuable field experience. "We got the young guys a lot of playing time, which is good, and saw some (good) things from them tonight, and things we need to keep working at, and build upon. We didn’t have a turnover until the last part there."
Lewis also said it was good to see receiver Marvin Jones on the field for the first time in 20 months, following an injury-marred 2014.
“It was great for Marvin Jones to play through the second quarter, like he did and feel good about it," said the coach. "We kept trying to get the ball in his hands and finally got it in his hands and then got him out, and that was good. He did a nice job catching the ball, avoiding the first tackle and turning up the field and running. It had to feel good for him.”