Head Coach Jim Schwartz Post-Practice Quote Sheet

Posted Dec 3, 2009

On the Bengals’ offensive balance
“They’re 21st in passing yards and seventh in rushing. Obviously, they are running the football well this year. I think that they’ve done just enough to win the games passing wise. Taking care of the football – that’s been big, there might be something to that. The balance has come from being ahead in games, playing close games where they don’t have to throw the ball 45 times; they’re not in catch-up mode.”
On G Daniel Loper’s injury status
“We’ll see; he’s still working through some different stuff. Probably a game-time decision, it’s nothing that’s going to be long-term.”
On Bengals’ RB Cedric Benson resurgence
“I think it started the last three games of the year last year. They got him five or six games into the season and sort of worked him into shape. They had a lot of injuries, they’d lost their starting two wide receivers the last couple of games, they didn’t have their quarterback and they sort of let him take it over. He had around 350 yards in those last three games, all wins. They were struggling at the time, they were 1-11-1 and that really set the tone and helped him as they moved forward in this offseason and what they’ve done this year. There have been a lot of young players that have come into the league and haven’t experienced success right away. With him, he was able to withstand that, a lot of guys don’t – they have that first chance and never get a second chance. He got a second chance and he made the most out of it so my hat is off to him.”
On RB Kevin Smith and the running game closing out the season strong to get momentum going into next year
“We certainly didn’t want to wait until the last games. It’s something that we’ve had our eye on really since we got here, since training camp, and everything we’ve done has been towards getting that done. We haven’t done a good job of getting that done and whether it’s the first game or last game, we need to get that going, but that’s not just a one-man project. It’s the offensive line; its fullbacks; its tight ends; its wide receivers; its quarterbacks and its defense. We mentioned before how (Cincinnati) is able to run the football because their defense is No. 1 in the NFL in scoring defense so they’re not playing catch-up and they’re able to stick with that run game. I think all those things are important. It’s too much to put it all on Kevin. That responsibility is spread around quite a bit.”
On the success of Lions’ run defense
“I don’t think we’re happy with anything that we’ve done defensively. Whether it’s running or passing, all the yards count the same. It’s one thing to say, ‘Okay, we’ve done well against the run, or we’ve given up a lot of passing yards.’ It’ll be a test for sure because it’s a team like Minnesota and some of those other ones that come out and say, ‘We’re going to run the football; this is going to be part of what we want to do.’ We’ve seen some teams that take the opposite approach – Seattle took the opposite approach. (The run game) is what has made them successful; I don’t anticipate them going away from the formula that’s gotten them to first place in the AFC North.”
On Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis’ influence on his coaching
“Well, I started with (Bill) Belichick in Cleveland and then we moved to Baltimore and Marvin took over. He came from Pittsburgh and took over that defense. We were in a bad spot – we were the first salary cap casualty in the NFL. The cap was just in and we had sort of loaded up that last year in Cleveland to make a run and it didn’t work out. We had a lot of issues personnel-wise and we weren’t very good. We were good on offense but weren’t very good on defense and Marvin persevered through that, but we laid the groundwork. We drafted Ray Lewis and started putting a few other pieces in place. Four years later, that team had one of the better defenses in the history of the NFL and carried that team to a Super Bowl. I wasn’t there at the end of that journey but I saw the beginning of it and saw how hard those times were and you just learn. Everything in this league isn’t success. A lot of times success gets people promoted and things like that in this league but sometimes the hard times are the things that help you further on down the line. I think that’s what happened with us all in Baltimore, particularly Marvin. He withstood (the hard times) and he knew how to deal with that and then when times are good they were that much better from where we had come. Marvin has always been a guy that I have a lot of respect for. We’ve stayed in contact over the years and things like that. He’s helped along the way a lot of different places. ”