For Marvin Lewis, there is something very familiar about the New York Jets, the team his Cincinnati Bengals will be facing in Sunday’s season-opener.
“We’re playing an opponent that’s very similar to the opponents in our division,” the Bengals’ coach told Solomon Wilcots and Takeo Spikes on the Opening Drive. “We know it’s going to be physical football, you’ve got to stay very sound. And it’s much like playing Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland within our division.”
Lewis expects the Bengals’ defense to have his hands full against Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. As stout as the Bengals are on defense, Fitzpatrick has the skills, the surrounding talent, and, most of all, the knowledge of how to take advantage of any weaknesses he can find.
Fitzpatrick has ‘great feel’ for Gailey’s offense
“Ryan has been with (Jets offensive coordinator) Chan (Gailey) within this offense,” Lewis pointed out. “This is his second stop now, second year there in New York, the years in Buffalo. He has a great feel, a great understanding of their offense and what they want to do, the isolation of it.
Forte gives Jets ‘fine cut runner, receiver’
“They’ve got two big, physical receivers (in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker). Adding (Matt) Forte in the backfield gives them another weapon, who’s both a fine cut runner as well as a great receiver out of the backfield. So, offensively, those are the things that they present that are a real challenge.”
Del Rio: Carr in ‘great spot’ to take next step for Raiders
Jack Del Rio acknowledges that the challenge for the Oakland Raiders Sunday begins with Drew Brees.
“The newly minted Drew Brees,” the Raiders’ coach told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “Just saw the new contract that he got. Congratulations to him, he’s earned it.”
Carr’s had ‘tremendous offseason’
And to come away with victory against the standout quarterback and the rest of the Saints in New Orleans, the Raiders are likely going to have to earn it with some superb play from their own QB, Derek Carr.
“He’s in a great spot,” Del Rio said. “He’s had a tremendous offseason, having the (coaching) staff return and the terminology the same and, basically, the people he’s throwing to largely the same. So that group, the continuity, you’re talking about him definitely being in a comfort zone. We’re able to give him a little more ownership of it and tailor things to him and things he likes, so we’re excited to get going with him.
‘Next step is to put it all together’
“It’s been a really fruitful offseason, very productive in terms of growing the system and growing it around him and his talents. This next step for him is to be able to put it all together for us and utilize the weapons he has around him.
“And then the other part for us, if we don’t want him to feel like he has to put us on his shoulders and carry us, we want to play really good defense and we want to have a really good running game around him.”