M. Lewis does job against old boss

Bengals' 1st-year coach remains businesslike about defeating Billick

October 20, 2003|By Mark Curnutte | Mark Curnutte,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CINCINNATI - Marvin Lewis is not one to let emotions get the best of him.

He didn't when he won his first NFL game as a head coach on Sept. 28 in Cleveland, and he didn't get misty-eyed yesterday after his Bengals defeated the Ravens, 34-26, at Paul Brown Stadium.

Lewis received a quick post-game hug from linebacker Ray Lewis - his prized pupil in six years as Ravens defensive coordinator - and exchanged an even quicker handshake with Brian Billick, his former boss, at midfield.

"No, it wasn't, actually," Lewis said when asked if the day was emotional. "I have a job to do. They have a job to do. I love them all, great to see them, but we're in this competing against them."

Billick had gone 7-1 against Marvin Lewis' predecessors, Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau.

The Ravens had won nine of the past 10 against the Bengals.

"I've been there, and it feels great," Billick said of what Lewis must have experienced in beating his former team. "Forgive me if I'm not popping champagne bottles for him. At the appropriate time, that's one where you say, `Good job.' "

Before the game, offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh tossed a football with Lewis' son, Marcus. Former Ravens assistant coaches Darrin Simmons (special teams) and Chip Morton (strength and conditioning) are on Lewis' staff.

Tailback Jamal Lewis rushed for 101 yards against the Bengals, 47.4 below his average. He said he could see the imprint of the Ravens' former defensive coordinator in the Cincinnati rush defense. There were no surprises.

"I know Marvin Lewis. I know his defense," Jamal Lewis said. "I ran against it in practice for a couple of years. Marvin [was] a good defensive coordinator - a great defensive coordinator, actually - against the run."

Ray Lewis, who was drafted in the first round during Marvin Lewis' first year with the Ravens, did get emotional about his former coordinator after the game. The linebacker had put up a tough, dispassionate front all week.

"With Marvin, it's always been pure," Ray Lewis said. "It's always been a thing of, `I'm going to try to help you get to where you're trying to go outside of football.' It's not a thing where you have to be my coach for me to come over there and hug you and say, `I love you and I hope your family and everybody is doing well.'

"That was my message to him and that was his message to me."

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