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“On literally the first third down of the first game – some of the things we had planned, we had to throw out the window. It was a whole a different ballgame.” Former Cincinnati Bengals head coach and defensive coordinator of the legendary Super Bowl XXXV champions tells Nestor that watching the growth and revolution of Lamar Jackson from afar has been as impressive as the roster that’s been assembled around him by the Baltimore Ravens.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, Marvin Lewis

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00

re wonderbag W en st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are. We’re positive. We have a great week. I mean, I this is so much fun. I think the Ravens should go to the AFC Championship Game and hosted every single year every single week so we can have better guests on. It’s been fun this week we’ve been. It gives me a chance to open my rolodex after being treated and being blackballed by the National Football League and not being able to go to the circle to sort of have radio row ahead of time because we’re doing crabcake row and we’re doing that the week of the cup of soup or bowl and I’ll start on February 5, the fifth we will be at faithless downtown on the sixth on Tuesday. We’ll be a Costas in Dundalk. On Wednesday. We’re gonna be at this guy’s job replace Coco’s pub in Lawrenceville, then on Thursday to State Fair in Catonsville and then on Friday, backup the Pappas and cockys but we’re hoping that the Ravens that it’s a big purple pep rally, we’re going live old school radio from nine until five. And Marvin Lewis knows that, Marvin, when it’s live on the radio, you never know it nasty nasty is gonna say Do ya?


Marvin Lewis  01:02

No, no, no. And I remember you know, when you were doing the whole deal, you were everything you were the talent, the engineer, sound production, you know, mean

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:14

this morning? You mean like, just like today?

Marvin Lewis  01:16

It was today again. So it’s like back to your future.

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:20


Really? Yes. It feels like being a solo artist. Again, it feels like I played a guitar and sang songs and then decided to have a band. And now I’ve just decided, no, no, no, this is this is way better to just do this this way. But, dude, I love you. I miss you. First things first. I mean, Lamar, you know, I had Joe Flacco on I’ve had Brian we’ve talked 35 that Brandon Stokely on today. I’m Jason people. There’s all of this, but we’ve never played an AFC Championship game here. And I know you were chasing that Cincinnati for two decades. We’ve been chasing that here since 1971. We finally have does that that’s weird, right? That there’s never been, we’ve always been good. But there’s something different about the expectation when you’re hosting at home. And you know that? Oh,

Marvin Lewis  02:01

yeah. There’s no question about that, you know, they have the opportunity to play home playoff games, and obviously, the championship game which leads, you know, obviously, to going to play the Super Bowl and a chance to be world champion. So it’s quite a quite a feat. You know, I saw many of the highlights of the game. I really didn’t see the game being over here in Hawaii. And I was working and busy and but but but quite again, from what I saw, why

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:27

don’t you do a Polynesian bowl and all of my Las Vegas moles because I have a few because the Ravens might be going out there next week. Your relationship with Antonio Pierce, and you working with AP and the raiders and everybody in that locker room coming to his defense to keep his job and your background at Arizona State. And I had to google him a couple of weeks ago, because everybody, your name came up and you and I are in touch and I text with you all the time. We don’t see each other much unless we do this, quite frankly, we don’t visit a whole lot. But we text a lot. And I had to like Google up and I’m like, Oh yeah, Marvin was in New Washington, Dan Schneider in the ball coach and like and then they Antonio Pearson The Giants. Give me the first day you met him because you and I used to get together full disclosure, you would meet schwarzsee We’d be over to her to cheese at the lake great Owings Mills Mall and you’d have the crayons out drawn defense, but you love the draft and back in the days of Peter ball were in drafting players and your time in Cincinnati and all of that. But you identify players you loved when you were young as a coach and guys that get in your space including me even crazy media. Do you keep people do you collect people and people collect you?

Marvin Lewis  03:38

Yeah, I you know, Antonio was in his second year he had made the squad the year before under Coach Schottenheimer as an undrafted free agent. And he got to play a lot. He played the nickel backer spot. And when I took the job there with the with the Washington squad, whatever they’re called. You know, I was impressed with watching the tape and what he had done the year before as a rookie. So I had a plan for him. And unfortunately, he had a high ankle sprain throughout training camp and didn’t get to play in the preseason. And so he was upset. His wife was upset at the time and his wife at the time was upset. And she actually came in grabbed me after one of the games and say, you know he’s been a bear at home. He’s, he’s upset. He’s very worried he’s not going to make the squad. Is he going to be okay, and I see yes, he’s Okay, time to relax. He’s gonna be fine. He was so smart. He was the leader. As a young player, you know, I had we had Jeremiah Trotter in that room Jesse Armstead. LeVar, Arrington and AP was was the leader. He was the glue. And he kept things going and, and obviously, he played that year Oh, two and three, and then his career took off from there. And then I got to reunite with him again at Arizona State in 2019. So you know, he’s just been a wonderful person, as wonderful family. I’ve enjoyed just spending the time coaching alongside him and he literally a couple hours before they made the change there and and Las Vegas telephoned me and said, Hey, I think this may happen. I think I may end up being the interim head coach, when can you get here? And I said, you know, I was still working with ASU. And then I had my hip replaced Monday after Thanksgiving after the last day shoe game. And so, but they sent me a login so I could log into their video system every day watch practice, sent me I made a folder, they made a folder on the system for me. I could put cut ups in there, send notes to him, and the coaches and I just tried to help out do what I could do.


Nestor J. Aparicio  05:55

Well, I know you long time and I’m thinking back to this 9697 98 When I got to know you, you came in from Pittsburgh, and Phil savage and Ozzy running the draft at that time. And you know, you were trying to figure out every Kim herring and Jamie sharper and Peter ball were and guys that we didn’t get guys from the Cowboys. We thought we signed and we didn’t sign as I remember it. But you know, the things that happened, that didn’t happen, your recruitment of rod Woodson and goose came in, and all of these players, but you were always you always love smart guys. And you always love guys that had a different kind of intellect. There were a couple guys, you’re like, This guy could be a coach, this guy thinks like a coach thinks. And you always love that in young football players is so important that they see the game that did you could relate it in that way. And you’re teaching way. But when you identify a young guy like that, and 20 years later, he’s calling you as pop pop, and says come in, you know, I need you to be the spiritual, you know, backbone for I’ve taken on this job. Oh, my God, I need help. It’s like calling the grandparents which I know you’re a very, very proud grandparent. Where are you at all of this. I mean, it feels like some days I see you out in Scottsdale and feels like times forgotten you, then you move to college. And then you’re the sage guy, and then they have all these jobs and you don’t get a call and and then there are obvious Rooney Rule. I don’t know what to call it. You know, I found my tape a Johnnie Cochran from 25 years ago talking about the Rooney rule with the Super Bowl in San Diego 2003. And I don’t know that it’s I mean, we could talk at length about what you’ve gone through as a coach, but to feel relevant again. And the feel like man, I can contribute here again. And my guy got a job. Somebody I believed in I know that makes you proud as punch. It

Marvin Lewis  07:39

really has, it really was to the last half of the NFL season, it was a lot of fun. Being involved with the coaches, the players there, you know, and I was the background. You know, I was like one of those speak when spoken to type situations, you know, and that’s all I wanted to be. And, you know, I said along the back wall and the staff meetings and you know, I was there and then you know, the first week I actually got there, Coach Coughlin Tom Coughlin came in, Adam Gates was in and out quite a bit. Adam Gates had a relationship with Beau Hardaway who had made OSI. And so it was really good that and this showed Antonio’s spirit, and his ability to realize that, you know, this is a big opportunity. I’m ready for it. But you know what, having somebody else reinforced some of my thoughts is not bad. And that’s what he did. So you gotta respect that. And then the fact that myself coach Coughlin, Adam would all get on a plane and be there like that was great

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:46

support team out there with the Las Vegas I was calling it Oakland, I must say that man, I’m not gonna do that. I know they play in Vegas, squeaky Vegas, Marvin at a football game out there a couple of weeks from now. I’m Lamar Jackson. And since you’ve been out of the league, you don’t have to scheme these things up to try to figure this out now. Yeah, you know, several people, right? That style of football. And I asked Brian, this, and maybe it’s not flippant. But if I deliver you, the Ravens head coaching job, and John’s out you’re in it’s 2018. And you get delivered a player like that, and knowing what to do whether or not what to do with it, or what you’d have to do the investment of everything else. What this organization is done in five or six years to take a player that quite frankly, nobody wanted this time last year, nobody was ready to rip up their deal and give Lamar Jackson the keys at 250. But nobody was willing to do that. He was out on the market. There were other things in the draft and all that but if it’s a player you want, boy he has a chip on his shoulder and the organization could stand proud after what they’ve done this year keeping him healthy. But everything they’ve done here over the last year from turmoil in the contract to where they are to having this system and actually have it work this year, the way they dreamed of it back when you were still coaching the bangles. And it took a little time and some injuries and some hardship. But they’ve made this thing work in a way that 31 other teams didn’t sign up for them on the first round that night. No,

Marvin Lewis  10:15


they didn’t. And, you know, to Baltimore’s credit ties these credit. And Eric, they moved up to getting just because they figured they would need a quarterback for the future. And, you know, literally, we were coaching against him, Lamar is first start. And, you know, we didn’t know he was going to start until Friday afternoon. And literally the first third down of the game. Some of the things we had planned, we had to throw out the window, a different ballgame. And, and I really have been so what’s the word want to say excited for what he has done as a player and watching him. We spent a lot of time with Lamar before the draft, both in Indianapolis and Louisville, and in Cincinnati. And what he has done as a young man and they came out the Arizona two years ago in the preseason, and I got to go watch practice. They were over, they practiced at ASU and, and he came over and gave me a big hug. And, you know, you forget how big he is, too. That was my first impression that day, I forgot about how tall you know, he’s his length. And, you know, what he’s done. And as a player, what he’s, you know, going through the whole contract thing. I think, you know, he’s always been in competition with Deshaun Watson, you know, all the way through his career, which has been kind of incredible also that they end up in the same division again, after playing against each other in the ACC.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:46

Martin Lewis is our guest though he has been to a Polynesian bowl. So if you’re watching out on the web, there’s a real palm trees. It’s got about eight inches of snow here. It’s been about 10 degrees more of you. You watch the the playoff game with the Ravens. Listen, I don’t need to preach to you about race in the game and the sport, who owns it, who controls it where we are and I’ve now been blackballed. And I’m only Latin in the case of Lamar and not just race but style. And the thought that we’re gonna have a running quarterback injured last year injured the year before you know about injured quarterbacks in January. Joe burrows injured Cincinnati now which opens the gates for a lot of things, but keeping him healthy and then believing in this seeing this thing through. And this whole can he be a pocket passer? Can he throw the ball? Can he be an accurate passer all of those things. He’s the spell of every single thing except winning these two football games. These are the last two things and as you know, the hardest thing in the world to do, but for him to change the game, and John’s talk revolution and all that there were a lot of people just thought you couldn’t win with this kind of quarterback, no matter was raised no matter what size, Cam Newton, whatever they’ll get dealt, they’ll just get beaten up too much to be able to play in week 19. And week 20. There’s

Marvin Lewis  13:01

no question about that. And you got to credit. I think first off John. And, you know, coming from him and him constructing the offense, getting the offense constructed to utilize and really accentuate the skills of Lamar. And then from from Greg to now Todd, the coordinators and so forth. James Durbin, who was with him as a young when he was a rookie, as a quarterback coach in the quarterback room, they really built everything around him. And it’s been really, really cool to see and watch his growth. And then Todd comes in this year. And again, they pick things up, you know, early in his career, they had the tight ends on the inside, and they worked this year, they sign Odell to giving those inside threats, and then the opportunity for him to stretch the field downfield for the long balls. So they’ve really done a great job of personnel being around him, always being able to feature the run, but he becomes the 11th guy. And when he’s carrying the ball now it’s all even on defense.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:05

Well, I mean for you being thought of as the defensive minded guy to take an offensive guy, and who has skills, there are things he can do that you could never think about doing with Carson Palmer or John Elway or anyone right like things you can do offensively, but then also the things he can do to you defensively that you learned from to your point, like first game first, third down, oh my god, we got a different kinds of thing that’s going to happen here, apples and oranges however you would have it but seeing the game differently, that no one ever thought this could be successful enough to have to worry about it other than gadgetry or gimmickry or whatever, that at some point, the forward pass would have to be part of this, that it really wasn’t an 18 and 19 and they were trying to make it part of that but then there comes all the weapons and everything that has to happen around a quarterback to make this very, very unique thing fective


Marvin Lewis  15:01

Yeah, you know, the thing about it is they’ve continued to build. And you know what they stayed in the lane, they, you know, this is what it’s going to be, this is how we’re going to win, this is how we’re going to win. And, and we’re going to protect him as best we can. We want him to protect himself as best we can. So it’s kind of a two fold thing.

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:21

Getting a guy like that, who is a horse unsaddled to sit back in the pocket and pat the football and then to move east west instead of north south with the football when he has the ability. The sticks are there. He knows he can get the sticks. No, no, no, he’s gonna wait for ze flowers to break. Boy, there’s there’s a lot of things we’ve seen him physically do this year, really the last eight or 10 weeks that I don’t know that we thought he could do it, but hadn’t been coached to do it. But never thought he could have success doing it because it was just so easy to take off and get the sticks, right. Like when he had that ability to beat you on third down and 18. We didn’t see this coming. And they forced this issue. And it’s made him that much more dangerous, because he does throw the ball a lot better than he was ever given credit for.

Marvin Lewis  16:10

Yeah, he really does. And, you know, he showed that in his workout coming out. You know, he had thrown the ball well as liberal, and you know, but it gets to be a different thing. Your windows are all tighter in the National Football League. And so that that changes a little bit, but, but he’s excelled at it. They’ve done a great job of winning, and he’s embraced it. And the thing you said earlier in the conversation, he plays with a chip on his shoulder. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:38


it’s Patrick mahomes, though, right? I mean, doesn’t matter how many times you with Joe Flacco in one but he had a chip. I mean, that’s part of all of this at this level. And that gets to get to what makes it such a heavyweight fight this week, right?

Marvin Lewis  16:49

Yeah, it really does. I mean, there’s a there’s a certain attitude for a guy to be gifted and good. You mentioned, you know, Carson Palmer, you mentioned in LA, and those guys all had that hit factor and the ability to take it to a new level and, and get their teammates to respond.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:09

You happy? How are things? How’s your hip? How you doing? I mean, you’re sort of Cleany you don’t have a job with the Raiders, you’re gonna make that clear, right? But this moment, right. I

Marvin Lewis  17:17

don’t currently have a job with the Raiders. I’m just on vacation. So but no, eventually something will likely work out. But whatever he needs me to do. I’ve really, it’s been great to help him and him, you know, being a kind of a sounding board for him to bounce things off of


Nestor J. Aparicio  17:37

what you learn from all these kids at Tempe man, you run around with all these young young people here, right? Tell

Marvin Lewis  17:44

you what, this last week though, being in Honolulu with these high school kids that are just entering college. Now that was a new level. Now, it was about a handful of them, you would take right to the National Football League tomorrow. That’s how gifted they were. So that was a lot of fun because the Polynesian bowl is high school kids who are just entering college. A lot of them have already started school in January, and they got permission from the universities to come play in the All Star game. And it supports the Polynesian Hall of Fame, which was pretty incredible where they were inducting DOMA top pecho, who spent a lot of time in Baltimore there at the end,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:22

makes a nice sandwich out in Beverly Hills, from what I understand as well.

Marvin Lewis  18:26


Yes. And so domata was one of the inductees. He also coached the D line on my squad. And it’s really great that the coaches are all basically from the islands, either Polynesian and been doing it for a while, or Southern Cal or California and come in to coach the game and it was fabulous. It’s 100 approximately 100 probably the top 30% of the top 150 guys in the country.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:59

You know people see to a tongue of Allah or his brother from Hawaii. They come play here. We’ve had all sorts of Polynesian players back to Edmo lutalo and name any of the guys from the islands. Maki came er to bunch of these guys. I spent time in a wahoo a number of years ago and now over Maui a couple times and I had never, nobody ever told me on those who I was still I swear to God, I turned down the Pro Bowl when I was at Sporting News Radio to go to our parade back in oh one I remember you and I together on the bus with Marcus that now I see him coaching with you over there but nobody told me first of our beautiful why wasn’t our credit. Like literally I spent my time at Jamaican a Caribbean whatever. West Coast Florida who is great, but the football culture there and even just driving around little mountain you see football. Football is absolutely the king in Hawaii. And when you go over there, it’s beautiful but they love football, love football. It’s

Marvin Lewis  19:56

amazing community loves football. And I mean they were Really it’s it’s special to them and, and Mark is actually coached in the hula bowl. I tried Philly, which is in Orlando now. So he’s not with you know he’s here on vacation, but he was in Orlando was with Brian. He coached the tight ends for Brian Scott

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:19

was stupid enough to see him with Brian at the hole a bowl and thought oh the Roman why prions and why then I’m like, they were in Orlando. In Orlando. They have holes in why?


Marvin Lewis  20:30

Yeah, Aloha Stadium is condemned. So there’s a plan to eventually got knocked it down and rebuild it. And so they moved the hula boater who to Orlando two years ago,

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:42

I had no idea Aloha Stadium was so close to, to to where Pearl Harbor is, you know, on Oahu. It’s like, Yeah, I mean, I got the lay of the land when I went in and I felt like such a creep and the Pro Bowl Sox. I mean, not for you guys to get the word that would lays when you go and you’re the coach and like all

Marvin Lewis  20:58

that goes over now. Now. It’s the skills competition. So team Ray,

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:03


Ray Ray, Ray Lewis, right. tempatan right.

Marvin Lewis  21:06

Yeah. What was Ray one of the the honors? Yes,

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:09

I don’t know. You know what, that’s triple 35 team. If Shannon’s not doing it, you know, we’re honoring goose and he’s gone or you’re doing it or Brian’s, Trent Dilfer? That team Ray I mean, that Rob would send you all you show up somewhere because it was just special 23 years ago. This set by the way this Sunday, we can go first time we’ve ever had the AFC Championship, we can go to the Super Bowl. It is the 23 year anniversary of the 28th of January of Super Bowl 35. So there have at it.

Marvin Lewis  21:41

Oh, that’s good. Yeah. special time.


Nestor J. Aparicio  21:45

Yeah, I know. I love you go back to the pool. I love you Marv. All right. Good luck. Listen, I’ve worn Bengals stuff for you. I’ve worn Arizona. I didn’t wear any that Washington. Bernie goal. But listen, you get a kick with the Raiders because of JT the brick and because of your love for Antonio Pierce because you’re sort of grandpa pawn out to the organization and you can win a Super Bowl again. I wear some Raider stuff for you. Okay. All right. So all right.

Marvin Lewis  22:10

Everybody wants to always wanted to be a raider you know that I

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:14

come on the original rebel, you know that right? You know, I’m the original. Right? Absolutely. I you know, that you know, and I as you know, I have a commitment to excellence you know that so, mom gonna love you take care of yourself. All right. All right. That’s good. Peggy and all the grandkids daughter everybody. Get out there enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life. You suffered in this league long enough enjoy your life Marvin Lewis. I love Marvin. Joe Flacco has been here this week Brian Bill experience we came here see you later more back to the pool. He’s he’s coaching the Polynesian bowl. Oh my god that the sacrifices Marvin Lewis makes to come on the program. I texted me saying I’m at the pool. I’ll be there in a minute. We are doing the first annual, a cup of soup or bowl. We’re doing crabcake row and we’re doing it in five different locations. On Monday, February 5, we’re gonna kick it off and fade these we’re gonna be live from nine till five all day long old school live radio, live webcast celebrating 100 It’s a noble goal of mine. I’ve only got like 35 right now. So if you got one nests at Baltimore 100 charities in the area, all of it coming together for the Maryland food bank. So a cup of soup or bowl you come we give you a cup of soup or bowl Maryland crab cream a crab. All you need to do is bring something nice for the Maryland Food Bank and donate and give during the coldest week of the year. This week for Valentine’s Day. I’ve covered 27 Super Bowls. I’ve been on 27 radio rows. This is the first time we were doing our crabcake row and a cup of Super Bowl for everyone brought to you by the Maryland lottery and our friends that got some rabid scratch offs to give away as some Oh snaps gingerbread our friends in winter nation 866 90 nation and Jiffy Lube multi care bringing it together all the information at Baltimore positive if you have a charity hit me quick so I’d get them in next to Baltimore

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