Jump to content

Lewis' emphasis on team


Recommended Posts

Lewis' emphasis on team

Bengals coach discusses QBs, Pro Bowl, WR Henry


Bengals coach Marvin Lewis touched on a variety of topics - his quarterbacks, the Steelers winning the Super Bowl and Chris Henry's legal problems, among them - in a conversation Monday afternoon in his Paul Brown Stadium office.

And despite the disparate subjects, his responses all had something to do with the need for more of a team orientation.

Topic 1: The situation at quarterback.

The Bengals have two healthy quarterbacks under contract, Craig Krenzel and newcomer Doug Johnson. Jon Kitna remains unsigned and likely headed for free agency March 3. Carson Palmer is rehabbing in California from his serious left knee injury.

"He's just going to give us another guy," Lewis said of Johnson. "He gets a chance to compete for a job. It doesn't affect Jon Kitna's situation one bit. Could it down the line? Jon's (situation) will affect Doug's probably more than Doug's will affect Jon's."

Either through free agency or the draft, the Bengals will have a third healthy quarterback on the roster when they hit the field in early May, Lewis said.

Topic 2: Palmer's health and planned return to Cincinnati to continue his rehab.

"We don't want him to take a step backward mentally," Lewis said. "I talked to him for a half an hour today. When he talks, this is home. He talks about here and us. He's a guy from California who comes to Cincinnati. He is a guy who lives in Cincinnati who right now is in Cincinnati.

"He's frustrated by the situation he's in, but he's also the same guy who can do the work to get himself back and ready to go. His presence is needed here when the time comes. ... Back when (Palmer) was here before we drafted him, I told him, `We're going to be joined at the hip.' And he understood that, and he feels good about talking that way."

Topic 3: AFC North division rival Pittsburgh wins the Super Bowl.

"I'm happy for Bill," Lewis said of Steelers coach Bill Cowher. "I'm happy. They've done it the right way. The toughest thing in coaching is moving on from one player to the next. Bill has done a great job doing that and keeping his team very competitive.

"I think it's good for our players to see. We have to take the next step of being a team. We have to go beyond the individual. (The Steelers) do it great. They have guys who portray 'team.' For us to take the next step, we have to get beyond 'me' and 'I.' We now have guys who have had success. It's spread out (across the roster). Now let's be a great team and be looked upon that way, not a bunch of individuals."

Topic 4: In addition to quarterback Johnson, the Bengals have signed two other street free agents, wide receiver P.K. Sam (Feb. 1) and linebacker Rashad Jeanty (Monday).

Jeanty, who is 6 feet 3, 230 pounds, played three seasons in the Canadian Football League for Edmonton with 14 sacks.

"We've been trying to fill in some guys prior to free agency," Lewis said. "We could be sitting on our hands, but we're not. I want to credit (personnel executives) Duke (Tobin) and Jim Lippincott for pushing the envelope a little bit. We keep looking at guys who are out there on the street."

Topic 5: Four Bengals players participated Sunday in the Pro Bowl, including wide receiver Chad Johnson, who saw two uneventful snaps at cornerback.

"You watch it with your fingers crossed," said Lewis, who wasn't pleased to see Johnson play defense. "I have a thought on that, which I'll keep to myself. I don't think it was right."

Topic 6: The Bengals were 11-3 when they clinched the division title and a playoff berth. Then they lost three in a row.

"We're going to learn from the whole getting there (to the playoffs), and then what happened," Lewis said. "It was inevitable. And we didn't deal with (the attention) as well as I thought we would. It just shows our lack of maturity and experience. We made the playoffs. Now we have to win a playoff game."

Topic 7: Henry, a second-year wide receiver, faces three weapons-related charges in Orlando, Fla., and a marijuana possession charge in Kenton County.

"First of all, he has to go through the process in the state of Florida," Lewis said.

"We could still be a week away from that. However those things are judged, and then (his case goes) to the league. What he did was not smart. It's not the way he should represent himself or us."

Lewis said he can't further discipline or cut Henry without risking a lawsuit by the NFL Players Association.

"You have to let the legal system run its course," he said. "I'm not trying to defend him. He has bigger fish to fry (than his coach and his team). We'll see what happens. Then we'll make the right decisions."


Link to comment
Share on other sites

"He's just going to give us another guy," Lewis said of Johnson. "He gets a chance to compete for a job. It doesn't affect Jon Kitna's situation one bit. Could it down the line? Jon's (situation) will affect Doug's probably more than Doug's will affect Jon's."

There it is. Doug Johnson will compete with Krenzel for the 3rd QB spot. Kitna will either return as the top backup or be replaced by a later signing.

The only other item of real interest was the bit showing how displeased Marvin was seeing Chad get reps at CB in the Pro Bowl. Something tells me that Marvin isn't very happy with Chad's self promotion, and I'll take it a step further and guess that he's downright pissed with Mike Shanahan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shannahan sure had no problem playing Deltha almost the entire game (looked good too). Must've been kind of odd to coach him Sunday after casting him off in Denver.

Not sure why Marvin is "unhappy" about CJ playing one silly, meaningless snap (didn't even have to cover anyone) that I saw, at CB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...