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Tag:Marvin Lewis
Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 7:12 pm
 

Top moments of Hard Knocks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Hard Knocks premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on HBO, and it’s tough not to be a little excited. I’ve watched every season of the show, even when I was a casual NFL fan. Even when while watching teams I didn’t care much about, the drama, the film-making, the voice-overs and the interviews make for a beautiful viewing experience.

Last year, while covering the Bengals for CBSSports.com, I was a part of it. Early in training camp – actually, I believe it was in Episode 1 – TE Ben Utecht went down with a scary-looking neck injury, and it’s likely the last time Utecht will step on a field. After the ambulance took him away, Bengals PR extraordinaire Jack Brennan got all the reporters together on the side of the field to give us an update.

The Hard Knocks cameras were there, and they got each of our faces as we listened hard for the news. The next day, a buddy said to me, “Hey man, you look like crap in HD.” And that was the extent of my starring role on Hard Knocks.

I didn’t love the show last year, probably because I already knew what had happened by the time each episode aired – one of the best parts of the show is the drama that’s built by the fringe guys trying to make the 53-man roster – and because I learned a few of the tricks that go into making a TV show like that.

But aside from that, it’s just a cool behind-the-scenes experience (and frankly, most everything that HBO shoots is gorgeous), and this year, it should be extra fun because the ever-loquacious Rex Ryan will be one of the stars. I’ll watch the show tonight and get my review of it up on the blog about midnight or so. Until then, here are the top three moments (as picked by me) in Hard Knocks history.

3. Dallas’ Marion Barber playing the piano (I’m a huge fan of somebody who’s not a pianist that can actually play the piano. That’s one reason I love Chico and Harpo Marx, and why Zach Galifianakis has become such a big star).



2. Kansas City’s Bernard Pollard can dance! In his underwear! Like a stripper! With his teammates going wild around him!



1. Marvin Lewis, in a phrase the Bengals beat writers imitated all season long: “Be a pro!” Warning: this video has some naughty language.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .





Posted on: August 9, 2010 10:02 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 10:32 am
 

Hot Routes 8.9.10: 'Drew, Barry. Barry, Drew.'

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Rough morning for the Saints, huh? 9:05 AM -- sharp! -- is their arrival at the White House to "honor their 2009 season." Did you know that on the new Madden 11 (review coming soon!) if you win the Super Bowl you get to meet Barack Obama? Pretty awesome. Also, Gus Johnson does a monologue about "how far this team HAS COME!" Or something to that effect.  
  • In not-so-shocking news, Marvin Lewis says that his offense's performance was 'not what I wanted.' Really, Marvin. A rookie running back a punt 63-yards for a first-and-goal to set up your only points of the entire preseason game isn't something you like? REALLY. I'd be more interested in his answer to the question, "What happens if Carson Palmer gets hurt this year?"
  • The Cowboys won last night and their defense was spectacular, but it's absolutely worth discussing what the mess went on with the red zone offense , particularly in that four play nightmare that was the the first drive, starting with Felix Jones' fumble on the one. The logic behind throwing the ball three straight times is apparently "We don't want to show the stuff we're using [in the regular season]" according to Tony Romo. Uh, Tony, I think you just did.
  • Rave reviews are floating out of Pittsburgh for Mike Wallace's transition from slot receiver to split end. OC Bruce Arians points out that last year "he had a role for a rookie that was very easy: Go deep, clear the field ..." Now Wallace has the full receiving tree package to manage, in addition to bumps up in the opposing cornerbacks coverage he'll theoretically see. (Although my pal JJ Cooper did a superb job of pointing out that Wallace has already faced elite coverage and handled it well.) Still think he has a breakout year.
  • Cool profile at the KC Star on Dexter McCluster , who, as I told Matt Moore on our AFC North Podcast Preview, I think could end up being a beast this year. Apparently, he's already blown out four pairs of shoes so far in training camp with his explosive feet. There's a line in there that involves something about "The next Dante Hall except also effective on offense."
  • Aaron Schobel is a popular dude. The Patriots have 'strong' interest in him and Seahawks GM John Schneider joined John Clayton's radio show last week to point out that if he doesn't sign with the Texans (who are also very interested, duh), the Seahawks would be a contender for his services. Clearly, this is the type of guy that you want you cut from your team as quickly as humanly possible. SMH at the Bills.
  • Would you like to see Jerry Rice shoot the entire football-watching world the bird during a nationally televised football game? Excellent, I have just the YouTube link for you !
  • If you'd like to break your brain early on a Monday morning, I highly suggest reading J.J. Halsell's Rookie Contract write-up at Football Outsiders . I tried to logically comprehend everything he's saying two minutes after waking up from a post-brunch Sunday afternoon nap and dude, brah, let me tell you. The buzz was amazing . (Seriously though, if you have some free time today, read it. It helps in understanding why you should hate lawyers and agents so much.)
  • If I'm ever in a nationally televised commercial about my blog during halftime of an NFL game and a bunch of my blogging "friends" don't post a link to it, regardless of what network it's being aired on, I will be very disappointed. So, here's a link to Mike Florio's PFT commercial that aired last night .


Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:35 pm
 

Five questions (or more) with Mike Brown

Bengals owner Mike Brown is an elusive interview. For the most part, he does one Bengals on-the-record session per year. It occurs at the Bengals media preseason luncheon, and it’s there that reporters gather to ask all the questions they’ve saved up for the year. This season, we had plenty of fodder to discuss: Terrell Owens (this was before Owens actually signed), the potential for a lockout, and a possible Marvin Lewis contract extension.

The following is part of the exchange that reporters, including CBSSports.com, had with Brown.

1. Reporters: What are you most excited about coming into the season?

Mike Brown: I thought last year we had a successful season. We just didn’t end on the note we wanted to end on. And that rankles. We’ve proved we have a good team. If we’re healthy, we’re a team that can play with anyone. We have ambitions to have that one golden year. This year, more than most in recent times, I think we have a better shot at it.

2. Reporters (after talking with Brown about why he likes Owens so much): Are you one of those guys who always sees the good in people? You saw good in other people that maybe other people didn’t.

MB: I don’t profess to do anything but judge people the way I see them. I’m not going to defend that. I have the right to do it, and I choose to do it. Do I see good in people? I think most people have good in them. I don’t think there are many that don’t. Our job is to get that out of them.

3. Reporters: How are things progressing with Marvin? Do you guys hope to have an extension by the end of the season?

MB: The deal with Marvin is an internal matter. We’ve had discussions. He knows I hold him in the highest regard. I’m not going to get in a public conversation about that. He’s done an excellent job here. When we have something to say about it, I’ll be pleased to do it. That isn’t now.

4. CBSSports.com: With the CBA coming to an end, where do you see that going? The probability of a lockout, do you see that happening?

MB: Things will be unsettled for the league once (the CBA expires). I just think we have to be patient. Both sides want the same thing. They want an agreement. I think there will be an agreement. But those are hands other than mine. I have to be just like you – sit and watch and wait.

Reporters: In what ways has the potential for a work stoppage affected the way you do business?

MB: We’re aware there’s a threat. We have tailored certain things to meet that possibility. In my heart of hearts, I just think we’re going to be out there playing. I will believe it when I see if we aren’t.

5. Reporters: Is there any need for a first-round draft pick to have an agent? A lawyer, yes. An accountant, maybe.

MB: In my position, I don’t know why we pay two or three percent – whatever it is – to somebody who tells players it’s ok to sign. That never made a lot of sense to me. I’ve been in this business when there were no agents. I’ve been in this business where there have been different systems. The people who are skeptical may doubt it, but I can tell you my honest belief is, no matter if there are agents or not, we paid out as much as we could afford to the players.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: July 27, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2010 5:48 pm
 

Why do the Bengals want Owens?

T. Owens at the ESPY Awards (Getty). I’m still a little confused about the interest shown to Terrell Owens by the Bengals. I wrote Monday about why owner Mike Brown likes him – Owens is still a good receiver and Brown considers himself a redeemer – and the Cincinnati Enquirer has reported that originally, Owens wanted $6 million of guaranteed money.

Today, TMZ tracked down Owens, and he said, “I know what I made last year ($6.5 million), so we’re trying to maybe cut that half and see what I can work with. I’m flexible.”

But even if Owens – who, at this point, isn’t going to the Rams or the Jets – makes $3 million of guaranteed money and gets an incentive-laden contract, I don’t quite see how he fits in with the Bengals.

There had been speculation that No. 2 WR Antonio Bryant – who signed a four-year, $28 million contract in the offseason – continues to have knee problems, but when I asked coach Marvin Lewis about that Monday, he said, “It has nothing to do with Antonio. We took steps in the spring to put Antonio into different spots, so he could play inside and play different spots. It’s not reflective of Antonio at all.”

So, say Bryant is healthy. With Chad Ochocinco as the No. 1 receiver and Bryant as No. 2, would Owens be content as the No. 3? Considering Andre Caldwell played the No. 3 spot relatively well last year and considering rookie Jordan Shipley will see plenty of playing time, how much is left over for Owens?

One positive in Owens’ favor: the Bengals don’t have much of a deep threat, and the coaches feel Owens showed last year in Buffalo that he still has the speed to be effective on go routes. Perhaps, that’s one option for him.

But remember this, it’s not like the Bengals were flinging the ball all over the field last year. Before he was injured, RB Cedric Benson was near the top of the league leaderboard in rushing attempts. There might be more passing plays added to the playbook this year, but this still won’t be the Bengals of a few years ago when it was the Carson Palmer-T.J. Houshmandzadeh-Chad Johnson show.

If the Bengals sign Owens, he’s sure to make the roster. That would leave Quan Cosby, Matt Jones and Jerome Simpson fighting for the final spot. Is Owens better than the three of them? Yes, probably. But is he worth a new contract? I’m just not sure I see the point.

UPDATE (5:34 p.m.): Pro Football Talk is reporting that Owens has signed with the Bengals.

UPDATE (5:46 p.m.): The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy reports it's a one-year deal for $2 million base pay and with $2 million worth of incentives.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .




Posted on: July 26, 2010 2:59 pm
 

Bengals serious about signing Terrell Owens

CINCINNATI – Bengals owner Mike Brown and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis haven’t always agreed when personnel issues arise.

Brown fancies himself a redeemer – which is why the Bengals always seem to bring in players of ill repute – while Lewis is constantly trying to keep a harmonious locker room with no single individual who feels he can run amok. The most infamous disagreement occurred in 2007 when Brown re-signed WR Chris Henry over Lewis’ public objections.

Today at the annual Bengals media preseason luncheon, Brown seemed excited about the possibility of adding Terrell Owens, saying he looked into Owens’ eyes when the two met earlier this year and came away convinced Owens could add to the team without taking anything away. Lewis, at least in months past, hasn’t seemed keen on the idea of bringing on another receiver that attempts to hijack all the attention of the locker room.

But perhaps QB Carson Palmer changed his coach’s perception last week when he worked out with Owens in California and called to give Lewis his positive report.

“Carson’s comments to me … let’s just say … they resonate well,” Lewis said. “I know when Carson has something on his mind when he calls me and I call him back from an unknown number and he answers. I know something serious was on his mind.”

The Bengals, it turns out, are serious about wanting to sign Owens – who also is attracting strong interest from the Rams.

“We’re talking with his representatives and with him,” Brown said. “When he was here, I met with him personally. Privately, he’s not the same as his public image is depicted. He’s a pleasant person. He’s a quiet person. I found him engaging. I do trust my own eyes on this sort of thing. If he chooses to come here, he could help our team. We’ll see how that plays out. It’s his decision.

“I judge him by what I see. There’s a lot of commentary about people who are in the public eye. Some of it is way overboard. Some it is because people don’t know the whole situation. Yes, people can make mistakes. It doesn’t mean they go on the rest of their lives making mistakes. They can get their ship pointed in the right direction. This is a 36-year old man. He’s been through a lot. He’s proven as a player.”

The Bengals, from a personnel stance, don’t really need to make this move. Owens wasn’t great in Buffalo last year – though, to be fair, Ryan Fitzpatrick was the one throwing passes his way – and the Bengals have plenty of depth in their receivers room.

Chad Ochocinco is No. 1 and free agent acquisition Antonio Bryant – who the Bengals signed instead of Owens – is the No. 2 receiver. At best, Owens would be the No. 3 threat, but it’s clear Andre Caldwell would try to stake his claim there. Plus, rookie Jordan Shipley, an inside receiver, was impressive in offseason workouts and is a lock to make the roster. Cincinnati also has youth at the position with third-year player Jerome Simpson and second-year player Quan Cosby fighting with Matt Jones for the final roster spots.

“Somebody is going to get stifled,” Lewis said. “There’s no way around that. It’s one of the difficulties of professional sports is that balance. What is the best thing for 2010 and long-range and trying to fit that balance together.”

So, why bring in Owens? Simple, Brown said. He’s still a good player.

“He changes field position,” Brown said. “He makes a lot of long plays, plays that win games. I’d rather have him line up on our side of the ball than the other side of the ball.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: July 20, 2010 6:05 pm
 

Will Marvin Lewis coach the Bengals next year?

M. Lewis still hasn't signed a new contract (Getty). With Bengals coach Marvin Lewis entering the final year of his contract and with no new deal in place, there’s been plenty of speculation locally that Lewis, at the end of this year, could say, “Well it’s been great, but I’m outta here.”

Considering the organization has the smallest scouting department in the league and that owner Mike Brown would rather give himself a $1 million general manager bonus instead of actually hiring a general manager, Lewis, the thought goes, could determine there’s no way to sustain growth in Cincinnati and could instead walk away.

And it’s possible that still could happen. But in an interview today with the Cincinnati Enquirer and Bengals.com , Lewis said he “would love to continue coaching here.”

“Mike and I at some point hopefully come to an agreement from both sides of us,, and we all feel good about,” Lewis said. “We have spoken about the contract a few times since then, but we don’t talk about it daily. That’s not me to worry about it or bring it up. I don’t go about it that way.”

Aside from the speculation that he would leave because he feels hamstrung by the efforts of the Brown family, there’s also been talk that Lewis genuinely is tired of coaching. Not true, he said today.

“I savor the challenge of coaching. I don’t think about the other things that way,” Lewis said. “I don’t want to look forward (to doing anything else) nor do I think I want to be on television. I don’t think it is something that I would be interested in doing at all. I like to coach, that’s the part of this job that’s the fun part. That’s why the season is the fun part because you get to coach more.”

So, will he sign a new deal at some point or will he just be content to let his contract expire? For the Bengals’ sake, the team absolutely needs to re-sign Lewis – who is a players’ coach yet has the respect of the Cincinnati locker room while leading the Bengals to a couple of AFC North titles. I imagine the two sides, at some point soon, will get it done. Unless Lewis really does want to leave.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


Posted on: July 5, 2010 12:07 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 12:10 pm
 

Brad Childress gets a surprise

Minnesota coach B. Childress (US Presswire) A great scene here, as described by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press , with Vikings coach Brad Childress bumping into his son, Andrew, as the Vikings coach was making his way through a handshake line at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

Here’s the lede (it’s simply too good to let slip by):

The uniformed soldier staring back at Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress on the tarmac Friday morning looked similar to the other young men he had met this week during a USO tour of American and NATO military bases.

Then Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Childress started speaking, and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan went from being the latest stop on a goodwill mission to a surprise homecoming.

"I'm looking him right in the eye and didn't know who the hell he was," Childress said about his son. "He was much thinner. He looked at me with no mustache, no hair, but then I heard his voice and knew it was him.

"It was very emotional. Big hug. Hard to describe."


How cool is that? Childress, of course, is on a USO Tour with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Eagles coach Andy Reid and Panthers coach John Fox.

On a personal note: I attended the wedding of my cousin, Dana, this past weekend in Syracuse, N.Y., and the 4th of July was fitting for the couple. Her husband, Scott, has been gone this past year, serving with the Navy in Iraq, and it’s been a trying time for the couple because of the long distance and the less-than-convenient ability to communicate.

I’m not a military guy, but it was inspiring to listen to him and his groomsmen (two couldn’t attend because of military obligations) speak about patriotism and what it means to them to be an American. Such strong young men, much like Andrew Childress and all the Marines with whom he serves.

It goes without saying we all are in debt to the men and women who serve our country. It’s just great Andrew Childress got a chance to get that homecoming half a world away.


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.




Posted on: July 1, 2010 9:38 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2010 9:42 pm
 

Coaches on a mission, part II

On Wednesday, we told you about the offseason itinerary of Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Eagles coach Andy Reid, VikiRavens cheerleaders entertain troops (Getty). ngs coach Brad Childress and Panthers coach John Fox.

  They’re traveling to Afghanistan on a USO tour, and on their first day, they flew to Germany, met American soldiers at a hospital, took off for their flight to Afghanistan, hit a bird and returned to Germany for the night.

David Krichavsky, the NFL’s Director of Community Affairs, is trailing the four coaches and writing about what they see and what they do. The latest installment appeared on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s site today.

A funny story from the dispatch:

No recounting of Day 2 of our USO tour would be complete without revisiting Day 1, when our attempted flight to Afghanistan was aborted due to a bird flying into our plane’s engine during takeoff. As noted in the Day 1 blog, Eagles coach Andy Reid quickly became the scapegoat for this quirky accident, largely because he was in the cockpit during takeoff and because of his team’s nickname, “The Birds.”

Coach Reid continued to take significant abuse from the other coaches on Day 2 of the tour, such that anything that went wrong was immediately ascribed to Andy. The story about the bird got even funnier though on Day 2 when a couple of additional details about the incident emerged: 1) Where was the pilot flying our plane from? Philadelphia, of course. 2) What did the co-pilot yell over his headset to the pilot and crew just after we took off and the danger became evident? “Bird Alert! Bird Alert!” Maybe Coach Reid and the Eagles did bring some bad karma to that flight after all.


Somehow, though, the coaches ended the day in Germany once again. At some point, I assume, they’ll head into more hostile territory. Here's hoping the coaches - when they finally reach Afghanistan - don't perform the same routine as the Ravens cheerleaders when they entertained troops in 2002 (pictured above).


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.





 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com