Tag:Marvin Lewis
Posted on: December 26, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2010 6:32 pm

Casserly: Palmer back, no T.O. for Bengals in '11

Posted by Will Brinson

Much has been made of the possibility that the Bengals could clean house after 2010, with Marvin Lewis, Carson Palmer, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco all up in the air in terms of returning.

On Sunday, CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported on The NFL Today that Palmer will return but Owens will not.

"First of all, Carson Palmer will be back as the quarterback next year," Casserly said. "Now, who he's going to throw to, I think you'll see some changes. Terrell Owens will not be back, the act has worn thin."

Casserly also commented on the status of Chad Ochocinco, who's quickly fallen out of favor with some public comments about his "mopey" nature.

"Now, our man, Chad Ochocinco -- he tweets last week that he'd like someone to pick up his option," Casserly said. "Guess what Chad? They picked it up three years ago. You're under contract for next year, $6 million, not guaranteed. I wouldn't bring him back, that act has worn thin."

Ocho's status as an expensive and older wide receiver make a tough pickup at $6 million and it seems really unlikely that the team would re-sign Owens as well.

They have young, talented receiving options with Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham, and adding one more younger star to the roster would give them significant weapons going forward without crushing the team's chemistry.

Whether Palmer can improve on his 2010 performance remains to be seen, but it appears the Bengals believe they're at least in contention with him at quarterback.

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Posted on: December 25, 2010 7:53 pm

Marvin Lewis has hope ... for some reason

It doesn't seem to make sense that Marvin Lewis would return as Cincinnati's coach for another season (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Considering his contract expires at the end of the season, it’s hard to see why coach Marvin Lewis would return for more Bengals madness. It appears there’s been no movement to give him another contract, anyway.

Since Lewis was hired before the 2003 season, his teams have amassed a 58-65-1 record with just two playoff appearances (the Bengals were bounced in the first round both times). Plus, owner Mike Brown continues to hamstring any coach by serving as his own GM, though that strategy has only given Cincinnati two postseason appearances since Paul Brown died in 1991.

The marriage seems fit for divorce, and, as Lewis would say, that’s a good thing.

But then there’s this comment he made Friday after he was asked if he felt like this was the end of his time in Cincinnati.

“I don’t think so. That’s not the plan,” told reporters, via the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Which comes as a bit of a surprise. No. 1: why would Lewis want to return, assuming he could coach elsewhere (though not necessarily as a head coach)? No. 2: it seems like Lewis’ teachings have gotten stale in the Bengals locker room, and why wouldn’t the Brown family want to give somebody else a chance to coach the team?

I still don’t believe Lewis will be with the team next season. For both parties, a contract extension just doesn’t make any sense. Sort of like Lewis’ comments from Friday.

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Posted on: December 25, 2010 4:39 pm

For the gambler in you

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In celebration of Christmas (and for those of us have to work and, therefore, get by on leftover Chinese food), it’s a special edition of “For the gambler in you.” Actually, this edition is no different than any other edition. But this one happens to take place on Christmas, so there you go.

On to my favorite prop bets of the week:

Donovan McNabb - What will his role be for game 1 of the 2011 NFL regular season?

Starting QB for the Redskins 7/1

Starting QB for the Vikings 5/2

Starting QB for the Cardinals 4/1

Starting QB for the 49ers 15/2

Starting QB for any other NFL team 3/2

Backup QB for any NFL team 7/2

Not on an NFL roster 15/1

He’s going to be a starter somewhere, right? Even if it isn’t in Arizona or Minnesota, he’s going to be the No. 1 guy. You’d think so, anyway. I’m not sure it’ll be in Minnesota, so I’d go with “any other NFL team.”

Chad Ochocinco – Will he be a member of the Bengals for game 1 of the 2011 NFL regular season?

Yes -115

No -115

Nope. Same goes for Marvin Lewis and Terrell Owens.

Will Norv Turner be the coach of the Chargers for game 1 of the 2011 season if the Chargers do not make the playoffs this season?

Yes Even

No -140

I don’t see how.

If the 49ers make the playoffs will Mike Singletary be the coach of the 49ers for game 1 of the 2011 NFL regular season?

Yes -200

No +150

I don’t see how.

Will Tony Sparano be the head coach of the Dolphins for game 1 of the 2011 NFL regular season?

Yes +170
No  -250

I don’t see why not.

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Posted on: December 22, 2010 5:34 pm

Ochocinco doesn't like Lewis calling him 'mopey'

Posted by Will Brinson

Things have devolved quickly for the Cincinnati Bengals and it seems as if many key members of the organization are reading the writing on the proverbial wall. (Which, in this case, appears to read, "Get the fudge out!")

So, not everyone's playing nice. Like head coach Marvin Lewis, who called Chad Ochocinco "mopey" on Wednesday.

"Well, he's being his mopey self," Lewis said. "Hopefully, he can pull himself out of it and move forward ... When things don't go Chad's way, that's kinda how it happens."

Ochocinco was thrilled to hear this, naturally.

"Since when the f--- am I ever mopey?" Ochocinco tweeted. "I'm injured for the 1st time in 9 years and it's called being mopey, unless I'm dead then I get respect."

In other words, yeah, he's not real happy about it and he's not handling things the way Jeff Fisher would want. But that's not shocking -- there's a clear amount of discord amongst the Bengals right now and the only thing that's going to "fix" it is widespread change and a facelift.

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Posted on: December 21, 2010 12:05 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 12:05 pm

Terrell Owens placed on IR, done as a Bengal?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Bengals placed wide receiver Terrell Owens on injured reserve Tuesday, officially ending his season and, most likely, his career with the Bengals.

The Bengals announced the move via Twitter (of course), but they failed to mention whether or not Owens would be in the 'Nati next year. That's probably because he won't be -- Adam Schefter of ESPN cites a source indicating Owens' time is done there, and it's a logical conclusion to reach for a number of reasons.

First of all, the Bengals are cheap and Owens won't be signing as cheaply in his second run with them (especially considering he outproduced Chad Ochocinco this year). Secondly, Marvin Lewis is likely gone when his contract runs up. There's a chance Carson Palmer is gone too. Heck, Ocho could be shown the door. It's pretty obvious Owens is going with them (them = whoever goes).

Finally, it was pretty obvious that once the team really sunk into the depths of a losing season that Owens wasn't playing the happy camper role like he did with the Bills last season. Even if the Bengals' ability to manage personnel is terrible (and it is), they'll at least realize the stink he'd make if he returned for a second losing season in Cincy.

And, hey, maybe Owens doesn't want to be there. Although at this stage, it's hard to imagine him turning down any sort of contract that guarantees him playing time and money, especially considering he's likely to end up as a one-year rental once again in 2011.

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 1:53 pm

Dey Took Er Jobs: It's time for Tavaris Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

Brad Childress' departure from the Minnesota Vikings organization certainly doesn't mean that Wednesdays aren't FavreDays still -- and so it's now Leslie Frazier handling the press conference questions of reporters while every network in the world livestreams his answers regardless of what else in the world is happening.

Frazier, who's immensely more enjoyable to listen to for 20 minutes than Chilly, said that there hasn't been a decision made on whether Brett Favre will start Sunday. In fact, he said that a decision probably won't come until Sunday, as the Vikings try to figure out if No. 4 can play. He also said that Favre won't start just to keep his streak alive.

"No, I don't think we approach it that way," Frazier said. "Either he can go or he can't go. And when he goes in there, we're of the expectation that he can play for four quarters. That would be the plan. So we wouldn't go into it, get a start, get a couple reps and get out, no."

So, even though Favre hasn't thrown a ball this week and even though he can't lift his arm very far and even though the Vikings offense went ballistic on the Bills once Tavaris Jackson entered the game on Sunday, Favre still gives Minnesota the "best chance to win." Presumably.

But does he?

The upside of Tavaris is that he's extremely mobile, he has a cannon arm and he's absolutely fresh right now. The downside of Tavaris is that he's inexperienced and he frequently makes terrible, inexcusable mistakes.

This differentiates him from Favre in that, um, he's not experienced. Oh, and that he won't be publicly upset if he can't start his 299th consecutive game.

That is to say, if the Vikings were playing to win, they would start Tavaris over Favre. And, actually, if they're playing to make sure that Favre doesn't get literally killed on Sunday, they'll start Tavaris -- the Giants pass rush isn't just formidable, it's terrifying, and they're going to get their hands on the Vikings quarterback, whoever it is.

If it's someone who's mobile instead of someone who's got unbelievable genes and an Iron Man body gripping his extremities by strings -- not to mention a busted foot and/or feet and/or ankles -- they'll stand a better chance of succeeding against a scary defense.

Look, some of Tavaris' success on Sunday came from two things: having Adrian Peterson and having Sidney Rice. Because they played the Bills, Peterson was able to soften up the defense and make Jackson's job easier. And because Rice is as stud, some of the throws Jackson made went from jump-balls to big gains.

But, hey, that's not so different from Favre being under center anyway.

So, this Cardinals quarterback situation is just a total nightmare isn't it? It's terrible for the fans and it's probably worse for Ken Wisenhunt, who absolutely knows that there's nothing he can do in order to improve his team's chances of winning over the next couple of weeks -- either he starts raw rookie John Skelton, or he keeps throwing Derek Anderson to the wolves.

There's a sound argument to be made from the perspective of "Skelton CAN'T be worse than Anderson -- just play him!" But there's also a sound argument to be made for the other side, as well. Because, you know, if you start Skelton and he gets hurt or stinks the joint up, you're wasting money on Anderson on the bench and getting the same result, with the possibility of hurting Skelton's development long term.

In hindsight, the team shouldn't have been so cheap that they weren't willing to pay Marc Bulger as well (we learned recently that Whiz and the Cards wanted to go after Bulger but didn't want to wait for the Rams to release him) and, instead, ended up with two rookies backing up their de facto starter in Anderson.

The moral of the story? You should always sneak into Kurt Warner's and do your best God voice to convince him to rejoin the team regardless of how morally corrupt that is make sure you have reasonably viable options at quarterback.

The notion of a "starting running back" is a little outdated in this two-back world we live in, but it still prominently exists. Look no further than the Giants situation where Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have flopped several times as the "starter." Jacobs, who regained the role recently, will continue to start "at this point," according to Tom Coughlin.

The bottom line is that Coughlin's going to keep going with the hot hand, he's going to pound both of these guys with his wide receiver corps banged up, and he'll use the "starter" thing as motivation for both Bradshaw and Jacobs.

And that, right there, is something that deserves a ton of praise -- Coughlin hasn't been scared to make change and motivate these guys in 2010, and that's why the Giants, instead of continually skidding after losses to Philadelphia and Dallas, are tied with the Eagles for the NFC East lead.


There's been some clamoring for Tim Tebow in Denver. After all, Josh McDaniels is gone and let's see what we've got, people! Unleash the Tebow!!! (Sorry, got excited there for a second.) This is silly.

Eric Studesville needs to win and he needs to win quickly and he needs to do it in a fashion that shows he can win next year as well (with Kyle Orton and his motley crue of wideouts), if he hopes to have a shot at the Broncos gig in 2011. It seems unlikely that he gets that job anyway, but not less likely than Tebow blossoming into a starting NFL quarterback over the next three weeks. So: upside is you have a guy who's not as good as Orton (yet). Downside: Studesville kills any chance of being a candidate in Denver and simultaneously sinks Tebow's trade value even further for next year.

Pants on Fire! (You see, because we examine hot seats)

John Fox: He's gone. His house, according to people I talked to recently, has been on the market for months. The only question is whether or not Frazier and Jason Garrett in Dallas can lose their jobs in the next three weeks to present attractive openings for a new gig.

Mike Singletary: MUnless the Niners rip off a miracle run, he's toast. And he clearly knows that. Why else would he make the flip-flopping of Troy Smith and Alex Smith "week-to-week"?

Jeff Fisher: Seems kind of crazy, but at this point, if you're Fisher, why would you stay? Your crazy old boss clearly prefers a guy like Vince Young to you (the guy who's been there, winning, for 17 years!) and walking out now, even with the Titans struggling mightily, would mean an easy opportunity to land another head coaching job.

Norv Turner: Once upon about two weeks ago, Turner might have had a shot at running the table and making an argument for COY award. Instead, the Chargers came out completely flat against Oakland, at home, as 13.5-point favorites. If the same thing happens (only with a 7.5 line) against KC, Norv better watch out.

Marvin Lewis: He's hanging out in John Fox's billiards room, obviously.

Gary Kubiak: Primetime struggles against Baltimore (at home, on Monday night) could make things awkward for Kubes. Fortunately, that Denver job's open, so he could potentially "leave" Houston for a "homecoming" and just work something out with Texans ownership where they don't fire him. (And then hire Fisher! The drama! The hatred! DO IT!)

Tony Sparano: There are so many coaches getting canned or sitting squarely on the heater that Sparano gets overlooked, but following up a blowout of Oakland with a terrible loss to Cleveland means he has to beat Buffalo and Detroit at home to close out the season at 8-8, as the Fins travel to the Jets and the Pats as well in the next four weeks. Losing one of those has the makings of a canning.

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:22 am

Brown to Bengals fans: 'You are stuck with me'

Posted by Will Brinson

There's a tiny little bright light at the near end of the tunnel that Bengals fans are walking sadly down. Unfortunately, it's very small and it's the hope that when Marvin Lewis' contract is up, the team will clean house and try to rebuild things (once again).

Based on the letter that Mike Brown sent to Bengals' fans, though, it won't be with a competent GM-type person running the show, because Brown ain't going anywhere -- the following is an excerpt from a letter, via 1530 The Homer, Brown wrote in response to a season ticket holder's individual inquiry as to why his team stinks.
I cannot give you the response I suspect you would most like to hear. I'm afraid you are stuck with me in my present role, and a general manager brought in from the outside is not in the plans. I accept that your criticism is sincere, and I wish you well personally. We are working as hard as we can to return to and surpass the contending status we had as recently as last season."

Mike Brown
Ugh. The thought of being beholden to a guy who runs a franchise like ... well, is there a business to compare the Bengals to? Does any particular business refuse to spend money on someone to actually run the business properly while also refusing to spend the money to increase the value of the franchise instead relying on subsidies from other businesses? And is there any business that ONLY hires ex-convicts? Or one that's lasted as long as Brown's Bengals have without any success?

Because if there is, I'd freaking love a job there. But being a fan of a professional sports franchise that works this way? Eh, not so much. Which is why Bengals fans should absolutely be terrified at the prospect of Brown not improving things even if/when he clears out Lewis, Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens in the offseason.

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Posted on: December 7, 2010 11:57 am
Edited on: December 7, 2010 12:03 pm

Marvin Lewis explains late-game management

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you were watching the end of the Bengals-Saints game Sunday, you might have been confused why Carson Palmer would throw a screen pass to RB Brian Leonard from the Cincinnati 49-yard line and then waste seven seconds while attempting to clock the ball despite the fact Cincinnati had one timeout remaining (Palmer, by the way, was sacked on the final play of the game).

Or you might ask why coach Marvin Lewis likes to be the one who decides when the Bengals will take a timeout.

If so, here’s the transcript from Lewis presser Monday when he was asked about clock management (H/T to Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner).

“On the last play, I would do it again that way,” Lewis said. “We didn’t do a very good job getting set. We should have that ball snapped and have at the minimum eight seconds on the clock which gives us an opportunity for the ball in the middle and a timeout and now a ball into the end zone from the 20, 25-yard line. Rather than the one play we had from the 40-something, which is very difficult. They would have the advantage. We would have the advantage the other way around. We didn’t do a very good job, in watching the play on video, watching the play on TV. We didn’t do a very good job of understanding, a couple of our guys, the urgency of it. Carson did a good job of not wanting to take the penalty and then calling the timeout, so they knew what we were doing. The play, the screen, ran just like we wanted it to run. And we were able to gain over 10 yards, put us in position. Get up, clock the ball, now it’s second down. Now we have a chance to throw the ball in the field and play and then get ourselves up call timeout. Then you’re throwing somewhere in that 20-25-yard area. Because otherwise they don’t have to defend the middle of the field. That puts the pressure back on them a little bit.”

How could Lewis expect his team, after a play that just gained 14 yards, to rush to the line and spike the ball in only six seconds (14 seconds from the start of the play to the eight seconds in Lewis' explanation)?

Props to the person who can make sense of this.

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