Coach Marvin Lewis has done an underappreciated job of turning a joke franchise — the Bengals averaged a 5-11 record during 11 consecutive non-winning seasons before he arrived — into a consistent playoff contender. In part, the lack of appreciation stems from the absence of a single playoff victory. It’s never been clear, though, whether Lewis lacks the will or authority to demand a greater emphasis on character with the roster.
Following that Patriots game in ’07, he could be heard yelling through the locker room doors, “If you don’t want to be on this team, please don’t show show up! You don’t call the offense; you don’t call the plays. You just play. Nowhere in the NFL do guys act like this.”
That side of Lewis hasn’t really been seen since. Brown’s imprint on the team remains strong, as evidenced by his defense of the Mixon pick.
The Oklahoma State receiver had been suspended during his final season for a recruiting violation; he had what they call a “troubled” past and was subject to the now-infamous question about his mother by the Dolphins general manager in a pre-draft interview. The Cowboys Cheap MLB Authentic Jerseys refused to repeat the Moss mistake, traded up and caught Bryant before he fell further.
It was practically unanimous that the Arizona State linebacker was a first-round talent, but it was just as unanimous that he was the riskiest player of that draft class. Between all his on-field personal fouls, a reported failed drug test and a disastrous combine, teams ran from him as if he was a typhoid carrier. Not surprisingly, some of the same issues have surfaced with the Bengals over the years — and so has the immense ability.