Though Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis gets more flack for his game management than praise (where are people praising his decision to fake punt, or go for it on fourth down twice that led to touchdowns?), he was smart to get in front of the Carson Palmer talk on Monday, indirectly telling his players through the media that there's nothing to talk. Maybe it was Lewis telling the media to shut it. Who knows. Marvinisms sometimes has its own cipher.
When asked about Carson Palmer on Monday, Lewis said:
"There’s no reason for them to answer questions. About 30 of them (current Bengals players) were never here with Carson - 30 of 53. That tells you how quickly things change in the NFL."
"Just like any other player who was here. Now he’s not here, so our job is to beat the Oakland Raiders and Carson Palmer come Sunday. That’s part of what we’re here for."
Of course most of us want an angry locker room, images not unlike gangster movies set during the early 20th century Prohibition. It's alright as fans to bring it up -- because we're not so narcissistic that our conversions have some divine impact of a recreational sporting event.
But that distraction is exactly the thing that can take the focus away from the overall theme of Sunday's game. Beating the Raiders. Cincinnati can not afford to lose another game; unless they go on a 5-1 run to end the season, something that's entirely possible in the NFL. Even if the players were irritated, mad or betrayed by Palmer -- and we don't really get that sense -- the ultimate revenge is winning the game.