For eight seasons Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis adapted and, in many ways, dealt with Chad Johnson's personality and childish behavior. Whether it was lists, hilarious interviews, or the divisive touchdown celebrations, Lewis quickly loomed as a father figure to Johnson when real-life issues confronted the receiver. During HBO's Hard Knocks in 2009, you saw this relationship, with the two caught talking about real life issues.
Now with Johnson in jail for a seemingly unnecessary act on Monday, Lewis, with his "told you" persona, feels sorry for Chad.
"I just feel sorry for him," Lewis said Wednesday. "It's a shame because I heard that the attorney said something about, 'Aren't you going to thank me?' It was just a natural reaction.
"I know when Chad's being a clown. And that wasn't it. He didn't do what he did to get anyone to laugh. That was just a natural reaction from Chad, and it's a shame."
Clark Judge with CBSSports.com talks about the relationship between Lewis and Chad, who haven't spoken since January. Judge writes:
"People didn't know him when he did some of this stuff [this week]. Some people thought it was malicious. Some of them thought it was funny. And some who knew him thought it was his way of getting attention."
It doesn't matter what they thought. What matters is what the judge thought, and she made herself clear. So has Lewis. He said he hasn't spoken with Johnson since January, but if he could he would pass on a familiar message.
"It's what I told him the last time," he said. "Just put your head down, go to work and don't be tweeting, don't be doing this and don't be doing that. Because no one wants to take all that on."