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Marvin Lewis sends message after lethargic Bengals practice

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It may just be OTAs, but head coach Marvin Lewis didn't like the effort his Bengals were showing. With the end of OTAs nearing, Lewis wanted to make sure he sent a message before his team departs for the next month until training camp begins.

Per Geoff Hobson, Lewis made the Bengals do some old-fashioned conditioning drills to end practice to make sure they got the message.

So he cut short practice by a couple of plays and ordered two up-to-the-40-yard-line-and-back runs, all the while yelling about staying professional and practicing the right way.

"We needed a little bit of a reminder of what it’s going to be like and what’s important,’ Lewis said as players and coaches exited the field. "We can’t be complacent, we can’t be average, we have to make sure we keep working. We keep doing the little things correct and moving forward with them. We can’t go sideways at any point.

"I just had to do something different. We are not going anywhere. We got a couple more days left. I expect things to run smoothly over the next couple of days and we are going to remind them of that. We are not going to hit a peak last week and start going downward, we want to keep going upward. "

Immediately has flashbacks of

It's good Lewis is making sure the players know they can't slack off in practice, even when it's going half-speed without pads on.

Then again, without all of the recent injuries occurring, it's hard to fault players for not wanting to go hard.

Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and Dallas linebacker Sean Lee went down with season-ending injuries recently, and Giants linebacker Jon Beason is out for 3+ months with a foot injury.

But this is football, and the Bengals can't make any excuses if they want to continue to improve and make a playoff-run in 2014.