It was a busy morning for the AFC coaches as they gathered early in Boca Raton, Florida at the annual NFL meeting to talk with members of the media over breakfast.
For Marvin Lewis, there was quite a bit of discussion on the subject of rule changes, as he's part of the NFL's Competition Committee, which is tasked with considering rules proposed by NFL teams and coming up with potential rule changes of their own each offseason.
Yesterday, at these same meetings, it was announced that hits like Ryan Shazier's on Giovani Bernard during the Wild Card game will now result in a 15-yard penalty. Here's what Lewis had to say about that:
Lewis on Shazier hit: in the past. Not bittersweet that rule has been re-interpreted— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
Does Lewis want to talk about now former Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones? No.
Marvin not saying much on Marvin Jones: he is someone else's player— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
Despite the antics of some of his own players in the playoffs, he does support the proposed ejection rule.
Marv on ejection rule: good as we continue to hold up standard of NFL. Also includes anything pregame.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
Speaking of those antics, what did they and the subsequent loss feel like for him? He's been trying to get that elusive playoff win for his whole head coaching career.
Lewis asked what the next morning after #Bengals WC loss was like: "the next morning never came, it just continued."— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) March 22, 2016
Well that's depressing. Accurate, but depressing.
Lewis didn't want to talk about Marvin Jones, but he ended up being drawn into the buzz.
"His idea was to feel he could be a No. 1 at another team," Marvin Lewis said via The Detroit News. "Even though he said that wasn't important to him, it became important all of a sudden again... I think that's part of the NFL is our system provides an opportunity for players that they play their tail off, and it doesn't work out where they are, they can go to another team," Lewis said. "But the first part of it is they've got to produce."
Don't you dare forget about James Wright. He might not have a lot of tape to show, but the few things he's done so far are impressive.
Marv on WRs :with draft, we'll have chance to re-tool and we feel good about Wright and Alford— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
His fashion choice was also of interest on social media... Those are some pretty expensive shoes, after all.
Marvin Lewis rocking Ferragamo loafers without socks pic.twitter.com/vnvmzaE8gC— Lindsey Adler (@Lahlahlindsey) March 22, 2016
Don't forget about Brandon Tate either.
Marvin Lewis on #Bengals WR room: "Brandon Tate seems to always be a part of our mix." pic.twitter.com/COzB69oiT9— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) March 22, 2016
Andre Smith departed from Cincinnati to join the Vikings last week. How does Lewis see that position unfolding over the offseason?
Marv sees competition at RT with Ced, Fisher, Winston— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
How do the Bengals build such a strong roster year in and year out? Look no further than the NFL draft.
Lewis being asked quite a bit about how the #Bengals have drafted over the years & sticking to "best available" in the #NFLDraft— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) March 22, 2016
There's a lot of people who believe that the rule changes are changing the game for the worse, or 'making the game soft'. Lewis doesn't agree.
Lewis: rules are not making football soft— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
You knew this part was coming. Lewis was asked about Vontaze Burfict's meeting with the commissioner. "I think it's been very effective," Lewis said at the breakfast, as reported by ESPN. "Everybody recognizes Vontaze's ability and so forth. But Roger just wanted to empower him to continue to be the player that he is and just make sure that he respected the opponent and the game at all times. I think it went well. I think it resonated well."
Asked what the next step is for Burfict, Lewis added, "Just go back to being himself and go about and prepare and do all the things that he's always done as a player. He's very smart and does a good job of that. It was a good opportunity for him to spend some time with Roger."
Marv says Burfict's talks with commissioner went well and he expects him to be himself:— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
There's been plenty of talk about potentially changing or even removing kick returns for the sake of safety. The Bengals have a grade-A returner in Adam Jones, but Lewis still supports at least one of the proposed changes.
Marv on proposed touchback at 25: keeping kick return in game with more safety— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 22, 2016
As ejections from games are on the table, Marvin likes the idea. But, it's important to note that while the NFL thinks ejecting players after two personal fouls would "make the game safer", only one person would have been ejected for this in 2015, and it wouldn't have been Vontaze Burfict, or Odell Beckham Jr., who each were issued suspensions for their actions in 2015; Burfict's suspension will take place next season though, while Beckham served his suspension in Week 16 of the 2015 season.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis likes the proposed new automatic ejection rule: "I think it'll clean up some things.... https://t.co/b7Y2kZ3jmY— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 22, 2016
We all know about the strong feelings between the Bengals and Steelers, but Lewis has an interesting perspective on the matter.
Lewis on if he feels if the emotion / confrontations w/ #Steelers will continue: "No, not that way." Hopes rivalry remains strong. #Bengals— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) March 22, 2016
There was some discussion about the competition committee and challenges. Over his career, Lewis has been known as a coach that sometimes likes to challenge calls in not-so-advisable situations. Still, he doesn't like the idea of having extra ones at his disposal.
#Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said competition committee is very against challenging all penalties. And no justification for adding challenges— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 22, 2016
With the conversation brought back to Burfict, Lewis added more about his thoughts on the Bengals' star linebacker and how he'll progress going forward after his suspension in Weeks 1-3 of the 2016 season.
"Just go back to being himself and go about and prepare and do all the things that he's always done as a player," Lewis said. "He's very smart and does a good job of that. It was a good opportunity for him to spend some time with Roger."
Marvin Lewis said Burfict has been receptive to what he's been told in offseason. "It was a good opp for him to spend some time with Roger."— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) March 22, 2016