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Marvin Lewis talks NFL rules, Burfict, more at AFC coaches breakfast

Marvin Lewis and the other AFC coaches got together this morning to meet with the media and discuss a variety of topics. For Lewis, those topics were anywhere from rule changes to Marvin Jones.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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:

Does Lewis want to talk about now former Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones? No.

Despite the antics of some of his own players in the playoffs, he does support the proposed ejection rule.

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.

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.

His fashion choice was also of interest on social media... Those are some pretty expensive shoes, after all.

Don't forget about Brandon Tate either.

Andre Smith departed from Cincinnati to join the Vikings last week. How does Lewis see that position unfolding over the offseason?

How do the Bengals build such a strong roster year in and year out? Look no further than the NFL draft.

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.

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."

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.

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.

We all know about the strong feelings between the Bengals and Steelers, but Lewis has an interesting perspective on the matter.

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.

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."