Another day, another edition of ‘Marvin Lewis says the darndest things.’
While the Bengals were depleted on defense, that was no excuse to allow an equally-depleted Bears team to run through them at home, totaling more than 500 yards on offense and more than 30 points for the first time all year.
But don’t tell Lewis, the head coach, that it’s his job to keep his team motivated. When asked the Bengals missing the playoffs for the second year in a row, Lewis made one of the dumbest comments in his 15 years as head coach of the Bengals, and that’s saying something.
“Well, you don’t want this. I don’t think anybody does,” Lewis said. “These guys have a lot to play for, and it’s not my responsibility to get them — as I said — to turn up the music. (We’ve got to) figure out a way to get momentum going and put good football plays together. If we got young guys in there, they’re going to have to grow up in a hurry, because we are going to play three good football teams.”
Oh, but it gets better. Lewis then turned blamed toward the referees for a bad spot on the Bengals’ first drive, which required Lewis to go out of his way to throw a challenge flag. And while he won the challenge, that delay caused by a missed call killed the Bengals’ energy on that drive.
“It started with the first third down of the game, where I’ve got to challenge a play because we can’t even get it right from the officials (smiles). So I got to waste a challenge there — it kills what was a good play and now we got to go back.”
It really wasn’t a wasted challenge at all, since the Bengals won and the challenge positively impacted them.
A prominent theme with the Bengals for the past several years has been excuse-making and blaming others. It’s someone else’s fault the Bengals choked away that 2016 Wild Card loss to Pittsburgh, and it’s someone else’s fault when Vontaze Burfict can’t control himself on the field, and it’s someone else’s fault when Adam Jones can’t control himself off of it. Why can’t the Bengals find motivation to perform, and why can’t they get over the playoff hump? Well, you’d think those things would be on the head coach, but it sounds like he feels differently.
After 15 years of excuses, this should be the last one Lewis is allowed to make.