George Iloka knows the media isn’t high on the Cincinnati Bengals, and he’s fine with it.
In an interview with ESPN 1530, Iloka opened up about his goals for 2017, how he’s improving his game, the Bengals’ offseason, and being underrated in the eyes of the media.
The latter is something Iloka tried to say didn’t bother him, but he clearly is at least a little annoyed with how little respect the Bengals are receiving. He knows part of it is because of the offseason defections the Bengals have faced, as well as some of the off-field incidents players have encountered, but Iloka doesn’t care about anything other than the Bengals.
“Honestly, it don’t make or break me,” Iloka said when asked if he cared how the Bengals are viewed by outsiders. “My attitude has kinda changed this offseason, seeing people tee off on our team as a whole because of incidents here and there and labeling all of us and things like that.
“So at the end of the day, my attitude changed to, ‘It’s us and, excuse my language, but f#%k everyone else.’ It don’t matter what they think come Sunday. It don’t matter what we think. It just matters what we do on Sundays. I can really care less about what the outside world thinks of us as players and as men and things like that.
“I know who were are as players. I know who I am as a man.”
Iloka is probably alluding to the Adam Jones incident this offseason, as well as drafting controversial running back Joe Mixon, which once again has the Bengals being labeled as the bad boys of the NFL. That’s never a fair label to put on any team since it won’t apply to an entire 53-man roster, let alone the offseason 90-man club.
Maybe Iloka’s us against the world mentality is a good thing. The chip on his shoulder should hopefully propel him to proving the Bengals’ haters wrong ...even if he says he doesn’t care about them.