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Bengals players aren’t the only ones failing to “do their jobs”

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The Bengals’ head coach has a trademark phrase he uses in the team’s losses, but it’s time for Marvin Lewis to look in the mirror when he talks about “doing your job”.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

“Do your job”.

It’s a motto folks who play for, cover and follow the Cincinnati Bengals have heard countless times over the past 16 years. This three-word phrase has been a staple in the Marvin Lewis era, at times resonating with his players, while eliciting eye-rolls on many other occasions.

In the aftermath of the Bengals’ season-shattering loss to the Cleveland Browns, Lewis addressed the media and once again harped on how his players are not living by this all-important credo. In fact, Lewis said the phrase six times in his postgame presser with the local media.

To Lewis’ credit, he did note that he needs to be better at his job within the organization after the loss:

“We’ve got to bear down. We’ve just got to bear down and relax. We don’t have to press,” Lewis said. “We’ve just got to bear down and relax and get it done. I’ve got to do my job. I’ve got to do a better job. I’ve got to prepare them better. They’ve got to go out, and they’ve got to execute their jobs better. Okay? It rests squarely on me.”

Obviously, the losses and repetitive questions week after week seem to be getting to the veteran head coach. As we all know, the coaches and players are unfortunately subjected to an immediate postgame process akin to “tell us how and why you screwed up today.”

Even though there is a sense of empathy to be given to these associates of the club here, it is part and parcel of assuming the mantle of a high-profile employee within a professional sports organization.

To be clear, “do your job” to Lewis is something along the lines of taking care of one’s own responsibilities, while believing that your on-field comrades will achieve their own duties. In theory, it’s a simplistic motto with a solid foundation, but it doesn’t work if proper accountability isn’t there and mistakes repeat like a broken record.

Because of those above-mentioned issues seeming to plague the team in this 1-5 stretch, one has to wonder just how hollow Lewis’ words are with his players at this point. This is especially the case, given some of the hypocritical comments made by the team’s head coach.

After incessantly talking about how his players need to “execute” in order for different results, as well as his own need to do his job, Lewis didn’t have many answers as to why the team is struggling and making familiar mistakes.

“Again, I can’t tell you what happened in that area,” Lewis said regarding Billy Price’s botched snap to open the second half. “The communication — whether it was the center or whether it was the line, I don’t know. I can’t help you with that. That’s the point. It was huge.”

In an odd twist, Lewis said he didn’t talk to Price at any point immediately after these issues, nor did he do so after the game before taking the podium. Aside from the third quarter snap which was a turnover and caused an injury to Andy Dalton, Price also had a critical false start, of sorts, in the form of an errant snap.

Lewis also apparently had a fuzzy memory about the ebbs and flows towards the later portion of the game, saying “that’s about all I remember at this point here” after chronicling the issues of the day.

Aren’t these the “jobs” of a head coach of an NFL team? Shouldn’t Lewis be right in his first-year player’s ear about these issues so that the young guy learns from them and aren’t repeated? How can he expect those under his employ to “do their jobs” when he isn’t effectively doing his own tasks?

These questions also come on the heels of Lewis having the audacity of proclaiming his satisfaction with the effort level of his club—both on Sunday and in this terrible two-month stretch. Now, there’s such a thing as “coach speak”, but this reeks of a coach who is out of touch with what’s occurring with his team.

For instance, I’d love an explanation on the effort level shown by the defense here:

I can only imagine the difficulty of coming up with the right answers that will satisfy everyone just minutes after a terrible defeat. Again, it’s not an enviable position from those of us who stand in the general public.

Still, the lack of clarity on why things keep spiraling out of control is an indictment of current coaching issues. And, unfortunately, the absence of answers and the fact that many on the team aren’t taking care of their business have culminated in this disappointing 5-6 standing as the season is drawing to a close.