Marvin Lewis has been a long time member of the NFL’s Competition Committee. However, it appears that run has come to an end as Troy Vincent announced the committee for this season.
The NFL Competition Committee is selected by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, so it is a curious move that such a long time member of the committee and tenured coach would be absent for it this season.
It isn’t clear whether Lewis decided to not participate or if Goodell made this decision, but the NFL Competition Committee now has equal members of owners, club presidents, general managers and coaches with the exit of Lewis, Texans GM Rick Smith and Bruce Arians retiring. I have a few guesses as to why Lewis won’t be attending.
The first thing we can’t point our fingers at for this possible change is the very public disagreement Lewis had with the celebration rule change that took place this season. Lewis said it was “not a good example for young people.”
Goodell ended up responding to the criticism.
“Well, I’ve heard it from Marvin before,” Goodell said via the NFL’s official website. “We’ve had these discussions over the last couple years. And I think the players will prove him wrong on that. I think the players will do this in a way that will be responsible, show good sportsmanship, and do it in a way I think is entertaining but also respectful.”
In this case Goodell was right. Celebrations brought a spark back to the NFL that we haven’t seen in a very long time. Unfortunately, the Bengals didn’t have much of a chance to participate in that spark as the team was one of the lowest scoring teams in the NFL. Despite that, we did see some Bengals touchdown celebrations and many of the best moments around the league were celebrated with fun touchdown dances.
Maybe that was Lewis’ plan all along. Maybe he was actively protesting the new celebration rules by purposefully trying not to score touchdowns. Way to stick it to the man, Lewis.
OK, that was obviously a joke. But, let’s float some other ideas.
Lewis may have also been fed up with Goodell after the NFL tried to suspend Vontaze Burfict for five games after a preseason hit, a hit that Goodell deemed as breaking a rule that Lewis and the Competition Committee put in place that very offseason.
Lewis called the suspension “ridiculous” and even went on to breakdown why the rule didn’t apply to Burfict’s hit. The suspension was later reduced to only three games, but that was probably three games too many in Lewis’ eyes.
Of course, this offseason, the committee will be tasked with trying to fix the unfixable catch rule. Lewis will be able to save himself that headache in order to figure out the headache of how to somehow create a different result for his Bengals in his 16th season as the team’s head coach.