I have always like the Cincinnati Bengals. Blame it on Boomer Esiason or even Herb Tarlick, I have had a soft spot for the Bengals. I also like Marvin Lewis as a coach and today I was feeling kind of sorry for him getting embarrassed by his owner when he signed troublemaker Chris Henry to a 2 year deal. As I was feeling sorry for him I realized that it is his choice to give up control of his locker room to his boss.
"Not interested," Lewis said a week ago, after Henry’s agent said he’d had talks with the team regarding his client. Lewis’ terse response came without qualifier. He didn’t say "Not interested, unless Chad messes up his shoulder.” He didn’t say, "Not interested, unless the owner says we are and cuts my legs off to bring back a guy as reliable as a 1979 Chevette.” Nope. Marvin was not interested.
Only now, he is. He’ll have to coach a guy he openly and forcefully didn’t want. He has to deal with a locker room that knows who’s boss, and it ain’t Coach.
If I was Marvin Lewis I would walk into the owner’s office and hand him my resignation. Could you imagine Bill Belichik taking a player he didn’t want? Don Shula? Tom Landry? Vince Lombardi? Of course they wouldn’t and players know that. Marvin Lewis is in a no win situation today. He could have taken a stand and gotten fired and walked out with his head held high instead he backed down and will be a coach of a talented team that will back down again and again and again this season until Lewis is fired.
Then, he brought him back despite the objections of coach Marvin Lewis, who had no interest in giving Henry another chance. The move reminded players who’s in charge of the Bengals.
“It’s the organization’s team,” quarterback Carson Palmer said after practice Wednesday. “It’s their team. They’re going to make decisions that they think are best, and Marvin and the players and all the coaches do the best with what we’ve got.”
It’s started already.