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News » Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-17

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-17

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-17
With the Bengals going 4-11-1 last year, coach Marvin Lewis is trying to change the locker room through the team's re-signings and acquisitions in free agency. Flash and perception are out, quiet and determined are in.

It's almost as if Lewis is trying to get the team back to the motto he used when he arrived in Cincinnati in 2003 - "do your job."

For example, take the comments of Laveranues Coles after he signed with the Bengals: "I can't look at what everyone else outside of here has to say about me. I came here to help win ball games. I didn't come here to try to please anybody or make people like me or anything like that. The main thing is focusing on football and trying to get better."

Lewis is also trying to change the team's perceptions off the field as well. He cited the recent signings as facts that the organization is being aggressive in filling its needs.

"A lot has been said that they don't do this and they don't do that. Well, that's not really true," Lewis said. "We do do, and we do it at a very, very high level. It's about winning games and winning games now.

"One of you wrote about limos or something like that (the accounts of Houshmandzadeh's visits to Minnesota and Seattle). That's not Laveranues and I don't think limos are going to help us win a game."

What Lewis' tough stance as far as eliminating colorful characters means for Chad Ocho Cinco remains to be seen. Lewis said at last month's scouting combine that he didn't see a scenario existing where both Ocho Cinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh were not on the roster, but he has to take a look at that now.

With the emergence of Andre Caldwell the last month of the season, Lewis could have Coles and Caldwell as his starting receivers, but quarterback Carson Palmer has pushed hard for two strong veteran receivers as weapons.

Ocho Cinco has said nothing this offseason, other than that he will be at team workouts next month. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has been more vocal, saying he would work behind-the-scenes with the team to try and achieve his client's goal, which many believe is to be out of Cincinnati.

"He doesn't want to be there so let him go," Houshmandzadeh said about Ocho Cinco before free agency began.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 17, 2009

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