The Bengals’ propensity for giving troubled football players second, third, and sometimes sixth chances is often associated with owner Mike Brown, and not necessarily head coach Marvin Lewis. Lewis, though, threw some cold water on the latter part of that notion during an interview Tuesday with Bengals.com and the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Lewis has Cedric Benson’s back.
“The truth about Cedric is that he got sucker-punched in a bar,” said Lewis, who’s overwhelmingly confident that he’s accurately received all the facts from Benson’s late-May assault charge. “Cedric got attacked in a bar. Only because it was Cedric Benson does it become news. I think that’s something you have to understand.”
And a target Benson should be. He was arrested twice at the University of Texas, once for drug possession and again for criminal trespass. Benson was booked again in 2008 for operating a boat while intoxicated, and had to be pepper-sprayed after resisting arrest. He received a DUI a month later, and refused to take a breathalyzer or blood test.
As to the latest law run-in, Benson is accused of punching a bartender in the face and spitting blood from his cut lip on a restaurant worker. He has yet to face league discipline for any of the incidents.
“I don’t know why we’re even talking about Cedric being suspended a game,” Lewis added. “I don’t even know why we’re bringing it up. To me it’s unbelievable. It wouldn’t be brought up in 31 other cities in the country I think.”
Benson’s arrest was the third involving a Bengals player this offseason, which actually counts as progress for the organization.