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Whitworth on Bengals: “We got a lot of elephants out of the room”

Arizona Cardinals v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

It was a little over a year ago at this time when reports surfaced Marvin Lewis was on his way out of Cincinnati.

It was expected to be a mutual decision.  Another failed season of finger-pointing just finished, and Lewis was believed to be tired of working for Bengals owner Mike Brown. Lewis was expected to meet with the 49ers.

Lewis decided to stay. He said things would be different, but they didn’t seem different in a good way in a surprisingly combative joint press conference including Lewis and Brown after the season.

Then, a funny thing happened: Things really did change after getting rid of Chad Ochocinco, Carson Palmer, and Terrell Owens.

“We got a lot of the elephants out of the room. We allowed too many people to be here that pull people in different directions,” tackle Andrew Whitworth told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “People are now pulling in the same direction and not pulling about or worrying about things we have no control over.”

Are the Bengals a great team? No. But they are capable of consistently beating bad teams, going 9-0 against non-playoff competition. The effort is always there. The Bengals were expected to be the very worst team in the league.

Lewis reportedly adjusted his practice schedules and listens more to player input now. More importantly, he has a young team willing to listen to his message. He has talented lines on both sides of the ball.

“‘Young’ is an excuse. Now it’s time to win. Whether or not it is, we’ll see,” Lewis said this week.

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22 Responses to “Whitworth on Bengals: “We got a lot of elephants out of the room””
  1. midwestfan says: Jan 7, 2012 10:35 AM

    Who Dey the Dynasty starts today. I great experience for a team that will contend for the next 5-8 yrs.

  2. eric174 says: Jan 7, 2012 10:40 AM

    Think we are getting a little ahead of ourselves.

    Mike Brown is still the worst owner in all of pro sports.

    And say what you will about his production on the field, but Chad Ochocinco has been a model teammate in New England.

    It’s still the Bungles.

  3. bengalsneedagm says: Jan 7, 2012 10:47 AM

    I agree that the team is better w/out “the elephants”. The defensive line is great, no argument there. However, folks need to quit thinking that the O-line is exceptional, because it’s not. The O-line is the biggest weakness only second to the defensive secondary. How many first plays from scrimmage start w/ a 2-yard run? It’s like clockwork. The team has ignored the Guard position for way too long, about as long as Bobby Williams could tape himself together, and it’s begun to show.

  4. afc22 says: Jan 7, 2012 10:54 AM

    Good for Marvin.

    Jets need to pay attention to what Cincy did, addition by subtraction

  5. samoanjungle says: Jan 7, 2012 11:07 AM

    WhoDey Bengals win by 4.

    Last year the Bengals expected Palmer, Ocho & T.O. to pull the cart. Now they play as a team.

    @eric174 – How can you say Ocho is a “model teammate” when he doesn’t know the plays but still has all of this free time to twitter and be goofing around with other things? He isn’t too stupid to learn the plays, he willingly neglects to study enough to be effective on the field and he has done this for years now. That is not a “model teammate”

  6. bullcharger says: Jan 7, 2012 11:08 AM

    eric174 says:Jan 7, 2012 10:40 AM

    Think we are getting a little ahead of ourselves.

    Mike Brown is still the worst owner in all of pro sports.

    And say what you will about his production on the field, but Chad Ochocinco has been a model teammate in New England.

    It’s still the Bungles.

    ———————————

    Brown is the worst owner in all of pro sports, but he’s going to be forced to spend close to the cap over the next few years due to the new CBA. The Bengals are going to compete for sure.

  7. itsmebobd says: Jan 7, 2012 11:11 AM

    Marvin has finally gotten his way with Mike Brown on alot of issues, it was the reason he returned to cincy. For a team who was ranked 32nd in preseason, we did fairly well. Finally beating the bad teams consistently and not playing down to the level of competition is a huge plus for us finally, a new offensive coordinator who actually gets it was another huge step forward. In the end a win today won’t matter, we won’t make it past new england next week anyhow, but I am very happy we made the playoffs, and that mike brown is dropping ticket prices. Dalton and AJ green are going to be a record breaking QB/WR combo over the next 10 years, partially because of great talent, the other part because they both started day 1, something not many other QB/WR combo’s get to do. Finally, our draft yielded huge rewards. Marvin talking Brown into taking dalton over mallet was the biggest win had all year! WHODEY

  8. pskotte says: Jan 7, 2012 11:15 AM

    eric174 says:

    And say what you will about his production on the field, but Chad Ochocinco has been a model teammate in New England.

    ———————————————————-

    His production on the field is EXACTLY to the point. More tweets per day than catches for the year (fifteen, to be accurate). That’s how many he’s entitled to when he isn’t being a prima donna.

  9. nineroutsider says: Jan 7, 2012 11:17 AM

    All those ex-49ers didn’t hurt either…

    Bengals are going into Houston and putting those Texans out of their misery. Under normal circumstances no, but the Bengals can expose Houston just like every other team they’ve played over the last month. Houston should be playing Garcia!

  10. bullcharger says: Jan 7, 2012 11:24 AM

    I believe the Bengals are going to be a good team going forward with the parts they already have, the upcoming picks and changes in the cap spending requirements. However, they are not great yet.

    Even before we knew what the Bengals had this year I thought they had a shot at the playoffs. The AFC North had the easiest schedule of any team. Other than Baltimore and the Steelers they only had to play the NFC West, AFC South, Buffalo and Denver. That’s not many good teams. The Bengals lost 4 games in their division to good teams and they still made the playoffs. They might have a chance in this game due to Houston injuries but they don’t have much of a chance after that unless they get some luck too.

  11. blacubed says: Jan 7, 2012 12:08 PM

    Marvin Lewis is the coaching equivalent of Mark Sanchez. Just good enough to lose.

    He and by extension his team plays scared, playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

  12. fittytuckin says: Jan 7, 2012 12:09 PM

    1-6 against teams with winning records. Lets not put the gooseneck trailer before the F-350 duelly.

  13. Bubby Brister says: Jan 7, 2012 12:25 PM

    As a Steelers fan, as much as I dislike the Bengals, I’ve always liked Lewis and felt like the scapegoat treatment he gets is unfair.

    That team was in complete ruins when he was hired, for what, 14 or 15 years? And despite having to work with clowns like Ocho and T.O., despite having a bonehead as owner/GM who at times has valued skill over character, and despite having the youngest team in the league this year, has always fielded very competitive teams and brought Cinci three playoff appearances. The fact that he’s done so much with so little help and so many hurdles makes pointing the finger in his direction mind boggling.

  14. djigel says: Jan 7, 2012 12:39 PM

    nineroutsider says:
    Jan 7, 2012 11:17 AM
    All those ex-49ers didn’t hurt either…

    ————————————————–

    Let us not forget that Justin Smith is a beast and a former Bengal….and Ahmad Brooks as well. I actually like the 49ers because of all the ex-Bengals and Buckeyes the employ.

    I do love Manny Lawson and Nate Clements, they have done a great job filling in…. but I would take Smith back in a heartbeat over those two…. although it is great to see him go to a 3-4 team where he could really thrive after being marginalized as a 4-3 DE in Cincinnati.

    The only thing I will add about their record against playoff teams is that all but one game (35-7 @PIT) was tightly contested for the most part. They are a young team and they haven’t proved they can win the big game, but it isn’t like the got rocked in every game. (Including the Texans week 14 game) – Let’s just hope they can change the trend today. If not, it is still been a great season for a young team that I predicted to go 3-13.

  15. ez4me55 says: Jan 7, 2012 12:42 PM

    Think we are getting a little ahead of ourselves.

    Mike Brown is still the worst owner in all of pro sports.

    And say what you will about his production on the field, but Chad Ochocinco has been a model teammate in New England.

    It’s still the Bungles.

    To answer this is to say yes Chad does a lot off the field and appears to be a model teammate. But under the surface he was all about the me. I agree with the Mike Brown comment but we are not your fathers Bungles . They play hard and still have a few pieces missing but will be competitive for years to come.

  16. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 7, 2012 12:42 PM

    Man, getting rid of Carson Palmer was a good idea for the Bengals. Carson has flashes of greatness, bu what Carson giveth(TD), he taketh away(Ints)…looks like a .500 QB to me.

    Hopefully he does better with a full off season in the system,

  17. scamnewton says: Jan 7, 2012 12:58 PM

    For a 3rd time…..

    Swept AFCN two years ago and had a better win % against .500 teams than the rest of the NFL. Bengals can do a bit more than “beat the bad teams.”

    Just wait until Dalton, Green, Shipley, Dunlap, Atkins and the other good young players the Bengals add in the next two drafts mature together and build chemistry.

  18. dannymac17 says: Jan 7, 2012 1:14 PM

    Is that Marv Lewis dropping back and showing them how its done?

  19. sophiethegreatdane says: Jan 7, 2012 1:28 PM

    As an Orioles fan I can guarantee you that Mike Brown has stiff competition for the title of “worst owner in pro sports”. Peter Angelos has gone a long way towards dismantling a once-great franchise and turning it into a laughing stock. At least the Bengals are in the playoffs and seem to have a bright future. O’s fans would love if the team would take a giant step towards mediocrity.

    Marvin Lewis is a good man, and a very good coach. Cindy is lucky to have him.

  20. professorcolumbus says: Jan 7, 2012 1:47 PM

    The Bengals of this year remind me of the Bucs of last year in the way they consistently beat bad teams, and fall short against good ones. Hopefully for them they don’t follow the same path at this years Bucs, though.

  21. realfootballfan says: Jan 7, 2012 6:31 PM

    Wonder what the excuse will be when they get back to 5-11 seasons next year with a tougher schedule. The Bengals are this year’s Tampa Bay Bucs and are feeling themselves a little bit too much.

    I find it hard to fathom that one player, Chad Johnson, is responsible for the nearly 20 year playoff drought, the underachieving done by the team during his time there, and why Carson Palmer was playing so bad, too. I’ve heard all of that from everyone in relation to this team, and it’s a bunch of garbage.

    He sure doesn’t seem to be holding the Patriots back, and he’s barely done a thing for them. Therefore, it might have been a bigger problem than him, don’t you think.

  22. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Jan 7, 2012 11:42 PM

    Model teammate? How much trouble can he get into sitting on the bench.

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