Marvin Lewis responds to Johnathan Joseph’s comments

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If being cheap means not letting guys stuff their pockets with bottles of Gatorade, then Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is happy to be regarded as cheap.

Responding to recent complaints from former Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph regarding his perception that the franchise is parsimonious, coach Marvin Lewis gladly took blame for the notion that players should get as much as they want of whatever they want.

“I was told this morning about Johnathan’s comments that were printed,” Lewis said in a Wednesday chat on  “It’s my fault that I feel that a player doesn’t need to take a dozen Gatorades home in his backpack each night and that we are paying him a salary.  I’m sure that Johnathan would not have been one of the abusive players but it is my policy.”

Of course, Joseph mentioned more than Gatorade.  He talked about soap and deodorant being available for players in Houston, and the fact that the Texans rent one hotel room per player on road trips, without requiring players to share.  Lewis didn’t address those concerns.

It’s no secret that the Bengals are extremely careful with money.  But Joseph clumsily took the issue too far, griping about the team’s reluctance to do what no responsible employer ever would.

30 responses to “Marvin Lewis responds to Johnathan Joseph’s comments

  1. Funny how just after joseph made these comments the Texans said they were engaging in contract talks with Dwayne Brown LT and Connor Barwin Lolb. Possible plant to help keep good players? I wouldn’t put it past some front office people

  2. Joseph comes off as petty in this one. They won’t let me fill my backpack with Gatorade that they pay for.


    No need to bash the team now that you have been gone a year. If he’d have said something, some gripe last year it would be different. Still petty, but different.

  3. I’m not going to lie but j joe was one of my favorite dbs even when he chose to go to Houston but after I have read this yesterday about him whining about soap, gatorade, and deodorant. Like come on man 7 mil a year and you need a free Gatorade. Like ocho cinco would say child please!!!!

  4. Texans are regarded as a Class Organization in the NFL

    Bengals are barely regarded as a real organization.

    Sorry Marvin, you work for a boss you’ve wanted to walk out on many times and you know the facilities are garbage. Nice try defending the Gatorade quip, but Division I athletes get more than Bengals athletes.

  5. How exactly does Jonathen Joseph benefit from calling his former organization cheap? He’s on a new team now, and he presumably likes the way they provide essential items to their players, but insulting the way his former team handles their business only makes him look like an idiot. How about you praise the team your on and leave the negativity concerning your former employer in the rear view?

    If you’re going to make a public statement, stop and think beforehand if that statement is going to benefit you in some way…seems rather elementary to me.

  6. NFL players get paid millions every year than the averag working class citizen but boy o boy..these guy wine and cry about almost every lil thing..I bet if the Texans forget to put chicken on his plate during lunch time he will run to the media and tell the whole carefull how u treat this dude coz he can be a cry baby like some of them

  7. What sticks in my craw with JJoe is that it was the Bengals drafted him in the 1st round, when most had him rated much lower.

    Call the Bengals cheap JJoe, but those guys paid you 1st round money right away. Think about what money you would have had if you were taken in the 4th…..

  8. Lewis is correct. But so what? If you want to keep the players you have to keep them happy. If they want free gator aid for the whole family, then you should probably provide it if thats what it takes to keep him happy.

    The next question is, do you want low character players who need to steal from work because they are so cheap? Probably not.

  9. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that Gatorade doesn’t mind players taking several bottles home with them. The more bottles in distribution, the better branded the product. Having it in a “lockbox” at the Bengal’s training facility does nothing for marketing. Lewis went with that one because he can’t justify treating pros like college kids. They are just what he said; cheap. Being a tightwad is no better than being a spendthrift.

    Also, no one here is naive enough to believe NFL teams pay retail for Gatorade or soap or deoderant or hotel rooms, right?

  10. It’s no secret that the Bengals are extremely careful with money. But Joseph clumsily took the issue too far, griping about the team’s reluctance to do what no responsible employer ever would.
    Huh? What do you mean? Joseph is simply giving examples of how the Cincy front office cares much more about the bottom line than they care about their employees. And apparently it factored into his decision to leave the team. I work on the road a lot and if my employer made me share my room with another dude I would be livid too.

    There is a way to be a “responsible employer” and be liked by your employees at the same time. Apparently Houston figured that out. Cincy, not so much.

  11. 23 million Americans are unemployed, many for over a year, and Joseph is ticked about not getting free Gatorade, soap and deodorant?

    There are families who lost their homes to foreclosure living in shelters tonight, probably in the city Joseph now resides in, who would kill to share a decent hotel room.

    And have a six or seven-figure contract.

    Joseph is the poster-boy for “out of touch”.

  12. I gotta go with JJ on this. This is an NFL FRANCHISE, cutting costs on things like Gatorade and deodorant and hotel rooms will not make the difference between red or black. When it comes time to re-up your stars and they hear about other teams that at least have to decency to accommodate their guys, then what?

  13. How come this team doesn’t come up in the disscussions about moving to LA? do they have some long term deal in Cincy?

  14. If you read the interview he isn’t bashing the Bengals. They asked him how Houston was different and he mentioned some of the little things that go a long way in making a player feel appreciated. Tell me it doesn’t make you feel good to get that 5 cent ment on your pillow at a hotel even though in reality it doesn’t make a real difference.

  15. blue67ccm says:
    Jul 18, 2012 4:32 PM
    23 million Americans are unemployed, many for over a year, and Joseph is ticked about not getting free Gatorade, soap and deodorant?

    There are families who lost their homes to foreclosure living in shelters tonight, probably in the city Joseph now resides in, who would kill to share a decent hotel room.

    And have a six or seven-figure contract.

    Joseph is the poster-boy for “out of touch”.

    Joseph wasn’t complaining. He was asked about the difference between the teams and he gave his opinion. The fact is, its the little things that matter in how well you like your job.

    To paint J.Jo up against unemployed people is silly. The man was asked about his job and he gave a response. Some of you guys are way too melodramatic. You guys are in here complaining like chicks and J.Jo is putting up All Pro numbers with an organization known for being 1st class. He’s not the problem. smh

  16. I’m not a fan of either team so I would think my opinion is unbiased… Having said that, I don’t think this Jonathan Joseph is crazy to mention these things. He feels like the Texans want to make sure the players are taken care of and comfortable so that they can concentrate only on football. Other teams are more concerned with saving money or limiting spending to only necessary items. That’s fine. They just have to realize that some players can get annoyed. If you feel like the savings justifies the decision than owners are free to do as they please within the boundaries of the CBA. And other owners are free to spoil their players if they think the results justify the cost. But these comments just highlight that it actually affects the comfort level of players.

    I will say that if I lost sleep because I drew the small straw and had to room with a 300+ lb lineman. It possibly could affect my play… Just sayin’.

  17. Wait until you’re out of the NFL Mr. Joseph. Just like the rest of us, you’ll have to buy your own stuff(gasp!)!

    Perhaps this is the kind of attitude that ensures a multi-millionaire will be broke once the cash cow leaves town??

  18. butch815 says:
    Jul 18, 2012 4:04 PM
    Texans do seem to have a problem managing their money as their problem salary cap situation can attest.

    Butch, GOOD teams have salary cap issues. Bad ones normally don’t. Texans will keep re-loading.

  19. $16 million under the salary cap, a sweetheart stadium deal with the city of Cincinnati, and Mike Brown still feels the need to cut corners.

  20. You know of all the useless divas that have graced a Bengals uniform over the last few years and it’ JJoe running his mouth about gatorade and soap. You know TO is suppose to be a team cancer…and he never made a specific comment complaining about the team. I know the Bengals watch their dollars. I also know they have no choice. I’m not going to bother to explain it, and I don’t have the space here. Just look at team revenues in the NFL, that should pretty much explain. From the stadium deal to free agents, etc, etc. There are just so many things blown out of proportion with the Bengals. They won’t spend money on big name free agents so they are cheap. The Pats, Packers and many others follow the same formula, and they are just smarter than the rest of the NFL. As a fan I’m tired of tired of even caring about what outsiders think of the team. Especially the stadium deal. The info is out there that shows it is some of the teams fault, but mostly the county and city. It wasn’t the deal so much as it was the city/county actions after the deal. But also the fact the county/city sought no help from the surrounding counties or state with stadium cost, because they wanted control of other spending they were stuffing under that tax umbrella. As far as Gatorade and soap, it’s a childish statement to make and I have no problem with the teams policies. Even the sharing hotel rooms policy. I just don’t think people realize how little money is left over after expenses. 200M is not a lot of revenue for an NFL team. There are teams making close to 400M a year in large markets. We can’t know for sure, but an examination of some basic facts tells us the Bengals are barely in the good. Mike Brown draws a 10M a year salary as GM. He’s criticized for his family being in the top 4 paying positions in the club. But it’s always been a family organization. Mike’s the President. His daughter Katie Blackburn is the Executive Vice President and heir to ownership of the team. She also handles all contract negotiations. Mike’s brothers Pete and Paul are SR Vice President & Vice President of Player Personnel. And Katie’s husband Troy Blackburn is on of 3 Vice Presidents. There are 57 other members of the staff not including the coaching, strength/conditioning & the medical staff. I’m glad it’s still a family organization, and glad that it will continue to be in the future even after Mike Brown can no longer run the team. Anyway the man’s on a role…He was the choice of many websites for NFL executive of the Year. They had what looks like an excellent draft, and it appears they have changed the environment and attitude in the locker room. I say let JJoes be JJoes. Be JJoe should keep in mind that he may have to cover AJ Green again in his career. He probably shouldn’t be motivating him.

  21. 1) You would have to pay me to drink a gatorade. It is far from a sports drink and you are really stupid if you believe it is. High Fructose Corn Syrup is an ingredient.

    2) If I made pro football money I would still make my own natural deodorant, to replace the poison sticks sold in stores today. Even making pro football money I wouldnt be able to justify paying for the high class personal hygeine products made from natural ingredients

  22. If getting your own room meant that much to you, go upgrade you room for 8 whole nights during the season (at about $200 a night)…….bust out that $1,600 off your 5 million and guess what…….you don’t bunk with anyone.

  23. Regardless of whether the Bengals are ‘cheap’ or not, isn’t there some kind of salary cap implication here? Sure, the team are allowed to provide players with everything they need to do their job, but if they start turning a blind eye while players steal a load of stuff for personal use, when does that start to count as benefits that should count towards the cap? Especially with rookies where there pay is tightly controlled.

  24. “Big” Willie Anderson said the same thing a few years ago about the towels in the locker rooms (google it). Bengals are cheap and for an organization that rakes in M.I.L.L.I.O.N.S. they could spend a million just on babying their players. Wouldn’t kill them. Yes players are divas.. but there’s a reason they’re divas. They have the talent.. You kick them to the curb after 5-10 years so treat them nice when they’re there. It’s only fair.

  25. If you were running a business would you let your employees take home cases if Gatorade and soap that you paid for. I don’t think so. So all you that call the bengals cheap put yourself in management shoes and don’t control your expenses and see how long you would have a business. Just saying.

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