Bengals coach Marvin Lewis wants the guys who occupy the leadership positions on his team to show more leadership.
Lewis said Wednesday, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that he wanted quarterback Andy Dalton and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga to step up.
“We’re looking for our quarterback and our middle linebacker to take hold of our football team and that’s important for us,” Lewis said. “I think both guys are such good people that you have to be a little bit of a … [jerk]. But you do and that’s what these guys we’re talking about [Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger] have and I think that’s part of it.
“Andy has a great deal of self confidence and the guys around him but at some point you step out of your skin and you go and it’s time to go. It’s time to step around here both places, all throughout. We’ve wallowed around here in mediocrity. Let’s go and that’s the thing we have to do.”
Dalton has regressed a bit from a sharp rookie year, throwing an interception in every game, and six in the last three games. His 10 picks are tied for second-most in the AFC. He’s also coming off a disastrous last game against the Steelers before the bye.
“You have to play good at quarterback in order to win, Lewis said. “You have to take care of the ball on offense and play efficient at quarterback. Turnovers beat you and if you don’t make plays from that position you have a hard time.”
While the Bengals made great strides last year, and Dalton was a big part of it, he’s also part of the reason they’ve struggled this year. And Lewis apparently wants to make sure he knows it.