Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals coachMarvin Lewis
during the AFC wild card playoff game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
If you recall this offseason, Lewis caused a bit of a stir with his criticism of Pro Football Focus when referring to the play of middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. PFF is one of the best analytical services there is for the NFL, and many current players, coaches and executives use the service to help determine how well (or poorly) a particular player is playing.
PFF graded him as the league’s worst linebacker, and Lewis blamed PFF for turning the fans against Maualuga:
"Because they look at some dumb ass web site that doesn’t have any idea of what football is. The same website that two years ago that rated Kelly Jennings the best tackling corner in the NFL. These people who aren’t football they are trying to be critical. We’ll be as critiquing of Rey as we need to be, we don’t need any help."
But if you dig deeper down into PFF’s statistics, you’ll see that Maualuga had the most snaps of any Bengals defender last year. No matter how bad he played, Lewis continued to play him.
But Rey isn’t the only player to grade out poorly and still get significant snaps. Tight end Jermaine Gresham graded out as the worst NFL TE (-16.4) yet received the 6th-most snaps of any Bengals player (offense or defense).
So you have Maualuga and Gresham getting essentially as many snaps as any Bengals player, despite being among the lowest graded players at their respective positions. The team did draft Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert, hopefully to improve the level of play at that position.
As it stands now, Maualuga will not only start at MLB, but likely receive as many snaps as any Bengals player. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
According to PFF, Lewis is insane if he thinks Maualuga is worthy of getting so many snaps. That may explain why he “dislikes” them so much.