Marvin Lewis has been the head coach of the cincinnati Bengals since 2003, and while this year’s team may not necessarily be the most talented team he’s had, you’d be hard-pressed to find a prior Bengals team that had more depth than this year’s team. Lewis believes that will be a huge factor for a club hoping to take the next step:
"I think you are always encouraged to have some depth at our positions. We have some great competition at most positions. We have an experienced team to play with urgency at the end of the year. Your concerns always are being able to work through the injuries that you know are going to happen and being able to fill in and have other guys step up."
Dec 13, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga (58) prior to playing the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Bengals defeated the Eagles 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
If the Bengals defense is to become truly elite, they’ll need more consistency at the middle linebacker spot, something they have yet to have in the Marvin Lewis era. As Field Yates notes, Maualuga will be counted on to try to become just that:
"Many surmised the Bengals would replace Rey Maualuga this offseason, but the team instead inked him to a new two-year deal. That’s a sign of confidence in the 26-year-old, but there are still questions about whether he has the range to be a consistent playmaker in the middle of the defense. He didn’t force a single turnover in 2012, though his 122 tackles were second best on the defense. Despite the new contract, 2013 is still another year for the USC product to prove he’s the man for the long haul in the middle."
Adam Jones was invited to speak to inner-city kids at the Cathedral City’s All American Youth Football League Kickoff Event last Friday, and talked to the kids about what he’s learned from his various mistakes as an NFL player, and in his life in general:
"The only thing I can talk about are true life experiences. I’m going to be honest with them and whatever questions they ask me, I’ll answer. Be accountable and responsible for all your actions. School is cool, guns are not. Just keep working hard, enjoy your childhood."