What the heck is going on in Cincinnati? Is Marvin Lewis recruiting the penal leagues? Do you need a criminal record to earn a training camp invite? Is it any wonder the orange in their logo meshes perfectly with a prison uniform?
The Bengals have had quite an offseason, and, in case you missed their latest debacle, guard Eric Steinbach was arrested and charged with boating under the influence on the Ohio River a few days ago, becoming the fifth Cincinnati player in three months accused of breaking the law. Who knows what to expect when they host the Redskins Sunday night in the preseason opener.
I'm half expecting some of them to have on brass knuckles or chains hanging out the sides of their uniform pants. The producers of "The Longest Yard" might want to keep an eye on this game. Could be good fodder for a sequel (not that I'd advise it).
I'd call them the Cincinnati Convicts, but, as we've all learned by now, the chances of any athlete with the dough for a quality lawyer getting incarcerated are usually slim. Doubt anyone will do any real time. The running police blotter/roster will undoubtedly cause headaches for Coach Lewis, though (you might remember him from his year as a D-coordinator here during the revolving-door era). He's the one whose going to have to answer for this mess now, and rightfully so.
Would love to cut into some of those weekly conference calls with the visiting media. Marvin isn't always much for pleasantries as it is, and with the lines of question his players have opened, look out. I foresee a hang-up or two.
Speaking of legal trouble, the Maurice Clarett story could have had a tragic ending the other day. He's lucky to be alive.
The whole thing is odd - bullet proof vest, vodka, CD of children's music recorded by convicts, high-speed chase, loaded weapons - and sad and confusing,. But I have to admit, the first thing that caught my attention amid all of it was a photo than ran in The Post Thursday, and I am sure plenty of other papers and websites, too. It was a shot of the arsenal inside the dude's car, and off the left tucked almost into the front seat was a lint roller. I swear. I could not help but wonder what he was thinking. "I need to look good for my mugshot? Does Kevlar attract lots of dust? Do these shackles make me look fat?"
But seriously, I spent about an hour with the kid four or five years back, early in his first/soon-to-be-only season at Ohio State, and really felt for him. He was a shy, nervous, naÃ¯ve, overwhelmed teenager who clearly lacked the support system and wherewithal to handle his instant celebrity. I remember talking to his high school coach at length, who basically told me the kid was either going to have to grow up really fast and leave his former life in Youngstown behind for good, or he was heading for a mighty, mighty fall. Unfortunately the later proved true.
It's sad to say, but I had a strong premonition that Taylor Jacobs would not make it through the first preseason game before getting hurt. For whatever reason, it happens every year. Poor kid. I like him a lot, but I just don't see him on this team and figured Jimmy Farris would eventually pass him on the depth chart. If it looks doomed for him here I would not be surprised if he's an early cut so he has a better chance of catching on elsewhere. He's a super nice dude, but I just don't see it working out ...
Now that the weather is no longer at defcon levels, B.Lloyd is back to wearing those awful long, spandex pants at practice. It has not gone unnoticed. The receiver was doing some interviews the other day as Jon Jansen was walking off the practice field. The tackle gave the new guy a pat on the back and without breaking stride whispered, "sexy pants," into Lloyd's ear. Pretty funny stuff ...
The little dude in my IPOD was on fire this afternoon. During the haul out to The Park he got me going with "Subliminally" by Suicidal Tendencies, then the Clash's version of "Pressure Drop," and then "Run To The Hills" by Maiden. So I look at the speedometer and I'm doing 90 on the Dulles Toll Road without even realizing it. Sensing my surging adrenaline, perhaps, Mr. IPOD took it down a few notches with The Smiths and The Stones, then, as I'm approaching the Loudon Country Parkway he drops a double whammy on me - "Kick Out The Jams" by the MC5, then "At The Movies," by Bad Brains.
So I walk in the building, grab a helmet, find Mike Sellers and challenge him to a one-on-one blocking drill, right then and there. Then I head out to the practice field and take on the first set of uprights I see, Gus Frerotte-style. Okay so I made up that last part, but, man, those thoughts actually crossed my minds.
The power of rock. It must be respected at all times.
Hope you all have a great weekend and we'll catch up next week, post-Cincy.
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