Feb. 15, 2008

Marvin Lewis sits alone in his workshop, and stares at his chalkboard.  It’s filled with messy lines of scribbles and notations.  His hands and shirt sleeves are covered in chalk, and on his worktable sits a half-eaten sandwich and a cold cup of coffee.

He taps a pencil against his forehead while he contemplates the mess on the board.  Softly in the background, Marvin hears a buzzing sound, like that of a fly.  He squints and concentrates his attention on the chalkboard. As the buzz grows louder, Marvin sees something important in the calculations he’s made.  He stands and circles two sections of the chalkboard: pass rush and the running game.

He steps back and considers what he’s circled.  He again notices the buzzing sound, still getting louder off in the distance.

“We need to improve here and here,” he thinks aloud, and taps the circles.

An idea of monumental significance begins to take shape in his brain, when, at last, the buzz becomes intolerable.

Marvin shatters his chalk stick onto the ground, and stomps out of his workshop.  He climbs down from his tower, huffing and puffing along the way.  Finally, he reaches the ground-level, throws open the door and screams to the world, “Chad goes nowhere!”.

The buzzing stops.

Here is what Marvin really said. "There is no such thing as behind-the-door dealings in the NFL. That does not occur because the team in question (the Bengals) is not willing to trade their player, nor have they thought about trading their player or discussed trading their player, nor will they discuss trading their player.”

He had to react to the recent nonsense of Chad being traded to Washington. While I would certainly give up #85 for the right price (first-rounder; defensive starter plus a later-rounder), it seems naive to think any team will give up such goodies.  Chad’s potential $8 million cap hit has been exhaustively detailed in recent reports, and the other fact is, he’s still a great player.

It was important Marv remind the world that Chad has little say in this arrangement. Rosenhaus is the Karl Rove in this situation.  He’s the sneaky, greedy scoundrel who convinces Chad to act out his plans for him.  That said, I would never insult Chad to the point of comparing him to George Bush, but you get the idea.

I predict seeing Chad in Bengals training camp, laughing and carrying on with fans and teammates.  Maybe he’s battling SAD right now, and hopefully the sunshine will thaw him out. Who knows? But Marvin certainly doesn’t want to allow a disgruntled player to have their way when you have a locker room full of guys who don’t mind airing out their frustrations. He also doesn’t want to lose Chad’s 1,400 yards every season.

Since he climbed all the way down to ground-level to quiet the buzz, Marvin thought he might as well elaborate a bit of his recent findings to the listless Bengals reporters.  He made mention of his two off-season priorities; pass-rush and the running game.  He threatened to use the franchise tag if he had to, without naming any specific player.  He finally sees value in a pass-catching tight end, and he’s optimistic about the return of Odell Thurman.

It was good to hear from the mad scientist, and I liked what he said.  While it scares me to think Justin Smith could earn over $ 10 million if he’s tagged, listening to Marv talk about pursuing defensive lineman in the draft and free-agency indicates to me that Smith’s days here are numbered - hopefully.

Before he ascends the stairs and returns to his workshop, Marvin turns around and asks the world to stop worrying and to just leave everything up to him.

“We’re moving forward.” he says, opening his door. “And Chad goes nowhere.  See ya, next month.”


Mojokong - Wish in one hand, ...

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