The Cincinnati Bengals got waxed by their division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers 42-21 on Sunday, but that beating did not take away any confidence from Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.
Lewis was interviewed Monday afternoon on Cincinnati radio station WLW-AM and was asked if Johnny Manziel starting for the Cleveland Browns would affect his game-planning. Manziel making his first NFL start is huge news, but Lewis’ response might also get a little play throughout the week, per Kevin Draper of Deadspin:
It’s rare to see an NFL coach take such a personal shot at a player. Manziel is actually listed as 6’0 and 210 pounds, not exactly a guy most would call a midget. Brian Hoyer, who has started all 13 games for Cleveland, including a 24-3 pasting of the Bengals in Cincinnati, is 6’2 and 215 pounds. Lewis’ quarterback, Andy Dalton, checks in at 6’2 and 220 pounds, so there isn’t a major difference between his own quarterback and Manziel. Predicatbly, Lewis later apologized.
It’s incredibly dumb timing from a pure football standpoint for an experienced head coach who should know better. Lewis got beaten badly on Sunday and could easily miss the playoffs with a tough schedule ahead. The team Lewis is insulting gave him an aforementioned beating only five weeks ago, and his resume isn’t exactly Hall-of-Fame worthy. In 14 seasons as Bengals head coach, Lewis has as many playoff victories as the guy four rows up eating nachos. Zero.
This should be fascinating television come Sunday afternoon.