Pair of Cincinnati Bengals greats weigh in on Marvin Lewis returning as coach

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown, right, and Cris Collinsworth watch practice Tuesday, June 6 on the practice fields next to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Nick Graham
Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown, right, and Cris Collinsworth watch practice Tuesday, June 6 on the practice fields next to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Nick Graham)

This got lost in the Super Bowl shuffle of news last weekend, but it’s worth a second look. 

While Marvin Lewis’ return to the Cincinnati Bengals as coach caused a lot of head-scratching locally and nationally, two famous former Bengals in the media told the team website they approve. 

RELATED: What are the Bengals’ Super Bowl odds for next season?

Both Cris Collinsworth and Boomer Esiason seem to think the team is not far from returning to contender status despite back-to-back losing seasons and Lewis is the man to take the team to the top. 

“I absolutely would have brought back Marvin,” Collinsworth said. “Tell me who you’re going to replace him with. Were they going to hire Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia? I’m old enough to remember when the Bengals couldn’t get out of their own way for a decade. And they bring this guy in and they go to the playoffs five straight years? No brainer.” 

He went on to point out change is not always for the better. 

“They played well at the end of the season. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is change. Look at the franchises that change everything. Give it a chance.”

Esiason also endorsed the move, though it sounds like he was surprised Lewis is back. 

“I thought Marvin was going to hang it up. I thought it was his choice,” said Esiason, who phoned Lewis to congratulate him after the deal was done and sensed how the tide had turned.

“I think he was re-energized by those last two games and they really should have beaten the Steelers in that Monday night game. And the fact they brought in Teryl Austin is a great move. Not that Paul Guenther wasn’t great, but Teryl Austin brings a fresh set of eyes, a new voice and a real aggressive style. He’s an aggressive defensive coordinator. Watch him in practice. I think you’ll enjoy it.”

Of course the fact the team owns the place these quotes were published probably means something, but there’s not much reason to doubt their sincerity, either. 

Collinsworth and Esiason are savvy media members, and both could have declined comment without anyone ever knowing. 

Instead, they spoke rather decisively in Lewis’ favor. 

Their opinions offer no guarantee it is going to work out, but they are interesting nonetheless considering both are very familiar with an organization that tends to do business differently than most. 

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Mike Leach believes Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold should’ve stayed in school

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold both decided to leave college early to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. Washington State coach Mike Leach, who coached against both quarterbacks, disagrees with their decision to turn pro.

“I thought they both should have stayed,” Leach said, per  SiriusXMNFL Radio. “I think that Rosen measures out better in some areas, the ball he throws is real pretty, but to me it seems like Darnold elevates his team and I think those guys play around him a little better.”

Most people around football believe Rosen made the right decision to declare for the draft. However, there are mixed reviews on Darnold. Some scouts and analysts think the USC quarterback could’ve benefitted by playing one more season with the Trojans.

Game film illustrates that Rosen is the more polished quarterback right now. Although, some believe Darnold has the biggest upside between the two.

Only time will tell. What we do know is both will be selected early in this year’s draft.

As for Leach’s comments, it’s a safe bet that Washington State fans differ from him. Cougars fans are more than likely happy the team won’t have to face Rosen and Darnold any longer.

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What Tom Izzo said after Michigan State’s 65-60 victory over Northwestern

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 12:03 PM

The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans trailed at one point by 27 points during their game at Northwestern on Saturday, but the favored bunch mounted a comeback in the second half to go on and win, 65-60.

In the second half — after a 49-27 deficit at halftime — the Spartans held the Wildcats to 11 points entirely. Cassius Winston led the team with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

With the win, Michigan State is on top of the Big Ten conference with a 14-2 record and two games remaining in the regular season.

What Tom Izzo said after Michigan State’s win over Northwestern

 

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Former South Carolina basketball star P.J. Dozier returns to Columbia

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 11:56 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former South Carolina basketball star P.J. Dozier returned to Columbia on Saturday for the annual Legends Weekend.

Dozier, who’s made two appearances for the Oklahoma City Thunder, has spent most of his rookie season in the G-League. For the Oklahoma City Blue squad, he averages 12.5 points and 2.6 assists per game.

In the video above, Dozier talks about his transition from college to the pros.

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Springfield quickly rebounds from loss at Trotwood-Madison

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 4:56 PM


            Springfield’s Derrick Robinson-Verse (24) and Leonard Taylor (front) battle Trotwood’s Justin Stephens (middle) and Carl Blanton for a rebound. Trotwood-Madison defeated visiting Springfield 79-72 in boys high school basketball on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Springfield’s Derrick Robinson-Verse (24) and Leonard Taylor (front) battle Trotwood’s Justin Stephens (middle) and Carl Blanton for a rebound. Trotwood-Madison defeated visiting Springfield 79-72 in boys high school basketball on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

It didn’t take long for Springfield senior guard Michael Wallace to rebound from Friday’s stinging 79-72 loss at mighty Trotwood-Madison. Not with the end of the regular season in sight and the postseason on deck.

“We can’t wait,” Wallace said. “We’ve got to get this last game over with and then get ready for the tournament.”

Wallace matched his season high with 17 points and Raheim Moss also scored 17 but the Wildcats didn’t quite have their “A” game against the Rams and that would be costly in the Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game before a capacity crowd. Springfield was scheduled to end the regular season with a non-conference game against visiting Middletown on Saturday. The Middies are coached by one-time Springfield coach Darnell Hoskins.

Springfield landed a No. 2 seed in the Division I, Dayton 2 sectional. The Wildcats have a first-round bye and will play the Piqua-Springboro winner at 6 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Centerville.

Top-seeded Trotwood will take a 12-game win streak into the D-II sectional at Springfield High School. The Rams were the D-II state runners-up last season.

Springfield (17-4), Trotwood (19-3) and D-I top seed Wayne (20-1) have had marquee matchups this season. Springfield split two games with Wayne, which was No. 1 in the state in D-I for much of the season before losing at Springfield last week. Wayne defeated Trotwood in double-overtime in late December. All three GWOC reps are expected to make deep postseason runs.

Springfield (10-2) finished runner-up to Wayne (11-1) in the GWOC National East. Springfield also lost at Centerville in divisional play. Springfield started the season at 13-0, but entered the Middletown game on a late-season 2-3 slide.

Springfield pulled within 65-64 early in the fourth quarter on Derrick Robinson-Verse’s two free throws. But seconds later Moss fouled out. Springfield’s Leonard Taylor also sat out crucial minutes in the second half with four fouls. That foul trouble was compounded by the loss of top sub Larry Stephens, a sophomore guard who tweaked a knee in practice on Thursday and didn’t play.

Trotwood answered with a game-ending 14-7 run.

“It seems to be the same old song every time we play those guys,” Springfield coach Isaiah Carson said. “Trotwood’s a good basketball team. I like what (coach) Rocky (Rockhold) has done.”

Taylor added 12 points for the Wildcats and Jordan Howard 9.

Rockhold previously also coached at Greeneview, where he also was a standout player. The teams have played six times in the last seven seasons, with Trotwood holding a 4-2 advantage. Trotwood also defeated Springfield 88-73 to end the previous regular season.

Trotwood backcourt standouts Myles Belyeu and Amari Davis each scored 23 points. Trotwood had hit triple-digits in four of its last five games.

“We loved the pace of the game,” Rockhold said. “We felt if we got it out of the 60s we had a chance.”

Jonathan Alder 56, Kenton Ridge 55: Alder (18-4, 12-1) had already clinched a Kenton Trail title and has the best overall record in his first season of Central Buckeye Conference play. The Cougars (15-6, 9-4) ended the regular season by hosting Southeastern on Saturday. A No. 2 seed, Kenton Ridge opens the D-II sectional at Springfield High School against Graham on Saturday.

Dayton Christian 64, Emmanuel Christian 53: Adonis Davis scored 27 for the host Lions (8-14, 5-9) in their final Metro Buckeye Conference game to end the regular season. Emmanuel is a No. 7 seed in the D-IV sectional at Troy and will play the Southeastern/Franklin Monroe winner on Feb. 27. DC (16-5, 12-2) finished runner-up to Troy Christian (19-2, 13-1) in the MBC.

West Liberty-Salem 72, Mechanicsburg 49: Trevor Burden scored 22 points and the host Tigers (14-7, 11-4) clinched a tie with West Jefferson for the Ohio Heritage Conference North title. WL-Salem is a No. 9 seed in the D-III sectional at Northmont and will play Arcanum in the first round on Friday. Mechanicsburg (1-19) plays top-seeded Fort Loramie in the D-IV sectional at Piqua on Saturday.

Madison Plains 50, Greenon 46: Logan Coppock scored 15 points for host Greenon (10-12, 9-7) in another OHC game. Greenon opens D-III sectional play at Northmont against Miami East also on Saturday.

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