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Sports Today: An old voice provides familiar message in Bengals locker room

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 11:03 AM
By: Marcus Hartman

If you want to know how things are going for the Cincinnati Bengals these days, the most interesting guy in the locker room Wednesday was a newly signed backup offensive lineman. 

Veteran Eric Winston, re-signed after Jake Fisher went on Injured Reserve, is a reputed good talker and the president of the players association, but still… 

A lot of us gathered around him to ask about the state of the team, and he was diplomatic in regards to how ready he might be to actually play on Sunday against the Titans while also declining to speculate why the team is 3-5. 

RELATED: 5 things the Titans’ coach said about the Bengals

Winston had some interesting things to say about the value of veteran leadership, which isn’t surprising since he’s a veteran leader. 

But, again, the fact he became an immediate go-to guy for that type of question says a lot about the composition of the locker room and the state of the team. 

There are plenty of exciting young talents in Cincinnati, but who is going to give them direction? 

Head coach Marvin Lewis said unlike Dick LeBeau, he won’t be coaching until he is 80 years old, but he did get excited when someone brought up Pittsburgh’s pass out of the punting formation that provided a key first down three weeks ago. 

RELATED: Who is on this week’s injury report?

Lewis mostly maintained the party line about the key to playing better is, well, playing better, but he got excited when special teams mistakes became a topic of conversation

One got the impression those could be a symbol of the big picture with the team. Not enough guys doing their job to add up to winning football. 

Maybe he feels like the special teams mistakes broke the damn that was being held together by the defense while everyone waited for the offense to come around. 

A lot of football games can be won by playing good defense and special teams if an offense can be opportunistic, but the Bengals have not even managed that. 

Why expect it to change? 

Speaking of Fisher, Lewis told a national radio show this morning an irregular heartbeat is what ended his season. 

How that went from a private matter he wouldn’t discuss with local media Wednesday to something fit to be shared with a larger audience Thursday is a little puzzling. 

Maybe it’s as simple as Fisher giving his permission in the intervening time. Maybe Lewis just likes to stick it to the local media when he gets a chance. 

At any rate, hopefully Fisher is able to make a full recovery and next year’s coach is more willing to talk to the people who cover his team about his team… 

As expected, Wednesday was a big day for Dayton Flyers basketball as four-star point guard Dwayne Cohill signed his national letter of intent. 

Indications from the players are new coach Anthony Grant wants to get out an run, to play a free-flowing NBA-style game. 

That is going to require strong ball-handling, so point guards are at a premium. 

PHOTOS: 21 fantastic old images of UD Arena

I see that position as a pretty fascinating one on this year’s team as the Flyers return veteran John Crosby and bring in freshman Jalen Crutcher

Tom Archdeacon wrote this week about Crutcher’s recruitment. Check it out!