The League

David Aldridge
Sports Reporter

David Aldridge

A nationally recognized sports journalist.

Character Matters

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You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

I have always liked Marvin Lewis; he's smart and tough and a great teacher. So I don't understand for the life of me why he signed off on so many low-character guys to be on HIS football team. It's one thing if you're a coordinator; you take the players you're given and you coach 'em up, to quote a fabled, failed NFL coach from a few years ago. But when you're the head guy, you get to pick 'em. Everyone else is just suggesting; even the general manager.

I can understand taking a shot on one talented, troubled guy; every coach in every sport thinks he's Father Flanagan and can turn a bad boy around. But Lewis signed off on turd after turd, enough to, um, fill out a police lineup. When things go wrong on a team, as they do on every team, it's the internal makeup of the majority that determines what happens next. When the Giants started out 0-2 last season and looked like they were about to implode, they had legitimately good people like Antonio Pierce and Sam Madison that could lead them back. After Sean Taylor was murdered, the Redskins had great character guys like London Fletcher and Chris Samuels and Rock Cartwright (and, yes, Clinton Portis) to lean on.

Those guys are outnumbered in Cincinnati. And, ultimately, that's Lewis's fault. I think that's why he's been tougher on Chad Whathisname the last year. If you're going to get fired anyway, do it with guys you can trust.

By David Aldridge  |  November 21, 2008; 12:48 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The Coach is a Keeper | Next: Not the Only One to Blame

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