Marvin Lewis touched upon a number of issues on Tuesday at the AFC coaches' media breakfast.
Each offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals have experienced changes since Lewis has taken the helm. Most of these changes have been for good purposes—Lewis has taken this club from a doormat to a contender.
Let's take a look at some of the issues that Lewis touched on and analyze his comments and what they may mean for the Bengals this offseason and for 2013.
At some point in this draft #Bengals take a running back Lewis says.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
This is the first time that Lewis has come right out and said that they will be taking a running back in the 2013 draft.
Cincinnati has been looking for a complement to BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the backfield since his arrival in 2012. Bernard Scott was supposed to be that player but could not stay healthy enough to fit the role.
There still is no telling when the Bengals will take a running back in the draft, but if one were to speculate, it seems like it will be sooner rather than later.
Lewis has no update on #Bengals talks with Andre Smith— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
It seems to be the same story with right tackle Andre Smith at the moment. There is no news from the Bengals, which means Smith is most likely waiting for a team to bite despite his high price tag.
This does not look to be the case, and Lewis seems prepared to move on if Smith and the Bengals cannot agree to terms.
Lewis says if don't get Smith done, "We'll move on....I know he wants to get it done."— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
Moving on could certainly mean taking a tackle high in the draft. One player who has been linked to the Bengals for the 21st overall selection is D.J. Fluker, the right tackle from Alabama.
How long do you want to stay in it? It's time to win a championship...let's keep it in the division.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
Lewis seems comfortable in Cincinnati—he should be as he enters his 11th season. But it is a good sign that he does not seem content with just competing and winning football games.
Lewis' mantra has been about winning a championship for the last several years. With such a young team, Lewis has faith that his own drafted players can get the job done.
One such example is Mohamed Sanu. Here is what Lewis had to say about him:
Another tidbit from Lewis: Says Sanu is so versatile he could start for #Bengals at FS. He won't, of course, and says he likes current Ss.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
It sounds like Sanu may be Lewis' guy at the second receiver position heading into 2013. At the very least, Sanu should see plenty of time on the field at multiple positions on offense.
Lewis also seems content with the safety position at its current state. This could possibly be a smokescreen for the draft or could mean that he is not prepared to spend a high pick on a safety.
Speaking of younger players, there has been speculation about Vontaze Burfict moving to the middle linebacker position. Lewis may have put that theory to rest on Tuesday.
Lewis on Burfict maybe moving to MLB:I would doubt it.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
Lewis indicated that he'd keep Maualuga in middle and Tez at WILL, but he also said I don't know a couple of times.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
This may come as a shock to Bengals fans. Rey Maualuga struggled in the middle and seemed to lack the confidence to be a leader on the field. Lewis has a different take on Maualuga's 2012 season:
Lewis on Rey and Burfict staying put: We're comfortable with where we are on defense. Rey did a good job managing kinder care out there— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
Lewis on Rey: Don't listen to the criticism. He's improved in all aspects.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 19, 2013
It is still very early in the offseason, and before free agency ends and the draft begins, Lewis may feel that is the best move for the Bengals right now. However, with so much happening between now and the start of the regular season, it is difficult to tell how it may turn out.
If anything, Lewis has certainly given Bengals fans plenty to talk about for the remainder of the offseason.