The Bengals, fresh off missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010, are looking for new leaders on the field.
“They have to understand: You have to take control, you have to take over,” coach Marvin Lewis said to TheMMQB.com. “Again, that group of guys, a year ago it’s 14 [vets], now it’s 20-something, that are at that point of their career. These guys have grown up. Now, they’re the leaders of the group, that group of players who’d never not gone to the playoffs. And that’s the thing, there are only five guys in this building who were there before then. That’s the great part of it. The rest of the group came in ’11 and ’12.”
The Bengals lost veterans Andrew Whitworth, Domata Peko and Ray Maualuga last offseason. The team has focused on bringing in new youth along both lines in recent years.
Lewis said he wants his team to be more physical. Cincinnati isn’t rebuilding; it intends to return to the postseason in 2017. For Lewis, in his 16th season as coach, anything less may cost him his job.
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