Updated: 8 p.m.
In an interview with Bengals.com and The Cincinnati Enquirer previewing next week’s opening of training camp, Lewis was clearly upset at the circumstances of Benson's case. He was hot that he was even asked if he thought Benson would be suspended by the NFL.
“I don’t even know why we bring that up,” Lewis said. “To me, it’s unbelievable. It wouldn’t be brought up in 31 other cites in the country I don’t think.”
Lewis also gave no indication the club is interested in free-agent wide receiver Terrell Owens.
“I don’t want to speak (about Terrell). We’ve been down that road,” Lewis said. “I don’t have a concern that we need to add anybody (at receiver).”
Asked if he thinks Benson is going to be suspended for any games following an assault charge, Lewis left no doubt where he stands. The league said Tuesday it is still investigating the incident that occured in a Texas bar in late May.
“The truth about Cedric is that he got sucker-punched in a bar. Cedric got attacked in a bar,” Lewis said. “Only because it was Cedric Benson does it become news. I think that’s something you have to understand. Same thing with Purify. A guy swung at Purify.
“Every one of these situations needs to be dealt with individually. Until all the facts are on the table can any judgments be made on that. They have to constantly be able to walk away. When two guys didn’t walk away totally, this is what happens. And they‘re not necessarily in the wrong, but they‘re a little bit wrong in my standards for not walking away totally. But they were not the initiator in any of these cases.”
“I expect him to work to earn a starting spot,” Lewis said. “He’s got some ground to make up ... he’s going to have to work to get his football legs under him. We’re going to have to watch him and not overwork him early on to allow him to get to where the other guys are because the other guys will be a little further ahead as far as the work they’ve done.”
Also, Lewis admitted he hasn’t watched
“I don’t think it will take away from his game,” said Lewis when asked if the dizzying offseason will hurt The Ocho. “Chad plays with a chip on his shoulder. And Chad plays best with a chip on his shoulder. That’s not going to change. And right now he’s got a chip on his shoulder because people are doubting him. Like the questions you just asked. That motivates Chad. That excites Chad. He’ll work harder.”