Bengals seek to 'Build it better," as workouts begin


Strength coach Chip Morton gets it going Monday.

With the Bengals offense and defense underdoing overhauls, players are also going to see changes in the weight room when they arrive Monday to begin their off-season workouts that start head coach Marvin Lewis' 16th season.

"That's the theme. That's the directive from Marvin. Change. Get better. Through the whole building," said Chip Morton Friday as the Bengals head strength and conditioning coach made his final tweaks to the program.
Borrowing a line from Lewis' Jan. 3 news conference announcing his two-year extension, Morton and Lewis decided on Bengals Strength T-Shirts that read, "Build it better."

That came from Lewis' answer to a question about getting back to the top of the AFC North: "We've got to build a better football team. That's important. (The Steelers) are the top of the division. From the beginning, when I started here, that was the thing — build a football team that would compete in this division and have an opportunity to win it. "

So in the effort to get bet better, the Bengals' biggest staffing change in nearly 40 years has produced a new offensive playbook while Lewis looks for new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin to re-charge the staff and players with a different defensive look than the one they've had for the last ten years.

And Morton and assistants Jeff Friday and Shea Thompson have followed suit by making Phase I more challenging in preparation for phases II and III on the field in April and May. Although they haven't torn down the weight room down in a massive change like offensive coordinator Bill Lazor did the Xs and Os, players are going to notice the differences.

"More reps, more sets," Morton said.  "The structure will change and we'll keep the good and improve what hasn't. They'll see it. Even the way we move around the room will be different. We want it to be better, we want to make it more challenging within reason. There'll be more volume (lifting). Some of the (heavy) days we'll literally hit the ground running and get on the field right away."


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