Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday in the Mike Zimmer news conference there will be no trade of Chad Johnson despite the wide receiver's plea during last week's ESPN interview. Lewis also disagreed with Johnson's assertion no one in the organization had his back the face of internal and external criticism.
"You know better than that because you were here when they asked the questions and they were answered," said Lewis of his defense of Johnson. "We know better."
Asked if he thinks Johnson will be amenable to not being traded, Lewis said, "I can't control that, that doesn't mean anything to me right now. He's a special player and he's a Cincinnati Bengal for quite awhile."
Alerted to the interview by hs daughter, Lewis didn't hear anything surprising.
"He felt like he was unduly chastized or ridiculed," Lewis said. "Definetely we defended him there. But you've got to go back and accept what being a pro is and that's part of it. For all of us. Go forward and play."
Lewis also made note of quarterback Carson Palmer's comments that coaching changes would be needed if the Bengals are to lose the staleness Lewis says has hit the team.
"He kind of let it go," said Lewis, who said the offensive side of the ball needs to be worked on as well as the defense. "We weren't satisfied. He and I talked that Friday before the (season finale). He and I together, we're going to do everything we can to fix it, along with everybody else in this building."
Lewis hinted again he wants the Bengals to run the ball better and make things easier for Palmer.
"That guy plays," Lewis said. "As I told him when we got started with him, you put yourself back in position where you can just go play football the way you can play. You can win a lot of football games, just don't lose the game, and we got away from it a little bit. He felt like there was so much on his shoulders, he felt like if he didn't do this, we would lose the game and you paint yourself in a corner. As an offensive philosophy we have to go back and do the things that I want to see us do."
Lewis said the hiring of former wide receivers coach Hue Jackson is currently not a possibility or imminent, probably because no offensive coach has left. A published report says quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese has interviewed for the Rams offensive coordinator job.
Lewis said the Bengals, for now, are sticking to a 4-3 defense.