Marvin Lewis deferred Wednesday.
If you remember last year at this time, we were immersed in Andy Dalton.
All the way from the Alabama legend to his model wife to the unborn Tripp to just how close he came to joining Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiasion as the Bengals quarterbacks who have won play-off games.
Now a year after subbing for the injured Andy Dalton last season, he anonymously slips in and out of meetings with fellow backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, his last pass still the electric 25-yard touchdown to A.J. Green that put the Bengals ahead with 1:50 left back on Jan. 9.
"On a personal level, yeah, it sucks not playing," McCarron said Wednesday as the Bengals prep for Sunday's finale (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. "I know I can play in this league. I want to play. It's tough. God has a plan. Everyone has a process. I truly believe that. My process is just different than other guys'."
McCarron isn't one of the 15 players that become free agents after Sunday, but he figures to be just as hotly pursued as in-the-prime vets like cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, and right guard Kevin Zeitler. McCarron and Tom Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo figure to be the most enticing quarterback prospects available by trade before they become free agents next year.
But asked if he's gone to Bengals management to ask for a trade, McCarron politely defers.
"I leave that up to the agent," McCarron said. "Maybe something will happen. Right now I'm just focusing on finishing strong here. You'll have to come see me in the offseason."
The offseason won't be much different than the season. The Bengals have to decide if the rookie Driskel, a sixth-round pick they claimed off waivers at the roster cut down, is good enough to be a No. 2. You would think they'll have to take the spring camps and preseason to figure that out.
So McCarron plans to do what he has been doing.
"The only way you approach it is it's what you've been dealt," McCarron said. "Do the best you can and focus on the task at hand. I want to play. I think I can start in this league. But it's a process. You just have to wait for that time."
LEWIS DEFERS: Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis met the media Wednesday amid dueling reports he's retiring/not retiring after Sunday's game and shed no light.
"If you want to talk about the Ravens we can talk about that," Lewis said. "If you want to talk about the other thing, you should talk to Chris Cooley or somebody else."
It turned out no one wanted to talk about any of it because his shortest news conference of the year (four minutes) lasted about two more minutes. He did call Cooley's report from Tuesday that he was going to retire "unfortunate." There have been no indications that Lewis isn't coming back for the year left on his contract.
Lewis did say A.J. Green isn't playing Sunday and neither is Vontaze Burfict, apparently, because he's still in concussion protocol. Also not working were running back Jeremy Hill and tight end Tyler Kroft, both on the rehab field. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth (bicep), cornerback Adam Jones (ankle), defensive end Will Clarke (ribs), and linebacker Vincent Rey (hamstring) were limited.