Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has his boss' confidence as heads into his 15th season but not yet a contract extension and both appear fine with club president Mike Brown's open-ended timeline.
As the club brass gathered for Tuesday's training camp media luncheon at a Paul Brown Stadium club lounge, Brown indicated he might be inclined to see how 2017 plays out.
"Marvin has been here for a long time. As long as any coach with a team except for (Bill) Belichick," said Brown of the New England coach starting his 18th season as head man. "That should tell you how I feel about him. He has my respect, my regard, my confidence. We've been through this before.
"Sometimes it was an additional prod. Heck, we all know how it went last year. We wish it had gone better, so maybe we'll see a better year this year and things will sort out then."
But Brown also said he'll go at his own pace and wouldn't rule out a deal before the end of the season. They have a knack for getting things done at this time of year. With rookies and injured players reporting Tuesday, everybody else Thursday, and practice starting Friday, they've agreed to at least two extensions around a camp start.
"It doesn't matter what I have going into this season. Whether I had a contract or not," Lewis said. "In the NFL, professional sports, doesn't really matter. My contract has no bearing on this football team for the 2017 season and that's what is important."
-Brown says he's sticking by cornerback Adam Jones on the heels of last week's one-game suspension handed down by the NFL. Jones got arrested following a January incident at a downtown Cincinnati hotel complete with an ugly video. It mars the fact he came to Cincinnati seven years ago and turned around his career and life.
"I'm going to help him work through it. If that's a problem with somebody, so be it," Brown said. "I accept it. I want him to have success. I know it's a peril. But I'm going to support him."
In blasting Jones' behavior, Brown said he has paid a heavy price with the suspension, loss of pay, and intense public scrutiny.
"I like him personally. I admire his energy. I admire his courage. I admire a lot of things about him," Brown said. "He didn't t come up the easy way. Believe me, if any of us had come up that way, I wonder where we'd be.
"What he did was get drunk publicly and make an ass out of himself. He embarrassed himself, he embarrassed the club, he embarrassed the league, he embarrassed his family … He's been held up to judgment in this city that's hard for to think of a comparable example. That's a heavy burden to carry."
Brown disputed NBC-TV icon Bob Costas' characterization of the Bengals running a halfway house. He called on stats dating back to 2013 that show the Bengals midway in the last quartile of players suspended by the NFL.
"We all respect him. He's earned his niche. He's a national media figure," Brown said of Costas. "Yet I don't know that he's always right. I think this time he's not."
Cincinnati Bengals host Pre-Training Camp media luncheon at Paul Brown Stadium.