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WMR
12-15-2005, 07:29 AM
Former Player Says Spurrier 'Didn't Have a Clue'
Now With Lions, Wilkinson Also Apologizes for Calling Cincy Racist
By JOE KAY, AP

CINCINNATI (Dec. 14) - Dan Wilkinson apologized Wednesday for calling Cincinnati a racist city, a comment that led the Bengals to trade their former No. 1 draft pick to the Washington Redskins after the 1997 season.

The defensive tackle also criticized former Redskins coach Steve Spurrier, who went 12-20 in Washington from 2002-03 before quitting. Marvin Lewis was the Redskins' defensive coordinator in 2002, and became the Bengals' head coach the next season.

"Marvin should have been our head coach," Wilkinson, who now plays for Detroit, said Wednesday in a conference call with Cincinnati writers.

"Actually, Marvin was our head coach. We had Steve Spurrier, but Spurrier didn't have a clue how to train and get an NFL team ready. He just didn't have a clue of how to train a team and coach the team and understand what all went into it.

"Marvin did everything. Marvin did everything as a defensive coordinator, but he was able to keep himself humble in the situation and move on after that one year."

In his third season in Cincinnati, Lewis has the Bengals (10-3) one victory away from clinching a playoff spot and making a clean break with their troubled past - one that prominently involved Wilkinson.

The Bengals made him the top overall pick from Ohio State in 1994, when they were coming off their second straight failed season under coach Dave Shula. Wilkinson failed to develop into a Pro Bowl player in four years with the Bengals, becoming disillusioned with the organization and the losing.

Wilkinson blasted the city in December 1997, saying residents were "prejudiced and uptight and stiff." When the Bengals used their franchise designation on him, he grew more unhappy. Finally, he went on a radio show and called Cincinnati a "racist," city, a remark that prompted owner Mike Brown to trade him to the Redskins.

"It's a factor in our way of thinking," Brown said at the time. "It's a burden for him and a burden for us. He's still a young man, and I think one day he'll wonder why he said these things."

Brown was right. Wilkinson, in his third season in Detroit, said he has matured over the years and wishes he hadn't said those things.

"I have no negatives or grudges toward the Bengals organization or the city or anything," he said. "I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to those I've hurt or bothered or made upset or anything else."

Wilkinson, 32, grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and still has family there. He said he was wrong to call Cincinnati racist.

"That was just blatant ignorance," he said. "Again, that's the immaturity I'm talking about as far as some of the things I've said and done. If I had a chance to go back, I would certainly correct some things, and that was just wrong. Saying the city is racist and conducting myself in that way that I did was bad.

"As a young man at the time, all I can remember is feeling trapped, that I have to get away from this team. That's what I recall from eight years ago."

He also recalls that the Bengals' facilities and coaching staffs were among the league's worst, contributing to their 14-year run without a winning record. Wilkinson had three different defensive line coaches in his first three seasons in Cincinnati.

"I think that's where the organization dropped it," Wilkinson said. "I think my first three years in Cincinnati, we had defensive line coaches that never coached defensive line on any level. Any level."

Asked if he had one thing he regretted about how he acted in Cincinnati, Wilkinson said, "There were a lot of things. Looking at it in hindsight if I had it to do all over again, there are many things I regret. Some of the things I've said and done were so out of character for me that it still bothers me today when I think about that stuff."


12/14/05 18:39 EST

RedFanAlways1966
12-15-2005, 08:59 AM
Good to see Big Daddy apologize and admit that he was immature at the time (do you hear him, TO?). At that time he seemed to be the typical too-rich and too-famous at too young of an age person. We see that a lot in the world of sports. It is refreshing to see one of these guys admit they were wrong and apologize.

By the way... it must suck for him to be in a Detroit uniform these days. Just when he thought the old days of the Bengals were behind him. Ouch!

Redsfaithful
12-15-2005, 09:56 AM
It takes a big man to admit a wrong like that. Good for him. And I found this to be pretty enlightening:


"I think my first three years in Cincinnati, we had defensive line coaches that never coached defensive line on any level. Any level."

That's ridiculous if true.

RedFanAlways1966
12-15-2005, 10:02 AM
I am trying to remember... wasn't Tim Krumrie one of his coaches? Krumrie had not coached before (straight from the field to the coaching job), but you'd have to think the man knew something about playing D-line in the NFL.

Johnny Footstool
12-15-2005, 10:23 AM
I am trying to remember... wasn't Tim Krumrie one of his coaches? Krumrie had not coached before (straight from the field to the coaching job), but you'd have to think the man knew something about playing D-line in the NFL.

Knowing how to play and knowing how to coach are two totally different things -- and not just in football. I know guys who can play guitar brilliantly, but have no idea how to transfer that knowledge to a student.

Boss-Hog
12-15-2005, 11:02 AM
http://www.bengals.com/news/news.asp?story_id=4916


Wilkinson suggested Cincinnati never knew him. A month past his 21st birthday, the Bengals made him the top overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft. He came to a team coached by Dave Shula and a new NFL defensive line coach in Joe Wessel, who coached defensive ends at Notre Dame. The next year, when Wessel moved to special teams, Bobby DePaul became an NFL position coach for the first time after working with the line as an assistant at Washington and Cincinnati.

“Looking back on it, there were things on my end and things on the organization’s end that just went wrong,” Wilkinson said. “From my end, it was just immaturity and not really knowing what I was going into and not really having that type of support of veteran guys and veteran coaches that know how to get a young team headed in the right direction. We didn’t have that. I think that’s where the organization dropped down.

“My first (two) years in Cincinnati, I had defensive line coaches that never coached defensive line on any level. Myself, John Copeland, and Alfred Williams were all pretty young and then Kimo von Oelhoffen was with us and we had a great nucleus of guys. We just didn’t know how to get it done. We didn’t have that type of support around us. And from my side, it was immaturity, stepping into a new environment so different than what I was accustomed to at Ohio State. If I had a chance to do it again, there are many things I regret.”

Wilkinson did have coaches who coached the line, but none as a position coach in the NFL, and he didn’t feel comfortable until ex-teammate Tim Krumrie became the line coach in 1996. It was Wilkinson who stepped aside in that last game in 1994 so Krumrie could start in his 193rd and final game.

KronoRed
12-15-2005, 04:51 PM
Spurrier went to the NFL for the cash, now he's back in college happy and his family is taken care of for life.

Not the first player to say Lewis was running the show in Washington.

GAC
12-15-2005, 09:14 PM
Talk about having one's lips stuck to Marvin Lewis' butt! What a kiss-up job! :lol:

I read this in the DDN this morning....

http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/bengals/daily/1215bengals.html?UrAuth=aNcNUObNYUbTTUWUXUTUZTYU\U WU_U%60UZUbU]UcTYWVVZV


Wilkinson praised Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis....."They (the Bengals) made a great choice in bringing in Marvin Lewis," Wilkinson said. "He's stepped in and taken this team and organization to the next level.

"Marvin should have been our head coach (in Washington). Actually, Marvin was our head coach. We had Steve Spurrier, but Spurrier didn't have a clue how to train and get an NFL team ready. Marvin did everything as a defensive coordinator, but he was able to keep himself humble in the situation and move on after that one year."

Wilkinson is one of the NFL's most durable players — he's started 179 of 182 career games — and wouldn't mind retiring a Bengal. He has one year remaining on his Lions contract, but could leave in 2006 when a new coaching regime takes over.

Blimpie
12-16-2005, 01:28 PM
Spurrier went to the NFL for the cash, now he's back in college happy and his family is taken care of for life.

Not the first player to say Lewis was running the show in Washington.Once, ambitious beat writer attempted to quiz Spurrier about some of the names of his second and third string defensive players on the team.

Spurrier responded that the "defensive players were the merely the folks he said 'hello' to while crossing the field to get to where the offensive players were practicing"

That says just about all you need to know about the 'Ole Ball Coach...

Tony Cloninger
12-16-2005, 03:22 PM
This team would not mind having DW for the last 2 years...he was released in 2003... if not for the bad times bfore, would hve been a good run stopper in the middle.

The Bengals of 1992-2002......Man...what a collection of just completely terrible organization.

It was like an Intern training ground.... for coaches..... and undrafted rookie free agents were the best this team would do in the FA market.

KronoRed
12-16-2005, 04:57 PM
Once, ambitious beat writer attempted to quiz Spurrier about some of the names of his second and third string defensive players on the team.

Spurrier responded that the "defensive players were the merely the folks he said 'hello' to while crossing the field to get to where the offensive players were practicing"

That says just about all you need to know about the 'Ole Ball Coach...
Good college coach not NFL material.

Quite a lot of guys are like that.

WMR
12-16-2005, 05:09 PM
Once, ambitious beat writer attempted to quiz Spurrier about some of the names of his second and third string defensive players on the team.

Spurrier responded that the "defensive players were the merely the folks he said 'hello' to while crossing the field to get to where the offensive players were practicing"

That says just about all you need to know about the 'Ole Ball Coach...

That's pathetic.

wish we had him at UK:evil: