Originally Posted by macro
I have a hard time believing that Bengals players are just more naive than the players on other teams, or that there aren't Clermont Counties and Boone Counties near every NFL city. I wouldn't think that that situation would be unique to this area.
I don't think we can look at some of these cases in isolation and say that they should be dismissed from the team. Joseph's is a case in point. But there have been cases in the past year (especially the multiple offenders) with players that should have been kicked off the team and not brought back. When the players see these cases get a slap on the wrist from the coach, they know how much they can get away with and remain on the team. That's what had led to the string of nine. If Lewis had dealt with those first, more serious, situations appropriately, I don't think the other eight would have followed, or at least not most of them. Now that the precedent is set for tolerance, it would be unfair to Joseph to punish him.
As for Freel, he should have been suspended from the team without pay for some number of games. (The "without pay" part may be forbidden in his contract, I don't know.)
The difference comparing this incident to Ryan Freel's is that this was the 9th arrest of a Bengal in a little over a year. How many Reds have been arrested besides Freel? Only other one I can think of is Shackelford. If a Bengal had been arrested a year ago and none others since then, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. It'd be an isolated incident. It's not Joseph's fault 8 other teammates were arrested and what Joseph did was not a big deal. However, Joseph was the 9th Bengal arrested. Doesn't matter what for, he was arrested. And that could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. And that is why a lot of people feel he should be made an example of. If 8 Reds had been arrested for one thing or another before Freel had, then you might have had people calling for his release.
It doesn't matter what kind of a guy Joseph is. This could be the first time he's ever touched weed. He could be a regular church goer and give 10% of his salary to charity and be the best player on the Bengals. But none of that matters when you are the 9th guy to get arrested. The NFL commissioner himself came in and talked to the Bengals and nothing has changed. Marvin himself said he was going to get tough with the next person who did this and nothing changed. If he doesn't get tough he's going to be a laughingstock with the players. He's going to look soft and the media will call him a liar. He's got bigger battles to fight than this but he's got to deal with it now.