Answer: It's been (that way) all the time. We've struggled with guys who are too much worried about what they make or what the next guy makes. That's hard to overcome, and we've had to deal with it for two years now. Until they get it figured out that that's not the way winning teams operate…
When you sign a contract, you sign a contract. You sign to play. You have two choices -- either to play or not to play. When you get in the way of other people as you are constantly talking about that and not moving on professionally, (it's harmful).
When you sign a contract, the next deal signed after yours makes yours somewhat outdated. That's the way it is.
Q: Has that really pulled this team apart?
A: It weighs on players because they can't get above that. Guys who are not -- how do I want to say that? -- people who aren't mentally strong enough to understand and deal with that, it's always an underlying factor in everything, instead of moving forward and trying to figure out how you become a champion. You're too worried about, "Am I putting myself out there? Am I putting myself at risk?"
Q: I haven't gotten the sense that many players have whined publicly about contracts.
A: They do it within the confines of their groups. Instead of spending extra time on trying to figure out how to be the very, very best and how to know the opponent the very, very best, they worry about petty things, things that don't really matter. There should not be a concern of, "How quickly can I get out of here (today)?" or, "Am I the last guy in here?" (They should think), "I should be the first guy in and the last to leave every night."
I would love to know who he may be referring to.
This isn't the first time, during a media interview, where Marvin has alluded to a selfish "me" attitude that pervades this team. So it has to be an important issue with him that needs to be addressed if they want to turn this thing around.
Now would those who have struggled this year, maybe with injury, and not put up the numbers expected of them, be the ones complaining about their contracts/salary? They wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on IMO.
It would have to be that player(s) who have, regardless of the team's woes this year, put up the numbers/performance, and feel they are being somehow under appreciated.
I'll go out on a limb and say it probably isn't a guy like Palmer.
The list narrows.
The thing is though.....
Marvin Lewis was given a lot of credit, and rightfully so, for "cleaning house" and changing the losing culture the pervaded this franchise for the 90's.
So he also has to take responsibility for creating the current culture and climate that he is now complaining about.
And yes, if he feels so, it may very well take another "cleaning of the house" to change a different type of culture that has developed from the one before.