With his team mired at 1-10-1, Bengals president Mike Brown broke his usual silence Monday by choosing not to give head coach Marvin Lewis and his staff a vote of confidence and instead indicated he is pleased with their effort and teaching.
Speaking with Bengals.com and The Cincinnati Enquirer, Brown said he feared that commenting either way on the subject would undercut Lewis. But he said he was pleased with Lewis' post-game statement Sunday that fans won't be subject to a season this bad next year.
"I thought that was a good statement," Brown said. "No one down here is happy with what has happened and we all want to correct it badly. That was an indication he plans on correcting it."
Lewis has two years left on his deal and despite the record Brown said, "In many ways he's done an incredibly good job. Our players still try hard and that's hard to come by when you go through all the losing this team has gone through."
As for other issues, Brown also said:
_There are "good," signs that quarterback Carson Palmer won't have to have elbow surgery and he expects the Bengals "will rebound," when he comes back.
_He expects wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco to fulfill his Bengals contract.
_He revealed that safety Marvin White is the 21st Bengal to go on season-ending injured reserve after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Sunday. He was extremely impressed that White played more than a half with the injury.
"I've never seen a player do that in all the time I've witnessed football. I take my hat off to him for being brave enough to do that. It (says alot) about the coaches, too, that a player would want to do that."
Brown also said they are trying to find out why they have been hit by the injury bug the past two seasons.
_He indicated he has no plans to hire a general manager.
"The answer to the general manager problem is the same answer that we have to have for all these criticisms. We have to win. When we manage to do that, we won't hear so much about that kind of talk."
In his first comments since Brown re-signed wide receiver Chris Henry despite Lewis' disagreement, Marvin and I've had a good relationship. We've had an ability to stay on the same message. Except for that one case...In mind it's behind us now.
"If you've got further concerns on that kind of thing," said Brown in alluding to Plaxico Burress, "you'll have to call the New York Giants who have an 11-1 record and their guy, who has taken the role over of NFL bad guy."
Brown also reflected on the disciplining of Ocho Cinco last week by Lewis. He says Lewis has that authority and that he sent The Ocho home from Pittsburgh without talking to Brown.
"It was the right thing to do," Brown said. "(Discipline) has been his call and it is his call and he has done it."