We've had a pretty good debate here at 9 On Your Side today and on my Facebook page over whether or not the Bengals should part ways with Vontaze Burfict.
Burfict has had a history of high-profile, flagrant penalties, his latest coming in the final minute of a last-second loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. With the Steelers only needing a field goal to beat the Bengals, Burfict delivered a blow to defenseless receiver Antonio Brown, causing a 15-yard penalty. It moved the ball from the Bengals' 32-yard line.
While the game officials were sorting that out, Adam Jones picked up a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, arguing with a game official about Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter being out on the field.
Today, Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther called Porter a "disgrace to the coaching profession." Reportedly, the Steelers gave a game ball to Porter after Saturday night's madness was over.
Bottom line: The Steelers successfully suckered the Bengals into yet another meltdown.
Marvin Lewis held his final news conference of the season Monday. He says he and his coaches continually implore their players to maintain composure during games. Lewis says both Burfict and Jones are "heartbroken" over what they did Saturday night, but quickly defended Burfict.
When he plays within the rules of the game, Burfict is a terrific player. He makes plays. But there is a fine line between being an asset or a liability. Burfict has crossed that line several times in his Bengals career, and Marvin Lewis has been there to pull him back.
But Lewis is like every one of us: Sometimes even a good asset runs its course.
Having said that, the coaching staff has put a lot of time into a player whom no other team wanted and have developed him into a solid, and at times spectacular, NFL linebacker. It wouldn't be smart to cut and run from Vontaze Burfict just yet.
Nor Adam Jones. Like Burfict, he blows a fuse every now and again. But Jones remains the Bengals' best corner back and a play-maker deluxe on punt returns. I'd make an effort to re-sign him...
Random thoughts from the day after the season in Cincinnati ended:
Apparently Antonio Brown is OK... and Jones isn't pleased about it.
And Joey Porter got a game ball from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin for his role in the Bengals meltdown? Really?
I think the Seahawks have a puncher's chance against the Panthers this week...
And does anybody really think that the Packers will be 30 points better this weekend against the Cardinals than they were when the Cardinals beat them by 30 in Arizona three weeks ago? Not me... but someone does...
Two days after his 69th birthday, David Bowie died today. It was two days after releasing his latest and now final album.
Bowie was one of the most creative and talented musicians. Listen to the words of some of his songs from the 70s. They're well-written, poignant and address some of the pertinent issues of that time.
As an example, my favorite Bowie hit of all time:
This is from the album of the same name "Young Americans." It came out in 1974 and featured some great artists.
Bowie, wanting a funkier song, brought in drummer Andy Newmark, who had worked with Sly and the Family Stone. He had Luther Vandross, unknown at that point, singing background vocals. He had the incredible David Sanborn on sax. John Lennon changed "Fame" on that song and played guitar on Bowie's rendition of the Lennon-penned song "Across The Universe."
The album, and this song, were works of art.
Bowie, privately and unbeknownst to most of his friends, had been battling liver cancer for the past 18 months.