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Marvin Lewis: Penalty for hit on Jimmy Graham was worth it


Bengals safety George Iloka got a personal foul penalty for a late hit on Saints tight end Jimmy Graham on Sunday. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis didn’t mind.

Lewis said that while he’d prefer not to lose 15 yards, he believed that hit set the tone for the physical way the Bengals’ defense played against Graham. And Lewis was very pleased with the way his defense played against Graham, who had only three catches for 29 yards.

“Unfortunately it cost us a penalty, but I think . . . it took a little bit out of him for the rest of the football game,” Lewis said, via “He’s obviously someone we wanted to get hands on every chance we get. He’s such an effective receiver.”

Much like Lewis’s statement that the media make too much of concussions, Lewis’s statement that he sees a benefit to a hit that drew a personal foul penalty comes across as tone deaf in the image-conscious NFL, a league that is doing all it can to stress player safety. But Lewis is less interested in image than he is in coaching a tough, physical football team. And if that means sometimes his players cross the line and get a penalty, Lewis can live with that.