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Friday, January 17, 2014
Morning Stripes: Introducing Paul Guenther

By Coley Harvey

For nearly 20 minutes Thursday, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and his new defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther, hammered home what they felt was an important point: that Guenther is his own man.

Although he worked the last several seasons, most specifically the last two, with former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer -- a defensive wizard of sorts who left the Bengals earlier this week to become the Minnesota Vikings' head coach -- Guenther doesn't want the world to believe that he will be a clone of his old coaching colleague. The path the Bengals take on defense from here on out will be the one Guenther chooses.

That said, even though Lewis, a former defensive coordinator, still is calling the biggest shots in the Bengals' locker room, don't expect him to interfere or start calling plays on Guenther's behalf. According to both coaches, this is Guenther's show from now on.

But that doesn't mean that Lewis won't offer his 42-year-old coordinator a little advice. In fact, during Guenther's introductory news conference Thursday, Lewis did. The best advice he could give him was football's equivalent of the combination of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid), and don't panic.

"I'm going to tell him what Tony Dungy told me: 'Sometimes, they might make a yard,'" Lewis said. "Move on. Make a tackle, move on. That's the best piece of advice Tony Dungy gave me in February 1997."

That's not all the advice Lewis was willing to share for both Guenther and a first-time head coach in Zimmer. Those words are exactly where we start with this edition of the Friday Morning Stripes: