CINCINNATI -- Disgruntled running back Corey Dillon said Wednesday he wants out of Cincinnati, an outburst that represents the first direct challenge of coach Marvin Lewis.
The Bengals (2-4) have won two of their last three games by
relying on their passing game while Dillon recovers from a strained
groin, leaving the running back in a bad mood.
As he walked into the locker room on Wednesday, Dillon said
aloud, "I want out. Trade me to Dallas."
Dillon said later Wednesday that he was joking about Dallas -- the trading
deadline was Oct. 14 -- but not about his desire for change. He has
two years left on his contract.
"I would prefer to be in a place where I'm appreciated,"
Dillon said. "It could be anywhere. Who knows? I'm just going to
get to a place where I'm happy and I feel appreciated and they
recognize my talents and I can achieve my goals.
"Wherever that may be, I don't know. But that's the first thing
on my offseason list."
When reporters approached, Dillon shooed them away, saying,
"Beat it. I don't like you guys." He then told the team's Web
site employee and a reporter from the Dayton Daily News that he's
unhappy with his limited role and desperately wants to leave.
"When I'm healthy, I still don't get the ball over 20 times a
game," Dillon said. "So it really doesn't matter, healthy or
"I'm going to get to a place where I'm comfortable and they
understand my talent and they recognize what I bring to the
table," Dillon said. "In order to compete with the big boys in
this game, the big boys are getting it 25 to 30 times. I'm not
going to be able to compete 14 times a game. That's being
During his seven-year career, Dillon has repeatedly groused that
he doesn't get the ball enough. Dillon is one of only four players
in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first four
"Do I feel a little bit stepped on? Yeah, I do," Dillon said.
"Have I been feeling this way for a long time? Yes, I have. It has
nothing to do with the new regime here, the coaches. This boils
back to '97, and it's been like this for a long time with me."
Dillon has been Lewis' biggest problem in the locker room since
he took over as head coach last January. Dillon was the only
regular to skip a voluntary minicamp, and the only player to show
up late for the start of training camp.
Dillon's outburst couldn't have come at a worse time for Lewis.
The Bengals are coming off a 34-26 victory over Baltimore that
moved them back into contention in the AFC North.
Dillon has been limited this season by a hyperextended knee as well as the
strained groin, which caused him to sit out one game and most of
two others. Coming into this season, Dillon's 969 carries over the
last three seasons were the second-highest total in the league,
trailing only Eddie George.