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Marvin Lewis tires of Benglas being arrested...

The Vatican Hitsquad

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Cincinnati Bengals can't stay out of trouble, and their head coach is tired of apologizing for them.


Cornerback Deltha O'Neal was benched for a game against Oakland on Sunday, a day after he became the eighth Bengals player arrested this year. O'Neal was charged with drunken driving after he was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in the suburbs.


Coach Marvin Lewis declined to address the arrest or the benching immediately after the 27-10 win over Oakland, preferring to keep the focus on the victory. A day later, he expressed disappointment over yet another off-field problem.


"Unfortunately, I can't hold their hands 24/7, but it is embarrassing," Lewis said. "It's an embarrassment to our organization, to our city and to our fans. These things socially are not right.


"Our guys have to understand that: You cannot drink and drive. You tarnish your image. You tarnish your reputation. It doesn't go away. It may be your first time, but it doesn't go away easy. Fortunately, again, no one was injured. But this is still a privilege to play on this team and play in the National Football League. It ought to be accepted that way."


The Bengals lead the league in players arrested. Four of them faced alcohol-related charges, including boating under the influence.


Receiver Chris Henry has been arrested four times, benched for two games and suspended for two games by the NFL. Linebacker Odell Thurman has been suspended for the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.


The arrests have continued even though Lewis has become increasingly outspoken about his players' behavior.


"It's unfortunate I have to spend time talking about this and we, as a group, have had to spend time talking about this," Lewis said. "I don't appreciate that. We have a lot of good things going on and unfortunately, these things kind of rear their ugly head and get in our way."

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