Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, the 2009 AP Coach of the Year, likes the scouting combine well enough. It's what the players do before the annual event that gets him.

"The one that just kills me is that they [players] spend three or four years with a strength coach on a college campus, and as soon as the season's over, they go somewhere else to some guy who doesn't know them from a hole in the wall and pay this guy a bunch of money," said Lewis (pictured) on sportsradio 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis. "It doesn't make any sense at all. It's part of the agent deal.

"They've cultivated a whole industry out of it. It doesn't make sense. It's actually asinine that if I go to school in Florida, now I have to go to Arizona to train. If I go to school in Arizona, I have to go to Georgia to train. These guys have the best facilities and the best people working with them year-round, and now all of a sudden they got to go somewhere else. You don't need to go away. A football player is a football player."

Point taken.

That said, many players really do benefit from combine preparation at facilities other than their college campuses. How many times have we seen guys like Joe Flacco, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice and so many others spend weeks preparing for the combine and then excelling in Indianapolis to vastly improve their draft stock. And then there are the players who perform well at the combine, yet don't amount to much in the NFL. Vernon Gholston, anyone? 

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Lewis is right that the players have the benefit of some of the elite training staffs in the country while at college. But many of the agents who sign the players and put them in specialized preparation programs really do see the benefits on draft day.

And you know what enhanced draft status means, both to the agent and the player. More $$$.

Lewis did have one good quip when asked what Chad Ochocinco would do at the combine if he were coming out of school now.

"He would probably run faster than he did last time," Lewis said, "because he probably wouldn't wear those stupid tights."