Should Bengals' Marvin Lewis Get Another Chance?
Bengals’ head coach Marvin Lewis seems to have as many lives as a cat. But, does he deserve another chance? This could be his last hoorah.
The year started with so much promise. With the exception of a few players, the Cincinnati Bengals were returning to action without much of a change. There was anticipation in the air and training camp seemed to have an extra ounce of excitement. After coming so close, this was going to be the turnaround year. But, like with every other season, Marvin Lewis and the Bengals won’t be advancing beyond the Wild Card game. This time they won’t be in the postseason at all.
Lewis has been at the helm of every playoff loss since 2003. In seven trips, Cincinnati is 0-7 under his watch. To make things more traumatic, the Bengals’ five-straight postseason berths have been canceled. A better term would be wasted. Lewis was dealing with a talented bunch of players that will be watching January’s playoff action from the comfort of their homes. Another squandered opportunity. One more season for Bengals fans to dream of next year. It gets old. Should Lewis be getting another chance?
Thanks For The Memories
Times have truly changed for the average Bengals fan. Since the beginning of the Dalton-Green era, Cincinnati has been in the Big Dance each year. Along with that amazing feat, fans have been able to enjoy winning football. Before Lewis’ arrival, Cincinnati was in the dregs of…horrific competition (if it could be called that). Owner Mike Brown had sold his…(can’t say that). Let’s just say the team was a hot mess during the 1990s.
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Lewis came aboard and things began to take shape. After a couple of 8-8 seasons, the Bengals were back in the playoffs. Then, the lean times surfaced again and Lewis didn’t get back to the postseason until 2009. With the exception of 2010, Marvelous Marv has led Cincinnati into the Wild Card game each year. But, is that enough to bring him back for another year?
True, Lewis has been the catalyst behind the recent success of the Bengals (four division championships). But, getting close only counts in horseshoes. In the NFL, it’s all about winning after the regular season is over. Getting those wins in January is what separates championship coaches from…plain old coaches.
“If you want to talk about the Ravens we can talk about that. If you want to talk about the other than maybe you can talk to Chris Cooley or somebody else.”
Just The Facts
Looking at what Lewis has done during the regular season would suggest that Brown should keep his head coach. But, as soon as the spotlight shines on his record in primetime and the playoffs the keys to the city should be locked away. It’s a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, Mike Brown operates on a totally different wavelength than other NFL owners. The fact that Lewis is still wearing Stripes proves the point. By dodging questions about his possible retirement, Lewis leaves the door open for a slew of rumors. But, seeing that the inconsistency is coming from the Bengals, anything could happen. When Lewis’ team handed the 2015 Wild Card game to the Steelers, Marv should have been shown the door. Instead, he was rewarded with an extension.
Faulty clock management, players having tantrums, and not confronting coordinators are norms under the Lewis regime. If he stays, nothing will change. Once again, the roster is full of players that will become unrestricted free agents. Things could get ugly fast. The draft will have to save the sinking ship. Former Bengals defensive back, Solomon Wilcots, said it best in a 2015 interview.
“Come on! Marvin Lewis raised the Titanic. This team was at the bottom of the ocean when he came in. They are a perennial playoff team. You have a team that couldn’t even spell playoffs, and now they’re getting there and everybody has this lack of patience.”
Lewis may have raised the Titanic but fans are getting waterlogged. It’s time to get the life jackets. The faithful don’t want to go down with the ship again.
The problem? Mike Brown can hold his breath a long time.