As we limp through the rest of the season, trying to find our second wind to cheer for this team one game at a time, one obvious storyline that will be the focus of the team's future is the team's head coach. With an expiring contract, Marvin Lewis is set to become a free agent soon after the team's season finale in Baltimore. Contract negotiations, at one point active before the start of this season, have completely quieted leaving many to believe that Lewis is leaving at the end of the season. Now, if that's on his own or because the team wants to move in another direction is totally up in the air.
Some call Lewis a lame duck head coach, knowing his time is finished in Cincinnati and he's simply going through the motions to finish the season out. Others believe that he has already emotionally checked out. And some just want him fired, not caring who the replacement is, or even if this team has a replacement in mind.
“Oh, I see a future here. Again, I have been telling you guys this. For everybody involved, I want this thing. I haven’t got done what I came here to do, and I failed them. But we’re still doing it, and we’re going to keep on doing it and just keep working at it. This has not been the season we all wanted, but it is where we are right now. I think we continue, my guys coach very hard, and that’s not going to change.”
As to the future of the Bengals without Lewis, Peter King remarked that if the league doesn't agree to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that most teams looking for new head coaches may promote within. In Cincinnati's case, the Bengals could promote Mike Zimmer while totally sticking it to the offense leaving Bob Bratkowski as the team's offensive coordinator.