On Thursday, we pondered something that most of our readers didn't care for us to ponder. We've been so locked into the idea that Marvin Lewis, the 2009 NFL Head Coach of the Year, won't have his contract renewed. So we asked, is there a possibility that he remains?
On Friday, Mothership Captain Geoff Hobson asked if Sunday's contest against the San Diego Chargers would be his final game at Paul Brown Stadium as the team's head coach. And before Lewis warped into a wired induced response of "my plan is to beat the San Diego Chargers", Lewis really didn't say one way or another. But as Hobson said, Lewis doesn't "sound like a man going anywhere."
Asked if he thought about Sunday's game being his last at Paul Brown Stadium, he said, "I don’t think so. That's not the plan."
Has there been movement? The year-and-a-half long talks are still shrouded in mystery as Lewis invoked the image of running back Corey Dillon famously throwing his uniform into the crowd after the 2003 season finale.
Our belief is that Lewis is still Browns' man and we sometimes wonder if Lewis still isn't the best option. Consider. Since arriving in Cincinnati, Lewis has continuously modernized the team's infrastructure, which included a rebuilt weight room to raising the team to general respectability from 2003 to 2009 -- save for 2008.Overall, Lewis has been the only head coach able to work with Brown, one of the most difficult owners in the NFL, and actually convinced him towards modernization --- an indoor practice facility is just another of Lewis' items towards modernization.
Alternatively, when discussing the idea of hiring a new head coach, you have to keep in mind, not the head coaches that are available, rather the coaches that Mike Brown is most likely to hire. Before Lewis, it was David Shula, Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau. Will Brown hire another yes-man for relatively cheap, or someone that might go against the grain to convince Brown to move in a different direction? My guess is that you'll give one answer that you wish could happen, and another answer on what is likely to happen.
There's obviously arguments against bringing Lewis back, such as a questionable decisions as a game manager, notably questionable uses of timeouts and challenges. And there's arguments for keeping Lewis, some of which we listed above.
We really feel that in the end, if Lewis wants to return, he's in. If not, then he'll easily find something more desirable. But in the middle, Lewis wants something more than what's on the table. And in our belief, the simple idea that the evolving persona of accepting modernization and change has to be welcome. And Lewis needs Brown's help on that.