You remember it, don't you? The era in time before Marvin Lewis joined the Cincinnati Bengals. I remember it. I used to call it the Age of Helplessism, for not only did we feel helpless, but the Bengals appeared entirely helpless. Every season would approach and that gut in my stomach pulsated a Book-of-Eli feeling in which the world was desolate and the winds gusted despair. (Doesn't Gary Oldman play the best villains?). Back then, I wasn't excited like I am now. Back then, I literally held onto a fool's hope, thinking that maybe, just maybe, the Bengals will withstand a brutal schedule and surprise us all.
Then comes Marvin Lewis, galloping on his draught horse from the East with Valyrian Steel in hand. From that point through 2007, the Bengals were primarily an offensive oriented team, hoping to score a few more points than what the defense allowed. [John Madden screams: Isn't that the point, Josh?] Within a year and change, the Bengals revolutionized into a defensive unit that hopes the offense will score just a few more points than what they allow [John Madden: Uh-hum?]
Two complete changes. After a 2-14 season in 2002, the Bengals went 8-8 during Lewis' rookie coaching season. After a 4-11-1 season in 2008, the Bengals went 10-6 in what could be coined as Lewis' masterpiece season, winning six additional games than the season before and keeping a team together after tragedy struck several times.
Now, the question is on everyone's minds. With Lewis entering the final year under contract, what does the future hold for Lewis and the Bengals? The Enquirer's Joe Reedy rounds up great Lewis quotes.
“Mike and I at some point hopefully come to an agreement from both sides of us and we all feel good about,” Lewis said. “We have spoken about the contract a few times since then but we don’t talk about it daily. That’s not me to worry about it or bring it up. I don’t go about it that way.
“I would love to continue to coach here. I think every year is a new challenge, a new start and hell we’ve got Ocho.”
”I try to check in every two or three days while I’m gone,” Lewis said. ”It’s better when we can talk in person and he can give his thoughts on where we are and I can tell him where we are as far as the roster and looking at things as we go forward. We can pretty much come to a conclusion and direction the two of us. It’s important that we stay on the same page and decide which way we’re going to go.”
“I savor the challenge of coaching. I don’t think about the other things that way,” Lewis said. I don’t want to look forward (to doing anything else) nor do I think I want to be on television. I don’t think it is something that I would be interested in doing at all.”
“I like to coach, that’s the part of this job that’s the fun part. That’s why the season is the fun part because you get to coach more. I don’t get to coach as much as I’d like to coach. My coaching comes in different ways now. It starts early in the morning when the first people walk in this building and goes all the way through until the time they leave. It may not be as much the on-field technique coaching as much as it is the other kind of coaching that I get to do every day and I look forward to that.”