Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has had an interesting nine-year career here in Cincinnati. In his first and only NFL head coaching gig to this point, Lewis has made fans happy by making the Bengals competitive and relevant again, but has also frustrated many with his truculence with the media and still having zero playoff wins in those nine years. However you view him, he has two division titles in his tenure, has cultivated multiple Pro Bowlers and has brought respectability back to the Bengals.
With his most recent contract extension this past offseason, there were mixed emotions about his return. Some proclaimed that it would be "same ol', same ol'" with Lewis back in charge, while others felt that he wrestled some power away from team Owner, Mike Brown. In this still relatively young NFL season, it looks as if Lewis received a little more sway with the organization than most of us initially gave him credit for.
He is also on the precipice of reaching a very important milestone in the franchise's history.
We've talked about this before in the offseason, but with a win against the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday, Marvin Lewis will become the Cincinnati Bengals' head coach with the most wins in franchise history. Some may scoff at this by saying "it took him long enough!". Fair enough--he is the longest tenured head coach in the team's history, after all. But, if you look at this milestone closer, you'll see that Lewis would eclipse such names as Paul Brown and Sam Wyche in Bengals lore. Pretty impressive.
Barring a collapse of epic proportions (see Bengals, 2010; Red Sox, 2011), Lewis will reach this achievement at some point this year--be it this Sunday or another one in the future. And Bengals fans should embrace and celebrate it. Lewis' past nine years as head coach have helped to erase the utter ineptitude that the previous twelve years before him encapsulated.
While he can frustrate us all at times with his actions and the teams he has fielded over the years, he has had the Bengals back to being competitive and they're once again playing good football in 2011. He's one of the best personnel moves that the team has ever made. Here's to hoping that Lewis reaches this milestone this Sunday.