Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
The Cincinnati Bengals win on Sunday and they'll clinch a postseason berth. But those milestones are becoming less extraordinary now that postseason wins are the inescapable milestone.
Which coach would you be more comfortable leading the Cincinnati Bengals to the playoffs? How can one possibly approach this. Considering that a Marvin Lewis failed challenge could lose a critical timeout later in the game, we assume he'd be out. Bill Belichick, one of the most successful active NFL coaches today, would be a natural response. Mike Tomlin. John Harbaugh. Forgetaboutit. Gary Kubiak, who appeared on many episodes of "who is on the hot seat" prior to last year? Tom Coughlin, who was as close to becoming a Bengals coach before Marvin Lewis was eventually hired?
Maybe not even active coaches in the NFL -- after all what's the point of that, unless unrealistic debates are your fancy. If so, have fun. What about great head coaches in Cincinnati Bengals history; a debate many older fans can dig into.
Forrest Gregg, who took Cincinnati to their first Super Bowl in 1981, nearly eliminating a 20-point deficit, outscoring the San Francisco 49ers 21-6 in the second half. Or the legendary Sam Wyche, also a former Bengals quarterback, who is best known for two things. Cincinnati's second Super Bowl and the speech.
Can you imagine any NFL head coach doing that today, in this world of uber-political correctness? If Marvin Lewis provided a similar speech (which he wouldn't), it would be followed with an apology -- because that's what people do today. Say something honestly, then apologize for it.
Yet with the Bengals, Wyche had a .480 winning percentage, had three winning seasons in eight years but also won five playoff games with one Super Bowl appearance. But damn. That speech will live forever.
In my opinion, this is Lewis' team, built using his vision and dirt-filled fingernails. If Lewis wins a playoff game this year, he'll only be the third Bengals head coach to win a postseason game as the team's head coach.
What about you? Which coach (any coach in franchise and NFL history) would you like coaching this team into the postseason (provided we get there)?