Last Thursday, NFL.com decided to take another step beyond their tiered ranking system of NFL offenses and defenses and published an article on where they rank today’s NFL coaches. NFL.com’s Greg Rosenthal points out in the article that, as with the offense and defense power rankings, the coaches rankings are simply a list of coaches and Rosenthal and the NFL.com crew would want leading and building their team if they were an owner in the NFL.
Rosenthal offered his NFL Coach Power Rankings in tiers rather than a numerical list. Rosenthal’s tiers are ordered as follows: Top Shelf, Next Level, Knocking On The Door, Middle of The Pack, Prove Me Wrong, Need More Information, and The Rest.
Rosenthal has Bengals coach Marvin Lewis falling in the "Middle of The Pack" tier. Marvin Lewis is placed alongside coaches John Harbaugh, Mike Smith, Jeff Fisher, Gary Kubiak, Lovie Smith, Pete Carroll and Ken Whisenhunt.
Lewis has effectively managed a coach-killing job with the Cincinnati Bengals. We'd like to see what he could do elsewhere.
As with most head coaches of an NFL franchise, there is no shortage of debate when it comes to Marvin Lewis. He’s slightly below .500 in the Win/Loss column. His managerial decisions off the field have recently been met with optimism, but his game-time decision making can leave fans scratching their heads. He can sweep the AFC North (2009), follow it up with failure (2010), and then turn it all around with a reloaded roster of young talent and reach the playoffs with a 9-7 record (2011). There’s no question Marvin needs to take the next step in the postseason ; winning a playoff game during his Bengals tenure would be a start. Bengals owner Mike Brown extended Marvin Lewis’ contract through 2014, and for the most part fans are willing to see if 2012 is the elusive “next step” Marvin has been expected to make over the past decade.
When you consider the handful of ups and downs Marvin has experienced with the Cincinnati Bengals, a team with a fanbase grasping at any glimmer of hope after a dismal Mike Brown era kicked off roughly twenty years ago, it’s hard to definitively push Marvin Lewis into any tier but “Middle of The Pack.” However, 2012 may begin to tip the scale.