In a move that surprised no one -- yet still suffocated everyone with relative surprise when it happened -- the Cincinnati Bengals announced that they extended head coach Marvin Lewis through 2016. It's the third extension that Lewis has signed since his two-year deal on Jan. 7, 2011. The question: Why was it a surprise? Because Mike Brown wasn't very forthcoming to a question that was asked regarding Lewis' future in Cincinnati (generating idle speculation that Lewis would need to win a playoff game to stay in Cincinnati):
"I think Marvin has done a fine job with us," Brown said last March. "He’s been with us for a long time now. We have a good relationship. I hope that relationship goes forward into the future. But we aren't at the future yet. We don’t have to make this decision until after this year. He doesn’t have to make this decision until next year. Right now he’s under contract and he’s fulfilling it as we would expect and he knows he should. "
Within a month, the team reached an agreement with Lewis (reminding us that we shouldn't trust Brown at his word... I say that with a loving smile).
"We have worked together with Marvin for many years, things are going well for the team, and Marvin deserves credit for that," Brown said last week. "The extension reflects our confidence in him and how things look to us as we move forward. We are happy to have reached this agreement."
After signing his contract, Lewis said, "I appreciate the commitment by management to the direction of our team. It’s gratifying to our coaching staff and to me personally. The stakes get higher each and every year, and the return of our players this week for the start of offseason work has stoked our fires. I’m excited to continue our pursuit of greatness and to be World Champions."
Lewis offered additional thoughts on his extension during player workouts on Tuesday, emphasizing that the team (players and coaches) appreciate a sense of security.
"I appreciate the thought, and it's very rare as you say, but the pride and the goal is still for one thing and that's to be world champions," Lewis said. "That's what I signed up to do here and I'm fortunate we're still in that hunt. We're more focused with our players than ever. I think when they came back and darkened these doors a week ago they know what's at stake all of the time."