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Bengals interviewing 49ers' Tim Lewis to become defensive backs coach

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Tim Lewis has been with the 49ers for one season but has been a secondary coach for over a decade.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals may actually go with an unfamiliar name for their vacant defensive backs coach spot left by Vance Joseph.

Less than a week after Joseph left to become defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati appears to be zeroing in on candidates, including San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach Tim Lewis, per FOX Sports' Alex Marvez.

It's also worth noting that Marvez previously reported former defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle looked to be re-joining the Bengals, but this latest report suggests they're keeping their options open.

Lewis has been with the 49ers for one season but has been a secondary coach for more than two decades. That's included stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pitt Panthers, SMU Mustangs, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and Atlanta Falcons.

But more notably, Lewis was the defensive backs coach with the the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1995-1999 and defensive coordinator of the Steelers from 2000-2003. He also served as defensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 2004-06. Most recently, Lewis worked as the secondary coach in Atlanta from 2010-14 while helping the Falcons go to three-straight playoffs with a berth in the 2013 NFC Championship.

During that time, the Falcons were tied for seventh in the NFL with 87 interceptions while allowing 113 touchdown passes, which ranked 10th in the NFL, per 49ers.com. Under Lewis, three Falcons defensive backs earned Pro Bowl honors, including cornerback Brent Grimes, safety Thomas DeCoud and safety William Moore. Cornerback Desmond Trufant was named to the 2013 PFWA All-Rookie Team and the 2014 All-NFC Team.

It's hard to find a secondary coach who has as vast and deep of a coaching background as Lewis does. In fact, San Francisco once almost hired Lewis to become their head coach before settling on Mike Nolan.

You also will be hard pressed to find a secondary coach with as much experience in the AFC North as Lewis has. He served different roles in Pittsburgh for nearly a decade during a period in which the Steelers had five division titles and made it to Super Bowl XXX.

As defensive coordinator, Lewis' units ranked seventh, first, seventh and ninth in total defense. While the NFL has changed vastly since then, Lewis has certainly had a successful career coaching defenses, so he would be a nice addition to the Bengals' staff.

Though... it may be confusing having two Lewis' on the coaching staff.