Is this the final year for Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati?
No, but that isn’t stopping others from pretending Lewis is on some sort of hot seat following the Bengals 2-3 start.
Even with seven playoff trips, five of which coming in the last five years, could the Bengals actually fire Lewis if the Bengals continue to have a bad 2016 season?
Probably not, but USA Today Sports seems to think otherwise. In their new ranking of the NFL coaches on the biggest hotseat, Lewis came in at the No. 3 spot, behind only Jaguars coach Gus Bradley and Chargers coach Mike McCoy.
3. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals: Only Bill Belichick has been on the job longer than Lewis, now in his 14th season with Cincy. But his 0-7 playoff record, including one-and-done showings in the past five postseasons, has led to four consecutive one-year contract extensions for Lewis, who is currently signed through the 2017 season. But the last time the Bengals (2-3) were below .500 after five games was 2010, the year before QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green arrived. If Lewis fails to get this underachieving club — Cincinnati trailed the Dallas Cowboys 28-0 at one point Sunday — into the playoffs, owner Mike Brown's loyalty and patience with this regime might finally dissipate.
Last week: unranked
I think Lewis is back in 2017 regardless of what happens this year for two reasons:
- While the 0-7 playoff record is what most view when they see Marvin Lewis, Mike Brown sees seven winning seasons since 2005 and 10 non-losing seasons since 2003. Brown remembers what the 90s were like, and he’s so afraid of re-living it that he’ll allow Lewis to have at least one more of losing season before showing him the door.
- Lewis has made it pretty clear that retirement is coming soon, as evidenced by him being willing to name Hue Jackson the head coach in waiting. If that plan went through, Lewis would have retired as a head coach following the 2017 season and allowed Jackson to succeed him. That tells me Lewis may be willing to retire within the next two to three seasons, and my guess is he and Brown would work to make that happen without Lewis being fired if he endures a bad season or two.
So to sum it up, I think it’s very possible the Bengals have a new coach within the next two years. I just don’t think is will come after Lewis being fired, so these rankings mean very little.