Boomer Esiason played nine years for the Cincinnati Bengals, appearing in the 1988 Super Bowl for the team. Some would say he knows what it takes to get the Bengals into the biggest game in football.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Esiason was named NFL Most Valuable Player in 1988. He also holds Bengals team records for the most 300-yard games (23), passing yards in a game (490) and average yards per passing attempt (7.62). The former Bengals great ranks No. 8 on the team's First 50, honoring the top 50 retired players from the franchise and is on the All-50th team, too.
Esiason, now a color commentator for CBS Sports, shares the feeling many Bengals fans possess when it comes to the team’s head coach. Esiason seems to think it’s time for the Bengals to move on from Marvin Lewis and he wants the team to find an offensive-minded head coach to replace him after 2017.
On the CBS Pregame show on Sunday, Esiason said that the Bengals need to find an offensive coach, so they can utilize the weapons that they drafted over the past few seasons, like Tyler Boyd and John Ross. Esiason cited the losses of Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, both of whom are coaching competitive franchises in Washington and Minnesota respectively.
“Think about all the guys they have lost from that coaching staff,” Esiason said. He then went on to make a bold statement that many Bengals fans will get behind.
“There needs to be a change. Rip it up and start over. I think the owner will (let them do that),” Esiason said. “I think the owner (Mike Brown) is like everyone else. They want to see growth. I don’t think they have an acting head coach on their staff if Marvin (Lewis) decides to retire, which I do believe is going to happen. There’s not a head coaching candidate on their staff.”
With a former Bengals player who took the team to the Super Bowl saying it, the franchise’s front office should listen up and hopefully agree.
Since Gruden left Cincinnati, the Bengals have ranked at best, 13th in total yards on offense, and at best, seventh in points in the NFL. With Jay Gruden in 2013, the Bengals ranked sixth in points, and 10th in yards. Since 2013, the Bengals have used six first and second round draft picks on offense, to only two on defense, meaning that the facts back up Esiason’s statement about the offense missing Gruden and similarly, Hue Jackson. Jackson was a great coordinator for the Bengals, despite his failure in Cleveland. Maybe he could even come back as offensive coordinator in 2018, assuming the Browns cut ties with him after this year.
Lewis’ contract is up at the end of the season, and when that time comes, the Bengals need to move on and find a coach who can get them over the hump and on the path toward their third Super Bowl appearance.