Marvin Lewis will not be the coach of the Cincinnati Bengals come January 15, 2018.
This was just one of the may topics discussed in this week’s version of The Flying Pigskin podcast, which is hosted by Tanya O’Rourke and this week featured panelists Keenan Singleton and Scott Kyser. I was off this week as I settled into my new job as the manager editor of the Crete News in Crete, Nebraska, but I will be back next week
You can listen to this week’s show at any time, and be sure to tune in to get all of the latest news and commentary on your Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals picked up the victory by beating a team they absolutely had to beat with the win over Denver Sunday, but Cincinnati’s overall performance still left plenty to be desired. Although the Bengals finally finished a game, you were still left wondering whether this was just mediocre football teams battling for a spot in mediocrity.
Still, it was a big win for the Bengals because it kept them in the chase for the playoffs. Cincinnati is currently the No. 10 team, but will definitely need plenty of help to get in. And while there are some winnable games on the remaining schedule against teams such as Cleveland and the Bears, the Bengals will also have to face Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Detroit and Baltimore – all teams with winning records.
The path to a winning record will require Andy Dalton to continue to improve. He did much better with the deep ball against Denver, and the offensive line was competent, at least when it came to pass protection. But the running game continued to struggle and will need to show rapid improvement in order to beat some of the better teams on the schedule. And the play calling continues to be unimaginative, at best.
While the panel was in agreement that Lewis’ days as the head coach of the Bengals are over, the question of where he might go from here continues to be debated. Many are in favor of moving him to the front office, since he is still a very valuable piece of the Bengals’ family. Others believe it is a time for a fresh start be everyone involved. There is a lot of apathy towards Lewis, and maybe it is just time to move on. The sharks are circling, and everybody can see that this is the end.
If Lewis does leave, it is pretty clear that Cincinnati should look for a young, offensive-minded coach to take his place. And while Lewis has spawned quite the coaching tree (Leslie Frazier (formerly in Minnesota), Jay Gruden in Washington, Hue Jackson in Cleveland, Mike Zimmer in Minnesota and Vance Joseph in Denver), maybe it is time to look elsewhere.
Names such as New England’s Josh McDaniels (formerly the head coach of Denver) and Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter (because everyone loves the name!) came to the forefront. But whoever it might end up being, they will need time to get acclimated, so we can expect some lean years. You have to willing to let a coach go through the ebbs and flows of good years and bad years before he can consistently succeed.
And then there is the gift that everyone is looking for this Thanksgiving weekend, and that is a win against the Browns. Although this is a classic trap game, coming off of a victory over Denver and with the Steelers’ game on the horizon, it is probably one the Bengals should win comfortably – the Browns are just that bad.
Whatever the final result, everyone agrees that is important to finally see the running game take a step forward, and for the team to put forth a complete, total effort – offense, defense and special teams.
Be sure to go to Twitter to tell us what you think. The results of the latest poll saw you choose Clint Boling as the veteran that you would most hate to see leave the team, with Tyler Eifert and Andre Smith both receiving votes.
You can also tweet Keenan directly @CKJMSingleton, or contact Tonya @TonyaORourke. In addition, you can now call in and leave a voicemail at 513-449-0716.
Be sure to tune in to The Flying Pigskin podcast this week and every week. The show airs live every Monday afternoon. Who Dey! Who Dey All Day!