clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sports Illustrated doubts Marvin Lewis will return to Bengals

Sports Illustrated thinks Marvin Lewis won’t be back with the Bengals, but we will see a familiar face leading the team next season.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated did an article to prepare everyone for Black Monday, which is the day after the season ends where you see a lot of disappointing head coaches get fired.

They ranked coaches into tiers of likely done, we’ll see, and it’s complicated.

Marvin Lewis made the list under the highest-ranked section:

Cincinnati Bengals: Marvin Lewis’ impending departure has been on the table from the moment he and the team decided not to do another one-year Band-Aid extension, which sent him into a contract year. Word is, the Bengals will lean towards coaches they know, which is why Jackson and Jay Gruden’s names have been mentioned, as have internal candidates Paul Guenther and Darrin Simmons.

It is true that as soon as Lewis and Mike Brown didn’t pull the trigger on their annual one-year extension red flags went up around Cincinnati. We all assumed Lewis would be coaching for his job, and that a repeat of last season wouldn’t do.

Here we are though, and the Bengals have missed the playoffs again. They started the season 0-3, and they never managed to get out of that hole they dug for themselves. A lot of it goes beyond the wins and losses though. Players like Joe Mixon, John Ross and William Jackson took too long to get on the field, and once some of them did we were left wondering what coaches were thinking not playing them in the first place.

It won’t be a surprise when Lewis isn’t the head coach following Sunday’s game against the Ravens. The team that ironically is responsible for getting him the job in Cincinnati. The question will then become who will replace him?

Like Sports Illustrated eluded to, many reports say the Bengals would prefer to bring back a coach they are familiar with or promote from within. I find there to be a flaw in that logic. They gave Lewis the season to coach for his job, because they were tired of the status quo. What would hiring from within or bringing back a recent coach do aside from keep that alive?

The Bengals need to seriously consider an outside hire. That is what they did when they hired Lewis years ago. Look at what happened with the Rams this season. They fired an unispired head coach, and they brought in a fresh offensive mind to revamp their team. Now they are one of the teams to beat in the NFC this season. Jared Goff went from looking like a bust to one of the best looking young quarterbacks this season.

The Bengals are in position for a similar jump with the right hire and offseason. This team has a ton of talented players. They have a few needs, but they can be addressed fairly easy in an offseason. There are plenty of fresh offensive minds that will be available this offseason, and the Bengals would be fools not to do their due diligence on these coaches.

With the way the Bengals have gone through head coaches, who ever they hire could be around for awhile, so they should take some serious time to really think about and consider who they hire.