The Cincinnati Bengals have one game left in their season, but they’re already preparing for life after Marvin Lewis.
By now, you’ve seen the reports of Lewis leaving the Bengals this coming offseason. It remains to be seen if that will be his decision, or if the Bengals are simply not renewing his expiring contract, effectively firing the 15-year head coach.
With Lewis set to leave, one would assume the Bengals will be looking at in-house candidates to replace him, being that’s how they operate at nearly every level of this franchise.
However, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport says the Bengals are already looking at outside candidates for their next head coach.
#Bengals have reached out to non-in-house candidates for their coming head coach opening, sources say. This will be open by Cincy standards.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2017
It’s untelling who those people are, but we’ve already touched on some of the top head-coaching candidates the Bengals should look at this offseason.
If an outside candidate is hired, that likely means the Bengals will clean house and get rid of most, if not all of their current assistant coaches as well. That would allow the new coach to build his staff the way he wants it, which is exactly how it should be.
As far as this team has fallen over the past two years — not to mention their inability to win a playoff game with Lewis and his staff — it’s time for a complete rebuild of the coaching staff.
But because the Bengals appear to be looking for an outside candidate, that could mean this coaching search lasts for several weeks. Many of the top candidates — like Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels — will be coaching their teams in the playoffs for several more weeks.
That could lead to the Bengals not hiring a new coach until late January. If that’s the case, let’s just hope that whoever they get is well worth the wait.