Lewis is not under contract to remain the Bengals’ head coach in 2018 and his future as well as the future of the Bengals’ coaching staff is very much in question. But, as of Monday afternoon, Lewis says there's no decision on his future with the team. He doesn't think it will draw on too long and he says he will continue to talk to Mike Brown.
"We discussed the football team this morning," Lewis said of his discussion with Brown, the Bengals’ owner. "Just what my viewpoints were... I think as you move forward -- 2017 is over, we're going into 2018 now and the future. I think everybody wants to make sure we stay on the same course together."
As such, no decision was reached about Lewis’ future in Cincinnati or who will coach the Bengals next season.
"I wish I could give you more news, but I can't,” Lewis said, noting it’s a “hard” situation. He also acknowledged he and the rest of the Bengals coaches need to do a better job coaching, while refusing to say if he’d keep his staff if he were to return as head coach in 2018. Lewis showed up more than 30 minutes late to his 12:00 p.m. ET press conference, a rarity for Lewis who is typically prompt.
Lewis then went on to talk about how “real” Bengals fans should feel after the team’s second straight losing season. It seems pretty nervy for a guy with zero playoff wins in 15 years to talk about what “real fans” should think or feel, but, here’s what Lewis had to say on the topic:
“If you’re a real fan, you stay the course and understand we’re not happy with what transpired this season,” Lewis said. “If I’m here (next year), we’re going to do everything to make us World Champions. That’s why I do what I do.”
Lewis also spoke to things he would do if he were back with the Bengals in 2018.
"We're going to have to build better... We're going to have to build a team that could win this division... We're not there,” he said.
That scarily seems like some of what he could have spoken to Brown about this morning, leaning toward the side of Lewis returning—in some capacity—in 2018. There’s a possibility he could be moved to a front office job instead of remaining head coach. The Bengals don’t have a GM, so it’s possible he could move into that role, too. Though, Duke Tobin, Director of Player Personnel, essentially serves as GM for the organization.
Lewis ended things on Monday afternoon by stating the obvious—that he’s currently employed by the Bengals—and noting he’s not considering jobs outside of the organization right now.
"This is the only team right now that I'm employed by," Lewis said ending the press conference.
And now, we continue waiting for news. We’ll keep you updated as it comes.