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Marvin Lewis stresses change while also adding much will stay the same for Bengals

Could the Bengals make big moves in free agency? Marvin Lewis says the Bengals need to do a better job when March rolls around. But don’t get too excited...

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Marvin Lewis addressed the media on Wednesday, one day after his two-year extension to remain head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals was announced.

“This season is not what we wanted and we have to get back at it,” Lewis said in his opening statement.

He also said this...

One of the first questions asked was whether Mike Brown truly wants to win a Super Bowl.

“No doubt in my mind that Mike Brown’s goal is to be world champions,” Lewis said. “And we spent the last two days talking about what we felt were the things we had to get better at. What and why. That’s the only thing the man thinks about, having a championship organization.”

It’s odd they hadn’t been discussing this all year, but, I digress.

“I have to go in and make it different,” Lewis said. “You’re talking about a nebulous situation. That’s my job and that’s my goal. Go back and make us the top of this division.”

That will happen with some of the 2017 coaching staff and some new coaches on the Bengals’ staff. The Bengals are moving on from Paul Alexander, the team’s offensive line coach of 15 years and a man who has worked for the team for more than two decades. Returning are offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons.

Paul Guenther is interviewing for the Raiders defensive coordinator job but the Bengals are not going to wait for him to find out if he gets it. They plan to take action with a coaching search to fill the defensive coordinator role. Lewis said he’d like to wrap up the coaching search as quickly as possible, today, though that’s not realistic.

“As coaches we change continually,” Lewis said. “We have to be better, have to better than I’ve been. We have to put together a staff that, as I told our players Monday morning, that regardless of who’s standing in front of them, they have to be ready to be a better football team.”

Among the things Lewis said the Bengals will do moving forward is better prepare players to step up and step in.

“We’re going to move on, we’re going to prepare the next guy better. Let’s get after it,” he said.

Many assumed Lewis was negotiating with Bengals owner Mike Brown for more control with personnel decisions or upgraded facilities, like an indoor practice field. Lewis denied anything of the sort, using one of his new favorite words, “nebulous,” which he used many times on Wednesday afternoon.

“All that stuff is nebulous,” Lewis said in response to whether he asked for upgraded facilities. “Winning and losing is done on the field... As a teacher you need to be able to reach every individual in the room.

“I don’t think I went into it thinking I was going to win anything. This is a partnership, I wanted to do the job, and they wanted to know I'd get the job done” Lewis said. “There was no win or lose other than the fact that the group of men, coaches and players alike that I want to help lead them to a championship.”

Hysterically, one of the reporters at the press conference was asking Lewis questions that he received from fans in Cincinnati, one question even came from someone the reporter met in Gold Star Chili. Among those questions was whether he would be more aggressive on the field, to which Lewis answered that coaches who are shouting and screaming on the field don’t keep their head coaching jobs for all that long because their players start to act out of control, too.

He then went on to talk about discipline and penalties, claiming the Bengals are among the NFL’s least penalized teams.

“Discipline is a big word, but this team has been one of the least penalized teams in the National Football League,” he said.

That was true in 2016 when the Bengals had the second least penalties in the NFL, but it was not true in 2017 when the Bengals had the 12th most penalties per game in the league. In 2015 the Bengals ranked 12th and in 2014 they ranked 21st in terms of the most penalties in the league.

We can count Lewis’ lies during the press conference—and we may do that later—but, let’s not focus on that for now. Let’s move onto something bigger. Lewis acknowledged that the Bengals need to change, including in free agency, and we can be happy about that. At least a bit happy, right?

“We have to change,” Lewis said. “We need to be better at what we do. We’re going to have changes in our staff. We’re going to have to gain some better players. We’re going to have to augment some of what we do. We’re going to have to do a better job of adding some guys from other clubs.”

AHHHH Marvin Lewis just said he was going to ensure the Bengals did a better job at adding players in free agency. Though, he said seconds later that the Bengals weren’t necessarily going to add more guys than last year in free agency, but they would add better guys.

Lewis ended the 40-minute press conference by talking about how some of his players left the facility on Monday morning after the win over the Ravens. They were happy, encouraged and had two good back-to-back games to add some pep in their step. Tyler Boyd was who Lewis kicked off the conversation discussing.

“Here's a guy we brought here, because we expected what he did the last two ball games,” Lewis said of Boyd. “And I think Bill (Lazor) has done a great job allowing him to grow. He leaves here feeling great about things. Joe Mixon leaves here after playing in that final game. His ankle was pretty sore but he showed his teammates what kind of guy he can be. Everyone's mentioned the two young guards what they've done... They got an opportunity and they did good with it.”

We can only hope that some of the end-of-season heroics and exceptional play from the young guards translates over to 2018. Much will change, much will remain the same, but hopefully Lewis can figure out a way to coach this team to be more successful than any of the 15 Bengals teams he’s coached since arriving in Cincinnati.

Marvin Lewis News Conference 1/3

Posted by Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Posted by Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday, January 3, 2018