When this offseason hits in a few short weeks, the Cincinnati Bengals will be at a crossroads once again: stick with the devil you know, or the devil you don’t?
Marvin Lewis has been the head coach of the Bengals for 16 seasons, netting seven playoff berths and four division titles. He has the most wins of any coach in team history, and will have a winning percentage over .500 when it’s all said and done.
He’s also the guy who has an 0-7 postseason record and has lost a playoff game using four different quarterbacks. Let’s also not forget the 2015 Wild Card implosion that occurred under his watch.
These are all of the pros and cons that the front office has and will mull over going forward. This process will especially occurring this offseason, as Lewis will be completing his third straight non-winning season.
John Sheeran and I discussed the weekly roller coaster that is “2019 Lewis watch” on this week’s Orange and Black Insider.
“If (Marvin) Lewis saved his job with the win against the Raiders, then his job wasn’t in jeopardy at all,” Sheeran said. “My whole standpoint with it is that I don’t think Mike (Brown) and that scheme operate on just a couple of wins and losses to sway their decision-making. I feel like they have a decision in mind of what to do with him, and ultimately, that decision is going to be laid upon Marvin.”
As most folks know, it has been reported that the Bengals have an opt-out clause in Lewis’ contract before this season. If Sheeran’s point of view is correct, both Lewis and Brown could come to a mutual decision where Lewis walks and isn’t necessarily “fired”. Brown has repeatedly shown loyalty to Lewis and this parting of ways allows be he and Lewis to publicly save face.
Regardless, both John and I agreed that Lewis still has a pretty decent shot at seeing his contract through. I noted that even one win over the next two weeks could cement his return next season. After all, both the Browns and Steelers are heavily-hated squads by Cincinnati and are part of huge rivalries.
Sheeran noted that he isn’t even sure that 6-10 would usher in a new head coach. Not only have we seen Lewis come back after netting poorer records (2008, 2010), but inset excuses of injuries and other factors could once again be Lewis’ crutch into 2019.
We also discussed the following on this week’s episode:
- What were some of the major takeaways from the Bengals’ win over the Raiders?
- Some young players had a quality showing against Oakland. Should that breed long-term optimism, or are there still too many roster holes on the team?
- Geno Atkins made the Pro Bowl for the 7th time in his career. Were other Bengals spurned from a rightful nomination?
- Speaking of the Pro Bowl, has it completely lost its luster? Is it anything more than a popularity contest?
- The Bengals have some tough decisions to make at the tight end spot next offseason.
Plus some more insightful listener questions! Our thanks to the live listeners and to those who submitted questions. Join us next time and have yours answered on air!
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