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Marvin Lewis a ‘strong contender’ for Washington’s head coaching job, per report

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Marvin Lewis could find himself back in the NFL quicker than most expected.

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

Bengals fans are well acquainted with Marvin Lewis after he spent 16 seasons with the franchise from 2003-18.

Well, now it appears that he could find himself in charge of a different NFL team.

Many fans remember Lewis for his last few seasons where he struggled to get this team to mediocrity, or they remember how he had an 0-7 record in the playoffs over his time with Cincinnati. People tend to forget how he dragged Cincinnati out of the depths of the NFL in his early seasons. He was also able to slightly modernize a franchise that was stuck decades in the past. He also even kept the team afloat following Carson Palmer leaving the team after the 2010 season. He followed that up with five straight playoff appearances with Andy Dalton.

Ironically, Jay Gruden was a offensive coordinator for the Bengals from 2011-13. He was such an important part of Lewis’ second life with Cincinnati that the Bengals never drastically changed their offense from Gruden’s design until the 2018 season. Gruden’s time with the Bengals got him the job in Washington in 2014, and the idea that Lewis could replace him in 2020 is incredibly funny.

This would be a pretty questionable move. Lewis lost touch with how the modern NFL worked toward the end of his time with the Bengals. He may have been able to revive Cincinnati on a couple occasions, but it was clear he was out of touch his last couple of seasons with the way he handled the new generation of players. When you combine that with the fact Gruden’s style probably has plenty of Lewis’ style mixed in, the connection doesn’t make that much sense.

Of course, Washington isn’t going to be a very desirable location for many. They have really messed up how they’ve handled injured players over the years, and they often rely on building their team through constant free agent acquisitions. Their team building philosophy is probably the exact opposite of the Bengals.

Lewis has spent this past season working with fellow former NFL head coach Herm Edwards at Arizona State, and sometimes a year away from being in the NFL can do wonders for a coach, and the way it seems like he is being viewed as a string candidate after already interviewing implies Dan Snyder is a fan. One of the things that will decide if Lewis is able to do well in his second stint as an NFL head coach is if a year working with college players has him ready to adjust his ways of working with this new generation of players.

Lewis called out multiple struggling young players towards the end of the time with Cincinnati. Some of which have turned out to be solid contributors. There is no doubt that he would be inheriting a similar player in Dwayne Haskins at quarterback. Haskins infamously missed kneeling down the ball to end a win because he was taking selfies with fans. How would Lewis have reacted to that kind of behavior? We may end up finding out sooner rather than later.