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Mike Brown admits losing the fanbase played a part in coaching change

“That sent a loud message.”

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals Media Day The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK

The winds of change have been blowing throughout Paul Brown Stadium since the Bengals’ season ended.

Marvin Lewis was finally let go after 16 years, and his replacement was quickly found in the form of Zac Taylor. Letting Lewis go and hiring a young up-and-coming coach was something few, if anyone in Cincinnati thought was ever going to happen under Mike Brown’s watch.

On Tuesday, the Bengals held their introductory press conference for Taylor, where Brown also spoke to reporters. One of the most notable items to come from Brown’s remarks included a comment about how losing the fanbase played a part in the coaching change.

“Marvin is my friend, and I’m not going to get in to any comments that would seem to any way disparage him,” said Brown. “He did a wonderful job when he was here, but it just was time, in my opinion, and the opinion of others, to give us a new direction.

“We had lost some of the faith in our fanbase. That was clear. That sent a loud message. I think we’ve done it at the appropriate time. We tried to give every opportunity for otherwise. That’s behind us. I want to look to the future.”

While it was easy to assume fan attendance played a part in the change, it’s still interesting to hear those words come from Brown’s mouth. For the most part, he’s always had the approach of not caring at all what fans and media think of his team.

It’s refreshing to hear that Brown and the Bengals actually do care about the fans, who were thrilled to learn Lewis was out and Taylor was in.

It’s also interesting to hear Brown essentially say it was his call to let Lewis go. When that move happened, there were mixed reports on whether it was a mutual parting or if Lewis was effectively fired.

Regardless, change has finally arrived, and not a moment too soon.