Marvin Lewis was the hero that lived long enough to become a villain.
Almost 20 years ago, Lewis took over a 2-14 team and rejuvenated not only the team but the franchise and city as a whole. That next season, the team went 8-8, an improbably turn around in just one season.
However, after multiple first-round exits topped off by three-straight losing seasons, the Bengals and owner Mike Brown knew it was time to move on after a franchise-altering 16 seasons. Fans alike were ready for this change.
While numerous qualified candidates seemed to pop up, it was the Rams’ quarterback coach, Zac Taylor, that stood out. It wasn’t known if Brown was 100% behind the decision to change coaches as his relationship with Lewis was a strong one.
“The thing I want them to know is that the family, the ownership group here cares and we’re going to be involved on a daily basis and we want to help them anyway we can and they should feel free to see us if they think they should. We’re with them. The guy they’re going have on a daily basis is Zac, not me. He’s the coach. We’re here behind him and we’re behind them.”
83, Brown’s going to be taking part in a training camp for the eighth consecutive decade. With over 50 seasons under his belt with the Bengals, Brown should expect to see a different, more novel mentality towards camp.
Taylor’s already been making changes even in the team’s offseason trainings. By keeping track of score and both holding veterans and rookies responsible, the Bengals are ready to shock the NFL world.
With everyone doubting them, this camp will be the first real chance to see the full team in motion. Camp will start Saturday, July 27 in Dayton.