Marvin Lewis ran out his welcome in Cincinnati, but that doesn’t mean his accomplishments have been forgotten. Younger Bengals fans are now seeing what the franchise looks like when Mike Brown, Katie Blackburn, and Duke Tobin are left to their own devices, and it’s not good.
Older fans, like myself, always appreciated Lewis and were hesitant to move on. Not because it wasn’t time. It was. But because we knew we’d end up with another coaching mess, like the Dave Shula days (or even worse). Furthermore, Lewis did a lot in terms of building the roster under perhaps the most difficult and cheapest circumstances in the league. Lastly, he was a charismatic and honorable man who built great relationships across the NFL that benefitted his time.
So it really shouldn’t be a surprise that, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, Lewis is again being considered as a candidate for head coach.
One name I keep hearing over and over again for these NFL openings- Marvin Lewis. He's very well respected around the NFL and deserves another shot.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) December 9, 2020
Naturally, this was mocked by more immature Twitter users.
Then a number of media personalities and former players came to Lewis’ defense:
Marvin Lewis with the BENGALS: 131-122-3, four AFC North titles, seven playoff appearances.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 9, 2020
Bengals since Marvin Lewis departed: 5-23-1.
He is a head coach. He will get interviews. Legit interviews. https://t.co/jft3TtdLDv
Ppl on here have no clue what the Bengals were before Marvin Lewis got there lol....how the Bengals had bare bones of a scouting dept, coaches acted as scouts too. No indoor facility....I can keep going— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) December 9, 2020
I didn’t realize Twitter had such strong feelings against him. Football world holds different opinion. Won a ton of games.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) December 9, 2020
Bengals fan base has hated on Lewis plenty, but one thing is certain, his players respected him.— Elise Jesse (@EliseJesseTV) December 10, 2020
When Lewis was the HC of the Bengals, I never ever heard the types of stories that I hear now. https://t.co/i3X8I62liV
Lewis, still only 62, does deserve another shot in the NFL, at the very least as a defensive coordinator. What he did with the Baltimore Ravens in their 2000-01 Super Bowl run was among the most impressive defensive coaching jobs in history. He then powered the sad sack Bengals to multiple playoff appearances with strong defenses and opportunistic offenses.
Sure, those teams fell apart in the playoffs, but coaches learn, especially after time off. But more importantly, those teams were always flawed. Built almost entirely through the Draft with limited scouting resources and no general manager, it was astonishing they were even in position to qualify for the postseason.
Imagine Lewis with a franchise that likes to spend and that will get him the forward-thinking offensive coordinator he always needed to be successful. Honestly, there are far worse options out there.