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Former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis ‘in play’ for Lions head coaching position

Marvin Lewis may be making his return to the NFL soon enough.

NFL: DEC 30 Bengals at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Marvin Lewis has spent the past two seasons out of the NFL. He had a brief stint calling games for the now defunct AAF that received mixed reviews and joined Herm Edwards’ staff at Arizona State as a special advisor in 2019, but he became the co-defensive coordinator in 2020.

This coaching carousel for the NFL has brought his name into the news more than once, though. Now it seems as though at least one team will be seriously considering him to fill their position.

That team is the Lions, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Lions have only had two winning seasons in the past six years, and they were 9-7 in both of those years, with their lone playoff appearance resulting in a Wild Card loss. The Matt Patricia experiment never really got off the ground. A 6-10 start in 2018 was the best it would get as Detroit finished at the bottom of the division all three of his seasons.

Some Bengals fans and fans from other teams may laugh at the prospect of Lewis taking over another team after the way things ended in Cincinnati. Those fans are probably forgetting a few things, though. Lewis has shown to be amazing at rebuilding teams. He turned a hapless Bengals team into an 8-8 team in his first season. He also rebuilt the team successfully three different times during his tender with the initial Carson Palmer rebuild, the 2009 Palmer reboot, and of course the Andy Dalton and A.J. Green era.

The other thing going for Lewis is spending two seasons at the college level. It was a fair criticism that the Bengals were a bit behind the times on certain things. The linebacker position was one of the most obvious problems that this team seemed to struggle with. Not only that, but having to game plan for these college offenses that are on the cutting edge of what the NFL is trying to do should have helped him rethinking what a successful team may look like.

Lewis would be inheriting Matthew Stafford, who will be 33-years-old by the start of the season and will have three seasons left on his contract. Lewis’ first course of action will likely be deciding whether to use the team’s seventh overall pick on a successor for Stafford or to try and retool this team around the veteran.

With all the coaches that have gotten second and third chances in the NFL, Lewis should be considered a great addition for a team like the Lions who are looking to become relevant again. Something Lewis did for the Bengals for a long time.