The Bengals have employed Marvin Lewis as their head coach since 2003 and they’ve kept him in the organization with a series of one-year extensions in recent years, but that’s not the case this time around.
Lewis is not signed beyond the 2017 season, leading some to wonder if this will be his final year on Cincinnati’s sideline if the team doesn’t make progress after going 6-9-1 last year. Quarterback Andy Dalton says the coach’s status isn’t weighing on the players as they head toward September.
“He doesn’t talk about contracts. He doesn’t talk about his situation,” Dalton said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s all about having a good year. So, the guys aren’t thinking about that.”
The players may not be putting particular focus on Lewis’ situation, but it’s not because they don’t like the coach. Cornerback Adam Jones and punter Kevin Huber both said they love Lewis, but pointed out that nothing about this offseason is too different from a player’s perspective.
If players don’t perform well, there’s a good chance they’ll be off the roster when the next year gets underway and that’s true whether Lewis is signed for four more years or four more months. Or, as Jones put it, “if you’re winning everything is good” and players have a lot more control over that than any decision owner Mike Brown will make if they post another losing record.