Is "poor coaching" killing the Bengals?

With Bengals coach Marvin Lewis in the final year of his contract and with no signs of any talks toward an extension, Lewis could be nudging toward the end of his eight-year run as coach of the team.

The performance of the team Lewis coaches isn’t helping.

Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer argues that the Bengals’ problems trace to “poor coaching,” which will do nothing to push team president Mike Brown toward inking Lewis to a new deal.

Whether and to what extent Lewis will find a strong demand for his services elsewhere remains to be seen.  On one hand, Lewis arguably has cooked the best possible meal with a cart full of groceries collected haphazardly by Brown at the five and dime.  On the other hand, Lewis has led the team to only two playoff appearances, and zero postseason wins.

Still, there are teams that could find Lewis attractive, given his willingness to take a back seat to Brown.  For someone like Cowboys owner/G.M. Jerry Jones, that could be the most important quality Lewis brings to the table.

Regardless of where Lewis ends up in 2011, it’s looking more and more likely that he won’t be running the Bengals — barring a dramatic turnaround for the 2-4 team.

51 responses to “Is "poor coaching" killing the Bengals?

  1. “Moronic owner” has always been killing the Bengals. Hopefully, when Mike Brown kicks the bucket, his daughter or whoever will hire a GM.

  2. While I think Lewis is definitely Mike Brown’s b–ch, I think a lot of our issues fall on our OC. Bob Bratkowski is awful. If he has simplified the playbook as much as he can, according to him, and this group of guys still can’t comprehend it, it’s definitely a coaching issue. We have an extremely talented offense (yeah the line needs work). There’s no reason to think we can’t put up good numbers. Beyond coaching though, we have no GM, we have no valid scouting staff (it’s made up of family and friends of Mike Brown who had no prior experience in scouting before Mikey Boy gave them the job) and we have an owner who thinks he knows how to personally run a football team rather than hiring someone to do so. So it goes way beyond coaching for this team.

  3. The problem is the front office. I’m not the only person in Cincinnati who thinks so. We don’t have enough scouts. We don’t have a GM. We have Mike Brown, set in his ways. Paul Brown’s spinnin in his grave. This is speculation, but there are many people who believe HE is the reason Marvin’s coaching isn’t getting through, because he won’t let Marvin have full control of his team.
    If you can, watch the hard knocks with the Bengals, and look at the coaches and players faces anytime Mike Brown says something. My favorite is during the meeting where he makes a few roster suggestions, Marvin Lewis and John Hayes (TE Coach) are like “are you freaking serious?”

  4. The Bengals should hire Frank Caliendo, whose imitation of John Madden is so precise that he will doubtlessly reproduce Madden’s record of 103-32-7.

  5. Ummmm…YES!!!!!
    Mike Brown is a horrible owner. Period. His reluctancy to hire a GM and bolster scouting speaks most directly to this. HOWEVER, what is undeniable in the past 7 years he has given Marvin Lewis a bevy of talent. There are many coaches in the league that would jump at the chance to have the amount of talent the Marvin has had.
    Marvin is one of the worst situational tacticians in the league. He is consistently “behind tha action,” so to speak, during games. Botching clock management is a hobby of his….
    Year after year the Bengals suffer countless false start, delaly of game, and illegal substitution penalties all of which point to a lack of discipline.
    I can only hope that Marvin moves on and Zimmer is handed the reigns.

  6. Poor coaching, yes.
    It’s not just Lewis’ fault.
    You forgot to call out Bob Bratowski, who single-handedly gave the Bengals the most predictable offense in the NFL. Whenever they go to the no-huddle, Palmer makes the calls, and they move the ball. Without it, they go 3 and punt practically every time.
    Bengals fans wait and pray for the day Mike Brown hands the family trust fund that is the Bengals over to his daughter Katie, who in the past has expressed the need for a real General Manager.
    For teams like the Ravens and the Steelers, a winning season is when you go to the playoffs. For Mike Brown, going 8-8 is a winning season. (seriously)

  7. “barring a dramatic turnaround for the 2-4 team”.
    You act like the team is 0-6, 0-7, or 1-5, 2-5… we are 2-4 and still in it.

  8. Still, there are teams that could find Lewis attractive, given his willingness to take a back seat to Brown. For someone like Cowboys owner/G.M. Jerry Jones, that could be the most important quality Lewis brings to the table.

  9. Its not the coach that drops the ball . Its not the coach that trows the ball over someones head or at their feet.

  10. Yes!
    Poor discipline. Players can mess up plays all they want and the coaches still praise them.
    Chad can’t remember his routes but can tweet and act without anyone saying a word. I’d bench him.

  11. How can you blame a guy who works for the worst front office in the NFL? For what he has accomplished he should be given the coach of the decade for getting that sorry over hype, over rated squad to two playoff games in the division that has two of the best front offices in the game. Take a bow Marvin you deserve it…………

  12. I honestly think Marvin Lewis would make a good head coach under an owner who will let him have control. But under Mike Brown, not even Madden or Cowher themselves would have success. Not that either of those two would consider coaching here (meaning Madden in his coaching days) simply b/c of the ownership. We’ll end up with some scrub head coach who is trying to prove himself in the league and will faily miserably b/c of the lack of front office in this organization.

  13. The answer to the title of this article is YES.
    But the guts of the article are misdirected. It’s poor coaching by BOB BRATKOWSKI. The offense is putting the defense into horrible positions and making Zimmer and Co. look bad. I don’t blame Palmer either like many want to, it’s the play calling and the fact that the retard o-linemen are guaranteed to give you about 5 penalties for about 45 yards negative offense a game. This team should be running the no-huddle 100% of the time. If they were, they’d be crushing teams like Boomer and Co. did back in the late 80’s.
    Marvin, if you have any desires to remain in Cincy – Fire BRATKOWSKI NOW!
    Oh and lol at the guy above saying you misspelled Broncos. That was pretty funny, and you could instert a number of teams into this article’s title as of late.

  14. lewis has been coaching in one of the best divisions in football.. i honestly think hes a good coach given what he has.

  15. Maybe this timeline/chain of progression will clear it up for everyone:
    1) Bengals suck for years
    2) Bengals finally develop a potent running game with Cedric Benson
    3) Bengals finally make playoffs, though results were less than perfect
    4) Bengals add pass-catching TE and a couple of nice wideouts in 2010 NFL Draft
    5) T.O. continues to whine from his den that nobody wants his I Belong In The Hall of Fame Already ass on their team.
    6) Ocho whines with him. Constantly.
    7) Ownership gets greedy, decides to appease Ocho regardless of team chemistry or original plan.
    8) Game 1, Series 1, immediately the Bengals abandon their rushing attack trying to get T.O. the ball. It rarely gets better as season progresses.
    In a nutshell, that’s the deal. T.O. was supposed to be a “complimentary” WR, but while his numbers look good, the team isn’t winning. SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANYONE????
    Whether that’s the Offensive Coordinator’s fault initially, or Lewis’s fault for not stepping in and trying to GROW on what was accomplished last season, is up for debate. If he’s too afraid of the owner to speak up, he deserves whatever fate awaits him. The End. Pass the gravy……

  16. Where are all the big talking Bengals fans at….. Prior to the season all they could talk about is how they were going to run away with the division, now look they are not around when times get tough…

  17. # Leone510 says: October 27, 2010 10:34 AM
    I don’t understand why every year there is such high expectations for this crappy team.
    people still think of Palmer as the franchise QB he was before the knee injury and QB is the hardest piece of the puzzle to find

  18. To those who are telling Lewis to fire Bratkowski, he cannot do that. That’s the “GM’s” job (Mike Brown). Brown has a history of letting someone fail for quite some time before firing them. Bob still has aways to go before Brown will be willing to fire him. Oh and DanWhitmer- we had every reason to think we had a chance at repeating what we did last year. We didn’t lose anyone significant in the offseason and only added weapons. We should be steam rolling everyone. However our coaching and front office sucks so we aren’t.

  19. The Bengals have this trick they like to do most seasons (sans 2009).. Stink up the place for the first 3/4 of the season then play as good as any team in the league for the last quarter, miss the playoffs, start over. I don’t this year to be any different – and it keeps the team from making wholesale changes..
    At this point the ML/CP window seems to be closed. I love em both but it doesn’t feel like they have long..

  20. Finally!!!
    It’s about time people started talking about what horrendous coach this guy is. As a Bengals season ticket holder, I’ve been watching this clown louse up week after week since he lumbered into Cincinnati back in ’03. Please oh please send this loser packing, Mike Brown. And send the QB with him.

  21. 2 and 4 is the record, and that is not good. They have made so many mistakes on the field, and some of that does point toward poor coaching. Last year they were nastier than their opponents, and won most of the close games. They made that one more play than the opponent. This year, they could easily be 5 and 1, but are NOT making that one play. They have self destructed in key moments in each of the losses, (except NE, as they were awful all day). So, while they are losing games, they are not as bad as they were a few weeks ago. I believe that they will beat Miami this weekend, as they are gonna be nastier, physically, than the Dolphins will be. If they do that, and remember which 11 players to run into the huddle, and remember not to move until the ball moves, then they will look like an NFL team again, and start winning a few series, and maybe even a game.

  22. Danwhitmer says:
    October 27, 2010 11:03 AM
    Where are all the big talking Bengals fans at….. Prior to the season all they could talk about is how they were going to run away with the division, now look they are not around when times get tough…
    ——————— They fell off the band wagon

  23. Kimo Von Oelhoffen ruined your already crap franchise…..At least noone has fallen out of the back of a pick up recently..Kudos for that!!

  24. BengalsDouche2 says:
    “We have an extremely talented offense (yeah the line needs work).”
    This is hilarious, even from a Bengals fan!
    The o-line is probably the most important part of the offense! Yet you menton it as an afterthought.
    It’s like saying “Check out my new Porshe (yeah the engine is a piece of crap).”
    Cincy fan and Mike Brown have always been facinated with the skilled positions while ignoring the rest. This is why they have no playoff wins in 20 years..

  25. Should fire the owner, he’s the one behind all the idiot signings of T.O., pacman, ect.
    that team could do a circus act at halftime starring the players. clear case of the owner wanting to be the hero and signing a bunch of questionable players.

  26. Bengals fan are still here. Were too busy trying to figure out how drunk were going to have to get to stomach the next home game. Tailgating is still part of the game. Lol

  27. I have been saying it for a few years now and I will say it again, Marvin Lewis will be best served as a HC in college football. I cant see him going back to being a defensive coordinator. His ego is to large and given what he did in Cinci, there will not be much interest for his services as an HC in the NFL. I think the college ranks come calling and Marvin answers the call.

  28. OK I have to agree that Mike Brown is behind the times as an owner and the Bengals need a GM, but it’s not like Marvin Lewis hasnt had weapons to work with, Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco(who made the Pro Bowl last year), Jermaine Gresham, Jordan Shipley, T.O. (say what you want about T.O. he is putting up numbers this year), Cedric Benson…This team should be 4-2 or 5-1 if it had a good head coach who could motivate his team…Marvin has made Cincinnati a better franchise, hell before no free agents wanted to come here…now they dont blame Brown. Player development has been the issue, the defense lacks a certain toughness and mean streak….If they had a Bob Ryan or a John Gruden this team would be a whole lot Better!!! Brown has spent money on players…I blame Lewis for not preparing his team…go to and watch one of his Monday Press Conferences…he is very defensive of his coaching and his staff, who has not had this team prepared week to week this year…they have made bone head personel moves by keeping players like Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson and letting a Chase Coffman and Matt Jones go…Plus the defense is struggling this year and they could have gotten an Adelius Thomas but instead signed J.P Foschi a TE who wont play….It’s stupid!!! Lewis needs to go, Bob Bratkowski needs to go…keep Mike Zimmer and bring in Bob Ryan from Cleveland….He will have this team playing ball…

  29. This team is as dumb as a bag of hammers and there is no discipline at any level. Zimmer is the only guy trying to instill discipline at all. Loads of talent, but nowhere to go with it. The GM is a bigger problem than Marvin, but not by much.

  30. Dannymac1877 – I’ll take ANYONE over Rob Ryan. I don’t wany any of the Ryans coaching here. I can’t stand any of them. Also, have you paid attention to the draft busts year in and year out here? The busts FAR outweight the good draft picks he has made as an Owner/GM. Those are all on Mike Brown and his so-called “scouting” department. The coaches end up doing most of the scouting of the college players. That’s the issue. Marvin and Co. really have no choice who gets signed or drafted either. In the end, it comes down to Mike Brown. If he wants them, he signs them no matter what Marvin and Co. say. If Brown doesn’t want them, forget it. We won’t get them. The issues with this team start at the top with Mike Brown and Co. Until he’s gone, this team will always be bottom dwellers and maybe catch lightning in a bottle once in a while like last year and 2005.

  31. Didn’t Marvin Lewis win coach of the year once with the Bengals? And didn’t he have winning seasons/take them to the playoffs? I like marvin lewis, he is not really the problem here.

  32. Coaching is a problem with several teams. A bigger problem is that many of today’s players are narcissistic egomaniacs and are therefore uncoachable. Playing within a scheme for the benefit of the team is fine unless it detracts from their own personal stats and glory. Many of these “bad” teams would look a lot better if they would play together instead of serving their own personal desires. DBs go for an interception when it would take an unrealistic athletic play…they miss and the WR runs down the field for 30+ yards. Making a sure tackle would benefit the team more but the INT or “big hit” is more beneficial to the player so that is what they will do at every opportunity. The offensive players whine about not getting enough “touches” even if the team is winning. I think the player attitudes is a bigger problem than coaching ability…although there are a few HCs that should never have been given the position.

  33. It’s a “stinks from the top down” problem. The only coach worth keeping is Zimmer and he’ll end up someplace else in a year or two. If Zimmer would be retained as head coach, there might be a chance. However, why would he stick around? Brown would tie his hands with his stupid personnel decisions. This franchise is the short-bus team of the NFL.

  34. Yeah, Marvin Lewis won COY LAST YEAR!!!! Hahahaha. Yeah, let Cincy fans think it’s “the coaching” instead of the athletic ability of their team, although they have nice CBs.
    This just in….T.O. and Ocho just aren’t that good and they don’t stretch the field like once upon a time. I love how every team that reluctantly signs T.O. each season wonders what “goes wrong” during the season. The guy is a loser. He went to a loser college. He is a loser in every manner. Selfish people are losers, period.
    Have you seen Mike Wallace??? That’s how you stretch the field.

  35. WVUColumbus – Really?! Have you watched our games recently? T.O. has done a great job stretching the field but our overrated QB can’t get the ball to him. I can’t count how many times T.O. has been open deep and Carson didn’t connect. Know the franchise before making stupid remarks. We have all the talent in the world yet the COACHING can’t take advantage of it.

  36. Title’s wrong. It should read:
    “Poor Offensive Coordinating” is killing the Bengals.
    Also “Poor Ownership” is killing the Bengals.
    Marvin ain’t the problem and if he goes he’ll end up succeeding in location 2 (even if that’s with Jerry).
    With our luck Brown will promote Bratkowski instead of Zimmer at that time 😦

  37. First of all, too many idiots on here asking where the Bengals fans are, by my count, they make up most of the responses on this thread. The problem with the Bengals does start with Mike Brown. They need a GM. Marvin Lewis deserves some blame too though, there is no discipline on this team, too many penalties, they always look unprepared. Picking on T.O. isn’t making any of you look any smarter, he’s on pace for a career year. He’s been a beast in the passing game, and did you see the blocks he was throwing on Sunday, he’s being a team player. I think Chad is a bit of a problem these days, always seems to be running the wrong route, I won’t be sad to see him go when his time is up. Bob Bratkowski is a major problem, but even if Marv wanted to fire him, he couldn’t, he was stuck with Brat when he signed on, I’m sure Mike Brown won’t be letting him go any time soon. Carson is still plenty capable enough, when they play within the system that suits him best, which no one seems to want to do unless we are down by 20+ points. Why would you want Zimmer to take over as head coach? Have you seen the Bengals defense lately, big step down from last year, and they have been just as bad with the penalties as the offense has. Anyway, he would have the same problem as Marv, as any coach here will, in that Mike Brown will not let them run the team. I do think it’s time for Marv to move on, and I think he will do just fine wherever he goes when he does, but I don’t think there is any real hope for Cincinnati until Mike Brown relinquishes control to someone who knows what they are doing.

  38. Ownership AND coaching and I’m a long time Bengals fan! Let’s see Brown give Zimmer a try. That would be nice. I think Lewis is even losing some love from his players but they sure as hell respect Zim.

  39. The coaches change. The players change. Plenty of talent thanks to top end draft picks and trades. Years and years of losing…disappointing years. Get a piece of paper and lay it out in black and white. The only thing that hasn’t changed? OWNERSHIP! This team is like a soap opera. Go away for 10yrs and come back and it’s the same old cr*p. There’s no shortage of talent on this team (or previous ones). It’s the culture…and the culture trickles down from the top.

  40. @jgowdy138
    “Didn’t Marvin Lewis win coach of the year once with the Bengals?”
    Yeah, and Brandon Meriweather made the pro bowl last year after probably leading the league in blown coverages. Joe Morgan won an emmy once for his baseball play by play and he sucks. Some awards just don’t make sense.

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