When the 2016 season was coming to an end, there was a lot of speculation about whether Marvin Lewis would return for a 16th season as the Bengals head coach.
That speculation ended with a two-year deal that came as a surprise to those who saw the team’s 13-18-1 record over the last two seasons as a sign that it was time for a new direction in Cincinnati. Lewis’ take on what the team can accomplish this year will likely come as a surprise to a lot of people as well.
“You coach in the National Football League to become world champions and with this team we have the ability to do that,” Lewis said, via the team’s website.
Lewis is well aware that other people don’t share his opinion of what the Bengals are capable of doing in 2018, but his own history in Cincinnati includes teams that have outperformed expectations and he notes other teams that did the same thing last year.
“I don’t listen to them when they say we’ll win 11 games, so why would I now?” Lewis said. “Did they say last year the Philadelphia Eagles would win the Super Bowl? I don’t remember it. I don’t remember them saying Jacksonville would win the AFC South, either. You have to go to work, put your head down and get it done. They didn’t have Buffalo going to the playoffs, either. Buffalo jettisoned how many of their guys? ‘Oh, what are they doing?’ They did a great job. That’s what this is. Get ready each week. Rest up. Play the next one.”
If Lewis is able to bring the Bengals back to the playoffs, those who doubted the wisdom of bringing him back will likely keep those thoughts to themselves. If he doesn’t, more people than ever will likely find themselves wondering when the Bengals will try something different in order to get the results they desire.