Will Marvin Lewis stay or go?

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Last year at this time, it was widely reported and believed that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis would leave Cincinnati. And then he didn’t, signing a new two-year deal at a time when either side could have walked away.

So what will happen this year?

Few are reporting or saying much about it, likely for fear of being wrong, again. As of this posting, even the Bengals assistant coaches don’t know what’s going on, and are actively trying to find out.

Some think Lewis will resign after the season, possibly to end his career in broadcasting — or maybe to land in Arizona as the replacement for Steve Wilks. (Lewis apparently has a retirement home in Phoenix, and he could move to that retirement home without actually retiring.)

As one source has explained it to PFT, the Cardinals actually considered making a run at Lewis a year ago, but ultimately decided against it. This year, after a failed season with Steve Wilks, maybe the Cardinals will decide otherwise.

So who would replace Marvin if/when he goes? Some still think Hue Jackson would get serious consideration, his dismal showing in Oakland and Cleveland notwithstanding. The possibility continues to have legs primarily because owner Mike Brown abhors change, and he will gravitate toward someone he knows.

And here’s where things could get very, very interesting. What if Brown decides to make a play for someone who used to be on the coaching staff? Someone who owns a large ranch in nearby Kentucky? Someone who may want to end his career without the never-ending stress and strain of a close-but-not-close-enough team that annually knocks on the door but can’t kick it in?

Yes, some think that the Mike Brown may try to hire Mike Zimmer (if Marvin goes), and some think Zimmer possibly would be interested. Much would depend on whether the Vikings would be willing to let Zimmer leave, and on whether the Vikings would want significant compensation for doing so.

For clarity, this is nothing more than semi-informed spitballing at this point, not nearly as strong as the very-informed spitballing from early last February, when we pointed out on multiple occasions that noise was building that Josh McDaniels would jilt the Colts. But if Marvin leaves — and no one but Marvin seems to know if he will — the dominoes could fall in all sorts of unexpected ways in Cincinnati.

40 responses to “Will Marvin Lewis stay or go?

  1. Anyone who can show the defense how to tackle. A retired lady could gain 12 yards against those slackers.

  2. Its still mind blowing that he has been the coach for this long. This tells you how inept the owner is wow. I’m glad I’m not a Bengals fan.

  3. Can’t imagine Brown would fire Marvin owing him a years pay. If Marvin resigns the Bungle thing to do would be to hire Hue Jackson.

  4. Living in Cincinnati and being a Bengals fan stinks. I have been a longtime Marvin supporter, but he needs to go. Actually, ownership needs to change. The Browns may be the only NFL owners whose entire income is based upon the team. Other owners, own teams out of love of the game, ego and maybe both. The Bengals are run like a mom and pop five and dime. All transactions are money based only….UGHHHH!

  5. 16 years. 7 winning seasons. 0 playoff wins. 16th in regular season wins since Lewis has taken the job. 25 teams have won at least 1 playoff game since then. If that’s good enough for you, then keep him.

  6. I said it last year, and I’ll say it again this year. I fully expect Marvin to be head coach next year. I’ll believe the talk about him being gone once I watch the presser after it’s done.

  7. With the amount of tenure given to Lewis, one would think this may be an attractive job opening. Especially when looking at coaches like Steve Wilks and Van Joseph. Who were not really given much of an opportunity (if their firing rumors are to be believed) to implement their systems and coaching skills with a stabilized quarterback position. A first time coach may appreciate the kind of job security offered up by the Bengals… all things considered.

  8. The bar is set way too low in Cincinnati, their fanbase keeps pointing to how they were even worse before Lewis.

    There’s no hope there.

  9. Mike Brown only cares about bottom line profits, winning be damned. Marv is a lifer HC for the Bengals. He is cheap and a vanilla HC and always say yes to Brown. Pure playdough putty. As stated above, the Bengals are totally irrelevant to the NFL landscape. Good luck with that.

  10. Hue went 8-8 in Oakland and had them one defensive stop in week 17 against the Chargers from winning the division. He was only fired because Al Davis passed away and the new regime wanted to hire their own guy (dumb reason).
    In Cleveland Hue stepped in just as they did a complete roster teardown to build for the future like the 76ers in the NBA. Then just as they were getting good he was saddled with Haley calling plays. Bottom line: Hue has been the victim of bad timing more than anything. I still believe he can coach.

  11. patsaredone says:
    December 30, 2018 at 12:05 pm
    Possibly the only coach to stay with a team as long as he he with zero wins in the playoffs.

    Actually he definitely is. He also holds the NFL record for most playoff losses (without a win) with a single team. Just as Dave Shula still holds the record for fastest to 50 losses. These records are possible due to Mike Brown’s legendary “patience”. Bengal fandom is underrated on the misery list. We should be at the top. At least Browns fans got to witness changes.

  12. An important part of the equation are the fans who are completely sick of Marvin Lewis and being stuck in mediocrity. The fans are no longer angry but just losing interest, which is a serious problem for the Bengals. After they rehired Lewis last season they lost 10,000 season ticket holders and are set to finish at the bottom in NFL attendance. Mike Brown will be tempted to give Lewis another season, using the injuries as an excuse, but that would be a huge middle finger to the fans.

  13. he should have been gone a long time before now. as i have said before, i think that the bengals
    will wait until mike brown is gone and that is very bad for the loyal fans.

  14. Mike Brown proves every year he keeps this loser that he has no interest in winning and cares even less about the fans. As long as people in Cincy are stupid enough to keep buying tickets Brown will keep Lewis around.

  15. Marvin Lewis has wasted more elite talent in his tenure than any other coach in sports…how he has lasted this long is anybodys guess, it certainly wasn’t his coaching.

  16. Just get Hue Jackson and Marvin both out of here. I don’t care if you get some college coach try something new. The whole organization is so stale. That’s why they were last in attendance this year.

  17. Hiring Hue Jackson would be going from bad to worse. But who cares, Mike Brown still gettin’ paid

  18. As a Bengals fan who was completely heartbroken to see Zim depart, and seeing as how many fans would have loved to have seen him become HC back in 13’, I think this would be a brilliant move by Mike Brown. Fans love Zim, players love him and he would be a perfect fit to come back. I think it would energize a fan base that has seen better days. It makes so much sense that is exactly why it will not happen. Zim as HC and DC, keep Hue Jackson as an OC only. Zim and Jackson work well together.

  19. I hope the Bungles keep “Coach Giggles” aka Marv Lewis and his loyal sidekick Hue Jackson.

    Signed, The Rest of the AFC North

  20. As a Vikings fan, I’m heartened to hear of the Mike Zimmer rumors. Please take him off our hands. The Bengals are welcome to our GM, too…

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