Marvin Lewis out after 16 years as Bengals head coach

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One of the longest coaching tenures in NFL history has come to an end, as Marvin Lewis is done in Cincinnati.

Bengals owner Mike Brown decided this morning to fire Lewis, NFL Network reports.

Lewis was expected to be fired last year, but in a surprise move he signed a two-year contract extension. This year, however, was a mess, as the Bengals finished in last place in the AFC North.

Although Lewis turned around a moribund Bengals franchise and made them respectable, he never won a playoff game. If you go 16 years without winning a playoff game, you’re not going to have job security anywhere. Even in Cincinnati.

Now the Bengals will begin a search to try to find a coach who can win the franchise’s first playoff game since 1990. Brown has never been known as a big spender, and so the Bengals may struggle to attract a top-notch head coach. But they’ll find someone, perhaps someone who can get them out of last place in a tough division.

81 responses to “Marvin Lewis out after 16 years as Bengals head coach

  1. Thank God!!! Don’t get me wrong, it was very impressive the way he turned them from the NFL’s favorite punching bag into a (still dysfunctional) perennial contender for a playoff spot, but ZERO PLAYOFF WINS IN SIXTEEN YEARS means Mike Brown shoulda moved on at least 10 years ago. Also, Mike Brown — since I’m sure you’re reading these comments — PLEASE hire a GM already!!!!!

  2. The Lions are a much more advanced organization. They have had several different coaches without winning a playoff game in an even greater time span. Plus, they had Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson.

  3. Mike finally grew a pair. No keep them and do not hire Jackson. bring in McCarthy or Josh Daniels. 11 mill per year would bring one of them in.

  4. Wow, 16 years. At first I thought he had nudes of the owner. But after 16 years, he clearly had nudes of himself that he was threatening to release. Brace yourselves!

  5. I’m gonna take heart that since Hue wasn’t named already to take over that maybe, just maybe, Mikey Boy has had a glimmer of sanity before he relapses into his retirement bungalow of continuing mediocrity. Then again, the day isn’t over yet.

  6. Cincinnati is a cool city. Easy to get around, visually interesting, and the people are laid back. Even if they had a good NFL team, it wouldn’t go to their head, because they understand football is a game and nothing more than a game. Good luck, Marvin.

  7. With 8 HC openings, maybe more, the candidate pool is pretty thin to give each fan base what it wants.

  8. Don’t know what you got till its gone. Bengals will miss Lewis, when either candidate is willing to play under an owner/gm that is averse to spending, b.Hue takes over and runs the franchise back into the abyss.

  9. Hey Urban Meyer, I know you just gave the BS statement about being a Janitor or something at Ohio State but, how’s 60 Million over 5 years sound? Hmmmm

  10. Now if they can get rid of the Red BB Gun and get a decent QB for the new coach they might have something

  11. I doubt Mike Brown “fired” Lewis. He wanted to leave a long time ago and Brown persuaded him to stay. As for Marvin’s critics,just look up the Bengals records pre-Marvin.

  12. 16 years? That’s a long time when you’re in a the business of competing and winning SBs but never even winning a playoff game and still holding your job for that long? I wish I was Marvin.

  13. About time! Guess Mike Brown finally overcame his fear of those compromising photos Lewis must have on him!

    Or his true fear of paying people not to work! Mike Brown is notoriously cheap for an NFL owner!

  14. So many of these teams it just comes down to a terrible owner. I don’t care who the Jets, Bengals, or Dolphins bring in as in another three or four years this story will be repeating. Bengals ownership is constantly mocked and there’s no signs of it changing.

  15. The problem IS NOT Marvin Lewis.

    The problem is Bengals owner mike brown and his family.

    186 wins – 259 losses – 3 ties after mike brown
    took over from his father Hall of Famer Paul Brown.

    mike brown winning percentage (CAREER) – 41% winning percentage

    marvin lewis winning percentage (CAREER) – 51% winning percentage

    Whoever Bengals owner mike brown and family hire… they will
    get nickel and dime-ed just like Marvin Lewis.

    SEE: NOT re-signing Andrew Whitworth
    SEE: NOT re-signing Kevin Zeitler

  16. tylawspick6 says:
    December 31, 2018 at 10:26 am
    how do fans of these horrendous owners deal with this?

    How can you call yourself a serious Pats fan and not know the answer to that?
    For the first 35 years of the Pats existence we were subjected to some of the worst ownership situations the league has ever known and the team was under an almost constant threat of being moved. smdh

  17. Sometimes it’s the owner who is also the problem. Let’s examine some of the losingest franchises in the NFL. I give you The Lions, The Browns, The Redskins (since Snyder acquired them) and of course the Bengals.

  18. oscarxray says:
    December 31, 2018 at 10:32 am
    I doubt Mike Brown “fired” Lewis. He wanted to leave a long time ago and Brown persuaded him to stay. As for Marvin’s critics,just look up the Bengals records pre-Marvin.


    No doubt Marvin made some progress with the Bengals, but 16 years without any playoff wins? It’s not like they had the QB carousal like other teams. Both Palmer and Dalton are decent QBs who had some talent around them.

  19. I know many people have wanted him out for a while, but to me the timing of this reveals cluelessness on the part of the owner.

    The roster has been ridiculously decimated by injuries, the team has still been making a respectable showing, and *that’s* when you fire your coach? Not to mention the large number of openings will make it much harder to get a top guy for the job.

    Looks like next season’s going to be tough for this team.

  20. Marvin Lewis 131 wins – 122 losses – 3 ties record
    with the support from the mike brown family management
    is an accomplishment.

    The brown family has no other income.
    So… Harvard Law grad mike brown nickel and dimes EVERYTHING.

    No indoor practice facility.


  21. Hey!!!

    How about having tight end each season?!?

    I think it could help open up the playing field.

    Call me crazy.

    Since 1991… the Cincinnati Bengals have had only 3 seasons
    of quality tight end performance.

  22. If I am one of the teams looking for a new head coach, I’d actually interview Marvin Lewis and give him serious consideration but only if he promised not to hire Hue Jackson for anything.

  23. To those blaming the owner, you’re partially correct. That said, the Bengals have had plenty of talent over the last 10+ years. Palmer, Chad, Whitworth, Peko, Justin Smith, Leon Hall, Dalton, Green, Mixon, Boyd, Eifert, Burfict, Reggie Nelson, etc etc. They won divisions, but couldn’t win playoff games. Got blown out numerous times. That’s on Marvin Lewis and him alone.

  24. golions1 says:
    December 31, 2018 at 10:14 am
    The Lions are a much more advanced organization. They have had several different coaches without winning a playoff game in an even greater time span. Plus, they had Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson.
    They also had the Ford Family, the richest owners in football probably, who were notorious tight asses. They could have put a top team together with their money but for 40 years played the ultimate cheap ball. Oakland had nothing on these guys.

  25. The Bengals were very patient with Lewis. But how can anyone be expected to win with Andy Dalton as their starting QB?

  26. I’m shocked that Mike Brown fired him because now he has to spend some money to hire someone else….unless of course he hires Hue. That wouldn’t surprise me.

    Lots of people pile on Marvin Lewis but he made them at least respectable. Before, they were a laughing stock. Brown doesn’t care about winning. He only cares about making as much money he can, including their share of the NFL Media contracts. He’s the reason there’s a salary floor. He was notorious for being nowhere near the cap. It was so bad that Jerry Jones was pushing for the NFL Media contracts to be divided based on performance (meaning, zero wins, zero share). Mike Brown didn’t like that.

    No playoff wins? Well, the Bengals hadn’t even been in the playoffs since the death of Paul Brown when Marvin took over. Ever since Mikey Brown took over the team it’s been an utter disaster. Marvin did pretty good with what he had to work with. My only issue with him was he was an enabler and the team had no discipline.

    Don’t be surprised when he names Hue as the coach so they can finish last in the AFC North the next three years before he fires him and just hires an assistant. That’s what he did in the early 90s. He’d fire the head coach and just hire one of the assistants so he could save money. He’s the epitome of a terrible owner. It’s too bad the NFL can’t do something about these bottom-feeding owners like Brown. The Bengals were a good franchise until he took over.

  27. He should have been fired after last season. In fact, he should have been fired a long time ago. Carson Palmer was right, he did not want to play under Lewis, but the owner sided with the coach, not the quarterback.

  28. As bad as you think Marvin Lewis is, he did a great job with a team that was a mess. Consider this, Marvin led the Bengals to 5 10+ win seasons since he took over in 2000. They hadn’t had a 10+ win season since 1988 under Sam Wyche. He took them to the playoffs in just his second year…the first time they had been to the playoffs since 1990. Marvin may have underachieved but considering he was with the Bengals I’d say he was a miracle worker. Take a look at the seasons before Marvin.

    Under Dave Shula (19-52)
    1991 3-13
    1992 5-11
    1993 3-13
    1994 3-13
    1995 7-9
    1996 8-8 (Shula 1-6, Coslet 7-2)

    Coslet (21-39)
    1997 7-9
    1998 3-13
    1999 4-12
    2000 4-12 (Coslet 0-3, LeBeau 4-9)

    Dick LeBeau (12-33)
    2001 6-10
    2002 2-14

    Marvin Lewis was 131-122 which is above .500. The previous coaches before him were 52-124. When you consider that, I’d say Marvin did a pretty good job considering the owner is arguably the worst (and most incompetent) owner in the league.

  29. I really think there’s a place for him in the NFL. What he did to turn around Cincinnati was impressive. A constantly rebuilding team like the Bills or Cards should consider giving him a 4 year deal and see what he can do. Just don’t renew his contract if he doesn’t win a playoff game.

  30. I know it’s been said a lot but zero playoff wins in 16 years?

    When Pete Carroll got to Seattle I remember he and John Schnieder turned over 2/3 or 3/4 of the roster to their kind of players and have been playoff contenders ever since. When they didn’t make the playoffs last year(at 9-7) it was a shock.

    Marvin Lewis should’ve been let go ten years ago when you put him next to BB, Carroll or any of the other top coaches in the league. I think those guys would plain retire if they went five years without a playoff win.

    16 years? My son is only 7 and he’s seen many playoff wins for his Seahawks. He already knows the regular season is only the first season and the playoffs are what really matter.

    I feel bad for young Cincinnati fans.

  31. All coaches have an expiration date. Some only last 2-4 years while some last 10 years or more. Marvin Lewis lasted 16 years and overall diid a good job. He can hold his head up high and be proud of the job he did.

  32. He was the best thing they had going. Good luck signing the 8th or 9th best guy and getting smashed regularly. He wasn’t the best but there’s a reason we make fun of the Jags and Browns more often. Sorry Bengals fans, just, sorry

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