The Cincinnati Bengals decided to extend the contract of coach Marvin Lewis, despite many reasons to go in a different direction.
Sometimes in the NFL, it can be a very poor decision for teams to change coaches coming off a bad season. There’s a case to be made for stability at the head coaching position and teams who stick by their coach can see better results. However, the Cincinnati Bengals have given Marvin Lewis ample opportunity to prove he’s the right man for the job and he’s yet to show they are correct. The Bengals have decided to stick with Lewis for reasons that many can’t figure out.
When the team Twitter account has to come up with stats like a coaching tree, that’s not the best sign. Bengals fans really don’t care how many other coaches have gone on to the head job elsewhere. There just hasn’t been any success in the postseason to justify this extension. The division titles and regular-season victories are nice, but they’re meant to be a feather in the cap of a great year. They shouldn’t be the defining characteristic of a coach with the tenure of Lewis.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking loss came in the 2015 playoffs when the Bengals choked away a playoff game against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. They committed multiple personal foul penalties on the final drive, and that has been a hallmark of Lewis’ tenure in Cincinnati.
There are plenty of people who thought Lewis should have been gone after that game. He somehow still is surviving as the coach of the Bengals and it has to be hard to sell to the fans that something has changed. Cincinnati has a talented roster and time and again, Lewis and his team come up short. This decision is baffling on the surface and it would take a major turnaround from everything Lewis has shown so far to make this the right call.