Marvin Lewis is on his last legs, so here are five candidates to be the next Cincinnati Bengals head coach.
After a disappointing 2016 season, and without a contract beyond this season, Marvin Lewis defined the term lame-duck head coach. Things have not been any better for the Cincinnati Bengals this year, who are now 3-6 after Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans. If not for a narrow win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8 they’d have a four-game losing streak going.
Lewis deflected concerns about his contract status before the season. But barring a turnaround and a playoff spot, he’s as good as done as Bengals head coach the Monday after the regular season ends.
The notoriously stingy Bengals have probably hung onto Lewis longer than necessary. But even with an 0-7 playoff record, he has led the best era in the franchise’s history since it went to two Super Bowls in the 1980’s.
Lewis is sure to coach the final seven games, since Bengals owner Mike Brown will want to make sure he’s paying a head coach to work. But here are five candidates to replace Lewis heading into 2018.
5. Jon Gruden
Even approaching nine years since he last coached a game, Gruden always surfaces as a candidate for almost any open job. This time around Tennessee at the college level has been a rumored destination, and Gruden stoked the fires for a return to coaching on Friday during an appearance on Rich Eisen’s radio show. (h/t to Pro Football Talk)
It’s in your blood,” Gruden told Eisen regarding a possible return to coaching, via JoeBucsFan.com. “You get some people calling maybe to see if you’re interested in coaching again and maybe if you can help recommend a couple of guys. I’m pretty much involved with every level of football every day of the week, so I try to help if I can.
“One of these days, who knows, Rich? One of these days, you never know.”
“I have talked to people in years past. I plan on just keeping my options open,” Gruden said. ”If something comes along down the road, we’ll take a look at it.”
Just what it would take salary-wise to get Gruden out of the Monday Night Football booth is a question, and the Bengals probably won’t compete in a bidding war. But the overall situation could appeal to Gruden if his coaching itch needs to be scratched, big paycheck be damned.