Tag:Marvin Lewis
Posted on: January 5, 2011 12:06 am

The (many) problems of the Bengals

M. Lewis got a contract extension. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bengals, it seems, had a chance to make some fans happy today, to bring a little light to the disappointment they’ve felt all season long – and in reality, for most of the past two decades – and to give them a chance to feel good again. And maybe give them enough confidence to buy tickets for next year.

OK, that’s probably not true. After another disappointing season – and a number of blackouts and empty luxury boxes toward the end of the year – it would have been a tough play to make the Bengals fan base smile.

But the chance was there. Even if owner Mike Brown wanted to keep Marvin Lewis – who owns a 60-67-1 record in his eight seasons as head coach – Brown could have soothed the sore feelings that have overrun the banks of the Ohio River.

He could have done so in three ways:

1) He could have announced he was hiring a GM and enhancing his player personnel staff.

2) He could have announced he was building an indoor practice facility.

3) He could have made sure he and his coach, at the news conference announcing Lewis’ return, didn’t come off so aloof and condescending.

Alas, none of that happened. Why would they? Despite the fact the Bengals have been to the playoffs only twice since Mike Brown took over as team owner in 1991, nothing ever changes in Cincinnati. Yet, the Brown family makes enormous amounts of money (we assume this, anyway) while putting a team that’s gone a combined 115-204 in the past 20 seasons on the field.

Here’s what really happened at the presser:

1) Brown is the GM, and he feels like he and his staff have done a good job with free agents and draft picks. Said Brown at the presser:

“The scouting thing is another criticism that rises up when we don’t do well. If you look at the last 10 years, we rank 10th for the number of games played by players we drafted. I don’t apologize for our scouting. It’s an easy target. But if you look at the real facts, you’ll see it different.”

Yeah, but if those players aren’t any good, that statistic makes absolutely no sense. Honestly, I’m not sure the statistic makes much sense either way.

2) All Brown said was that he was thinking about it.

Said Brown: “Marvin has a desire to have a practice facility. I have a desire, but not as keen. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a desire to do it. The timing is important. Right now, we’re faced with major issues in the National Football League. Those are at the front of our agenda. When we get through that, then we’ll have to consider this issue.

“Some of this is perception. We worked in the cold weather. We played in the cold weather. It didn’t seem to hurt us any to practice in the cold weather. We played pretty well in it. But that’s the way it is trending. The fact we have been left behind with what others are doing, whether that makes them better than us because they have an indoor facility is a question. But it’s coming.”

I understand: Paul Brown, Mike’s father, was old-school. No water at practice. Practice in zero degree weather. Like segregation in football, that’s not the way it’s done anymore. The time has come to evolve.

Still, it's good to know Brown is somewhat keen about the issue (though not as much as others).

3) Lewis has a habit of treating reporters with condescension. At times, he’s charming and funny. Most of the time, he’s paranoid and unhelpful. Maybe the fans like that. Or maybe the fans are tired of the act.

Like when TV anchor Brad Johansen, a respected member of the media and the team’s radio play-by-play announcer started off a question with something like, “Maybe I missed this, but how long is the new deal?”

And Lewis, with a snap and a smug smile said: “We didn’t say that, Brad.”

Later, Johansen tried again. Said Brown: “You keep asking, and the answer isn’t going to change. No.”

Why be snarky? Why be an ass about it?

Especially when the Bengals OFFICIAL website wrote that it was a two-year deal.

Listen, I’ve talked with Mike Brown off the record, and I think he’s a nice man. And he’s awfully loyal to his employees, for better or for worse. But for him to act like he cares whether the team wins is an insult to the fans who give him their money. Because if he cared, he would change. But he’s content. So he doesn’t.

I’m sure he’d rather win than lose. But above all else, he’d rather have the money than spend it on a scouting department and an indoor facility. Hey, it’s his right. He’s the owner of the team.

But at some point, the fans will stop buying tickets and merchandise and that money will begin to run dry.

And then, maybe just maybe we’ll see how much Brown thinks the team should change. You know, if he happens to be keen on the idea.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 5:06 pm

Marvin Lewis signs deal to return to Bengals

Posted by Will Brinson

The will he or won't he return to the Bengals saga with Marvin Lewis (at one point he left the campus when negotiations started to fall apart) ended in an agreement Tuesday between the coach and the team to have him return in 2011.

"Marvin Lewis signs deal to return," the Bengals announced on their official Twitter feed.

Lewis' return will mark his ninth consecutive season as coach of the Bengals, making him the longest-tenured coach in Cincinnati history. Lewis is 60-67-1 in the regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs as Bengals head coach.

Logically, the team will have given him a multiple-year deal -- it seems unlikely that Lewis would be willing to go through the same process a year from now, particularly when there was immediate (albeit reported) interest in his services both at the college and pro levels.

Lewis' return won't mean things stay the same all around in Cincinnati, though. It seems likely that wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco stand a good chance of being shown the exit. Owens is a free agent and Ochocinco's extension would need to be picked up in order to return, but there was significant strife between he and Lewis late during the 2010 regular season.

UPDATE (5:05 p.m.): According to the Bengals website, Lewis' new contract calls for a two-year deal.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:42 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 3:03 pm

Report: Lewis bolts on Bengals amid negotiations

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (2:50 PM): Well, turns out that Lewis and the Bengals aren't getting along so well. Adam Schefter updates his earlier report about Lewis rejoining the Bengals with the news that Lewis "left the Bengals campus" after the two sides "could not agree on [the] franchise's direction and his future is in serious jeopardy there." 

In other words, we're right back where we were about 24 hours ago, which is to say the Bengals will be hiring someone else and Marvin's somehow still holding all the cards in the situation.
Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals were expected to part ways now that his contract is up. But something weird happened along the way to him becoming "unemployed" -- leverage seemed to shift from the Bengals (who were firing him in a passive-aggressive way) to Lewis (who suddenly had tons of demands if he was going to stay).

It appears the Bengals might have caved to those demands (either that or they got scared when he was linked to the Pitt job and the 49ers job), because Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that within 24 hours the Bengals and Lewis "expect to resolve any issues" between them and that Lewis will remain as head coach of the Bengals.

Clearly, this is a dramatic shift in where the Bengals believed to be heading, but perhaps it has as much to do with Lewis being successful in Cincinnati (no, seriously) as it does with the current labor situation.

Both of those factors make Lewis an attractive candidate to return to the Bengals. Or perhaps Mike Brown didn't feel another candidate would be interested in what's always been a tough place to win. Either way, a surprise turn of events as it appears Marvin Lewis is returning to Cincinnati.

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 2:57 pm

Week 17 Podcast Review: coaching speculation

Posted by Will Brinson

It's hard to go through today without singing some revised Steely Dan in your head ("Wheeeeeeen Blaaaaack Monday comes!"), but remember, there was still football yesterday.

With that in mind, Andy and I break down all the action from Week 17 and examine what the outcomes of certain games mean for certain teams. Where will the Browns go now that they've fired Eric Mangini? Can Rob Ryan hang around? Who will coach the Panthers? Did the Eagles loss to the Cowboys mean anything for their playoff hopes? Do the Seahawks stand a chance of winning at home against New Orleans? Did the Jets do the right thing in resting their players? And were the Bears smart to play their starters for the entire game? 

All those questions answered (plus much, much more) -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: January 3, 2011 1:35 pm

Report: Marvin Lewis to meet with the 49ers

Posted by Andy Benoit

According to Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated, Marvin Lewis’ representatives have contacted the 49ers about their head coaching vacancy. We’ll go ahead and take this as a sign that Lewis does not intend to return to the Bengals. His contract is expired; he’s reportedly meeting with Bengals owner Mike Brown Monday (though no announcement about his status is expected until at least Tuesday).

Trotter does not believe Lewis is a candidate for the Niners job. But he’s certainly worth interviewing, given his pedigree and the fact that, in the very least, he offers a convenient opportunity for the club to comply with the Rooney Rule.

Trent Baalke will be announced as San Francisco’s new hire at some point in the very near future. That’s critical because it will impact the coaching search. Baalke is said to already be involved in the process of interviewing head coaching candidates (makes sense given that he’s already on the staff).

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 6:33 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 7:21 pm

NFL Coaching Hot Seat Tracker: Black Monday

Black Monday is upon us, and that means plenty of coaching changes. We've organized all the NFL teams into a semi-draft order (yes, we know the Raiders don't have that pick and yes, this could change, but it puts the bad teams up top!) to give you an idea of who's been fired, who might be fired, how much job security they have, and potential candidates in different cities. See someone you think SHOULD be on the hot seat or a candidate for a certain job we missed? Let us know in the comments.  


Team Coach Job Security Candidates

Ron Rivera

Rivera lands a 4-year, $11.2 million deal reportedly
The Panthers announced on Tuesday that Ron Rivera will be the organization's fourth head coach .

John Fox

It seemed like the Broncos might go with someone that was familiar with their organization, but ultimately, they opted for experience and Fox , who they believe can help the defense and the team turnaround quickly.

Chan Gailey

The Bills were terrible in 2010, but they never gave up and routinely came close to upsetting better teams. Also, no one else wants the gig.

Marvin Lewis

Lewis called himself "unemployed" and he seems as good as gone but then there was a report that he'll return with Cincy in 2011 . Then there was a report he wouldn't. Now he's back, officially .

Ken Wisenhunt

Safe ... for now
Hard to imagine the Cards would dump Whiz until they give him a shot with another real quarterback. Cowher thinks Kevin Kolb lands here.

Jim Harbaugh

After much speculation as to where Jim Harbaugh would land, he finally ended up signing a $25 million, 5-year deal with the Niners .

Jason Garrett

Garrett was named the full-time Dallas head coach on Thursday at a lengthy press conference in Cowboys Stadium.

Gary Kubiak

Kubiak is safe but the entire defensive staff has been canned , and now the Wade Phillips for DC speculation begins.

Pat Shurmur

Pat Shurmur HIRED!
Shurmur bolted St. Louis for Cleveland and it appears Mike Holmgren really wanted someone familiar with his West Coast offense.

Jim Schwartz

Lions won four straight to close the season; Schwartz has to be a hero in Detroit at this point.

Pete Carroll

NFC West title locked Carroll in and even with the Seahawks ugly loss to the Bears, it's hard to question what he did in his first season.

Jeff Fisher

In a surprising move, Fisher and Tennessee are parting ways. Now, the Titans will have to replace their head coach and their starting QB.

Mike Shanahan

Needing a QB
Dan Snyder letting Shanny run the team so him getting booted is a long shot. QB situation is a bit of a nightmare though.

Leslie Frazier

The Vikings didn't wait long -- they announced on Monday that Frazier's "interim" tag would be lifted and he'll be their head coach.

Hue Jackson

Jackson was hired Monday
Cable got the boot and now it looks like Hue Jackson's the favorite to land the coaching gig. Al Davis is involved though, so anything could happen.

Steve Spagnuolo

Such a cold seat
Even without a division title, the turnaround in St. Louis is pretty clear and Spags is safe.

Tony Sparano

After the Fins chased Harbaugh  and embarrassed Sparano publicly, they apologized financially by giving him a 2-year extension. How swell.

Jack Del Rio

Del Rio's got one more year, but it's "playoffs or bust" for JDR, according to owner Wayne Weaver.

Norv Turner

Safe for 2011
Front office says Norv's their guy for at least next year. Another disappointing season like 2010 and he could finally get the boot.

Tom Coughlin

Coughlin is confirmed as returning by Giants owner John Mara
Coughlin's in the middle of a playoff fight (thanks to the Bears) and Casserly says he'll be back with a one-year extension .

Raheem Morris

Losses in late games by the Packers and Giants would get Morris in the playoffs and a pretty good shot at Coach of the Year if he doesn't win anyway.

Jim Caldwell

As long as Peyton Manning's playing for the Colts, it's hard to see them dumping Caldwell.

Mike McCarthy

The Packers look like the latest team to go from  "talented team to nearly miss the playoffs" to "white-hot wild card that wins the Super Bowl," so there's no reason to question McCarthy.

Todd Haley

Division champion
Haley's pretty golden in KC, no matter what some people want to say about his ego.

Rex Ryan

In like foot. Er, flint
Back-to-back playoff berths for Ryan mean he's plenty fine.

Andy Reid

The only question is whether or not Reid will trade Kevin Kolb in the offseason and how long they can keep Vick.

Sean Payton

Safe, duh
He won a Super Bowl two years ago.

Lovie Smith

Surprisingly safe
Did anyone think Lovie was safe heading into 2011? Yet he won the division and the Bears are white-hot. Very impressive year. 

John Harbaugh

Only thing he has to worry about is whether he has to face his bro once a year or not.

Mike Tomlin

Clearly, Tomlin's doing alright. 

Mike Smith

Weird thing is, Smith's not getting nearly enough love as a potential coach of the year candidate.

Bill Belichick

Retirement is the only way he'll ever get removed from New England. Arguably his greatest coaching job ever. 

Posted on: January 2, 2011 5:00 pm

Ochocinco, T.O. swap barbs on Twitter after loss

Posted by Will Brinson

After Cincinnati officially blew up San Diego's playoff hopes last week, our own Gregg Doyel pointed out that the Bengals look much better offensively without Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.

The same couldn't be said for a Cincy offensive unit that struggled to muster seven points in a season-ending loss to the Ravens Sunday.

Which may explain why Ochocinco and Owens took to Twitter immediately following the game to exchange a series of barbs about how they were both to blame for the loss (even though they didn't play).

It started with what appears to be a Kanye West-Taylor Swift joke:

And then escalated with this series:

Now, it appears that they're smack-talking each other across Twitter, even though neither of them played and, really, neither seems likely to come back to the Bengals in 2011.

What might be more likely, though, is that, because they know they're not coming back, the two wideouts are lashing out at everyone who tried to say that the Bengals were terrible offensively only because Ochocinco and Owens were on the field.

Either way, it appears pretty obvious that Ocho and T.O. will be taking their talents elsewhere in the coming season. The only question is who'll want to put up with drama?

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2011 5:12 pm

Marvin Lewis has a chance at Pitt job

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Now that Mike Haywood has been fired from his job as head coach at Pitt, a scant couple weeks after winning the job (those felony domestic battery charges will get you every time), much of the speculation has focused on Rich Rodriguez taking over the Panthers program if Michigan axes him.

But rumors have been whispered all season around the Bengals organization that coach Marvin Lewis, assuming he doesn’t return to Cincinnati, might like that job, because it’s only a scant few miles from his hometown.

Now, the NFL Network's Michael Lombardi writes that Lewis is on the short list of candidates to replace Haywood.

In eight seasons in Cincinnati, Lewis – who also coached linebackers for the Steelers from 1992-95 – has a record of 59-65-1 (entering today’s game).

UPDATED (5:08 p.m.):
After the Bengals loss to the Ravens, Lewis was asked about the newly-vacant position at Pitt.

"I haven't thought about it," said Lewis, via Rapid Reporter Jon Gallo. "I don't know what happens from here."

Lewis also said that he wanted to return to coach the Bengals, but he's been given no indication that he will.

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Category: NFL
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