Last week it was announced that longtime head coach Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals were expected to “mutually” part ways following the 2017 NFL season, ending the fourteen year run of the second longest tenured head coach in the NFL after Bill Belichick. But just when you thought the Marvin Lewis era in Cincinnati was over, he came back from the dead, Marvin Lewis sat up like The Undertaker and signed a two year contract extension with the team. Not coincidentally, the year Lewis’ new contract expires is the same year the Bengals can get out of the massive Andy Dalton contract, so it seems Bengals ownership has decided to see if this dynamic coach/QB duo dan right the ship and if not they can dump them both at the same time.
The fact that the Bengals are bringing back Marvin Lewis also says something about the coaching candidates who are available this offseason, around the league, I hear teams are lukewarm at best on the available head coaching candidates.
The Bengals are not so far away from being competitive again, but when they had to pay Dalton they could not afford to resign several very talented offensive linemen, so they let them walk in free agency and tried to replace these veteran linemen with rookies. These rookies and young players did not pan out, and their offensive line has been a disaster ever since, but if they can rebuild the line and and get back to running the ball the Bengals have have the skill position players to compete next season. The Bengals once great defense also got old fast, but they have slowly been replacing those washed up veterans with young players who are beginning to mature and contribute, rookie Carl Lawson who had 8.5 sacks could be a double digit sack guy for years to come and they gave several other talented young building blocks on defense.