Bengals sign head coach Marvin Lewis through 2019
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The Bengals signed head coach Marvin Lewis to a two-year contract through the 2019 season on Tuesday.
Lewis in 2018 will extend his Bengals-record head coaching tenure to 16 seasons, twice that of both Paul Brown (1968-75) and Sam Wyche (’84-91), who are tied for second with eight seasons each. Lewis is the winningest coach in Bengals history with 125 career victories, which ranks 26th all-time in NFL history and fourth among active coaches.
Local12.com digital sports columnist/editor Richard Skinner wrote on Tuesday morning that the decision was likely Lewis' to make and why it would be important for the future of the organization if he won a power struggle with the front office for the second time in the last seven year.
He and Local12.com sports anchor/reporter Aly Cohen and Skinner discussed the decision for the team to re-sign Lewis in a video here.
“Marvin Lewis has been an important member of the Cincinnati community and the Bengals family for the past 15 years, and we are happy to have reached this agreement,” said Bengals President Mike Brown. “Marvin has made significant contributions during his time here. While recently we have fallen short of our expectations, we have full confidence in Marvin to re-establish winning football in 2018.”
Said Lewis in a press release: “My family and I are very grateful for the opportunity to stay in Cincinnati and continue my career with the Bengals. My job is to win a World Championship. We have a talented roster full of veteran leaders and emerging young stars, and I am committed to making the necessary improvements to put this team in the best position to win.”
Lewis has led the Bengals to the postseason seven times, including a five-year run from 2011-15. The total number of playoff trips and the five-year streak of consecutive appearances are Bengals records, and the Bengals were one of only four NFL teams to reach the playoffs every year from 2011-15.
"Mike and I and his family have had a lot of time to visit and so forth and just come to an alignment of everything, what my job is about," said Lewis in an interview on Bengals Line on WLW-AM (700). "My job is to get this team to be world champions, and I haven't got it done. And I'm excited about the opportunity moving forward. It's got to be from start to finish this year, just like we got started in '03. We start with probably a better football team than we did (then), but we've got to go about it with the same kind of energy and vitality and so forth, and the mental approach that we did when we began. That's going to be very important. We have to improve and get better and our goal is to be world champions."
Assistant coaches are in limbo, and while Lewis will likely have full autonomy to re-sign who he wants and hire who he wants, it's likely defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is on his way out, with a likely offer from Oakland to be defensive coordinator if Jon Gruden is hired as head coach and there are some other possible openings he might draw interest, according to Skinner.
"We'll work hard the next day or so to get our coaches resigned," Lewis said on Bengals Line. "Obviously there will be some movement, which always happens this time of year, and certainly for our guys. We've got a lot of good coaches that may have opportunities elsewhere. But we'll be very expedient in that process and put a great staff back together."
Lewis was the consensus choice for NFL Coach of the Year in 2009, when the Bengals won the AFC North Division while sweeping all six division games. The Bengals also were AFC North champions under Lewis in 2005, ’13 and ’15.
Lewis was named the ninth head coach in Bengals history on Jan. 14, 2003.
Some Information courtesy Cincinnati Bengals