Opinion: Show Marvin Lewis The Door.
I have been keeping this in for quite a while now and its time its been said. My love for football and the Bengals is endless and nothing is like the feeling of football season beginning. However, this year felt much different. Of course I had my worries about my boy Palmer; the lack of offense, the terrible oline, the overrated defense, and the bad play calling, but those where on the back burner in my mind. The true cause of my of my concern rested with the coaching staff, namely Marvin Lewis. It has been abundantly clear to anyone who truly watches the games that Marvin has been making gigantic mistakes in the past few seasons. This has all come to a point this year where I feared it would get. Let me explain.
Marvin Lewis has done amazing things for Cincinnati football and the progress goes without question. He came to Cincinnati off of a Superbowl win with the Ravens and he brought hope to a city that had none. His development of the team is unquestionable and he helped changed the mentality of the entire culture. The Bengals are no longer a laughing-stock, but more so a struggling team. They are no longer the “Bungles” and they certainly are not the butt of every NFL joke. He cast a light of hope on a city that hadn’t seen one in nearly 15 years. He has brought the Bengals 2 AFC North championships in his tenure with the team. However, the man they call Giggles, hasn’t been smiling recently.
The cause for the Bengals recent struggles can be contributed to many things including the sub-par play of Carson Palmer, the struggles of the defense, the oline, penalties, and simply bad luck. However, I turn my attention to the man who runs the show, Marvin Lewis. It is obvious to me (if you listen to player interviews and watch the sidelines) to see that the players no longer respect or play for Marvin. A team can only take so many hits and post game “pick me up” speeches before they inevitably question their leader. It also does not help that his contract situation has been dangling for a year now.
The penalties, missed timeouts, bad play calling, bad substitutions, bad time management, bad challenges, and just the overall handling of the team has been overwhelming and will doom the 2010 Bengals. I am not one to get my pitchfork and torch to run a coach out-of-town whenever things go south, but this time I am. What Marvin has done thus far is amazing, but no one in Cincinnati is happy watching the window of opportunity, (arguably the second one they have had this decade) of this talented team, close in their faces.
Long story short, from what I have seen over years watching the team, Marvin is a great team builder, but is not the kind of coach who can lead a team to the NFL promised land. The Bengals are no longer a laughing-stock and I believe Mike Brown is determined not to let his franchise slide to where it once was (even if he isn’t good at what he does). This means that at the end of the year some heads will have to fall for the way the season has gone. In my opinion the only way to bring this talented but misguided team around is to fire Marvin Lewis.
The Bengals and their fans are dying for a championship and the man who was thought to be able to get them there turns out to be just a talented team builder, but not a Superbowl caliber coach. The market for coaches is fairly dry for 2011, but big names could emerge with interest in coaching this extremely talented squad, and Mike Brown would be wise to realize that another direction is what is best for his franchise .