Bengals Begin Spring Cleaning

Chuck Bresnahan (Bengals.com)The much anticipated expulsion of Bengals coaches has officially begun, as defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan and linebackers coach Ricky Hunley were both let go by Marvin Lewis last night.

Bresnahan’s defenses in the three years were, put simply just plain awful. His squads ranked very close to the bottom in total defense in all 3 years, ranking 28th, 30th, and a personal best 27th this season. Ricky Hunley came aboard the same time Marvin Lewis did, and managed to survive Lewis’ 1st defensive coordinator being fired.

Ricky Hunley (Bengals.com)Whoever replaces Bresnahan will be Marvin’s 3rd DC in 5 years, not exactly a glowing resume from a head coach who made his bones as a defensive whiz kid. His career at the moment seems to be closely mirroring AFC North rival Brian Billick, who came into Baltimore as an offensive guru, only to go through countless offensive coordinators during his tenure.

The odds on favorite to be Marvin’s 3rd defensive coordinator is Tim Lewis. Tim spent time with Marvin on the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ staff back in 1995, and was promoted to coordinator for the Steel Curtain defense in 2000, leading them to four top ten finishes in total defense in four years.

Tim Lewis (Carolina Panthers.com)Tim moved on to coach the Giants defense from 2004 until 2006 when he was fired by Tom Coughlin. He spent 2007 coaching the defensive backs for the Carolina Panthers

Whoever inherits the defense won’t have very big shoes to fill, and will get a young defense that showed signs of maturing as the season wore on. Whether that had to do with the team actually improving, or simply a matter of playing a weaker class of team is yet to be determined.

Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Rankings Under Marvin Lewis
Season
Pass Defense Rush Defense Total Defense
2003 (Leslie Frazier) 24th (212.6) 25th (138.6) 28th (351.3)
2004 (Leslie Frazier) 13th (206.4) 26th (128.9) 19th (335.3)
2005 (Chuck Bresnahan) 26th (223.1) 20th (115.6) 28th (338.7)
2006 (Chuck Bresnahan) 31st (238.6) 15th (116.4) 30th (355.1)
2007 (Chuck Bresnahan) 26th (230.4) 21st (118.3) 27th (348.8)

Tags: Chuck Bresnahan Marvin Lewis Ricky Hunley Tim Lewis

  • Zach

    Ricky Hunley was garbage at Missouri. This guy with the help of injuries, has made the Bengals LBs one of, if not thee, worst in the NFL.

    Who do you think they will bring in to coach the D?

  • Bo Vandy

    I would have said Tim Lewis, but apparently the Panthers are saying they haven’t been asked for permission to talk to Lewis.  So I have no idea.  Might be time for Marvin to name a coordinator, but take over the play calling himself