Cincinnati may be the only franchise in the NFL that will consistently allow their head coach to begin a season without a contract extension. Yes this is very unusual, but so is Mike Brown. Bengals fans should be used to this sort of behavior at this point. For as many things as Brown has done well in recent years, he still continues to be the same old Mike Brown in certain situations. Maybe Lewis is fed up with this sort of behavior and wants a change of pace. Is there a chance that he doesn’t want to return to the Bengals in 2013, and instead look to hook on to another franchise that will allow him more freedom? That is certainly a possibility.
Even though the ball is in Lewis’ court to begin contract negotiations, I firmly believe that both Lewis and Brown need to have a series of long discussions about their own particular roles in this franchise and where it is headed into the future. They need to come to a neutral ground to be able to extend this relationship past the 2012 season. I believe that Brown needs to give Lewis a little more freedom within the franchise to be able to keep him in the Bengals organization for an extended period of time.
There have been speculations out there about Lewis possibly moving into a GM role with the franchise, and either Jay Gruden or Mike Zimmer moving out of their coordinator roles and taking a head coaching position. To many Bengals fans, this would be a dream come true. Lewis seems to be much better suited for a GM type role as he tends to make questionable calls as a head coach. Gruden and Zimmer were both hot commodities this past off-season for head coaching vacancies and the Bengals organization would be thrilled to maintain one of them as their own head coach. Unfortunately, as a realist, I must say that this scenario has maybe a one in a million chance of happening (Jim Carrey from Dumb & Dumber — “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”). No, actually, I’m not. Mike Brown relishes his Owner/GM title, and I just can not see him giving that up so easily. However, I really do hope that they prove me wrong.
All of this being said, it really seems as though Marvin Lewis just isn’t in too much of a hurry to get a new contract underway with the Bengals organization. It’s a possibility that he will want to see how the 2012 season plays out before he decides if he wants to stay in the franchise. Guaranteed, just like every year, there will be head coaching positions open throughout the NFL after this season. There may even be some GM openings as well if that is the role that Lewis wants.
So again, the ball is in Lewis’ court, but he seems to be in no hurry as in this situation, the shot clock extends through the duration of the 2012 NFL season. Lewis can hold on to the ball for quite some time now. Bengals fans, don’t expect to see any change in this contract situation for quite some time. There is a good chance that a head coach for 2013 may not be named until the 2012 season is completed.