2. The 2013 Coaches Roster
This was the topic du jour just a few weeks ago: Marvin Lewis has not been offered an extension as he heads into a contract year. Currently, Coach Lewis is the third longest tenured Head Coach in the NFL, and while no one in Cincinnati will say a negative word about what Coach Lewis has done with the Bengals, his overall record is one of treading water and not necessarily excellence. Overtly, three key actions surrounding subordinate coaches make it unlikely that he will the Head Coach in 2013.
First, rookie Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden was put in the running for two Head Coaching positions this past offseason. In an uncommonly wise business move, Mike Brown took advantage of Coach Gruden’s desire to ripen on the vine before taking a franchise’s top job by offering him a 2-year contract in his current position. Second, former Raider’s Head Coach Hue Jackson slid in the place-holding Assistant Special Teams / Assistant Defensive Backs role. And third, Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer was very close to being lured away as a Head Coach by not one but three other teams. Coach Zimmer is one of the top prospects in the NFL to take a Head Coaching job next season.
If they are smart, the Bengals will give him the helm, and due to Mike Brown’s often zealous adherence to loyalty and nepotistic rank structure, it’s not that farfetched. Further, Coach Jackson is being given a ride-along for this season to learn the ropes from Coach Zimmer and see how he conducts business. Likely, Coach Jackson will be named the next Defensive Coordinator once Coach Zimmer moves up; something he is more than capable of with his prior Head Coaching experience. With Coach Gruden locked-up for two more years on the other side of the ball, the thought of his departure won’t have to be consideration until the Bengals get a lot closer to 2014. And what of Marvin Lewis?…
There is a weird vibe that tells me that he’s moving upstairs in the organization.