Did I want to see Zimmer leave? No. I would have loved to see Zimmer stay here for the rest of his career. Will the loss of Zimmer hurt? Sure. But, with or without Zimmer, this is a very good defense because it has very good players.
Bengals fans are a fragile bunch. I get it – I am one. But some of us cannot pull our heads out of the 1991-2003 sand. This is not the same Mike Brown. This is not the same organization.
This is an organization that over the last 11 years, has changed. They have become one of the best drafting teams in all of the NFL, and as a result, have a very young, very talented team to show for it.
Like everyone reading this, I have my doubts as to whether Marvin can ever win a playoff game, but what I cannot overlook is the fact that (like it or not), Marvin is a huge part of why/how this organization and management team has changed.
He is the driving force behind no longer taking “questionable character guys.” He is the driving force behind a bigger and more qualified player personnel department.
And though he may not win in the playoffs, he is the driving force behind getting there 4 of the last 5 years and 5 times in his 11 year tenure. That part of his tenure is pretty good. In the last 4 years, the Bengals went from 4-12 (4th), to 9-7 (3rd), to 10-6 (2nd), to 11-5 (1st).
That is improvement. And that is not solely Mike Zimmer.
Yes, Zimmer may have got more out of them than most, but who is to say Guenther won’t? Guenther is the guy that developed Vontaze Burfict. The guy that brought you Vincent Rey. The guy that was able to get a productive year out of Rey Maualuga, etc.
Like it or not, Lewis is the Bengals coach and barring a disastrous 2014 campaign, will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. If you were amongst the many calling for the Bengals to move Marvin to GM and Zimmer to HC, or outright fire Marvin and hire Zimmer, save yourself your sanity.
It wasn’t going to happen. Get over it. Even if they had fired Marvin, hiring Zimmer without an exhaustive search would have been silly. I love Mike Zimmer as much as the next guy, but he has 0 years experience as a head coach at any level, so who is to say he will be successful.
I think he will, but it is no guarantee. Running a great defense is significantly different than running a great team. I remember when another top defensive coordinator in the NFL kept getting passed on for head coaching positions…his name was Marvin Lewis – the guy we all want fired.
I am no Marvin apologist, but not one of us can talk about Marvin without slamming for his 0-5 playoff record him (and rightfully so).