Bengals Begin Spring Cleaning
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.
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 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