Is Marvin Lewis the Next Head Coach to Fall?


Will Marvin Lewis soon go the way of Lane Kiffin and Scott Linehan? An anonymously sourced report on the intertubes claims Lewis could be canned this week.

"Sources have informed Pro Football Central that the Cincinnati Bengals are nearing toward a decision that could result in head coach Marvin Lewis being fired by the end of the week. The source also states that owner Mike Brown is also deciding upon whether to name assistant head coach Paul Alexander or defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as the interim head coach."

The Chickster believes that Lewis has been “Bengalized” and relays this bon mot from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen:

"My Dayton Daily News colleague, Sean McClelland, fired me an E-mail late Monday afternoon.“I just heard this on ESPN from Chris Mortensen,” Sean wrote.Said Mort:“I don’t know that Marvin wouldn’t welcome a dismissal.”"

Nothing surprises me about this team any more, and given the way Lewis threw owner Mike Brown under the bus after Brown over-ruled him and re-signed problem WR Chris Henry, relations between the two men may have finally reached the breaking point.

If Marvin does get the boot now, put me in the camp of those who believe it would be a ghastly mistake. For one thing, the two most likely “interim” replacements are Alexander and Sideshow Bob, neither of whom would be any improvement over Lewis. In fact, they are both ahead of Marvin on my list of Bengals coaches who need to be run out of town on a rail.

I don’t see Mike Zimmer, who only joined the team this year, getting jumped ahead of either Alexander or Bratkowski. Emperor Mikey is nothing if not loyal. But while I believe that Zim would be a better choice than any other coach currently on the staff, I do not at all wish to see him taken away from the defense right now, where he is finally making some headway in improving a long-suffering unit.

If (when) the 2008 season goes down in flames, I would be fine with a post-season coaching change. But one four weeks in buys us the worst of all possible worlds. What happens if the team wins a few games under Alexander or Brat, even if it’s just a December Dead Cat Bounce? Want to bet that “interim” gets a two-year contract? And nothing changes except that ticket prices go up again? A January firing means the Bengals look outside as well as inside, and maybe they stumble into a good thing. Probably not — but I can dream, can’t I?