Would Marvin Lewis Be Better As GM of the Bengals?


Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis before the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals fans want more from their organization, and who could blame them after four consecutive playoff losses. The answer might not be what most Bengals fans would expect, promote Marvin Lewis to General Manager (GM).

Marvin Lewis has helped rebuild this organization since its struggles in the 90’s and early 2000’s. He has had some great draft classes including getting Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in the same year, drafting Geno Atkins in the fourth round in 2010, and picking up Vontaze Burfict as an undrafted free agent in 2013.  He clearly has an eye for talent and has displayed this since his arrival in 2003. Who can forget what Carson Palmer brought to this team when he was healthy?  If you did, look at the Arizona Cardinals early in the 2014 season.

If Marvin Lewis was in fact promoted, the head coaching position would become vacant. The Bengals already have an excellent in-house candidate in Hue Jackson.  He has the necessary knowledge to keep this team and opposing teams on their toes–we saw some rather unexpected plays this year–and he has experience with an organization most would shy away from (Oakland).  Jackson led the Raiders to an 8-8 record in 2011 with a team that lacked significant talent.

Mike Brown has been releasing the reins little by little, especially amid some health concerns (the issue in Arizona last preseason). Giving up the GM position and responsibilities wouldn’t be a far-fetched idea considering this.

Marvin Lewis could make a huge impact within this role. He continues to strive for organizational improvement and has the respect of his players and fellow coaches, something that every GM should have.

But old habits die hard and this may be the hurdle standing in the way of this idea.  Katie Blackburn, Mike Brown’s daughter, is currently the team’s Executive Vice President. From this post, she handles much of the GM responsibilities, like her father before her, such as contract negotiations and salary cap management.

When many fans reflect upon the Bengals head coach, they often believe his responsibilities lie exclusively on the field.  But when reflecting upon Marvin Lewis, I think team manager, exactly what a general manager should be.

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