Marvin Lewis’ future with the Bengals is still hazy. Yet, there seems to be no clear answer on what the divisive points are.
When it comes to the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s not what you see or hear. It’s about sleight of hand. And Marvin Lewis is doing a fine job of manipulating the public into a panic. After “motivating” the Bengals into consecutive, season-ending wins over playoff contenders, it seems there’s no word on what the next move will be. The Bengals ended the 2017 campaign with a decent 7-9 mark. But, that’s eons away from what the fan base has become used to. Right now, the hot topic is talks (or lack of) between Lewis and Mike Brown.
Bengals fans have gotten used to the familiarity of the playoffs. For five straight years, the postseason has been a staple of Cincinnati pastime management. From 2011 through 2015, the Bengals were a mainstay in the playoffs. Now, after two losing seasons, the anger and resentment towards Lewis have reached a fever pitch. If you have to ask why, you’re not an avid football nut.
Though Lewis was able to get the Bengals into the playoffs, the one-and-done melody was too much to bear. Fans have grown tired of the same old routine in the big dance. In fact, Bengals faithful wondered why Lewis was allowed to stay, after the last Wild Card meltdown. Additionally, a record of 13-18-1–over two years–doesn’t register after going 12-4 in 2015. The talent is being wasted.
What needs to happen
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If Lewis is brought back into the fold, after beating the Lions and Ravens, there has to be on thing on the immediate horizon. There can be no three-year plan or gradual build up. Lewis has to win now. Yes, as in taking the Bengals to the AFC Championship Game and on to Atlanta.
Essentially, Lewis has stated that he and Brown need to be on the same page for things to progress.
"“Every decision I have ever made here is mutual with both of us. Since January of ’03 it’s always been mutual. It has to be that way.”"
Well, that needs to be true for both parties and the fans. There are things that can be changed on Marvin’s end to make the situation sweeter.
You know the crazy rule Lewis has about not starting rookies? Yeah, that needs to be trashed. Carl Lawson, William Jackson III and Joe Mixon made quite an impression. After being thrust to the forefront, Alex Redmond and Christian Westerman proved to be decent acquisitions.
There’s also a little situation with halftime adjustments. I’m pretty sure most fans (and players) believe they do exist. But, Lewis refuses to acknowledge their worth. His stance on that needs to change immediately.
Mike has to bend for the win
But, maybe it’s not all about Lewis. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a sticking point that Marvin needs to have clarified. Brown can be quite a character when it comes to being stubborn. There are stories from former Bengals players that sound like they were fabricated. But, it’s all about Mike’s ability to be dense.
If Lewis needs certain things to get the team back to posting W’s, there should be no hesitation. And Lewis feels the same.
"“There’s a lot of things. People have their viewpoint and I have my viewpoint. The one thing that we’ve been consistent on since I began here is staying on the same page. And I think that’s important. There’s a direction the owner wants to have. And if his direction is different than my direction, then that’s probably not good.”"
In essence, there’s a talented cast of characters ready to take this Bengals team to the next level. Yet, the motivation, dedication and preparation need to be consistent. If Brown feels Lewis can’t do it, then he needs to be honest and end this insane bromance. But, if there’s a topic that Mike just can’t move ahead on, he needs to think of the fans. Either way, it’s time to get this team headed in the right direction.