After Marvin Lewis re-signed with the Bengals through 2019, he offered a gem about ‘starting from scratch.’ The franchise needs to win now.
It’s that time of year when things get boring. The weather is cold and thoughts turn to the playoffs. But, alas, the Bengals haven’t been postseason worthy for two years. After the shocking re-signing of Marvin Lewis, there’s an even colder feel to the frigid Cincinnati air. But, his next stint is coming with a mass overhaul that may bring something special back to the Queen City.
It’s easy to fall for the same old rhetoric spewed forth from Lewis and Mike Brown. Yet, there’s been some comfort to the madness. Honestly, Bengals faithful have been better off than Cincinnati’s adopted team for the playoffs.
Buffalo has been MIA for almost 18 years. Due to the heroic deeds of Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd, the Bills are in the big dance. The Bengals went through a similar phase from 1990 to 2005. Old school fans remember the Lost Decade like the Great Depression. Those were lean times…very lean times.
New energy, fresh faces
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But, Lewis was able to get a handle on the playoff drought in 2011. And he had a good thing going. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough gas in the tank to take the Bengals to the next level. A five-year run ended with zero wins in the postseason and fans feeling like they’ve been given fools gold.
Now, after being given new life by Brown, Lewis has promised a Super Bowl to the good denizens of Cincinnati. Um, first there’s the matter of a playoff win. But, I guess that’s like included with the trip to Atlanta…hopefully.
The bottom line is obvious. After throwing various players under the bus (Jeremy Hill, John Ross, cough, Joe Mixon), Lewis is bringing in coaches that he’s familiar with. And in the process, shedding some old weight for the New Year.
Longtime O-line stalemate Paul Alexander was shown the door. Earlier in the hot mess of 2017, OC Ken Zampese let the doorknob hit him. Currently, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is seeking greener grass with Jon Gruden. As of the past week, wide receivers coach James Urban hooked up with the Ravens.
Suddenly, there’s a massive turnover that could either break the stagnant aura around Paul Brown Stadium or make things worse. With every coaching change, there’s a period of adjustment. That very thing happened when the 2015 staff was riddled with change. But, looking at the bright side, there was a similar cleaning when Lewis and the Bengals started the magical run of 2011.
Not much time
But, if Lewis is going to make a Super Bowl happen in the next two years, there has to be a fast gelling of philosophies, schemes and minds.
With Brown taking out another lease on Lewis, the expectations are high. Nothing short of a spectacular turnaround will appease the headhunters in Cincinnati. If Brown wants to make his precious money, there’s no room for mediocrity in the next two seasons. The changes made must impact the immediate future.
"“It’s going to be different. It’s got to be different,” Dalton said. “Because we weren’t good enough.”"
And what does Lewis have to say about the imminent consequences of the next two years?
"“You’re going to have to start from scratch regardless,” the fearless leader said, per Bleacher Report. “So, you might as well start from scratch with someone you understand, you know.”"
Meh. That doesn’t sound like instant winning. Even chefs in training know it takes dough a long time to rise. Maybe Lewis will use the fast acting yeast.