Lewis likely needs to show big improvement in 2018 to keep his job. He seems to think the Bengals are poised to make an enormous leap in 2018, though.
It seems like a far-fetched notion, but Marvin Lewis believes the Bengals can win it all this year. Entering his 16th season, Lewis has been in Cincinnati for what feels like an eternity. In none of those previous 15 years have the Bengals even sniffed the Super Bowl. Even during the peak of his tenure, Lewis was never close to dethroning the Patriots in the AFC and making the title game.
In talking with bengals.com, Lewis discussed what he liked about this year’s team (full article here). He certainly makes good points as to why the 2018 Bengals will see improvement. What Lewis likes the most is that there are entrenched veterans on this team that have had success before. Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and others know what it’s like to pile up wins. Behind those guys, a revamped system and a fresh batch of coaches could lead to a great season.
Lewis, though he tried to temper expectations, seems most excited about the offense. First and foremost, the Bengals are opening a new playbook, so there should be some fresh looks this season on the field. Also, Lewis was able to lure an amazing coaching staff to lead the offense to more points this year. New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has a reputation for creativity, and Lewis targeted him as a potentially great offensive coordinator when the Bengals hired him in 2016.
Underneath Lazor, though, are offensive assistants who should be a big boost as well. Most notably, the Bengals hired Frank Pollack from the Cowboys to be their offensive line coach. Under Pollack, the Cowboys grew into one of the best lines the NFL has ever seen, turning out four Pro Bowlers and producing insane efficiency. New QBs coach Alex Van Pelt comes from Green Bay, and comes with high praise from Aaron Rodgers. New WRs coach Bob Bicknell has more than a decade of experience in the NFL and has coached up all sorts of wide receivers during his tenure.
What I really liked about Lewis’ tone, though, was the air of confidence surrounding this year’s team. Lewis talked about not winning a playoff game, but winning a Super Bowl. The Bengals’ players and coaches all seem to think this is a unit capable of winning a championship. The stigma of playoff wins doesn’t seem to hang over their heads. Even though the challenge certainly looms large, Lewis has the Bengals thinking positively and building up for a big 2018. Now, he has to deliver.