Marvin Lewis has as many lives as, well, a Bengal. A Cincinnati Bengal, that is.
The coach that has endured a stingy ownership, myriad player arrests, questionable player development and losing. . . . not only remains standing, but has received a two-year contract extension through 2014.
This is testament to the value of not giving up on a coach too soon. Lewis looked to be a goner more than once as players showed up on police blotters (not that it was his fault) fairly consistently and the team struggled to find a rhythm in winning. Instead of running him, the Bengals were patient, and Cincinnati emerged as a strong playoff team last year.
The last time Lewis’ contract was running, both sides seemed content to separate. They did not, and the rewards have been grand for the Bengals.
Lewis is the franchise’s most successful coach since Sam Wyche, and has led the team to two AFC North titles in the past three years.
As CBSSports.com reported that Lewis said negotiating the extension is “a complicated thing” and that he and owner Mike Brown are “comfortable together.”
“Coming off a playoff finish last year, with a solid coaching staff and good young players, continuity at the top gives us our best chance to do well,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said in a statement. “We are excited about the team’s prospects and happy to have completed this process with Marvin before the 2012 preseason schedule begins.”
Lewis is in his 10th season in Cincinnati, the third-longest current tenure with one team behind Andy Reid in Philadelphia and Bill Belichick in New England.
According to CBSSports.com, in 2010, Lewis was up front that he was possibly going to explore other options, and it took something of a sales job to keep him. With the growth and development of the team since then, all the young pieces and the playoff appearance last year, the backdrop was much different now. The team has also beefed up its scouting staff and infrastructure since 2010, which were keys for the head coach.