Marvin Lewis to remain with the Bengals now?

Cincinnati Bengals’ head coach Marvin Lewis talks to quarterbacks Carson (L) and Jordan Palmer as they play the Baltimore Ravens’ at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on January 2, 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

In rather surprising news, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Marvin Lewis is now expected to return as the Bengals’ head coach in 2011.

Schefter knows what I ate from breakfast, so I’m sure this report is on the money. If so, it’s rather shocking considering it looked like Lewis was on the outs as of yesterday.

I don’t know why Lewis would want to return to the mess that is the Cincinnati Bengals but maybe owner Mike Brown promised to make some changes. The Bengals have one of the smallest scouting staffs in the league and Lewis was reportedly frustrated by the way Brown runs the organization. But maybe he had a change of heart after meeting with Brown on Monday.

If Lewis is given a new contract, his first order of business should be to figure out what to do with quarterback Carson Palmer. If the Bengals still feel as though Palmer can get them to the playoffs and beyond, they may want to think about parting ways with Chad Ochocinco. Palmer’s best game came against the Chargers in Week 16 and he played well against Baltimore in Week 17. Both of those performances came with Ochocinco and Terrell Owens were both out with injuries.

At this point, it might be worth it to the Bengals to see what Palmer can do next year without receivers like Ochocinco, T.O. and T.J. Houshmandzadeh buzzing in his ear. One would think that the Bengals’ offense would be worse off without a player like Ochocinco, but Palmer’s last two games tell a different story.

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