Will this be Lewis’ last year in Cincinnati?

Chick Ludwig of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote an interesting piece today about head coach Marvin Lewis’ future with the Bengals. With Lewis’ contract expiring at the end of the year, Ludwig predicts that the head coach will be gone after the 2010 season.

But Ludwig’s reasoning is perplexing. He writes that since Pro Football Hall of Fame legend Paul Brown only coached the Bengals for eight seasons, that his son (and owner) Mike Brown won’t allow Lewis to coach behind that time span. (Lewis is heading into his eighth year with the Bengals.)

If that’s true, then the Bengals are more screwed up organizationally than I originally thought. The idea makes sense on the surface, but allowing a good coach’s contract to expire because you don’t want to see his tenure go longer than your dad’s is ridiculous. I realize Lewis has yet to win a playoff game in Cincinnati, but considering the situations that the front office puts him in sometimes in regards to personnel, I think he’s done a decent job. He will likely have suitors ready and willing to hire him if he isn’t re-signed by the Bengals, which is a testament to him as a coach.

I just don’t understand the thought process of not re-signing a coach other than he simply couldn’t get the job done on the field. If they decide not to retain him because they don’t like the direction that the team is heading in or feel as though things are getting stagnant that’s fine, but don’t let him walk because of the number of years he has been there.

Of course, these are the Bengals that we’re talking about here. Everyone likes to bash Al Davis for making stupid decisions, but Mike Brown is right behind him in that category. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Bengals do allow Lewis to walk for reasons outside of his win/loss record.

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