"Hard To Explain" How Marvin Lewis Still Has A Job

The Bengals have allowed 130 points over their last three games

November 13, 2018 - 9:20 am

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After allowing 130 points – 43.3 points per game – in their last three games, the Cincinnati Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Yet Marvin Lewis still has a job.


“It really is hard to explain,” The Athletic Bengals writer Jay Morrison said on Ferrall on the Bench. “The team owner, Mike Brown, is loyal to a fault. I think he is forever going to be indebted to Marvin for bringing this franchise out of the abyss of the ’90s and making them relevant every year. Yeah, the last two years have not been good with losing seasons, but Mike Brown now is at the same age that his legendary father, Paul Brown, was when he passed away, and I think he realizes he may not have a lot of time left.”

Actually, he’s older. Brown is 83. His father passed away at the age of 82.

“They are probably closer to getting to where they want to go and winning a championship – as crazy as that sounds – if they stick with Marvin and figure it out as opposed to blowing it up, starting fresh, and you don’t know what you’re going to get. Maybe you get another Dave Schula in there and you set the franchise back a decade again. So it’s more the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t know, and you’ve just stuck with Marvin all these years.”

On Tuesday, Lewis re-hired Hue Jackson, who was recently fired as Browns head coach. Jackson coached under Lewis from 2004-06 and again from 2012-15 and has been named a special assistant to the head coach.

Might Jackson, 53, eventually take over for Lewis, 60?

“A couple years ago they had it planned out where they had a succession plan in place,” Morrison said. “Marvin was going to step down, and Hue was going to take over. All of a sudden the Browns came knocking and Hue left to take that job. This certainly puts all of that back in play. I could see that succession plan being back in place.”

The Bengals (5-4) play the Ravens (4-5) in Baltimore this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.