If only we all had the job security of Marvin Lewis.
Lewis, who has lasted 15 years with the Bengals despite failing to win a single playoff game, has signed a new contract extension that will keep him in Cincinnati through 2019, the team announced Tuesday.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2018
At this point, Lewis might truly be unkillable. In 15 seasons, he has an unspectacular 125-112-3 record, with seven playoff berths but no victories there. He survived three straight non-playoff seasons from 2006-08, including a 4-11-1 campaign. He survived a 4-12 mark two years later. He survived FIVE STRAIGHT first-round playoff losses. He survived despite squandering Carson Palmer’s prime. Despite presiding over a team with enough disciplinary problems to make the Mean Machine blush. Now, he has somehow survived back-to-back nine-loss seasons.
It seemed Lewis’ luck had finally run out after Adam Schefter reported that he planned to leave Cincinnati after this season, but nope. He survived that report, too.
No one would call Lewis a bad coach, per se. It’s not easy to maintain a win-loss record above .500 over a decade and a half in the NFL, nor to consistently reach the playoffs in a highly competitive league. But most teams appreciate that a little change once in a while can be useful. Sometimes a fresh voice can wake up a struggling team. You don’t have to think Lewis is a bum to figure that the Bengals could benefit from some fresh blood.
Here are the longest tenured coaches in the four major sports:
- Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs (21 seasons) — Five NBA titles, three Coach of the Year awards, 20 postseason berths, 37 playoff series victories
- Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels (18 seasons) — One World Series title, two Manager of the Year awards, seven postseason berths, five playoff series victories
- Bill Belichick, New England Patriots (18 seasons) — Five Super Bowl titles, three Coach of the Year awards, 15 postseason berths, 26 playoff victories
- Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (15 seasons )— Zero Super Bowl titles, one Coach of the Year award, seven postseason berths, zero playoff victories.
Which one doesn’t belong? It doesn’t seem the Bengals are able to figure out.