- By Jay Morrison Staff Writer
Following Sunday’s 34-7 loss at Minnesota, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis denied a report that said he will leave the team at the end of the season.
Asked if the report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter was accurate, Lewis said, “No.”
“It’s the same report you guys have been reporting on all season,” he added. “There’s nothing changed since August. It’s just speculation people keep throwing out there. We’re all wasting time talking about it. I have not made any decisions.”
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After failing to reach a contract extension in the offseason, Lewis and team owner and president Mike Brown said at the pre-training camp luncheon the plan was to address the situation after the season.
Lewis said the Schefter report, which broke just hours before Sunday’s game, did not have an affect on the way team played in dropping a third consecutive game to fall to 5-9, ensuring back-to-back losing seasons for the second time in his 15 years as Bengals coach.
He said he did not address the report with the players or assistant coaches before the game.
“I just addressed in there,” he said, referring to the locker room.
This is the first time since 2010 that Lewis has gone into a season in the final year of his contract. All of his assistant coaches are in the final years of their contracts as well.
“It affects people around you, which is unfortunate,” Lewis said. “I understand what drives media. People just throw things out and everybody has to respond. Everybody wants to be first. They don’t really care if they’re accurate necessarily. They want to be first.”
Lewis is the winningest coach in franchise history with a record of 123-112-3. He led the Bengals to the playoffs in seven of his first 13 seasons after the franchise had made just seven postseason appearances in the 35 years before he arrived.
He led the Bengals to four division championships and was the 2009 AP NFL Coach of the Year.
But Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, which is the most losses without a win by any coach in NFL history. Four of those seven losses came at home.
Lewis is the second longest tenured coach with the same team behind Bill Belichick, who is in his 18th season with the New England Patriots.