Pair of Cincinnati Bengals greats weigh in on Marvin Lewis returning as coach


This got lost in the Super Bowl shuffle of news last weekend, but it’s worth a second look. 

While Marvin Lewis’ return to the Cincinnati Bengals as coach caused a lot of head-scratching locally and nationally, two famous former Bengals in the media told the team website they approve. 

RELATED: What are the Bengals’ Super Bowl odds for next season?

Both Cris Collinsworth and Boomer Esiason seem to think the team is not far from returning to contender status despite back-to-back losing seasons and Lewis is the man to take the team to the top. 

“I absolutely would have brought back Marvin,” Collinsworth said. “Tell me who you’re going to replace him with. Were they going to hire Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia? I’m old enough to remember when the Bengals couldn’t get out of their own way for a decade. And they bring this guy in and they go to the playoffs five straight years? No brainer.” 

He went on to point out change is not always for the better. 

“They played well at the end of the season. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is change. Look at the franchises that change everything. Give it a chance.”

Esiason also endorsed the move, though it sounds like he was surprised Lewis is back. 

“I thought Marvin was going to hang it up. I thought it was his choice,” said Esiason, who phoned Lewis to congratulate him after the deal was done and sensed how the tide had turned.

“I think he was re-energized by those last two games and they really should have beaten the Steelers in that Monday night game. And the fact they brought in Teryl Austin is a great move. Not that Paul Guenther wasn’t great, but Teryl Austin brings a fresh set of eyes, a new voice and a real aggressive style. He’s an aggressive defensive coordinator. Watch him in practice. I think you’ll enjoy it.”

Of course the fact the team owns the place these quotes were published probably means something, but there’s not much reason to doubt their sincerity, either. 

Collinsworth and Esiason are savvy media members, and both could have declined comment without anyone ever knowing. 

Instead, they spoke rather decisively in Lewis’ favor. 

Their opinions offer no guarantee it is going to work out, but they are interesting nonetheless considering both are very familiar with an organization that tends to do business differently than most. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Rookie quarterback sends Bengals to fourth loss in five games
Rookie quarterback sends Bengals to fourth loss in five games

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson juked and sprinted for 117 yards in his first NFL start, Gus Edwards ran for 115 and the Baltimore Ravens ground out a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday to end a three-game losing streak. Flashing the moves that enabled him to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy at Louisville, Jackson zipped in and out of...
Football playoffs: Sites, matchups announced for state semifinals
Football playoffs: Sites, matchups announced for state semifinals

Home team listed first. Pairings include AP state rank and record. Powell Olentangy Liberty (9-4) vs. 9 Lakewood St. Edward (9-3) at Mansfield Arlin Stadium 8 Pickerington Central (11-2) vs. 1 Cin. Colerain (13-0) at Piqua Alexander Stadium 6 Cin. Winton Woods (12-1) vs. 3 Massillon Washington (13-0) at Gahanna Lincoln Wilbur C. Strait Field 1 Akron...
Dayton captures Atlantic 10 volleyball tournament title for 13th time
Dayton captures Atlantic 10 volleyball tournament title for 13th time

The Dayton Flyers won the Atlantic 10 Conference volleyball tournament championship Sunday, beating Virginia Commonwealth 18-25, 25-15, 19-25, 25-16 and 15-12 at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va. Dayton (23-7) avenged a loss to VCU in the 2017 championship game and two losses this season to VCU in the regular season. Dayton won its 13th championship...
Report: Browns could interview Condoleezza Rice for head coach job
Report: Browns could interview Condoleezza Rice for head coach job

The Cleveland Browns would like to interview former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to fill the team’s head-coaching job, ESPN reported Sunday citing an anonymous source. John Dorsey, the Browns general manager, said last week the team was open to hiring a woman as head coach, ESPN reported. Rice, who grew up in Alabama, is a longtime...
High School Football: State playoffs scoreboard

Region 13 — Girard 43, Hubbard 18 Region 14 — St. Marys Memorial 38, Bellville Clear Fork 7 Region 15 — Newark Licking Valley 30, St. Clairsville 0 Region 16 — Cin. Wyoming 28, London 0 Region 17 — Orrville 43, Akron Manchester 19 Region 18 — Genoa Area vs. Liberty Center Region 19 — Johnstown-Monroe 45, Byesville...
More Stories