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If Marvin Lewis and the Bengals parted ways, who should be the next head coach in Cincinnati?

By Matt Minich@CoachMinich  Dec 30, 2018, 7:00am EST
 
 
There are several stages of being a Bengals fan throughout the year.  Most of us have some level of hopeful optimism over the summer, but by this time of the year hopelessness has set it. With that in mind, we all know that Marvin Lewis is likely the man in charge of whether Marvin Lewis is the head coach next year or not (because that makes sense, right?). 

Let’s just step away from that study in institutional dysfunction for a moment and pretend for a moment that Mike Brown was a competent owner, businessman or human and was willing and able to look at the direction of the franchise objectively. :lol:

So, if that were the case and the Bengals decided to move on from Lewis, what then? Who would be the ideal candidate to turn this franchise around? 

Here are some options and my favorites.

NFL Offensive Coordinator

The current view is that hiring a top offensive coordinator is the best way to turn your team around. This makes sense to a point. If a team hires a top offensive mind, they should at least be able to improve their offense. This also means a team doesn’t have to worry about having their play caller poached when other teams are looking for head coaches. Unfortunately, Sean McVay's don’t grow on trees. 

The top choice here is Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, but just because he replaced Matt Nagy with great success in Kansas City doesn’t mean he’ll be able to match Nagy’s success as a head coach. Nagy was the Chief’s play-caller for less than a season, and when he left, it was Andy Reid, not Bieniemy, who took over those duties. Working under Reid is certainly a plus for Bieniemy, but it is concerning that he lacks the experience Nagy and Doug Pederson (another member of the Reid branch of the Bill Walsh tree) calling plays and coaching the quarterback.The other hot offense in the NFL is the Los Angeles Rams. McVay calls the plays for the Rams, but he has two high ranking assistants who may be considered head coaching candidates. Pass game coordinator Shane Waldron is an interesting prospect. This is his first coordinator position, but he started his career working under Bill Belichick in football operations, and Charlie Weis thought highly enough of him that he brought him along to Notre Dame. His experience is questionable, but someone who worked for McVay and Belichick is worth having a conversation with.

 

Rams run game coordinator Aaron Kromer is another strong candidate. He has a wealth of experience as offensive line coach for the Bills, Bears, Buccaneers, Saints, and Raiders. He also served as interim head coach of the Saints in 2012. Kromer is a Sandusky native and Miami (OH) alum. The biggest knock on him is that offensive line coaches don’t have a great track record as head coaches.

Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael also has to be in this conversation. Obviously, he was fortunate enough to coach Drew Brees, which never hurts, but is use of Alvin Kamara in the pass game truly turned the tides in the way running backs are used in the NFL. 

Of course, there is one more name that has to appear on this list every year, and that is Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Reneging on his agreement to become the Colts’ head coach last season will make teams weary to bring him. He also may be the head coach in waiting in New England. The other concern with him is that Patriots coaches have not fared well when they have gone off on their own. Bill O’Brien has had the most success, but unlike McDaniels, he had a lot of experience working on other staffs before joining the Patriots.

NFL Defensive Coordinator

Defensive coordinators tend to be more big-picture thinkers than offensive coordinators and that can lead to success a head coaches. This year there is only one defensive coordinator who stands out as strong head coaching candidate: Chicago’s Vic Fangio.

Nagy cannot take full credit for the success of the Bears. He was fortunate enough to inherit a stellar defensive coordinator in Fangio. Fangio should have had an opportunity to become a head coach years ago. He has had great success as a defensive coordinator with the Bears, 49ers, Texans, Colts, and Panthers. His defenses get pressure and create turnovers.

Two others who could be considered are Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods and Cowboys passing game coordinator Kris Richard. Woods’ defense is a big reason why the Broncos had the success they did this year. Richard was previously defensive coordinator with the Seahawks and has helped the Cowboys secondary improve greatly in 2018.

College Football Head Coach

The advantage to hiring a college head coach it that they have demonstrated leadership and management of an entire team. Too many teams get caught up bring in coaches who can draw up a great offense or defense and forget that it is more important to build a winning culture. These coaches have done just that. 

Of course, the hottest name in coaching right now is Lincoln Riley. As the head coach at Oklahoma, Riley coaches a high-powered modern offense that has produced two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks in as many years. Oklahoma’s defense has been awful, and if he were to take a head coaching job in the NFL, he would want to take a page from the book of another young offensive phenom, McVay, and hire a top defensive coordinator. 

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney never seems to get much talk in NFL circles, but with a record of 114-20 and a national championship to his name, he should. Swinney knows how to win and has led his team to the college football playoffs in four years straight. 

Nick Saban isn’t coming back to the NFL any time soon, but his former defensive coordinator. Kirby Smart, just may. Smart has had a tough job at Georgia; trying to compete at a national level while having the perennial powerhouse Crimson Tide in their conference. Smart has a record of 32-9 in 3 seasons with the Bulldogs. Georgia won a playoff game in 2017 and has won the SEC East the last two seasons. 

 

One darkhorse candidate is Texas’ Tom Herman. Herman has had success in his brief stints at Houston and Texas as head coach. The Cincinnati native was previously the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, and is an impressive offensive mind. Herman may seem like a bit of a reach, but he checks all the boxes and could be an impressive NFL head coach. 

Hard Pass

It goes without saying, but Hue Jackson would be a catastrophic hire for the Bengals. Broncos head coach Vance Joseph (who is on the hot seat) would also set the team in the wrong direction. Not to lump Jackson together with Joseph, but the Bengals need a new voice to set them on a new path and take them to the next level. A former Lewis assistant is not a new voice. :41:

NFL teams are not very good at selecting leaders for their franchise. This year there are a couple of people who may get interest, but really should not. Matt LaFleur worked under both McVay and Kyle Shanahan (in Atlanta), but when he got a chance to call an offense for himself in Tennessee the results were unimpressive. An offensive minded head coach should at least be a great offensive coordinator, and LeFleur is not that. 

Former Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo should not be getting the head coaching buzz that he is. DeFilippo has bounced around quite a bit, but gained notoriety for helping to develop Carson Wentz as quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

This year, he was fired due to the lackluster of the Vikings offense. Hiring DeFilippo as a head coach would be a big mistake. The success he had in Philadelphia is in no small part because of Pederson and then-offensive coordinator Frank Reich. 

My Top Picks

The No. 1 slot goes to Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley. He could be an incredible head coach in the NFL if he brought in a quality defensive coordinator. Riley will have a lot of options including staying put. This could make it hard for the Bengals to convince him that Cincinnati is the place he wants to be, but the team’s starting running back would certainly help to persuade him.

Second is Dabo Swinney. Swinney is an experienced head coach who knows how to make a team into a winner. He can change a team’s culture and get them to compete for a Super Bowl. The Bengals need a coach who has proven that he can take a team from mediocrity to the promised land, and Swinney is just that guy. 

Next is Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. He is the offensive coordinator who seems most likely to be able to duplicate his success elsewhere. Carmichael makes great use of his personnel. Under Carmichael, Joe Mixon would reach his All-Pro potential. 

Eric Bieniemy is fourth on the list. Bieniemy is an exciting choice for a team that hopes to duplicate what the Chiefs have done this season. Nagy’s success in Chicago will definitely help Bieniemy’s case. As a former Bengal, he may be someone who Mike Brown is already comfortable with. 

The final candidate on my list is Tom Herman. He is not getting the attention that Riley is, but just like Riley he has success running not only an offense, but an entire team. It would take a leap of faith to hire Herman, but it could pay off in a big way. He may also bring defensive coordinator Todd Orlando with him, who got the most out of Malik Jefferson as his defensive coordinator in his final season at Texas and coached both William Jackson and Brandon Wilson at Houston.

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Will Marvin Lewis return for the 2019 season? A decision should come soon. 

By Jason Marcum@marcum89  Dec 30, 2018, 10:06am EST
 

Marvin Lewis is probably going to be back with the Bengals, but the final decision may not happen until later this week.:blink:

 

According to Ian Rapoport, Lewis and owner Mike Brown will likely meet on Tuesday to decide what the future holds. 

It’s become common knowledge that Lewis is going to decide if he stays or goes. He may decide to retire, but at this point, we should all expect him to be head coach of the Bengals when the 2019 season begins. There’s always a chance he decides to retire after 16-straight years of coaching, and there may even be a succession plan to make Hue Jackson the head coach if Lewis leaves. 

But again, expect Lewis to be back until he says otherwise. What’s going to be an even bigger gut punch is if the majority of the staff is brought back and Vance Joseph is hired as the defensive coordinator. 

Oh well.

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Just for the record, Mike Zimmer's Minny Vikings are looking very Bengal-like these days...blowing chances to make the playoffs with a so-so offense

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4 hours ago, Jason said:

IF Ron Rivera gets fired in NC, any interest in him?

Word is he will be back.

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15 minutes ago, kennethmw said:

Who the fuck is Matt Minich?

A guy who writes a blog very few people read. 

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If, as it quite likely will, it comes down to Hue or Marvin, who would you prefer?

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10 minutes ago, Madieu Superstar said:

A revolver. I’ll only be needing one bullet. 

What about Katie?

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12 hours ago, Sea Ray said:

Just for the record, Mike Zimmer's Minny Vikings are looking very Bengal-like these days...blowing chances to make the playoffs with a so-so offense

I had not sat down and watched an entire NFL game on TV all season, but since it was late in the day, I decided to watch this one. 

 

I could see why the Bears are this season's selective darlings: sort of an allowed league throwback to the "Black and Blue Division (but carefully packaged to not seem too violent) days. I chuckled when seeing their staff in NFL-sanctioned "Monsters of the Midway" hoodies. But, they fill a need in a very large market--both in Chicago, and their sizeable ex-pats nationwide--so even though their pedestrian offense doesn't fit the new pinball offense NFL, they still supply money-making interest.

 

The Vikings really don't fit anything. I may have missed it, but I didn't see any "Purple People Eaters" hoodies on their staff, so the throwback thing isn't there. Their offense is herky-jerky, led by an OK quarterback. Seems like the only noticeable player on that side of the ball, is some mouthy WR who just likes to verbally fight with Bellicheat and his own QB. Good defense, but that alone is not going to be a large cash cow in today's market. And the Viking market alone will not move the NFL money needle either. They will most likely settle into a Bengal-like Milwaukee Bucks middle-of-the pack playoff slot when they can be there, and an also-ran forgotten when not. 

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16 minutes ago, Le Tigre said:

I had not sat down and watched an entire NFL game on TV all season, but since it was late in the day, I decided to watch this one. 

 

I could see why the Bears are this season's selective darlings: sort of an allowed league throwback to the "Black and Blue Division (but carefully packaged to not seem too violent) days. I chuckled when seeing their staff in NFL-sanctioned "Monsters of the Midway" hoodies. But, they fill a need in a very large market--both in Chicago, and their sizeable ex-pats nationwide--so even though their pedestrian offense doesn't fit the new pinball offense NFL, they still supply money-making interest.

 

The Vikings really don't fit anything. I may have missed it, but I didn't see any "Purple People Eaters" hoodies on their staff, so the throwback thing isn't there. Their offense is herky-jerky, led by an OK quarterback. Seems like the only noticeable player on that side of the ball, is some mouthy WR who just likes to verbally fight with Bellicheat and his own QB. Good defense, but that alone is not going to be a large cash cow in today's market. And the Viking market alone will not move the NFL money needle either. They will most likely settle into a Bengal-like Milwaukee Bucks middle-of-the pack playoff slot when they can be there, and an also-ran forgotten when not. 

They are very much like Kansas City. Every once in a while they have a decent season but haven’t made a Super Bowl in many of our lifetimes. I barely remember the Purple People eaters as a kid although we rarely ever saw them back in the 3 network era and there were no ESPN highlights or Sports Center. 

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10 hours ago, Jason said:

If, as it quite likely will, it comes down to Hue or Marvin, who would you prefer?

a new hobby for sunday afternoons 

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On 12/30/2018 at 11:11 AM, High School Harry said:

Will Marvin Lewis return for the 2019 season? A decision should come soon. 

By Jason Marcum@marcum89  Dec 30, 2018, 10:06am EST
 

Marvin Lewis is probably going to be back with the Bengals, but the final decision may not happen until later this week.:blink:

 

According to Ian Rapoport, Lewis and owner Mike Brown will likely meet on Tuesday to decide what the future holds. 

It’s become common knowledge that Lewis is going to decide if he stays or goes. He may decide to retire, but at this point, we should all expect him to be head coach of the Bengals when the 2019 season begins. There’s always a chance he decides to retire after 16-straight years of coaching, and there may even be a succession plan to make Hue Jackson the head coach if Lewis leaves. 

But again, expect Lewis to be back until he says otherwise. What’s going to be an even bigger gut punch is if the majority of the staff is brought back and Vance Joseph is hired as the defensive coordinator. 

Oh well.

Goes to show that this writer doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Mike Brown knows $$ and he knows that Marvin won't fill seats next yr

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On December 31, 2018 at 9:00 AM, SF2 said:

They are very much like Kansas City. Every once in a while they have a decent season but haven’t made a Super Bowl in many of our lifetimes. I barely remember the Purple People eaters as a kid although we rarely ever saw them back in the 3 network era and there were no ESPN highlights or Sports Center. 

I remember the 3-network era quite well. As I recall, the Vikings used to be shown more when they were at home (the outdoor stadium in Bloomington), almost always against the Rams or the Cowboys, and mostly in December when it was -10. They loved to display the "gritty" guys like Carl Eller and Joe Kapp. They were meaner than hell, and a complete antithesis to today's watered down game. 

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57 minutes ago, Le Tigre said:

I remember the 3-network era quite well. As I recall, the Vikings used to be shown more when they were at home (the outdoor stadium in Bloomington), almost always against the Rams or the Cowboys, and mostly in December when it was -10. They loved to display the "gritty" guys like Carl Eller and Joe Kapp. They were meaner than hell, and a complete antithesis to today's watered down game. 

Can’t argue with this.  Different era. 

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On 12/31/2018 at 11:58 AM, Sea Ray said:

Goes to show that this writer doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Mike Brown knows $$ and he knows that Marvin won't fill seats next yr

Not to say I told you so...but I told you so. No Marvin. No Hue. This thread shows how many writers/bloggers out there don't know their shit yet they're full of BS.

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So ol Huey got fired today. At least we dodged the potential clusterfuck of him being hc. 

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4 hours ago, whodey? said:

So ol Huey got fired today. At least we dodged the potential clusterfuck of him being hc. 

 

Wasn't like he had a real position even.  Somebody just didn't want the loser stink hanging around.

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14 hours ago, Sea Ray said:

Not to say I told you so...but I told you so. No Marvin. No Hue. This thread shows how many writers/bloggers out there don't know their shit yet they're full of BS.

Mike Brown didn't get rid of Marvin. He left. If it was up to Mikey, Marvin would still be coach.

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2 hours ago, Hooky said:

Mike Brown didn't get rid of Marvin. He left. If it was up to Mikey, Marvin would still be coach.

I don't know about that but even if that's true, why is Hue not the coach? Mike Brown knew better

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4 hours ago, Sea Ray said:

I don't know about that but even if that's true, why is Hue not the coach? Mike Brown knew better

Katie knew better.

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On 1/12/2019 at 4:48 PM, kennethmw said:

Katie knew better.

It doesn't surprise me either that Katie made the call. She's in her mid 50s. She's not a little kid

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