Cincinnati Bengals: Who Are Candidates To Replace Marvin Lewis As Head Coach?

Matt David@@mattdavidkyCorrespondent IIOctober 17, 2010

Cincinnati Bengals: Who Are Candidates To Replace Marvin Lewis As Head Coach?

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    Marvin Lewis, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, is on the hot seat. Lewis, whose contract is up after this year, has shown to be a decent coach. He regularly fields a sloppy team but usually wins half of his games. The same pre-snap penalties occur game after game. He makes puzzling decisions seemingly every game.

    In his favor, Lewis dragged the franchise out of an embarrassing decade of football. He helped make the organization respectable. His teams have made the postseason twice.

    This year, Lewis has taken what many believe is the best team he has had on paper and turned it into a disappointing 2-4 record. Clearly, Lewis will not take the Bengals to the next level.

    Lewis is said to be seeking an indoor practice facility, a general manager and more say over personnel decisions. Since those things won't happen, here is a list of coaches that could take his place.

Mike Zimmer

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    Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer appears to be the front runner if the position was available. His appearance on HBO's "Hard Knocks'' proved that he is head coaching material. The players love him, and he has turned the Bengals defense around.

    The last time the Bengals promoted their defensive coordinator to head coach was when Dick LeBeau took the job. The results were horrible.

Paul Alexander

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    When looking at candidates, people tend to forget about Paul Alexander. He is the team's offensive line coach but he has been the team's assistant head coach since Marvin Lewis joined the Bengals way back in 2003. Alexander has been a Bengals coach since 1994 and is signed for two more years after the season. Mike Brown is as loyal as they come.

    The last time the Bengals promoted a line coach to head coach was when coaching legend Paul Brown retired and named Bill "Tiger" Johnson as his successor after passing over Bill Walsh. Johnson did go 10-4 his first year but Walsh went on to coaching greatness.

Hue Jackson

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    Hue Jackson is the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. He has no head coaching experience but not many proven, experienced coaches would even take the job. Jackson has a history with the organization having spent 2004-2006 as the receivers coach.

    The last time the Bengals hired an accomplished assistant coach from another team to take over was when they hired Marvin Lewis. He sees better than he hears.

Dick Jauron

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    Dick Jauron is the defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. He has plenty of head coaching experience. He was the head coach for the Buffalo Bills for three years and the Chicago Bears for four years. His best season came in 2001 with the Bears when they were 13-3. He was the AP Coach of the Year. To top it off, Jauron is a former Bengal player.

    The last time a former Bengal player was named head coach was when Bruce Coslet got the job.  Coslet is often fondly remembered for declaring, "We suck!" after a game.

Brian Kelly

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    Brian Kelly will one day coach in the NFL. He is a great coach and has the Cincinnati connection.

    Yeah, he did just sign up for one of the top jobs in college football. However, Kelly has shown that contracts, like records, are made to be broken. Also consider that Kelly has always said that it is his goal to coach at the highest level. On the other hand, Kelly is off to a disappointing start for the Irish.

    The last time the Bengals promoted a college coach to the big time was when they hired Sam Wyche. That worked out pretty well until the awkward part at the end.

Bob Bratkowski

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    Bob Bratkowski is the offensive coordinator for the Bengals. Most fans hate his play-calling. His critics think he is much too predictable.

    Despite that, Mike Brown likes Bratkowski a lot. He has been in Cincinnati for a long time for a reason. He also would be the kind of yes man that Brown admires.

    The last time the Bengals promoted an offensive coordinator to head coach was when Bruce Coslet got the job.  Coslet was 7-28 in his last three years when he quit after an 0-3 start in 2000.

Brian Schottenheimer

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    Brian Schottenheimer is the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets. He is regarded as a future head coach in the NFL. He has been a candidate in other places so the Bengals would have to step up to get him.

    Schottenheimer's work with a young quarterback like Mark Sanchez is impressive. He is creative and could jump start the Bengals offense if he puts his stamp on it.

    The last time the Bengals hired a coaching legend's son was when Dave Shula got the job. That was a complete disaster.

Gregg Williams

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    Gregg Williams is the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. Williams also has head coaching experience with the Buffalo Bills. He didn't do well there, but the experience counts for something.

    Williams' is highly thought of especially after the Super Bowl when his defense made it tough on Peyton Manning to get anything going.

    The last time the Bengals hired a defensive coordinator from another team was when Marvin Lewis got the job. That worked out OK.

Marty Schottenheimer

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    Another Schottenheimer might consider this job. Marty Schottenheimer is 67-years-old so this is a long shot anyway.

    However, Schottenheimer has had a lot of success as an NFL coach. His overall record is 200-126-1. Schottenheimer won at every one of his stops except for his stint with the Washington Redskins.

    He is known as a playoff choker, but making the playoffs year after year would be a welcome change.

    The last time the Bengals hired a proven winner to take over was...oh...yeah, it never has happened before.

Bill Cowher

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    Bengals fans remember "The Chin" using the Who Dey chant to celebrate a Steeler victory. That wasn't a good memory. However, if Cowher won games like he did in Pittsburgh (.623 winning percentage), that would be forgotten.

    Of course, it is highly unlikely that he would ever coach for Mike Brown.

    The last time the Bengals hired a Super Bowl winner to take over was...oh...yeah, that never has happened before.

Jim Harbaugh

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    Jim Harbaugh is the head coach at Stanford. He is a former NFL quarterback who has turned the Cardinals into a top-ranked team although his winning percentage is only .512. His brother John Harbaugh is doing very well with the Baltimore Ravens. That rivalry would be enhanced if these brothers were going head-to-head twice a year.

    Most NFL "experts" think Harbaugh will give the NFL a try before hanging up the headset. He was even born in Toledo, Ohio so he may want to return.

Mike Mularkey

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    Mike Mularkey is the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator. He is another former Buffalo Bills head coach which is a plus even though he quit.

    Mularkey has done well in Atlanta and is another guy that has done well with a young quarterback.

Charlie Weis

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    Charlie Weis is the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are having a very good season so far. Everyone knows that he didn't do well at Notre Dame, but Weis is an NFL guy.

    Weis also worked under Bill Belichick in New England. Some of that genius might have rubbed off.