Maybe all smiles?
January 4th 2011 — As of 11:30 pm EST, Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson reported that despite reports (namely by a "source" to ESPN's Adam Schefter in an Associated Press release) that Marvin Lewis would likely be returning for his 9th season in 2011, the official website of the Bengals has cautioned public optimism as to the two sides not having formally committed to an on going relationship.
Some clues and clarity are being brought to the situation as both reports indicated that the primary issues are staffing (i.e. coaches and off-field support staff) and scouting (i.e. player personnel issues for drafting, free agent signings, and trades).
It is well known and assumed that both of these categorical issues have been within the scope and control of Mike Brown — the Cincinnati Bengals' primary owner, de-facto general manager, and President. What compounds the issue with regards to the personnel department is that both Brown's brother (Pete Brown Senior Vice President of Player Personnel) and Brown's son (Paul Brown Vice President of Player Personnel) stand to be most adversely affected by Marvin Lewis' requests.
Other reported issues — in no particular order — are:
1. Roster decisions with present players.
2. Indoor practice bubble: with the anticipated increase to 18 game seasons, durability factors — such as practicing conditions — are going to require further conditioning upgrades along with an indoor practice facility.
3. Collective Bargaining Agreement issues.
Stay tuned for more information.