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Marvin Lewis Denies Report He Plans to Leave Bengals After This Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2017

FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis speaks during a news conference following an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Cincinnati. The Bears piled up a season-high 482 yards against a defense missing starting cornerbacks Adam
Gary Landers/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis denied a report he is planning on leaving the organization after the 2017 season to "pursue opportunities elsewhere."

Lewis made the comments after the Bengals' 34-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, saying he's made no decisions on his future. Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported Lewis was intending to step down.

Per that report, "With a flurry of head coaching openings expected in the coming weeks and a shortage of obvious head coaching candidates with experience, Lewis is likely to be on teams' short lists of candidates."

He also reportedly would be interested in taking on an advisory role for one of his former assistant coaches, such as Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

Both Schefter and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Lewis could seek a front-office position, such as general manager, as his next job. Rapoport offered more details on both Lewis' and the Bengals' future: 

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Back to #Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. When I discussed his future with Lewis last night, he told me being a GM is “something I would listen to.” Both sides seem at peace with a new start. Keep an eye on ST coach Darrin Simmons as a possible replacement.

Schefter also reported Lewis' coaching staff could be on the way out as well:

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"Not only is Lewis' contract up, but so are those of most, if not all, of the Bengals' assistant coaches. The Bengals have declined to give contract extensions to their assistant coaches, and some are unhappy with the way they have been treated financially, sources said.

"Amid the uncertainty and potential change, the Bengals are likely to undergo a major overhaul to their coaching staff. Some assistants could wind up staying, but many are expected to leave along with Lewis."

With Lewis' contract up after the season, his coaching staff reportedly unhappy with the organization and the 5-9 Bengals struggling, the writing is on the wall.

Nate Davis of USA Today ranked Lewis No. 1 in his NFL hot-seat rankings this past week, noting "Cincy's briefly flickering playoff hopes are now permanently doused, and it's all but inevitable that Lewis is finishing out his contract with no hope for another one."

Nonetheless, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported the Bengals were "caught off guard" by Sunday's news.

Lewis, 59, has spent 15 seasons as the Bengals head coach, accumulating a 123-112-3 record while leading the team to the postseason seven times.

Lewis' tenure in Cincinnati may be ending on a down note, but as Field Yates of ESPN noted, he helped turn around a franchise that hadn't made the playoffs in 14 straight seasons before Lewis led them there in 2005: 

Field Yates @FieldYates

Marvin Lewis will take a lot of flack for how this season has played out and that’s fair. But he helped dig Cincinnati out of the NFL’s embarrassing basement and guided them to the playoffs in 6 of 7 seasons. That matters.

He was also the most successful coach in Bengals history by a wide margin, at least from a statistical perspective, per ESPN Stats & Info: 

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Marvin Lewis has twice as many wins as the next-closest Bengals head coach, and took the team to the playoffs 7 times in 15 seasons. The Bengals had 7 playoff appearances in 35 seasons prior to Lewis' arrival. https://t.co/6dQhceTZ8C

Among current NFL coaches, only Bill Belichick, who started with the New England Patriots in 2000, has had a longer tenure with one team.

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