Cincinnati Bengals Extending HC Marvin Lewis Shows Mediocrity is the Plan

By Phil Naegely
marvin lewis contract extension
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals‘ 2013 NFL regular season finished well by winning the AFC North and securing their third-straight playoff appearance. However, for the fifth time under HC Marvin Lewis, they failed to win in the playoffs. As a result, it is crazy that Cincinnati even thought about extending Lewis’ contract an extra year before the 2014 season.

Instead of extending Lewis through 2015, Cincinnati’s front office should have sat and waited to see how this season played out. I understand the Bengals dominated the AFC North, but once again, they proved ineffective come playoff time. The 2014 season should have been Lewis’ time to prove that he can make the Bengals more than just a one and done playoff team.

However, Lewis and the Bengals extended his contract. For Lewis, I can’t blame him for agreeing to add another year to his deal. It brings a sense of job security for him and his future won’t be in limbo throughout the season. At the same time, having an unknown future would have motivated Lewis and the Bengals’ players more knowing the head coach’s job was on the line.

Overall, the Bengals’ front office extending Lewis show they are alright with mediocrity. Making the playoffs is a great goal and it’s worthwhile to reward a coach who does so. Yet, just making the playoffs isn’t good enough for this team anymore. Year after year they make the postseason, but fail to bring their A-games.

At the end of a mediocre 2014 season, the Bengals’ front office will look back on this decision and be hitting themselves over their stupid decision to extend Lewis’ contract. Even worse, the club will elect to keep him through 2015, thinking the result will change while the process doesn’t.

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