There's something to be said for loyalty, and probably more to be said about continuity when it comes to the NFL.
The Bengals have shown no signs that they're unhappy with coach Marvin Lewis, showing exceptional patience despite no postseason success with him. And, literally, there has been no postseason success. In 11 seasons, Lewis' Bengals haven't won a playoff game. Most coaches wouldn't survive that. Lewis got an extension.
It's just a one-year extension, announced Friday by the Bengals, taking Lewis through the 2015 season. It's not a huge commitment, but it allows the coach and team to go through the season without the end of Lewis' contract being an ongoing issue. Maybe Lewis' future was affecting them in free agency, considering the team hasn't signed an outside free agent yet.
It also shows that the Bengals value having the same coach, and aren't overreacting to Lewis' 0-5 playoff record, at least yet.
“Marvin has earned this commitment for the job he is doing,” Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement. “We are one of only five teams to qualify for the playoffs the last three years, and our prospects are bright looking ahead. Marvin is driven to achieve more, and we are happy to secure his leadership of our team beyond the coming season.”
There's something to be said about not firing a coach for postseason losses. The postseason is a small sample size, and making the playoffs three straight years as the Bengals have done isn't easy. Lewis has a respectable 90-85-1 record for a franchise that has long been derided as a NFL laughingstock. However, the home playoff loss last season as heavy favorites against San Diego had to be frustrating.
It didn't cost Lewis his job, however. Despite losing both coordinators and key free agent defensive end Michael Johnson, the Bengals should still be a slight favorite in the AFC North. But at some point, you assume Lewis is going to have to have that postseason success to keep his job. Patience might still be a virtue for the Bengals now, but it won't last forever.
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