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NFL rumors: Marvin Lewis generating significant interest to return as head coach in 2021

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis reacts to a penalty on the Cincinnati Bengals in the first quarter of a Week 17 NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Cincinnati Bengals lead 10-3 at halftime. Cincinnati Bengals At Pittsburgh Steelers 12 30 2018

Marvin Lewis could return to the NFL sidelines in 2021, with the former Cincinnati Bengals head coach generating plenty of buzz heading into an offseason with a plethora of coaching vacancies.

Nearly two years after he was fired by the Cincinnati Bengals, posting one of the best records in franchise history, Lewis is emerging once again as a head coaching candidate.

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NFL rumors: Multiple teams interested in Marvin Lewis as head coach

As the NFL’s coaching hot seat begins to heat up, names to replace fired head coaches are emerging. A few weeks after some early buzz around Marvin Lewis, it seems the NFL’s interest in him is rapidly increasing.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Lewis received numerous head coaching overtures this past offseason and is once again generating significant consideration heading into 2021.

Before the Dallas Cowboys hired Mike McCarthy, the team interviewed Lewis for the same position. Shortly after missing out on the opportunity, Lewis was promoted from special advisor at Arizona State to become the program’s co-defensive coordinator.

The 62-year-old’s time at the collegiate level is seen as an additional benefit by NFL teams. With so much from the college game being adopted into the NFL, Lewis would have insight into approaching modern offenses and might have some unique ideas of his own on both sides of the ball.

Plus, organizations are very familiar with the issues Lewis had to deal with in Cincinnati. Between an ownership group that kept its spending tight, with plenty of off-field drama also caused by players and team owner Mike Brown.

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Marvin Lewis coaching record and tenure with Bengals

It’s rare to see one head coach stay with a team for 10-plus years. But Lewis managed to stick around in Cincinnati for 16 seasons, doing far more with the team than anyone expected.

During his tenure in Cincinnati, the Bengals posted a 131-122-3 record in the regular season, making seven playoff appearances. Under Lewis, the Bengals could never get it done in the postseason with a 0-7 record.

While the lack of playoff success is concerning, there is a lot to like from Lewis’ resume. The Bengals posted six double-digit win seasons under his tenure, including consecutive years from 2012-’15. He also won the AP’s Coach of the Year award in 2009, when Cincinnati improved from 4-11-1 the previous year to 10-6.

Fans in Cincinnati might not have the best memories during that era, but it is far better than how his team has performed since Lewis was fired. Under current head coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals enter Week 15 with a 4-24-1 record.

Given his accomplishments and how respected he remains across the sport, Marvin Lewis likely deserves another coaching opportunity in the NFL. With so many jobs available this offseason, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he gets his second chance.