Without a single playoff win during his 13-year tenure as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach, Marvin Lewis is facing a ton of pressure to win.
This has taken on a whole new meaning with the Bengals boasting one of the most-talented rosters in the NFL over the past couple seasons.
In what shouldn’t be considered too much of a surprise, a recent report from Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole is indicating that the Bengals’ brass is growing impatient with the long-time head coach:
“In talking to multiple sources in and around the Cincinnati Bengals organization, (there’s a) growing impatience by ownership, led by Mike Brown, about the future with coach Marvin Lewis,” Cole reported. “Lewis has been there for 14 years, and Mike Brown has been overwhelmingly happy with that tenure, especially when compared with the previous three coaches and a 20-year span.”
Patience is probably a bit of an understatement here. Many skeptics were calling for Lewis’ head following Cincinnati’s complete meltdown at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs this past January.
That ugly on-field performance is the latest in a string of five consecutive postseason losses over the past five years. Overall, Lewis boasts a 0-7 playoff record as the Bengals’ head coach.
“The big issue with Lewis is an obvious one: there have been no playoff victories for Lewis, and there’s a growing feeling within the organization that this is as good a team as the Bengals have ever had,” Cole continued. “These teams compare very favorably to the ones that went to the Super Bowl in the past.”
That right there is the crux of the issue. Lewis likely faces a Super Bowl or bust 2016 campaign. Cincinnati has never been more talented on the field. And in reality, the AFC seems to be prime for the picking with the losses the defending champion Denver Broncos have endured over the past month.
Anything short of a Super Bowl appearance would be seen as a failure in Cincinnati.
Though, it must be noted that the team’s Super Bowl or bust mentality has been around for some time now. This isn’t something that just came to a head recently. Even then, Mike Brown and Co. have stuck by Lewis.
It will be interesting to see if this remains the case should the Bengals continue their playoff struggles next season.
The ownership group might be among the most patient in the business, but the fans surely have to be feeling that this dog and pony show is growing old.