Jets interviewed former Bengals' HC Marvin Lewis for their HC job.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2021
Lewis has a history with Joe Douglas. He was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore as the current Jets general manager was just beginning his scouting career. Lewis famously ran the 2000 Ravens defense, widely considered one of the greatest in league history.
There’s no way around it. This hire would be very unpopular with the fanbase. Lewis has become synonymous with his 0-7 record in the Playoffs.
Still I think he is widely underrated by NFL fans. The Bengals franchise has enormous inherent disadvantages relative to the rest of the league because of ownership issues. They don’t spend in free agency. They don’t have quality facilities, and most notably they have a skeleton scouting staff. Lewis was able to turn out respectable teams and develop talent. He also made smart assistant hires.
Under the current owner’s tenure, the only time the Bengals weren’t one of the laughingstocks of the league was Lewis’ time as coach. Mike Brown has a .274 winning percentage as owner in games not coached by Marvin Lewis. The Bengals had a .518 winning percentage with him.
Simply put, I don’t think this news deserves the collective freak out it will likely receive. Marvin Lewis held his own doing one of the toughest jobs in the league. He’s a credible head coach if nothing else.