Job security is so ridiculously poor for coaches in professional sports, and firings happen for such a large and occasionally downright weird variety of reasons, that when a coach hangs around for longer than a half-decade without winning a championship or two or at least getting to the playoffs every single year, it starts to feel sort of uncomfortable, like you're just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Such has been the case with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis for some time now, employed since '03 despite a mere two playoff appearances and 0 wins by Cincy in that time span. But finally, a 4-12 record a year after winning the AFC North would seem to have tipped the scales for Marv, putting him on the outs alongside the similarly-recently-deposed Eric Mangini and Tom Cable.
But apparently this is not how things work in Cincinnati. Not only was Lewis not given the axe for his division-worst finish, he was extended (for an unspecified amount of money and years) by owner Mike Brown. The extension will make him the longest-tenured coach in Bengals history.
Apparently, the deal was a compromise between owner and coach, the latter of whom had previously demanded things like a new practice facility and a greatly-changed front office in order to stick around, banking on some sort of leverage that I must be missing. Eventually, a compromise was reached. "When you consider all things, looking forward and so forth, I think this is the right spot for me to be," said Lewis."I'm not happy with where we are. It's not finished...I really came to the realization this morning that this is what I wanted to do."
Well, the last time Lewis won four games, he bounced back to 11, an AFC North title and a Coach of the Year designation the next season. Perhaps Cincy are banking on history repeating itself--though if so, maybe they should think about pre-emptively firing him after the 2011 season.