The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / All I Want for Christmas is Marvin Lewis Gone! And No, Making Him the G.M. is not a Solution

All I Want for Christmas is Marvin Lewis Gone! And No, Making Him the G.M. is not a Solution

All I want for Christmas!

Ok, let me start off by saying what I really want is a new owner but that is not going to happen. I see a lot of Bengals fans saying that Marvin should move to the front office and my only response to that is, why?

If they do move him to the front office, what makes you, as a Bengal fan, think that Brown would give him any say over anything? The chances are he would just be a figurehead and nothing else! This team needs a culture change and that means gutting the entire coaching staff. Giving a failed Head Coach a promotion does nothing to change the culture. It just perpetuates that culture.

Has Marvin Lewis been a failure?

Without a doubt, Marvin Lewis has been an unmitigated failure. Sure, when he got to Cincinnati, the team was a dumpster fire. For awhile, he improved the culture, but there is a big difference between changing a culture and improving it. Just eight years into his regime as the Bengals coach, Marvin lost Carson Palmer. Why did he lose him? Because the team was a joke, maybe not so much on the field, but in the way players were treated.

The story goes that Mike Brown did give up more control after the Palmer incident and they drafted A.J. Green and Andy Dalton and that led to 5 straight playoff years. The problem was once they got to the playoffs, they were immediately knocked out of the playoffs in all 5 attempts. The question then becomes, were these “one and dones” a result of inadequate coaching or just being out-manned?

Coaching was a determining factor in the playoffs!

Bad teams are highly penalized in most cases, they do not manage the clock well, and they fail at times where the lights shine brightest. In 2015, Andy Dalton got hurt and the Bengals were tasked with playing the Steelers in the Wildcard game. The game was at home and the Bengals struggled on offense all game long. They somehow managed to take a lead late in the game, were running the clock out and looked destined to finally win a playoff game, but Marvin struck again.

Bengals’ running back Jeremy Hill had a history in his NFL career of fumbling and in the biggest moment of the game, the Bengals gave Hill the ball and of course, Bengal luck meant that he would fumble, and he did. My question is, why wasn’t Gio Bernard in the game at this moment? He was sure-handed and very seldom fumbled the ball, but Marvin chooses to go with Hill.

Then the undisciplined nature of the team came back to bite the Bengals in the ass as Pac Man Jones responded to Steelers’ coach Joey Porter coming on the field and the resulting penalty led to an easy Steeler Field goal to win the game. I know the Steelers should have been flagged for Porter coming on the field and with that being said, Pac Man should have been pointing that out to the officials instead of engaging Porter on the field, but he didn’t because he is selfish and didn’t think of the team in this instance. As a result, the  Bengals lost. I don’t bring up Burfict here because I think he did let up and a lot of people do not take into effect that the speed in the NFL makes it hard to stop in a moment like that.

This season injuries were the problem?

Yes, injuries were a problem but in the end, this season ended when the Bengals blew the game at home against Pittsburgh and that was a coaching error. You can not leave well over a minute on the clock for Big Ben to beat you. A running play or a couple short passes gives you a chance to leave much less time on the clock. Instead, the Bengals went for the immediate touchdown and lost the game. Marvin had completely lost this team at that moment and they were healthy enough going to Kansas City to put up a fight, but they didn’t. They laid down and took an ass-whipping and have been ever since.

On Sunday, with a little over a two minutes left, they had cut the Browns lead to eight. An onside kick would have been the smarter play to me, but the Bengals kicked off. To make matters worse, they kicked to around the ten-yard line and allowed a return that ate up valuable seconds. Now kicking deep to me is the correct thing to do if you trust your defense but let’s face it, why would anybody trust this Bengals defense? So yes injuries were a problem and with the amount maybe it’s time to clear out the medical staff also, but coaching was the final nail in this coffin.

The Players Do not Respect the Bengals Coaching Staff!

How could they? Marvin stands there like a deer caught in the headlights and Hue Jackson, who may be the biggest loser in NFL Coaching history, immediately gets hired by the Bengals when he got fired by the Browns. I thought it was cute when I saw fans on Social Media say it was a good move to hire Hue because we had to play the Browns twice and nobody knew the Browns like Hue! How did that work out?

On Sunday in the second half Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield got hit by a Bengals defender a step out of bounds. No flag was thrown and immediately, a Browns players went after the Bengals player who made the hit. That is what a well-coached football team does.

Ok, now let us take a glance at how the Bengals handled a similar situation as late in the game Mayfield completes a long pass to seal the game and he stares down Hue Jackson who is on the Bengals sideline. What response did the Bengals have? Well, Hue just stood there looking sad as did Marvin and not one player came to the defense of their coach! Could you imagine what would have happened had Mayfield done that to a Belichick or Tomlin, or any one of those teams assistant coaches? You know what would have happened, but with the Bengals, the team has given up and couldn’t care less about their coach.

Culture Change, NOW PLEASE!

This team has not had a real culture change since 1988 and it is badly needed before the Bengals lose an entire generation of fans. A perfect example would have been in 1980 when the Bengals fired Homer Rice and brought in Forrest Gregg. Homer Rice was a better coach than Gregg, but a culture change was needed because the Bengals were a soft team at that time. Forrest was so far away from soft that when he blew through the doors at Wilmington College for Training camp, the culture was immediately changed and it led to one of the greatest turnarounds in NFL history.

Coach Gregg was a leader who demanded respect and that is badly needed in Cincinnati right now. If the culture does not change in the next year, we are looking at another dark period in Bengals football. If you have looked at the last 5 drafts by the Bengals and think Marvin should be the G.M. please slap yourself. Change is what we need and we need it now, but I doubt we get it.

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