By Eric Ronnebeck
Depending on the mood I’m in during the week I write this column, I take different approaches in how to write a team’s eulogy. I may use in game examples to show why the team that week has no shot at the playoffs. Other times I’ll cite stats or I’ll show a disparity in talent on whatever sides of the ball a team is failing. I like this column to come off a little snarky but I try to never be mean-spirited or make things personal. I’m going to do my best to keep this week’s article from getting personal but it’s going to be difficult. Not because I care one way or the other but because this week I’m writing a letter.
Cincinnati Bengals: (3-6-1)
Dear Marvin Lewis,
If you finish the 2016 NFL season as coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, you will have had an amazing 14 year run as the head coach of one team. That’s impressive. Usually long head coaching runs come because of success, such as a Super Bowl victory or consistent seasons of making a Super Bowl run. That’s why your 14 year run in Cincinnati is so impressive: the Bengals haven’t been to the Super Bowl since you’ve been their head coach, nor have they made any kind of run at the Super Bowl. In 14 seasons, the Bengals have made the playoffs 7 times. You and your team have racked up an astonishing amount of playoff victories in those 7 games. I say astonishing because in those 7 playoff appearances, the Bengals have won ZERO GAMES! Adding to that, every playoff appearance has been a Wild Card game. That means no first or second seed in the AFC and no bye week. Your team has hosted playoff games and your team has traveled for playoff games but no matter where the game is played, the Bengals lose. Coach Lewis, I know that you strive to win football games and I know that you preach excellence. However, after 14 seasons of futility in Cincinnati it’s time to move on and let the next coach take their shot. You’re certainly not the worst head coach in the NFL but you’re not bringing the Lombardi Trophy to northern Kentucky. When I see how undisciplined the Bengals are or when you lose a game in the final minute, I think that you’re holding the Bengals organization back. To be fair though, I think they in turn are holding you back. Look out at the NFL landscape and find a team with no hope and no pieces to build around. Coach Lewis, go to that team. Get hired there as head coach. You know what will happen? That team will improve and show that they can contend for the playoffs because you are a coach that makes players better. I’m just not sure that you’re a coach that can take a team all the way.
Sincerely, The Seahawks Nest.