Do Bengals’ problems start with coaching?

When talk of coaches on the hot seat arises during any given NFL season, plenty of heavy-duty speculation is involved. Some logical, some simply connecting the dots. 

Coaching change is an inevitable fact of life in the NFL. One coach who currently fits two key descriptions of a coach on the hot seat — lame-duck status because it’s the final year of his contract, and his team not meeting high expectations — is Marvin Lewis of the Bengals. Jason La Canfora says Lewis is “absolutely” on the hot seat and has noted on several occasions few would be surprised to see a change in Cincinnati.

So why haven’t the 2-4 Bengals been fixed during the first seven weeks of the season? Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the blame is coaching. As in poor coaching.

And Daugherty wonders if there is writing on the wall that even Lewis sees.

“With every passing day, his return seems less likely,” he writes. “Given the way The [Brown] Family handles negotiations, silence doesn’t mean much. But Lewis doesn’t appear eager to resolve the situation. If you believe your future is elsewhere – another NFL gig, joining your buddies Bill Cowher and Brian Billick in the TV swivel chairs or resurrecting a proud college program (did someone say Pitt?) – does your passion drift?”

Unless the Bengals reverse course, the situation seems to point to this being the end of Lewis’ eight-year run in Cincinnati.

— Frank Tadych

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