- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Bengals coach Marvin Lewis seemed optimistic that he'll sign a contract extension with the team. Lewis is entering the final year of a previous two-year extension.
“[Bengals owner Mike Brown] would like to get it extended. He’s told me that two or three times,” Lewis told reporters at the NFL combine, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We would like to continue moving forward and we haven’t had the opportunity to do it. Hopefully we’ll get it resolved.”
Lewis deserves a contract extension from the Bengals. He's the winningest coach in Bengals history, which is a great achievement when it comes with a franchise that is more frugal than most. He guided them to a 9-7 record and a trip to the playoffs after beginning the season as the worst-ranked team in many power rankings, including the one at ESPN.
This was a remarkable turnaround when you consider most didn't think Lewis would be coaching the team after last season. He turned the Bengals from a four-win team into a playoff one by relying on a rookie quarterback and changing six starters on defense -- all in a lockout season.
Lewis was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2009, but this season was a more impressive coaching job.
There are obviously things that Lewis has to fix going forward. The Bengals have won two division titles but have never won a playoff game. This team also continues to have run-ins with the law, including three since last July.
Lewis' longevity has been impressive. As the Enquirer points out, he will become the 22nd NFL head coach since 1960 to coach 10 seasons with one team. He will also surpass Minnesota's Dennis Green as the the longest tenured African-American head coach with one team.
“Denny Green took them to the championship game a couple times and frankly that’s where I’m disappointed," Lewis said. "I haven’t gotten us to the championship game. We haven’t won a playoff game. We won the division twice but we haven’t won a playoff game. I was hoping we would have gotten beyond that this year.”