One of the most difficult things to come by in professional football is job security. And Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has just that.
At least he does for the next two seasons.
The organization announced Friday that it had signed Lewis to a contract extension through the 2015 season. His former contract was to expire after 2014.
“Marvin has earned this commitment for the job he is doing,” said Bengals president Mike Brown after the signing. “We are one of only five teams to qualify for the playoffs the last three years, and our prospects are bright looking ahead. Marvin is driven to achieve more, and we are happy to secure his leadership of our team beyond the coming season.”
The Bengals went 11-5 in 2013 and won the AFC North Division championship by two games over Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
It was the team's first division title since 2009, and only the eighth in the 46-year history of the franchise. Lewis is the architect of three of those title-winning squads (2005, 2009 and 2013).
In addition to being one of five teams to make the playoffs three straight years, the Bengals are one of only six clubs to qualify for the playoffs four times in the last five years. The organization is in the midst of its most successful run since the '80s when they made their only two Super Bowl appearances (1981 and 1988).
Before Lewis' arrival in the Queen City, the organization had only made seven playoff appearances since its inaugural season in 1968.
“I’m blessed to continue to do a job I love here in Cincinnati, and with the Bengals organization,” Lewis said in a statement from the team. “I truly appreciate the commitment by our management to continue to enable us to build an NFL championship team.”
Lewis in 2014 is set to extend his Bengals-record head coaching tenure to 12 seasons, earning a 90-85-1 regular-season record during that time. His 90 career victories are the most in Bengals history, bettering the 64 by local coaching legend Sam Wyche.
In 2013, the Bengals’ numerous top 10 NFL rankings included: net defense (third), rush defense (fifth), pass defense (fifth), scoring (tied for sixth), scoring defense (tied for fifth), pass offense (eighth), net offense (10th), defensive third-down efficiency (second) and fewest sacks allowed per passing play (third).
However, despite the regular season successes, his 0-5 all-time record in the postseason has some fans wondering if he was the man for the job.
Some members of Who Dey nation questioned whether or not Lewis should be brought back for 2014 after his team was outplayed in their first game of the 2013 NFL playoffs by San Diego Chargers, a team they'd defeated earlier in the season.
They now have two more seasons to figure that out.