'They've already jumped the first hurdle': Marvin Lewis still pulling for Bengals, Mike Brown this postseason

Bengals continue playoff push
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 11:43:57-05

CINCINNATI — For 15 years, Marvin Lewis was the man on the Bengals sideline — calling plays and taking hits when things were not going well.

Lewis went 0-7 in the postseason during his tenure, but was the only coach who got the Bengals to the playoffs during their 31-year losing streak. Though he is no longer in Cincinnati, Lewis said he was happy for the city he called home for so long.

"I was very happy," Lewis said. "I mean, I talked to people who said they never sat down the entire game...that's incredible."

Lewis watched the Bengals defeat the Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, excited for the players he once coached and new additions to the team.

"Joe Mixon had a great year, the young receiver had an outstanding year, Ja'Marr Chase, and, you know, obviously the quarterback's playing lights out, but just guys like C.J. Uzomah, who played really well, this year, Tyler Boyd continues to put up great numbers and it's fun to watch," Lewis said. "And on defense, you got Hubbard and Jesse Bates and guys over there that were rookies my last season, so I'm excited for them."

As for his successor, Lewis said first-time head coach Zac Taylor is doing a great job.

"I've heard it's been very difficult on him and his family, the first two years, and he's been able to weather that storm and that's, you know, that's different — that's hard," Lewis said. "That's hard to do because not only are you in the trenches, but your family, and everybody else is hearing all the other outside chatter all the time."

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Having heard, probably more than anyone, the gripes and groans of the Bengal faithful, Lewis said he is not only happy for fans and players — but for fan-favorite punching bag, Mike Brown.

"The one thing he cares about is that team winning, and that those players reap the benefits in their careers because he does genuinely care about them and their health, their future and to see them grow as men," Lewis said. "It's been time to get off his back and move on, put all that...anxiety, angst, whatever it is, and push it in a positive direction and be supportive."

Lewis said his support does not stop after the streak ends, he is pulling for a Bengals win over the Titans this weekend. He said he likes that the city is adopting a "Why not us?" attitude and hopes the team uses it to their advantage.

"They've already jumped the first hurdle, so you don't have to hear about that anymore," Lewis said. "Now it's time just to see how far we can go."

After his time with the Bengals, Lewis returned to college as a special adviser at Arizona State University. He said while he enjoys Arizona, he does miss walking those NFL sidelines and would not mind doing it again soon.

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