Bengals owner Mike Brown has long been loyal to coach Marvin Lewis, and that has not changed during a difficult season. League sources are indicating the team does not intend to part with Lewis, who had reached the postseason for a team-record five straight seasons before a step back in 2016 after offseason defections and injuries riddled his club.
Brown does not intend to fire Lewis with a year left on his current deal, though sources said it is far less likely the coach receives another one-year extension this summer -- which has become an annual process during training camp. Lewis may have to coach out his deal before Brown decides what makes sense for the future; there has long been an expectation that Lewis would move into a front-office position when his coaching stint ends.
Lewis has coached the Bengals since 2003, making him one of the NFL's longest-tenured coaches, and was a highly successful defensive coordinator prior to that. In the past the organization has looked at some of his assistants, like former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, as a possible coach-in-waiting, and current defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is highly thought of by Brown and the organization now. In recent years Lewis has lost Jay Gruden (Washington), Mike Zimmer (Minnesota) and Jackson (Cleveland) from his staff to become head coaches.