CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Marvin Lewis has seen a lot of winning in his 15 seasons as the Bengals head coach. Lewis survived back-to-back losing seasons in 2007-08 because of his early success in 2005, winning 11 games and leading the Bengals to the playoffs for the first time since 1990.
This time it's different.
Lewis and his coaching staff currently aren't under contract beyond the end of the 2017 season. It's why his seat feels hotter than usual with just five wins in 14 weeks. And for the first time since the 2007-08 seasons, Lewis is facing back-to-back losing seasons, unless his team wins the final three games.
"We all realize when you sign up for these jobs, the thing is, it's not forever." Lewis said on Wednesday. "We all accept that."
The Bengals are facing the Minnesota Vikings this week. Vikings head coach and former Bengals defensive coordinator gave Lewis a glowing endorsement this week, implying that the organization would suffer a tremendous loss if they didn't sign Lewis to a new contract at season's end.
"Marvin has done some unbelievable things for that organization," Zimmer said. "Honestly, he deserves to be there as long as he wants to be, in my opinion. The things he has had to do and overcome and the things when he was there when I was there and prior and after, we all go through these things. They have had a ton of injuries and things that have happened throughout the course of this season that make it extremely difficult. I know how good a coach Marvin Lewis is. I know what kind of person he is. I know what he's done for that community and I know what he's done for 99 percent of the players there. It would be a tremendous loss if he wasn't back."
"I guess I owe him a check," Lewis said laughing a bit. "I appreciate that support from Mike (Zimmer). We have a lot of good talks. We spent a lot of time when we're not doing football together. When things don't go well for us, that's all we have is each other. We spend more time. We don't spend less time."
Marvin has spent less time winning and more time losing in the last two years. It's not what he's been known for across 15 years as the head man in Cincinnati. He's also aware that losing in the NFL means an uncertain future.
"You detest losing, more than hate (losing). Hate is too easy," said Lewis. "That's why you relish it for ten minutes when you win and then you move on. That part feels good and it feels good the next day and then you move on. That's why coaches do it. We don't remember wins, we remember losses unfortunately."