Bengals legend Boomer Esiason on Marvin Lewis’ lame-duck status: ‘I’ve never really seen anything like this’


Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason said his former team needs an infusion of energy, seemingly hinting it might be time for a coaching change.

However, when asked specifically if he thought this should be Marvin Lewis’ last year, Esiason backed off his previous statement.

»RELATED: Bengals rookie falls further out of favor

Esiason, who led Cincinnati to the Super Bowl in 1988, was one of 20 “Bengals Legends” to be honored at halftime of the Monday Night Football game against the Steelers, as part of the team’s 50th season celebrations at Paul Brown Stadium.

“Only Marvin knows if it should be it for him,” Esiason said. “Right? He’s a lame-duck coach right now. I’ve never really seen anything like this. Most coaches don’t go into their final year without a contract, but this has always been a unique place, to say the least. Only Marvin knows what he wants to do in his heart. If he decides to retire, he’s had a great run here. Maybe one of the best runs ever. He’s certainly been a very solid face of this franchise for many years and he’s never done anything to embarrass this franchise, that’s for sure.”

»RELATED: Bengals fans might have to root for Steelers

The three-time Pro Bowler said the Bengals, who entered Monday’s game 5-6, have plenty of talented players and said they have drafted well in recent years, noting “whatever they decide to do coaching wise … there’s a real opportunity here to be a real competitive team.”

He went on to describe how strong of a quarterback Andy Dalton is but said he needs a “Sean McVay type” coach in his life, speaking of the Rams coach guiding Jared Goff to an impressive season.

“Sometimes you’re in a situation that just kind of gets stale,” Esiason said. “If that’s happening here, (Dalton) would know that. You’d love to see a new-found energy around this team because that’s what it’s going to end up taking. Maybe (Monday is) the start of that, who knows? If they win, they come back to work together, they come back to work tomorrow and it’s a whole different mindset. If they lose, unfortunately, and they struggle on offense, they’re going to be back in that hole that they’ve been in for predominantly a big part of this year.”

Esiason said the offense’s struggles have a lot to do with the changes on the offensive line, which lost Andrew Whitworth to the Rams and Kevin Zeitler to the Browns in free agency.

The Bengals were successful during Esiason’s time in large part because of the offensive line anchored by Anthony Munoz, which also helped his Esiason’s confidence. Esiason played for the Bengals from 1984-92 and in 1997, going 62-61 over 10 seasons, and he was named the league MVP in 1988, despite losing Super Bowl XXIII to the 49ers the year after the strike season.

“I also think there has to be an attitude about wanting to win and believing you can win,” Esiason said. “When you lose to good teams and you are struggling on offense, your confidence ends up going.”

Dalton deserves some of the blame for the offense’s struggles, too, Esiason said.

“We deserve our share of criticism when it comes, when it’s realistic,” he said. “I think sometimes fans tend to be unrealistic and aren’t understanding what the quarterbacks are dealing with in terms of his environment. He can also make his environment better. …

“I’ll just say, I think Andy gets down on himself, that’s just me watching from afar. I just want to shake him and say, ‘You’re better than this. You’re a good player. You should be the leader of this team. This should be your team, there should be no questions about that. You have to assume that mantle.’ Some guys are uncomfortable with that. I don’t think that Andy is, I sense when I watch him on the field and on the sideline, that he’s really into it and he wants to do well, but, you know, you’ve got to fight temptation sometimes. When you get beat up and you’re not running the ball effectively, sometimes it’s hard to live with that each and every week. I’m telling you, I could win with that guy. I know he’s always going to be there, he’s always going to set the right example and he’s a winning quarterback in this league.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Bengals coordinator on defense vs. Panthers: ‘We just had a stinker’
Bengals coordinator on defense vs. Panthers: ‘We just had a stinker’

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin wasn’t about to make excuses for how his defense performed Sunday against Carolina. In fact, he placed the blame almost entirely on himself and vowed Cincinnati (2-1) will do better this week at Atlanta (1-2). The Bengals gave up 230 yards rushing in a 31-21 loss to the Panthers , as...
High School Football State Poll: Which area teams are ranked?
High School Football State Poll: Which area teams are ranked?

How a state panel of sports writers and broadcasters rates Ohio high school football teams in the weekly Associated Press poll of 2018. Teams are ranked by OHSAA divisions, with won-lost record and total points (first-place votes in parentheses): 1. Cin. Colerain (9) 5-0 217 2. Mentor (8) 5-0 214 3. Pickerington Central (6) 5-0 208 4. Reynoldsburg...
Ohio State QB Haskins wins Big Ten Player of the Week award for second time in four weeks
Ohio State QB Haskins wins Big Ten Player of the Week award for second time in four weeks

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award Monday for the second time in four weeks. Haskins shared the award with Penn State running back Miles Sanders. The No. 4 Buckeyes and No. 9 Nittany Lions play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in State College, Pa. In a 49-6 victory against Tulane, Haskins completed...
Miami coach praises team’s ‘persistance’ in MAC-opening road win
Miami coach praises team’s ‘persistance’ in MAC-opening road win

Even though Bowling Green went into Saturday’s game against Miami with the Mid-American Conference’s worst rushing defense, the visiting, injury-riddled RedHawks hardly seemed poised to run roughshod over the Falcons. Led by Alonzo Smith’s career-high 164 rushing yards, Miami piled up a startling 289 yards on the ground on the way...
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 31-21 loss to Panthers
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 31-21 loss to Panthers

The Cincinnati Bengals couldn’t overcome turnovers, injuries or the Carolina Panthers’ running game Sunday as they suffered their first loss of the season. With running back Joe Mixon out, Cincinnati turned to its passing game but lost standout wide receiver A.J. Green to a groin injury early in the third quarter and quarterback Andy Dalton...
More Stories