Carson Palmer and Marvin Lewis spent a good deal of time together as the franchise quarterback and head coach, respectively, of the Cincinnati Bengals through the majority of the 2000s. Palmer was a very solid quarterback around whom the front office struggled to put talent, but they did have some success, reaching the postseason in 2005 and…well, we know how that ended.
Palmer eventually grew tired of the losing culture and atmosphere in Cincinnati and essentially forced a trade when he indicated that he was going to retire, and he ended up spending as much time with the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals as he did with the Bengals.
“I love Marvin”, he told reporters recently. “I’ve seen him at different golf and charity events. I hate to see his time come to an end, but I get it. I haven’t talked to him since (he parted ways with the Bengals), but I really believe it was mutual. They thought it was time to move on and he felt it was time to move on”.
Cincinnati is currently one of two teams that has yet to fill their head coaching vacancy, but reportedly they have a candidate in mind—they just have to wait for his season to end. Zac Taylor, the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams, is who they are said to have their sights set on.
All Palmer could offer was to wish the next Bengals head coach ‘good luck’, because he believes it’s one of the more difficult jobs in the NFL due to the way in which the organization is structured, from owner Mike Brown on down.
“That’s a tough job. “There’s no doubt about that”, he said. “There’s some jobs that are easier than others, that’s for sure. That’s one of the tougher ones in the league without having just the natural GM and the same scouting department, some of the things other teams throughout the league have. My only advice would be, ‘good luck’”.
Lewis posted a 131-122-3 record for a winning percentage of .518 over 16 seasons with the Bengals, ending his tenure with three consecutive losing seasons. His 6-10 finish in 2018 is the third-worst record he ever posted, though their roster was admittedly decimated by injury this past season.
After bottoming out and going 4-12 in 2010, the team turned things around with a great draft including Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Andy Dalton at wide receiver and quarterback, respectively. They reached the postseason in five consecutive seasons—which is longer than any streak the Steelers have had in two decades.
Of course, they didn’t manage to win any of those five playoff games, even losing one to Pittsburgh along the way. The Bengals have not won a postseason game since January 6, 1991, defeating the Houston Oilers in the Wildcard Round 41-14 before losing to the Los Angeles Raiders in the Divisional Round.