After spending 16 seasons on the sideline for the Cincinnati Bengals as their head coach, Marvin Lewis is seemingly wasting little time moving on to the next phase of his ‘life’s work’. Shortly after Zac Taylor was announced as the team’s new head coach, it was revealed that Lewis will be in the broadcast booth as a part of the announcing crew for the inaugural Alliance of American Football games played on the NFL Network.
The Salt Lake Stallions and the Arizona Hotshots will face off tomorrow night at 8 PM on a game, as mentioned, that will be broadcast on the NFL’s own channel. Maurkice Jones-Drew and Dan Hellie will join him in the broadcast booth.
The NFL Network will air two AAF games every week, one on Saturday and one on Sunday at 8 PM. CBS and TNT will host one game each in the first two weeks, while CBS Sports Network and B/R Live will take over after that. All but eight of the 40 games that the league will play this season will be aired on national television.
Some of the most notable names of players participating in the AAF include Christian Hackenberg, Zach Mettenberger, Josh Johnson, Bishop Sankey, Matt Asiata, Branden Oliver, Gavin Escobar, Damontre Moore, Akeem Hunt, LaDarius Gunter, Terence Garvin, Will Hill, Brad Wing, Trent Richardson, Nick Novak, Matt Simms, Denard Robinson, Rahim Moore, and Sterling Moore.
After spending almost all of the 1980s coaching in the college ranks, Lewis got his first job in the NFL under Bill Cowher with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992 as a linebackers coach, having last worked at Pitt in the same capacity. In 1996, he became the defensive coordinator of the new Baltimore Ravens, a job he held until he served one year in Washington as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
It was in 2003 that Mike Brown gave him the chance to become a head coach for the first time in his career at the age of 44, replacing Dick LeBeau, who would of course in turn return to the Steelers to coach the defense for the next decade-plus.
Inheriting one of the worst franchises in the NFL since 1991, Lewis began to turn things around, staring with the addition of Carson Palmer that same year, returning the Bengals to the playoffs in 2005 for the first time since 1990. They would make it back one more year under Palmer in 2009.
In 2011, the team turned things around in the draft, including A.J. Green in the first round and Andy Dalton in the second. They would reach the postseason five years in a row, though Lewis ultimately posted a postseason record of 0-7.
While he finished his career with three consecutive losing seasons, he ultimately went 131-122-3, which, considering what he had to work with from the ownership on down, is not so bad. Now the 60-year-old looks to try his hand behind the microphone.