CINCINNATI -- Bengals owner Mike Brown says the decision to bring Marvin Lewis back for a 16th season provides "continuity" despite a staff shakeup that saw defensive coordinator Paul Guenther leave, along with several other assistants.
In separate interviews with Bengals.com and the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brown said he did not want to make a decision about Lewis' future until the end of the season and that the Bengals' back-to-back wins against the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens to end the season factored into the decision.
"I don't think he lost the football team. I think that was evidenced by the last couple games," Brown told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The players like Marvin. They support him. I think that's a good thing.
"The area where we have some making up to do is with our public. They are unsettled because they wanted to see more. And then it didn't come through for them in the fashion they had expected or hoped; they began to make commentary and some of that was, well, it's Marvin. Some of that was, well, it's Mike. Some of that was whatever it was. I have to look beyond that. I have to just do what I think puts our team in the best position to win. Even if it is a short-term issue with our fans, I will tell you that it's all going to play out on the field here. And if we win, it will be great. If we don't, you'll be right back here asking why."
Brown discussed the future of both Lewis and the Bengals and said he had no plans to move the team from Cincinnati.
"I played a role in bringing it here. I played a role in keeping it here. I don't know if there's much more I can do," Brown told Bengals.com. "I would hazard to guess the Bengals will be here when I'm not."
Brown said he considers this season an "aberration" and thought Lewis was the best man to get the team back on track.
"I think it's correctable. I think we can rebound quicker with Marvin than with anybody else," he told Bengals.com "I think he deserved to be back because he's put a lot of his life here, and that matters to me."
Brown said he has identified several of the problems that hurt the team and most notably pinpointed the offensive line, saying they need a change up front. The Bengals parted ways with longtime offensive line coach Paul Alexander after the season, and he accepted the same job with the Dallas Cowboys shortly afterward.