December 31, 2018 / 3:52 PM / 8 months ago

NFL: Bengals' Lewis among four head coaches dumped on Monday

(Reuters) - Marvin Lewis left the top job at the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, one of six head coaches ditched within 12 hours of the end of the National Football League regular season as teams acted swiftly in the wake of disappointing campaigns.

Dec 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis looks on before facing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Lewis had been in the job for 16 years, the longest tenure in franchise history.

Only Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (19 years) has been at the helm of an NFL team for longer.

The Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals also announced their head coaches were leaving on Monday, while the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wielded the axe on Sunday night.

The Bengals described the departure of Lewis as a mutual decision, and the coach acknowledged that he had fallen short in his quest to win a Super Bowl.

“I didn’t deliver what your number one goal is, and that’s to be world champions,” Lewis told reporters.

“We did not get that done. Mike (president Mike Brown) and I both decided it’s time.”

Lewis was 131-122-3 with the Bengals, who made the playoffs in five straight seasons from 2011-2015.

But the team never won a playoff game under Lewis, and regressed the past three seasons, failing to qualify for the postseason.

Cincinnati went 6-10 this year, their third straight losing season.

Miami dismissed Adam Gase after the Dolphins went 7-9. Gase was 23-25 in three seasons in South Florida.

Team chairman Stephen Ross said it was time for the franchise to ditch a philosophy that was not working.


Denver fired Vance Joseph after a 6-10 season.

The Broncos won the Super Bowl three years ago, but have struggled in the wake of the retirement of legendary quarterback Peyton Manning.

General manager John Elway did not mince his words in announcing the departure of Joseph.

“Ultimately it was not good enough. We didn’t win enough games. We didn’t get it done,” he said.

While Joseph had two seasons in Denver, Steve Wilks lasted only one year with the Cardinals, who finished the season 3-13, the worst record in the league.

There was a silver lining for the Cardinals, who get the number one overall draft pick courtesy of finishing last.

“It’s a results oriented business and if you don’t win everyone knows what happens,” said owner Michael Bidwill.

The Jets and Buccaneers did not even wait until what has become known as ‘Black Monday’ to announce they were going in a new direction, dispensing with Todd Bowles and Dirk Koetter.

Bowles was 23-40 in four seasons with the Jets, including a 4-12 record this season.

Koetter had three seasons with the Bucs, who went 5-11 this year.

The top jobs are also open at the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns, who appointed interim head coaches during the season.

That leaves at least eight teams looking for a new head coach to lead them to the promised land.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Louise and Andrew Heavens

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