At 5-8, the Cincinnati Bengals are all but out of the playoffs, with the other three teams in the AFC North all alive and looking stronger this season. If this proves to be it for longtime coach Marvin Lewis, one local columnist thinks a call needs to be made to outgoing Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.
The national championship winner has not coached at the NFL level, and has publicly stated that he is not interested in a pro job.
“I could never work at a place… I see some of these guys’ records because the NFL is so even,” he said. “Some of these guys, their record is 74-58. I could never do that.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t answer a call from one of the local teams, both of whom could have an opening at season’s end. The Cleveland Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson earlier this year, and now Lewis’ job is in peril once again.
WKRC’s Richard Skinner writes that the Bengals have to make a call to Urban Meyer to gauge his interest.
From his column, published last week:
The eroding fan base needs some level of hope for the future, and what better way to give them some hope that it won’t be the status quo at Paul Brown Stadium than to make a play for the uber-successful head coach of THE Ohio State University.
Meyer would bring instant credibility in a locker room that includes some players he coached in college.
Perhaps he doesn’t, and perhaps he’ll decide to never coach again on any level, although I doubt it. Coaching is in his blood and at age 54 that’s simply too young to not do it again.
Whether to coach in the NFL or if at all are decisions only Meyer can make. Those are tough.
The Bengals decision should be easy: At least call the man to find out.
While most assume Meyer will coach again at some point, it is assumed that it will be at the college level. He has called Notre Dame his “dream job” in the past, and there’s always a chance that Brian Kelly leaves for an NFL job at some point. USC will also likely open up if Clay Helton doesn’t make huge strides in 2019, and is one of the biggest jobs in the sport.
The Bengals would be an interesting opportunity though. The team currently features three of Meyer’s former Buckeyes, with another on the practice squad.