Cleveland Browns: Former head coaches to target as defensive coordinator
This would certainly be one of the most interesting hires if the possibility arose. Marvin Lewis has spent the past 16 seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach, but agreed to part ways with the organization after struggling the past several seasons and due to his inability to ever win a playoff game during his tenure.
During his final press conference, Lewis said that he wants to continue coaching, but he will not be getting a head coaching job this off-season. He may decide to sit out this season after being on the coaching grind for so long.
But if he wants to still coach in 2019, the Browns should pursue him to fill their defensive coordinator position. Prior to becoming the Bengals head coach, Lewis spent four seasons as the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator, helping them win the Super Bowl in 2000. He took over the Bengals defensive coordinator position midway through the 2018 season after firing Teryl Austin.
Although he had not been a defensive coordinator in several seasons, the Bengals defense improved once he took control – via Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"In nine games under Austin, the Bengals gave up an average of 455 yards and 32 points per game. Under Lewis, opponents averaged 361 yards and 24 points. “I think our defense improved quite a bit when he started calling the plays,” Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil said. “He made it simple, and we played a lot faster.”"
Lewis would bring a wealth of experience to the Browns defense, and he could thrive by taking on a lesser load. And for most of his time with the Bengals, his defensive coordinators have primarily run a 4-3 scheme.
With his wealth of coaching experience, Lewis would be able to match his defense with the personnel that he is coaching. And much like Wade Phillips, Lewis may actually perform better as the defensive coordinator instead of being a head coach.
It would certainly be one of the craziest moves of the off-season, especially after the Hue Jackson saga and his move to the Bengals. But if the Browns want to find a coach that has plenty of coaching experience, then Lewis would fit the mold.