Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis is leaving for the Oakland Raiders and this news has created a lot of buzz. Who will the Cincinnati Bengals hire to replace him? Here’s who we think makes sense!
The “NFL Football Teams List” is a list of the 5 NFL teams that must reach out to Cincinnati’s star coach. The Bengals have been one of the most successful teams in the league for years, and are looking to take their next step with a new head coach. Read more in detail here: nfl football teams list.
Head coach Luke Fickell has his Cincinnati Bearcats on the verge of greatness after defeating the Houston Cougars in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game.
The Bearcats are the AAC champions, but they have their sights set on a far larger prize. Fickell has the Bearcats in the College Football Playoff, where they are at No. 4 in the current rankings. They’re the first non-Power 5 team to reach the playoffs and compete for a national title.
Fickell is a prominent name right now, and NFL clubs searching for a new head coach are keeping an eye on him. These five clubs should be at the top of his list if he chooses to listen to the NFL’s overtures.
Denver Broncos, No. 5
The Denver Broncos’ head coach, Vic Fangio, steps onto the field at Empower Field before a game versus the Las Vegas Raiders | Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
In the Vic Fangio era, the Denver Broncos haven’t accomplished anything. After witnessing him coach some of the Bears’ most outstanding defenses, Denver hired him as their defensive coordinator.
In three seasons in Denver, Fangio has been lackluster. The Broncos are still in the quest for a postseason berth, but they must contend with the Chargers and Chiefs in the AFC West. If Fangio can’t get his club on a roll immediately, he may end up with his third straight losing season, with the playoffs once again eluding him.
In five seasons at Cincinnati, Fickell had a 48-14 record. Denver has every right to want to see whether he’d be a better alternative.
Houston Texans, No. 4
Houston Texans head coach David Culley on the sidelines at Nissan Stadium during a game against the Tennessee Titans | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
The Houston Texans are now one of the weakest teams in the National Football League. Is David Culley truly supposed to be the one to turn things around?
On the one hand, he has extensive NFL assistant coaching experience. He’s been coaching in the league since 1994, and he and Andy Reid have a long history together, dating back to their time together in Philadelphia and Kansas City.
Culley, on the other hand, became the oldest first-time NFL head coach this season at the age of 65. The Texans are defying the trend in a league where head coaches are becoming younger and more imaginative, with a 2-9 record to show for it. Fickell is 48 years old, so he’s not as young as Sean McVay or Matt LaFleur, but he’s also not as old as Sean McVay or Matt LaFleur.
Even worse, Houston lost a game to the Jets, indicating that Culley’s lifetime of expertise isn’t worth that much.
3. Jaguars of Jacksonville
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer watches the game from the sidelines against the Atlanta Falcons | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
As an NFL coach, Urban Meyer is just out of his depth. Meyer seems to be a failed experiment, even in year one, based on his off-field turmoil and the fact that his wide receivers aren’t running the appropriate routes halfway through the season.
Of course, the Jacksonville Jaguars would be taking a similar risk with Fickell by employing a good college player and hoping they can make it in the NFL, but there are a few major distinctions. Meyer has never even come close to playing in the NFL throughout his successful career. Fickell, a former player, did sign with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent earlier in the day. In the league, he had a cup of coffee, but it’s something.
There’s also the issue that Meyer has a reputation for being unreliable. Jacksonville may not have to fire him at all. Meyer is likely to jump at a better opportunity if one presents itself.
Fickell would be a dull hiring, but dull would be welcome after Meyer.
2. Lions of Detroit
Can’t the same be said of Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions when it comes to unsuccessful experiments?
The Lions weren’t projected to be excellent this season, but their current state must be alarming to Detroit’s management. In his first season as a head coach, Campbell has struggled to get momentum. The one bright spot for the Lions this season is that they didn’t lose to the Steelers; instead, they drew a draw. That’s a win over a defeat, so there’s that.
Unbelievably, another 0-16 season awaits Detroit, and Campbell already seems to be laboring under the weight of the demand to change the culture.
Despite having zero play-calling experience, he broke down in a post-game press conference and took over play-calling responsibilities from an experienced play-caller, Anthony Lynn. Campbell has been a complete failure.
Even after one season, a new start in Detroit may be necessary.
Bears of Chicago, No. 1
Matt Nagy, whether he realizes it or not, is already a goner in Chicago.
The Chicago Bears were reportedly planning to dismiss Nagy after the Thanksgiving game in Detroit, regardless of the outcome. Those stories have since been debunked, but the fact that they exist at all means Nagy’s demise is nigh.
Nagy has demonstrated over the last several seasons that he’s not the offensive genius he was portrayed as coming out of Kansas City, from botching Mitch Trubisky’s growth to possibly damaging the rookie season of new franchise quarterback Justin Fields.
Fickell is a good fit for Chicago. He’s a Midwesterner through and through, from his time at Ohio State through his time at Cincinnati.
For a team trying to find the perfect head coach, he’s surely worth a phone call.
Is Luke Fickell on his way to the NFL?
After a victory against the Tulane Green Wave at Yulman Stadium, Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell walks off the field | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
With the Bearcats in the CFP, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports that Fickell has been on the radar of NFL clubs since before this fantastic season for Cincinnati.
“Sources indicate the Detroit Lions privately chatted with Fickell last year about their head coaching opening before signing Dan Campbell, and the assumption inside the league is Fickell will be in the mix for NFL jobs again in the 2019 hiring cycle, if he’s interested,” Pelissero stated.
The crucial term in that article is “if he’s interested,” and that remains to be seen. With his club still in contention for greatness this season, don’t expect Fickell to remark on it, but any competent coach should take up the phone when the NFL calls.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: Who Is Luke Fickell, and How Did He Make the Cincinnati Bearcats the Most Controversial Team in College Football?
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