Surprisingly, Marvin Lewis and Tom Coughlin are staying put. Both coaches headed teams that were considered strong playoff contenders but either had complete meltdowns or collapsed down the stretch. The Cincinnati Bengals were 4-12 a year after the team won the AFC North division. Lewis, a proud man who preaches discipline, watched as his team signed volatile receiver Terrell Owens to book end with his other volatile receiver Ocho Cinco. Owens had a productive season but the team had a circus like atmosphere all season, prompting many reports that Lewis had coached his last game, a 13-7 loss at Baltimore on Sunday. But Lewis re-signed a long term contract, dismissing rumors that he might be a candidate for the vacant Pitt Panthers job. Instead, Lewis gets back a talented but undisciplined team with questions regarding the long-term viability of their quarterback and an underachieving defense.
Tom Coughlin, on the other hand, helmed a late-season collapse by the New York Giants for the second consecutive year and seemed on the verge of being shown the door. The Giants finished 10-6 but lost out on a playoff spot while losing two of their past three games. Both teams that defeated New York, the Eagles and Packers, made the playoffs at the Giants’ expense. In the past few weeks, rumors had been flying that former coach Bill Cowher would be interested in working for the Mara family and would be a candidate for a job if an opening presented itself. It seems Cowher will not be coming to New York and Coughlin will be staying. In this day of revolving doors at the head coach, the decisions for both men to stay on their respective jobs were surprising.
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