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Coaching Changes Around The Corner?

                    Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis

As was to be expected, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis had no hirings, firings or resignations to announce during the team’s season-ending news conference on Monday.  But that’s obviously not a guarantee that the team’s standing pat this offseason.  After all, the life of an NFL assistant coach isn’t exactly the most stable one from a career standpoint, with vacancies coming often.

But from all accounts, Lewis had high praise for the coaching staff he had in place for the 2007 season; however, one statement that Lewis made may or may not be telling.  He qualified his remarks about his assistants with this: “There are things we need to do better.  We’ll address those things.  And some of the coaches will have other opportunities.  We’ll see what happens.”  So you can take that for what it’s worth.

Speaking of changes – and let’s assume for the sake of the conversation that some changes are made – probably the name that comes up the most is Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese; Zampese was a candidate for the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator position and was also offered the same job with the Jets (Zampese wisely declined the offer).  So expect his name to float around in league circles. 

Also – despite no announcement made as of yet – team offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski received a contract extension following the 2006 season.  Back in February 2006, the Bengals did announce 2-year extensions for all of Lewis’ assistant coaches; Lewis himself is in Cincinnati until the 2010 season.  Whether those coaches stick around for the duration of their extensions is uncertain, it wouldn’t be a total shock if one or more decide to leave this offseason.  Again, names float around in the league on a regular basis.  And no doubt a Bengals assistant’s name is in there somewhere.

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