The assistant head coach is gone Adidas Nazem Kadri Jersey , but head coach Marvin Lewis is coming back for a 16th try at a playoff victory.
And so it goes in Cincinnati.
In a what-have-you-done-lately league, the Bengals remain the outlier. Lewis met with the media on Wednesday, a day after getting a two-year extension through 2019, and talked in general terms about how his team needs to change.
Better players. Better coaching. Better performance.
All the things he’s said many times during the second-longest active coaching tenure in the NFL, behind only Bill Belichick. Unlike the New England coach, who has five Super Bowl titles, Lewis has yet to win a playoff game.
But owner Mike Brown hates change and was willing to give Lewis yet another chance after yet another futile season.
The 82-year-old owner didn’t attend the news conference – he rarely addresses the media – so it was left to Lewis to explain why he was still there.
”You’re going to have to start from scratch regardless, so you might as well start from scratch with someone you understand, you know,” Lewis said.
”Everybody can always look at what’s negative from it, but the only way we can go about it and do it positive is to get back to work and go about it.”
One change: Lewis wanted more control over the coaching staff and evidently got it. Paul Alexander, the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for 23 seasons, was let go.
Bill Lazor, who was elevated to offensive coordinator after an 0-2 start last season, will remain in the role and get a chance to redesign the NFL’s worst offense in the offseason.
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will interview for the job with the Raiders, making it likely Lewis will have to find a replacement.
Lewis has defied the odds and kept his job, and he’s not the only odds-beater in Ohio.
The 0-16 Browns have retained head coach Hue Jackson for another season as well.
The Browns and Bengals have played a total of 64 games the past two seasons and won 14 collectively, yet neither team is changing head coaches.
Must be something in that icy Lake Erie and Ohio River water.
In Cincinnati, fans were still trying to wrap their heads around Marvin Lewis 16.0, with a few upgrades to fix some of the many bugs in the program.
Lewis said Brown wants to win a championship, and that’s why he decided to keep Lewis in charge despite his record so far.
Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, an NFL record for coaching futility. His teams lost five straight opening-round games from 2011-15, another record.
The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of futility in league history.
Brown decided that Lewis was the best choice Adidas Brock Boeser Jersey , regardless of what’s happened in the past 15 years.
”I tell people when you go to a car lot, you know what you’re looking for and they’re not going to sway you one way or another, that’s what you’re going to do,” Lewis said. ”I believe that about (NFL owners).”
During the news conference, a media member relayed questions from fans, including one from a woman named Betty Lou at a chili parlor in northern Kentucky about the team’s commitment to winning.
One of Lewis’ jobs in his latest incarnation will be trying to win back Betty Lou and many other fans who gave up on him.
Bengals’ attendance plummeted last season to one of the lowest in the league. They had 10,000 empty seats for a home game against the rival Steelers.
Paul Brown Stadium was half-empty for the final home game. Bringing Lewis back and rearranging the staff won’t create a surge in ticket sales.
Brown chose to stay in his comfort zone rather than trying something different.
”I think sometimes there’s a tendency to think that the grass is greener, and it doesn’t necessarily end up that way often,” Lewis said, referring to NFL owners.
”So I think if they feel good about the relationship they have and where they’re headed that way, I think it’s a little different that way.”
Max Fried was so good that he didn’t even need all the support Nick Markakis and the Braves provided for his first win of the season.
Markakis hit a grand slam, Fried took a shutout into the seventh inning and Atlanta beat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-4 on Saturday night.
”You’ve got to give all the credit to Max,” Markakis said. ”He went out and pitched one of the better games I’ve seen. For him, two runs early on was enough for him. It was nice to get some runs and give him a nice cushion there.”
The Braves have won the first two games of the three-game set. The Cardinals have dropped three in a row.
Fried (1-2) stymied the Cardinals on 101 pitches before being pulled with two outs in the seventh. Recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start the game, he struck out 11, allowed four singles and walked three.
”My curveball was definitely on tonight,” said Fried, who also recorded his first major league hit with a single in the fifth. ”I was able to throw it for strikes, put it in the dirt when I wanted to. The big thing for me was getting the fastball over. I felt like I was able to get strike one pretty good. That was my main goal.”
Luke Weaver (4-7) went 4 2/3 innings, giving up 10 runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out five. He gave up homers to Markakis in his final inning and a two-run shot to Ronald Acuna Jr. in the second.
”At the end of the day, I was just done on a couple big swings,” Weaver said. ”I thought I threw some pitches in good spots, but it’s got to be executed a little bit better and you’ve just got to flush these types of days.”
The Braves sent 11 players to the plate in the six-run fifth. After Ozzie Albies doubled in Fried Adidas Daniel Sedin Jersey , the Cardinals intentionally walked Freddie Freeman to face Markakis. The right fielder hit his ninth homer of the season and fourth career grand slam off a 3-2 pitch.
”To be honest with you, I was just looking to hit something into the outfield and get a run in, and I ended up one of the better at-bats in the season,” Markakis said. ”I looked back at the video and (the pitch) wasn’t exactly where he wanted it, but he threw it somewhere close to the zone and I put a good swing on it.”
He added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to bring in Albies, finishing with five RBI on the day.
Albies went 3 for 5 and has a 10-game hit streak, batting .467 (21 for 47) during that span.
The Cardinals scored all of their runs in the ninth off Matt Wisler, including a leadoff home run from Jose Martinez.
Cardinals C Yadier Molina played in his 1,800th game, joining Hall of Famers Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith and Enos Slaughter as Cardinals to play in at least that many. Molina entered the majors in 2004 and has spent his entire career with St. Louis. He ranks 12th among active players in games played.
To make room for Fried, the Braves designated OF Peter Bourjos for assignment. Bourjos, in his first year with the Braves, was batting .205 in 36 games. He also played for St. Louis in 2014 and 2015.
Braves: RHP Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder inflammation) is expected to come off the 10-day DL on Monday. The Braves closer threw a side session Saturday and is on target for his return to the team. … C Tyler Flowers, who left Friday’s game with a right hamstring cramp after flying out to end the sixth inning, didn’t start Saturday. The Braves said it was part of the regular rotation between Flowers and C Kurt Suzuki. The two have alternated starts for the past 16 games.
Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) is scheduled to begin a rehab stint at Triple A Memphis on Sunday. He has yet to appear with the minor league club since going on the 10-day DL on May 16.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.14) goes for his first win in a month. After tossing a 4-0 shutout against the Washington Nationals on June 1, he went 0-1 in his final three starts of the month. He failed to get past the fifth in any his final three June outings.
Cardinals: RHP John Gant (2-2, 3.48) is coming off his best start of the season, giving up one hit over seven innings as St. Louis beat the Cleveland Indians 4-0 on Monday. This is his first appearance against his former club since a 2016 trade that saw the Cardinals send starting pitcher Jaime Garcia to the Braves in exchange for three minor leaguers, including Gant.