Lewis, Brown in no rush on contract extension

Marvin Lewis is heading into his 15th — and possibly last — season as Cincinnati Bengals head coach as neither he nor team owner and president Mike Brown are expressing any sense of urgency in working out a contract extension.

“I plan to proceed at my own pace and my own way and when I think it’s the right thing to do to rev that up, I will,” Brown said Tuesday at the annual pre-training camp media luncheon at Paul Brown Stadium.

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“But it’s not going to be something I’m going to delve into publicly,” he added. “It’s going to be at a pace that I think is appropriate, and I don’t know that I can forecast that for your satisfaction, or even my own right now.”

Lewis, the winningest coach in franchise history at 118-110-3, is likely to begin a season in the final year of his contract for the first time since 2010 after signing extensions following the 2010 season and prior to the start of the 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 campaigns.

“It doesn’t matter what I have going into the season,” he said. “My contract is for this season. That’s all that matters. As you know in the NFL, or whatever in professional sports, it really doesn’t matter. This is the only thing that’s important is this right now. My contract has no bearing on this football team for the 2017 season.”

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Brown said he doesn’t have any minimum standards — such as win total, making the playoffs, advancing in the playoffs — in mind that will determine whether he negotiates with Lewis on another extension after the season.

“We’ve been through this before in previous years on occasions when he wasn’t signed,” Brown said. “Marvin’s been here for a long time, as long as any coach with a team except (Bill) Belichick, and that should tell you that he has my respect, my regard, my confidence.

“We all know how it went last year,” he added. “We wished it had gone better. So maybe we’ll see a better year this year and things will sort out then.”

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Many thought the 2010 season would signal the end of Lewis’ tenure. The Bengals were coming off an AFC North Division title season in 2009 in which they went 6-0 against division foes, but after a 2-1 start in 2010 they lost 10 in a row and finished 4-12.

The decision to retain Lewis and the press conference in which the extension was announced were widely criticized – ridiculed even – but Brown’s commitment was rewarded with five consecutive playoff appearances from 2011-15.

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“Continuity has been the success of a lot of organizations,” Lewis said. “It’s hard for teams to catch up that continually change. We’ve had a lot of coaches and players that have led to me being here, and the fact you get comfortable with what you do and how you do it and what to expect day in and day out. That standard is set.

“I have been fortunate in coaching for 37 years that I’ve had very few jobs,” he added. “Unfortunately some coaches have had to move a lot more. I don’t look to move. My next job is not important to me. It’s what I’m doing where I’m at.”

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