Why Marvin Lewis should be the #1 choice

Reader BobPurkey34 outlines his reasons for hiring Marvin Lewis:

It's Black Monday in the NFL, which means one thing and one thing only for coaches on the hot seat. Will they have a job in 2011? Next week? Even tomorrow?

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is one of them.

After an abysmal season where the Bengals finished 4-12 in a year where many experts predicted them to at least make the playoffs, multiple reports have surfaced that he will not be returning to the position, as his contract is set to expire after the season. Even during his press conference following the Bengals 13-7 loss to Baltimore, Lewis joked about his status.

 I can't answer where things are for me. Officially today, I'm unemployed.

Which brings up the next point. Lewis should be the top choice for the Pitt job, and Steve Pedersen would instantly redeem himself if he is able to hire Lewis.

Not that it needs to be said, but Lewis has an extremely strong background in the Pittsburgh area, having grown up in Washington, Pa and coaching linebackers at Pitt from 90-91, then with the Steelers from 92-95. Despite having to put up with questionable characters year in and year out in Cincinnati, Lewis remains one of the classiest men in the NFL and would certainly bring a ton of credibility back to the Panthers football program.

Of the three things Pitt should be looking for in it's next coach, he brings immediate stability as a defensive mastermind - remember he was the DC of arguably the best defense in the modern era, the 2000-01 Ravens. He also brings instant credibility, as he has been coaching college/pros since 1981. There is no recruit out there today that wouldn't know the name Marvin Lewis. And most important, he brings proven success, as both a Super Bowl winner and a D I-AA Championship with Idaho State.

Now to be fair, it would take everything in Pedersen's power and then some to lure Lewis away from the NFL. He could have a DC position nearly anywhere in the league next season.

But, Lewis is not so different from the Wannstedt hiring. The Stache served as Dolphins head coach from 2000 to 2004, his last season finishing 4-12 like Lewis. He was then brought in with a great deal of knowledge of the western Pennsylvania area and having ties with Pitt as both a player and GA. Would Pedersen be able to bring in another NFL guy?

Time will tell, but Pitt won't do much better than Marvin Lewis.  

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