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Marvin Lewis: No Bengals coaching decision timeline

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After delivering the "most devastating loss" of Terrell Suggs' lengthy career in Baltimore, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis assured reporters of his desire to return for a 16th season in Cincinnati.

Following up in Monday's news conference after speaking with owner Mike Brown, Lewis explained that there is no timeline for a decision on his future. He added that there is mutual interest in continuing his relationship with the organization.

"I don't think there's a delay or sticking point here," Lewis added. "I just think that ... this isn't a paper route. I just think that there's things that both of us want to feel good about.

"I think as you move forward -- 2017 is over, we're going into 2018 now and the future -- I think everybody wants to make sure we stay on the same course together."

With his contract expiring, Lewis has informed his coaching staff that it might be a few days before a final decision is reached, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Monday.

Before knocking the Lions and Ravens out of the playoff hunt to close out the season, the expectation was that the two sides would mutually agree to end Lewis' coaching tenure, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The question was whether Lewis would stick around in a front-office capacity.

A throwback to past generations, the Bengals run their operation in unique fashion. Prior to Hue Jackson's 2016 exodus to Cleveland, per NFL Network's Michael Silver, Lewis and Brown discussed a two-year succession plan that would have resulted in the former offensive coordinator taking the baton from Lewis this January. Now that Jackson has been granted a reprieve from Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, the Bengals have no obvious replacement for Lewis.

As witnessed in 2011 when Lewis surprisingly emerged from the hottest seat in the league to sign a new contract in the Queen City, Brown's front office is beyond prediction. At this point, it would come as no surprise if Lewis escapes with his job intact to resume the NFL's second-longest head-coaching tenure.

Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, Lewis and Steelers Hall of Famer Chuck Noll are the only head coaches to last at least 12 consecutive seasons in one organization without a Super Bowl appearance.

Noll's four Lombardi Trophies in the 1970s provided bulletproof job security as he entered the 1980s. Lewis' long leash derives not just from "raising the Titanic" after the lost decade of the 1990s, but also from his standing as the centerpiece of the franchise's football operation.

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