Marvin Lewis enters his 13th season running the Cincinnati Bengals as the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL. He'll also enter 2015 without a new contract extension.
In an interview from the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix on Sunday, owner Mike Brown rebuffed any concerns about his head coach entering a perceived "lame duck" year.
"I don't view it that way," Brown told the team's official website. "I think Marvin has done a fine job with us. He's been with us for a long time now. We have a good relationship. I hope that relationship goes forward into the future. But we aren't at the future yet. We don't have to make this decision until after this year. He doesn't have to make this decision until next year. Right now he's under contract and he's fulfilling it as we would expect and he knows he should."
"Every season is the season you focus on. Part of the charm in this league is you have the race," Brown said. "That's all you are thinking about. We are not thinking about 2018. We are thinking about this year, we have some thoughts about 2016. Beyond that we will worry about it later."
The main focus is getting over the playoff hump. With Lewis as coach, the Bengals are 0-6 in the playoffs with four consecutive first-round exits. Cincinnati hasn't won a playoff game since 1990. The 24-year drought tops the NFL.
"We know full well we haven't won a playoff game," Brown said. "People seem to think we are unaware of it. We aren't. We want to get to the playoffs again and that's very difficult. We are going to strive to do that."
He'll strive for that elusive win while keeping his coach's future on the backburner.