Boomer Esiason: I don't know what the answer is for Marvin Lewis

CINCINNATI -- Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason didn’t count out the possibility that this could be the final season for longtime Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

“It’s been an up and down season. They got off to a really tough start. I don’t know what the answer for Marvin is right now. Only Marvin knows that,” Esiason told reporters on Monday night.

Lewis is in the final season of his contract, which is rare for an NFL coach, and something that surprised Esiason.

“He’s a lame-duck coach right now. I’ve never really seen anything like this. Most coaches don’t go into their final year without a contract,” Esiason said. “But you know this has always been a unique place to say the least and I think only Marvin knows what he wants to do in his heart. If he decides to retire, then he’s had a great run here, maybe one of the best runs ever. And he certainly has been a really solid face of this franchise for many years and has never done anything to embarrass this franchise, that’s for sure.”

Esiason attributed the Bengals’ struggling offense to their offensive line and the loss of Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler to free agency.

“Whitworth is one of the reasons why the Rams are playing so well and they would be the first to tell you they were lucky to get him. I don’t know how much more time he has left but he has certainly been a big, impactful, positive influence there. To me it’s the first thing that I see,” he said. “I think that’s part of it and I also think there has to be an attitude about wanting to win and believing that you can win. ...

“And when you lose to good teams and you’re struggling on offense, your confidence ends up going. It sounds kind of cliché-ish, but at the end of the day, you want to walk in that locker room and you want to see A.J. Green think that he’s the best player on the field, because he is. But somebody has got to tell him that and somebody has to make sure he touches the ball enough that he proves to everybody that he is. There’s a lot of good players here, there’s a good team here and a good future here. They’ve drafted well in past years. So whatever they decide to do coaching wise, I would think there’s a real opportunity here to be a very competitive team.

Esiason said he is “bullish” on Andy Dalton and thinks that he could benefit from someone like Rams coach Sean McVay

“What I would like to see for him is, and I don’t want to take a shot at anybody’s job or any of that other stuff, I just want to see a Sean McVay-type in his life because you can see what a coach like that can do for a quarterback and Jared Goff is proof positive of that,” he said. “Sometimes you’re in a situation that just kind of gets stale, and if that’s happening here, then he would know that. And you would love to see a newfound energy around this team because that’s what it’s going to end up taking.”