Clayton sticks up for Marvin Lewis

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis sometimes doesn't receive the proper credit because he hasn't won a playoff game and has an overall losing record (69-74-1) as he enters his 10th season in Cincinnati.

That's why it was good to see ESPN's John Clayton set the record straight in his mailbag when he was asked whether Lewis is part of the problem or part of the solution in Cincinnati. This was Clayton's response:

Simple: He's a good coach. Plus, he's willing to be loyal to the Brown family. Lewis is able to recruit some veterans from other teams to sign as free agents. He has a solid defensive scheme. Plus, he's able to hire a good coaching staff. I know it may be tough to accept that the Bengals haven't won a playoff game under Lewis. I contend they wouldn't be able to sniff the playoffs without him.

It's tough to criticize Lewis when you look at what the Bengals did before him. Cincinnati had six straight losing seasons from 1997 to 2002, including four years when the Bengals failed to win more than four games. In nine seasons with Lewis, the Bengals have gone to the playoffs three times, winning two division titles, and have had three losing seasons.