Bengals' Marvin Lewis: Coaches realize these jobs are not forever

Marvin Lewis is the second-longest-tenured coach in the league, but his contract runs out after this season. AP Photo/Gary Landers

There is a long-running joke that NFL actually stands for "Not For Long." In the quick-changing world of the league, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is an anomaly.

Lewis is the NFL's second-longest-tenured coach behind Patriots coach Bill Belichick. But as Lewis' 15th season in Cincinnati winds down -- and so does his contract -- there are no guarantees he'll return.

Lewis seemed reflective about his time in Cincinnati during a conversation with reporters on Wednesday.

"We all realize that when you sign up for these jobs, the thing is it’s not forever," Lewis said. "I think we all accept that."

It's part of the reason Lewis has been unable to enjoy wins for long.

"You detest losing -- it’s more than hate. 'Hate' is too easy," Lewis said.

He added: "That part feels good [when you win], and it’s good a little bit the next day, and then you move on. That’s why coaches do it. But we don’t remember wins, we remember losses, unfortunately.”

Lewis was responding to a comment from current Vikings coach and former Bengals coordinator Mike Zimmer, one of Lewis' close friends. Zimmer said he doesn't believe there should even be a question as to whether Lewis comes back next season.

"I think he’s a heck of a coach," Zimmer said. "He does unbelievable things in the community. I learned a lot from him. I’m happy for him. In my opinion, he should be able to stay there as long as he wants.”

Lewis and Zimmer have been friends for a long time, and still talk or visit each other often. Their two teams will play each other in Minnesota this Sunday.

"I appreciate that support from Mike. We have a lot of good talks," Lewis said. "A few weeks ago, when [the Vikings] were on a bye, I drove down the road [to Zimmer’s house in Kentucky] and we spent some time together. But we’ve spent a lot of time together when we’re not doing football. I appreciate his friendship that way. When things don’t go well for us, that’s all we have is each other -- we spend more time [together], we don’t spend less time. That’s the thing that we all relate to well. I think everybody knows that -- any coach that coaches now.”