Jared Wickerham, Getty Images
December 4, 2011
Even though Schwartz dug Detroit out of a deeper hole, I'm not sure any head coach faces a higher degree of difficulty than Lewis, year after year. Mike Brown actually did an excellent job swindling the Raiders in the Carson Palmer deal, but this organization is run on such a shoe-string budget, the Bengals were practicing outside in 10 degree weather this week, presumably so the franchise wouldn't have to fork over the $5,000 it would have cost to use the University of Cincinnati's indoor practice facility for the day. Lewis has done a remarkable job getting his players to rise above all that, but he also didn't come off all that well when he was whining and complaining about the referees after his team lose to the Ravens in the regular season finale. If not for Jim Harbaugh, Lewis would be a prime candidate for coach of the year. But I think he probably needs to win a playoff game to move up in the rankings.