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Four More N.F.L. Coaches Get the Ax, Including Marvin Lewis

When the N.F.L. regular season ends, a new season immediately begins. The postseason? No, not yet. First comes the brief but brutal annual season of firing coaches.

Four teams dismissed their coaches on Monday: Marvin Lewis was fired by the Bengals, Vance Joseph by the Broncos, Steve Wilks by the Cardinals and Adam Gase by the Dolphins.

News of the four firings came out in a short window on Monday morning, a particularly ugly hour or two for the members of the N.F.L. coaching fraternity.

Joseph, Wilks and Lewis are black, leaving the number of black head coaches in the N.F.L. at two, Anthony Lynn of the Chargers and Mike Tomlin of the Steelers.

Lewis leaves the Bengals after 16 seasons that included seven playoff appearances. But he lost all seven of those playoff games and just completed a third straight losing season, at 6-10. He was hamstrung in part by an injury to quarterback Andy Dalton that put Jeff Driskel in the starting lineup.

Perhaps more important to Bengals fans: Lewis never managed to lead his team out of the long shadow of the archrival Steelers in the A.F.C. North. His regular-season record against Pittsburgh was 8-24.

Joseph took over a Broncos team that had made the playoffs in five of the previous six years and was two years removed from a Super Bowl win. But he was unable to help the team navigate the transition to the post-Peyton Manning era.

The Broncos were 5-11 and 6-10 under Joseph, their first back-to-back losing seasons since 1971-72. Case Keenum was far from the answer at quarterback, putting up average numbers on his good days and finishing second in the league in interceptions.

After a 6-6 start that kept them in playoff contention, the Broncos lost four straight to finish the season, falling consecutively to the 49ers, Browns, and Raiders, hardly a murderers’ row of foes.

Wilks’s only season with the Cardinals ended with a 3-13 record, the team’s worst since 2000. The Cardinals were in the N.F.C. championship game three seasons ago, and had 7 and 8 wins in the subsequent seasons.

The team struggled this year behind a rookie quarterback, Josh Rosen, who was unable to take the league by storm as his classmates Lamar Jackson of the Ravens and Baker Mayfield of the Browns did.

The Dolphins made the playoffs in the first of Gase’s three seasons but were 6-10 and 7-9 the next two years. The once proud franchise has three playoff appearances, and no wins, since 2000.

The Jets fired Todd Bowles and the Buccaneers fired Dirk Koetter on Sunday. Earlier in the season, the Browns fired Hue Jackson, and the Packers fired Mike McCarthy, who has already been mentioned as a candidate for several of the open jobs.


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