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  • January 11, 2018 2:00 AM EST

    The Cincinnati Bengals are maintaining the status quo with coach Marvin Lewis signing a two-year contract, but Lewis suggested he realizes some things do need to change as he returns for Cheap Jerseys a 16th season. Offensive line coach Paul Alexander, who has been with the Bengals since 1994, had an unusually long tenure in a league where moving is common. However, the past two seasons have made it clear the offensive line needs an overhaul. Andy Dalton has been sacked 80 times in the past two years alone, and the run game also has struggled. It was clear this was a needed change, and perhaps something Lewis pushed for in his meetings with Bengals owner Mike Brown. The Bengals will bring back offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, despite finishing last in offense this season. It Ezekiel Elliott Jerseys could be argued that Lazor was working in the confines of Ken Zampese's offense after taking over for him in Week 3. Clearly, the team believes in him enough to give him a second chance. Marvin Lewis addressed a variety of topics on Wednesday, including the importance of a two-year contract. John Minchillo/Associated Press Lazor needs to prove he can turn things around quickly once it's truly his offense. Otherwise 2018 will bring more of the same. Brown rarely speaks to the media, and he continued that habit during the Wednesday news conference to announce Ezekiel Elliott Jerseys Lewis' return. Brown usually talks to reporters at the owners' meetings in the spring and again right before the season. Brown did address reporters in a joint news conference in 2010 after he and Lewis came to an extension following a losing season in which Lewis had been a lame-duck coach. However, he didn't show up at this one, leaving Lewis to answer questions by himself. Brown likely isn't blind to a disgruntled fan base that has stopped going to games in droves and has been restless for change, but he also likely thinks that winning will cure the problem. Lewis was asked if he requested anything of Brown during their talks, specifically staff changes or facility upgrades. The Bengals remain the northernmost team without an indoor practice facility. Lewis said those are things that don't keep teams from winning. "All that stuff is nebulous — whether that [results in] wins or not," Lewis said. "I’ve coached three teams — actually, all four teams — in this division, and believe me, that has nothing to do with winning. Winning and losing is done out there in those classrooms, meeting Derek Carr Jerseys rooms, the field, practice, and out there in games. The rest of that stuff can help, and we do everything we can to aide our players in that way, and I feel good about that — the things that we do, and will continue to do, and get better with and make sure we do change, because everything changes all of the time with these athletes." The Bengals rarely sign big-name free agents and are rarely very active in the free-agent market. It's possible the team might change that philosophy somewhat. Lewis didn't outright say they would be more active but did say he wanted to make sure to add players who could help the team win. He also said he thought the reputation the Bengals have for not spending money on players isn't true. "We do like to grow guys from the ground up, which is important because you [can] instill in them correct habits — you’re not trying to break habits — [but] I do think that we all understand that, when we have a hole, we have another avenue to fill that hole with a better player, it it’s [a good fit], through free agency," he said. Lewis has been given a one-year extension almost every offseason for several years and went into last offseason with no contract. He said it was important this time to get a two-year contract. That would relieve him of lame-duck status and perhaps quiet some talks that he's leaving at the end of next season. “It’s very important," he said. "We’re going to go out and have some change on this staff, and I think it’s very important for a coach, if he is currently employed, that he has the chance to be here for at least two football seasons.” Dalton hasn't looked the same since Hue Jackson left after the 2015 season. It's likely that's partially Dalton, partially coaching and partially the offensive line. Lewis said he understands the need to get back to being a vertical-threat team and getting Dalton back to top form. "We have an amazing group of threats at DeShaun Watson Jerseys wide receiver, and we have to capitalize on that," Lewis said. "We have to get our quarterback to be the guy that we expect him to be day in and day out and lead the football team that way. That means we have to keep him from getting jostled around, and when he does, he has to be able to move and make throws on the move like we’ve all seen him do."