On Sunday, Marvin Lewis served as an in-game analyst during the Alliance of American Football matchup between the Salt Lake City Stallions and Arizona Hot Shots.
It's a role Lewis wouldn't have been able to perform at any point during the past 16 years.
During this time of year, Lewis has become accustomed to preparing for the NFL draft and free agency thanks to his tenure as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach. But following a 6-10 campaign in 2018, Lewis was relieved of his duties and if he needed a reminder why, it came on Sunday as Arizona quarterback John Wolford carved up the Salt Lake City defense.
"Unfortunately this season, I had to experience one of those sparks a couple times up the state from me a little bit in Baker Mayfield and this kid reminds you a lot of Baker Mayfield," Lewis said of Wolford on the NFL Network broadcast. "I guess that's why I'm here."
Lewis might have been joking -- but he wouldn't have necessarily been wrong.
In two defeats at the hands of Mayfield and the Browns this season, the Bengals were out-scored 61-38, derailing any hopes Cincinnati had of making its first postseason since 2015. Mayfield was particularly impressive in both of his outings against Cleveland's in-state rival, combining to throw for 542 yards and 7 touchdown passes in the two games.
Following the Browns' 26-18 victory over the Bengals in Week 16, the former No. 1 pick was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Of course, there were other factors that went into Lewis' firing and of Cincinnati's 10 losses this season, only two came against the Browns. Nevertheless, it's reasonable to wonder if Mayfield hadn't performed as well as he did against Cincinnati this season if Lewis would currently be preparing for another offseason as Bengals head coach rather than being reminded of one of the reasons why he's not.