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Palmer suggests coaching changes needed; Lewis defends assistants

Updated: January 1, 2008, 6:42 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CINCINNATI -- For the first time under coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals took a big step backward. Their 7-9 finish was a stark reminder that there are long-standing problems with the franchise that haven't been resolved.

Lewis is safe, but change could be coming to the coaching staff. The defense again finished near the bottom of the league, a common occurrence during Lewis' five seasons. The offense went stale, scoring fewer than 20 points in four of the last five games.

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