Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson is back with the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I have a great comfort level with Hue and his ability to assist me with the day-to-day responsibilities on defense, including analyzing our opponents and helping me on game days with the players and defensive coaches,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement.
Jackson’s new job title is Special Assistant to the Head Coach.
“I’m pleased to have this opportunity to join the Bengals this season,” Jackson said. “There is a lot of talent on this team, and I look forward to doing my part to help it finish the season strong.”
Jackson has regularly been connected to the Bengals — for whom he coached from 2004 to 2006 and 2012 to 2015 under close friend Marvin Lewis — since he was fired by the Browns on Oct. 29. Jackson was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2014 to 2015 before taking the Browns job.
Lewis was asked Monday if he might add Jackson to his staff to help handle the added workload created by Monday’s firing of defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
“I’ve got a plan,” Lewis replied with a smile. “Watch and see.”
Austin was fired a day after Cincinnati allowed 51 points to the New Orleans Saints. Jackson’s expertise is on the offensive side of the ball, but his presence could allow Lewis — a defensive coordinator before becoming a head coach — to focus more on the defensive side. Lewis told reporters Monday that he could use some more oversight to make offensive decisions while he’s working with the defense.
“If I have my back turned making corrections, I can’t do that,” Lewis said. “I’m going to try to minimize that as much as possible. But I feel strongly I have to make the correction and coach the defense right now.”
The Bengals have yet to play the Browns this season. They host them in Week 12 before visiting Cleveland in Week 16. Cincinnati also plays each of its other AFC North foes, whom Jackson knows well, once more.
—Field Level Media