As Bengals Ponder New Head Coach, Hue Jackson Ponders His Future QB

Yesterday was not a great day if you are a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It also wasn’t ideal if you are DeShone Kizer. But it might have been a pretty good day if you are Hue Jackson, depending upon what you are looking for.

Earlier in the day, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis revealed that he would not be seeking to renew his contract with the team after a decade and a half spent in that role—without a playoff victory, I might be inclined to add.

As I wrote about a year or two ago, while Jackson was still the offensive coordinator for the Bengals, reportedly, he and Lewis had worked out something of a succession plan that would allow the former to follow the latter into the head coaching chair for the team.

This discussion evidently advanced far enough to be taken to Bengals owner Mike Brown, who was on board with the idea, but not enough to commit it to writing. That decision ultimately prompted Jackson to take the head coaching job with the Browns when it came around, and here we are two years later.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is racing toward just the second 0-16 season in NFL history after having just one win a year ago. Should they end the season winless, they will have the worst two-season span in NFL history.

And yet few people actually seem to blame Jackson for any of it—the Browns recently excised Sashi Brown and replaced him with John Dorsey, as an example—and he remains liked by players, coaches, and even fans in Cincinnati. Presumably by owner Mike Brown as well.

And now he finds himself wondering if his rookie quarterback “will ever get it”, and if he should be allowed to finish out the season as the Browns’ starting quarterback, after he threw another two interceptions today, giving him a commanding lead in the category with 19.

Kizer is averaging 5.8 yards per pass attempt, completing 53.9 of his passes for under 2400 yards with nine touchdowns and more than double that in interceptions, though he also has five rushing touchdowns. But he has already been benched once, and has not responded well.

While Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has seemingly both publicly and privately stood up for Jackson and believes in him as the head coach of the franchise, Dorsey has not exactly guaranteed that he would remain with the team, even though he is the new man on the job.

Would Jackson want to return to Cincinnati, though? Is that the real question, at the end of the day? He wanted the job two years ago, and had Brown put the succession plan in writing, he would probably be stepping into that role as this season ends. This has already led to speculation about the Bengals acquiring him via trade.

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