This headline miraculously not an April Fools joke. According to CBS’ Jason La Canfora, the Cincinnati Bengals might have a new head coach in 2019. Hue Jackson.
From his report:
“There is a growing sense around the league that Hue Jackson could be in line to take over as Bengals head coach if Marvin Lewis were to retire or transition to an upper-management position.”
In what would be the ultimate retread move in a league full of them, Jackson was hired as an assistant days after being fired by the Cleveland Browns. With them, he became the most unsuccessful head coach in the modern era with the second lowest win percentage in league history. Jackon went 3-36-1 after being hired by Cleveland in 2016.
It’s only fitting he would replace a man in Lewis who, while posting respectable records during his long career, has yet to win a playoff game. Lewis is 0-7 in his tenure with Cincinnati. Missing the playoffs this year would make it three straight years for the Bengals, which might finally be enough to get the team to go in a slightly different direction.
La Canfora’s report also makes it sound like Lewis would remain with the organization in an upper management role. Again, a very Bengals and Mike Brown type decision, the ones where you never rock the boat and things stay mediocre for the next decade. As his report indicates:
“Brown almost always hires from within the Bengals family of former coaches and players, and Jackson has already coached numerous position groups on both sides of the ball and served as a play caller for quarterback Andy Dalton. He knows the veteran players already, by and large, and Brown is comfortable with him.”
Should Lewis be moved to a new role, it’s likely the AFC North will have three “new” head coaches for 2019, though Jackson would be swapping teams. The Baltimore Ravens are expected to part ways with John Harbaugh after another tough season. Their season would functionally come to an end with a loss to Oakland today. Only Mike Tomlin, hired in 2007, would remain.