Who says that the Cincinnati Bengals aren't a proactive franchise?
On the very same day that former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins, Cincinnati made an announcement of their own. In a move that shouldn't surprise many, the team officially announced former running backs coach Hue Jackson would take over Gruden's old position as the team's offensive coordinator.
We have named Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator to replace Jay Gruden, who was hired as Redskins head coach. #Bengals— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 9, 2014
It was a natural move for head coach Marvin Lewis and the club, given Jackson's history in Cincinnati and his 13 years of experience as a position coach and coordinator in places like Atlanta, Oakland and Washington. He has the reputation of being a blend of hard-nosed while also being a "player's coach", and has always seemed to have good rapport with his players.
Lewis spoke about the move via a press release by the team on Thursday:
"I am very excited to move forward with Hue," Lewis said. "We are blessed to have a staff that allows us to promote from within. It keeps some of the continuity with our offensive team, yet we get new direction and fire from an aggressive and innovative coaching mind. Hue’s expertise in all aspects of football and coaching is very wide."
Jackson also couldn't hide his happiness on the promotion:
"It’s an honor to be Bengals offensive coordinator, and to keep working with Marvin and Mike Brown and the Brown family," Jackson said. "I thank them all for this opportunity. Our goal is to be the best, to be the one team hoisting that trophy when it’s all over, and that’s what I’ll be working for every day."
Jackson re-joined the Bengals in 2012 after being fired as the Raiders head coach and was always looked at as the next man in line for Gruden's job should he take one of the head coaching jobs that he had been interviewing for since the conclusion of the 2011 season. Jackson and Lewis have always had a great working relationship. It's believed that the Bengals offense may be more run-oriented under Jackson than it was under Gruden, but that remains to be seen at this point.
There are a few other balls up in the air at the moment. The next move will be to hire another running backs coach and the team will also need to keep a pulse on the situation with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and the possibility of him leaving for a head coaching gig as well.