For one of the very few times under Marvin Lewis, the Cincinnati Bengals are undergoing a major staff overhaul.
Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, co-defensive backs coach Vance Joseph, linebackers coach Matt Burke, and defensive line coach Jay Hayes are all leaving the team this offseason, mostly voluntarily to take jobs with other teams.
That may not be the case with fellow co-defensive backs coach Mark Carrier, who has reportedly left the team as well, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Jim Owczarski.
League sources tell The Enquirer that current secondary coach Mark Carrier has left the Bengals, completely opening that position group.
That means that both secondary coaches are gone, and that explains why the Bengals have reportedly targeted Michigan's Greg Jackson. Carrier has been with the Bengals since 2012 and has been coaching in the NFL since 2006 when he became the Baltimore Ravens' secondary coach.
He served in that role until 2009. In 2010, he was hired as the New York Jets defensive line coach, where he would coach for two seasons. Then in 2012, Carrier was hired by the Bengals as their defensive backs coach. a role he has had up until now.
During his playing days, Carrier was the No. 6-overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft out of USC to the Chicago Bears. He enjoyed an 11-year career as a safety before beginning his coaching career at Arizona State from 2004–2005. His departure marks the fourth position coach to leave this offseason and the third on defense.
This also helps explain why the Bengals have shown interest in both 49ers defensive backs coach Tim Lewis and former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. In addition to Greg Jackson, it's safe to think the Bengals would like to add at least two of those guys to coach a secondary that's become one of the NFL's best, but may undergo a big overhaul this offseason.
As of now, starters Leon Hall, Adam Jones, Reggie Nelson and George Iloka will all hit free agency, paving the way for younger guys like Dre Kirkpatrick, Shawn Williams, Darqueze Dennard and Josh Shaw to take on more prominent roles next season.
Hopefully, the Bengals will find the right defensive guys to coach them up while possibly coaxing a few of those veterans to come back.