The NFL awards continue to be handed out, and the Cincinnati Bengals picked up another honor.
However, this one comes in the coaching department as former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was named the Pro Football Writers of America's 2015 NFL Co-Assistant Coach of the Year. Jackson is sharing the honor with Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
This is a well-deserved honor for Jackson, who has since become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns after two years as the Bengals' offensive play-caller. His impact helped guide Cincinnati to a combined 22-9-1 record since 2014 while helping wide receiver A.J. Green earn two Pro Bowl berths during that span.
Jackson, who has been coaching football since 1987 and in the NFL since 2001, helped build Cincinnati's offense into one of the league's best units this past season. Jackson also helped Andy Dalton ascend into the elite tier of quarterbacks for the first time in his five-year career.
Despite not playing in the final month of this season, Dalton still threw for 3,250 yards with 25 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, good for a career-high 106.3 passer rating on the season. He also rushed for three scores and helped lead the Bengals to a 10-2 start, atop the AFC standings before going down with a thumb injury.
Through the first 13 games this past season, the Bengals ranked fourth in scoring offense (27.2 ppg), sixth in total offense 376.9 (yards per game) and tied for the second-most 20-plus yard passing plays (57). However, Dalton's fractured thumb suffered in Week 14 led to the offense struggling over the final month of the regular season and during the playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When Jackson and Dalton were together this past year, the Bengals' offense was simply one of the NFL's best, and that's why he's now getting a chance to do the same with the Browns as their head coach. Other Bengals who made the Pro Bowl under Jackson's watch included Dalton (2014 season), left tackle Andrew Whitworth and tight end Tyler Eifert.
The last Bengals assistant to receive the PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year award was Mike Zimmer in 2009 as the team's defensive coordinator. Jackson is the third Cincinnati assistant coach to receive this honor, joining current Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who was selected in 2000 as the defensive coordinator of the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens.
The PFWA also named New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan as the 2015 NFL Executive of the Year and Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera as the 2015 NFL Coach of the Year.