Update: The Browns have also now requested permission to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson for their vacant head coaching role. Per Josina Anderson, requests will be granted at "the appropriate time". Hopefully that time is after the Bengals win the Super Bowl.
On interview requests coming in for Hue Jackson a source tells me, "permission will be granted at the appropriate time." #Bengals— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 5, 2016
Every year, a number of NFL head coaching vacancies open up and there are always a few top names that headline the hiring possibilities. Some are recycled veteran coaches clinging to past glory, while others are the next coaching star, currently employed as an NFL assistant.
Unfortunately some teams seem to be in the coaching search much more frequently than others. The Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers are once again looking for a head coach in 2016, and reports have them looking at a Bengals assistant coach. Per multiple sources, that assistant is offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson.
Miami has also requested permission from Bengals to interview Hue Jackson, source says. If granted, they could interview as early as Sunday.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 5, 2016
To follow up on the @JeffDarlington report: The 49ers, like the Dolphins, have also put in a request with Bengals to interview Hue Jackson— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 5, 2016
Miami fired Joe Philbin in the middle of this season, while the 49ers fired Jim Tomsula yesterday, prior to "Black Monday", just a year after he took over for Jim Harbaugh. Both teams battled a multitude of issues, but underachievement with high expectations in 2015 led to their termination.
We wrote a bit on the history of Jackson and his coaching journey on Monday, which included the tidbit that he actually interviewed for the 49ers job before Harbaugh took it in 2011. There are rumors that the division rival Cleveland Browns may also be interested in Jackson's services, though that request, if made, might not be granted by the Brown family given the history between the franchises.
Jackson was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2011 and spearheaded the blockbuster trade for Carson Palmer to the Bay Area. The Raiders finished 8-8 that year and missed the playoffs, prompting the trigger-happy Davis family to relieve Jackson as the head coach after just one season. He has been with the Bengals since, first as a running backs coach under Jay Gruden, and now as his successor in the offensive coordinator role.
Current Bengals head coach, Marvin Lewis, has been building quite the coaching tree. In both of their second seasons as head coaches, Gruden and Mike Zimmer have their teams in the 2015 playoff bracket--Gruden with the Redskins, and Zimmer with the Vikings. They were both coordinators for years under Lewis.
Unfortunately, we also have to note the NFL's "Rooney Rule", which is a requirement when teams are looking for a new head coach. We say "unfortunate" because it seems to take away the credibility of Jackson, a minority coach, who is also a good football coach. The rule states that teams must interview a minority candidate in their search for a head coach.
If the Bengals lose on Saturday, Jackson can interview for the jobs starting on Sunday. If the Bengals win, his interviews may take a back seat.