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Hue Jackson may be running the Bengals defense in ‘a few weeks,’ per report

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Upon learning that the least successful head coach in Modern NFL history Hue Jackson would be returning to the Bengals’ coaching staff for the third time in his career, it was later revealed Jackson would be helping Marvin Lewis run the defense.

Jackson was given the title “Special Assistant to the Head Coach” but now it seems his title may as well be just defensive coordinator.

Right now, Lewis is the team’s de facto man in that role after he assumed the responsibility himself when the team fired Teryl Austin this week. In a few weeks, Lewis could be deferring play-calling responsibilities on that side of the ball to Jackson, per Mike Garafolo’s report:

Jackson has been an assistant coach in the secondary with the Bengals before, but he’s never actually been a defensive coordinator. Regardless, Jackson is present in all the defensive meetings with Lewis and he might be getting groomed for taking over for Lewis in this specific role when the season enters its final stretch.

The idea of Jackson helping out Lewis with the defense is a solid one considering Jackson’s experience as an offensive mind can give Lewis a unique perspective when making in-game decisions about how to run the defense. Giving Jackson complete reign over the unit seems a bit extreme considering his inexperience, but Jackson was always brought in here for a reason larger than just being a “special assistant” to his friend Lewis.

For now, this is Lewis’ defense. By season’s end, it will still be Lewis’ defense, but with Jackson potentially running it. What could go wrong?