The Bengals have reportedly found their new cornerbacks coach. Steve Jackson, the former Jets safeties coach, has reportedly joined Zac Taylor’s staff, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.
Jackson was partially responsible for a Jets’ passing defense that gave up 17th most passing yards per game and 17th most passing touchdowns on the year. Pretty middle of the road, but what highlights the hire is Jackson’s experience as an assistant coach and player.
He started his coaching career as a safeties coach with Washington from 2004 to 2011. He then landed with the Titans from 2016 to 2017 prior to coaching the Jets. Jackson also played for the Houston Oilers through their transition to the Tennessee Titans from 1991 to 1999.
Jackson will be filling the void left by the Bengals letting Daronte Jones walk this offseason. He will be taking over a unit that appears to have more talent than what they’ve played with the past two seasons. Steve Jackson’s first order of business will be getting William Jackson back to the high level of play we saw in 2017. He does inherit Darius Phillips, who really ended 2019 on a very high note.
This Bengals defense was so much better in the second half of the season, and Jackson really just has to come in and make sure that train keeps rolling in the right direction. He will also probably be involved in conversations surrounding possibly bringing back Darqueze Dennard who is set to hit free agency again, or who to possibly bring in to help keep some depth at cornerback.
It is hard to imagine things getting worse in the secondary after what happened in 2018 and most of 2019, so if Jackson can even get this secondary at an average level it could be huge fore the Bengals in 2020.