Despite their recent loss in the NFL Playoffs, the Cincinnati Bengals have several teams interested in their offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson. It’s being reported that the New York Giants have formally requested a meeting with Jackson and that he interviewed with both the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Although nothing has been scheduled, the New York Daily News noted that the Giants have submitted a request to interview Jackson. If one or both of the meetings with Cleveland and San Francisco went really well, Jackson may not be interested in talking to the Giants. If Jackson takes his third interview with New York, he would be at least the seventh candidate. Having already interviewed five others, the New York Giants are interviewing Mike Smith today. Smith served as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2008 to 2014. During his tenure, the Falcons were the NFC South Division Champions twice and made four Playoff appearances, including the 2012 NFC Championship game.
As ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez reported, Jackson’s interview with the 49ers on Sunday was the fifth interview San Francisco has had for that position. One of just two interviews Jackson had that day, the meeting lasted five hours. There has been no word of any agreement being reached between Jackson and San Francisco, and the 49ers aren’t expected to make an announcement until Thursday. The four other candidates are also offensive specialists, including assistant head coach and running backs coach Anthony Lynn of the Buffalo Bills, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo of the Cleveland Browns, and former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
Another four-hour meeting went down later on Sunday between the Cleveland Browns and Hue Jackson, according to NFL.com. Although no official offer has been made from Cleveland either, Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, who played for Jackson both as an Oakland Raider and a Cincinnati Bengal, is a strong advocate for bringing Jackson to Cleveland.
“It would be a great choice, I can tell you that,” Pryor said.
Jackson began his NFL career with the Washington Redskins in 2001 as their running backs coach for two years and three years as their offensive coordinator. In 2004, Jackson began a three-year stint as the wide receivers coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, where the dangerous duo of Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh thrived. From there, he spent a year as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons and then two years as the quarterback coach for the Baltimore Ravens, where he worked with Joe Flacco. He went to the Oakland Raiders in 2010 as their offensive coordinator and was promoted to head coach in 2011. After a finish of 8-8 (which the Raiders have been unable to achieve since), he was fired.
Since that time, he’s been with the Bengals. He began as an assistant defensive backs coach and an assistant special teams coach. He also had a year at the running backs coach position before being named offensive coordinator in 2014.
Of the three teams openly considering the services of Hue Jackson, the Giants had the strongest 2015 season, finishing 6-10 and third place in the NFC East. Cincinnati’s fellow AFC North organization, the Browns, finished last with a 3-13 record. The 49ers finished last in the NFC West with a 5-11 record.
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