Hue Jackson was a well respected and well liked coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, and he looked to be the next successful coach groomed under long-time Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. After their loss to the Steelers in the playoffs this past season, Jackson bolted to Cleveland to take over as head coach of the Browns franchise. Why anyone would want to take the reigns for that franchise after the drama with Johnny Manziel is a head-scratcher; but after Marvin Lewis received a coaching extension on Friday, now we know why.
Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported that Lewis tried to include a succession clause in his contract for Jackson, but Bengals owner Mike Brown didn’t want to put that on paper.
“With Hue Jackson, his offensive coordinator, a hot head coaching candidate, Marvin Lewis went to Hue Jackson and together they hatched a plan that would have kept Hue Jackson on with a two-year succession plan at which point Marvin Lewis would step down,” Silver said. “They went and shopped that to owner Mike Brown, who did not want to put that in writing.”
People can talk about Lewis being one of the longest tenured coach who hasn’t won a playoff game (0-7), but no one can question his role in cleaning up the Bengals, critique his role as a coaching mentor (Jay Gruden of the Redskins, Mike Zimmer of the Vikings and Jackson are three head coaches who are former Lewis disciples) or doubt his desire to help players and those on his staff.