Hue Jackson wasn't out of work long. After compiling a 3-36-1 record in 2.5 seasons as the Browns coach, Jackson was relieved of his duties following the Week 8 loss to the Steelers. He spent the next week defending himself on television but some two weeks later, Jackson was hired by the Bengals as special assistant to coach Marvin Lewis.
It's a nebulous job title and one that inevitably led to comparisons to Dunder-Mifflin's Assistant to the regional manager, Dwight Schrute. Presumably, Jackson would have some role in Cincinnati's offense; after all, he's had success as an offensive coordinator, where he's served in that capacity for the Redskins, Falcons, Raiders and most recently, the Bengals early in Andy Dalton's career.
Jackson said Wednesday he's happy to help current coordinator Bill Lazor in any way he can.
"If Bill wants to bounce an idea off me then no doubt. Anything I can do to help and assist this organization I'll do," Jackson said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer's Fletcher Page.
But that ain't happening, at least to hear Lewis tell it. Jackson will have nothing to do with the Bengals' offense. Beyond that, however, the coach was short on details.
"Hue is here to, you know, right now he's trying to find, you know, just get, uh, immersed back into what we're doing, how we're doing it and the added morsels to me about things he, you know, observes," Lewis said. "That way he can assist with players on the field and with us defensively with the implementation and development of the plan and, you know, he'll continue to look at things analytically. He's got a lot more exposure to that than I've had, and that's helpful because we have the data and just how they continue to use the data correctly. And so that's good and he's been involved in that quite a bit, so that's another added plus exposure to things."
Lewis is fresh off firing defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, whose unit allowed 4,091 yards in nine games. That average, 454.6 yards a game, would put the Bengals' D on pace to surpass the previous all-time record of 7,042 yards, held by the 2012 Saints.
Lewis, a former defensive coordinator, has assumed play-calling duties and it sounds like Jackson, who was the Bengals' secondary assistant & special teams coach in 2012, will help in some capacity.
"We're looking for the intent of the offense as we put things together (defensively)," Lewis explained. "The preciseness of things and helping with that as we go to the practice field, and making sure things are as precise as our opponents hope to have it."
Jackson made clear that he's not in Cincinnati to take anyone's job but to help the Bengals get back to the postseason where, incidentally, they haven't been since Jackson was the offensive coordinator during the 2015 campaign.