Marvin Lewis endorses Hue Jackson as his successor with Bengals

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Ask anyone within a 50-mile radius of Cleveland, or honestly just a television in the last three years, and they would probably express a decent amount of skepticism that Hue Jackson gets an NFL head coaching job in the near future.

After all, what else is there to say about a coach who went 3-36-1 in three years with the Cleveland Browns, then watched that same team go 5-3 after he was fired. Jackson’s Cleveland tenure left him no shortage of detractors, and that includes his own ex-quarterback. And even with his lone 8-8 season with the Oakland Raiders, Jackson still possesses the second-worst winning percentage in NFL history among coaches with at least 40 games.

Basically, if Jackson ever gets a head coaching job again, you’d think it would have to come after a few years of strong work as some sort of high-ranking assistant.`Or it could come next season, if a certain outgoing Cincinnati Bengals coach has his way.

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Marvin Lewis thinks Hue Jackson deserves another chance

The Cincinnati Bengals let head coach Marvin Lewis go after 16 years without a playoff win on Monday, and Lewis had some kind things to say about Jackson, a good friend and assistant of his for years, during a final press conference.

From ESPN:

“I think he’s more than qualified,” Lewis said at the news conference. “I think he’s been in a couple of difficult situations [in Oakland and Cleveland], and that’s tough, and it hasn’t broke his way. But I think he’s an excellent football coach, he’s a great motivator. So I think he deserves an opportunity, if not here, somewhere else.”

Jackson has worked under Lewis in three different stints with the Bengals, most recently being brought in as a special assistant to the head coach after his Browns departure.

Does Hue Jackson deserve another head coaching job?

Lewis isn’t wrong that Jackson might have inherited some tough situations as a head coach. Jackson was fired after just one season in Oakland, replaced by new general manager Reggie McKenzie despite going 8-8. That .500 record was better than any season Dennis Allen, his replacement, would proceed to post with the team.

And, of course, the Browns were the laughingstock of the league well before Jackson’s time. The team hasn’t posted a winning record since 2007, a span in which you might be familiar with a long list of failed quarterbacks and high draft picks. Any success with that organization would have been impressive. But, unfortunately, Jackson really didn’t see much success.

Hue Jackson and Marvin Lewis have enjoyed a close relationship during their coaching careers. (Getty Images)
Hue Jackson and Marvin Lewis have enjoyed a close relationship during their coaching careers. (Getty Images)

Per Cincinnati.com, Jackson is expected to interview for the Bengals head coach position. Whether or not he gets the job could come down to just how strong Lewis’ opinion still matters to the organization, and how willing decision-makers are to think that Jackson has simply been a victim of circumstance.

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