By Zachary Gregory
January 10, 2014
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals’ new offensive coordinator wants Cincinnati on the run next season.
Hue Jackson was introduced Friday as the successor to Jay Gruden, who is now coach of the Washington Redskins after three years as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator.
Jackson was Oakland’s head coach in 2011 and the Bengals’ running backs coach this season. Coach Marvin Lewis said assistant offensive line coach Kyle Caskey will replace Jackson as running backs coach.
Jackson inherits an offense that tied for sixth in the NFL in scoring and was 10th in total offense. The Bengals ranked 18th in rushing, averaging almost 110 yards a game, while winning the AFC North with an 11-5 record.
The offense committed four turnovers in last Sunday’s 27-10 wild-card playoff game loss to San Diego.
“You have to be able to run the ball,” said Jackson, who played quarterback at the University of the Pacific. “That’s where it starts. . Our offense starts with being physical. You have to run the football to win games.”
Jackson is in his second stint with the Bengals, returning in 2012 to help with the defensive backs and special teams after serving as wide receivers coach in from 2004 through 2006. He also worked as offensive coordinator with the Redskins in 2003, the Falcons in 2007 and the Raiders in 2010 before leading them to an 8-8 record in his one season as head coach in 2011.
He’s seen all of the offenses, included the latest fad, the zone read, a scheme that relies on the quarterback and tailback.
“There’s a place for it,” he said. “It has its place, just like anything else. There’s a place for anything that can gain yardage, but you still have to be able to block.”
Lewis foresaw Jackson’s promotion when he was hired two years ago.
“We had a vision that this would happen,” Lewis said. “We were thinking that having Hue here would give us the opportunity to have some continuity.”
Caskey, who played tight end at Texas A&M, joined the Bengals’ staff in 2010 after one year at the University of Mississippi as a defensive assistant.
“It’s really a seamless transition,” Caskey said. “I’ve been in the system for four years. This is an opportunity for me to step forth and pick up behind the offensive line I’ve worked with.”