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Hue Jackson Still a Favorite for Bengals Next Head Coach

Ex-Browns coach Hue Jackson looking grumpy on the sideline.
Where does Hue Jackson sit in the odds to become the Bengals' next head coach? The answer might make Cincy fans was to jump off a bridge. Photo by Erik Drost (Wiki Commons) [CC License].
  • The Bengals finally parted ways with Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons. 
  • The list of favorites to be their next head coach is filled with current Cincinnati assistants. 
  • Who’s the best bet to land the least desirable opening in the league?

After 16 seasons, Marvin Lewis is out as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati is now one of eight teams in need of a new head coach.

BetOnline has posted odds for seven of the eight openings (omitting only the Broncos). Here is their take on the favorites for the Bengals job.

Next Bengals Head Coach Odds

Coach Current/Last Position Odds at BetOnline (Jan. 4)
Bill Lazor Bengals OC +200
Hue Jackson Bengals Assistant to HC +250
Darrin Simmons Bengals ST coach +300
Eric Bieniemy Chiefs OC +500
Vance Joseph Broncos HC +700
Zac Taylor Rams QB coach +750
Boomer Esiason CBS commentator +10000

The Bengals job is not a coveted opening. New England OC Josh McDaniels turned down an interview.

According to ESPN’s Mike Sando, it’s the worst of all eight openings, even lower than the Cardinals, a team that just set records for offensive futility.

Would the Bengals Actually Hire Hue Jackson?

Not even a 3-36 record with the Browns could keep Hue Jackson from getting re-hired by the Bengals. The team brought Jackson back mid-season to be their Dwight Schrute. They proceeded to go 1-5 thereafter, including two embarrassing losses to Cleveland, a squad Jackson should have known like the back of his hand.

The Bengals are a unique, family-run organization and they are loyal to a fault — hence Lewis’ 16-year, zero-playoff win tenure — but don’t mistake Mike Brown’s loyalty for stupidity. He knows it would be financial suicide to hire Jackson; the fanbase would revolt.

The fansided site CincyJungle.com ranks Jackson as the worst candidate. The Bengals do weird things with coaches, but Jackson is not good value at +250.

Neither is Lazor at +200. That’s not because he doesn’t have a shot. It’s because this is one of the most unpredictable situations out there, and taking anyone at those odds is bad value.

Longshot Zac Taylor Could Have Value

Cincinnati most recently added Buccaneers OC Todd Monken to their interview list, right after McDaniels declined his invite. Between Monken, Eric Bieniemy, and Zac Taylor, there is a decided offensive bent to this coaching search. That’s why you may want to fade Vance Joseph at +700, even though he has a history with the team.

Bieniemy (a Bengal RB from 1995-98) is likely higher on Cincinnati’s list than Taylor, but that will be the case with the seven other teams looking for a head coach, as well. If Bieniemy is offered the Jets, Dolphins, or Bucs job, expect him to take those over Cincy.

At just 35 years old, Taylor lacks experience; he’s never been an HC at any level. But he has the sheen of Sean McVay on him and he has a history in the Queen City, if not with the team itself: Taylor was the OC with the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2016, immediately before joining the Rams.

Hiring a 35-year-old with no head coaching experience and zero history with the franchise would be a drastic departure from the Brown family’s m.o. But so was firing Marvin Lewis.

Betting Advice

Sprinkle a little on Taylor, or wait for Monken to pop-up on the list.

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