Despite What You’re Reading Today, Marvin Lewis Did Not Endorse Hue Jackson as the Bengals New Head Coach

If you’ve been on Twitter today or paid any attention to the news coming out of Cincinnati, you were probably led to believe part of Marvin Lewis’ final day as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach was spent endorsing his buddy Hue Jackson for the position he vacated when he and Mike Brown “came to an agreement” that it was time to part ways.

Well, I watched the press conference and the quote they’re using to justify their click-bait headlines went a little something like this..

Marvin was asked if he would like to see Hue Jackson in the mix to take over as the Bengals head coach. He responded:

“I think Hue should get an opportunity to speak with them; I think he’s more than qualified and has been in a couple of difficult situations.. that’s tough and it hasn’t broken his way. I think he’s an excellent football coach. He’s a great motivator. He’s detailed. I think he deserves an opportunity.. if not here, somewhere else.”

That reads a little different than “I believe Hue Jackson should replace me as the head coach”, doesn’t it? This quote was nothing more than a guy saying a few nice things about a longtime friend and colleague. What did you expect Marvin to say? “Hue is a terrible head coach and any organization would be stupid to consider him”? While that’s probably true, it’s not a good look for Marvin if he wanted to be a head coach ever again. Not only would he be doing Hue a professional disservice, but good luck hiring a coaching staff to work below you if they know you’re going to trash them on the way out.

I think Whitty would be a great president when he turns 35. I think he at least deserves a conversation with the voters. He is good at delegating, he’s fair, and he stands by his convictions (even when they’re wrong; see: holiday Reese’s Cups). Am I attaching my name to his run for presidency? No, because everybody knows I already promised to be Jefe’s campaign manager.

See… Saying nice things =/= endorsement. Check and mate.

Am I triggered by the media shaping the narrative against the Bengals and their coaching search based on Marvin’s kind words about Hue on his way out the door? You betcha. But that doesn’t mean I’m expecting too much out of the folks over at Pro Football Talk, Yahoo and ESPN to listen to Marvin’s comments or read the actual transcript before jumping to a headline they know will get clicks. I guess I can’t blame them, but the Bengals have it hard enough with the reputation of Mike Brown and their shortcomings so this stings more than it probably should.

Early reports on their coaching search show they’re not only interviewing internal candidates (which every organization does, by the way), but they’re requesting to talk to some pretty big names as part of their process to find the next head coach Mike Brown will keep for five seasons too long. They’ve asked to speak with New England OC Josh McDaniels, the Rams’ QB coach Zac Taylor and a handful of other “hot names” in the coaching ranks. This is the first time we’ve gone through this in Cincinnati since 2003, so it might not be a smooth process, but let’s allow the chips to fall before we reach for more click-bait titles essentially naming Hue the 10th coach in Bengals history.

That being said, I expect the press conference naming Hue as the head coach by Friday.


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