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NFL coach search news January 10th: The Hue Jackson saga

Three teams are now fighting for the services of the Bengals offensive coordinator.

Coach Watch hit a bit of a rough patch today. There wasn't much in the names of big names added or hirings (probably due to the games today) but there was a saga that unfolded. A saga that joins the likeness of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings among others. I'm talking about the Hue Jackson saga.  Journalists, fans, and yes, Wikipedia have all gotten in on the leads to where the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator may end up.

The Connections Hue Jackson Saga:

The San Francisco 49ers have not had any movement on the various interviews they've held. So far, Chip Kelly, Anthony Lynn, Dirk Koetter, John DeFilippo, and Mike Shanahan have all had interviews, with Shanahan's yet to be confirmed since being rescheduled. No movement on any of these candidates has happened besides tweets that interviews went well.

Then Hue Jackson happened.

Jackson's interview with the 49ers happened this morning in Cincinnati. Not only was 49ers general manager Trent Baalke there, but majority owners Jed and Denise John York were allegedly in the interview as well per John Middlekauf. Michael Silver, a person well connected to Jackson, confirmed the interview lasted 5 hours and a Matt Maiocco report went into detail that an offer has not hit the table yet for anybody interviewed by the 49ers despite how productive Jackson's interview was.

The craziness continued into Jackson's interview with the Cleveland Browns. During his interview, Kyle McLorg of Bay Area Sports Guy fired off this tweet:

And the football gods said, "Let there be chaos!"

Silver was quick to let everyone know Jackson was still in his interview with the Browns, but McLorg's tweet is something to not to dismiss entirely. Once the Browns interview concluded, there was still no notification of an offer by either team, just confirmations from Silver that both interviews went well.

So, enter the New York Giants. After two interviews and no offers, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported that the Giants were interested in interviewing Jackson later in the week. Michael Silver on the other hand, said the Giants requested to interview Jackson tomorrow. A decision between San Francisco and Cleveland could happen tomorrow and throw New York out of the running entirely, and no interview has been officially granted as of this writing.

Keep in mind, this was similar to how Jim Harbaugh's hiring went down. The 49ers interviewed him, gave their pitch, and let him think on it while the Dolphins swooped in to court him (while they still had a head coach on payroll). Eventually, after all the dust settled and the smoke was cleared, Harbaugh choose the 49ers. No official offer has been made or turned down, so either party, the 49ers or Jackson could be doing due diligence before making an offer.

If that has your heads spinning, think of those poor editors of Wikipedia trying to update everything last night:

Wiki jackson small

And there were updates later.

So there you have it, the Hue Jackson saga up until Sunday evening. No offers have been made, a few interviews have gone well, and a lot of people have supplied good nuggets of information for the puzzle.  A puzzle that still misses those final pieces. We'll see how this epic drama ends quite soon.

Before we move on, it's fair to note that the Browns do not yet have a general manager. Before going after Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers decided to do their general manager search first, settling on Trent Baalke. Despite how much meddling the Yorks do or don't do, they wanted to have the coach's boss in place before the coach. You see several ball clubs go this direction. Not all, but a lot. The Browns have yet to hire a general manager, and if this tweet is any indication, that doesn't look good for a coaching candidate. At all:

Other Candidates:

Mike Holmgren was not involved in an interview today...

As stated earlier, no movement on the other interviews. So one of these days, someone will make a decision on these guys and give us a new head coach. Until then, we wait.

Coach Tracker:

This escaped the grasps of Coach Watch yesterday, but it looks like Tom Coughlin has a potential suitor: the Philadelphia Eagles. Now keep in mind, to interview Coughlin, teams still have to ask permission because the coach resigned and remains under contract. The Giants, a division rival of the Eagles, granted the interview request. That either is a favor, an indication, or both.

Regarding the request to interview Jackson, keep in mind, the Giants only submitted just that, a request. Nothing has been granted, confirmed or denied. If you remember right, the 49ers asked if they could interview Mike Shula and it went nowhere (at least until Carolina is out of the post season). It's also safe to assume with how esoteric some football clubs are, maybe the process is further along than being reported. The last thing we can confirm on Hue Jackson tonight  is that he went to bed.

The Giants have interviewed Adam Gase, who was hired as Miami's head coach yesterday. They've also interviewed their own coordinators, Ben McAdoo (offense) and Steve Spagnuolo (defense). Former Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin round out the interviewed candidates. The Giants are scheduled to interview former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith on Monday.


  • San Francisco
  • Cleveland
  • Miami
  • Philadelphia
  • New York
  • Tennessee
  • Tampa Bay
The wait continues...