The Bengals are moving quickly to fill their coaching vacancies.
Last week, they hired former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett as linebackers coach, replacing Matt Burke, who joined Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes as new members of the Tampa Bay coaching staff.
In addition to defensive line coach, a position Hayes served in for 13 years as an original Marvin Lewis hire, the Bengals also have vacancies at defensive backs coach, a position area coached by two men last season, the departed Vance Joseph, now Miami defensive cordinator, and the rumored-ro-be-leaving Mark Carrier, who co-coached the DBs with Joseph.
The Cincinnati Enquirer said league sources told it that the Bengals "have interest" in Michigan assistant Greg Jackson for a speculated role of secondary coach, the group Jackson coaches for the Wolverines. Jackson was formerly on staff for four years with current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh when both were with the San Francisco 49ers. Jackson is a former New Orleans teammate of Haslett when both were with the Saints.
A Florida native who grew up near the historic Hialeah Park Race Track, Jackson played safety in the NFL for 12 years, suiting up for the New York Giants after being selected in the third round of the 1989 draft. He played on the Super Bowl-winning Giants under Bill Parcells in 1990. He also played for the Eagles and Chargers, becoming a teammate of Harbaugh during his final two years in San Diego. In his career, he started 129 games and had 32 interceptions. He was an All-America for LSU in 1988 when he led the nation with seven interceptions.
Jackson was part of a successful group while a San Francisco assistant secondary coach. In 2013, the 49ers allowed 221 passing yards per game, ranking fourth in the NFC, seventh in the NFL. The 49ers had the NFC's best pass defense in 2012, allowing 200 passing yards per game. In 2011, 49ers defensive backs picked off 22 pass, second-most in the NFL.
While there, Jackson mentored some of the NFL's elite defensive backs, coaching two All-Pro DBs and five who were selected to the Pro Bowl. Safety Eric Reid was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013, becoming the first 49ers rookie safety to earn the honor. Safeties Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson were Pro Bowlers in 2012. Goldson was voted first-team All-Pro in 2012, a year after earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. Cornerback Carlos Rogers was second-team All-Pro in 2011 for the 49ers.
Another rumored Bengals coaching candidate has San Francisco ties. FOX Sports said 49ers defensive backs coach Tim Lewis is interviewing for the same position with the Bengals. Lewis, a former DC with the Steelers and Giants, has a connection to Marvin Lewis. Tim Lewis' first season as Steelers defensive backs coach was Marvin Lewis' last season as Steelers linebackers coach.
Tim Lewis grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, closer to Philadelphia, and later lived in Pittsburgh while in college at the University of Pittsburgh. Marvin Lewis was Pitt linebackers coach from 1990-91. Tim Lewis and Marvin Lewis went head to head as defensive coordinators for two years in 2000 and 2001, when Tim Lewis was Pittsburgh's DC and Lewis was Baltimore's DC. Tim Lewis was once a finalist for the 49ers head-coaching position in 2005 when he was the Giants' DC.
Prior to the 49ers, Tim Lewis was defensive backs coach for Atlanta, Seattle and Carolina.
A 1983 first-round pick (11th overall) by the Packers out of Pitt, Tim Lewis was a playmaking cornerback who twice shared the team lead in interceptions. He still holds the Green Bay record with a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Rams in his second season in 1984. His NFL career was cut short by a severe neck injury suffered the third week of the 1986 season. He walked away from football rather than risk injury, and became a coach.