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Jay Hayes
Defensive Line
Experience:
11

Bio

Jay Hayes, a 25-year veteran of major college and NFL coaching, is in his 11th season as Bengals defensive line coach in 2013. Hayes joined a select group of NFL position coaches last season, as three of his players won the league’s AFC Defensive Player of the Week award. Since 1984, when AFC and NFC Defensive Player of the Week awards were begun, there had been only six previous instances of three different winners in one season from any position group on any NFL defense.
Jay Hayes, a 25-year veteran of major college and NFL coaching, is in his 11th season as Bengals defensive line coach in 2013. Hayes joined a select group of NFL position coaches last season, as three of his players won the league’s AFC Defensive Player of the Week award. Since 1984, when AFC and NFC Defensive Player of the Week awards were begun, there had been only six previous instances of three different winners in one season from any position group on any NFL defense.

Hayes's winning pupils were DE Michael Johnson in Week 3 at Washington, DE Carlos Dunlap in Week 13 at San Diego and DT Geno Atkins in Week 16 at Pittsburgh. They contributed half the team’s six weekly awards, a total that tied the franchise record.  

Hayes's entire DL unit played a major role in leading Cincinnati to a second straight playoff appearance. The D-line accounted for 40 of the team’s franchise-record total of 51 sacks.

The pass rush charge was led by career-high sack totals from DT Atkins (12.5) and DE Johnson (11.5). Atkins's sack total was third-best in team history, while Johnson’s was fifth. Atkins's total also set a new team record for sacks by an interior lineman, and it was 4.5 more than the next-highest NFL interior lineman for the season. Atkins's play earned him a second straight trip to the Pro Bowl, this time as a starter.

Hayes's line in 2012 was the picture of stability, as four defensive linemen—Atkins, DE Robert Geathers, DT Domata Peko and DE Michael Johnson—played in every game. Three—Atkins, Geathers and Peko—starting every contest.

Peko last season continued his role as the steady force at nose tackle, leading the line in tackles (80). It was his fourth time in the last five seasons doing so. Geathers, a mainstay on the line since 2004, contributed 45 tackles and three sacks. DE Dunlap continued his exciting development, contributing six sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an INT for a TD. Dunlap made key plays down the stretch in Bengals wins at Washington, at San Diego and vs. Baltimore. DE Wallace Gilberry, signed in September after being released by Tampa Bay, was a major pleasant surprise with 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries including one returned for a TD.

Hayes in 2012 was charged with the development of rookie DTs Devon Still (second-round pick) and Brandon Thompson (third-round pick). The two did not see extensive time due to the depth of the line, but they both figure to play a larger role in ’13.

Recent NFL trends have blurred the distinctions between starters and reserves on successful defensive lines, and Hayes in recent years has employed a strategy that, when at full strength, rotates seven to eight linemen in a game.

“It’s my job to pick somebody to get a spark, so we can have the chemistry and keep it running hot,” Hayes says. “We want to keep getting after people and not let them find room to breathe. If we can continue doing that, we can be successful.”

Hayes came to the Bengals from the Minnesota Vikings, where he was special teams coach in 2002. The ’02 Vikings tied for fifth in the NFL in punt coverage.

Hayes was special teams coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1999-2001. In 1999, under Hayes’s direction, Steelers rookie kicker Kris Brown set an NFL record for most consecutive field goals made to start a career (13).

Before entering the NFL coaching ranks with the Steelers, Hayes coached 11 years at the major college level — at Notre Dame, California and Wisconsin.

Hayes played DE at the University of Idaho and earned all-conference honors in 1980 and ’81. He spent some time in NFL camps before moving on to play professionally in the United States Football League, for the Michigan Panthers in 1984 and the Memphis Showboats in ’85.

Hayes's younger brother, Jonathan, is Bengals tight ends coach.

Hayes was born March 3, 1960 in Pittsburgh and attended South Fayette High School. He and his wife have three children. His son Jesse is a defensive end at Wisconsin, and his daughter Jazmin plays basketball at Lafayette College (Easton, Pa.).

PLAYING AND COACHING HISTORY - 1978-81: Played defensive end at Univ. of Idaho. 1984: Defensive end, Michigan Panthers (USFL). 1985: Defensive end, Memphis Showboats (USFL). 1988-91: Assistant coach (AC), Notre Dame. 1992-94: AC, California. 1995-98: AC, Wisconsin. 1999-2001: AC, Pittsburgh Steelers. 2002: AC, Minnesota Vikings. 2003-present: AC, Bengals.

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