Jonathan Hayes, an NFL tight end for 12 seasons, returns for his 10th year as Bengals tight ends coach in 2012. Last season, Hayes continued the development of second-year tight end Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati’s No. 1 draft pick in 2010, who immediately became one of QB Andy Dalton’s most reliable targets. He finished the season 56-for-595 receiving with six TDs, while also continuing to develop into a productive run-blocker. He earned a spot on the AFC roster in the Pro Bowl.
Jonathan Hayes, an NFL tight end for 12 seasons, returns for his 10th year as Bengals tight ends coach in 2012.
Last season, Hayes continued the development of second-year tight end Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati’s No. 1 draft pick in 2010, who immediately became one of QB Andy Dalton’s most reliable targets. He finished the season 56-for-595 receiving with six TDs, while also continuing to develop into a productive run-blocker. He earned a spot on the AFC roster in the Pro Bowl.
Despite battling injuries which caused him to miss two games, Gresham’s 2011 numbers topped those of his rookie season, when his 52 catches tied for the lead among AFC rookies and tied for third among NFL rookies. His 2010 total was a Bengals rookie TE record, besting the mark of 44 set by Tony McGee in 1993, and he tied teammate Jordan Shipley for the most catches by any Bengals rookie since 1985.
Added to the mix at tight end in 2011 were veteran Donald Lee and rookie free agent Colin Cochart. Lee, who won a Super Bowl with Green Bay in 2010, made some significant contributions though he was limited by injuries. Cochart, from South Dakota State, was the only Bengals 2011 college free agent signee to make the opening day roster, and under Hayes he developed steadily throughout the season, playing in 10 games with three starts.
Together, the TEs contributed to the run-blocking effort in 2011 that propelled RB Cedric Benson over 1000 yards rushing for the third straight season. Benson finished with 1067 yards on the ground. In addition, they aided a pass-blocking effort that ranked tied for fourth in the NFL in fewest sacks allowed (25).
And twice since 2005, the tight ends’ blocking has helped Cincinnati set a club record for fewest sacks allowed. A record of 21 was set in 2005, and that mark was rewritten at 17 in ’07.
Prior to joining the Bengals, Hayes spent four years (1999-2002) at the University of Oklahoma as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. He helped the Sooners to a four-year record of 44-9, including a 13-0 mark in 2000 for the NCAA championship.
Under Hayes’s tutelage, tight end Trent Smith finished his Oklahoma career in 2002 as the school’s No. 2 all-time receiver, with 148 catches. Also in 2002, Sooners special teams blocked seven kicks and had three punt returns for TDs.
Hayes began his NFL playing career in 1985 with the Kansas City Chiefs, as a second-round draft pick out of Iowa. He played for the Chiefs through 1993, serving as a team captain, and closed his NFL career with three seasons in Pittsburgh (’94-96). He had 153 career receptions for 1718 yards with 13 TDs.
He saw action in 184 NFL games with 122 starts, and he played all 16 games in each of his final six seasons. He played in three AFC Championship games and a Super Bowl (for Pittsburgh vs. Dallas in SB XXX).
At the University of Iowa, he earned first-team All-America honors as a senior TE and was a team captain. He holds a degree from Iowa in general studies.
Hayes’s older brother, Jay, is Bengals defensive line coach.
Hayes’s hometown is South Fayette, Pa. He attended South Fayette High School. He and his wife have four children.
PLAYING AND COACHING HISTORY - 1981-84: Played linebacker and tight end at Iowa. 1985-93: NFL tight end, Kansas City Chiefs. 1994-96: NFL tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers. 1999-2002: Assistant coach (AC), Univ. of Oklahoma. 2003-present: AC, Bengals.