In the first concrete evidence that Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis' staff is going to draw intense interest from college and NFL teams stemming from the club's success, wide receivers coach Hue Jackson is a candidate to become the head coach at Temple, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jackson, who oversaw the best 1-2 receiving duo in Bengals history in his first year here last season, would bring his golden recruiting touch to the 0-11 Owls' transition to the Mid-American Conference. While he was the offensive coordinator at USC, Jackson recruited two Heisman Trophy winners in Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer and current Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart. Jackson had no comment about the report, which had a list headed by Virginia defensive coordinator Al Golden.
Jackson, 40, is a valued aide to Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski in a scheme that has reached a No. 2 ranking in NFL offense, as well as familiar resource for Palmer.
Bratkowski's own name has surfaced in speculation with the Lions' head coaching job in Detroit, but Bratkowski said he hasn't heard anything from anybody about a potential job.
"We tell the players this. When you have success, it works out well for everybody, coaches and players," Bratkowski said.
Jackson is also a key figure in the drafting of Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Henry. Although Henry's stock was low among scouts because of some non-football concerns at West Virginia, Jackson delved into his background and urged the Bengals to bring him to town for his only pre-draft interview.
Henry, a rangy 6-4 receiver, clicked with Jackson and since the Bengals selected him in the third round he has failed to disappoint. His 25 catches for 343 yards are among the rookie leaders and his five touchdowns trail only Steelers tight end Heath Miller's six among rookies.
Under Jackson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh had a career year with 73 catches for 978 yards. Teamed with Pro Bowler Chad Johnson's 1,274 yards, the 2,252 is the best of any duo. Johnson is headed for another Pro Bowl under Jackson with an AFC-leading 66 catches for 1,085 yards.
The Inquirer reported other candidates as Wisconsin assistant Brian White, Fresno State assistant Frank Cignetti, former Marshall head coach Bob Pruett, and Eagles quality control coach Ted Daisher
CHAD FINED:** Johnson still doesn't have a lot of fans in the NFL office. A league official said Johnson was fined $5,000 in violation of the rule of "prolonged, excessive, or pre-meditated celebrations," after pulling the back pylon out of the corner of the end zone and using it to putt the football after his 54-yard touchdown catch in last Sunday's 42-29 victory over the Ravens. The official wouldn't say if Johnson had been fined for his other celebrations.