Jacob Burney, a 23-year veteran of the NFL coaching ranks, is in his third season as Bengals defensive line coach.
Jacob Burney, a 23-year veteran of the NFL coaching ranks, is in his third season as Bengals defensive line coach. Last season, Burney’s line helped lead the Bengals defense to a No. 6 NFL ranking in total yards per play (5.0), No. 9 in sacks per pass play (.11) and No. 6 in red-zone defense (46.4 percent). He helped guide veteran linemen Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap to productive seasons, while also aiding the development of young players like DE Jordan Willis and DTs Andrew Billings and Ryan Glasgow.
Atkins, who earned his sixth Pro Bowl nod in ’17, has finished atop all NFL interior linemen in sacks in each of Burney’s three seasons in Cincinnati. Atkins’ nine sacks in ’17 also led the team, and heading into 2018 he ranks fourth in team history with 61 sacks.
Dunlap, who started in the Pro Bowl in 2016, Burney’s first in Cincinnati, had another outstanding season in ’17. He totaled 7.5 sacks, an INT (returned for a TD), seven PDs, a FF, and a team-leading 24 QB hits and 12 TFLs. Entering 2018, Dunlap’s 64.5 sacks rank second in Bengals history, behind Eddie Edwards’ 83.5.
In 2016, Dunlap led all NFL defensive linemen with 15 passes defensed, and he was the first defensive lineman to ever lead the Bengals in PDs.
Prior to his hire by Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, Burney coached NFL defensive lines under Bill Belichick (Cleveland Browns), Ted Marchibroda (Baltimore Ravens), George Seifert (Carolina Panthers) and Mike Shanahan (Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins).
“Jacob is a great taskmaster with tremendous experience,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “I’m excited about what he’ll be able to continue to do to develop the talent we have up front.”
Burney’s last NFL assignment before Cincinnati was from 2010-14 with Washington. His 2014 line helped the Redskins rank 12th in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed as the defense posted 36 sacks. His 2013 unit helped the Redskins rank fourth in the NFL in third-down conversion percentage (34.0) and tied for second in negative rushing plays by opponents (72).
Over Burney’s seven seasons in Denver, the Broncos three times ranked in the NFL’s top five in rush defense. Over his full Denver tenure, the Broncos ranked 10th in fewest total defensive yards allowed.
In Denver in 2006, Burney was the first pro position coach for DE Elvis Dumervil. The fourth-round draft choice has gone on to make five Pro Bowls in a career with the Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, and he has earned All-Pro honors twice. Dumervil had 12.5 sacks in 2007, his first season as a starter under Burney.
In 2005, Burney’s Denver line led the way for an average rushing yield of just 82.5 yards per game, ranked second in the NFL, and the Broncos posted a 13-3 record.
In 1998 with the Ravens, Burney was position coach for DE Michael McCrary, who earned Sporting News All-Pro honors and a starter’s berth in the Pro Bowl.
Burney coached 11 seasons in college before entering the NFL, starting in 1983 at New Mexico. He went on to coach at Tulsa, Mississippi State, Wisconsin, UCLA and Tennessee.
Burney is from Chattanooga, Tenn., and he was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection at Tennessee-Chattanooga. He and his wife, Madrinna, have two sons, Jacob and Benjamin. Jacob was a four-year football letterman at Bucknell, and Benjamin was an honorable mention All-Big 12 cornerback as a senior at Colorado in 2009.
Playing and coaching history: 1977-81—Played DL at Tennessee-Chattanooga. 1983-86—Assistant coach (AC), New Mexico. 1987—AC, Tulsa. 1988—AC, Mississippi State. 1989—AC, Wisconsin. 1990-92—AC, UCLA. 1993—AC, Tennessee. 1994-95—AC, Cleveland Browns. 1996-98—AC, Baltimore Ravens. 1999-2001—AC, Carolina Panthers. 2002-08—AC, Denver Broncos. 2010-14—AC, Washington Redskins. 2016-present—AC, Bengals.