Bengals make Zampese OC, hire ex-head coach

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 15:14:09-05

CINCINNATI -  The Bengals didn't wait long to replace Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator, handing the job to quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese on Friday.

The team also hired former Saints head coach Jim Haslett as linebackers coach.

Zampese has been quarterbacks coach for the past 13 seasons, directing the development of Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer, the NFL’s second and third-ranked passers in 2015.

Haslett  coached the Saints for six seasons (2000-05) and the Rams for the last 12 games of 2008, after opening the season as defensive coordinator.

“It’s a good day for our coaching staff as we move forward for the coming season,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement released by the team.

Lewis said Zampese earned the opportunity and he was happy to keep the job in the family after Jackson left to become Browns head coach this week.

“I’m excited for Kenny’s opportunity to continue to grow our offense. He’s been in the offensive room over the years with our past coordinators, and he understands my vision about our future. It’s time for him to really put his hands on it now and advance the development," Lewis said.  "He has been Andy Dalton’s position coach, and Andy has just kept on getting better, so we’ve obviously got some good continuity working there.”

Haslett replaces Matt Burke, who left for the Dolphins to join former defensive backs coach Vance Joseph, the new defensive coordinator in Miami.

“Jim is just a very outstanding and thorough football coach. He has a tremendous background, including  both as a head coach and a coordinator," Lewis said. "It’s a wealth of expertise and ideas that he’s going to bring to a position group that has to be successful for us to succeed as a team.”

The Bengals have not announced a replacement for Joseph.

Zampese's wife Christine has been fighting a brave and public battle with breast cancer.

Zampese began his NFL coaching career in 1998 as an offensive assistant with Philadelphia. He later worked as wide receivers coach and passing game coach on the Rams offenses that finished first in the NFL in passing yards in 2001 and second in the league in 2002.

Zampese played wide receiver and kick returner at the University of San Diego. His father, Ernie, was a longtime NFL offensive coordinator who coached on a Super Bowl winner with the 1995 Cowboys.

Haslett was Redskins defensive coordinator from 2010-14 and spent 2015 as a consultant to the Penn State football program.

Haslett was named Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2000, when he took over the Saints and raised them from a 3-13 finish in 1999 to a 10-6 record and the NFC South championship. His NFL head coaching record is 48-62, including 1-1 in postseason.

 Haslett starred at Pitt and was a second-round draft choice of the Bills. He earned AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in ’79 and was an All-Pro selection in 1980. He played seven seasons (1979-85) for the Bills and and later was named to the franchise’s Silver Anniversary Team. He closed his playing career in 1986 with the New York Jets.