Browns coach Hue Jackson picked up a prestigious honor Thursday for what he accomplished in his final year with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson, who served as the Bengals' offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. He shared the honors with Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
The Bengals went from 15th in scoring offense in 2014 to seventh this season thanks largely to the improved quarterback play of Andy Dalton, who set a career high and franchise record with a 106.3 rating, which led the AFC and was second in the NFL. After losing Dalton to injury in Week 14, Jackson guided quarterback AJ McCarron to a 2-1 record in the final three games of the season, as the Bengals clinched the AFC North title, their second of the past four seasons.
The Cincinnati running game produced two 700-yard rushers in Jeremy Hill (794) and Giovani Bernard (730) for the first time since 1988. Tight end Tyler Eifert experienced a breakout season after hauling in 13 touchdown receptions, the most by a Bengals tight end in franchise history and the most by a Cincinnati player since 2001. Wide receiver A.J. Green added 10 receiving touchdowns on 86 receptions for 1,297 yards. Eifert, Green and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth were selected to the Pro Bowl.
Jackson has been an offensive coordinator at six different spots, four in the NFL -- Cincinnati (2014-15), Atlanta (2007), Washington (2003), Oakland (2010), USC (1997-2000) and Cal-Berkeley (1996). He will continue to have a major role in the Browns offense during his first year as the team's head coach.