Bengals elevate QB coach Ken Zampese to offensive coordinator

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals filled two of their three assistant-coaching vacancies Friday by moving quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese to offensive coordinator and adding former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett to their staff as linebackers coach.

Zampese replaces former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who accepted the Browns' head-coaching position on Wednesday. He will go into his 14th season with the Bengals next year after spending the first 13 guiding the team's signal-callers.

Under Zampese's direction, Carson Palmer led the Bengals to the postseason two years after he was drafted first overall, and Andy Dalton has guided them to the playoffs the past five seasons. Before breaking his thumb in Week 14, Dalton was in the midst of a season that had him being considered a possible MVP candidate.

"I'm excited for Kenny's opportunity to continue to grow our offense," head coach Marvin Lewis said in a news release. "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 is also optimistic about what Zampese's new role could mean for Dalton.

"Andy has just kept on getting better," Lewis said, "so we've obviously got some good continuity working there."

As for Haslett, he replaces former linebackers coach Matt Burke, who left earlier this week for a similar position with the Miami Dolphins. Burke's departure culminated with Jackson's, as well as one from co-defensive backs coach Vance Joseph, who became Miami's defensive coordinator this week. His job could go to Kevin Coyle, a former Bengals assistant who had spent the past four seasons with the Dolphins before being fired this past season.

In addition to coaching the Saints, Haslett was the defensive coordinator for four teams, including former Bengals assistant Jay Gruden's Washington Redskins.

"Jim is just a very outstanding and thorough football coach," Lewis said. "He has a tremendous background, including both as a head coach and a coordinator. 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."

Among Haslett's charges in Cincinnati will be a linebacker corps that has come under recent scrutiny. Fourth-year linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended the first three games of next season by the NFL earlier this week after a series of repeated player-safety violations. Burfict's latest infraction, a 15-yard penalty for a hard hit to Steelers receiver Antonio Brown's head with his shoulder pad, was the league's final straw.

Brown went under concussion protocol just after the hit. The Steelers announced Friday he would miss Sunday's divisional round playoff game at Denver as a result.