New Bengals DL coach Marion Hobby brings extensive experience
Marion Hobby brings extensive experience to the Bengals as a defensive line coach. Hobby played in college at Tennessee and was a defensive end in the NFL with the New England Patriots from 1990-1992. Hobby began his coaching career as a strength and conditioning coordinator at Tennessee-Martin in 1995.
Hobby joins the Bengals after spending the last two seasons as the defensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins. Prior to joining Miami, Hobby was the DL coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017-18. Hobby was hired by Jacksonville after a nine-year hiatus from the NFL. Hobby began his NFL coaching career in 2006.
After 11 seasons coaching in college, Hobby was the defensive ends coach with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and 2007. New Orleans went to the NFC Championship Game in the first season Hobby coached their DEs. The Saints finished 12th in the NFL in 2006 with 38 sacks. That was up from 31st and 25 sacks in 2005.
The Saints dropped to 32 sacks which was 20th in the NFL in 2007. Hobby would become the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Duke from 2008-2010. Duke was the first defensive coordinator job Hobby had. Hobby had previously coached at Louisiana-Lafayette, Tennessee, Mississippi and Clemson.
The Duke defense had their best season during Hobby’s first year in 2008. The Blue Devils allowed 23.4 PPG to finish 50th nationally. Hobby left for conference rival Clemson where he was the co-defensive coordinator and DEs coach from 2011-16.
Hobby was on the Tigers staff when they began their current run atop the college football elite. Clemson had an elite defensive line when Hobby coached their DEs. The Tigers DL improved greatly from Hobby’s first to second season.
Clemson improved from 87th with 5.07 tackles per loss per game in 2011 to 30th in 2012 averaging 6.69 TFLs per game. Clemson had a similar improvement in sacks. Clemson was 76th in sacks in 2011 averaging 1.71. A year later Clemson jumped to 21st and an average of 2.62.
Clemson advanced to their first National Championship Playoff game after the 2015 season and won their second National Title and first CFP Title in the last season under Hobby in 2016. Under Hobby, the Jaguars finished second in the NFL with 56 sacks in 2017. Jacksonville fell to 24th with 37 sacks in 2018.
Hobby joined the Dolphins staff the following season. Miami finished last with 23 sacks in 2019 in the first season Hobby coached their defensive line. Miami improved to 11th with 41 sacks in 2020. Hobby will have a big task with the Bengals in 2021. Cincinnati finished last with just 17 sacks in 2020.
The Bengals were 31st allowing 5.1 yards per carry. Cincinnati will likely look to upgrade the defense through the NFL Draft and Free Agency. Carl Lawson led the Bengals with 5.5 sacks in 2020.
The trade of DE Carlos Dunlap was traded to the Seahawks in October and the Bengals’ decision on defensive tackle Geno Atkins could mean the end of an era on the Cincinnati defensive line. Atkins would be a $5.2 million salary-cap hit if the Bengals cut him. Atkins potentially having surgery could complicate their decision.
The Bengals offseason comes at a time with the franchise in transition. Zac Taylor enters his third year needing to turn the franchise around after going 6-25-1 in his first two seasons. Cincinnati appears to be on the right track with their offense led by Joe Burrow at QB. Hobby has to develop the defensive line.