Hue Jackson has found work just not the type I’m sure he expected with a head coaching title on his resume. His former employer, the Cincinnati Bengals, have given Jackson a job as an assistant on Marvin Lewis’ staff where he’ll help coach the secondary and special teams.
For Jackson the move can’t be viewed as anything but a step back. Two years ago he was hired by Al Davis as an offensive coordinator then one year later promoted to head coach. For a man with an offensive mind, coaching special teams must seem a little awkward. Then again, Jackson did call up some innovative trick plays on special teams for the Raiders last season.
Jackson’s one year as a head coach was truly a rollercoaster ride. At one point the Raiders were 7-4, squarely in the driver seat for taking the AFC West. Jackson’s confidence, at times bordering on arrogance, pushed him to pay a high price for Carson Palmer then proclaim the move as the “best trade ever.”
As we all know the wheels completely came off as the Raiders won just one of their final five games. Jackson, in turn, tossed his team under the bus. Jackson’s emotional reaction to the way the season ended for Oakland might have helped Reggie McKenzie make his first order of business finding a new head coach.
Al Davis’ decision to let Tom Cable walk in order to promote Jackson was met with plenty of backlash. From a business stand point the move was genius as the Raiders sold out every home date for the first time since their return to the East Bay. However the fact that Cable resurfaced in Seattle as an assistant head coach while Jackson is now coaching a unit he hasn’t worked with since the late 1980’s says a lot.
Jackson is a fiery coach with plenty of offensive acumen. His mismanaged ego got the best of him at times but that is true of any professional coach. Where Jackson’s greatest failure occurred was in his inability to keep his players focused. NFL records in penalties and a complete collapse down the stretch doomed Jackson and perhaps ruined any chance he might ever get at being a head coach in the NFL again.