Recently promoted offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals Hue Jackson has a lot of ties to the Oakland Raiders after serving as an offensive coordinator and head coach of back to back 8-8 teams, succeeding Tom Cable and becoming the last head coaching hire of the late Al Davis.
As many know, Jackson left under controversial circumstances as the team transitioned from the era of late owner Al Davis to the team that is currently being constructed by first ever general manager Reggie McKenzie.
In Jackson’s final press conference as the team collapsed to an 8-8 finish in a promising first year as head coach, the now Cincy OC called out his team and claimed he would be pushing for more control before Mark Davis opted to hire Reggie McKenzie as general manager comments that sealed his fate.
“We didn’t get ‘em stopped. And we didn’t make enough plays. So, yeah, I’m pissed at the team. I’m also, like I tell them, I’ll always put it on me, but I am pissed at my team. Because when you have those kinds of opportunities, you’ve got to do it, and we didn’t do it.”
“I’m going take a stronger hand in this whole team, this whole organization,” Jackson said in that infamous final presser. “There ain’t no way that I’m going to feel like I feel today a year from now, I promise you that. There’s no question. Defensively, offensively and special teams. I aint feeling like this no more. This is a joke. . . . Yeah, I’m going to take a hand in everything that goes on here.”
Obviously the Raiders chose to go a different route, and after McKenzie was hired he naturally fired Jackson who didn’t appear interested in sharing opinions with the new head of player personnel.
Now that Jackson will be an assistant in Cincinnati there is the potential for the former OC to use his connections with the Raiders from not too long ago to bolster say, his running back depth with the Bengals potentially moving on from BenJarvus Green-Ellis who is scheduled to make significantly more than what the diminished McFadden could make.
With Jackson helping McFadden reach his biggest numbers as a pro, career-best numbers of 223 carries for 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns (in 13 games, because this is McFadden we are talking about) there is talk that the running back is “destined” to be in bengal stripes come the 2014 season should he opt to find a change of scenery.
As @JoshDubowAP said, Darren McFadden destined to sign w/ Cincy, be paired with Hue & Giovani Bernard, acquired with pick from Palmer trade.
— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) January 10, 2014
Jackson himself seems to be high on McFadden, hopping on 95.7 The Game on Friday the newly hired coordinator was naturally asked about his former running back. As expected, Hue had praise for DMC.
Could Darren McFadden be a nice complement to Giovani Bernard in Cincy? Hue Jackson: “I think Darren McFadden can play alongside anybody”
— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) January 10, 2014
This is a very interesting comment heading into a very interesting offseason for the Raiders and Darren McFadden. Obviously Reggie McKenzie, Dennis Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson need to decide if McFadden fits their future plans and McFadden himself needs to decide if he wants to end his career with a positive experience in Oakland or try to end his career with a change of scenery to give him a chance at a turnaround. While Jackson doesn’t have the sway of say, head coach Marvin Lewis, it needs to be said that it is likely that Jackson could convince those higher than him in Cincy that Raider UFA’s that would be cheap could be valuable to the team. McFadden’s the biggest name on that list, and Jackson seems to have no problem stirring that pot early on in the offseason.