How quickly could Bengals OC Hue Jackson be hot head coaching candidate?
The Cincinnati Bengals offense has received plenty of accolades during the first four games of the season.
Quarterback Andy Dalton is playing the best football of his career. Wideout A.J. Green is producing at a Pro Bowl level. Tight end Tyler Eifert has emerged as a go-to weapon. The running back duo might complement each other better than any combo in the league.
The one constant for the Bengals, who play the Seahawks on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX), has been offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. In fact, Jackson and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll interestingly have similar career arcs — albeit the latter being 15 years older. Both began their coaching careers at Pacific, a small university in Stockton, Calif. Before Carroll built a dynasty at Southern California, Jackson was the Trojans’ offensive coordinator for four seasons.
Jackson, who was fired after one year as the Oakland Raiders’ head coach despite an 8-8 record, has since climbed back up the ranks — from a secondary and assistant special teams coach to coordinating one of the best offenses in the league. After spending the last 15 years in the NFL, would he consider a head coaching gig at the collegiate level?
"I think he would go back to college for the right situation," Jackson’s agent, John Thornton, told FOXSports.com. "I think he’s an excellent leader. His offense is diverse. He runs some spread, zone read, power offense. He has coached some of the most volatile personalities in Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry. He was Joe Flacco’s first quarterbacks coach when he came in the league. He’s worked with a lot of people. He recruited Carson Palmer and Troy Polamalu to USC. So if there was a college situation, I think he’s still young enough and has the personality to deal with the boosters and go out and recruit. He can do that. It would have to be the right situation, though.
"I think at some point he’ll get another shot in the NFL, but college jobs come before that because their season ends sooner. Talking to him over the years, he wouldn’t jump at just any job. It would be something that he would consider himself a difference-maker at and a place where people believe in him."
Jackson’s main selling point as a head coach is his work with Dalton. The 49-year-old play-caller wanted the QB to become tougher, more vocal and a better leader despite it not being his true personality. So far, the fifth-year quarterback has done just that.
Read this week’s Front Office Insider, which details the six starting players returning from four-week suspensions.