At some point during the regular season, Raiders head coach Hue Jackson called the Cincinnati Bengals and asked, "what would it take to take Carson Palmer off your hands." Mike Brown grumbled, Marvin Lewis cautioned exploratory patience to the owner.
Discussions took place, negotiations commenced and ideas were exchanged. Soon after the Raiders sent their 2012 first-round pick and 2013 second-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for Cincinnati's declining franchise quarterback. After that the Bengals made the 2011 NFL playoffs, the Raiders failed to reach the postseason and Hue Jackson was fired by an incoming general manager who had yet to be introduced to the press.
"I just want to coach football. I have a long relationship with Marvin and I'm looking to helping and assisting whoever in trying to help the organization attain its goal," Jackson said. "I've got a lot to learn, but who better to learn from than Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer? Those are two guys that I know and I'm comfortable with and Darrin is one the better special teams coaches in the league."
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Hue Jackson go back. They were on the same coaching staff with the Washington Redskins in 2002, with Lewis being the team's defensive coordinator while Jackson coached running backs.
A year after Lewis was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals to become the team's new head coach, he brought Hue Jackson over to coach the wide receivers, which included guys like Chad
Johnson Ochocinco Johnson (?), T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry. And during his first season with the Bengals, Houshmandzadeh finally put together his breakout season posting 73 receptions for 978 yards receiving while Johnson reached the Pro Bowl during each season that Jackson coached the wide receivers.
Marvin Lewis is geeked about Jackson's return.
"Hue is a tremendous addition to our staff," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "I relied on Hue greatly when he was with us (in 2004-06), and his success overall in the NFL, including being selected for a head coaching position, is well documented. He has expertise in all aspects of the game, and we are fortunate to have obtained his services."
Jackson left the Bengals to become Atlanta's newest offensive coordinator in 2007 under head coach Bobby Petrino, with Mike Zimmer coordinating the defense (as he does for the Bengals today). From 2008 through 2009, Jackson coached Joe Flacco as the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach before being offered another offensive coordinator position in Oakland, where he was eventually promoted as the team's head coach in 2011.
So here we are. Full circle.
Jackson coached the wide receivers during a golden period of Cincinnati's passing offense. He leaves and eventually takes Carson Palmer off our hands, gives Cincinnati two high draft picks and returns to the Bengals months later.
James Bond couldn't have done it any better.