Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals have a coach with rich offensive experience in the NFL. Why not use him for that?
During his press conference after winning the AFC Championship game, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced that Juan Castillo, a long-time offensive coach the became the Eagles defensive coordinator in 2011, is joining the team as a consultant, eventually becoming the Baltimore's running game coordinator.
Of course that has me thinking: Why have Hue Jackson as an assistant secondary and special teams coach if he returns? Though it's slightly hard to believe that Jackson's role is limited to those capacities. But if you're going to invite him back to the 2013 coaching staff, let's apply his knowledge into a position that makes sense.
Let's make him a passing game coordinator.
But what exactly is a passing game coordinator? It's not a common coaching position, though more and more teams have applied certain specialty coordinators. Like the running game, pass rush, etc... Nominally a passing game coordinator organizes the passing game from concepts, personnel, formations based on every conceivable situation. Most passing game coordinators are also position coaches, mostly at quarterback and wide receiver.
Jackson obviously has the experience that ties the passing game together, having been a wide receivers coach in Cincinnati (2004-06), a quarterbacks coach in Baltimore (2008-09), applying both positions in previous regimes in college and even the World League of American Football. He doesn't need to replace Ken Zampese at quarterbacks coach (who may already be doing most of the passing game coordinator duties) or James Urban at wide receivers coach. Maybe assist them, but don't replace them (as long as they work well together).
But let's face facts. It's not that offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has established a blitzkrieg of domination against passing defenses in the NFL, which has ranked No. 20 and 17 in two seasons -- just imagine it without A.J. Green while you're at it. Additionally Jay Gruden will always be on the cusp for a departure to captain his own ship one day. Why not have have Jackson, the supposed natural replacement, work with the offensive players that he would one day call offensive plays for.
It's just a roaming thought during a haircut at the barbers today. Maybe not a very good one. The intended idea was that if you're going to keep Jackson around, actually apply his knowledge to an aspect of football that he has the most experience. Offense.