When Jay Gruden accepted the head coaching vacancy in Washington, running backs coach Hue Jackson gladly accepted the promotion to fill the void at offensive coordinator. There are a lot of questions on how Jackson's offense will translate... Will it be much of the same? Can he help improve Andy Dalton? Will the team's rushing offense be effective? How will he implement Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert?
These are questions that will eventually be answered throughout the course of the season.
However, the Bengals aren't the only team introducing a new offensive coordinator this season... or even in this game. Cincinnati's opponent this Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens, also have an offensive coordinator making his debut.
Jim Caldwell, who called plays in 2013 (and part in '12 after the team fired Cam Cameron following a week 14 loss to the Washington Redskins), left for Detroit to become the Lions newest head coach. Baltimore hired former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator, who is implementing a version of the west coast offense. Unpackaging this offense will be a challenge for Baltimore, who faces a Bengals defense that finished third in the NFL last season.
"I think that it's going to be a tough challenge," said wide receiver Steve Smith via the Baltimore Sun. "The good thing is we know them and they know us well, but it's a brand new scheme on our end. It's going to be a great challenge, and football is back."
Kubiak has a lot of success against the Bengals over the years, going 5-0 as the Texans head coach with an offense that averaged 405.6 yards/game against the beloved Mike Zimmer (results based on Kubiak's POV, not the Bengals).
* Wild Card game in the 2012 season.
** Wild Card game in the 2011 season.
As an offensive coordinator in Denver ('95-06), Kubiak's squads went 4-2 against the Bengals, with an offense that averaged 372.8 (results based on Kubiak's POV, not the Bengals).
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis isn't sure how things will play out -- because of the logic that when things are new, there's an unexpectedness that comes with it at the beginning. It's listed under the Mr. Obvious file.
"Anytime that you have an opening game, there is some uncertainty," Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis said via BaltimoreRavens.com. "There’s no question about that. Yes, we have some uncertainty of how things are."
In a way, Kubiak concurs.
"There are a lot of unknowns on opening day," Kubiak said. "I think the most important thing is that we line up and know what the heck we’re doing and do it fast."
The Bengals open the season in Baltimore (CBS, 1 p.m) this Sunday.