Hey! Hue Jackson is available. Wouldn't it be great if he could come back to the Bengals?
Like, a thousand times, no.
It may be the last thing the Bengals need, shy of a locker room reunion between Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.
I've got nothing personal against Jackson, but he's the past. He was great for his time with the Bengals. He was key in the development of Ochocinco and TJ Houshmandzadeh and the entire passing attack when he was here. He groomed Andy Dalton into an effective NFL quarterback.
Jackson unwittingly helped engineer the the resurgence of the Bengals when, as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, he convinced his ownership group to send a first and second-round pick to the Bengals in exchange for Palmer. He almost did the same thing a year ago by trying to acquire AJ McCarron for his Browns team.
I've heard the idea floated that he could return and help fix the Bengals defense, which is as porous as pumice these days. Really?
Here's what will help fix the Bengals defense a lot more than a triumphant return of Hue Jackson: Vontaze Burfict getting into game shape, Dre Kirkpatrick not getting corkscrewed into the turf by elite receivers and the Bengals $100 million defensive line playing like one.
I don't see Jackson fixing that.
Even if he could, that's not the only reason I'm opposed.
Hue Jackson has failed twice as a head coach. The fact that his only head coaching opportunities have come with two of the worst modern day franchises in NFL history should tell you a lot.
What's frightening was the rumor, urban myth or not, that he and Marvin Lewis concocted a scheme a few years ago where Marvin would become the Bengals' general manager and Jackson would follow him as the teams next head coach. Mike Brown (allegedly) took one look at that deal and sent both to lunch.
Whenever it's time for Lewis to move on, so should the Bengals. They would only move on from Lewis if things were going south again, and if that were to happen, the best course for the franchise would be the one it took when Lewis arrived here in 2003: Hire a head coach from outside of the 'family' and let him hire a lot of new assistant coaches with a lot of new pairs of eyes on the ball.
Jackson reportedly fought with management in Oakland and got involved in an ill conceived power struggle with his offensive coordinator in Cleveland.
Try doing that in your job with your boss or with someone who is on the job trying to help you and the company get better. As much as Mike Brown likes Jackson, does he really want that baggage back on his doorstep?
One of the great things about our country is that if you work hard, try new things and dedicate yourself to your job, your chances of upward mobility greatly increase. However, we all have our ceiling.
Some of us are cut out to be top sales people but maybe not sales managers. Some of us are cut out to be mayors but maybe not senators. Some of us make terrific local sportscasters but stumble as network reporters.
Likewise, some coaches make terrific position coaches or coordinators and bellyflop as soon as they get the keys to the kingdom. The NFL's past is strewn with the wreckage of hotshot coordinators who flamed out when given an entire team to run.
A position coach only has a handful of players he's responsible for -- a coordinator has just one side of the ball and maybe 25-odd players. A head coach? He's the CEO on the field, managing strategy, player egos, the ego of the owner and dealing with the media.
Rare is the coach who can successfully do all of that while winning football games.
A return to Cincinnati wouldn't help the process. It would cloud it, creating the aura again of "head-coach-in-waiting."
I wish Hue Jackson well wherever he winds up. He'll certainly coach again.
It just shouldn't be here.
Now, then, some miscellaneous business:
- You think Jon Gruden misses the broadcast booth yet?
- If you didn't know any better, it would appear the Packers have thrown in the towel on 2018.
- This pretty much sums up where the Steelers are in regards to their AWOL running back Le'veon Bell.
- The Boston Red Sox had a 2018 payroll of $233.752 million and won 108 regular season games. That's $2.157 million per win. The Reds flat-out can't compete with that financially. The only way a small-market team like ours can contend is by drafting smartly, cultivating that talent and getting it to the big league club as quickly as possible. That's why the Reds' minor league system has needed a complete audit and purging for a long time.
Notre Dame fans shouldn't be too upset about the first College Football Playoff rankings, which came out Tuesday. Alabama plays LSU Saturday in Baton Rouge -- by the time that one ends, LSU will be out of further playoff discussion. The top three teams in college football right now are 'Bama, Clemson and Notre Dame. Michigan will be the number four team a week from now.
And Ohio State isn't out of it just yet. It has to run the table, which means beating Michigan in the regular season finale.
- I'll bet Ty Lue never again makes the mistake of watching Lebron walk out the door. The Cavs will be lucky to win 25 games this season.
Hard to believe, but it's been 49 years since Creedence Clearwater Revival released their wildly successful album, Willy and the Poor Boys. It spawned this hit, which reached No. 14 on the Billboard charts.
It was a protest song released in the middle of the Vietnam War., which was also a time when Creedence was cranking out albums just about every nine months. Their label, Fantasy Records, knew it had a hot act and wanted as much product as possible from the band.
Band leader John Fogerty wrote this song on a six-string acoustic guitar -- a Rickenbacker 325 he used almost exclusively. He was such a fan of the Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons that he marked the top of his fret board with the word ACME, which became important as the year went by.
Depressed by his ongoing fights with his record label and his agent, Fogerty gave his prized guitar to a young boy who just happened to be in a rehearsal hall he was using. That was in the early 1970s.
Fast-forward to the mid-'80s. While out shopping one day, Fogerty and his wife stopped into a guitar store in Northern California. There, behind the counter, was his ACME guitar hanging on the wall and for sale. Fogerty asked the store owner what he wanted for his old guitar. The price was outrageous and he took a pass on buying it.
Another 30-odd years passed. Fogerty's wife, Julie, who remembered that day in California and hearing her husband lament losing his prized guitar, set about trying to track it down.
The shop owner had sold the instrument. The trail went cold for a while.
She finally found it in Loveland, Ohio.
Gary Dick, whose hobby is refurbishing classic guitars, had bought Fogerty's old "Rick," and his asking price was nowhere near as outrageous as the California dealer's.
Without John's knowledge, Julie bought the Rickenbacker as a Christmas present in 2016. On Christmas Day, wrapped in several of John's signature flannel shirts, there it was: The guitar that Fogerty used to write all of the classic hits from the height of Creedence Clearwater Revival's popularity.
As you might expect, it was one of the best Christmas gifts he ever received.