Since Hue Jackson isn't returning to Cincinnati, it's time for the coach to find a new destination -- which might be across the country from where he's spent the last three seasons.
Before he was a head coach in Oakland and Cleveland (combined record: 11-44-1), Jackson rose through the ranks as an offensive assistant and coordinator. He spent time in Washington, Cincinnati and Atlanta, as well as at California and USC as offensive coordinator. His work with former Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron sent him rocketing up the coaching candidate charts for a second time, which landed him in Cleveland in a hire that was deemed as a home run.
It didn't quite work out that way.
Jackson's potential pairing with Kingsbury would be intriguing, though. Kingsbury ascended out of nowhere to take the Cardinals job, just a month and a half after he was fired by his alma mater, Texas Tech. He's never been an NFL coach in any capacity. But he was hired because of his offensive mind, which seems to be the new wave among those making coaching decisions in the NFL.
Kingsbury will call plays (that's why he was hired), taking that job out of a potential offensive coordinator's hands. Jackson did not excel in that department in Cleveland, but brings three and a half seasons of NFL head coaching experience, which was filled with both pressure and struggles. He could be a valuable source of advice and guidance for the rookie Kingsbury.
Plus, they were technically both former USC offensive coordinators, even if Kingsbury never actually called a play for the Trojans.
Should Jackson get the job, it would make for an interesting meeting between the Browns and Cardinals, who are set to face off in 2019. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield played for Kingsbury as a freshman at Texas Tech, but when Kingsbury didn't offer him a scholarship after his first season, Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma where he eventually won the Heisman Trophy. Mayfield also spent half of his rookie season in the NFL playing for Jackson, who was fired after eight games, and for whom Mayfield has very little love.
We're getting ahead of ourselves here, but talk about a game that wouldn't require any extra motivation.