For some it seems like not so long ago Hue Jackson was roaming the sidelines as Raiders head coach. For others -- Hue Jackson included I'm sure -- it's felt like an eternity. In actual time it's been four years. He is now getting another shot at being a head coach in Cleveland.
A lot has happened since Hue Jackson was fired after just one 8-8 season at the helm for the Raiders. It's as if the Raiders franchise and Jackson's professional career traveled along the same trajectory.
When Hue Jackson took over the Raiders head coaching job, he had worked his way up to that point. From quarterbacks coach in Baltimore in 2009 to offensive coordinator in Oakland in 2010 to head coach in Oakland in 2011. The Raiders escaped being a double digit loss team to being a .500 team in his two season in Oakland. Then suddenly Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie hit the reset button.
The Raiders were looking to start anew. Tear it down and rebuild it. The first order of the new regime was to fire Hue Jackson, forcing him to start over as well.
Dennis Allen was brought in to be the Raiders next head coach, McKenzie stripped the team of all its big contracts, including trading away quarterback Carson Palmer of whom Jackson acquired in what he called "the greatest trade in football", and years of futility would follow.
Jackson was hired by the Bengals, who seemed to simply find somewhere he could hold a job on the staff. That position was assistant secondary coach and special teams coordinator. Not exactly where you'd expect a well known offensive NFL mind to be, but there was no intention of keeping him there for long.
After one season in that position, the Bengals gave him a job more befitting the man who miraculously got a 1000-yard season out of Darren McFadden -- they made him running backs coach. That position too would last just one season before he was promoted once again to offensive coordinator in 2014.
Last season, Jackson's second as OC in Cincinnati, the Bengals had their best season in nearly three decades and it would have been even better had Andy Dalton not been injured.
So too did the Raiders have their best season (7-9) under new head coach Jack Del Rio since Jackson was their head coach.
Now with several young foundation players in place, the Raiders' future is bright. And Hue Jackson is a head coach again. It took four years to come back around to where the Raiders and Hue Jackson left off, but here we are.