The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Hue Jackson could work in Pittsburgh as offensive coordinator.
Explanation: I’m not sure there are many in the profession who embarrassed themselves more during their stint as a head coach than did Hue Jackson, who rose to prominence as a successful offensive coordinator before falling on his faced amid a disastrous run with the Cleveland Browns. But a lot of bad head coaches are still good coordinators, and the Steelers need one.
Considering the fact that he has already coached in every other city in the division, it seems inevitable that he ends up here. The value of Jackson is that he has served in a number of roles, and thus has seen the game from a number of perspectives. He has been a running backs coach. He has been a quarterbacks coach. He has been a wide receivers coach. He’s even worked on special teams.
He helped turn the Bengals offense into something resembling competence, ranking seventh in scoring in 2015 during a 12-4 season. Andy Dalton went to the Pro Bowl, but he broke his thumb playing against the Steelers, and that kind of tanked their chances.
That’s when the Browns stepped in and hired him to be their head coach. It’s not his fault he didn’t have what it took to succeed there. And it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t have what it takes to be a head coach in order for him to be an offensive coordinator.
The merits of his ability to coordinate an offense are one thing, but personality is another. Anybody who saw him on Hard Knocks with the Browns saw the kind of ego that he has on him, and his post-firing interviews didn’t do him any favors, either.
It’s been a couple of years at this point since he has been relevant as a coach. While he has since said that he regrets leaving the Bengals to take the Cleveland job, that’s a layup answer at this point. Personality matters, and he doesn’t seem to work very well with other coaches. Meanwhile, the Steelers are trying to assemble a staff.