OAKLAND – Hue Jackson was emotional, certainly anxious about his return to the East Bay. The former Raiders head coach hadn’t been back to O.co Coliseum since being fired by general manager Reggie McKenzie following an 8-8 season in 2011, but came back for Sunday’s regular-season opener as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator.
It was a triumphant homecoming to say the least. Jackson’s offense couldn’t be stopped as the Bengals beat the Raiders up in a 33-13 victory.
The Bengals knew how much the game meant to Jackson, and were happy to provide such a dominant result.
“It’s no doubt our guys wanted to win this game for Hue Jackson,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. “We had some things to work on in execution, but it was a good plan overall. To both run and throw the football was good and productive.”
Jackson was the Raiders' offensive coordinator in 2010, and got promoted to head coach the following year by now-deceased Raiders owner Al Davis.
Jackson felt some nostalgia coming back to the Raiders’ home stadium, an emotion that washed over him as he walked the grounds before Sunday’s game.
“There were some emotions there, no question,” Jackson said after the game. “I’ve experienced a lot of blood, sweat, and tears here in the past. So I remember a lot of the good times and a lot of great people here.
“The fans were great today, and the players were great today that I knew, so that was really important to me too. At the end of the day, it’s a great, great day to be a Bengal. That’s what it’s truly all about.”
The Bengals played exceptionally well, which left Jackson with a good feeling as his team headed back to Cincinnati.
“It’s satisfying to win,” Jackson said. “Obviously, like I said before, this place will always be special to me because of Al Davis. Coach Davis was tremendous to me, and gave me an opportunity with this organization. But at the end of the day, I work for the Bengals, and it’s always good to come on the road and win, especially when we haven’t won here. Our guys took care of business, it was a team win.”