Posted: 6:40 a.m.
INDIANAPOLIS - The Bengals have yet to make a call on their next defensive coordinator, but they could be interested in adding Hue Jackson back to their coaching staff after his one-year hiatus as the Falcons offensive coordinator.
An NFC source said during Sunday's AFC playoff game that the Bengals have asked permission to talk to Jackson a year after he went to Atlanta as one of Bobby Petrino's first hires.
During his three seasons as the Bengals receivers coach, Cincinnati's prolific tandem emerged. Under Jackson, Chad Johnson went to three Pro Bowls and teamed with T.J. Houshmandzadeh to form the club's first-ever 1,000-yard receiving duo while Chris Henry caught 15 touchdowns on his first 67 NFL catches.
Jackson, 42, who couldn't be reached for comment, not only has a close relationship with the receivers but also goes way back with quarterback Carson Palmer. As USC's offensive coordinator, Jackson recruited Palmer, as well as fellow Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, and Palmer gave him an enthusiastic endorsement when Jackson interviewed for the head job at Duke last month.
The Bengals have announced that all their current coaches are signed for 2008. It's unclear what Jackson's role would be in a reunion with the staff that led the offense to a No. 6 and No. 8 NFL ranking in offense, respectively, in 2005 and 2006.
Former Cowboys and Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is thought to be the leading candidate for the top defensive job.