CHICAGO -- Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck knows current Baltimore Ravens' quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson from their days together with the Washington Redskins. Back in 2003, Jackson was Washington’s offense coordinator while Hasselbeck came off the bench to start five games at quarterback for a group that finished a disappointing 5-11.
"Back then, [former Redskins head coach] Steve Spurrier was pretty much in control of everything, but things weren't going that well," Hasselbeck told ESPNChicago.com Monday. "Eventually, people thought the best thing to do was let Hue call the plays and deal with our protection issues. One thing about Hue, he relates to players well and does an excellent job of keeping things fairly simple. Not simple to the point of remedial, but simple to the point that players understand their responsibilities."
Jackson, who will interview for the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator position, also called plays for the 2007 Atlanta Falcons, the same team abandoned by head coach Bobby Petrino late in the year.
"That was a tough situation for everybody down there," Hasselbeck said. "But look up how [Falcons quarterback] Chris Redman did late in the year. I was with Arizona in 2007, and I remember when we played Atlanta watching Redman throw the ball all over the place. Look it up. That was all Hue right there with Redman."
Redman threw for 315 yards and a pair of touchdowns in that overtime loss to the Cardinals, and then finished up the season tossing four scores against Seattle -- in six games (four starts) in 2007, Redman passed for 1,079 yards, 10 touchdowns and had a passer rating of 90.4.
But how would Jackson do in Chicago?
"Hue really has a presence," Hasselbeck said. "He can stand up in front of the room and have the attention of all 25 guys on offense. Some coaches aren't able to command the room. Hue can, and he does it quite well.
Hasselbeck said Jackson focuses on calling plays that best suit his personnel.
“Ultimately, that's what good coaches do,” Hasselbeck said. “Look at [Kansas City Chiefs head coach] Todd Haley, people thought based on what he did in Arizona with Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin that he was a guy more comfortable in the shotgun. Then he gets to Kansas City, and we see he wants a tailback, fullback and two tight ends to run a more traditional style."
"The Bears have invested a lot in Jay Cutler, so do something [offensively] he's good at, There are a couple quarterbacks in the league that would be great no matter where they go. But the majority of the guys, even those who are Pro Bowl caliber, need to be in a system that fits them. My brother [Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck] is the same way, despite going to Pro Bowls and playing in a Super Bowl, he benefited from being put in a system that fit him, rather than being forced to fit in a system."
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter first reported that Jackson is coming to interview for the Bears’ offensive coordinator position on Tuesday.