Late For Work 1/21: Jackson to Leave Joe and the Ravens?

Quarterbacks Coach Hue Jackson has reportedly interviewed for Oakland’s offensive coordinator position.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, January 21st, 2010 at 9:06 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Jackson to Leave Joe and the Ravens?

Ravens Quarterbacks Coach Hue Jackson could be coaching former Oakland No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell instead of Baltimore’s Joe Flacco next season.

Oakland Raiders insider Jerry McDonald confirmed that Jackson was in Alameda, Calif., the location of the Raiders’ team headquarters, talking to team officials yesterday.

“The Jackson visit, I’m assured, is a lock,” proclaimed McDonald, an NFL writer for the Bay Area News Group.

While the Raiders deny talking to anybody for the head coaching position, the Oakland Tribune established Jackson spent several hours interviewing for a job other than the one still held by Tom Cable. Both’s Jason La Canfora and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Jackson is a candidate for the offensive coordinator position.

“Jackson wouldn’t be in the building if he’s not a serious candidate to be something,” McDonald said. “Since [Raiders executive] John Herrera said earlier today the Raiders have interviewed no head coaching candidates but have fielded calls from assistants, we’ll assume the reports about him being interviewed as a candidate for offensive coordinator are accurate.

“Whether Jackson is under contract or not doesn’t matter much. The Ravens simply deny permission if he’s under contract, or perhaps they’ve already agreed in writing he could leave for a coordinator’s spot. He’s not here unless he’s available to be hired.”

The Ravens have a history of helping assistant coaches progress in their professional careers. Jackson has been an offensive coordinator before, for both the Falcons and Redskins, and I’m sure the Ravens organization would be happy for Jackson if he were to get the opportunity to return to that role. He certainly deserves the chance.

However, if Jackson were to leave, where would that leave quarterback Joe Flacco? Flacco is entering a crucial offseason. He looks to take the next step in his development and become a greater force in the Ravens’ passing attack when he returns for his third season in the NFL.

Ken Murray of the Baltimore Sun said Jackson gets overlooked in the progress that Flacco has made over the past two years.

But it doesn’t seem Oakland is overlooking his role. The Raiders are looking for someone who could develop Russell into a legitimate NFL quarterback. That means the Ravens would need to find another way to grow and cultivate their own budding star.

“I think [Offensive Coordinator] Cam [Cameron] and Joe have to arrive at a better understanding,” Murray said. “I don’t know this, but only suspect it: Joe would like more freedom in play-calling, the no-huddle notwithstanding. I think Cam puts a lot of restrictions on Joe, possibly the whole concept of not throwing over the middle. That drives me crazy, I don’t know about Joe. I think the next guy in [at the quarterbacks coach position] better be a guy Flacco can communicate with, because he’s bigger, in the end, than any of the coaches.”

More from Adam Schefter on Hue Jackson and the Raiders’ head coaching position…

Billick Puzzled by Bills

Now that the Buffalo Bills have named Chan Gailey as their head coach, former Ravens head coach Brian Billick admitted he wanted the job but wasn’t able to land an interview, a decision made by Bills General Manager Buddy Nix that left Billick puzzled.

“I just wanted to make sure I was clear that [Nix] had not called,” Billick told reporter Aaron Saykin of Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ via ESPN. “Why he had not called a coach with a Super Bowl ring, 10 wins a year for nine years, having orchestrated the highest-scoring offense and defense in the history of the league, is a question worth asking. But I never spoke with Mr. Nix.”

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