Raiders better fit for Jackson

Updated: January 26, 2010, 1:44 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bears' search for an offensive coordinator continues with yet another name scratched off their list.

Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson chose to become the Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator rather than interview with the Bears for the same position on Tuesday.

Jackson, a California native, interviewed with the Raiders last week and said Tuesday the situation was too good to pass up.

"I've been to the Raiders and spent time with [owner] Mr. [Al] Davis and talking to [coach] Tom Cable," Jackson said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I had worked with Tom. We had worked together in college, and we have very similar thoughts, and the biggest thought is that we want to win. I was very impressed with my time with Mr. Davis, talking about his vision, talking about his vision for me, for the organization and what he is trying to accomplish. It just kind of worked out.

"I woke up, and I don't ever want to lead anybody on. [Bears coach] Lovie [Smith] is such a great man, and I didn't want to go down [to Chicago] and think I was going to put my all into it when I knew my heart was in California. I'm from California. It's a chance for me to go back home among family and friends and try to do everything I can to help the Raiders get back to where they want to be."

Asked if the timing of his decision upset Smith, Jackson said the Bears coach was fine with it.

"Lovie is a great man. I don't think Lovie was upset at all," Jackson said. "He said you have to do what you have to do. I think we all understand that, and I really appreciated his response because it showed me what kind of man he is."

As the Bears' search for an offensive and defensive coordinator enters its fourth week, Jackson was asked if Smith's tenuous job status next season gave him cause for concern if he were to come to Chicago.

"All these jobs are that way. All these jobs you're working against the clock where you don't know if you're going to be there from one year to the next," Jackson said. "This business is about winning. It's about performance, and I think we all as coaches understand that. There's no guarantees. All you can do is perform your best.

"Lovie has done a great job. I know the season wasn't what he wanted this past year, but there's no doubt in my mind that they are going to get it done in Chicago."

Although the perception might be that the Bears are having a tough time filling their coordinator positions because of Smith's situation, Jackson contends the Bears are just doing their due diligence in finding the right coach.

"I honestly feel that they are being very thorough with their evaluation of candidates so they can ensure they get the right person in there. They have a very talented quarterback, they have very young receivers and that takes time. You want to make sure you make the right decision and I have a great respect for that. They'll know when that time comes."

Jackson, who called plays as the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins in 2003 and Atlanta Falcons in 2007, said his decision had nothing to do with picking Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007 who has struggled to establish himself, over the Bears' Jay Cutler, who threw an NFL-high 26 interceptions this season.

"With great expectations comes great performance. I'm sure Jay relishes in that," Jackson said. "He's played real well in his career. The guy has been a Pro Bowl player. It was a new start for him and obviously things were a little bit different for him. I suspect he will come back this year and have a great season.

"My decision had nothing to do with Jay. If you look at both situations, obviously Jay is the more established quarterback. There's more to it. It's the whole team. When I looked at the whole situation with family from California and the Raiders' tradition. I grew up rooting for the Rams and Raiders."

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