Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said he is quite content with his current position. Just the same, he acknowledged that he isn't averse to taking calls from owners of other NFL teams seeking a coach.
"If someone calls, I'm not going to tell you I'm going to say, 'No,' because it all depends on what the situation is," Jackson said Thursday. "But I'm not going to tell you that I'm going to say, 'Yes,' either, because I've really enjoyed my time here and what's happening here with Oakland Raider football."
Jackson said he has the "best job in football" right now. Yet, like many assistant coaches, he has aspirations of becoming a head coach.
Owners of teams unsure of their coaching situation beyond this season certainly are taking notice of the way Jackson has transformed Oakland's offense. The Raiders are 14th among 32 teams in average yards per game (349.1), 10th in average points scored (24.2) and third in rushing (1,941 yards, 149.3 per game). They are seven points shy of surpassing the high-water mark from the past seven seasons.
"I would be wrong to say that everybody who's in my position doesn't want to go have that opportunity someday to be the best that they can be," Jackson said. "That's what I want to do. That's what we all want to do. But I love what I'm doing right now. "... My mind is so far away from what's going to happen down the road because I have a great job here, with great people, a great owner and a great city. I'm enjoying it."
Raiders managing general partner Al Davis hired Jackson soon after last season ended and entrusted in him the play-calling duties that coach Tom Cable held since the middle of the 2008 season.
The fans' vote counts for one-third of the process. Players and coaches each get one-third of the vote. The selections will be announced Dec. 28.
Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly is in the midst of a Pro Bowl-caliber season, according to several of his teammates. Kelly, who leads AFC tackles in sacks (seven), said he is oblivious.
"I can't worry about that," Kelly said. "It would mean a lot to me but, at the end of the day, I would rather have the respect of people around the league than (from the) fans. If the other guys you go against respect you, that carries a little more weight than even from the coaches. Respect from another player is the highest honor."
The Raiders' home game Sunday against the Denver Broncos failed to sell out by Thursday's league-mandated deadline and will not be televised locally. Only one of the Raiders' seven regular-season home games has been sold out and televised. Local CBS affiliate KPIX Ch. 5 is planning to show the New York Jets at the Pittsburgh Steelers.