An assist from within the Bay??

By Steve Corkran
Updated: January 9, 2011

OAKLAND — The Raiders’ chances of landing Hue Jackson as their replacement for coach Tom Cable increased a great deal when Jim Harbaugh was hired to coach the 49ers on Friday.

The 49ers interviewed Jackson on Wednesday, a few hours before they initially met with Harbaugh. Jackson has not interviewed with any other NFL team, and he doesn’t have plans to do so at this point, according to a person close to Jackson.

Jackson said last month that he covets a head-coaching job in the NFL. As of now, only four are available — the Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

The Browns, Panthers and Broncos already have interviewed prospective coaches. Raiders managing general partner Al Davis has relayed word to Jackson that “he should be ready” for an interview in the coming days.

Raiders senior executive John Herrera said a meeting between Jackson and Davis hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Herrera said he spoke with Davis on Friday morning and that Davis told him he is in the process of “visiting with some of our coaches and conducting staff evaluations, which is normal procedure at this time of year.

(Davis also said that) ‘I still don’t accept that we finished third in a four-team division.’ “

Davis gave Jackson his blessing to interview with the 49ers. It’s uncertain whether Jackson was a legitimate candidate for the 49ers vacancy or if he was brought in ostensibly to fulfill the league’s Rooney Rule, which stipulates that a minority candidate be interviewed for every head coach vacancy.

However, Davis now has far more leverage with Jackson than he did three days ago. Davis also has the benefit of hearing from others who coached with Jackson in recent seasons. Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron weighed in on Jackson from almost 3,000 miles away.

“Tremendous football coach, great friend,” Cameron told the Carroll County Times (Md.) at the Ravens training complex. ” … He really helped us do a lot of things that we were able to do. He had a tremendous amount of input here. However it works out for him, we’d all be thrilled for him.”

Jackson was the quarterbacks coach for the Ravens in 2008-09.