As Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian attempts to hire his third wide receivers coach since arriving on the Forty Acres following the departure of Brennan Marion to become the offensive coordinator for the UNLV Rebels last week, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers coach Chris Jackson has been linked to the job by multiple reports, including by Inside Texas.
But with a Junior Day looming in Austin next weekend, the timing is awkward for Jackson following the wild comeback by the Jaguars from a 27-0 deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday — if Sarkisian is truly interested in Jackson, he surely watched the third biggest playoff comeback in NFL history with chagrin.
Then, on Monday, Jackson appeared to respond to those reports emerging.
FYI, I deal in reality and not rumors. I am the WR coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars where I’m under contract and absolutely ❤️ it! My main focus is doing my job to the best of my ability and preparing for a huge playoff game this weekend vs the Chiefs. in! #GoJags #Duuuuuval— Chris Jackson (@ciege81) January 16, 2023
I have not had any conversation with anyone outside of this organization regarding coaching. I am a Jacksonville Jaguar!!— Chris Jackson (@ciege81) January 16, 2023
Of course, nothing that Jackson said on Twitter actually removes himself from the running for the job — the win by Jacksonville pushed back any potential timetable for Texas to hire the Washington State alum and any contact with the season ongoing would happen between the Longhorns and his agent, affording Jackson the typical plausible deniability.
The real tie to the Texas program for Jackson is that he played with tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Banks on the Palouse in 1996 and 1997, including for the Rose Bowl run led by Leaf in the latter season.
After a long professional career primarily in the Arena Football League that included 13,355 receiving yards and 325 touchdowns, Jackson coached wide receivers at a high school in Arizona before landing a job in 2019 as a defensive assistant with the Chicago Bears. Jackson previously spent time with the Bears during training camp in 2018 thanks to the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program.
Jackson moved to a role as an assistant wide receivers coach for two seasons before Doug Pederson hired him in Jacksonville.
So Jackson doesn’t have any college experience and limited experience in the NFL, the former providing a stark contrast with other potential candidates like former Washington State wide receivers coach Joel Filani, who played and coached at Texas Tech, and Arizona State pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach Ra’Shaad Samples and his deep ties to the state.
At best, Jackson’s quick rise in the coaching industry and NFL experience make him appealing, but still a risky move for Sarkisian in a pursuit that may not progress past whatever initial steps were already taken by both sides.