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Hue Jackson on coaching jobs: They're not the Steelers

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Being the most sought after candidate during a coaching search can be an awkward proposition. Presumably, you're on a good team that still has games left to play. You have to prepare harder than you have all season, while also getting materials, documents and mission statements ready for a proposal with future employers that can last hours.

Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is thankful to be in that position, but outwardly he's not talking about anything but his next opponent: The Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Those jobs are not the Pittsburgh Steelers," Jackson said, via ESPN.com, ahead of Saturday night's wild-card matchup. "That's all I can prepare for. It's talk. And it's great talk, and I appreciate everything that's being said."

Behind closed doors, this is probably takes an extreme emotional toll on coaches, who are already stressed beyond normal human limits. Jackson had an incomplete shot at a head coaching gig in Oakland and still managed to go 8-8. This was the chance he was waiting for, but because he's a good coach, his team is in the playoffs and in a situation where they could win their first postseason game since Jan. 6, 1991.

Some people assume that assistants or out of work coaches simply walk into interviews with owners and spout off their resume. The fact is that this requires presentation space, white boards, visuals and a very well thought out organizational model that owners can attach themselves to. Finding time to whip across the country or squeeze in a lunch with opposing teams during the postseason is incredible hectic.

If Jackson is truly putting all of this off until the playoffs are over -- a common pitfall for assistants of perennially good teams -- that is commendable, because the Bengals will not be able to beat Pittsburgh without him.

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