Hue Jackson finished his tenure as head coach of the Cleveland Browns with a record of three wins, 36 losses, and one tie. In hindsight, it’s remarkable that Jackson was given a second year in charge after starting the 2016 season 0–14 and finishing 1–15; it’s even more incredible that he was given a third season after going winless in 2017. But even after all that failure, Jackson was somehow surprised Monday when his bosses marched into his office and shit-canned him.
“I was surprised. I’m not going to say just totally blindsided because there was just so much noise out there about what was going on with our football team that I thought was not true. But any time there’s all these undercurrents going, there’s something in there. I was surprised when both Jimmy [Haslam] and John [Dorsey] walked in my office and let me know that they’d be relieving me as being the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.”
This is from an interview Jackson did with Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. The way Jackson sees it, the problems he ran into in Cleveland were twofold: when he was allowed to act as play-caller for the offense, the players were garbage; and then when the players finally weren’t garbage, he wasn’t allowed to call the plays, because stupid Todd Haley was in the way.
“But I was never able to actually run my offense the first two years because we didn’t have the players. What everybody saw the first two years was not a Hue Jackson offense. And the people, players, and coaches that know me - know that was the case. I had to do on offense what was necessary to be competitive each week. And we were.”
“Our numbers this year were the same or worse than our numbers last year with better players on offense. So it was already tough for me to give up play calling when I knew more talent was on the way with John Dorsey on board. Of course I wanted to remind everybody what a Hue Jackson-led offense looks like, but I felt they wanted me to focus on coaching the whole team and let someone else call the plays.”
Todd Haley is now gone, but, unfortunately, so is Jackson. Screwed again! Jackson says he was super into Carson Wentz ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft, and seems like he was also into both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson—but he pulls up well short of expressing any disappointment with the current quarterback situation in Cleveland. I urge you to read the whole thing, because Jackson’s take really seems to be that the Browns would be fine today if they’d just let him make every decision at every level. And, if the Browns are interested, they should know that Hue Jackson is very much available to lead the next chapter of Browns greatness:
“As crazy as it may sound, if I had the chance to do it again in Cleveland, I’d be running right back at it, to try to get it done.”