I hate writing this. I hate the idea that the Cleveland Browns, a franchise always hitting the reset button, should not stay the course and keep the current staff intact after this year.
At the same time, the team is 1-27 over the last two years. Someone is going to have to take some heat for this and be sent packing.
If you ask me, said someone needs to be the man who’s been openly deflecting blame over the past few weeks. Despite Hue Jackson‘s insistence none of the Browns’ struggles are his fault, it’s become clear the team simply cannot bring him back next year.
I’ve already mentioned some of the petty tactics Cleveland’s coach has been utilizing over the past few weeks. Time and time again, Jackson has been bending over backwards to imply he shouldn’t be blamed for the fact the Browns are 0-12 for the second straight year. As the losses pile up, he’s been distancing himself from the front office, as if to say that’s where the blame should be directed.
At the time, I didn’t think it could get worse than this. Apparently, Jackson took it as a challenge.
On Sunday, a story dropped claiming Cleveland’s coach was all-in on Carson Wentz, the quarterback the team famously passed over in the 2016 draft. However, from said draft until this past Saturday, the narrative has always been that Jackson favored Jared Goff, and though he liked Wentz, he didn’t feel as though he was good enough to be selected second overall.
Yet, 20 months later, now Jackson was actually convinced Wentz was a franchise-caliber quarterback. He was apparently blown away by the now-Philadelphia Eagle.
The response to the article was almost unanimous skepticism. That it took almost two years for everyone to find out Jackson apparently loved the quarterback everyone mocks the Browns for passing up is astounding.
It’s also proof Jackson will go to great lengths to try and blame the front office every bad thing which has happened over the past two years. Clearly, had Sashi Brown and company not ignored to the rave reviews Cleveland’s coach gave them on Wentz, the team wouldn’t have infamously passed over him.
It should be noted the story about Jackson preferring Goff came from Mike Silver of the NFL Network. Silver is known for being very close with the Browns’ coach. This has led many to believe that, whenever he drops a rumor about Jackson, it’s typically coming directly from the man himself.
This is also important to note due to what Silver said yesterday on an NFL Network appearance. In discussing Jackson, he hinted he might be coaching elsewhere next season, potentially with the Cincinnati Bengals.
If we’re to take this as another Silver report where his source is Jackson, this comes off as Cleveland’s coach pulling some sort of power play. A threat he’s sending to Haslam as if to say “give me what I want, or else I might just bail.”
Hue, I’ll help you pack.
If Jackson feels as though he’s in a position to threaten Haslam, hinting through the media he might leave in an attempt to get his way, then he needs to go.
Jackson’s record with the Browns is one win in 28 attempts. His in-game management has been atrocious through much of this season. He’s astoundingly mishandled the development of rookie QB DeShone Kizer. While the team’s record in his time as coach isn’t 100% his fault, it certainly isn’t 0% either.
Jackson’s seat should’ve started heating up once he decided to play the blame game any time a microphone was in front of him. That he’s now both attempting to change his stance on Wentz almost two years later, while also having his media pal float a veiled threat to flee to greener pastures, should result in his seat feeling like the surface of the sun.
Jackson waiting 20 months to try and convince us he was actually a die-hard fan of the QB the Browns are mocked for passing over is laughable. His thinking he’s in a position to make a power play, to try and put Haslam’s feet to the fire in attempt to save his own job, is mind-numbingly insane.
It’s also why Jackson needs to go. He’s clearly pulling no punches when it comes to making someone else foot the bill for his struggles. To put it bluntly – if the coach with a 1-27 record thinks he’s infallible, he’s not someone I would want running a football team. The hope is Haslam realizes this, and rewards Jackson’s immaturity by sending him packing at season’s end.
At the very least, though, maybe Jackson’s threat to go coach elsewhere will help Haslam with the PR spin when he hands out the pink slip.