None of this was Hue Jackson‘s fault. Anything which may have gone wrong during his time as coach of the Cleveland Browns? Nope, can’t blame it on him. In fact, it wouldn’t have gone wrong had the team just listened to him, because he knew the right route to take.
This is basically the theme of Jackson’s current media tour, as he’s been making the rounds since getting fired by the Browns earlier this week. The quotes from his interviews with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and ESPN’s First Take are beyond absurd.
However, they’re also quite thoughtful. Jackson may not realize it, but he sure is making Cleveland feel very comfortable about its decision to send him packing.
Where do you even begin with some of the things Cleveland’s former coach has been saying since his ouster?
Did you know he’s the one who recommended the Browns hire GM John Dorsey? Did you know he loved Carson Wentz and wanted the quarterback in the 2016 draft, even though Mike Silver (his media mouthpiece) claimed otherwise at the time?
Jackson would like you to believe all of this and more, even though most of it is absolute nonsense. He’s spent the past two days spitting out revisionist history about his time in Cleveland, insisting things would’ve gone better if he was listened to or if he had more power.
Speaking of which, did you know the Browns’ offense would’ve been more successful this year if he was still running it? It’s tough to disagree with him on this claim. Seriously, how did Cleveland even score any points this year without the play-calling prowess we witnessed when Jackson was running the offense?
Ah, but don’t let this fool you. See, he couldn’t generate anything positive from the offense in the first two seasons because his players weren’t talented enough.
These are all actual claims Jackson is making. After being fired partly due to his lack of accountability, he’s defending himself by…not taking any accountability.
By dodging any shred of blame for his 3-36-1 record.
By dumping on his own players to make himself look better.
Yet, after the nonstop constant excuses and blaming of others, he somehow found himself able to say he’s taken accountability for everything. That he has no idea where this narrative of him throwing people under the bus came from.
He’s doing this in attempt to make the Browns look bad for firing him. However, if the team looks bad in all of this, it’s from not firing him sooner.
None of this is new. We saw it constantly over the past few years. We received a behind the scenes look at it during HBO’s Hard Knocks.
This is who Jackson is. It’s who he’s always been.
It certainly doesn’t sound like it would’ve gone away if he was still in Cleveland. These interviews are hammering this fact home.
Jackson still isn’t accepting any role in a historic amount of losing. He’s still ignoring his own struggles at running the offense. He’s still happy to claim the players in his locker room weren’t talented, that he would’ve looked better as an offensive coordinator if anyone on his team was good.
Imagine how bad this would be if he was still coaching in Cleveland. Imagine how much worse it would’ve become as the losses piled up, defeats he would likely take zero responsibility for. Imagine how the players would feel hearing their coach blame anyone but himself, and then see him get rewarded with another week on the job.
Nothing Jackson has been saying over the past 24 hours is a surprise to those who followed the Browns over his time in Cleveland. The real shock comes from the fact he won’t back down from any of it. He won’t change his delusional ways, even after his firing.
It just further highlights the fact cutting ties with Jackson was a necessity for Cleveland. He’s someone who’s shown no hesitation to do whatever it takes to save his own skin, even if it means taking the team down with him.
At the end of the day, Jackson still insists the Browns were on the verge of turning the corner, and could’ve done so if they kept him around.
Based on the comments he’s made, I don’t think anyone in Cleveland regrets not being able to see that play out.