Hue Jackson Era Over in Cleveland
CLEVELAND – After a rough 2-5-1 start to a season of high expectations for the Cleveland Browns, head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have been fired. Ahead of what could be their hardest matchup of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs, Jackson and Haley were notified of their immediate release from the team. This was an unexpected move by the Cleveland organization, as major improvement had been made upon previous seasons’ work, and a perfect record should not have been expected. Jackson had a horrible record as the head coach of the Browns, but with the team he was given, this season was a big turnaround for a failing organization.
Under Jackson’s three seasons as head coach for the Browns, the team posted an awful 3-36-1 record. Of those three seasons, the 2017 season was the worst for the Browns, as they went 0-16. After many offseason acquisitions, the Browns organization had high expectations of Hue Jackson to be able to piece a decent team together. After years of losing seasons, Hue Jackson finally broke the two-win threshold in 2018 and managed to have a team that could at least hold their own out there. So why was Hue Jackson fired? Many sports experts did not see this firing coming, as they expected more time to be given to Jackson, as they did switch who was the first-string quarterback halfway through the current season. Under Baker Mayfield, the offense has still struggled, but had its good moments. In an impatient world, Jackson just needed more time to get the offense rolling together as one unit. One way to look at Jackson’s record this season is on the bright side, and that the Browns lost five of their eight games by less than a touchdown. A year ago, the team was getting blown out by a landslide, which is a big testament to the development of the Cleveland defense under Jackson. On a team making great strides, the firing of their head coach will not help make them better.
As for Todd Haley, he’s had a different story during his time in the National Football League. Haley has been a coach for seven different teams, over the span of 21 years. His ability to be unable to maintain a job as an offensive coordinator was already evident going into his first season as the offensive coordinator for a struggling Cleveland offense. After six decent seasons in Pittsburgh and an untimely release there, Haley looked to be a key part of the offensive rebuild for the Browns, a team that has had almost as many starting quarterbacks as there are years since 2000. The same statement stands for Todd Haley as it did for Hue Jackson, he needed more time, especially as he had to adjust his style to their new quarterback, Baker Mayfield, and his strengths as a quarterback. On the other hand, only firing the offensive coordinator would have made sense for the Browns, as they are a team needing consistency during their rebuild. Like before, an impatient Cleveland fan base saw this untimely release of two relatively decent coaches.
An impatient fan base and what could be considered poor management of the Browns organization led to these two coaches being out of a job, and it does not come at a good time. It is unlikely to pay off for the Browns, who now have to make major adjustments against their hardest opponent of the season.