It’s no secret the Cleveland Browns have been a picture of dysfunction, and it turns out Hue Jackson pretty much is who we think he is.
Around a year ago, Seth Wickersham of ESPN authored an article pointing to a frayed relationship between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. This time around the Cleveland Browns are his subject, with a portrayal of dysfunction that has been evident with or without specifics. Some details on the firing of head coach Hue Jackson in the middle of this past season have come too.
In one swoop on Oct. 29, the Browns fired Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The team was 2-5-1 at the time, which gave Jackson a 3-36-1 record over two-and-half seasons as Browns’ head coach. The results from that point on, as Cleveland went 5-3 and quarterback Baker Mayfield showed marked improvement, proved firing Jackson was the right (and overdue?) move.
Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam delivered the news to Jackson that he was being fired the morning after that Week 8 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, with a parting shot the team had quit on the coach. That latter point can be debated, since four of Cleveland’s eight games to that point had gone to overtime. But Jackson’s response to being fired was not ideal, and not surprising.
Get the f— out of my office,” Jackson said.
Jackson has always seemed to have an out-sized opinion of himself as a coach, without the record to back it up, and he somehow didn’t see his firing coming.
The beginning of the end for Jackson with the Browns came when general manager John Dorsey forced Haley on him as the new offensive coordinator last offseason, with an ensuing power struggle between the two that was easy to see coming. The most tangible evidence of that power struggle is how much better Mayfield was when Freddie Kitchens became offensive coordinator, which was the No. 1 factor in Kitchens earning a promotion to head coach.
Jackson’s profanity-laced reaction to being fired is not a good look if he wants a third chance to be an NFL head coach. A denial he cussed out Haslam may be coming, but all teams really have to do is look at winning three of 40 games in Cleveland as a disqualifying factor if Jackson somehow comes up in a head coaching search.