Hue Jackson won’t be calling plays for the Cleveland Browns this season.
Hue Jackson is still the Cleveland Browns’ head coach, but that doesn’t mean he’s in charge of the team’s offense any longer. The under-fire coach has made it clear to everyone that Todd Haley is in complete control of the Browns offense.
Jackson told reporters that Haley now has “total autonomy” when it comes to how he operates the Browns offense. He went on to explain that Haley will be implementing an entirely new playbook this season. The Browns head coach says he can’t call plays from Haley’s playbook anymore than Haley could call plays from his.
Of course, Haley will get the advantage of having several new offensive weapons to play with. In addition to No. 1 selection Baker Mayfield the team also secured receiver Jarvis Landry in free agency. Cleveland also strengthened their offensive backfield by adding Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb.
That could give Haley enough talent to turn the team’s moribund offense around, but that isn’t really the point of this story. The much more interesting aspect of this report is how Jackson is willing to put someone else in charge of his destiny. If Haley can get the offense rolling then Jackson will have a chance of keeping his job. Otherwise, Jackson’s going to be hitting the unemployment line sooner rather than later.
Keep in mind, Jackson’s record to date is a staggering 1-31. He’s lucky to still be in charge of the Browns. The team might be the laughing-stock of the NFL, but even they deserve a better coach in charge that Jackson’s been thus far in his tenure.
Jackson’s decision to cede such power to Haley could also open the door for the former Steelers offensive coordinator to make a power play for the job after the season. If the offense does turnaround and become the team’s strong point, Haley could go to ownership and claim he’s the sole reason for the team’s progression. That would leave Browns ownership with a very difficult decision to make.
They can either stick with Jackson just because he’s been the head coach, or give Haley the job based on his obvious impact on the team’s improvement. Either way the Browns would be left with a massive mess. Cleveland fans wouldn’t recognize their franchise if things looked any differently.