Hue Jackson has finally been fired, and here are five candidates to be the next Cleveland Browns head coach.
Despite a 1-31 record over two seasons, Hue Jackson managed to survive to a third season as Cleveland Browns head coach. The team has been better this year, at 2-5-1, but a third straight loss on Sunday with reported tension with offensive coordinator Todd Haley brought potential change to the forefront. On Monday morning, first according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jackson was fired as Browns head coach.
The relationship between Jackson and Haley was doomed to fail from the start. Jackson was captured on the first episode of Hard Knocks putting Haley is in place regarding player rest during camp, with a since-repeated phrase of “I’m the head coach.” Jackson suggested he needed to be more involved in the team’s struggling offense and essentially pointed the finger at Haley last week, and Sunday’s result would have surely brought more of the same if Jackson had made it to his Monday presser.
Browns general manager John Dorsey seems to have hand-picked Haley to come in as offensive coordinator, after Jackson went without a coordinator for two seasons. So Haley seemed to have won the power struggle, as it appears Dorsey won the battle over who would be fired. But not so fast, as Haley has been fired too.
A better talent base and a promising young quarterback makes the Browns a desirable head coaching job. Looking ahead to 2019, here are five candidates to replace Jackson on a permanent basis.
5. Josh McDaniels
McDaniels was practically signed, sealed and delivered to be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts after last season, before a last-minute change of heart to stay as offensive coordinator in New England. The Patriots are rumored to have upped the financial ante to keep him in the fold, and it’s easy to point to McDaniels as Bill Belichick’s eventual successor.
McDaniels’ first failed stint as an NFL head coach, 11-17 over less than two seasons with the Denver Broncos (2009 and 2010) has faded from memory, and he surely learned something from the experience. If he wants to leave the Patriots, he will have opportunities until further notice.
Dorsey should be able to sell his own credibility and the Browns’ promising future to head coaching candidates. The shadow of Belichick’s wing is a comfortable and successful place, but McDaniels could see Cleveland as a worthy destination to leave for.