Jackson’s hunt for OC a charade
It’s somewhat amusing that Hue Jackson is methodically breaking up the Browns’ offensive coaching staff, the one he shaped and coordinated last season.
In reality, it is a mistake in progress.
The reason being Jackson, the worst head coach in the history of professional football in Cleveland, is disassembling and reassembling the coaching staff on that side of the ball when there’s a chance he might not be around long enough to lead it.
There is no guarantee, Jimmy Haslam III’s promise to keep Jackson as his head coach notwithstanding, he will still be roaming the sidelines by the end of the 2018 season, let alone by the end of training camp this summer.
There is only hope by the owner that the Hue Jackson who led the Browns to a 1-31 record the last two seasons was a fake, an impostor, an aberration who cruelly foisted upon the club’s great fan base the worst consecutive seasons in National Football League history.
Most knowledgeable fans of this franchise, the ones who can clearly see the error of the owner’s ways, also have hope, the hope that Jackson’s lamentable connection to the club is aborted before the situation gets worse.
Allowing him to reshape the offensive coaching staff is a mistake of gigantic proportions because that’s the staff the new coach, whoever the poor guy is, will inherit and eventually dismiss as quickly as humanly possible.
The fact Haslam – not new General Manager John Dorsey because his hands are tied – is allowing this to happen shows lack of foresight on the owner’s part. For some odd reason, he believes this will make a difference. It won’t.
Jackson has finally acceded to the wishes of the front office to give up his role of offensive coordinator, as well as the playcalling. That won’t happen. His pride – no, make that his sizable ego – will stand in the way of relinquishing both jobs.
The interviewing process looking for a new coordinator/play caller is a joke, a charade. Unless Haslam puts his foot down and demands Jackson give up that part of coaching, he’ll be back for season three with a hand somehow in the offense. He won’t. Put his foot down, that is.
Color me stunned beyond belief if Jackson acquiesces and eventually chooses a new face to compile the new playbook for the offense and become the new voice in the helmet of whoever quarterbacks the Browns next season. A divorce like that will be difficult for him.
Jackson, who dismissed quarterbacks coach David Lee, running backs/run game coordinator coach Kirby Wilson and a pair of special teams assistant coaches recently, is looking for someone who shares his offensive philosophy. Someone who believes, as he does, in the quick-strike vertical passing game with little emphasis on the ground game.
Hopefully, he will find someone who can adapt his coaching style to his players’ talents rather than force the players to perform in a manner that fits his approach. It was like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole. That, as much as anything, is why the Cleveland offense the last couple of seasons was embarrassingly awful.
In his search for a coordinator, Jackson thus far has found either retreads like Ken Zampese, who has signed on as the new quarterbacks coach, or hotshot young veterans who won’t take the job as OC unless playcalling is attached.
It would be a convenient built-in excuse for Jackson, if unable to find someone, to handle both aspects of the job for a third straight season Another reason for him to cling zealously to a job he has been proven most unworthy of handling.
If Haslam maintains his weaknesses when it comes to anything Jackson and trusts his judgment with regard to the coaching staff, rest assured Jackson will take full advantage and wind up communicating directly to his quarterback during games.
The most interesting aspect of this search is Jackson is rejiggering just the offensive staff, wisely keeping his mitts off the defense, clearly the best side of the ball last season, although the talent-challenged secondary struggled mightily all season.
It is a mute admission the so-called offensive guru has been anything but since arriving in Cleveland. Devoting himself to that side of the football has robbed him of his limited capabilities of being a head coach in the NFL.
But if surrendering the coordinator job and playcalling was a stipulation in Jackson’s return and he fails to follow through, it will be interesting to see how his owner handles it as this little scenario unfolds.